Friday, September 15, 2017

L'Amour du Vin Giveaway

Fall is fundraiser season and I am extremely excited to attend one that I have never been to before. L'Amour du Vin features wines from around the world and cuisine from delicious Cleveland area restaurants. 

In addition, there will be exciting raffles, a unique silent auction and exclusive VIP Lounge with specialty cocktails. All proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation’s mission to conquer and cure arthritis. 
This annual fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation is celebrating their 20th year! And thanks to their generosity, you can win a pair of tickets and join in the fun.

Sept 27th 

Avon Oaks Country Club
32300 Detroit Road
Avon, OH 44011

Tickets are on sale now online. If you upgrade to The VIP experience, you'll also get delicious tastings from Bonefish Grill, high-end wines from Heidelberg Distributing Company, specialty cocktails from Brown-Forman and chair massages compliments of EXHALE: The Spa. I don't know about you, but a massage and some win sound like heaven!

Guests will enjoy these great restaurants and wine, and get the chance to bid on auction items.

2017 Participating Restaurants
Ahern Catering | Blind Perch | Bistro 83 | Bomba Tacos & Rum | Bonefish Grill*
Café Piccolo | Heck's Café Avon | Kiedrowski's Simply Delicious Bakery
Luca West | Market, Rocky River | Melt Bar and Grilled | Texas de Brazil | Wine Bar, Rocky River
Parker's Grille & Tavern/Parker's Downtown | Wood & Wine | Yard House
If you are feeling lucky and would like to win a pair of tickets, enter using the Rafflecopter below. Contest end Saturday Sept. 23rd. Good luck!

Find out more at the event on Facebook.

** Disclosure: In exchange for helping to promote this event, I was given two tickets to giveaway and two for my own use. As always, all thoughts and ideas are my own. **

Saturday, September 9, 2017

2017 Taste of the Browns Giveaway

Everybody in Cleveland eagerly awaits fall for many reasons. One of the biggest is the return of football! My first love is baseball but there is something about football season that is just plain FUN. Maybe it's the tailgating. Or maybe it's one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, Taste of the Browns. Last year they raised more than $226,000 and distributed more than 904,000 meals!
Cleveland Browns and Greater Cleveland Food Bank Taste of the Browns 2017
Photo Credit
This annual fundraiser for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank is packed with amazing food, great auction items (like Joe Thomas' Favorite Things package, chef tastings, and a Terminal Tower party!), tasty beverages and best of all, Cleveland Browns football players both past and present. You'll be able to mingle with Joe Thomas, Josh Cribbs and other Browns favorites with nibbling and sipping in the Club Lounge at First Energy Stadium.

Browns players, Cleveland, Taste of the Browns
The list of participating restaurants is long, but some of the ones I'm most excited about are Amp150, Blue Point, Edwins, Lago, Luca and Humble Wine Bar.

Taste of the Browns, Browns mascot, Chomps
When you purchase a ticket to Taste of the Browns, you help ensure that everyone in our community has the nutritious food they need every day. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is a wonderful organization that not only helps the hungry in our area, but also reaches out to people hit hardest by natural disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. For every dollar donated, they are able to provide four meals! Think of all the people you can help feed by attending this event.

Even if you can't attend you can help tackle hunger by bidding on items or making a donation.

You can also try to get lucky and win tickets here! I have two general admission tickets to give away to one lucky reader! Complete any or all of the entries using the Rafflecopter below. You can also head over to Instagram for another chance to win (look for the Taste of the Browns logo). Winner will be chosen randomly on Thursday at noon.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cleveland Browns, football, autograph

You can follow The Greater Cleveland Food Bank on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

** Disclosure: I was given two tickets to giveaway to a reader and two tickets for my own use in exchange for helping promote this event. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. **

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Jet Away to Put-in-Bay! Late Summer Edition

Now that the kiddos are back in school and Labor Day is right around the corner, you may be thinking that summer is over. Fall isn't officially here until the end of September and you still have a lot of time to squeeze in some more summer fun. Why wait 'til next year? If you're thinking of an island escape, take advantage of the great weather, cheaper hotel rates and smaller crowds and jet away to Put-in-Bay.
One of the things on our Summer Must Do list was to visit the Lake Erie Islands. We hadn't been there in six years (crazy I know!), and we've been longing for a return visit.
Put in Bay, boats, Lake Erie
Jet Express contacted me to see if I wanted to try out their Put-in-Bay Kayaks and Caves Adventure Deal and we jumped at the chance to Seize the Daytrip. 
Jet Express, ferry, Put in Bay, Lake Erie Islands ferry
We headed to Port Clinton and headed to the Jet Express. They had our tickets waiting for us as well as a blogger swag bag with cool sunglasses that change color in the sun and t-shirts. I definitely recommend buying your tickets ahead of time because they sell out, especially on the weekends. And if you want to get outside seats, make sure to get in line early. They are first come first served.

