Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fabulous Food Show Winner!



Thank you to everyone who entered the Fabulous Food Show Giveaway!

I used Random.org to pick and winner and the winner of 2 tickets is...#6:


I am so looking forward to meeting some great chefs and eating my favorite ice cream!!

Congratulations Joy B! Please contact me at mangovino (at) gmail (dot) com by tomorrow morning so I can get your info for the tickets.

If you didn't win and still want to go, you can get a order your tickets HERE and get a discount by entering either of these codes:


SPRINGFFS - $5 off General Admission (no celebrity chef show) 
or any Steven Raichlen show* 

BBQFAN - $3 off General admission ticket which includes celebrity chef show*

Or you can Help the Hungry: The Spring Fabulous Food Show and The Plain Dealer are teaming up with the Cleveland Foodbank to Help the Hungry. Bring any any three non perishable food items and receive $3 off any ticket, any day at the Spring Fabulous Food Show.

Each ticket includes admission to exhibits and seating to see one of your favorite celebrity chefs, and also allows patrons to see other celebrity chefs on the day of the visit, on a first-come, first-served basis. See website for standby and ticket upgrade procedures. 

Event Hours:           Saturday, April 28 — 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM 
                               Sunday, April 29 — 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Weds - Dreaming

Wishful Thinking!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fabulous Food Show Giveaway


Fire up the grill and get ready for summer, it's time for the spring Fabulous Food Show! Thanks to the Spring Fabulous Food Show, one of you can get two free tickets to the show. I will announce the winner on Weds. Here's how to enter:

Simply like Fabulous Food Show & Eat*Drink*Cleveland on Facebook and leave me a comment telling me what you are most looking forward to about the show this year. 

You can get a second entry by following both the @FabFoodShow & @EatDrinkClev on Twitter and Tweeting " I want to get my grill on! I just entered to win 2 free tickets to @FabFoodShow and you can too http://ow.ly/as5wj @EatDrinkClev #giveaway " Leave me a comment telling me you did.

This weekend, you'll be able to see some of the top grill masters out there. No stranger to the Fabulous Food Show, Bobby Flay returns to break out some of his favorite grilling recipes. Flay hosts the widely-popular Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Boy Meets Grill, Brunch @ Bobby’s, Bobby Flay’s Barbeque Addition, and Emmy-award winning Grill It! with Bobby Flay.  

Emeril Lagasse, host of Emeril’s Table on the Hallmark Channel and Cooking Channel’s Fresh Food Fast, The Originals with Emeril, and Emeril Live, makes his Spring Fabulous Food Show debut on Sunday, April 29th in the Backyard Patio Theatre. A TV cooking veteran, Lagasse’s unbeatable passion for cooking and teaching will surely inspire any backyard warrior to turn up the heat! 

Steven Raichlen joins the celebrity chef lineup, sharing some of his best practices and insight into the world of barbeque. Raichlen has written a multitude of cookbooks for grilling aficionados and hosts his own “Barbeque University” in Colorado Springs.

And last but not least, grilling expert Jamie Purviance represents Weber Grills and will share his expertise in the Weber Grilling Pavilion, an outdoor feature of the show. Purviance has authored many Weber grilling cookbooks and will host live demonstrations on grilling, barbeque, and smoking techniques.

There will also be a Celebrity Book Signing Pavilion in case you want to get those cookbooks signed and Tasting Gardens hosted by the American Wine School. More than 300 wines, spirits and specialty beers will be available to sip, swirl, and savor and seminars in the Cadillac Tasting Theatre will help you select the perfect beverage for outdoor gatherings.

In keeping with the summer theme, there will be an Ice Cream Shoppe where you can indulge in all your favorite summer frozen treats from gelato to fro yo.

I'm really glad to that they will have a expanded Farmer's Market and a Farmer's Market Stage where they will show you how to make the most of the season's bounty.

Normal ticket prices: One-day Admission ticket: $25 (advanced) online at
here, or $30.00 onsite and online April 28-29, 2012, at the I-X Center. 

