Why? Children’s Hunger Alliance Eat Like a Kid Again Giveaway!

Children’s Hunger Alliance wants you to experience the fun of being a kid again, all while helping hungry children in Ohio.

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Eat Like a Kid Again is taking place on Thursday, September 26 at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. You’ll enjoy grownup versions of your favorite childhood food and drinks, a silent auction, wine pull, and live animal encounter. The event includes private access to select exhibits in the museum and free parking.

At the event, 18 local chefs will be competing in the Best of Taste competition. Chefs and restaurants include Zack Bruell Events, Barrio Tacos, Elements Bistro, Annie’s Signature Sweets, and more.

Funds raised at the event go towards providing healthy meals to food-insecure children in Northeast Ohio.

Tickets are available online for $75 for an individual ticket or $140 for a couple’s ticket. Or you can enter to win two tickets right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment for each):

1. Leave a comment here letting me know your favorite food from childhood.

2. Visit Children’s Hunger Alliance and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

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

4. Follow @CHAOhio 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 win tickets to Eat Like a Kid Again with @CHAOhio thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/09/18/why-childrens-hunger-alliance-eat-like-a-kid-again-giveaway 

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

The giveaway will close on Sunday, September 22 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

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Why? Taste of the Browns!

Despite losing on the field in the home opener, the Cleveland Browns still scored a big win this week at FirstEnergy Stadium. The 21st annual Taste of the Browns fundraiser to benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank was hosted on Monday night and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed the hungry in our community.

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The event brought together Browns players and alumni, fantastic chefs and restaurants, and fans of the team and the city, all to help those in need. Fifty percent of the people served by the Greater Cleveland Food Bank are children or the elderly, so this event truly benefits those least able to help themselves.

From Chomps…

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to stadium views…

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…to foodie friends…

…to the delicious dishes, this event was a taste touchdown!

Some of my favorite dishes included the braised lamb with corn masa from Momocho

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…the tuna tartare tacos from Fahrenheit

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…the sliders with OBJ sauce (spicy!) and my favorite pork cracklins from B Spot Burgers

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…the wild boar bolognese from Johnny’s Downtown

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…and the scallop ceviche from Barrio Tacos, which I gobbled without getting a picture!

I’ve always been impressed with the Browns organization’s commitment to the community and the star power that helped make last night a success is no exception.

Cheers to a successful fundraiser for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and a successful season for the Cleveland Browns!

***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.***

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Why? Chefs Unbridled!

One of my favorite foodie events of the year is Chefs Unbridled, to benefit Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center. Not only is the food always outstanding, but the setting is picturesque too.

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The weather was just perfect on Saturday night for this year’s event. Outside the tent, we enjoyed samples from Tom’s Foolery Distillery

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…and Crooked Pecker Brewing Company. The Driftwood Group food truck was also on hand with delicious offerings like hangar steak, halibut, and their famous tater tots with yum-yum sauce.

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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.

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The dishes I most enjoyed from the evening were the flavorful duck breast with fried farro from Flour Restaurant

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…the truffled bologna sandwich from The Black Pig (bonus points for serving it on an English muffin…I love those!)…

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…the Tinman burger from Tinman, which is one of the tastiest burgers I’ve had in ages…

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…the lobster mac ‘n cheese with a delicate sauce that didn’t detract from the lobster from The Driftwood Group

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…the apple tart, which was fall dessert at it’s best, also from The Driftwood Group…

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…and the simple, delicious cacio e pepe agnolotti from The Union Club.

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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!

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***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.***

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Why? Burntwood Tavern!

Burntwood Tavern is one of my favorite spots for happy hour, brunch, or dinner, with consistently delicious cocktails and food. This week, I got a sneak peek at their new fall menu items, which will be available at all locations starting on Monday, September 9.

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There are three new fall cocktails: an apple spice mojito, a cinnamon mule, and the Razzberry Sherbet, all of which are well-balanced and delicious.

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My favorite of the bunch was the apple spice mojito, which is perfect for that in-between summer and fall season when you don’t know what to wear or what to drink!

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New on the menu for fall are also some tasty food items that are warm, filling, and perfect for the season.

The beef brisket tacos have house-smoked brisket, texas bbq, red cabbage, and feta. These are great to share as an appetizer or keep for yourself for a tasty Taco Tuesday!

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The shrimp cobb salad has colby jack, avocado salsa, tomato, onion, applewood smoked bacon, egg, and house dressing. Light, bright, and delicious!

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The panko-crusted grouper sandwich comes with lemon aioli, arugula, tomato, and pickles. I love the crunch of the panko breading on the mild grouper.

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The hot Italian sandwich is one of my favorites of the new items, with pepperoni, salami, cherry peppers, tomato, red onion, and lettuce. The crispy bread, the salty meats…it’s not to be missed!

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My other favorite of the new menu items is the beef stroganoff, with house-smoked pot roast and mushrooms over fettuccine. This is warm, satisfying comfort food done right!

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The last new menu item we sampled was the hunter’s chicken, with mushrooms, tomato, and fettuccine alfredo. Again, this is a perfect comfort dish for cool nights!

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While we were at Burntwood Tavern, we also got to make some of our own infused vodka, a Burntwood Tavern specialty. Many of Burntwood Tavern’s cocktails incorporate house-made infusions for a truly special drink.

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Their happy hour runs from 3pm-6pm every day of the week, with half-price starters and flatbreads, $3 bottle beers, $4 draughts, $5 house wines, and $6 signature cocktails.

Burnwood Tavern also offers live music on Fridays, kids eat free on Mondays, and a great brunch and Bloody Mary bar from 10am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

From the new menu items to the staples like the Tavern tater tots and tasty flatbreads, you can’t miss at Burntwood Tavern.

***Disclosure: I was invited to a complimentary tasting event at Burntwood Tavern. I received a gift card for myself and a gift card to give away (stay tuned on Instagram next week). As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? The Burnham!

On Friday night, Matthew and I kicked off the long weekend with a delicious dinner at The Burnham, the restaurant at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown.

We of course started with cocktails: we both chose the Smoking Gun Old Fashioned, with Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, Ohio maple syrup, Angostura bitters and smoked with applewood chips.

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The presentation, smell, and taste of this drink are all phenomenal.

Then we got an expansive taste of the Burnham’s delectable menu. We started with a nibble of the Chorizo Flatbread, with garlic puree, feta and parmesan cheese, roasted red pepper, arugula, and cider vinegar reduction.

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The flatbread was mildly spicy and totally delicious. I loved the fluffy, house-made dough for the crust!

Next was the Summer Chowder, with matchstick potatoes, roasted corn, bacon, and scallion.

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This soup is perfect for summer: creamy, without being too heavy. The matchstick potatoes, corn, and raw scallions add a nice texture.

We also sampled the Greek salad, which is a blend of old and new world styles. It has romaine, dill, scallion, heirloom tomato, cucumber, red onion, Greek olives, grilled Halloumi cheese, herbed vinaigrette, and sunflower seeds.

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Greek salads aren’t generally my thing, but the dressing was lovely and light and I could eat that grilled Halloumi cheese all day. Matthew does like Greek salads and loved this one!

Next up was the Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, with curry aioli, cucumber coulis, and micro mirepoix greens.

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I loved the change in flavor profile from a traditional crab cake, with the curry and tarragon.

We sampled four of The Burnham’s delicious entrees. The Pacifico Striped Sea Bass, with prosciutto and sweet pea risotto, vermouth morel mushrooms, orange fennel slaw, and tobiko, was not only beautiful, but also delicious.

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I loved the crispy skin on the fish (one of the only truly striped bass still around) and the pairing of the delicate flavors in both the fish and the risotto allowed both to shine.

Next was the Fried Summer Squash & Eggplant Lasagna. This meatless (and noodle-less) dish is a stunner. It not only looks inviting and hearty, but it tastes amazing. The squash and eggplant are sliced thin and take the place of the noodles.

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The lasagna also has herbed ricotta, mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, and sauteed spinach.

We hung on to the season with the Honey BBQ Chicken, with grilled airline chicken breast, rainbow chard, corn on the cobb, and dijon aioli.

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This was summertime on a plate!

And the Ohio Certified Angus Beef Filet, with sunchoke puree, mortadella potato macaire, bearnaise aioli, bordelaise, and pickled petit carrot, was rich and flavorful and perfectly prepared.

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We ended our decadent dinner on a light note with the Passionfruit Preserve Tart, with strawberry foam, white chocolate shards, pistachio streusel, and lime coulis.

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The light fruit flavors and delicate pasty crust were a perfect end to our late summer meal.

The Burnham’s dishes are inventive, while still feeling comfortable. Familiarity with a twist, if you will. We loved every bite and will certainly be back to see what else Chef de Cuisine Thomas Parker is cooking up!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary dinner at The Burnham. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Playhouse Square Partners!

Last night, Playhouse Square Partners kicked off our programming for 2019-2020 with an Oktoberfest-themed membership open house at Hofbrauhaus Cleveland.

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!

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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.***

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Why? Weekends!

What a beautiful weekend in CLE! Here’s what we were up to:

Lola Bistro

On Friday night, Mom and I met up for dinner at Lola Bistro. It was the perfect night to sit outside and take in the great weather and the game night crowds on East 4th Street.

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Lola Bistro is in the process of unveiling a new menu. Our server told us Chef Symon was recently in town to help develop the new dishes. For our appetizers, we selected one new dish and one classic one.

The Beef Cheek Pierogi, with mushrooms and horseradish crème fraiche, is still on the menu and is so delicious!

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We also enjoyed the seasonally-perfect Tomato Salad, with fresh and pickled tomato, peaches, almonds, dill, and farm cheese.

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Mom had the Strip Steak, with stilton au poivre, frisee, pickled shallots, and chives. The steak was perfectly done, simple, and delicious.

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I had the Duck and Foie Gras Meatloaf, with celery root puree. The slices of meatloaf were thin, almost like terrine, and the flavor was smoky and rich, with just the right amount of foie gras.

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For dessert, I couldn’t pass up the 6am Special, another item I’m so glad stayed on the menu. This decadent dessert has brioche French toast, maple-bacon ice cream, and roasted apple.

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Mom had the My Dad’s Favorite Cake, with lemon cake, strawberry buttercream, lemon curd, raspberry jam, and vanilla bean ice cream. I love the combination of berries and lemon!

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It was a fantastic dinner! The new menu at Lola Bistro is definitely worth a visit or two!

House of Blues Foundation Room

Then we headed down the street to the Foundation Room at House of Blues Cleveland.

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The Foundation Room is a membership-based space at House of Blues, with a great menu of cocktails and food;

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a funky vibe, with lots of cozy spaces;

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and a gorgeous new flower wall from CLE Flower Walls on the patio overlooking East 4th Street.

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Foundation Room membership benefits range from food and beverage discounts to exclusive presale access to backstage tours. Click here to learn more about the various membership levels and elevate your House of Blues experience.

***I was invited to a complimentary event at the Foundation Room, with cocktails, food, discounted parking, and a swag bag. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Cleveland Garlic Festival

On Saturday, Jeffrey and I had a stinkin’ good time at the Cleveland Garlic Festival.

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This annual event is a fundraiser for North Union Farmers Market and supports not only the markets around town, but also their Access Programs, Mighty Locavores, and more.

I had the cool opportunity to be a judge for the beef competition of the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off. Chefs from Nomad Culinary, CLE Kraut, and EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute presented their beef and garlic creations.

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I was blown away by the creativity, plating, and downright deliciousness of all the food!

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Congratulations to Nomad Culinary, who won the competition. It was a tough choice picking a favorite, for sure!

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We also checked out all the varieties of garlic for sale, the live entertainment, and the kids area! There is so much to do at the Cleveland Garlic Festival! This is definitely an annual tradition for us.

***Disclosure: I was asked by North Union Farmers Market to help promote the Cleveland Garlic Festival and to judge the Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off. In exchange, I received four weekend passes to the Garlic Festival. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

We actually had a few other things this weekend, including another festival, stopping by Matthew’s regatta, and a baptism, so you get the picture…it was a busy weekend!

Since Jeffrey starts school this week, I’m glad we squeezed in so much fun! How was your weekend?

jenclesig_pur

Why? S’mores Pairing with Sweet Costo!

This week, my dear friend Maria and I had a super sweet evening with Sweet Costo at Western Reserve Distillers.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Why? Last Call Trivia!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? It’s Still Summer at Legacy Village!

While the stores are starting to stock pumpkin spice and Halloween decorations, there is still plenty of time to enjoy summer at Legacy Village.

Dine on a Patio

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to dine al fresco. Legacy Village has four great patio options surrounding their Lawn, where you can enjoy a meal outdoors, along with some people-watching and summer breezes.

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Stop in to Bar Louie, Brio Tuscan Grille, Wild Mango, or California Pizza Kitchen and snag a patio table to soak in the summery vibes of eating outside. Then pop over to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory to cool down with some ice cream.

Bonus if you can do this on a night when Legacy Live is happening, so you can enjoy the live music, too!

Outdoor Events

Legacy Village’s outdoor events are a great way to hang on to that summer feeling. Legacy Live, a free outdoor concert series, continues every Friday and Saturday evening through Saturday, August 31.

Food Truck Mondays continue through Monday, August 26 to give you a tasty, picnic-atmosphere lunch option.

Legacy Village

Yoga in the Village has two more events this summer to get your downdog on outdoors: tonight (Tuesday, August 20) and Tuesday, September 17.

And the North Union Farmers Market continues its outdoor market packed with seasonal deliciousness at Legacy Village every Sunday through Sunday, September 29.

The Generous Pour

If you have never experienced The Generous Pour at The Capital Grille, don’t let your summer end without giving it a try!

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The event includes unlimited pours of seven wines that you can add on to your meal at The Capital Grille. It’s a perfect way to toast to the end of a fabulous summer! You can enjoy The Generous Pour through Sunday, September 1.

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer is the quintessential summer wardrobe, so stop by the store at Legacy Village to grab that perfect dress, romper, or accessories to end your summer in style!

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Get a Pedicure

Before you stash the flip-flops away, treat your feet to a pedicure at Anthony Vince Nail Salon, Ladies and Gentlemen Aveda Salon and Spa, or Sola Salon Studios.

No matter how you send out your summer, there are great ways to do it at Legacy Village!

***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.***

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