the plum's best of cleveland

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

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.

thanks cleveland.


  1. You make me want to visit Cleveland! Congrats on 400, you are awesome.

  2. Such a good idea! I may have to steal it and do Boston - don't worry I'd give you credit - congrats on your 400th post!

  3. dear goodness this must've taken forever to write up!!

    in other news: I want all of that. I mean. I want food from all of those places.

    Stupid 8 hour distance.

  4. I think Im ready to visit cleveland now.

  5. Yesterday was my 400th post! Congrats lady.

    Also, I have heard Lolita is insanely good. Yes, please.

  6. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Alexa!!!! So proud of you, girlfriend!

  7. I think maybe I want to move to cleveland! You had me with the guac and cupcakes!!

    Congrats on 400!!! x

  8. I am, in general, anti-Ohio. With that said, I may come to Cleveland to check it out, just because of your support. If anyone is that dedicated, it must be good.

    Congratulations on the 400th!

  9. This makes me want to visit Cleveland a heck of a lot more now.

  10. Good Lord, I love Cleveland.

    Thanks for the link to those t-shirts.


  11. Congrats on the 400th post!

    I'd like to add Danny Boy's to the list for best pizza. As a Lakewooder I've found that it's a close comparison to Angelo's.

  12. For my next vacation I am heading to Cleveland!

  13. I remember your first post - I was so excited. I still get excited every morning to check what you have to say! Good call on Angelo's. Mmmmmmmmmmmm...

  14. 400? Congrats!

    There's a bunch on that list I'd like to try, starting with a cookie and a cupcake (mostly because I'd like one of each of those right now).

  15. Okay, okay, I'll come visit! Between you and Sarah over at Okay Seriously, Cleveland sounds better and better everyday.

  16. ive never been to any of those places. the closest is that Ive had great lakes christmas ale, and i dont like it, but you get a pretty good buzz....

    next time you are home you should try Vi Lis for thai food...its in my town, canal fulton. its known to be the best ....ever. for serious!

  17. Congrats, sweetie!! Now you have to take me to more of these places...when I come up ALL the time.
    Mom xoxo

  18. Congrats on 400!! And if I ever find myself in Cleveland, I'll keep this list in mind.

  19. Angelo's is Awesome! I have it on SPeed dial! Thanks for the shout out! Cleveland's A Plum Tee coming Soon!

  20. Hey! I see your point a lot of the time. But Thai food, I have to go the Mint Cafe/Thai Orchid route. I really dig their tofu string beans. Mmmmm . . . great. Now I am hungry. Thanks, Alexa, for getting us talking about the great stuff here in CLE.

  21. YAAAAAY 400!

    Also, I pretty much love everything about this post and should do it for Chicago.

  22. This list makes me want to head to Cleveland ASAP. Too bad I'm so far away :(

  23. The t-shirts/models section made me giggle. Thanks lady. Those models are totally hot - for serious though.

    Kudos on the 400th post! You're great.

  24. You make Cleveland sound pretty darn good, great even. I want to try and remember to do something like this for my 500th post. Awesome idea!

  25. You make me want to come to cleveland!
    Great job and congrats on 400!

  26. Wow.

    You really, REALLY want us to come visit, don't you?

    You're doing a good job...

  27. grrrr i ALREADY wanted to come to cleveland and now i REALLY REALLY want to come to cleveland. POUT.

  28. Just last night JT and I were fretting over a birthday gift for his brother. I think the cleveland T-shirt place just rescued us.
    You rock.

    And congrats on the post milestone! 400 more please!

  29. how about pacific east for sushi? There's one in Cleveland Heights that's closer to you.

  30. Your own little "BEST OF"!! That was awesome...and yeah that had to take some time!

    I think I actually agreed on all your Bests!

  31. Woohoo for 400, congrats Alexa!

    I am printing off this post and taking it with me the next time I hit up Cleveland.

    I enjoy me some Great Lakes Beers from time to time.

  32. next time i'm in cleveland we are totally hanging out. seriously all of these places make me want to go back right now, haha.

    and happy 400! :)

  33. Krusty's is literally the greatest day of my life.



  35. @deutlich- you are NOT 8 hours from cleveland, dork! It's only 6! (b/c I'm 4.5)

    I hope you know I just nominated you for Sexiest Local Celebrity. It's ON

  36. You're making me hungry and thirsty. . .and now I want to go shopping. . .it's not even 10am and I'm sitting at my office desk -- don't torture me like this :)


  37. Best wings: Liquid. Yes, that Liquid. On West 6th Street. Don't laugh, just go order them, come back and tell me I'm right.

  38. Wooo, happy 400th post. Keg stand time!

  39. I'm still new, what's a 6th Street Douchebag? XD

    The Corporate Challenge party was at Blind Pig. Also, we had to go have Angelo's tonight, thanks to you.

  40. Congrats on an amazing milestone! Thanks for this post! I can't wait to refer to it again when I go home next. xoxo

  41. Congrats! I'm with Sam on Mint Cafe -- YUM. And have you ever been to the North Market in Columbus? I mean, it's cute, but it's a total poser bullshit generic watered-down version of the West Side Market. Makes me sad about what I'm missing every time I throw 'bows with the other urbanites who think they're getting some kind of faux cultural experience.

  42. I voted and now I want a cupcake please.

  43. Alexa,

    I have read your blog several times now and it's great. I also have family that lives in Tremont and agree on all your best of's. Your doing and AWESOME job.. Congrats!

  44. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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