But my readers can get a discount HERE by entering either of these codes:

SPRINGFFS - $5 off General Admission (no celebrity chef show) or any Steven Raichlen show* 

BBQFAN - $3 off General admission ticket which includes celebrity chef show*

Each ticket includes admission to exhibits and seating to see one of your favorite celebrity chefs, and also allows patrons to see other celebrity chefs on the day of the visit, on a first-come, first-served basis. See website for standby and ticket upgrade procedures. 

Event Hours:           Saturday, April 28 — 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM 
                                Sunday, April 29 — 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM 

I can smell those grills and summer already...

*Disclosure: I was given 2 tickets to the show as well as 2 to give away to my readers by the Fabulous Food Show.*

Friday, April 20, 2012

ONE Styling Hair Extravaganza!

Just about a month ago, one of my favorite and most stylish bloggers, Kimberly from Smitten...in Cleveland, let me in on a little secret. In the past we've had lots of conversations about our hair care woes (curly! frizzy!) and I've commented repeatedly on her gorgeous hair. She claims she has crazy hair but I've never seen it. She said that she has been using new styling tools and it's made a huge difference in her hair care routine.

I have pretty good hair in theory, but it's very misbehaved. The curls are easily transformed into a frizzy 'fro when the humidity is high. Plus my hair is super dry. I baby it and am always looking for products and tools that will help me tame the wildness without damaging it. 

Food may be my thing, but I'm absolutely obsessed with hair, makeup and beauty products. My bathroom looks like spa with all the products and tools. Kimberly knows very well that even if we aren't all fashionistas, we ALL want to have great hair so she invited me to a dream come true hair event. The One Styling team was having a blogger event at Spa West in Westlake. I have always wanted to see Spa West in person because it gets such rave reviews. Plus, we were going to have professionals use some new tools on us and show us how to do our hair. Yep, you read that right. What girl doesn't love getting pro tips to make the most of our unruly tresses? I could hardly wait!

I was so excited I arrived early. Kimberly and I chatted and I could hardly contain my excitement as we went inside. Spa West doesn't look very impressive from the outside, but once you enter you are transported to another world. It is plush yet understated. They offer everything from hair care to facials to yoga and it's the definitely the nicest spa I've been to in Cleveland. Spa West was the perfect location to learn about the cutting edge technology offered by One Styling. 

We gathered in a sitting room and sipped on some champagne with strawberries...
Here's some of the appetizers from Brio that we noshed on...

Margherita Flatbread: Fresh Mozzarella, vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh basil.

BBQ Chicken Flatbread with spicy chipotle BBQ sauce, blackened chicken, smoked Gouda, seared yellow peppers, green onions, Feta and cilantro.

Crab & Shrimp Cakes: Lump crab and shrimp with creamy horseradish and arugula, tossed with herb vinaigrette

I had never eaten there before because I'm normally avoiding chains but the food was really tasty, especially the pizzas.
Kate and Charlene ready to get styled
As we were eating, we learned about One Styling and their new line of styling appliances. They have created the next generation of styling tools with advanced features that really set them apart from the competition. Their tools work for all hair types and textures and help everyone look their best.

Each blogger was paired up with a professional stylist. We all discussed our hair types and styling issues and the stylists went to work. Curls were everywhere and we were all amazed at how the stylists were able to create the curls using the flat irons. They have beveled edges which really makes a great curl - no more unwanted crimps! See for yourself how easy it is:
It really is as easy as it looks in the video! I've successfully created curls using this exact tool and method with great results. To compare I also tried the technique with my Chi flat iron and found that the tool used really does make a huge difference. No more Chi for me!
Kate with her curls!!
Dina getting curls
Allison pre-concert styling

Kimberly during and after - glamorous!
Nadine's gorgeous hair
Julie glammed up...
...and sassy
Lauren from Fashionably Cleveland
me, Julie and Kimberly

Happy Birthday to Nadine's Mom - what a great way to spend your special night!
Not only did the One Styling team teach us some tricks and make us look gorgeous, they provided us with the most generous of swag bags! We each got a huge bag overflowing with their incredible tools: 
Heat Mat


