To say it has been a long, foodie filled weekend could be an understatement. I ended the semester of school on Friday after having probably the longest ones I’ve had in my life, I got an A on a presentation talking about Whole Foods’ dairy-free milk (no joke) and took a 7 hour bus home since the last time I spoke to you all. In addition, I saw my best friend from grade school, discovered a new barre class and got some of my favorite vegan coconut milk-based froyo. So far, it sounds like these next two weeks of my winter vacation are off to a good start.
Today I’m going to share my favorite bites from this weekend in Cleveland and the beginning of my long awaited winter break from school. Now that I’m pretty much officially living in Chicago, I only come home to Cleveland 2x a year. This city is constantly evolving and all of my favorite restaurants are here. When people ask me for a spot-on vegetarian or vegan joint in Chicago, I never can think of an answer right away. Whereas in Cleveland, there is a plethora of options. Always.
Yesterday for brunch, my aunt and I ventured out to the best part of the city… the west side. If you’re Cleveland born and raised, you know how big of a deal Ohio City is and how West 25th is booming with business thanks to Great Lakes Brewery and my favorite restaurant for the past 2 years: TownHall. I first came here when I was a freshman in college and every weekend it is completely packed. With an extensive beer list and a menu that focuses on balance, wellness and priding itself in being America’s first non-gmo restaurant. They say it on their website even, “you have the right to know” what’s in your food. I agree TownHall and that is why I love you.
In the summer of last year, they created a vegan menu for Monday nights and it was the first restaurant outting I ever did as a blogger. To read more about it, head over here. My best friend and I are headed there again tonight to try out the new additions and I cannot WAIT.
But their brunch was what I face planted into yesterday after a killer workout.
Here’s a little selfie of my aunt and I as I waited for my food and told her the story behind Townhall and why I love their focus on local ingredients and organic products. She never notices when I take selfies of us… or Snapchats. She thinks it’s called “Flapchat” anyways.
While I waited for my acai bowl covered in grain-free granola, cacao nibs, coconut shavings and berries (swoon) and avocado toast, I spotted their non-gmo and organic sodas made with organic cane sugar, fruits, herbs and spices. Although I didn’t get any, this is such a great alternative for those who are still soda/pop lovers but have NO high fructose corn syrup. I thought this was the coolest thing. And although my acai bowl was not thick (no restaurant in the midwest can seem to get this together…), it was extremely filling and spoonable. I’d get it again and again.
I can’t wait to try their vegan sweet potato and cashew tacos tonight and tell you the verdict. Oh man.
Whenever I’m with my aunt I think we drive all over the Cleveland area going from shop to shop but since I come here only 14-21 days out of the year, I want to do every single thing in a short span of time. We stopped in my favorite plant-based neighborhood café, The Root, which I’ve blogged about endlessly. Tempeh, marinara sauce, some sort of magical pesto and spinach on a whole wheat crust. I die every. single. time.
Next up, I made my aunt pop into Harness Cycle with me to check it out and I really hope I can take a class before I leave and head back to Chicago. Their studio is in the center of Ohio City in a small (so small it’s about a block long) neighborhood called Hingetown. Their class prices are half of what you would see at Soul Cycle or anything in Chicago which automatically gives me all sorts of feels. They have a shirt I put on my Christmas wishlist that says “Cleveland is my Om”. Good quality gift right there.
We ventured into a new coffee shop called Rising Star Coffee Roasters that has a few locations in Cleveland just to browse for Christmas gifts. I laid eyes on this vegan pumpkin bread with a maple rum glaze and never looked back… but I think I might look back because I need to come in again and buy the whole loaf. They offer tons of gifts including t-shirts designed in house, fresh baked goods and homemade almond milk made from a guy down the street who makes it in his own house. TOO cool.
As if I didn’t pack enough into one Sunday and weekend in general, I began it all with getting my butt kicked by barre3.
I can say 2015 was the year I got into barre. I tried my first barre class ever last year but did a whole month at Pure Barre in January followed by ClassPass in February where I ended up taking barre classes at The Daily Method, The Barre Code, Exhale Spa and of course… the beloved Bar Method. But for the past few months, I’ve been hearing amazing things about barre3. Since I love finding new workouts when I’m home and knew that barre3 had just opened nearby, I took a class yesterday with the owner, Liz, and almost died.
Safe to say I’m extremely sore today and I did not expect it to be so cardio heavy but it was such a nice change from my regular Bar classes. If you’ve got a barre3 near you I strongly recommend it, especially if you love squats just as much as I do.
Be on the lookout for more Cleveland foodie filled posts this and next week!