Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chefs Unbridled 2014 Recap

Saturday was a cold and dreary day. Thankfully the weather cleared up just in time for Chefs Unbridled. Fieldstone Farm's annual fundraiser went off without a hitch. Fall was definitely in the air. Perfect for bundling up for a horse-drawn carriage ride. 
Hodge Podge was set up in the back and was serving up their food truck staples: PBLT and tots along with sliders and fish tacos. 
Sweet! The Mobile Cupcake was on hand with their tasty cakes. Loved the lemon! 

Inside the tent there was so much YUM! 
This hanger steak with creamed corn was my favorite of the night. Hopefully it shows up on one of the Driftwood restaurant menus (hint hint.) 
Jeff Jarrett never disappoints and his spin on shrimp cocktail was a hit. 

The creative panzanella salad had kale and a sage pesto for a unique flavor twist.

The pork belly from Radius was superb.  It was sooo meaty and flavorful.

A beer truck was a fun addition to the wine and cocktails inside.
It was a great night for a well-deserved charity. Instead of just sponsoring a horse,  I wanted to adopt one.  Look at those sweet faces!  Maybe next year... 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

SOHO Brunch and the Robeks Winner

Thanks to all who entered the Robeks gift card giveaway. Comment #4 from Jenny was the winner. Congrats!

We recently wanted to take my parents out to brunch in Cleveland. It ended up being lunch thanks to a late start, but it was no less delicious!

We decided on SOHO because it was close to the West Side Market and because we wanted to try the chicken and waffles. I had only been there once when they first opened and was looking forward to eating there again. Boy did we make a great choice!

It was surprisingly not packed at noon on a Saturday. We snuggled into a cozy booth and went about the tough task of deciding what to order. It's a small menu but everything sounded great.

We ordered coffee (delicious!) and nibbled on our complimentary biscuits while we decided.

My Mom was the adventurous one and ordered the Whiskey Glazed Tofu $13 (Truffle rice-otto, shiitakes, caramelized Vidalias, yams, baby kale, pecan crumble.) What an unusual and delicious dish!
She and I also ordered the Sweet Corn Chowder $5 (Fingerling potatoes, asparagus, touch of cream, basil-jalapeno pesto) - and it was amazing! Truly one of the best soups I've had.
My step Dad had the Gumbo Ya Ya $5 (Pulled pork, smoked chicken, sausage, shrimp, rice, tomato, dark roux, topped with pork rinds) and he loved it too.
For our entrees, my hubby and I couldn't resist the Chicken Mornin' Style
(with Rosemary waffles, peach maple syrup.) We each got a boneless thigh and breast with our waffles. To top it off, they serve homemade hot sauce which it packed full of flavor.
SOHO Restaurant, chicken and waffles
My step Dad chose the Seared Ribeye Steak $15 (with bacon, Worcestershire onions, horseradish hollandaise, sunny side egg.) It normally comes with potatoes but he's not supposed to eat carbs so they gladly swapped them out for asparagus. 
It's a little pricey - our meal for four was almost $100 for lunch including tax and tip. This was with no alcohol, coffee only. That being said, we all loved our food and can't wait to go back. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Robeks Giveaway

Are you like me? I love smoothies but hate making them! Even though they really aren't hard to make, sometimes, especially in the morning, I'm just too lazy. 
Robeks contacted me and asked if I was interested in trying out their new smoothie collections and I knew it was the perfect excuse to revisit their stores and check them out.

It had been a couple of years since I had been to a Robeks so I was looking forward to seeing what they had to offer. When I worked in Warrensville Heights, I would stop by frequently to get my smoothie fix. Since I moved, they were out of sight, out of mind.

The regular menu really does have something for everyone: smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, bowls, coffee smoothies and energy shots. I tried their Spa Inspired Creations at the tail end of that summer promo and was really impressed. The raw honey and cucumber collection featured Spa-berry Lemonade™, Tropical Zing™ and Refreshingly Green™. They were beautiful and delicious BUT frozen yogurt was in all three. Without that, they would have been lower in calories and probably just as tasty. When I have a smoothie I only want fruit, veggies, and other whole ingredients in them.

The current promo Melon & Mint is a nod to summer so get some while you can.