Thank you to One Styling and Kimberly for inviting me to this awesome event!
 Josh, Joe Kim and Les Haverty
Afterwards, we were WAY too pretty to just go home so we decided to head to Menchie's. Julie and Kimberly are obsessed with this place and I had never been so we thought it would be the perfect way to end our evening.
I've never been a big fro yo fan - my tastes lean more toward gelato or Jeni's, but the ability to mix in your own toppings piqued my interest. I was amazed at all the choices! While my dear friends went for sugar overload with cereal, gummy bears, sprinkles and M+M's, I loaded up my peanut butter yogurt with Oreo crumbles, pretzels, nuts and bananas - so good! The only thing missing was hot fudge.
It was such a great way to end the most amazing night! 

Ever since the event, I've been so busy (remember my Film Fest obsession?) I hadn't had nearly enough time to play with my new toys. I wanted to try them all at home with no help before reviewing them so you would have a realistic opinion of them. Stylists have years of experience and skills that I lack so I was wondering if I could recreate the hair magic of that night. Was it the stylist that made an average tool rock or was there something special about the tools themselves?
                            
Since then, I have used all the tools and absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE them! My hair looks better and it takes less time to do it. The hair dryer cut my dry time in half and I have no frizz after using it. It's loaded with specialty features, some of which are pure genius: you can switch from positive ions (blue) to create volume and negative ions (green) for sleekness! 

My favorite tools are the Verge Bubble Wand and the Epic Flat IronThe Bubble Wand makes the best curls! Because of the bumps and grooves, the curls vary in size and aren't too fussy looking. And it's idiot proof! It has a cool tip and spring-loaded clamp to make things hassle-free. I literally can curl my thick shoulder length hair in 10 minutes tops.  
The Flat Iron is equally easy and fast. It reaches temps of up to 450 degrees plus it has Heat Boost Technology that maintains the temperature as you pull the iron through your hair.  It glides through my hair and makes it glossy. I can't tell you how many people have commented on my hair since I started using these products. 

Check out Dina's review of the Curl Styx here. They are so much easier than using a curling iron and comes with 3 sized rods and a convenient storage/travel bag.  

These products are not cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for. The quality is top notch, plus with all the advanced features, they keep your hair healthier and looking great.

And One Styling has a special offer for all my blog readers, you can get 35% off AND free shipping when placing your order by using Coupon Code EAT35. They are also throwing in a free heat mat valued at $20. This deal is valid though April 30th. 

I can't think of a better way to use some of that tax refund, can you?

* In full disclosure, I was invited to participate in the hair event and provided the generous bag of styling products from OneStyling. As always, the opinions expressed are genuine and my own *


Monday, April 16, 2012

Emerging Chef's - Garden Party at Amp 150



Emerging Chefs is back with another fun foodie event.

Break out your spring finest and get ready for a Garden Party at Amp 150

Chef Jarrett is one of my favorites so I know it will be awesome.




The menu was just announced and it's a perfect spring time feast!




Spring Pea Soup with ramp creme fraise and lemon oil


Mushroom Mousse with fennel cherry compote and grilled artisan bread


Goat Cheese Gnocchi with pork belly croutons, shaved asparagus, drunken fig

jam and pepper cress


Sous vide lamb loin with farro, fava beans, cauliflower and truffle


Baked apple barley puddin with cinnamon tuile and Snowville Creamery anglaise






It's all happening April 18th from 6 to 9pm at AMP 150.

They still have a few tickets left so click HERE to get yours. $65 each.

Each attendee will also receive a free copy of the inaugural issue of Edible Cleveland.



Tax Day Freebies



We are one day away from the 2012 Federal tax filing deadline. Are you one of those people who file right away, already have your refund back and likely have spent it too? Or are you a last minute procrastinator scrambling to get things filed in time? Either way, there are a lot of special deals being offered to make the whole paying Uncle Sam a little better.


