Friday, August 11, 2017

Ride RTA Giveaway

This summer is flying by! There are so many fun things happening around #CLE and I’ve been doing my best to take advantage of as many as possible.

Events are fun. Trying to get there is not. One of my favorite ways to skip the traffic and avoid the outrageous parking fees is to ride the Greater Cleveland RTA. The Rapid is my favorite because it's so much fun. But even if you aren’t close to a Rapid stop, the RTA busses have stops practically everywhere, are really convenient and help you start having fun sooner.

Did you know that RTA has an app to make riding even easier? After downloading the app, you can PLAN, BUY and RIDE using your smartphone. No more fumbling for exact change or standing in line at the ticket vending machines!

And when you use the app, you can even SAVE. If you show your RTA pass at one of their partners, you get all kinds of deals and can enter to win prizes. For example, $2 of admission to the Zoo, $1 off hot dogs at Happy Dog and 25% off one pastry or coffee/tea at Blackbird Bakery.
We rode RTA to the Indians game last week and it was SO easy! We got to sit back and relax during the ride and hopped off right by the stadium. 
If you visit the RTA street team's station in right field on a Friday or Saturday, you can win T-shirts and other prizes. Our game was on a Thursday so I'm borrowing a photo from the RTA Instagram page to show you where to go: 
But the best part: not having to fight traffic on the way home. We walked to the station and let RTA do the rest.
If you haven't taken advantage of RTA, what are you waiting for! After you see how easy it is, you'll be saying #IGORTA!

Enter to win a monthly RTA pass so you can try it for yourself and you'll also get two Indians tickets. Enter below using the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Greater Cleveland RTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #IgoRTA to share how all the places that RTA takes you!

** Disclosure: I was provided Indians tickets and monthly RTA passes for my personal use and to giveaway to a reader in exchange for sharing my opinions with you.  As always, all thoughts are my own. **

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ohio State Fair Giveaway - 2017

Are you looking for a great roadtrip this summer? The 164th Ohio State Fair runs from July 26 to August 6th and is full of unique, fun activities and delicious food.

Enjoy a variety of activities including sporting competitions, a fine arts show, free stages with kids’ entertainment, a farm animal delivery room, a petting zoo, helicopter rides, roving performers, agricultural competitions, horse shows, a natural resources park and much more! They have a lot of new things planned this year.

The Mountain Dew Midway features more than 60 exhilarating rides, while Meijer Kiddieland is home to rides geared toward parents riding with small children.

Fair food is SO good and the Ohio State Fair has more vendors than any other fair or festival - nearly 200! To help you find all your favorites, they even have a Food Finder.

The Sloppy Donut BBQ Sandwich On A Donut With Fried Pickle Chips is calling my name. Cereal & milk ice cream, deep fried tacos and Tatchoes (tator tots meet nachos) are some of the fun new food that will be available. Food on a stick is a must and they have just about everything imaginable including a pork chop on a stick! Another favorite of mine is the roasted corn. They even have deep fried bacon-wrapped buckeyes. 
Columbus is a short drive from the Cleveland area and the Ohio State Fair is the perfect excuse to make the trip. 

I'll even help you get there - you can win four tickets by entering here or on Instagram. 

1. Comment on this post either here or on Facebook telling me your favorite memory at the Ohio State Fair or your favorite fair food.

2. Like Eat*Drink*Cleveland and The Ohio State Fair on Facebook. Leave a comment telling me that you did.

3. Follow @OhioStateFair and @EatDrinkCLE and Tweet the following: 

I want to take a road trip to the @OhioStateFair with @EatDrinkCLE. You can enter here too #win #giveaway

4. Head over to Instagram. Like, follow and tag 3 people you would like to take with you.

Make sure you include a way to contact you in case you win. Winner will pick up their tickets at the Fair.

Winner will be randomly selected and the winner notificed July 26th.