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I absolutely LOVE watermelon and cantaloupe so I was excited to see that those are the two flavors being featured. For a limited time, you can get these three seasonal combinations:

Cantaloupe Cooler
Fresh Cantaloupe & Fresh Mint with Pineapple Chunks, 100% Natural Orange & Pineapple Sherbet, &  Apple Juice
Mojito Melon
Fresh, Chopped Mint with Raw Watermelon,Raw Cantaloupe & Raw Cucumber
Wailea Watermelon
Fresh Watermelon & Fresh Mint with Ripe Strawberries, Pineapple Chunks, 100% Natural Raspberry & Pineapple Sherbet & Apple Juice

Like the last batch, I was very disappointed to see sherbet as an ingredient is two of the three. I never want that in my smoothie - it kind of defeats the whole "healthy" purpose of drinking one. That being said, they were delicious.

I really enjoyed my visits to Robeks. They offer a lot of great choices. Just be sure to read the ingredients to see what you're getting. They are able to customize your beverages so just ask if you want to make changes. I found them to be really accommodating and willing to make your experience great. You can also add a nutrition boost for only 25 cents.
My personal favorites are the fresh squeezed juices - nothing but fruits and veggies are in these. I also love the shots. They have wheat grass, lemon/ginger and acai/lemon. Every time I go, the wheat grass is a must - it's packed with nutrition and virtually calorie free.
For a special treat, try the coffee smoothies. These are crazy good but full of calories so stick to the iced mocha or the small size. 

And guess what - you can try Robeks and see for yourself. It's giveaway time! There are five ways to enter:

1. Blog comment: check out Robeks site and tell me what you are most interested in trying.

2. Follow: Robeks on Twitter and Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did. 

3. Pin: one of the images in this post on Pinterest and leave a copy of the pin url in the comments below.

4. Tweet: 

#win a @Robeks giftcard from @EatDrinkClev and get your last taste of summer #FreshMelonandMint

and leave a comment telling me you Tweeted.

5. Subscribe: to this blog via bloglovin' or follow by email (see right side banner) etc and leave a comment below.

The giveaway ends Wednesday 9/17 at midnight with winner announced Thursday morning. Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you if you win.

For their nutritional, click here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Winner, Winner - Garlic Fest 2014!

Happy Monday everyone!
It's especially happy for a couple of you. I'm wrapping up the giveaways from last week and am excited to announce the winners. 

To start off the winner of the Bonefish gift card is Brian Musick -  #17 was his lucky number.
And the very lucky winner of the Taste of the Browns tickets is #68: Mindy Collier Rodgers! In one week, she'll be one happy Browns fan no matter what happens on the field on Sunday. Congrats to both of the winners!

Did you go to the Cleveland Garlic Festival this past weekend?  It's always one of my favorite festivals because I love garlic and there's lots of it there. The garlic fries alone are worth the trip. Sow Food serves them with delicious garlic aioli and a touch of fresh parsley. Perfection.
This little cutie loved his fries too
This year I found two garlic items to try.  First up was garlic beer from the Brew Kettle.  They infused their Black Rajah with lots of fresh garlic.  It was interesting but I'm glad I opted for a taste instead of a full pour.
My second find was a taste sensation: garlic donuts from DonutLab. Yum!!  I asked for the addition of a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top along with the parmesan cheese and that was the perfect touch for a sweet and savory combo. 
As always, you could find me in the chef demo tent. I especially love the chef competitions. I only saw the pork one this year and didn't snag a single sample due to the crazy long lines. I'm sure it was a tough call for the judges because everything looked really good.
Sterle's Jimmy and his helper Hungry Bee's Kimberly

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hungry for the Weekend

Happy Friday!
I don't know about you but this short week felt LONG. This is the second week in a row that I went to week night concerts. They were super fun but they made me realize I'm not 20 anymore. This girl needs some sleep!

I can't wait for the Garlic Fest -  I've been thinking about garlic fries all week!  I'm hoping to wash them down with a garlic beer too. Speaking of beer,  cheers to the winner of two tickets ROSALIE!  Congrats and I hope to see you there!

We're also going to the Indians game with some very generous friends -  club seats mean I can eat TWO $5 hot dogs guilt free.

Then there's the first Browns game of the season. Nothing says football like tailgating party food. 

Heads up for next weekend. 

Another fun Fest is coming up: the Bedford Celebration of the Arts. Sept. 12th - 14th downtown Bedford's square will be full of art, an interactive Imagination Village, music and food trucks. I especially can't wait for some donuts from favorite DonutLab. I hope they have pumpkin...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Taste of the Browns Giveaway

Are you ready for some football?? I know I am. And this is the year that I go tailgating - I'm embarrassed to say for the first time. Nothing beats a good ball game and some delicious food.