1. Free curly fries at Arby's
2. BOGO at Boston Market
3. 15% off at PF Changs
4. Extended Happy Hour from 3:30 to 11:00pm at McCormick and Schmicks
5. Get a Brueggers Big Bagel Bundle for only $10.40
6. Great America Coffee Refund from Seattle's Best
7. All Day Happy Hour at Sonic
8. Free chips and drink with purchase of hand carved sandwich at Schlotzsky's
9. 10% off of make your own beer at MakeBeer.net with code "TAXDAY."
10. 2 Burgers for $15 or 2 Dinners for $25 at Champps
11. Buy 2 5-packs get 1 free Gnu Bars -my favorite is orange cranberry

And if you are looking for a great way to spruce up your spring wardrobe and spend some of your tax refund, you can save 30% at Banana Republic with coupon code BRTAXBREAK. Bobbi Brown is having a Friends and Family sale featuring 20% off - click here to shop. Eddie Bauer is offering 15% off with code RELIEF.


One Styling is offerering 35% off and free shipping with coupon code EAT35. Their styling tools are the best I've ever tried and this is a great savings.


You can click HERE for more savings from Brad's Deals.


If you haven't filed yet, you can file for free using Tax Act. It's just as easy as Turbo Tax but free.


And if you prefer to drown your tax day sorrows, here's some cocktail recipes thanks to Imbibe at the Huffington Post.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Polka Music at the W Side Market


Music at the Market!

Image from DJKishka.com

Cleveland's very own polka DJ, DJ Kishka, will be spinning polka tunes at the West Side Market on Saturday, April 7th from 11am-1pm.

Shopping was never so much fun!

And check out all the Dyngus Day Celebrations HERE

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hodges- A Dream Come True

Chris Hodgson is a local celebrity thanks to his very entertaining run on The Great Food Truck Race
As he was bringing food trucks to Cleveland, he was dreaming of one day opening his own brick and mortar restaurant. Last week, his dream came true.  The much anticipated Hodge's Cleveland opened in the former Zinc on Euclid Ave. Now he starts a new adventure with partner Scott Kuhn of Washington Place Bistro.


Immediately, Hodge's was garnering praise from diners hungry to enjoy Hodgson's food in a restaurant setting. The website describes the food as "modernized takes on global comfort food with a handful of favorites from the popular food trucks Hodge Podge and Dim and Den Sum." My food loving blogger friends and I wasted no time to getting to Hodge's to see for ourselves what Chef Hodson was cooking up in a full-sized kitchen. 


We all loved the simple decor of wood and red leather. And we were all smiles as we chatted and made the difficult decision about what to order. Don't you love it when so many things sound good on a menu that you really struggle to choose?


Kimberly, Jen and Sarah
First came the amuse bouche - tator tots! Crispy and cheesy with just a hint of bacon they were a great way to start our meal.
Next up was the item I most looking forward to - our very own skillet of corn bread! I had been hearing about this since the friend and family opening and couldn't wait to try it. To say I'm a corn bread lover is a major understatement. This little skillet of golden goodness did not disappoint! Moist and hot out of the oven, I could have eaten the whole pan. 
 The ladies decided to share a couple of apps:
“swedish” meatballs — au poivre, blackberry jam, parsley  7.5

big dipper — duck, lobster &lamb corn dogs; smoked apple + red pepper jam, tarragon aioli, banana ketchup  12
I loved the meatballs. They were tender and flavorful. The jam added just the  right sweetness to the creamy sauce. I only wish I had some bread to sop it all up with. The corn dogs looked awesome - such a fun presentation! - but were not as tasty as I hoped for. I think we all agreed that the lobster was the best of the bunch.


I decided to order snacks and apps as my entree because so many of them sounded great! I started off with spring pea soup. It was listed on the menu as asparagus but I was thrilled with the switch! It was so fresh and creamy. Loved the pea tendrils as garnish - so yummy! If you go while this is in season, you must try this bright colored taste of spring in a bowl.
 I couldn't resist trying the honey ribs. They weren't very meaty but they sure packed a lot of flavor! I loved the slight smokiness that wasn't overwhelming. And the slaw was incredible! The honey mustard thyme dressed red cabbage also contained a tasty surprise - golden raisins. Sooo good!

