Nuevo Mod Mex Livens up the Lakefront

nuevo mod mex

It seems like all the new restaurants and bars in Cleveland come with a view. First you had Coastal Taco with their prime location on the Cuyahoga, then Bar 32 with aerial lake views and now you have Nuevo Modern Mexican sandwiched between Lake Erie and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. How could you possibly go wrong with a location like that?

Kelly Nuevo Mod Mex

Nuevo Mod Mex is the perfect mix of tasty Mexican dishes and drinks, city skyline and lake views. If their set-up wasn’t good enough, three volleyball courts were added to the north of the restaurant where Hermes runs an ongoing league. That’s just pure genius if you ask me.

Interior

The restaurant decor is clean and modern. There is no shortage of natural light, with windows taking up every wall. You also have the option of staying inside or lounging on one of the plentiful patio seats. The restaurant is two floors, with the superior views definitely coming from the patio seating on the second floor.

View From Mod

Trying to figure out whether or not they deserve a try? I’ve already been there twice and this is what I’ve experienced.

  • The views are insanely good and the vibe is chill.
  • Their service isn’t terrible, but it still needs to be tweaked. We went for lunch and it took two hours from start to finish!
  • Their food is pretty darn tasty. It’s definitely one of the better Mexican options downtown.
  • The sides could use some extra flavor. While the main meals are good, I’m thinking that the rice and beans lack any real seasoning and they are a bit dry.
  • The margaritas are AMAZING. They are the best thing about the restaurant hands down. Try the watermelon one and you will not be disappointed. Tip: Order the flight for 3 different margaritas ($15). Choose your own speciality salt/sugar rim too!
  • As an added bonus you can check out the “Cleveland” sign while you’re down at Voinovich Park and take the obligatory tourist shot of the city skyline.

Margaritas

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Have You Visited Ohio City’s Plum Cafe Yet?

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If you’re looking for a charming place to catch up with friends, or write your next blog post like me, I’ve discovered the perfect place. The Plum Cafe & Kitchen in Ohio City has the perfect mix of coziness and trendiness to make you want to camp out and stay awhile. The space is surprisingly large and airy, with a sizable patio in the back for when the weather gets warmer.

You won’t find a large menu for breakfast, just pour over coffee and pastries. The coffee is divine and the coffee beans are supplied by local coffee shop, Phoenix Coffee. I was only sitting at the counter for five minutes and I was ready to stay all day and drink copious amounts of fantastic coffee.

For those of you that are looking for a bite to eat, I’d recommend stopping into The Plum before or after your breakfast plans (Jack Flaps and Nick’s Diner are both within a block) and have your “morning cap” with a cup of Jo. In addition, they offer sandwiches and salads at lunchtime and future plans include offering simple dinner entrees. For now you can swing in and grab a beer or mixed drink from their bar.

Have I mentioned yet that I LOVE the decor at The Plum? I’m not going to lie, if a restaurant or bar doesn’t have a great vibe, there is little chance that I am going to make the effort to go back. Especially in a city like Cleveland where the competition is fierce. The Plum has a mix of exposed brick and subway tiles by the bar area, stark white walls in the back seating area and another wall covered in plums. You can even catch the game as they have several televisions, a retro couch for lounging and a pinball machine.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to check out The Plum Cafe & Kitchen. Have you visited already? Do you agree with my review? Leave your comments below!
Pour Over

Spring Ushers in a New Wave of Restaurants & Bars

 

OPENING

I think it is safe to say that spring is officially here to stay. And with the coming of spring, it seems we’ve had an abundance of new restaurants and bars opening too. I’m continually blown away by how many food/drink options we have in this fabulous foodie town.

I am so excited to welcome some of these new bars and restaurants to the Cleveland scene! Have you visited any of these places yet? Would you recommend?

Now Open

Mabel’s BBQ: After several delays and much anticipation, Michael Symon’s newest restaurant is finally open on East 4th Street. While I don’t expect to find many vegetarian options on the menu, I’ve heard that the food and vibe is great! Expect to make a few new friends when you stop in, as there is communal picnic table seating.

