Sandwiches & Shave Ice, Beer & Boba Tea (CLE Weekends, Pt. 5)

Tuesday, June 14, 2022



None of my recent weekends has been jam-packed enough for its own post, but little by little, we've been on some fun mini-adventures, almost all of them involving something delicious to eat or drink. I thought it might be time to round up a few of them.

What have you been up to? And if you live in Northeast Ohio, especially, can you recommend some good spots for me to check out? You know I'm always on the hunt!

Here's where we've been as of late. 

 

Beers from Brewdog

Brewdog is an international brewery with locations in Berlin, Oslo, Barcelona, Shanghai, & beyond, so it's surprising to me that so far, their only U.S. locations are in... Ohio? (Plus one in nearby Pittsburgh.) I don't know when it opened in The Flats, but we recently checked it out on a sunny weekend afternoon, & it was a good choice.

We all got flights, & I was pleased to find that I could get a fully gluten-free flight of ciders & seltzers. Their very large patio is right on the river, & their indoor seating area is spacious & vibey. I'd go back here any time! 

 

Boba tea from Mango Mango

Mango Mango Desserts is a chain, but this one, which recently opened in Asia Town, is the only location in Ohio. Its focus is sweet, Hong Kong-style soups & pastries, plus fun bubble tea flavors & other Asian sweets. The shop itself is really big, & it's nice enough to stay in to hang out with friends over desserts or to plug in your laptop to get some work done.

My friend Erin got taro bubble milk tea, while I went with the Oreo brulee bubble milk tea (very traditional, I know). Hot tip, courtesy of the cashier: Get your drinks 50% sweet; even then, they're still sweet! We also split the mozzarella ube cake, little cubes of purple potato-and-cheese goodness. Yum.

 

Upscale lunch from Heart of Gold

I met a coworker for lunch on a sunny weekday, & he suggested Heart of Gold, where I'd never been. It's located in the former home of the Plum (RIP), & in the kitchen is one of the chefs formerly of Greenhouse Tavern (also RIP). In other words, it's got a lot to live up to... & it does.

Believe me when I tell you  these fries are to die for. They're the crispiest waffle fries you've ever tasted, seasoned with everything-but-the-bagel seasoning? Maybe? Honestly, I don't care, because they're possibly the world's best fries. I also had  the aubergine baguette, which was perfectly summery & served on a Leavened baguette. 

  

Comfort food from Gunselman's Tavern

We hit up this local tavern for date night, & thought it seems like it should just serve standard bar fare, Gunselman's actually has a great menu — lots of cozy Eastern European classics. Think schnitzel, pierogi, kielbasa, etc., all done really well.

I got the chicken paprikash over spaetzel, which was divine. Mike went with the Philly cheesesteak, which came with killer onion rings. They have a small, chill patio that was perfect for a little one-on-one time together on a sunny day.

Hawaiian desserts from 808 Shave Ice

I first learned about 808 Shave Ice when I interviewed the owner for an issue of Cleveland Magazine. There was a Hawaiian shave ice place near my house when I was a kid, & my best friend & I would ride our bikes there for summer sweets. So when I learned about this spot, I couldn't wait to check it out.

 The portions are huge, which is fun because it's basically just a big old ball of sweetened snow! I ordered the Ohana, a mix of three flavors (blue Hawaiian, cotton candy, & pina colada) plus snow cap (sweetened condensed milk drizzled on top). The perfect warm-weather treat. 

Where have you been lately? I want to hear about your summer adventures!

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