hodges honey ribs — house-smoked, sherry slaw, thyme, honey mustard  8.5
Instead of a salad I opted for the pickle jar. It was a mixture of fennel, baby turnips, onions, green and yellow beans and radishes. Though it was very pretty to look at, I was disappointed because it was just too vinegary. I hold all pickled veggies up to the very high standard of Tsukemono Pickle Sampler perfection at Noodlecat so I'm a little spoiled. The best of the bunch were the turnips.
pickle jar — house-made pickles  4
I rounded out my meal with the carpaccio. It was wafer thin and nicely marbled wagyu beefy goodness. More pea tendrils, a drizzle of delicious EVOO and horseradish cream complimented the beef. I love a little crunch with my carpaccio and asked for bread. I was very happy to receive 2 nice slices of toasted bread dressed with olive oil - perfect!
beef carpaccio — wagyu, pea tendrils, horseradish crème fraiche  5
Everyone else was happy with their choices as well. Sarah ordered the hangar steak that I almost ordered and sweetly shared a bite. LOVED the salsa verde! The steak was not hot, but was very tasty. This is what I'm going to order next time.
c.a.b hanger steak — tomato creamed heirloom beans, potato shards, salsa verde  23.5
Julie and Kimberly both order the other entree I was contemplating - the unfried chicken. The sides of asparagus and mac & cheese sounded really good. As I'm writing this I realize I forgot to snag a bite of that chicken.
‘‘unfried chicken’’ — ohio organic chicken, mac and cheese, spiced asparagus, rosemary jus  18.5
Since Amanda was at the other end of the table, I didn't get pics of her sweetbread sliders, cumin roasted carrots or lobster whipped potatoes. Jen ordered the french onion ravioli and they were gone in a flash. She shared a bite and I know why they disappeared so easily - the broth was superb and the ricotta and gruyere ravioli weren't too creamy. She also got a nice toasted slice of bread in her bowl to soak up every last drop of the luscious broth.

It was a great night! I'm looking forward to returning when the weather is warmer because the patio is outstanding. They are having an Opening Day Patio Bash on 4/5 featuring Disco Inferno and the food trucks -don't miss it!

The restaurant will be offering a super sweet deal in the near future: dinner for 2 for $40 including an app to share and a bottle of wine! We were hoping to take advantage of that last night but found it wasn't being offered just yet.  
Julie, Amanda, me, Kimberly, Jen and Sarah
We love Hodges!
A private dining room off of the kitchen will be home to a chef’s whim dinner called The Hodge Podge. This 5-7 course, private meal will feature fresh daily offerings from Chef Hodgson and Sous Chef Adam Bostwick. The Hodge Podge will be available by reservation only for groups of 6-12 and must be booked 48 hours in advance.


Normally I hold off visiting a new restaurant until they have some time to work out the kinks. I'm so glad I didn't waste anytime going to Hodge's. While it was just their first full week of being open to the public, you would never have known it - everything was great! Our server was sweet and knowledgeable, the food rocked and the space was so inviting. 


Check it out - you'll be happy you did!










Monday, April 2, 2012

Dining Deals Kick Off April

Here's a GREAT deal I wanted to share with you...
You can get a 3 course feast at Fleming's from now until April 7th by using this special LINK.

Check out the amazing menu:
APPETIZER - CHOICE OF ONE

The Wedge Salad

crisp iceberg lettuce with grape tomatoes, red onions and crumbled blue cheese

French Onion Soup
baked with gruyère and parmesan cheeses


ENTRÉE

Filet Mignon and North Atlantic Lobster Tail


SIDE DISH - CHOICE OF ONE

French Green Beans

shiitake mushrooms and porcini essence

Fleming’s Mashed Potatoes
blue cheese, parmesan-peppercorn or roasted garlic
Yes, you get a filet AND lobster tail with an appetizer and side dish all for the unbelievable price of $34.95!



And today is the first day of the Cleveland Independents Restaurant Week. For $33, you get a three course meal at some of the city's best restaurants. New notables including Spice Kitchen and BarFlour, and Cowell and Hubbard are all participating so it's a great time to check them out or visit a favorite at a great price.