Monthly Archives: March 2012

Why? Upcoming Events!

There’s never a dull moment in CLE, especially as the weather warms up and we come out of hibernation! Check out these four great upcoming events:

BvBCLE Player/Coach Draft Event

Thursday, March 29 at 7pm

CrossRoads Hospice

Image Souce - facebook.com/bvbcleveland

It’s Blondes vs. Brunettes in a high-spirited flag football game, all to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. This is the first time this fundraiser has taken place in Cleveland and it promises to be a lot of fun! The draft event is your chance to learn more about BvBCLE and find out how you can play or coach. Women and men are welcome…only ladies can play in the game, but guys are welcome to coach. Learn more about the event here.

Yuri’s Night Space Party

Saturday, April 7 at 8pm

Great Lakes Science Center

Be a part of a global celebration at Yuri’s Night Space Party! This event is a whole new way to experience the Great Lakes Science Center, with music from Disco Inferno, a midnight showing of the OMNIMAX movie, “Hubble,” a trivia contest, a bar that includes a new flavor of Jell-O shot every hour, and much more! Tickets are $60 and can be purchased by clicking here. Why CLE? readers can save $10 per ticket by using discount code NIKI.

Emerging Chefs Garden Party

Wednesday, April 18 at 6pm

AMP 150

Image Souce - style-files.com

Emerging Chefs have teamed up with Chef Jeff Jarrett of AMP 150 to put on a fabulous spring Garden Party. The menu will feature only the freshest local ingredients, as AMP 150′s backyard garden blooms and inspires tasty creations. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased by clicking here.

MedWish International Band Aid Bash

Saturday, April 28 at 7pm

MedWish International Warehouse

MedWish International is a Cleveland-based non-profit that repackages medical supplies that otherwise would have been thrown away and ships those supplies to countries in dire need of them. Since 1993, MedWish has provided 2.2 million pounds of supplies to 90 countries. Band Aid Bash is MedWish’s gala fundraiser, featuring live music, drinks, a silent auction and the amazing food of Chris Hodgson, who will be rolling Dim and Den Sum, Hodge Podge, and The Nosh Box trucks into the fundraiser to serve up tasty treats. This is a not-to-be-missed event: a fun night to benefit an amazing Cleveland-based organization. Tickets are $150 and can be purchased by clicking here.

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend both Emerging Chefs’ Garden Party and MedWish International’s Band Aid Bash with a media pass ticket. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Why? Playhouse Square Broadway Series!

Last night, CLEguy and I were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the shows that will make up the KeyBank Broadway Series at Playhouse Square.

We all know that, outside of New York City, Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center in the country. The Broadway Series is a huge part of Playhouse Square, with season ticket holders now numbering 21,000. The seven-show Broadway Series for 2012-2013 will no doubt raise that number and bring many people to Playhouse Square to take in the magic of these shows. So, are you ready to find out what they are?!

Anything Goes

October 2-14, 2012

In 2011, Anything Goes won the Tony Awards for Best Musical Revival and Best Choreography. The Cole Porter songs that make up this musical are classic parts of the American songbook. Anything Goes will be kicking off its national tour in Cleveland! I’m so excited for this show…I worked on a production of it in high school and can tell you that it’s a fun, light, heartfelt musical that makes you simply happy. As part of a special treat at the launch, we got to hear Rachel York, the actress who will be playing Reno Sweeney in the tour, belt out the title song. Just on that performance alone, this is a must-see show!

Beauty and the Beast

November 6-18, 2012

The classic Disney movie is brought to life on the stage, with the songs and characters you know and love. Gorgeous costumes, beautiful sets, and a story that touches all ages will make this an unforgettable night at the theater!

Priscilla

January 15-27, 2013

Based on the award-winning movie, “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert,” this musical follows three drag queens in a bus driving across Australia. The songs that make up the musical are 70′s and 80′s dance hits, like “It’s Raining Men” and “I Will Survive.” The cast and their costumes definitely sparkle! It’s a fun show, with a surprisingly big heart. Don’t miss Priscilla!

Image Source - priscillaonbroadway.com

Sister Act

March 5-17, 2013

Nuns have never been so much fun! Based on the Whoopi Goldberg movie and with a completely new score written by Academy-Award winner Alan Menken, Sister Act will have everyone shouting “Amen!”