Good luck!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer Duos at Bonefish Grill

Lucy & Ethel or Batman & Robin? Bert & Ernie or Kermit & Miss Piggy? Hans Solo & Chewbacca? Not everyone chooses the same all-time favorite pair, but when it comes to dining duos, Bonefish Grill is pairing top tastes for a special summer menu. Hurry up because this special menu ends July 23rd!
surf and turf, lobster tail and steak, cleveland restaurants, bonefish
Proving that good things come in twos, the Summer Duos menu features these delicious combos:

- Cod Piccata & Lobster Stuffed Shrimp (yum!!)

- Wood Grilled Center-Cut 8 oz. Sirloin & Cold Water Lobster Tail

- Cod Piccata & Cold Water Lobster Tail

- Filet Mignon & Cold Water Lobster Tail

cod piccata, lobster stuffed shrimp, surf and turf, bonefish, cleveland seafood restaurant
Each duo comes with your choice of two sides. The mashed sweet potatoes and truffled mac and cheese are two of my favorites.

In addition to the featured duos, they also have a selection of seasonal choices that capture the summer vibe.

I couldn't resist the Caribbean Style Dayboat Scallops: sushi-grade caramelized scallops served with fresh pineapple salsa and vanilla bean rum butter, served with green beans and jasmine rice. I could have eaten a bowl of the pineapple salsa! 
pineapple salsa, scallops, jasmine rice, Bonefish Grill
My second choice was the Dynamite-Style Wild Salmon: wood-grilled wild Sockeye Salmon topped with dynamite aioli and feta cheese, served with a summer blend of golden gnocchi, tomatoes, spinach and fresh-shucked corn. I WILL be going back to try this one!
gnocchi, corn salad, wild salmon
My hubby selected wood-fired Atlantic salmon from their regular menu with the lime, tomato and garlic sauce. The flavor of the wood-fired grill really made this dish shine.
salmon, wood fired fish, grilled fish
In addition to these mains, you can cast off with a Fresh Ceviche appetizer and dock with Summer Berry Bread Pudding, a house-made brioche bread pudding infused with Grand Marnier and orange zest, served with fresh summer berries, ice cream, whipped cream and salted caramel sauce. No way will you be leaving hungry!

We each had a house salad and loved the combo of kalamata olives and hearts of palm - delicious!
hearts of palm, salad, olives
Because I'm obsessed with watermelon, I had to try the fresh Watermelon Martini: hand-muddled watermelon, house-infused English cucumber and Fris vodka infusion and fresh sourmix, garnished with a frozen watermelon cube. I loved the frozen chunk of fruit - it kept the drink cold 'til the last drop, but it lacked that really fresh watermelon flavor I was hoping for.
summer cocktails, watermelon martini, blue drink, sparkling wine cocktail
I was tempted to try the Sparkling Blue Hawaiian: a bright and breezy tropical drink made with rum, Blue Curacao liqueur, Coco Lopez and fresh pineapple juice, topped with prosecco.
summer duos menu, cocktails, watermelon, watermelon ice cube
But instead I tried the Cucumber Margarita and wow - this was a taste sensation! It's officially a Must Do - but be warned, they go down way too easy. It's made with PatrĂ³n Silver, fresh lime and English cucumber, topped with a hint of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and rimmed with salt & pepper for a perfect finish. I found this recipe online and plan to tweek it to try to duplicate it at home. 
Patron, cucumber infused tequila, St. Germaine, summer cocktails, margarita recipe
I discovered that they serve Endless Bubbles Brunch. Um, yes please! They also have nice Happy Hour.
summer menu, seafood, cleveland seafood restaurant, cucumber margarita, watermelon martini
We had a great time and really enjoyed exploring the seasonal menu at Bonefish. While they treated us to dinner (Thanks Bonefish!), all opinions expressed are my own. We also purchased our own cocktails.     

