Thanksgiving weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year!
Not only do I get to enjoy a delicious, traditional dinner with family, but I also get to officially kick off the Christmas season!
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
On Wednesday (it was a looong weekend), I met up with my oldest friend, Kevin, who was in town for the holiday. What better place to catch up than Great Lakes Brewing Co.?
I always like going to the brewpub, because I can grab a brewpub-exclusive beer. This time I tried the Meow Meow Pumpkin Milk Stout, which was creamy and rich and specifically noted as being brewed by GLBC’s female brewers.
The Seared Salmon Salad, with pickled carrots, cabbage, sesame seeds, and herbed peanut dressing, balanced out the heavy beer and made for a great lunch.
It’s so great when folks come back to Cleveland for the holidays (and I get face-to-face catching up time!)
The First Tee of Cleveland is a non-profit that teaches children core values and builds character through the game of golf.
And while I am admittedly not a golfer, there is obviously something to their system. I have been continually impressed by the program participants I’ve met, who handle themselves with beyond-their-years poise and confidence.
I had the chance to attend with and meet some of the program volunteers, who get to pass on their love for golf, as well as their life experience to participants on a weekly basis.
There are so many wonderful non-profits in the Cleveland area doing a host of good works through sometimes unexpected outlets. If The First Tee of Cleveland speaks to you, you can learn more their programs, volunteer to help the organization, or donate.
***Disclosure: I was asked by The First Tee of Cleveland to help promote Grit, Gratitude and You Breakfast. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
The Winter Market
Friday night, I had the chance to attend the VIP preview of The Winter Market, a holiday-themed extension of the popular The Summer Market.
Held at The Shipyards, this event was packed with fabulous local makers, most of whom I was fangirling over after following for so long on Instagram.
So, not only was it a fun night of hockey, but it was meaningful too!
Also, I think Jeffrey might be the newest member of the Monsters Top Line Dance Team!
Our friend Maddie is on the team and was so sweet to stop to chat with Jeffrey and get this fun group shot!
***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Monsters to help promote the Monsters Monthly Pass. In exchange, I received two complimentary Monsters Monthly Passes for November. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
Girls Night Out
On Saturday night, I met up with some gal pals to celebrate my friend Stacey’s birthday at the Wild Eagle Saloon.
From the pour-your-own-beer wall to the solid 80’s music choices on the jukebox to the tasty bar food (get the pulled pork quesedilla, trust), we had a great time.
We also felt like we stepped back in time to college, as there was an intense game of beer pong happening while we were there!
From Wild Eagle, we headed over to Nano Brew. Apparently, this unassuming beer and burger joint turns in to quite the hot spot on a Saturday night!
After a lot of laughs, hugs, and drinks, we headed home…a perfect girls night out!
Platform Pub Yoga
I’m no stranger to Sunday morning yoga, but it gets even better when it’s Alicia teaching and when I get a beer after class!
I attended this month’s installment of the Platform Pub Yoga series. Taking place on the last Sunday of the month, this series pairs an hour-long vinyasa flow with a post-class beer, plus a donation to a local non-profit.
This month’s non-profit was the May Dugan Center, which provides a host of services to those in need from trauma counseling to a food pantry.
There’s nothing I like better than starting my day with yoga, good friends, tasty beer (I had the Smores Yammy), and an everything bagel (not pictured, because I just ate it too damn fast).
For only $39 per seat, you get tickets to every Monsters home game in the month, allowing you to choose when is best to attend games with the freedom of knowing you have guaranteed seats.
Jeffrey loves attending the Monsters games and I love being able to decide on the spur of the moment that our schedules allow us to attend a game.
Our seats have been great for the games and they are all sent to my FlashSeats account in advance, which makes attending on the fly a snap.
The Monsters games have always been a budget-friendly way to enjoy some good family fun, but the new subscription service makes it even easier.
We have two seats at every game, so we can even change who goes to the games with Jeffrey, allowing more family members to experience the fun with him.
We especially enjoy the 1-2-3 Fridays, with $1 Pepsi products, $2 hot dogs, and $3 select draft beers.
There’s no long-term commitment with the subscription service, either. You can subscribe month-to-month, so when life gets busy (like at the holidays,) we can take a break and return to the action in January.