War Horse

April 9-21, 2013

This is the compelling story of Joey, a horse sold to the cavalry during World War I. His owner, a young boy named Albert, will stop at nothing to get Joey home safely. Told through the perspective of Joey, with amazing life-sized horse puppets, War Horse is a story and an visual feast you won’t soon forget.

Image Source - telegraph.uk.co

Guys and Dolls

May 1 – June 23, 2013

This local production of Guys and Dolls, co-produced by the Great Lakes Theater, brings all the brashness of mid-1920′s New York to the stage. A cast of lovable gamblers and crooks will find their way into your hearts and you’ll leave the theater surely humming a tune or two.

Image Source - mtishows.com

Book of Mormon

June 18 – July 7, 2013

You’ve heard about it. It’s the musical written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame. It won nine Tony Awards in 2011, including Best Musical. The Broadway production stars hometown Clevelander Rory O’Malley (a friend from high school…I knew him when!, who was nominated for a Tony for Best Supporting Actor for his role. It’s sold out on Broadway weeks and weeks in advance. It’s irreverent. It’s profane. It’s hilarious. It’s got a heart. It’s the Book of Mormon. And it’s coming to Cleveland.

What a line-up! CLEguy and I left the theater last night saying we wanted season tickets, because every show promises to be simply amazing. Season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online or by calling 216-830-7221. Prices range from $85 to $540 per seat for the season ticket package.

After the launch, we were treated to a delicious reception with food from the newest kid on the Playhouse Square block, Cowell & Hubbard. Playhouse Square and Zack Bruell make a great team!

So, get yourself to the theater (and get to Cowell & Hubbard before your show)! There’s something for everyone in the 2012-2013 Broadway Series and it’s exciting to be part of something so great going on in Cleveland! What shows are you most looking forward to seeing?

***Disclosure: I was invited by Playhouse Square to attend the VIP Broadway Series Launch with a guest. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Why? Weekends!

Another great CLE weekend is in the books! On Thursday night, CLEguy and I met up with Amanda from Clue Into Cleveland and her husband for dinner before the Mythbusters show at Playhouse Square. Of course, we went to the new go-to dining spot in that area: Cowell & Hubbard. As with the last time we were there, the service was flawless and the food was fantastic.

I started with the mushroom bisque, densely-packed with mushrooms and with a delicious, earthy flavor.

Don’t worry…the two drinks in the picture are not both mine. CLEguy and I both enjoyed the L’Abeille cocktail, which has grapefruit vodka and elderflower liquor. Refreshing and tasty!

For our entrees, I chose the chicken wing appetizer and CLEguy had the breaded veal paillard.

The chicken wings were served on a plate of goat cheese cream sauce, with pieces of chicken bacon throughout. The wings were moderately spicy and quite tender and juicy. Although they did not have the unique fall-off-the-bone quality of the Greenhouse Tavern’s chicken wing confit, they were definitely leaps and bounds above your average chicken wings.

CLEguy’s veal came with a baby artichoke salad, frisee, and lemon aioli.

The lemon and frisee added a fresh, light taste to the dish and the veal was very tender. Overall, it was another great dining experience at Cowell & Hubbard. We also found out that the restaurant has a menu specifically-designed for theater-goers. While you can order anything off the entire menu, this menu provides suggestions of dishes that will come up quickly and maximize your time before the show. What a good idea!

From there, it was off to unleash our inner science geeks at Mythbusters: Behind the Myths.

It was a fun show, with some myth-busting, some Q&A time with the hosts of the show, and plenty of audience participation.

One of the best parts of the show was seeing so many kids in the audience and wanting to be a part of what are essentially science experiments. The hosts of the show admitted they never imagined the show would have the educational impact it’s had. It was  a fun night and a great example of the diversity of shows that Playhouse Square brings in.

On Friday night, I met up with a newly-engaged friend to celebrate her engagement and get all the details. We met up at Zocalo, due to its convenient location and $5 happy hour margaritas and appetizers. The conversation with my friend was great, the margarita was good, and the food was completely lackluster. I chose the sopes appetizer: corn cakes filled with beans and guacamole. The food had no taste whatsoever: not good, not bad, just no taste.

From the reactions on my Twitter feed, a lot of CLE-er’s have had a similar experience at Zocalo. Decent drinks, good prices, but in an area packed with great restaurants, there are many better options. Oh well, at least I had a nice evening of catching up and dispensing sage engagement advice!