Wild Eagle Saloon: Tucked away on Huron Street, this new restaurant/bar/game/live entertainment venue is easily missed if you aren’t looking for it. A totally new concept to downtown, you load coin onto a card and dispense your own beer from over 20 selections. Plan on sticking around for awhile and playing one of the countless games in this 6,400 square foot space!

Lakewood Proper Pig: Apparently BBQ is on the menu for what Cleveland needs. Proper Pig got started in the food truck scene, but just opened up their first brick & mortar location in Lakewood right around the opening of Mabel’s.  Enjoy this Texas-style BBQ, located in the old Cleveland Pickle location in Lakewood.

Victory Alley: Before it became a modern sports bar on Bolivar Avenue, this space used to be occupied by Tops and Bottoms Gentleman’s Club. The opening of this space happened on Opening Day of the Cleveland Indians and features massive 15-foot HD projection screens, perfect for game viewing of any kind.

Opening Soon:

Coastal Taco: Located in the Flats East Bank, this two-story, free standing restaurant is nearing completion and will be open May 27th! From what I can see, the outdoor patio looks fantastic and offers unbeatable riverfront views.

Coastal Taco

Nuevo Modern Mexican: The much anticipated mod-mex restaurant on the East 9th Street Pier is well under way and is expected to be done by, you guessed it, the RNC. The floor to ceiling windows on this two-story restaurant are going to provide fabulous lake views and who doesn’t love a tasty Mexican restaurant? So happy that we’ll finally be taking advantage of the lakefront too!

Nuevo Mod Mex

Rascal Flatt’s Restaurant: Tentatively set to open this fall, this will be Rascal Flatts first restaurant and will occupy a staggering 10,000 square foot space in between On Air and Beerhead of the Flats East Bank complex. This venue will bring something to the city that has previously been lacking – live country music acts. More to come!

Saucy Brew Works: The soon to be newest addition to the Hingetown area of Ohio City, this restaurant will feature brews from the former Butcher & the Brewer and Taphouse brewmaster, Eric Anderson. A self-serve brewery and pizza place that employs pizza ovens with baking stone conveyor belts that bake pies in less than two minutes. We have some time to wait on this one as it won’t be open until early 2017.

Bloom Bakery is a Sweet Addition to Cleveland

Bloom Bakery

I have been waiting (impatiently I might add) for the opening of Bloom Bakery downtown. I have a wicked sweet tooth, so I’m always tracking down the next treat to satisfy my cravings. I was intrigued by the idea of a bakery opening up next door to a Starbucks, but after visiting I realize that they are so drastically different you can’t even compare the two.

About

If you’re not familiar with Bloom Bakery’s overarching mission, they’re a business with heart. All breads, pastries and meals are prepared by staff members on a pathway out of poverty. Bloom works with Towards Employment, a non-profit organization that has helped low-income and disadvantaged adults to prepare for, get and keep jobs.

“Creating jobs is our secret ingredient.” – Bloom Bakery

First Impressions

I LOVE the overall look and feel of Bloom. They have a surprisingly spacious lounge area that includes tables, couches and a gas fireplace. It’s definitely a place that I could see myself hanging out for an afternoon blogging or working on a project. The food was super fresh and looked great. I must admit that I didn’t sample any bakery on my first visit, but instead ordered the tuna salad ($7.95) on fresh baked wheat bread. All of the employees were all very sweet and genuine and seemed to be working hard to please. Did I mention that I love their logo?

As with any new business, there are still a few kinks to be worked out. There seemed to be a few too many “cooks in the kitchen” behind the bakery counter and their process for taking orders seemed a bit backwards. Despite any minor glitches, the staff  thanked us for our patience. I’m confident that once they’ve been up and running for a few weeks, those few issues will work themselves out.

Have you visited Bloom Bakery yet? If so, what do you think? Is there another bakery that Clevelanders need to be adding to their list of must-visit?

5 Best Downtown Cleveland Coffee Shops

I won’t even bother to deny the fact that I’m a coffee addict. I blame this partly on my complete lack of self-control and there happens to be a Starbucks right next door to where I work. While I love Starbucks for my grande nonfat raspberry cappuccino with one less pump of raspberry (a.k.a. The Kelly Cappuccino) and the fabulous staff that know my order by heart, there are so many other local coffee shops downtown that also top my list.