The Monsters Monthly Pass is definitely a power play (see, I’m learning hockey terms) for your fun and your budget!
Check it out and add some Monsters fun to your family’s schedule!
***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Monsters to help promote the Monsters Monthly Pass. In exchange, I received a complimentary subscription with two tickets. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
This evening is always such a fun, chill way to experience the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo after hours. The Australian Adventure and African Savanna areas were open for exploration.
There were tasty small bites from Driftwood Catering, including grilled chicken and veggie sliders, flatbreads, and chips and salsa.
Graeter’s had mini scoops of their delicious ice cream.
Sponsor Vitamix provided a handy picnic blanket giveaway, as well as some incredibly tasty punch and Cajun popcorn.
There was also beer, wine, and movie theater snacks to enjoy!
Then we headed to the Savanna Theater to enjoy “The Goonies,” complete with a Goonie costume contest and Truffle Shuffle demonstration before the film started.
It’s always fun to be at the Zoo after-hours, but I particularly love ZOOvies because I get to be there and have fun, all while just relaxing and taking in a great throwback movie.
The Cleveland Zoological Society’s next upcoming after-hours event is Brew at the Zoo, happening Thursday, October 10. There will be craft beer, live music, animal encounters, and lots of seasonal fun. Costumes are encouraged. Tickets are $50 for general admission and $80 for VIP admission through September 30. For more information and tickets, click here.
***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Date Night at the ZOOvies. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
You may have shopped at Things Remembered awhile ago and it may still be on your radar for keepsake gifts, but if you haven’t been in recently, you must go back. The Personalization Bar makes selecting and personalizing your keepsake items easy, interactive, and seamless.
I was generously gifted lots of items to personalize from Things Remembered, some of which I’m definitely keeping for me and some of which will make fantastic gifts. For each item, I got to see it on the screen; play with the spacing, fonts, and design; and make sure that my customized pieces were exactly what I wanted.
From jewelry to wine glasses to butcher block cutting boards, there’s an item that’s right for each important person or event in your life. And being able to see exactly how the item will look once it is completed ensures your complete satisfaction with these special gifts.
Stop in to see the modern side of Things Remembered. And you can save 10% off your purchase with code BA2R!
***Disclosure: I was invited by Things Remembered to visit the new Personalization Bar and received complimentary items. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
Inside the tent, there were tasty morsels from some outstanding Cleveland chefs, along with live music, a spirited live auction, a wine pull, and a special appearance from Willie, one of Fieldstone Farm’s therapy horses.
The dishes I most enjoyed from the evening were the flavorful duck breast with fried farro from Flour Restaurant…
…the truffled bologna sandwich from The Black Pig (bonus points for serving it on an English muffin…I love those!)…
…the Tinman burger from Tinman, which is one of the tastiest burgers I’ve had in ages…
…the lobster mac ‘n cheese with a delicate sauce that didn’t detract from the lobster from The Driftwood Group…
…the apple tart, which was fall dessert at it’s best, also from The Driftwood Group…
…and the simple, delicious cacio e pepe agnolotti from The Union Club.
All of this food, wine, and fun raised money for Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, which serves over 1,000 children and adults with special needs by connecting them with horses and teaching them independence, social skills, and more.
It was another year of perfection (and accidental outfit twinning with Jen) at Chefs Unbridled!
***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Chefs Unbridled. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
Bar Louie has lots of televisions around the bar area, with ample bar seating, as well as booths that face the bar and TVs.
They have a wide variety of local craft beers, such as Sibling Revelry and Great Lakes Brewing.
I tried a couple of their “Flavorful Bar Bites,” which would be great for sharing with your friends while watching the game. The Bavarian Pretzel Twists come with warm salted queso and jalapeno honey mustard for dipping.
The Chicken Nachos have black beans, queso, jalapenos, pico de gallo, radish, scallions, avocado cream, and cilantro. They’re a taste touchdown!
As part of Bar Louie’s NFL Game Time specials, the nachos are only $9! Other specials include $3.50 select short domestic drafts, $15 pitchers of sangria, and $4.50 glasses of wine. The NFL Game Time specials are available at Bar Louie on Mondays and Thursdays from 4pm-9pm and on Sundays from opening to 9pm.