The boat ride was super fast and really comfortable. In no time we were pulling into the downtown dock on Put-in-Bay. They drop you off right in the middle of town so you can start having fun as soon as you hit land.
Our first stop was to The Boardwalk to their famous lobster bisque. It's a PIB Must Do for sure! If you are doing the Kayaks and Caves Adventure Deal, make sure you head upstairs to The Upper Deck Boardwalk because the included coupon isn't good downstairs.
Boardwalk Put in Bay, Lobster Bisque, best eats on PIB
We knew we had a fun day ahead to we fueled up on burgers, bisque and Bloodys and headed over to get our bikes. Deal alert: They have a Bloody Mary bar from 10am to noon for $10. 
Put in Bay restaurants, seafood, lobster bisque, bloody mary bar
When we got to the bike rental, we learned an important lesson - get your bikes early, especially if it's a Saturday. Luckily we scored the last two bikes and were on our way.

We had a gorgeous day and rode all over the island. When we got hot, we toured the caves and made a pit stop at Heineman Winery. Even if you aren't a wine drinker, the Wine Garden is a great place to relax. It's not fancy, the wine is drinkable and they sell cheese plates. Plus, their grape juice is really refreshing and tasty! We learned that Crystal Cave is the world's largest geode - pretty cool!

Across the street is Perry's Cave Family Fun Center. It's a fun place to take the kids because in addition to the cave, there is also put-put golf, gemstone mining, a rock wall, and more. We went on the tour of the cave which includes an underground lake, an old well and tiny stalagmites and stalactites.
Our favorite part of the Family Fun Center was the Butterfly House. It was well worth the $8 per person to be surrounded by butterflies.
Our next stop was the kayak rental, but we chickened out. It was pretty choppy on the lake and we aren't the best kayakers. Nobody else was kayaking either so we figured our instincts were right. We would definitely like to go back and paddle around next time.
The bike ride made us thirsty, so we headed to the Put-in-Bay Brewery & Distillery. We tried a flight and had some nachos. Loved the wooden PIB shaped flight holder!
Put in Bay, craft beer, Strawberry Basil Wheat beer
The strawberry basil wheat was our favorite. The others were drinkable but could have used more flavor. We were hoping to try the Pass Out Bourbon Stout and the Ole Cotton Top Irish Red but they are seasonal brews.

As we were sipping and noshing, we found out my husband's cousin was on PIB for his bachelor bash, so we hopped on a taxi and crashed the party! We didn't want to cramp their style so we just hung out with them until they hit the bars.
Chris' bachelor party on PIB
By then it was time for us to catch our ferry and head home. The Jet Express offers late night service so we were able to pack in a ton of fun on our visit. We were both sad the day was ending, but are looking forward to visiting again soon!
Jet Express, Lake Erie Islands, ferry, Port Clinton ferry
A late summer or fall visit has a lot to offer ~ it's my favorite time to visit. There are all kinds of events going on in late summer and fall. Besides smaller crowds, cheaper hotel rates and the weather being perfect, here's five more reasons for you to visit now:

1. For all you country music fans - grab a lawn chair and your favorite cowboy boots and head to Bash on the Bay with Toby Keith August 31st at the PIB airport. 

2. For the history buff, you don't want to miss Perry's Victory Heritage Weekend on Sept. 8 - 10th. It's the 204th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie. When we were there we watched a rifle demonstration. It's really interesting to think how important Lake Erie was in the War of 1812.
War of 1812 Soldiers, Put in Bay, Battle of Lake Erie
3. If Kelleys Island is more your speed, you can take the Jet Express on Sept.9th for Treasure Island Day - an island-wide yard sale.

