Fleeing to the Cleve: Part 1

August 20, 2013

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This past weekend I was invited to visit Cleveland with a group of bloggers by Cleveland’s tourism and travel board, Positively Cleveland. They put together a weekend itinerary that showed off many of the city’s attractions and restaurants. Our specific stops were determined through social media polls by Clevelanders. Using the hashtag #HappyinCLE, they decided where we would eat, which museums we would visit, and which sites we would see.

Prior to this trip, I had only passing knowledge of Cleveland. Over the 10+ years we’ve lived in Ohio, I had only visited the city for short day trips like an Indians game or a tour of Great Lakes Brewing Company. Columbus is full of Cleveland natives, so it was exciting to experience some of the things they have bragged about for so many years.

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The Positively Cleveland tour actually kicked off at noon on Friday, although I couldn’t join up until that evening. During the day, the bloggers had lunch at Noodlecat, went kayaking on Lake Erie, and enjoyed dinner at Happy Dog. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express downtown, renovated in recent years out of a bank building. The hotel room was perhaps the biggest I’ve ever stayed in, with tall, tall ceilings and polished wood floors. Once upon a time, this was some banker’s office. The hotel’s central location made it easy for exploring downtown Cleveland.

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We caught up with the group for dessert. The #HappyinCLE followers suggested the group hit up Sweet Moses in Gordon Square, a small neighborhood west of downtown that’s full of boutique shops, bars, restaurants, and galleries.

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Sweet Moses is an old-school soda shop, with homemade ice cream, shakes & malts, sundaes, and sodas.

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The space is handsomely decorated, with a lot of original equipment like mixers and cash registers, a big wooden bar, and marble countertops. There was a line running the entire length of the space.

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We tried a classic root beer float, with their homemade root beer and vanilla ice cream served in a frosty mug.

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Plus we tried the Mount Caramel signature sundae, with vanilla ice cream, pistachios, sprinkles, and caramel. Yes, it’s as delicious as it looks. Not a bad welcome to Cleveland.

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Just down the street from Sweet Moses stands the Cleveland Public Theatre, where the Weapons of Mass Creation fest was taking place. It just so happened that Mrs. Bfast w/Nick’s company Igloo Letterpress was a festival sponsor, so she was in town over the weekend as well!

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After ice cream at Sweet Moses, we strolled down the block to XYZ the Tavern (on the recommendation of one of our Positively Cleveland guides), where we enjoyed a couple beers and some pizza. The tavern is dark but comfortable, with wide doors opening onto a gated alley. It was just the right evening for sitting outside and enjoying a drink.

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Our group was fortunate to experience perfectly sunny weather the entire weekend. Here’s our good morning to Cleveland on Saturday.

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We strolled down the street to East Fourth Street, a pedestrian street lined with restaurants, bars, clubs, and shops.

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We hit up Erie Island Coffee Company for some iced chai and hot coffee.

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Their long space allows for plenty of spots for sitting and reading.

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Like many of the restaurants in the neighborhood, they have a small patio that’s perfect for enjoying the morning.

We fueled up with a little coffee before Mrs. Bfast w/Nick headed to her convention. And then, onward to breakfast! Stay tuned!

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FOOD + TRAVEL WRITER

I go by Dr. Breakfast, but in addition to restaurants and recipes, I write about family travel, breweries and distilleries, the arts, outdoor fun, and so much more.

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