Why? Tom + Chee!

As fall settles in, there’s nothing quite so comforting as a grilled cheese sandwich and soup for lunch. And it’s one meal that Jeffrey and I can always agree on. Which is why we both left very happy campers after our lunch at Tom + Chee in Broadview Heights on Monday.

img_5951

I tried both the Flying Pig and the Pep + Chee sandwiches. The Flying Pig has smoked Gouda, hand-carved turkey, applewood smoked bacon, and housemade pickles on sour white bread.

img_5955

The turkey was really tender and flavorful and the pickles made this a top-notch sandwich!

The Pep + Chee has mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, marinara sauce, and parmesan-crusted sour white bread.

img_5956

To take this delicious sammy to the next level, dunk it in Tom + Chee’s creamy basil tomato soup!

Aside from creamy basil tomato, Tom + Chee offers classic tomato soup, chicken noodle, and a soup of the day, all perfect for dipping. They also offer a variety of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, along with build-your-own options.

Jeffrey got to experience Tom + Chee’s Kid Pack, which lets a group of kids build their own grilled cheese and fruit cup, decorate their own sugar cookie, and complete a craft.

img_5953

Jeffrey selected classic white bread, American cheese, and ham for his sandwich and had so much fun putting it together.

img_5954

He also loved the craft and decorating the cookie (whew, that’s a lot of sprinkles)!

The Kid Pack is a great choice for a birthday party or school group!

Tom + Chee also offers catering, as well as great daily specials like $1.99 Kids Meals on Sundays and Mondays; $2 grilled cheese with a beverage purchase on Tuesdays; 1/2 priced donuts on Wednesdays; $1 off salads on Thursdays; and $2 of shareables on Fridays.

Wait, donuts, you say? Yup, Tom + Chee offers a variety of grilled cheese donuts that are decadent and delicious. We took home a box of the classic donut bites, with peanut butter, vanilla, and chocolate dipping sauces.

img_5963

Yum!

For comfort food that tastes delicious and will make the whole family happy, check out Tom + Chee!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary lunch at Tom + Chee with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

It was a busy weekend, so let’s get right to it!

Designer Dress Days

On Friday, I attended the preview day for the Designer Dress Days sale, put on by the National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland.

img_5899

This is the 50th anniversary of Designer Dress Days, which offers new and gently worn designer dresses, suits, jackets, handbags, athletic wear and more at ridiculously great prices.
img_5897

I scored 2 cashmere sweaters, a Burberry dress, a Burberry skirt, and a Bergdorf Goodman dress for under $300!

The event is volunteer-driven and supports the NCJW/Cleveland’s community service and advocacy initiatives. The sale continues today from 12pm-8pm and tomorrow from 10am-7pm, so check it out and score some designer duds for a great price and for a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked to by NCJW/Cleveland to help promote Designer Dress Days. In exchange, I received complimentary access to the Preview Day, as well as compensation. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Northeast Ohio Parent Blogger Meet-Up

On Friday evening, Jeffrey and I headed to Café o’Play for a meet-up with fellow Northeast Ohio Parent bloggers and their families.

We love Café o’Play because it’s a fun, safe indoor play area with lots to do, but still the ability to keep an eye on your child no matter where they might be (and the coffee and food are legit, too.) Apparently, Jeffrey had so much fun I didn’t even get a picture of him!

I really enjoy blogging for Northeast Ohio Parent and try to focus my blog posts on things to do with your kids around town or ways to incorporate Cleveland into your parenting, play dates, and whatnot. You can check out my latest post here.

Best of Cleveland Party

I had never been to the Cleveland Magazine Best of Cleveland Party before, which made me feel like I was missing out on one of the best parties of the year. After Saturday night, I know I was right to feel that FOMO.

img_5913

Held at the Rock Hall, the party was three levels of amazing Best of Cleveland winners with everything from beer to burgers to books.

I finally got to try Mama Mary’s Hummus and it was just as amazing as everyone says it is! Try the seasonal pumpkin hummus with a cinnamon graham cracker to achieve peak fall.

img_5915

The Gimme S’more mini beers from Boss Dog Brewing were a total win, especially because they took the time to do the sugar rim and toasted marshmallow at the event!

img_5918

Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream…I mean, you know my love for them is so deep.

img_5930

Polpetta deserves to be at Best of Cleveland because their table featured two of my great loves: meatballs and Kevin Love (holding a meatball.)

img_5931

And I got so excited to see The Pompadour, one of our new favorite spots, honored for Best Tapas!

img_5932

And from mascots to friends, there were so many of the best people to get to see, too!