Monday, June 19, 2017

CLE Neighborhoods: 10 Reasons to Love Tremont

Cleveland is full of interesting and diverse neighborhoods. Besides declaring themselves "east siders" or "west siders," most northeast Ohioans love to debate which neighborhood is the best. One of my favorites is Tremont.
Tremont, Cleveland, street sign, church, Deer Hunter movie
And I'm not alone! People are clambering to move there thanks to its unique housing stock, unique shops, many trendy locally-owned restaurants and bars and its close proximity to downtown. When we were recently trying to decide where to more, Tremont was one of our top choices. We worked with a realtor who was a family friend but I found myself heading to the HERrealtors website because they show listings from many real estate companies all in one place. It made it easier to stay on top of a hot real estate market. My friend from Columbus told me about them (they are really big down there) and I was surprised to learn that they are the country’s largest agent-owned real estate firm. Pretty cool! Anyways, while we ultimately chose another community, Tremont is still a favorite of ours and we visit frequently. 

Why is it so awesome? Here are my top 10 reasons:

1. Locally owned businesses - There are no chains or fast food which means that the vibe is uniquely Cleveland. Wine and Design, Tremont General Store and Banyan Tree are all really cool shops located within a few blocks of each other, each offering a unique shopping experience you can't find in most suburban areas.

Tremont, General Store, shop local, market, garden supplies, Cleveland
2. Awesome dining - I could talk for hours about all the awesome places to eat in Tremont. The depth of dining choices runs deep. Some of my regular spots are:
  • Fat Cats - always delicious with an enviable view of downtown
  • Dante, Dante Next Door and Ginko - Dante's trifecta of yum
  • Sokolowskis University Inn - a classic featuring eastern European treats cafeteria style
  • Lucky's - eating local taken seriously - veggies and herbs picked right from the garden on the patio 
  • Fahrenheit - one of the original hot spots is still going strong
  • Edisons - a walk up window, pizza by the slice and a dog friendly patio - yes please!
  • Southside - the patio is one of my favorites in Cleveland
  • Paralax - Zack Bruell's Tremont outpost's Green Hour is a Dining Deal
  • Barrio - create your own tacos while sipping top notch margaritas and cervezas. Brunch on the weekends. Be smart and get a side of queso.
3. Walk about Tremont is the 2nd Friday of every month - this is a Must Do for sure! Shops and galleries have extended hours plus there are walking tours, pop-up art, street performers and more.

Cleveland, events, art walk, festival,walking tours, pop up art

4. Hollywood film connection - definitely pay a visit to The Christmas Story House. A local treasure, it also attracts fans from all over the country who love Cleveland's favorite holiday film as much as we do. But don't overlook the onion-domed St. Theodosius church featured in the Deer Hunter - it's gorgeous inside and out.
Deer Hunter, church, cathedral, Greek Orthodox church, onion dome
5. Sweet treats - Cookie and a Cupcake, Lilly Handmade Chocolates (omg the drinking chocolate!) and Tremont Scoops make picking just one dessert impossible. Lilly's also offers an excellent selection of craft beer and wines for take out that are specially chosen to compliment the chocolate. Check out the special tasting events - they are always fantastic.
6. Tremont Farmers Market - lots of local produce, handmade products and food trucks decend upon Lincoln Park every Tuesday 4-7pm.

7. Lincoln Park - a huge green space in the center of town that is the perfect spot to people watch, have a picnic or take your dog for a walk. There's a gazebo, playground and even a swimming pool.

8. Bars - Prosperity Social Club, The Flying Monkey, Treehouse, Hi and Dry and Tremont Taphouse are just some of the awesome watering holes in Tremont. 

9. Festivals - some of the city's best are in Lincoln Park ~ Tremont Greek Fest (Memorial Day weekend), the Taste of Tremont (7/16/17), Scene Ale Fest (7/29/17) and the Tremont Arts & Cultural Festival (Sept. 16 + 17, 2017) plus a bunch of church festivals too.
Tremont, Cleveland, festival, restaurants

10. Art Galleries - Tremont was home to the first art gallery in the City of Cleveland and the tradition continues. In fact, the month of August is dedictated to them during Arts in August.

So here's the perfect excuse for you to pay Tremont a visit to see for yourself what makes it such a great place to visit and live - I'm giving away a gift certificate to one of my top spots - Lilly Handmade Chocolates!

Enter using the Rafflecopter below. You MUST comment on this blog post to enter. Once you do that, there are lots of other ways to get bonus entries. Good luck!