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxed. Saturday evening, I made homemade pizza. This is one of my favorite things to make, but because the dough takes time, it’s not a regular weeknight meal. Here’s the before baking pic of our pie:

I used a spicy red sauce (thickened with tomato paste) as the base. Then I browned some hot Italian sausage and topped that with a five-cheese blend, hot peppers, and a little bit of Crate & Barrel’s pizza oil. Fifteen minutes later we had:

I make a mean pizza, if I do say so myself. All in all, a great weekend and a nice combination of going out and staying in. How was your weekend, CLE?

Why? Cabo San Lucas!

So, as much as this girl loves CLE (especially with this weather), sometimes a vacation is a very nice thing. I just got back from a week at the Secrets Marquis Los Cabos.

I have to thank my amazing mom for this vacation. This was a chance for some mother/daughter pre-wedding bonding and we had such a wonderful time. I’m so lucky to have a mom who is also one of my best friends!

Aside from soaking up the sun and chatting non-stop, we also had time to…

…do some yoga, which was available daily on the resort. I have to say, practicing with the waves crashing right by you is pretty awesome!

…drink margaritas, of course!

…and attend a tequila tasting!

…see some beautiful sunsets.

…celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with my CLE Clothing Co. pride showing!

…and eat some amazing food! Seriously, this foodie was in her glory! Some of the best stuff I ate:

Lamb, heirloom tomato, and goat cheese lavosh flatbread from Agua at One and Only Palmilla.

Dynamite scallops – baked scallops, stone crab, mushrooms, masago, and spicy mayo – from Nick San.

Sashimi yellowfin tuna (caught just outside the restaurant and so fresh) wrapped around crab, shrimp, and serrano chili, also from Nick San.

Lobster with chilis from Lorenzillo’s.

Roasted corn souffle with caramel corn/ancho chile ice cream from Market at One and Only Palmilla. I will dream about this dessert!

…but most of all, I got to relax, unwind, and have a fabulous time with one of my favorite people in the world!

Love you, Mom!

Why? Coming Back to CLE!

***A bit of blogkeeping: While I’m off in Cabo having some fun in the sun, I’ve arranged guest posts from some fabulous bloggers to keep you entertained. Today’s post comes from Julie at Wearing Mascara. Thanks, Julie!***

Hello friends!

Thank you Jen for allowing me to guest post today. I blog at Wearing Mascara and have been blogging since 2008.

The unique part about my blog is that while I went to high school and college near Cleveland, I have also lived in three other cities. Born in Pittsburgh (shhhh), I moved near Akron, Ohio when I was 13. I stayed in the area through college and finally packed up and moved to Washington, DC for graduate school. I stayed in the DC-area for 3 years, moved to Pittsburgh for an internship, and took my first job in Lancaster, PA last year. This past summer, I decided to move back to Cleveland to live closer to my family.

I moved back to the area in August and have officially been living in Lakewood (a West Side urban/suburban suburb of Cleveland) since November.

I am here to tell you how much I love Cleveland. So often, I hear people slam Cleveland. We are constantly in the top 10 lists of “Worst Cities for… {fill in the blank}” and I’m sick of it.

Here are my top seven reasons that I am defending Cleveland.

 Four Seasons

Yes, the winter can be difficult, with snow, ice, and cold, but we have four seasons, four distinct seasons. I hate when people say “Cleveland weather sucks” because it doesn’t. Have you ever been here in the summer? It’s beautiful. Most of the time the weather is not too hot and quite often, you can enjoy a cool breeze along Lake Erie. The fall here is gorgeous, too. The colors and so vivid that you feel like you’re in a watercolor painting.

 Events

A few years ago, they hosted women’s NCAA basketball championship and last year, Cleveland was one of the sites that hosted the first and second round of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. We have Blossom, an outdoor music center, which hosts music festivals all year round, including country music festivals and The Warped Tour. The Quicken Loans Arena (The Q) hosts events throughout the year such as the circus, concerts, along with being a home venue for the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Lake Erie Monsters.

On a personal note, ever since I moved back to Cleveland, I hear about events constantly through restaurants and local venues. My calendar is much more jam-packed than when I lived in DC, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster when it comes to local events.