 

We danced to Billy Likes Soda and DJ E-V and just generally celebrated these restaurants, breweries, businesses, and people who are making Cleveland the amazing place it is!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Cleveland Magazine to help promote the Best of Cleveland Party. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the event and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

We also threw into the weekend a birthday party for one of our nieces, some yoga, and some time at home…phew! How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? The Macaron Tea Room!

Yesterday, three generations joined together to raise our pinkies and enjoy a delightful spot of tea!

img_5882

Mom, Jeffrey, and I enjoyed lunch at The Macaron Tea Room in Broadview Heights. Mom and I marveled at their large selection of teas, from specially-blended black teas, white teas, traditional black teas, and fruit teas.

img_5879

I particularly enjoyed the Blueberry Wildchild. I also love the adorable cups and teapots at The Macaron Tea Room. Even Jeffrey’s lemonade came in a teapot!

img_5878

Mom and I shared the High Tea for Two, which included three tiers of delicious nibbles.

img_5886

The first level included tea sandwiches: cucumber with cream cheese and chive; tuna salad; shredded egg with garlic spread; roast beef; and avocado and bacon.

img_5887

It’s hard to pick a favorite of the sandwiches! All the breads were delicious. I really liked the horseradish on the roast beef sandwich and you can never go wrong with avocado and bacon!

The next tier included a scone with clotted cream and fresh jam, a petit four (ours had apple butter), a Victoria spongecake, and a tea biscuit.

The top tier included a Nutella waffle cake (yum), a mini pecan pie (yum), and a macaron (yum).

img_5888

Jeffrey got the Nursery Tea, with grilled cheese and ham and cheese sandwiches cut out like airplanes (so cute), grapes, and a macaron.
img_5885

We had fun with the dress-up corner and the paintable cookie, too!

img_5890

We all just generally enjoyed a lovely and relaxing lunch! The Macaron Tea Room takes time and care creating delectable, delicate food that is perfect for a ladies’ (and small gentleman’s) day out!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary lunch at The Macaron Tea Room with guests. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Pastina Rustic Italian!

I am writing to you while still completely stuffed and blissed out over a delicious Italian meal we enjoyed last night at Pastina Rustic Italian.

Pastina is truly committed to making as much as possible in-house, as well as sourcing from local distributors whenever they can. We got to see one of the chefs pull fresh mozzarella in front of our eyes.

img_5845

This process happens daily at Pastina, along with homemade pastas and breads that are on another level of delicious!

So, what did we get to eat? We started with the Smoked Salmon Chips, with chile cream cheese, pickles, chives, and capers, which could make someone who doesn’t like salmon (looking at you, Kate) like salmon.

img_6181

One of Pastina’s chefs, Michael, is from Alabama and brings in some southern influences to the cuisine when he can.

We had the Arancini, which feature basil risotto, fresh mozzarella, and marinara. Oh my goodness, these are balls of Italian happiness!

img_6184

We also sampled three varieties of Stone Oven Pizza, which all had that perfect chewy thin crust and delicious toppings. My favorite was the Harvest Pizza, a white pizza with zucchini and butternut squash.

We couldn’t pass up the chance to enjoy the fresh mozzarella in action in the Caprese Salad with cherry tomatoes, arugula pesto, fleur de sel, basil, and EVOO.

img_5855

For our entrees, we devoured several menu items. The Cavatelli Bolognese is truly a labor of love, with pasta made in-house and a bolognese sauce that speaks to the hours of roasting the meat and melding the phenomenal flavors.

img_5872

We also had the Chicken Valdostana with madeira wine, roasted mushrooms, basil, and provolone. A really delicious meat dish, that is served with in-house linguine.

img_5866

And the Butternut Squash Ravioli, with brown-butter sage, crispy sunchoke chips, and fig balsamic is fall on a plate!

img_5867

Leave room for dessert at Pastina! The pistachio gelato, made in-house, is honestly one of the best ice cream desserts I’ve ever eaten.

img_5875

The cannoli and tiramisu are also not to be missed!

