Why? Weekends!

It was a weekend full of sports, food, and friends, so let’s get right to it! On Friday night, I met up with other John Carroll alums to take in one last Indians game this season.

It was a pretty fall evening and made me wistfully remember the days of playoff baseball. Adding to that nostalgia was the fact that we were in the “1994 Suite,” with pictures of players like Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, and Charlie Nagy lining the walls. It was a good game and a good time! It left me crossing my fingers for next year, as the Indians will always be my favorite Cleveland team.

Oh, and if you’re a John Carroll alum, the Cleveland Alumni Chapter has lots of fun events planned for the coming months (including Homecoming next weekend), so check it out!

Saturday morning, I joined Kimberly and Amanda at Nishkama Yoga for a Vinyasa flow taught by our lovely friend Alicia. If I thought practicing with your friends was awesome, being taught by one of them is even more so! The students were a mix of experience levels and Alicia did a wonderful job explaining the poses, spotting us for headstands, and generally making us feel centered. I can’t wait to take more classes with her!

That afternoon, I met up with most of the same cast of characters for the Playhouse Square Partners OSU/MSU Watch Party.

It was a fun party at The Blind Pig with beer and chicken wings, raffles and football squares, music, watching the game, and more.

I had to scoot out of the Partners event a bit early to head over to Spice Kitchen and Bar with Matthew for the Emerging Chefs Harvest Moon dinner. Chef Ben Bebenroth took the flavors of autumn and spun them into five courses of delicious food. And talk about fresh: most of the herbs used in our dishes were being picked as we were dining!

Our first course was a pink banana squash soup with apple creme fraiche.

The savory squash was balanced nicely by the sweet, bright apple. A perfect start to a fall-themed meal! This was Matthew’s favorite course of the night.

Our next course was a fall tomato salad with greens, feta, and sweet onions.

This was a deliciously fresh and light course. Each of our courses was also carefully paired with wine that complimented the flavors of the food.

Next up was crispy perch with slaw and ramp tartar sauce.

I wish all fish fries were this tasty! The breading was crisp and not at all greasy and the slaw added a great texture to each bite.

Then came my favorite course of the night: roasted pork loin with mushroom spaetzel and  Brussels sprouts.

I may have tried to lick the plate on this course. The jus was sensational, all the flavors came together perfectly, and the pork was moist and tender.

In between courses as we dined al fresco, Chef Bebenroth invited us back to take a peek at the kitchen, which was quite busy, as the restaurant was still serving diners as well as hosting the Emerging Chefs event.

Chef Bebenroth has plenty of experience with busy kitchens and tight spaces, though, from his work with Spice of Life Catering.

Our final course played to my favorite fall flavor, especially in desserts: apple. We enjoyed a bourbon apple cobbler with salted caramel ice cream.

A sweet end to a tasty and fresh fall meal! Definitely check out Spice Kitchen and Bar for fresh, seasonal food served by some of the nicest people you’ll meet. Also check out Emerging Chefs next event, The Roaring Twenties, happening on Sunday, October 28 at Crop Bistro and Bar.

While we loved everything we ate, the portions were small and the wine was plentiful, so Matthew and I headed across the street for some Happy Dog munchies and live music before heading home. All in all, it was another wonderful weekend in Cleveland! How was yours?

***Disclosure: I am a board member for the John Carroll University Cleveland Alumni Chapter. Also, I was invited to attend Emerging Chefs Harvest Moon with a single media pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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