 Drivability and Traffic

Different highways give you easy access to and from the city of Cleveland and it’s surrounding suburbs. There are many alternate routes you can take depending on your personal driving preferences without a lot of traffic. Looking back at my last few months of living here, I cannot think of one time I was stuck in traffic. Still, in the mornings there is rush hour but it pales in comparison to my driving experiences in both DC and Pittsburgh (hello, construction). Basically, our rush hour traffic is DC’s middle-of-the-day traffic.

 Lake Erie

Lake Erie is the northern border to the city of Cleveland. It’s one of the 5 great lakes and the shallowest of the five. The water is generally warmer too. Only an hour and a half drive and a ferry ride away, you can find the Lake Erie Islands, which is a fun trip to take with friends or family. There are free beaches you can access throughout the Cleveland area.

 Wide Range of Areas

In Cleveland, there are a ton of different neighborhoods and areas to live in. Whether you’re looking for a family feel or a young adult scene. You have areas like Little Italy and Chinatown. The Cleveland Metro Parks is a fun visitor’s attraction that stretches throughout the area. There are golf courses located within the Metro Parks as well as other courses in the area too. Really, Cleveland can offer you any type of atmosphere you crave.

Cost of Living

The cost of living is phenomenal. Even compared to Lancaster, PA, Cleveland is a very cheap place to live. This is such an important part of this list considering the current economy. I also love that you can have a cheap night out.

Restaurants

The restaurants in Cleveland are as diverse as the people. You can find Thai, Ethiopian, Indian, Chinese, etc and they are all very good. In addition, you find innovative restaurants such as Fahrenheit in Tremont, Noodlecat, and the Michael Symon restaurants (such as B Spot and Lola). So far (knock on wood), every restaurant I have tried has been excellent.

When you visit these restaurants, you feel a vibe that can only be found in Cleveland. The people who run these restaurants are full of pride. Pride for their food, and pride for this city.

Why? Lake Erie Islands!

***A bit of blogkeeping: While I’m off in Cabo having some fun in the sun, I’ve arranged guest posts from some fabulous bloggers to keep you entertained. Today’s post comes from Alana at The Dawg’s Dish. Thanks, Alana!***

As a co-ed, I lived in Tempe, Arizona attending journalism school at Arizona State University. Following graduation, I high-tailed it back to Cleveland. Hands down, every single time I tell people this, they ask, ‘Why would you move back to Cleveland?!’ For me, it was a no-brainer. My family means the world to me and I couldn’t possibly function seeing them only briefly over the holidays. I also felt a bit land-locked in Arizona. Yes, there are man-made lakes and other beautiful lakes strewn throughout the mountains, however, having grown up in a boating family, I knew I couldn’t be happy living in the desert post college.

Bringing me to the theme of this post: Lake Erie Islands. I’m fortunate to have been raised by parents who love to boat and fish, be marrying into a boating family and have a handful of friends who own their own boats. There are obviously many perks that come from this, but one of my favorite things is a trip to either Kelly’s Island or Put-in-Bay via boat.

A sporadic trip to the islands summer 2008

Whether your thing is wine tasting, bar-hopping, relaxing at the beach, biking or simply enjoying peace and quiet, you can do it all at Lake Erie’s favorite islands. Yes, Put-in-Bay reminds me of a mini Las Vegas, but you can easily avoid all of the rowdiness that takes place in downtown PIB by renting a campsite, cottage or home on the island off the main drag.

Kelly’s Island, which is much smaller than PIB, is one of my favorite places because it’s (usually) not as crowded as you can’t beat a night out at The Village Pump.

Lake Erie’s islands are popular for bachelor and bachelorette parties, family vacations, not-so-family vacations and everything in-between!

My cousin Kelley's bachelorette party at Put-in-Bay

The best thing? You don’t have to be a boater to travel to PIB or Kelly’s Island. Whether you take the Jet Express or The Miller Ferry, you can take your backpack or your car and enjoy all that the islands have to offer (I say ditch the car and rent a golf cart!).

See, you don’t have to hop on a plane to go on vacation! I’m hoping to get at least one ‘staycation’ in to the islands this summer!

Thanks so much to Jen for inviting me to post on Why CLE?

Why? Pancake Breakfasts!