Everything at Pastina is made with time, care, thoughtfulness, and a commitment to fresh, locally-sourced products. This is not your average Italian food. You can absolutely taste the difference in the fresh pasta, the delectable cheese, and the decadent sauce.

I’ll be full for a week! Or at least until lunch when I dive into my leftovers!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary dinner at Pastina Rustic Italian with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Best of Cleveland Giveaway!

Cleveland Magazine is preparing to throw a party celebrating its Best of Cleveland award winners. On Satuday, October 13, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will be packed with the best of Cleveland food, drink, music, and more.

BOCinfluencer

Billy Likes Soda (Best Cover Band) and DJ EV (Best Local DJ) will be performing. You’ll also get to enjoy food and drink from winners like:

  • Daylight Donuts (Best Ice Cream Filled Donuts)
  • Masthead Brewing Co. (Best Pizza)
  • Polpetta (Best Meatballs)
  • Ginko (Best Sushi)
  • The Wine Spot (Best Wine Shop)
  • Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream (Best Ice Cream)
  • And many, many more

Your ticket also includes admission to the Rock Hall and the Power of Rock Experience.

Tickets are currently on sale online for $75 for General Admission and $110 for VIP (which includes an open bar wristband.) You can also save 20% off tickets by using code BESTOFCLE when you checkout.

Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets right here (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment here telling me which of the Participating Winners you’re most excited to see at the Best of Cleveland party.

2. Visit Cleveland Magazine and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @clevelandmagazine and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @ClevelandMag and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to party with the Best of Cleveland thanks to @ClevelandMag and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2018/10/04/why-best-of-cleveland-giveaway/

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, October 9 and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Cleveland Magazine to help promote the Best of Cleveland party. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary general admission tickets for myself, 2 general admission tickets to give away, and a promo code to share. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Urban Farmer!

Urban Farmer bills itself as Cleveland’s modern steakhouse, a title which fits it well. The vibe is more casual, cowboy punk than dark wood. There is a focus on locally-sourced, artisanal products. There is a playfulness at Urban Farmer that you don’t usually get from a steakhouse, particularly one that can deliver on taste in the way this restaurant can.

On Friday night, Matthew and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Urban Farmer. We started with a glass of M Cellars Brut Rose, a sparkling wine almost exclusive to Urban Farmer and a display of the restaurant’s commitment to showcasing local products.

img_5597

For our first course, we enjoyed the Rabbit & Duck Pierogi with onion, jus, citrus cream, and quinoa. This interesting twist on a classic Cleveland menu item was rich and satisfying, with just the right amount of smoky, gamey flavor.

img_5612

We also feasted on the Braised Octopus with tonnato, ‘nduja oil, fennel, and lemon vinaigrette. These meaty pieces of octopus were deliciously prepared and dressed. I’m so glad to see more local restaurants serving a dish we fell in love with on a trip to Miami.

img_5606

We also shared the Beet & Squash Salad, with arugula, citrus, chevre, pistachio, and beet meringue “croutons.” A really tasty and original approach to a beet salad!

img_5605

Of course, the steak is the highlight at Urban Farmer, with New York Strip, Filet Mignon, and Ribeye as the standard offerings on the menu, and with options from grass-fed to grain-fed.

Matthew chose the grain-finished, bone-in, twenty-one day dry aged New York Strip from New Creation Farm in Ohio. The steak was perfectly prepared, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

img_5609

Not that it needed any accompaniment, but the Ohio Wagyu Tallow & Bleu Cheese Butter and the Roasted Foraged Mushrooms made fabulous compliments to the steak.

img_5611

I chose the Georges Bank Scallops, served with pea risotto, pancetta, carrot, and lemon. Fresh, delicious, and with flavors that perfectly paired, this was an elegant dish!

img_5608

We also enjoyed some of the seasonal Corn Elote with smoked jalapeno aioli, cotija, and scallion. Seriously, if you can get there before this off the menu, do!

img_5610

And then dessert…Matthew chose the Eight Layer Chocolate Torte, which looked like a giant Andes mint and tasted even better.

img_5625

My desserts were all set ablaze tableside, with the Cleveland Cassata Alaska…

img_5624

and the Café Cleveland, which has Watershed high-proof vodka and walnut nocino, Cointreau, Kahlua, and La Colombe coffee.

 

 

Such showmanship and such deliciousness!