Granite City Brewery also has lots of TVs tuned to NFL action, with plenty of seating in the bar area where you can watch the game while you eat and enjoy one of Granite City’s own craft beers.
For research purposes, I kept the menu the same at Granite City as at Bar Louie (nachos and pretzels). The BBQ Pork Nachos have The Duke Pale Ale-braised BBQ pork, sriracha queso, tortilla chips, cheddar-jack cheese, corn and black bean salsa, guacamole, Santa Fe cream, and fresh cilantro.
Tasty and perfect for sharing, although I’m giving the nacho win to Bar Louie.
I also tried Granite City’s Big Bavarian Pretzel, with sriracha queso sauce. I’m giving the win to Granite City’s pretzel over Bar Louie’s, but it was a nail biter!
Both Bar Louie and Granite City offer lots of televisions, great beer selection, Sunday brunch menus, and game-watching bites that are filling, tasty, and perfect for your whole team. Cheer on the Browns at either spot at Legacy Village for a true Sunday Funday!
***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
Balance & Brews is preparing for a hiatus in its weekly beer and yoga schedule, so it was great to sneak in one more class before the break, especially since it was taught by Balance & Brews founder, Melissa.
After class, we enjoyed both the beer and the books at Bookhouse Brewing!
I love this cozy little spot with great beer!
Cleveland National Air Show
On Monday, we went to the Cleveland National Air Show: a staple in any Clevelander’s Labor Day Weekend plans. Usually we just watch the show from a distance, but this year we went inside the show grounds at Burke Lakefront Airport.
Not only do you get an up-close view of the planes and get to see lots of passes that aren’t visible from a distance, but there are also lots of aircraft to explore on the grounds of the show.
Some of our favorites this year included the U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II, the Mike Wiskus Airshows, the USA Golden Knights, and of course the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
It was certainly an impressive display of flying talent, as well as the incredible machines that are part of the US military.
The Cleveland National Air Show is a financially self-sufficient non-profit, which means that your ticket proceeds help to continue putting on this world-renowned air show.
I can remember sitting in my grandpa’s driveway watching the planes from the Air Show when I was growing up. It was so cool to be able to see them up close on the Air Show grounds.
***Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to the Cleveland National Air Show, courtesy of Destination Cleveland. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
From cheap liters of beer to yummy pretzels to the chance to get to be among the first to know the theme for the upcoming Jump Back Ball, there was a lot of fun to be had!
Speaking of Jump Back Ball, this year’s theme is From Jukebox to Boombox. The party of the year takes place on Saturday, February 29 and tickets go on sale on October 29. You won’t want to miss it!
But Partners is so much more than just Jump Back Ball. We plan monthly events that range from networking to socializing to volunteering and fundraising. Our fundraising efforts support Playhouse Square’s Community Engagement and Education initiatives, such as Disney Musicals in Schools and the Dazzle Awards.
I’ve been involved with Partners for eight years now and am completing my sixth and final year on the Board. I’ve seen firsthand how much fun we have, how much good we do, and how amazing it is to be connected to Playhouse Square, which is truly an icon in the Cleveland community.
If you’re interested in joining Partners, you can learn more about our membership levels and benefits here. You can also join me at one of our upcoming events:
September Monthly Members Meeting on Monday, September 16. Join us for a Happy Half Hour, followed by committee break-out sessions where you can learn more about the various Partners committees and help us plan upcoming events.
Partners Dine Around on Monday, September 23. Choose one of four restaurants in the Playhouse Square District and dine with Partners members. Afterward, all the groups will meet up for a nightcap at Parnell’s Pub.
I hope to see you at one of these events and that you’ll save the date for Jump Back Ball!
***Disclosure: I am the communications co-chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***
But before we got to the s’mores pairing, we grabbed some dinner at Distill Table. There’s a whole menu of cocktails at Distill Table named after local landmarks, which is so fun.
Maria dove right in to the s’mores theme of the evening and had the Mastick Woods, with High West Bourbon, High West Campfire, smoked syrup, chocolate bitters, graham cracker, and toasted marshmallow.
I had the Memphis Kiddie Park, with Old Overholt Rye, Orgeat, HM Peach Cordial, Angostura, and ginger beer.