Contest ends Thursday 7/6 at midnight. Winner will be selected randomly. Winner has 24 hours to respond; otherwise, an alternate winner will be chosen.

*** Disclosure: This post and giveaway are sponsored by Nakturnal
As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. ***

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Grapes and Ale Giveaway

Are you ready to enjoy lots of great wine, blues, brew & BBQ?

Kick off Summer on Friday, May 19th at Grapes & Ale, Presented by Giant Eagle, and enjoy the hottest BBQ of the year, with samplings of more than 300 internationally acclaimed wines, craft brews and tastes from some of the sauciest BBQ restaurants in town.

After this cold and rainy weather we've been having, I'm ready to start thinking about summer. And my favorite event to kick it off is Our Lady of the Wayside's Grapes & Ale. It's SO much fun! If you've never experienced it, you are missing out! There are three ways to enjoy this event:

$50 Premiere Grand Tasting Event
Admission for One (1) guest to Grapes & Ale, international wine samplings along with summer fare selections from  the area's best restaurants (for the latest additions  follow us on Twitter ).  Guests will also have access to the Craft Beer Area to enjoy samplings of craft beers ($5/10 samples or $10/20), souvenir glass, raffle, wine pull, live music and much more!

$125 Golden VIP Ticket
Admission for One (1) guest to the VIP area located on the 2nd floor of The Corner Bar.  In addition to all the amenities of the Premiere Grand Tasting above, VIP guests will sample selections from our Featured Wines and Craft Beers, Tito’s Handmade vodka, hors d’Oeuvres from The Garden Grille & Bar, desserts by Cupcake Cravings and live music. 

There's a lot of booze at this event so plan to call Lyft (you can use code EatDrinkCLE) or Uber. Or you can purchase a ticket for food only -

$25 Designated Drive Ticket
Admission for One (1) guest for summer fare selections from the area's best restaurants, Aquafina and Pepsi products, Live Music and  Raffle. 

You can Purchase tickets or enter to win two tickets here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
For an additional entry, head over to Instagram. Winner will be announced May 15. 

Grapes and Ale
Friday, May 19, 2017
7:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Progressive Field-Gate C 
2401 Ontario Street
Cleveland, OH 44114  

***Disclosure:  Our Lady of the Wayside provided two tickets for this giveaway and two for my personal use in exchange fur helping them promote the event.  As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own. ***

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Best Kentucky Derby in CLE Giveaway

On Saturday, May 6th, SVDP Cleveland is hosting a fun event, the 17th Annual Kentucky Derby Party. SVDP Cleveland is affiliated with the international Society of St. Vincent de Paul, one of the oldest charitable organizations in the world. They provide face-to-face emergency help (with rent and utility bills, food, clothing, school supplies, blankets for the homeless and more) to Northeast Ohioans in need since 1865.  Last year, SVDP helped more than 250,000 individuals and families in need.

On Saturday, May 6th, join SVDP Cleveland at their Annual Kentucky Derby Party to benefit their multiple hunger centers, which nourish 13,000 men, women, children and seniors each month. 

Presented by Community West Foundation, the festive fundraiser will be held from 4-8 PM at Great Lakes Brewing Company and will feature the “Run for the Roses” on the large screen, horse betting, a hat contest, silent auction, raffles (for a chance to win up to $1,000), prizes, authentic Derby fare, valet parking, mint juleps and of course, Great Lakes Brewing beer.
Admission is $75 (includes valet parking) and raffle tickets cost $5 each or five for $20. Tickets may be purchased online here or by calling 216-696-6525 extension #2520.
You can also win tickets here! Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. And you can head over to Instagram for another entry. Winner will be announced Monday May 1st.

And in June, you can take a cue from the horses and do some running of your own at the Outrun Hunger 5k at Edgewater Park. Get more info here.

