Why? Weekends!

It’s been a busy weekend, full of chef encounters, concerts, pierogies, and a teaser for my first reader giveaway!  Read on…

Friday night, fab CLEfriend Hungry in Cleveland and I enjoyed a marvelous dinner at The Greenhouse Tavern.

This weekend, with a tasting menu, you received a free dessert of chocolate and caramel pot de creme.  Never ones to turn down free chocolate, we couldn’t pass up such an opportunity.  Head on over to Hungry in Cleveland’s blog on Monday to read all about the culinary delights we enjoyed, from Devils on Horseback to duck pasta to Greenhouse’s amazing chicken wing confit (a legitimate answer to “Why Cleveland?” in and of themselves).

While at dinner, we received a tweet from @thegreenhouse inviting us to come down to the kitchen to say hello.  Jonathon Sawyer, chef and owner of The Greenhouse Tavern, greeted us and we chatted briefly (it was busy down there!) about the restaurant, CLE, and upcoming events.  Greenhouse Tavern has certainly added to CLE’s credibility as an incredible town for foodies, from being named one of the top ten restaurants in America by Bon Appetit magazine to the recent feature in Food & Wine magazine.  Talented people who help put CLE on the map, while giving us great places to eat (and free chocolate) are a fabulous answer to “Why Cleveland?”

After dinner and our chef encounter, Hungry in Cleveland and I headed off to the Salt ‘n Pepa Legends of Hip Hop concert at the Wolstein Center.

I was lucky enough to win two tickets to the concert courtesy of a Cleveland.com contest on Twitter.  I can still remember CLEmom being scandalized when I bought the Salt ‘n Pepa CD back in the day.  The ladies sounded great and we enjoyed ending our evening with a 90’s flashback.

On Saturday, CLEguy and I braved the snow to have dinner at Sokolowski’s University Inn.

Monday, you can check out my guest post on Cleveland Food & Brews reviewing Sokolowski’s food .  Much thanks to Brad of Cleveland Food & Brews for the opportunity to write about such a CLE institution.

While my guest post focuses on the food, I wanted to share a bit about the history and culture of the restaurant.  Sokolowski’s is Cleveland’s second-oldest family owned and operated restaurant, opened in 1923 as a tavern.  The rooms in Sokolowski’s are filled with memorabilia and photos and remind you of cozily eating in someone’s home.  The pictures on the walls range from family photos, to celebrities who have eaten there – from Big Chuck to Eric Clapton to Bill Clinton.  There is also live piano music every Friday and Saturday night.  Sokolowski’s truly has the friendly family feeling that so many people love about CLE.

Thanks to Gray & Company Publishers and Jane Lassar, I received two copies of the 8th edition of “Cleveland Ethnic Eats” by Laura Taxel.  The book provided me with some great background on Sokolowski’s, as well as cluing me in on tons of other great ethnic eats around CLE.  Check back on Monday to find out how you can win a copy of “Cleveland Ethnic Eats” to start your own CLE food exploration.

After dinner, CLEguy and I received a last-minute invite from CLEfriends to attend the Cavs game.

Unfortunately, the Cavs couldn’t pull off a win against the Portland Trailblazers, but we did all earn free chalupas from Taco Bell for the Cavs scoring over 100 points.  If you were at the game, you can redeem your chalupa with your ticket from last night.

And now, I need to go make some Buffalo chicken dip for a Superbowl gathering with CLEfriends.  Weekends like this are the perfect answer to “Why Cleveland?”  What new answers to “Why Cleveland?” did you discover (or rediscover) this weekend?

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