Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Eat, Drink, and Shop Local in the 216

I love the city of Cleveland.  I've lived in the area my entire life, and besides for the 4 years that I was in college and the 2 years after when I was a temporary east sider, I have lived in the West Park neighborhood.

First with my parents growing up.  Then, after college when it came time to buy a house, I knew right away that I would be headed back to my old neighborhood.  A little over two years ago, I bought my own little house in Cleveland, and despite some headaches that come with homeownership, I have loved almost every minute of it.

The reason for this post is partly because I love the city and want to blog about some of the amazing local places to eat, drink, and shop, and partly because I would love to win a contest that is being put on by Chef's Widow, who also loves to shop local.

Check out her contest here.  It is awesome and I am trying my absolute best to win it!

I have to confess, I probably don't shop local as much as I could, but I sure love to eat and drink local.

Last week Ben and I went out to eat three times, all at local restaurants.

On Tuesday we visited Crop Bistro where we are never disappointed.  The drinks are delicious and the food is oh so yummy.  We have met and talked with Chef Steve Schimoler and he was so fun.  He loves to talk food and drink, like any chef would, but was so inviting and kind.  Each experience we have had was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

I also dined with my girlfriends at SOHO and although it is a new place, we had a great time.  The food was good, the atmosphere was fun, and the service was great.  So far this seems like another great place to add to Ohio City.

I had Saturday night off thanks to Morganne who picked up my shift and Ben only had to serve so he was done with work early.  This does not happen very often so we headed to Dante where we knew we could enjoy some tasty late night food and a quiet drink.  The food and service here have always been wonderful and if it were up to me, I would buy everyone I know gift certificates here for the holidays.

Of course I brunched last week at Market Garden Brewery.  I took two friends their for the first time and we had lots of fun eating and drinking and trying not to watch the Browns too closely.  That was just too painful and there is never any reason to ruin a good brunch.

These are only a few of the delicious local places to eat and drink.  I love frequenting local restaurants and taking new friends and family there.  It is so important to Ben and I to enjoy fresh local foods and we know we can do this at so many local Cleveland restaurants.

Another way to shop local is to visit a locally owned hair salon.  I see Nikki at Bixels  in Mentor.  When you walk in the door you are greeted like a friend, not just a client.  The owner is always there chatting with customers and making you feel welcome.  It is an awesome little salon that has been open for just over a year.

Banyan Tree is a local Tremont shop that has great gifts, for your family and friends (and even for yourself!)  I especially love the earrings they carry.  I have more pairs than necessary but love them!

One last way to shop local is to visit the Etsy shops of local artists/craft creaters.  Two shops that I like to tell people about are Joyful Star which is run by Ashley who has an awesome blog, and ohh my posh which my cousin just started about a month ago.  This is a great way to support local shop owners, in a little bit of a different way.

I hope you will buy at least one local item this holiday season, even if it is just going to a local restaurant instead of a big chain.  Try something new, have fun, and support your city!

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