We shared the Crispy Brussels, with whipped lemon ricotta, bacon, honey, and ciabatta to start. And by shared, I mean devoured!
For dinner, I had the Coconut Curry Shrimp Quinoa Bowl, with toasted quinoa, peppers, tomatoes, basil, salted almonds, and fresh lime. This was a flavorful, but not spicy, curry.
Maria had the Twin Peaks Farm Meatloaf, with potato puree, crispy onions, and pineapple ketchup. Both were elevated, delicious comfort food dishes!
Then we headed next door to Western Reserve Distillers for the s’mores pairing event. Shelby of Sweet Costo created four original s’mores desserts, that were paired with a red wine, an Imperial stout, and Western Reserve Distillers whiskey.
We had a s’mores candy bar (marshmallow forward), a s’mores macaron (chocolate forward), and a “traditional” s’more with homemade graham crackers. There was also a shot of graham cracker liquor in a marshmallow cup!
Shelby kicked off the pairing by not only explaining the desserts, but why she felt the drinks were good compliments to them. She also gave us the history of s’mores! From there, the tasting was self-guided. You could try each beverage with each dessert and decide which pairings you enjoyed best.
Personally, my favorites were the macaron with the red wine and the traditional s’more with the Imperial Stout.
Western Reserve Distillers also created amazing s’more-themed cocktails for the evening It was a sweet evening of delicious food, tasty cocktails, and lots of good girl talk!
Last night, my friends Melissa, Amy, and I tested our knowledge of literature, science, geography, pop culture, and more, all while drinking beer! We attended Last Call Trivia‘s weekly trivia night at Noble Beast Brewing Co.
Trivia starts at 7pm, so we got there a little early so we could snack and drink first. I really enjoyed the Noble Beast Barry and Oktoberfest beers.
The food was great, too! The Hopcorn, with Shagbark Heirloom popcorn, cheddar and malt seasoning, hopped olive oil, and beer vinegar aioli drizzle was perfect for snacking. The Nachos with pork carnitas confit, 3-cheese sauce, Shagbark chips, black beans, radish, cilantro, lime crema, and scallions were so flavorful! And the Spent Grain Bavarian Pretzel, with 3-cheese sauce, honey Kolsch mustard, and black flake salt was a nice compliment to the Oktoberfest beer in particular.
Not only were Noble Beast’s beer and food impressive, but the atmosphere was great too. Cute and casual, with a nice breeze from the open garage doors and picnic tables perfect for fitting trivia teams. I also noticed both a kids menu and a couple boxes of toys, so it’s definitely a family-friendly spot (maybe not for trivia night, but in general).
Then it was time for Last Call Trivia to start. Our host, Tim, went around to each table and explained the rules. For each round, you can wager points based on how sure you are of your answer. This definitely added fun to the evening. Some answers we knew we wanted a high wager and some we wished we didn’t have to wager at all!
We also got to use Last Call Trivia’s online weekly hint. You’re given a list of words, one of which will be the answer to one of the questions asked. We ended up successfully using our hint to answer a question we definitely wouldn’t have known otherwise!
After the first round, Team Mom Brain was in third place, but we slipped in the second round (maybe it was the second round of beers that caused it?) But even though we didn’t win, we had a great time challenging our brains, having some lighthearted competition, and realizing we know more random nuggets of trivia than we might have thought.
Noble Beast was full last night and almost every table was participating in Last Call Trivia, so it’s definitely a popular night out! You can also join the Last Call Trivia Fall League, which started last night. If you play 6 times during the season, you can qualify for the city tournament and a cash prize of $1,800!
Last Call Trivia isn’t just at Noble Beast Brewing either. You can check out the complete schedule here, but just about any night of the week you can find a Last Call Trivia event, from Avon to Willoughby. Some of the participating venues include Platform Beer Company, Nano Brew, The Brew Kettle, Coventry Panini’s, Terrestrial Brewing, Bookhouse Brewing, Moe’s Tavern, and more.
So, grab some friends, enjoy some local beers, and have a fun night (or join the league and have lots of fun nights) with Last Call Trivia!
***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Last Call Trivia. In exchange, I received a gift card to Noble Beast Brewing. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***