What:   17th Annual Kentucky Derby Party
When:  May 6, 2017 4-8pm
Where: Great Lakes Brewery
            2516 Market Ave
            Cleveland, OH
*** Disclosure: I was provided two tickets to give away and two tickets to attend in exchange for helping promote this event. As always, all opinions expresses are my own. **

Monday, April 17, 2017

Collision Bend Brewing Company

Collision Bend Brewing Company is finally open! This highly anticipated brewery is the latest addition to the booming beer business in Cleveland. With a menu influenced by Chef Zack Bruell, a gorgeous riverfront location in the Flats East Bank and the talented brewmaster Luke Purcell at the helm, it is destined to be one of the city's Must Do hot spots. 
craft beer, cleveland, flats, brewery
In spite of all that, the sneak peek I attended exceeded my expectations. The former Watermark Restaurant was totally reinvented with a modern flair subtley influenced by its river front location. Sails hint at it's nautical history. The giant chains as you enter pay homage to the gritty Flats of the past.
craft beer, beer, cleveland, Zack Bruell
But the exterior really steals the show. There is an expansive deck with a bar that provides stunning views of the river and bridges. For the ultimate exterior view, you can also dock your boat.
Flats East Bank, Cleveland, river views, restaurant with a water view
There's also an enclosed sunroom that will allow visitors to take advantage of the views even when the weather is blustery and cold. (But we don't even want to think about that yet!)
craft beer, Flats East Bank, cleveland, river, dining on the waterfront
But a brewery or restaurant can't depend on the views alone. If it's going to succeed it has to be delicious too.
craft beer, Zack Bruell brewery, Flats East Bank, riverfront dining
We were treated to an enormous sampling of the delicious California street food inspired menu.
craft beer, Flats East Bank, brewery, Zack Bruell, waterfront dining
And to wash it all down, we sipped on the delicious brews fresh from the brewery. They have fun names and great flavor.
craft beer, cleveland brewery, zack bruell, beer, Flats East Bank, waterfront dining
Luke Purcell has a long history with the local favorite Great Lakes Brewery and the experience shows. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of creative brews he comes up with now that he is on his own.
Luke Purcell, former great lakes brew master, craft beer, Flats east bank
My favorites were the Big Cat and East Bank IPAs and the Sixth City Alt amber ale. You can try a flight of four beers for $10 or $6 a pint. They also serve local guest beers on draft and small assortment of bottled beers including two that are gluten free. 
Flats East Bank, craft beer, Zack Bruell brewery, waterfront dining, cleveland brewery
Zack Bruell's son Julian created a delightful assortment of craft cocktails and there is an interesting wine list if you aren't in the mood for a brew.
Some favorite bites of the night were the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Vietnamese caramel sauce, queso fresco and shishito peppers
Flats East Bank brewery, Zack Bruell, craft beer, brussels sprouts

Buffalo Tofu:
vegetarian, vegan, tofu, brewery, zack bruell
And the wood fired pizzas (the salami & green olive and roasted cauliflower were especially delicious.) 
salami, green olive, roasted cauliflower, pizza, brewpub, cleveland, brewery, waterfront dining
And I'm still dreaming about the Asian Stuffed Chicken Legs stufffed with shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, Asian aromatics, and rice noodles. So good. 
asian food, Flats East Bank, unique eats, Zack Bruell, waterfront dining
The Oven Roasted Mixed Olives and Collision Bend Popcorn popped in chicken fat and seasoned with Mexican pepper mix, lime zest and pecorino are not your average bar snacks.
unique appetizers,waterfront dining, Flats East Bank restaurant, brewery
And here even more beer and food....thirsty and hungry yet?
Zack Bruell brewery, Flats east bank, pizza and beer
I know I am! I can't wait to go back and try the rest of the menu. I have my eye on the Welsh Rarebit, Ale Brined Chicken Breast with Smashed Carrots & Ale Beurre Blanc and the Roasted Eggplant Melt served on whole grain bread with shiitake mushroom, roasted peppers, hot pickled peppers, aged provolone gratine and fries.

You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Collision Bend Brewing Company
1250 Old River Road
Cleveland, Ohio
(216) 273-7879

*** Disclosure: I attended media night as my awesome friend's date. The evening was complimentary but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This place was too good not to share!**