Hey there! How was your weekend? I can’t not say something about all the sadness and craziness sweeping the South right now. If you’re there, sending you all the hugs and good vibes. Let me know if you need a hug or a listening ear. Always here for you.
Anyway, my mom and I took a quick little girls’ trip to Cleveland, which was so fun and completely delicious. Let’s recap!
Friday after my mom came home from work, we packed up and left pretty quickly. With a stop to stretch your legs, it ends up being a two-and-a-half hour drive from Columbus to Cleveland, so we got to the hotel a little after 5 and tried to figure out dinner. All the fancy places we considered magically didn’t appeal anymore. All upscale dishes that might usually sound incredible just sounded weird.
We ended up just downstairs at The Chocolate Bar because we’d heard good things about it and everything on the (giant) menu sounded great.
Except, frankly, chocolate martinis. I couldn’t fathom chocolatey alcoholic drinks, but the waitress sold them well and I figured that if I hated it, I didn’t have to finish it.
Ha. Ha. Ha.
I ordered the chocolate salted caramel martini and it was SO GOOD. And very vodka-y. Not too sweet, just rich enough, and perfectly sippable. My mom got the chocolate peanut butter one. Also fantastic, and kinda like a liquid, alcoholic buckeye. Which sounds weird, but totally works.
Since we knew dessert was a must, we went a little light on dinner… or so we thought. I ordered shrimp cocktail and sweet potato fries, which were both fantastic decisions. The cocktail sauce with the shrimp was insane. It wasn’t too sweet at all and was absolutely packed with horseradish. It burned my nose, but tasted so good I had to keep eating it. You understand.
And the sweet potato fries came with a chili-lime dipping sauce, maple dipping sauce, and melted dark chocolate, all of which were great. I demolished all that.
Then it was time for dessert, and we went for fondue. It was the same chocolate I dipped my sweet potato fries in, plus pineapple, strawberries, pretzels, Oreos, Nilla Wafers, marshmallows, and Rice Krispies Treats – totally perfect. Like, I don’t like Rice Krispies Treats, but they are magical when dipped in dark chocolate.
Anyway, we left dinner completely stuffed and chilled in our room for the rest of the evening.
The next morning, we ordered room service, which was surprisingly great. I got an egg white omelet with smoked salmon, goat cheese, mushrooms, peppers, and spinach.
Then, we headed over to West Side Market to look around at all things foodie. They had so much! We got tons of fresh fruit and some maple-laced mustards, and agreed to go back the next day to get my Dad some desserts.
We walked around the neighborhood a little bit and debated what to do for lunch, since we had a really late breakfast and planned an early dinner. The decision? Ice cream. We’re the pictures of health, obviously.
I’ve been to Cleveland a lot (my aunt’s family lives there), but we haven’t explored much, and I hadn’t been to Mitchell’s Ice Cream, which felt all kinds of wrong.
I had dark chocolate chunk and toasted pistachio ice creams, and my mom got the peanut butter chocolate chunk and the salted chocolate, and they were all sooo good. Creamy and rich and delicious.
My mom hurt her wrist, we were having some airline issues for my upcoming trip, and I wanted to chill a little bit before a late night, so we headed back to the hotel then.
When I flipped the TV to The Food Network, I figured that something I hate would be on. I was correct: Guy’s Grocery Games. I read a little and scrolled social media, and then discovered that it was some all-star version of this show, and it was pretty entertaining since I liked the chefs.
We hung out and watched for a bit while my mom iced her wrist, and then it was time for dinner. We walked back to the same area we’d been in before to go to Town Hall. It was about a half hour walk, and a beautiful day.
Dinner was so good. We shared chicken tinga food truck tacos, paleo baked chicken tenders with sweet potato chips, Parmesan truffle fries, and smashed avocado (basically guac with feta).
The tacos were amazing, I loved the chicken tenders, the sweet potato chips were perfect, the fries were average, and the avocado had too much feta for us. Overall, big win.
Dessert was almost a fail. The gluten-free, vegan brownie sundae was a no-go. These brownies were way better.
The brownie wasn’t warm or chocolatey enough, and I believe all brownie/cookie sundaes should be warm. So we had a few bites and then got the skillet cookie, which was utterly perfect. Sweet and hot and melty and so chocolatey.
After dessert, we walked back to the hotel to drop off our stuff, minus credit cards and room keys, and then walked over to the Q for the Ed Sheeran concert.
Guys guys guys. IT WAS AMAZING. To be fair, I’ve pretty much only been to country concerts, but it was easily – hands-down, no questions asked – the best concert I’ve been to. We also had killer seats, which was kind of a coincidence since my mom picked them without a lot of knowledge of the venue and simply prioritized aisle seats on the floor.
Favorite unexpected thing: after every single song, Ed (we’re obviously on a first name basis) says the most impressively surprised-sounding, “Thank you,” as if he can’t believe so many people are applauding him. It is probably intensely rehearsed, but it sounds so nice and humble. It was probably the loudest place I’ve ever been, and it was truly great.
At the same time as the concert, Ohio State was losing to Oklahoma, which was not great. At first, I was a little sad that the OSU game coincided with the concert (because, well, I love football), but I’m super happy that I got to see a fabulous concert instead of a blah football game.
Post-concert, we watched the last quarter of the football game and fell fast asleep.
Sunday morning, we went back to Town Hall for a late breakfast (basically brunch). My mom got a packed, delicious savory crepe and avocado toast. I got the Wakey Wakey with two poached eggs, super thick bacon, and a sweet buttermilk biscuit, plus avocado toast. We determined that we only really needed one piece of avocado toast, but both finished ours anyway. Hey, when they give you great sourdough topped with avocado, you should probably just eat it.
After that, we headed back to West Side Market to pick up cannoli and pumpkin cheesecake to take home, then drove to Edgewater Park to walk around for a bit since we had a long car ride home and some free time before we met my aunt and cousins for lunch.
Edgewater Park was gorgeous and almost reminded me of being in Chicago along Lake Michigan. Almost. Lake Michigan is about 100 times prettier than Lake Erie. Just true. There was a scary, hilly, tree-ridden bike ride happening there with the course roped off, but we got a half hour of walking by the lake in before lunch.
Then, we drove over to meet my aunt and cousins at Panera and caught up for a bit before they headed to sports and we headed home. Mason sadly informed me that he really doesn’t want me to move to Europe, and I assured him I’d be home for Christmas.
Guess he likes me or something.
And that was the weekend! I napped a little on the ride home, snacked a bunch when I got my appetite back, ate an egg sandwich made by my dad, walked my dog, and watched some One Tree Hill before bedding a little too late.
This week is about starting to prep for Europe. I’ll be there in less than TWO WEEKS. Crazy. Excited. I’ll keep you posted.A weekend in #cleveland, ft. @townhallohc, @chocolatebarcle, and Ed Sheeran. Click To Tweet
How was your weekend?
What’s your favorite body of water?