***A bit of blogkeeping: While I’m off in Cabo having some fun in the sun, I’ve arranged guest posts from some fabulous bloggers to keep you entertained. Today’s post comes from Crystal at Eat*Drink*Cleveland. Thanks, Crystal!***

Hi! I’m Crystal from Eat*Drink*Cleveland. My lucky friend Jen is off enjoying a fabulous vacation and asked me to guest post for her. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a hungry girl who writes about all kinds of great local food and fun in Cleveland and beyond. Because it’s March, I’m going to share one of my favorite traditions with you that is not only tasty, but is the perfect way to spend a leisurely Sunday. 

March in Northeast Ohio is a very special time of year. It’s always a busy month. Ohio Wrestling State Championships, the Cleveland International Film Fest, St. Patrick’s Day, college basketball’s March Madness, fish fries, the Auto Show, the IX Indoor Amusement Park and sometimes even Easter are all fun things that take place. This year there is even the Cleveland Magazine Nothing But Net Blogger Brackets competition going on. For me it’s even more busy and special because it’s the month of my Mom and Step-Dads’ birthdays. 

Every year we get together for a much anticipated special treat to celebrate their birthdays – pancake breakfast. This is not your typical morning meal. We head out to Geauga County for a traditional feast that includes not only all-you-can-eat pancakes, but also the locally produced delicacy real maple syrup. This is not the fake stuff but 100% pure nectar from the sugar maple trees. There is nothing quite like it.

The Krzys Brothers – Mom’s neighbors make syrup


This is what they use to turn sap into syrup

Chardon is known as the Maple Syrup Capital of Ohio but many other towns and organizations join in on the fun. All the breakfasts have one thing in common: maple syrup topped pancakes. So just pick one and get some friends or family together for a Must Do meal in March.

1. Burton “Pancake Town USA”: 3 locations (museum, fire station and high school) – click HERE for details including hours. You can visit the Burton Log Cabin year round but in the spring you can see them make maple syrup.

2. Chardon: Fraternal Order of Eagles has pancakes, eggs, sausage or bacon and homefries (9:00 – 12:30)

3. Kirtland: Holden Arboretum features Spring Hikes and Pancakes on March 17th and 18th only. $15 (or $10 for members) gets you a guided hike and a hearty breakfast of buttermilk or multigrain pancakes, sweet maple or berry syrups, sausages links or veggie sausage, home fried redskin potatoes, cut fresh fruit, orange juice, milk and coffee. * Gluten-free pancakes available. You must call (440.946.4400, ext. 224) for reservations for gluten-free pancakes.* 

Lake Farm Park offers an annual Maple Sugar Weekend - this year it was March 10th and 11th so you’ll have to keep that one in mind for next year.

4. Middlefield: Creekside Maple offers a unique opportunity to eat at an Amish house next to a working sugar shack. Call ahead for reservations (440) 632-9241.

5. Parkman: Parkman Community House is a super cute location for your pancake feast. This is the one that my family goes to every year. The Community House was built in 1863 as a cheese factory. It’s currently the social hub of this tiny town.

The most interesting feature of this location is the serpentine table. One long table winds through the dining area for a friendly communal dining experience. 


 
They use real dishes and flatware and volunteers serve up all-you-can-eat buttermilk pancakes AND sausage from nearby Charlanne Farms, hot coffee, tea or cocoa and milk. It’s $7.50 per person. (9:00 – 2:00) While you wait in line you can browse and shop for handmade goods, Girl Scout cookies, Easter chocolate and more. They sell a variety of sizes of local maple syrup and the excellent bulk sausage is frozen and available for $2.50 per pound.

Many other communities all throughout NE Ohio offer their versions of the pancake breakfast as well. In the south there’s one that comes highly recommended by Debbi Snook in Chatham (Medina County.) 

6. The Sugar Bush pancake breakfast is from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Chatham VFW Post 6892 at 6299 Avon Lake Road. It’s $6.50 for adults and $3.50 for children and $6 for seniors over 60. Breakfast consists of all-you-can-eat pancakes, two sausage links and all you can drink coffee, tea and milk. Additional items for sale include 100 percent maple syrup, homemade candy, Amish cheeses and other homemade goods.

7. In Lake County you can head to Willoughby Hills. They host their annual all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Sunday in March at the Willoughby Hills Community Center, 35400 Chardon Road, Willoughby Hills. Ticket prices are $7 for adults and $3.50 for children ages 6 through 12. 

