The latest addition to Gordon Square Arts District, Sweet Moses is a step back in time to an old-school soda fountain shop. The interior of the shop is bright, cheery, and open; the staff are perfectly attired in black pants, white buttondown shirts and black ties; and then there’s the array of sweet treats. I felt like I was in the opening scene of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the old Gene Wilder version)…
We amply sampled several varieties of Sweet Moses candy: Tuxedo Junction (dark chocolate bark with almonds drizzled with white chocolate); English toffee peanut brittle with dark chocolate (CLEguy’s favorite); and milk chocolate bark with malted powder (my favorite). We also got to try the homemade fudge; caramel and white cheddar popcorns; and peanut butter sandwiches in four different varieties – with nutella, with marshmallow fluff, with jelly, and with bacon!
Of course there was the ice cream, which is all homemade at Sweet Moses. They offer everything from sundaes to cones to shakes and malts. CLEguy and I each chose the Turtle Sundae – scoops of homemade vanilla ice cream, topped with Sweet Moses’ own hot fudge and caramel sauces, salted pecans, and whipped cream.
The ice cream was delicious, but it was the sauces that really impressed us. Thick and rich and not overly sweet, they took this sundae to the next level. Hungry in Cleveland, her boyfriend, CLEguy, and I decided we’re definitely coming back sometime this summer to tackle the Terminal Tower – 10 scoops of ice cream!
We also tried the phosphates. This is a combination of flavored syrup and soda water. I was worried the syrup would be too sweet, but Sweet Moses’ imported syrups have just the right amount of flavor without being sticky-sweet. CLEguy came up with a yummy combination – a pomegranate phosphate, topped with a scoop of lemon sherbet. Refreshing and oh so yummy!
While we were eating, we had a chance to chat with the owner of Sweet Moses, Jeffrey Moreau. The shop is named after Moses Cleaveland and pays homage to CLE. Jeffrey also told us that his idea with Sweet Moses was to create a higher-end ice cream shop, where people could come after a nice dinner or an evening at the Capitol Theater. Sweet Moses elevates ice cream from the Dairy Queen drive-through level to a true experience.
Also, when I told Jeffrey that the shop’s pinwheel cookies reminded me of the chocolate and vanilla cookies that CLE’s Hough Bakery used to sell (and I used to love as a kid), he immediately went and brought me one to sample. And I have to say, even though Hough Bakery is no longer around, I know I can find delicious nostalgic cookies at Sweet Moses.
All in all, Sweet Moses is a fun and tasty addition to Gordon Square and I’m sure I will be spending many an evening indulging there. If you want to check it out for yourself, the Grand Opening is Saturday, March 26. I recommend the pinwheel cookies!
Since we were all sugared up, Hungry in Cleveland, our guys, and I decided to walk off a bit of the sugar rush around Gordon Square. We spent most of our time in Duo Home, a shop that has everything from furniture to kitchen gadgets to fun knick-knacks and cards.
Gordon Square is truly a neighborhood – the merchants are friendly and welcoming and there’s a strong sense of pride in the growth and development of the area. It’s those kind of people – who are invested in the community and take pride in it – that help neighborhoods like Gordon Square truly thrive.
After shopping, we figured we needed some “real” food, so we headed over to XYZ The Tavern. After surveying the expansive beer list, I selected an Avery White Rascal and CLEguy chose the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale (probably because he knew I wouldn’t drink any of it). The White Rascal is a Belgain-style beer with a lot of citrusy notes, so I enjoyed it immensely.
We decided to split some of XYZ’s small plates. CLEblogger Bite Buff recommended the tempura broccoli, so we couldn’t pass that up. We also selected the mussels and the soba noodles.
The tempura broccoli was by far the favorite at the table (receiving votes from CLEguy, HIC’s BF, and me). Unlike most fried veggies, you could actually taste the broccoli, which is a good thing! Large pieces of broccoli were lightly tempura breaded and were not at all greasy. But what really made the dish outstanding was the soy and sriracha sauce – sweet and spicy! The mussels were also outstanding. I’m not a huge fan of mussels, but these were tender and not rubbery. The mussels were served in a white wine and garlic broth and the portion was quite generous. Hungry in Cleveland’s favorite was the soba noodles, which were also very tasty. Full of crisp vegetables and a spicy sauce, I wouldn’t pass them up.
XYZ is a great spot, with an interesting menu and a diverse beer list. With two garage-style doors opening onto a patio, this bar is definitely poised to be a patio-drinking hot spot.
My answer to “Why Cleveland?” this weekend revolves entirely around Gordon Square – great shopping, great beer and food, and great sweet treats. What more could you ask for?!
What new answers to “Why Cleveland?” did you discover (or rediscover) this weekend?
***Disclosure: I was provided with a media pass for me and a guest to attend the Sweet Moses Preview Party. The opinions in this post are 100% my own.***