4. Did you know that the Jet Express also has a Cedar Point route? You can Jet over to Cedar Point and check out the Last Blast of Summer & Food Truck Wars

5. And while it's not taking place ON the island, I highly recommend the Perch, Peach, Pierogi and Polka Festival in Port Clinton on Labor Day weekend. You can fuel up, take some free polka lessons, then head to Put-in-Bay for the day.
The Rum Republic, End of Route 1, Put in Bay to Key West
We had a ton of fun, and we didn't even end up here!
jail cell on Put in Bay
If you want to take advantage of the Kayaks and Caves Adventure Deal, the price is $150 and includes:
  • 2 round-trip adult Jet Express tickets (from Port Clinton)
  • Bike rental for 2
  • Kayak rental for 2
  • $25 gift certificate for Mossbacks or The Upper Deck Boardwalk
  • Crystal Cave tour for 2
  • Perry’s Cave tour for 2
  • 2 Heineman Winery tours plus tastings
  • Over $100 savings in exclusive coupons
The ferry tickets alone are $33 each so it's a great deal!

Follow Jet Express on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

* Disclosure: Thank you to Jet Express for partnering with me on this post.
As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. *

Friday, August 11, 2017

Ride RTA Giveaway

This summer is flying by! There are so many fun things happening around #CLE and I’ve been doing my best to take advantage of as many as possible.

Events are fun. Trying to get there is not. One of my favorite ways to skip the traffic and avoid the outrageous parking fees is to ride the Greater Cleveland RTA. The Rapid is my favorite because it's so much fun. But even if you aren’t close to a Rapid stop, the RTA busses have stops practically everywhere, are really convenient and help you start having fun sooner.

Did you know that RTA has an app to make riding even easier? After downloading the app, you can PLAN, BUY and RIDE using your smartphone. No more fumbling for exact change or standing in line at the ticket vending machines!

And when you use the app, you can even SAVE. If you show your RTA pass at one of their partners, you get all kinds of deals and can enter to win prizes. For example, $2 of admission to the Zoo, $1 off hot dogs at Happy Dog and 25% off one pastry or coffee/tea at Blackbird Bakery.
We rode RTA to the Indians game last week and it was SO easy! We got to sit back and relax during the ride and hopped off right by the stadium. 
If you visit the RTA street team's station in right field on a Friday or Saturday, you can win T-shirts and other prizes. Our game was on a Thursday so I'm borrowing a photo from the RTA Instagram page to show you where to go: 
But the best part: not having to fight traffic on the way home. We walked to the station and let RTA do the rest.
If you haven't taken advantage of RTA, what are you waiting for! After you see how easy it is, you'll be saying #IGORTA!

Enter to win a monthly RTA pass so you can try it for yourself and you'll also get two Indians tickets. Enter below using the Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Greater Cleveland RTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #IgoRTA to share how all the places that RTA takes you!

** Disclosure: I was provided Indians tickets and monthly RTA passes for my personal use and to giveaway to a reader in exchange for sharing my opinions with you.  As always, all thoughts are my own. **

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ohio State Fair Giveaway - 2017

Are you looking for a great roadtrip this summer? The 164th Ohio State Fair runs from July 26 to August 6th and is full of unique, fun activities and delicious food.

Enjoy a variety of activities including sporting competitions, a fine arts show, free stages with kids’ entertainment, a farm animal delivery room, a petting zoo, helicopter rides, roving performers, agricultural competitions, horse shows, a natural resources park and much more! They have a lot of new things planned this year.

The Mountain Dew Midway features more than 60 exhilarating rides, while Meijer Kiddieland is home to rides geared toward parents riding with small children.

Fair food is SO good and the Ohio State Fair has more vendors than any other fair or festival - nearly 200! To help you find all your favorites, they even have a Food Finder.

The Sloppy Donut BBQ Sandwich On A Donut With Fried Pickle Chips is calling my name. Cereal & milk ice cream, deep fried tacos and Tatchoes (tator tots meet nachos) are some of the fun new food that will be available. Food on a stick is a must and they have just about everything imaginable including a pork chop on a stick! Another favorite of mine is the roasted corn. They even have deep fried bacon-wrapped buckeyes. 
Columbus is a short drive from the Cleveland area and the Ohio State Fair is the perfect excuse to make the trip. 

I'll even help you get there - you can win four tickets by entering here or on Instagram. 

1. Comment on this post either here or on Facebook telling me your favorite memory at the Ohio State Fair or your favorite fair food.