This is one of the best meals we’ve had in a long time from top to bottom.

img_5601

The friendly service, the commitment to local products, and the sheer craftsmanship of the chefs make Urban Farmer a fantastic place for a meal!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a dinner at Urban Farmer with a guest. I received a gift card toward our meal, as well as some complimentary items from the kitchen. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Taste of the Browns!

The last few years that we’ve attended the Greater Cleveland Food Bank‘s Taste of the Browns fundraiser, the food has been terrific and the venue has been stellar and everyone has been excited about helping out those in need. But the energy about the Browns themselves…it might have been a little bit low.

But coming off the big win last Thursday and the announcement of Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback, there was genuine sports excitement in the air on Monday night.

img_5456

Of course, the terrific food, stellar venue, and fantastic opportunity to help those in need still existed too.

img_5459

Every dollar raised at Taste of the Browns equals 4 meals for those with food insecurity. Chef Rocco Whalen, one of the honorary co-chairs of this year’s event, single-handedly raised $10,000 by donating two Fahrenheit food truck private parties during the live auction!

Of course, Taste of the Browns isn’t just about the Browns…it’s also about the taste! And taste we did!

We started out at B Spot Burgers with their Georgia Peach burger.

img_5462

Did you know that the B Spot in FirstEnergy Stadium creates a new burger geared to each of the Browns home opponents? This creation for the Falcons game is a winner for sure!

Check out this array of delicious nibbles, with an Asian pulled pork wonton from Pearl Asian Kitchen, tuna nachos from Heck’s Cafe, and steak with horseradish sauce from Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.

img_5465

The miso-glazed pork belly from AMP 150 and the rosemary lamb chop with butternut squash from Johnny’s Downtown were both perfect for the now fall-like weather!

And we had a ball with these gigantic Salerno Family meatballs from Lago East Bank.

img_5469

Proving they’re more than just tacos, Barrio‘s sea scallop ceviche was a fresh, delicious treat!

img_5473

I also love when I find a new restaurant that I have to try outside of a tasting event. This year, that restaurant was Corktree Tavern, whose short ribs with goat cheese polenta and dried cherries was tender, flavorful, and an amazing amount of yum in a small bite.

img_5471

To the food, the cause, and the newly re-energized Browns, cheers!

img_5460

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Taste of the Browns. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Legacy Village Birthday Staycation!

When I was thinking about how I wanted to celebrate my birthday this year, I decided I wanted to do a staycation that included my favorite people and my favorite things to do. So, naturally I landed on Legacy Village.

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I checked in to the Hyatt Place Legacy Village for some swim time. There is nothing Jeffrey loves more than a hotel pool!

img_5386

The Hyatt Place Legacy Village is the perfect place to stay for a staycation or for out-of-town friends. The hotel is modern and comfortable, with lots of thoughtful touches (my favorite were the reading nooks in the lobby.) There’s free breakfast, a fitness center, and the aforementioned pool, too!

Plus the staff is very sweet!

img_5387

Once Jeffrey was dried off and on his way to Grandma’s house for the night, Matthew joined me for dinner at The Capital Grille, just a short walk from the hotel.

img_5389

I’ve written several times about how The Capital Grille’s food is just incredible and this dinner was no exception. Matthew and I shared the pan-fried calamari with peppers with our bourbon cocktails.

 

For dinner, I had the tomahawk veal chop with foie gras butter and Matthew had the bone-in filet. Everything was prepared to perfection.

img_5394

Beyond that, though, the service at The Capital Grille is always on point. The servers know exactly when to chat, when to leave you in peace, what wine to recommend, and so on. That made our dinner not only delicious, but utterly enjoyable.

img_5393

Saturday was all about the girls at Legacy Village. In the morning, I literally walked across the street to meet up with friends at Barre3 and start my morning with a great workout.

From there, we went to Bar Louie and met up with more friends for brunch.

img_5404

From extra boozy mimosas to fluffy peanut butter pancakes, brunch was just the right balance to the workout.

 

We were lucky enough to be at Legacy Village during the Wildroots market, so we got to check out some great local, artsy shopping in addition to all the every day fabulous Legacy Village shopping options.

img_5403

Then it was time for some straight-up pampering with manicures and pedicures at Anthony Vince Nail Spa. I love how many color options they have there and with a huge staff and tons of pedicure chairs, the service is always fast (and friendly.)

After grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks to give myself a boost of energy before heading home, I realized that I chose the perfect location for my birthday staycation. From fancy to casual dining, working out to being pampered, and of course, shopping, Legacy Village had it all (and a great place to stay while enjoying it!)

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events, for which I receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. I also received a complimentary one-night stay at the Hyatt Place Legacy Village. The idea for the staycation and, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

 

Why? Weekends!

This weekend still felt like summer to me! So, despite the appearance of pumpkins later on in my post, I’m hanging on to the end of summer…

Brewnuts

On Friday morning, while the kids were in school, I went with my friends Mariah and Ashlie to Brewnuts for their Harry Potter-themed donuts that were available this weekend only.

Brewnuts not only makes gigantic, creative donuts, but they come up with lots of fun theme days to sprinkle even more magic on the donuts. I opted for a Sorting Hat donut, whose yellow buttercream filling told me I was a Hufflepuff.

img_5262

Add in a Butterbeer latte…

img_5263

and the cute, tiki-themed decor…

img_5265

and you have the makings of three very happy moms!

Bloggy Con

On Saturday, I attended Bloggy Conference, a conference for bloggers. Held at Cedar Point’s Hotel Breakers, the location was perfect for soaking in a bit more of summer.

img_5280

We heard speakers on everything from SEO to brand ambassadorships and had a chance to connect with other bloggers from around the country.

This was my first blog conference, despite how long I’ve been doing this, and I really feel like I came away with some valuable insights into things I can implement with the blog, as well as things that I don’t want to change.

Small City Taphouse

Since we were spending the night in Sandusky, I had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants out that way: Small City Taphouse.

This restaurant boasts 80 beers on tap, which obviously means you have to get a flight because it is impossible to choose just one.

img_5282

My two favorites from my flight were the Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing and the Haunted Hayride Pumpkin Ale from Masthead Brewing.

Small City Taphouse also has a full sushi and Asian cuisine menu. The TNT roll, with tuna and jalapeno was a great choice, as was the spicy egg noodles with beef.

img_5283

If you find yourself in Sandusky, definitely check out Small City Taphouse!

Cedar Point Halloweekends

On Sunday, my best guys joined me at Cedar Point for Halloweekends.

img_5290

From trick or treating through Kiddie Kingdom…

img_5293

…to trying out the new-this-year challenge course…

img_5297

….to catching the It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown parade…

…there was so much to do on top of the rides that Jeffrey always loves. It was a fall festival in summer-like weather!

img_5312

Halloweekends continue every weekend through October 28, so don’t miss this chance for some family-friendly thrills and treats!

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? National Cheeseburger Day at Kalahari Resorts!

It seems there’s a day to celebrate just about everything nowadays. This Tuesday, September 18 is National Cheeseburger Day! To celebrate this all-American classic meal, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is offering a special promotion.

If you order an adult entree burger at B-Lux Grill & Bar at Kalahari this Tuesday, September 18, you will receive a free waterpark pass to return for a future visit of splashtastic fun! This offer is valid for the first 500 customers at the Sandusky Kalahari Resorts location.

Matthew, Jeffrey, and I went to Kalahari last weekend and enjoyed some tasty burgers at B-Lux Grill & Bar. Matthew had the Black & Bleu Burger, with bleu cheese and stout steak sauce.

img_5203

And I had the Frenchie burger, with Brie, caramalized onions, bacon, and dijonnaise.

img_5200

Also, don’t skip the boozy milkshakes. It’s a drink and dessert all in one! I love me some multitasking.

img_5197

Jeffrey chose the cheese pizza and giant pretzel, which just goes to show that it doesn’t have to be a cheeseburger meal at B-Lux (but it IS a great spot to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day).

img_5198

Then we headed down to the waterpark for a ton of fun! Jeffrey is tall enough now to go on a lot of the slides, including the Zip Coaster, which is essentially a roller coaster and water slide combined.

img_5220

We all had a great time splashing and sliding the day away! And we definitely can’t wait to go back!

img_5218

So, head to Kalahari and grab a cheeseburger at B-Lux Grill & Bar to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day, so that you not only get a tasty meal, but a chance to return for even more family waterpark fun!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Kalahari Resorts’ National Cheeseburger Day promotion. In exchange, I received three complimentary waterpark day passes and a gift card to B-Lux Grill & Bar. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur