welcome to my 400th post!!! we've come a long way baby...
and in honor of the blessed occasion i want to tell you all that cleveland rocks, and if you didn't already know that, catch up.
hell, i've developed my whole online identity around all that is cleveland so i better enjoy the place.
i've decided that i want to use this post to highlight a few of my favorite spots (many of them restaurants) in cleveland, some that you may not know of just so happen to be my favorites, and you should check them out.
consider this 'the best of cleveland' edition of the cleveland's a plum blog.
best cocktails: crop bistro (warehouse district)- holy heck these people know how to make some excellent libations. every time i go there i'm impressed with their original concoctions. try the my darling clementine and the missy figgy - there's bacon in it!
best lunch counter: tastebuds (asiatown)- this spot is right by my office and not only do they have hot and cold options including pizza, salads and sandwiches they make my favorite greek pasta ever topped with feta and pine nuts, um yum. there's no servers here, just get in line, grab and go - you won't be disappointed. (honorable mention: the market cafe and wine bar)
best cupcakes: a cookie and a cupcake (tremont)- i don't consider myself a cupcake connoisseur but i've tasted a cupcake or ten in my day and these hands down are the best in the city of cleveland. also, their staff is among the friendliest. try the german chocolate and the espresso variety.
best brunch: tremont taphouse (tremont, duh)- get there earlier cause this place fills up fast - thankfully now that it's warm out their large patio can be taken advantage of. try the fresh/real crab benedict with crisp tap browns and fruit.
best burger: lolita (tremont)- this burger can be considered best happy hour food as well because for only $5, during designated hours you can enjoy the lolita burger topped with bacon, fried egg, aged cheddar and caramelized onions. it goes well with a nice glass of red that runs for only $4 a glass during the hours that are happy as well. best burger i've ever had - om nom nom nom.
best guacamole: momocho (ohio city)- i've been a fan of this place and chef williams since the day it opened, because i literally dined there the first day it opened. i'm a huge guacamole fan and consider myself a bit of an expert and i've never had better guacamole. my favorite is the blue crab, corn and chipolte chili variety with the goat cheese and pablano pepper kind coming in a close second. while you are noshing on the guac try the the cucumber chile pepper margarita.
best wings: the greenhouse tavern (east 4th)- chicken wings are an american staple that many people try to put their own unique spin on. well the spin that chef sawyer puts on his version of the crispy chicken wings include jalapeno, scallions and garlic and are fall off the bone delicious. order a side of their famous pomme frites served with rosemary, garlic and aioli while you are at it too.
best thai food: ty fun thai bistro (tremont)- i order the pad thai extra extra spicy with tofu and the thai spring rolls, and while i've tried multiple entrees in my multiple visits i always go back to this thai staple but with over 60 menu options there's something for everyone. i recommend making a reservation or simply ordering carryout because this restaurant is so tiny, but what it lacks in seating it makes up for in flavor.
best soup and salad: the souper market (ohio city and lakewood)- these daily homemade soups are to die for. i get the pulled chicken noodle and the season's greens with the delicious sweet lemon vinaigrette. this place is a cleveland staple.
best pizza: angelo's (lakewood)- why oh why can't angelo's be closer to my apartment? actually now that i think about it i'm glad it isn't because i would be ordering their deep dish style pizza pie entirely too often. if you haven't tried it, GO.
best sushi: parallax (tremont)- this is actually probably my favorite restaurant in cleveland as well but something specific that needs to be pointed out about this place is their sushi. it's hands down the best in the city and while a bit pricey is worth the splurge because the spicy tuna literally melts in your mouth. ahhhh-mazing.
best beer: great lakes brewery (ohio city)- i'm not a beer drinker, i never have been. but i'm told if i actually liked beer i would drink beer from GLBC. i do know that i like christmas ale and how silly it makes me, i like the restaurant itself and the fact that good beer is getting brewed in cleveland. so ya know, drink it. (honorable mention: winking lizard for their extensive beer selection and world beer tour)
best wine and cheese store: pat o'brien's of landerwood (pepperpike)- this store has an amazing selection of wine, cheese and meats, while also being a state liquor agency, but what really makes this store break away from the pact is their customer service and knowledge. they know it all and can find it all, it's worth the trip east.
best coffee shop: phoenix coffee (i go to the warehouse district location)- this well known cleveland coffee shop with 6 locations throughout the city is the anti-starbucks. if you want the strongest coffee around, served by an eclectic group of award winning barista's this is your place.
best market: the westside market (ohio city) i mean is there really any other option? nope. i actually can't even describe this place; you just have to go and experience it for yourself. and then when you are done shopping stop at the westside market cafe for a killer breakfast/lunch.
best place to watch cleveland sports if you can't be at the game: blind pig (warehouse district)- now i'm not what you would call a "w 6th douchebag" but when it comes to weekday games the blind pig always has a great crowd gathered watching on one of their 8293 tvs.
best walk-in mani/pedi: venetian nail spa (rocky river)- if i can have a bar where everyone knows my name i can have a nail place where everyone knows my name right? the beautiful and clean decor paired with the extremely friendly staff that are always a pleasure to be around make for a great experience. shout out to my girl naya who gives the best pedicure around.
best cleveland themed t-shirts: CLE Clothing Co (check the website, yo) these original graphic t-shirts make great gifts for cleveland fans everywhere and with the magic of online ordering you can buy one today. like right now, go, buy one. with a retro style and a hustle like no other these boys are doing good things for the city of cleveland, very good things. perhaps a "cleveland's a plum" shirt will be in the mix sometime soon (more on that later...). also, aren't the models on their site hot?
best boutique: banyan tree (tremont)- this store located in the heart of tremont is what i like to call our own local department store because they have a little of everything. from housewares to babywares to unique jewelery, clothes and shoes this is the perfect stop to buy gifts for yourself and others. the shop owner christie has amazing taste and just so happens to stock the store full of my favorite things because when i need to buy a gift for almost anyone i stop at banyan tree. shop local people!
best monthly event: i got five on it, touch supper club (ohio city)- the last saturday of every month djs mick boogie and terry urban play the best old school hip hop set ever. the packed basement of touch is a straight out dance party that i've been going to for years. even though mick and terry have how you say, grown out of cleveland, the fact that you can still see them in such a small venue is tits.
best event of the summer: krusty's summer sauce camp (whiskey island)- O.M.G. this is the most ultimate awesomesauce of the summer. being held saturday, august 1st this year, this charity benefit for st malachi takes over the beautiful whiskey island (near edgewater park), for a day of full out drunken debauchery with a thousand of your closest friends. for the $40 admission you get all you can drink beer and food, live music, games and an amazing view of lake erie. you can find me by the beer truck.
best view of the lake (erie that is): the shoreway- heading west towards lakewood. you should stop off at edgewater park while you are there to take in the best view of the city as well. the shoreway is the epitome of a "sunday drive" route.
best museum: rock and roll hall of fame (downtown)- i don't care how many times i've been to this museum, i always find something new and exciting to take in. the music history and memorabilia are unparalleled. (honorable mentions: the great lakes science center and the christmas story house)
best blog: cleveland's a plum (obviously) - in all seriousness though, if you think this blog really is the best one in cleveland take a minute to vote for me in cleveland magazine's best of 2009 online ballot.
now here's to another 400 posts.