What a fun weekend it was! Friday afternoon, Mom and I took Jeffrey up to Cedar Point and Soak City for a few hours. One of the best parts about having a Cedar Point season pass is not feeling like you have to cram everything into one day. It’s a much friendlier pace, especially for Jeffrey.
When I was a kid, I loved all the rides and I used to make Mom ride Ocean Motion with me at least ten times in a row. I’ve kind of grown out of my ability to do things like that. And while Jeffrey is too little for Ocean Motion yet, he’s definitely a ride warrior, so I’ll need a supply of Dramamine for our trips up there!
Saturday evening, Matthew and I had a fabulous Cleveland date night!
We started with a walk through Public Square, where the community RNC Thank You party was in full swing. From live music to food trucks to tons of kids playing in the fountains, Public Square was absolutely hopping.
And it made my heart so happy to see so many people out celebrating the smashing success of #RNCinCLE, as well as taking advantage of the gorgeous new Public Square.
From there, we went to dinner at Mabel’s BBQ. I had been dying to try Mabel’s and can’t believe it even took me this long to get there! The restaurant was packed, but we were able to get seats at the bar, where we could order our full meal and chat with the fabulous bar staff.
The cracklins were amazing! So light and crispy, yet packed with flavor and served with a side of Lawson’s Chip Dip (I dare you not to eat the entire thing of chip dip).
For dinner, we shared the Giant Beef Rib with pastrami spices. Tender, juicy, smoky perfection! We honestly didn’t even talk all through dinner, just sorted of grunted and mmm-ed. Very Fred Flintstone like.
The menu says the Giant Beef Rib serves two or more. We finished the rib between the two of us, but were definitely very full afterwards! We used a bit of the Mabel’s BBQ sauce, which is mustard-based and quite tasty. But honestly, the beef rib with it’s crust of spices can stand on its own with no sauce.
For our sides, we shared the baked beans with chopped brisket and jalapenos, then the broccoli salad with peanuts and dried cherries for Matthew and the spaetzle and spicy cabbage for me. The beans were the one disappointment, as neither of us is a fan of lima beans. But everything else was delicious and complimented the beef rib well.
Somehow we made room for dessert: the key lime pudding for Matthew and the chocolate pudding with toffee popcorn for me.
Both were very tasty and I found the chocolate pudding to be thick, rich, and very much like my most favorite dessert: pot de creme.
Mabel’s was relaxed, fun, and delicious: everything a great BBQ restaurant should be. I certainly hope it helps to make “Cleveland-style BBQ” a sensation!
After dinner, we went to the watch the Cleveland Indians defeat the Oakland A’s. But even better than seeing another Tribe victory was watching fan favorite Jim Thome get inducted into the Indians Hall of Fame. I worked at Jacob’s Field in the mid-to-late 90’s, so that particular group of players holds a special place in my heart. Thome’s acceptance speech and his dad’s emotion at his induction were so endearing!
The game was capped off with an awesome fireworks display, too!
You can’t get much more Cleveland or much more perfect than our Saturday night!
Also this weekend, Jeffrey and I stopped by the Willoughby Fire Department to make a crayon donation.
A young girl named Ella was recently a patient at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital and found that their crayons were a bit old and in need of replacement. So Ella started collecting crayons and was amazed when she collected over 5,000 boxes to date!
And big thanks to the Willoughby firefighters, who were kind enough to give Jeffrey a tour of the fire house, let him sit in the trucks, and gave him this hat that he hasn’t taken off since!
The Willoughby Fire Department is collecting new boxes of 24-count crayons to help Ella’s efforts. If you can, stop by and make a donation!
What a fantastic weekend! How was yours?