2. Like Eat*Drink*Cleveland and The Ohio State Fair on Facebook. Leave a comment telling me that you did.

3. Follow @OhioStateFair and @EatDrinkCLE and Tweet the following: 

I want to take a road trip to the @OhioStateFair with @EatDrinkCLE. You can enter here too #win #giveaway

4. Head over to Instagram. Like, follow and tag 3 people you would like to take with you.

Make sure you include a way to contact you in case you win. Winner will pick up their tickets at the Fair.

Winner will be randomly selected and the winner notificed July 26th.

Good luck!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Summer Duos at Bonefish Grill

Lucy & Ethel or Batman & Robin? Bert & Ernie or Kermit & Miss Piggy? Hans Solo & Chewbacca? Not everyone chooses the same all-time favorite pair, but when it comes to dining duos, Bonefish Grill is pairing top tastes for a special summer menu. Hurry up because this special menu ends July 23rd!
surf and turf, lobster tail and steak, cleveland restaurants, bonefish
Proving that good things come in twos, the Summer Duos menu features these delicious combos:

- Cod Piccata & Lobster Stuffed Shrimp (yum!!)

- Wood Grilled Center-Cut 8 oz. Sirloin & Cold Water Lobster Tail

- Cod Piccata & Cold Water Lobster Tail

- Filet Mignon & Cold Water Lobster Tail

cod piccata, lobster stuffed shrimp, surf and turf, bonefish, cleveland seafood restaurant
Each duo comes with your choice of two sides. The mashed sweet potatoes and truffled mac and cheese are two of my favorites.

In addition to the featured duos, they also have a selection of seasonal choices that capture the summer vibe.

I couldn't resist the Caribbean Style Dayboat Scallops: sushi-grade caramelized scallops served with fresh pineapple salsa and vanilla bean rum butter, served with green beans and jasmine rice. I could have eaten a bowl of the pineapple salsa! 
pineapple salsa, scallops, jasmine rice, Bonefish Grill
My second choice was the Dynamite-Style Wild Salmon: wood-grilled wild Sockeye Salmon topped with dynamite aioli and feta cheese, served with a summer blend of golden gnocchi, tomatoes, spinach and fresh-shucked corn. I WILL be going back to try this one!
gnocchi, corn salad, wild salmon
My hubby selected wood-fired Atlantic salmon from their regular menu with the lime, tomato and garlic sauce. The flavor of the wood-fired grill really made this dish shine.
salmon, wood fired fish, grilled fish
In addition to these mains, you can cast off with a Fresh Ceviche appetizer and dock with Summer Berry Bread Pudding, a house-made brioche bread pudding infused with Grand Marnier and orange zest, served with fresh summer berries, ice cream, whipped cream and salted caramel sauce. No way will you be leaving hungry!

We each had a house salad and loved the combo of kalamata olives and hearts of palm - delicious!
hearts of palm, salad, olives
Because I'm obsessed with watermelon, I had to try the fresh Watermelon Martini: hand-muddled watermelon, house-infused English cucumber and Fris vodka infusion and fresh sourmix, garnished with a frozen watermelon cube. I loved the frozen chunk of fruit - it kept the drink cold 'til the last drop, but it lacked that really fresh watermelon flavor I was hoping for.
summer cocktails, watermelon martini, blue drink, sparkling wine cocktail
I was tempted to try the Sparkling Blue Hawaiian: a bright and breezy tropical drink made with rum, Blue Curacao liqueur, Coco Lopez and fresh pineapple juice, topped with prosecco.
summer duos menu, cocktails, watermelon, watermelon ice cube
But instead I tried the Cucumber Margarita and wow - this was a taste sensation! It's officially a Must Do - but be warned, they go down way too easy. It's made with Patrón Silver, fresh lime and English cucumber, topped with a hint of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and rimmed with salt & pepper for a perfect finish. I found this recipe online and plan to tweek it to try to duplicate it at home. 
Patron, cucumber infused tequila, St. Germaine, summer cocktails, margarita recipe
I discovered that they serve Endless Bubbles Brunch. Um, yes please! They also have nice Happy Hour.
summer menu, seafood, cleveland seafood restaurant, cucumber margarita, watermelon martini
We had a great time and really enjoyed exploring the seasonal menu at Bonefish. While they treated us to dinner (Thanks Bonefish!), all opinions expressed are my own. We also purchased our own cocktails.