Coffee Cleveland

 

  1. ERIE ISLAND COFFEE CO: Typically this is my weekend coffee stop. Located right on the hopping East 4th Street, I’ll swing into Erie Island for an Ivory Mocha ($4.05) after my yoga class at the House of Blues. Paired with a tomato crush panini ($5.25), I’m in heaven and have also completely counterbalanced my workout in one fail swoop. Totally worth it! Plus, they have a cozy interior and spacious outdoor patio.
  2. THE COPPER MOON: This coffee shop is my newest favorite, nestled in the lobby of the Statler Arms on East 12th and Euclid. I sampled both the Raspberry White Mocha and the Maple Cinnamon Latte, both of which I would order again in a heart beat. I was shocked to find out that the coffee shop has been there for five years! How is it that I’m just finding out about this place now?
  3. POUR CLEVELAND: One of my favorite things about Pour is the decor and ambience. The trendy lighting and minimalist design is unique to the coffee shop setting of downtown Cleveland. While typically I enjoy a sugar filled specialty drink, here I opt for the traditional coffee that is you guessed it, roaster poured over into each cup. It’s one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever sampled.
  4. RISING STAR: New to the downtown scene (they have multiple other locations), this coffee shop is situated in one of my favorite buildings downtown – The Old Arcade. I was thrown the first time I went there due to the lack of sugary syrups that I typically like to add to my coffee. I ended up ordering the Cardamom Bomb ($4.05), where the milk is steamed with a brown sugar and cardamom mixture for flavor.
  5. PHOENIX COFFEE: Phoenix has a great space on East 9th Street. The couches invite you to stay awhile and enjoy the expertly brewed coffee. I usually stick with their lattes or cappuccinos, while adding a bit of vanilla syrup. This stop is fairly close to where I work, so it’s the perfect excuse to get some fresh air and a great specialty drink.
Where is your favorite coffee shop? Share suggestions in the comments section!

Cleveland Coffee Map

Your Cleveland Breakfast Choices Just Got Tastier

Everyone has their favorite breakfast spot (or they should). My husband and I have been obsessed with Grumpy’s in Tremont for years. They’ve come to know our faces and they serve one of the best standard breakfasts around. Perhaps we go back because they never snicker when my husband orders a side of pickles.

Eventually we decided that it was time to branch out and broaden our breakfast horizons. We still love Grumpy’s (it sounds like we’re breaking up with them, I know), we were just looking to spice up our Sunday mornings with something different. The decision was made then and there to try a new breakfast spot each weekend.

So, our culinary adventure began. For over a year, we’ve scoured the internet for the most interesting and highly recommended breakfast establishments in Cleveland. We keep an open mind and mouth for something delicious, and usually aren’t disappointed. At times we travel back to our Grumpy roots, but have discovered new favorites along the way.

This week we’re spotlighting an old flame alongside a new main squeeze.

Grumpy’s CafeWhat’s not to love about this bustling and artsy cafe? Friendliness, cleanliness and deliciousness top our list of restaurant requirements. Grumpy’s delivers on all fronts, and then some. Favorite bites include the mushroom and cheese omelet ($9), which comes with their legendary Cajun home fries and the pumpkin pancakes ($6-7). My man always gets the classic bacon, egg and cheese breakfast ($6.99) no matter where we go (he claims to need a basis for comparison). Make sure to arrive before 10 a.m. to avoid a crowd. If it’s packed, just grab a seat at the counter or simply wait it out for ten minutes. Either way, it’s worth it. If you’re craving a morning mimosa, it’s BYOB. 2621 West 14th Street, Cleveland

Grumpys

Shay’s RestaurantWe stumbled upon this gem a couple months ago and have been back several times. Located at the corner of St. Clair and W. 40th Street, Shay’s has a vintage vibe with historical charm due to the ornate, original ceilings. The inside is surprisingly roomy and has a reminiscent feel of Cleveland’s past.  Shay’s offers a large selection of inexpensive breakfast delights and serves some of the best coffee in the city. The Belgian waffles ($5.95) are divine and everything is served sizzling hot, as it should be. You’ll always encounter smiling faces and helpful servers at Shay’s. Shay’s is a must try for all Clevelanders. 4007 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland

Have a breakfast spot you think we need to add to the list? Leave a comment below!