8. Goodell Family Farm in Portage County is another great place for pancakes. The long time Shalersville residents host their annual breakfasts at the Town Hall located on Route 44 at Route 303 just off the Ohio Turnpike. Pancakes and sausage will cost you $7.50 and they serve from 8:30 to 2:00.

9. In nearby Hiram, you can eat yourself silly on pancakes while benefiting the local Fire Department. Served from 8:00 – 1:00, the adult meal is $7.00. They feature buckwheat and blueberry pancakes in addition to the traditional buttermilk.

10. If you can’t make it in March or you just can’t get enough of the pancakes, Chardon also hosts the Geauga County Maple Festival every year in April at their historic town square.

With all these tasty options, it’s easy to start a family tradition or just take a ride out to the country to enjoy one of our area’s most delicious local specialties. Take a jug of syrup home with you so you can enjoy the sweet taste all year long. It’s an obvious choice for breakfast but can be used to sweeten nuts, meats, granola and more. Try some of these recipes from Maple Valley Sugarbush & Farm.

Why? Ohio Blogging at the Cleveland Foodbank!

On Monday, the Ohio Blogging Association held our monthly meet-up at the Cleveland Foodbank. The Cleveland Foodbank was started in 1979 and has grown to distribute 34.5 million pounds of food to shelters and meal programs throughout the Northeast Ohio area.

Getting a tour of the Foodbank warehouse

One of the most startling and disturbing facts you learn at the Foodbank is that one-third of the people helped by the Cleveland Foodbank are children. One of the initiatives developed to combat child hunger is the BackPacks for Kids Program.

BackPacks for Kids sends a child home from school for the weekend with a backpack filled with enough food for 6 nutritious meals. This program helps fill the gap when children aren’t receiving meals at school and the backpack helps camouflage that the child is receiving food.The child returns the backpack on Monday and receives it filled again on Friday.

It was was our task on Monday to fill backpacks.

Helping stuff backpacks that night were bloggers from:

Big Shot Dot the I

CLE Creativity +

Cooker Girl

Eat*Drink*Cleveland

@jobjr

Lane Baldwin Photography

Life Lyn Style

Poise in Parma (read her recap here)

ROJ Running

Smitten…in Cleveland

Each backpack insert bag received 2 cans of corn, 2 cans of Spaghetti-O’s, 1 can of beef stew, 1 can of chili, 2 juice-boxes of milk, 2 individual cereals, 2 bags of animal crackers, and 2 individual applesauce.

As we made our way along filling our bags, I felt happy to be helping such a worthwhile program, but also sad that so many children need this food just to make it through a weekend. The BackPacks for Kids Program has grown to serve nearly 2,300 children.

I wanted to extend the help beyond just Monday night and you can help too. So, here are two ways to help out the Cleveland Foodbank:

1. Attend the upcoming Market at the Foodbank fundraiser on Sunday, April 22. Tickets are $75 if you purchase during the month of March. There will be 50 restaurants and bars serving up food and drink, live entertainment, and a silent auction, all to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank.

2. Leave a comment on this post. Yup, it’s that simple. Inspired by Green Dog Wine‘s “Comments for Cans” last year, for every comment left on this post from now until Sunday, March 18 at 11:59pm, I will donate one item off the BackPacks for Kids “needed items” list to the Cleveland Foodbank.

Together we can help make a difference for hungry kids!

Why? Weekends!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Congratulations to Cleveland’s a Plum and all the bloggers advancing in the Cleveland Magazine Nothin’ but Net bracket. I was honored to be in Round 1 and thank everyone who voted for me. Keep voting for the great bloggers in Round 2 this week by clicking here.***

What a great weekend, CLE! And after Sunday’s weather, it really feels like spring is just around the corner.

On Friday night, CLEguy and I went to see poor little Lulu at the Cleveland Pubic Theatre. Before the show, we decided to grab dinner at Light Bistro. Somehow in this city filled with fantastic restaurants, I had missed Light Bistro, which just celebrated its 5th anniversary in Ohio City. I heard the restaurant had a fabulous happy hour, so we snagged a table in the bar and ordered up some $5 martinis.

I look angry at the martinis for some reason...but they were super yummy!

Not just the martinis are $5 during happy hour, but all food on the bar menu is too! We selected the parmesan frites, the fish tacos, and the pesto flatbread.