Now that the pre-season is in full swing, everyone around CLE can't wait for the Browns to win big. Not only are the Browns our favorite football team on the field, for the 16th year, they are partnering with the Cleveland Food Bank and helping tackle hunger off the field.

More than 25 restaurants and beverage distributors will provide samples and tastings at FirstEnergy Stadium in the City View Club Lounge on Monday September 15th from 6-9pm. This event celebrates our city’s love of its sports teams and our unique and acclaimed culinary talents, all while providing hundreds of thousands of meals to needy Northeast Ohioans. Honorary co-chairs are current All-Pro cornerback Joe Haden and Judge Dick Ambrose. 

In addition to celebrities and awesome food, there will be a silent auction featuring lots of cool items:
  • Joe Haden “favorite things” gift basket 
  • Autographed Brian Hoyer framed photograph
  • Autographed Johnny Manziel authentic football  
  • Autographed Barkevious Mingo authentic jersey 
  • Signed copy of the Draft Day movie script  
  • Southwest Airlines vouchers 
  • Two tickets to the Broadway performance of Wicked in New York City

General admission tickets are available for $175 ($75.00 tax-deductible) or VIP tickets are available for $250 ($150 tax-deductible). Click here for all the details. 

General admission tickets include your ticket, food and drink samples and a souvenir wine glass to take home. VIP tickets also include access to the VIP lounge and celebrities (former and current players!) and exclusive tastings. Purchase your tickets online. I'm also giving away a pair of general admission tickets to one lucky reader. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.  Be sure to include your contact info -  you can't win if I can't find you. Make sure you actually do what is requested, not just click the button. All entries will be verified. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For another chance to win, head over to my friend Cleveland Chick's blog Happiness is a Hot Pierogi. Good luck!

*Disclosure: I was four general admission tickets: two to give away and two to keep. I volunteer at the Food Bank because I like them. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. *

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Garlic Fest Giveaway!

Have you recuperated from Labor Day Weekend yet? If you're like me, the answer is a resounding NO! Love that extra day of fun but boy does it make it hard to get back to work. Even though I'm still pooped from the past weekend, I'm really looking forward to this weekend. It's Garlic Festival time!!
September kicks off in style thanks to this Shaker Square tradition. It's a weekend of tasty eats and garlic breath. Stock up on mints and get ready to have fun. 

Here's the scoop:
On Friday Sept 5th, the Cleveland Garlic Festival will kick off with a Preview Party at Shaker Square. From 6-9pm, enjoy small plates, cocktails, wine, craft brews and live music. The fest is Saturday from 1-9 and Sunday from 12-6. Click here for complete details and a schedule.

Tickets for the Cleveland Garlic Festival are $9 for adults and $5 for children and seniors for one-day admission. You can purchase tickets online and can save $1 off your admission with promo code GFEatDrinkCleveland.

Cleveland Garlic Festival is the Annual Fundraiser for North Union Farmers Market and its charitable programs including but not limited to food stamp enhanced purchases/EBT-SNAP, Music at the Market, Chef at the Market, Mighty Locavores K-2 educational programming in Cleveland Municipal School District and much more. Every year, North Union Farmers Market brings fresh and local produce to over 350,000 local shoppers.

My favorite is always the Garlic Grill Off. It's a local chef competition featuring beef and chicken on Saturday and pork on Sunday and lots of garlic of course! You can read my posts about 2012 and 2011 to see lots of yummy dishes.

The Mighty Locovores area for the kids is always a big hit too. It features a pedal tractor maze, cooking classes, chalk art classes, a rock climbing wall, flower clown and more.

And I have two tickets to giveaway to one of my readers! Here's how to enter:

1. Follow Cleveland Garlic Festival and Eat Drink Cleveland on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did.

2. Leave a comment telling me your favorite garlic infused recipe.

3. Tweet "  Garlic is coming! I entered to #win tix to the @NUFarmersMarket #CLEgarlicfest w/ @EatDrinkClev You can too   "  and leave a comment with the url from your Tweet. 

Leave a separate comment for each entry.

Contest ends Thursday at 5pm with winner to be announced Friday morning.

*Disclaimer: I was given two tickets to the Garlic Fest and two to give away to one of my readers. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. *