Everything was delicious! The fish tacos had a wonderful, fresh taste, with plenty of crunch to add texture to the fish and tortilla. The parmesan frites and the flatbread were both perfect. It was a great meal and a great deal. We’ll definitely be back, not just for happy hour, but to try lots of other tasty treats off the menu.

From there, it was off to Cleveland Public Theatre.

Val Kozlenko and Katie Nabors - Photo Credit Steve Wagner

poor little Lulu is an interesting, sometimes hilarious, sometimes dark, and always quirky look into romantic relationships. According to the director’s and producer’s notes, the set was kept relatively bare to keep the attention on the actors. The play is absurdest art and the actors did a wonderful job keeping our attention and interest and not breaking character even as the audience roared with laughter.

Katie Nabors and Mark Farr - Photo Credit Steve Wagner

It was great to see a performance in an intimate theater, where you can really appreciate the actors and really focus on the show. After the show, there was an opening night reception, with pizza and beer and a chance to mingle with the cast.

poor little Lulu runs through March 24 and tickets range from $10-$25. Definitely check out one of the most interesting performances going on in CLE right now!

Saturday evening, we headed to Firehouse Grille and Pub to celebrate my friend Erin’s 30th birthday.

Cheers to the birthday girl!

Firehouse Grille is a great spot, with pool tables, a DJ, and a great outdoor patio in the summer. The food is standard pub fare, but really good…I highly recommend their wings! It was fun to catch up with college friends and welcome another member of the 30 Club.

Sunday was spent enjoying the gorgeous weather and getting stuff done around the house and yard…a great way to end a great weekend! Did you get out and enjoy the fabulous weather? What new answers to Why CLE did you discover this weekend?

***Disclosure: I was asked by Cleveland Public Theatre to help promote poor little Lulu. In exchange, I received 2 tickets to the opening night performance. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Why? Upcoming Events!

***A bit of blogkeeping: Voting in the first round of Cleveland Magazine’s Nothin’ But Net blogger brackets continues through this evening. Check out all the fabulous nominated bloggers, including yours truly, and cast your vote here.***

As we make our way toward spring, there’s lots of great upcoming events in CLE to get you out of hibernation!

On Sunday, March 11, it’s not just about the wine as Miss WineOH will be hosting a beer and cupcakes pairing adventure at Market Garden Brewery. $30 gets you 6 mini cupcakes paired with 6 of Market Garden’s carft brews. Tasting starts at 3pm and will last about 2 hours.  Click here to purchase tickets.

Image Source - misswineoh.com

On Thursday, March 15, Beachland Ballroom hosts the fun and energetic bluegrass-punk band Larry and His Flask as special guest for the Reverand Horton Heat concert. Tickets are only $20.

Image Source - beachlandballroom.com

Saturday, March 17 is one of CLE’s favorite holidays: St. Patrick’s Day! This year’s parade through downtown CLE is anticipated to be the largest in the 145-year history of the parade, with over 16,000 marchers! The parade steps off at 1pm.

Image Source - cleveland.com

While you’re in the neighborhood for the parade, head on over to either The Greenhouse Tavern or Noodlecat. Both restaurants will be serving whiskey, Victory Brewing Co. beer, street food, and GHT will have a 3-course Irish lunch menu. Greenhouse Tavern will also be hosting a VIP rooftop party: the best spot in CLE to watch the St. Patty’s Day madness. Tickets are $50 and get you rooftop access from 10am-6pm. Click here to purchase.

On Monday, March 19, some of Cleveland’s finest chefs are putting on two simulataneous events to raise money for the victims and families affected by the shooting at Chardon High School. Dinner in the Dark is hosting its event at AMP 150, with tasting tables so that even more chefs can participate. Tickets are $81.57 and can be purchased here.

Image Source - newsnet5.com

That same evening, Cleveland Chefs for Chardon will be held at Flour. These tickets are sold out, but I am mentioning the event to raise awareness of the generosity of our Cleveland culinary community. If you click on the link above, you can check out a list of participating chefs.

On Wednesday, March 21, cleveland.com and United Way are co-hosting a tweet-up at House of Blues. There will be drink and appetizer specials, giveaways, and a chance to put your Twitter handle on cleveland.com’s GuitarMania guitar. For more information, click here.

Image Source - cleveland.com

Which upcoming events are you most looking forward to as we head toward spring in CLE?