Twilight at the Zoo: Why It’s a Cleveland Summer Must-Do

The mayflies have come and gone and the July 4th holiday is here. In the Hicken house, this means it’s time to start making plans for the rest of summer.

I don’t care what else I do between now and September – Twilight at the Zoo is my big must-do for this summer.

TWI_general admission party2

After scheduling conflicts kept us from going in previous years, Scott and I made sure last summer’s Twilight at the Zoo stayed open on our calendar.

And it seemed as if the gods would smile upon us for an evening of outdoor music and summer drinking … until the rains came. And, boy, did they come.

But you know what? Despite getting drenched and only seeing a few of the bands perform, Scott and I had a fantastic time with our friends. Plus we had a reason to buy matching safari hats.

(I tell myself that we needed something to keep the rain out of our eyes, but the real reason is that we love safari hats.)

I also got this awesome photo with WhyCLE’s husband:

Twilight at the Zoo rainstorm

The evening was one of the highlights of last summer, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good weather on August 1, the date of this year’s Twilight at the Zoo.

From 7pm til midnight, stages will be staggered through the Zoo, featuring 18 local bands.

There will be something to satisfy every musical taste – funk to folk, rock to reggae. This year’s bands include:

TWI_general admission party

General admission tickets, which cost $80 per person or $700 for a block of 10, also include free Sam Adams beer, Twisted Tea, wine and soda and a selection of small bites to eat.

Upgrade to VIP tickets ($150 per ticket/$1200 for block of 10) and get access to the VIP party from 6-9pm.  VIP partygoers enjoy priority parking and early entry, an open bar, and catering by AMP150, Carrabba’s, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Mitchell’s Fish Market. 

And don’t drink and drive: Arrange for a designated driver or book one of the Zoo’s hotel/ticket packages with the Cleveland Airport Marriott.

Purchase tickets online or go here for more information.

One other thing … if you’re planning on getting tickets, get them now. This event usually sells out, and if this year’s Date Night at the Zoovies is any indication (sold out yesterday for an August 22 event), Twilight tickets may be gone sooner than later.

Hope to see you there! I’ll be packing safari hat just in case.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Twilight at the Zoo with a guest, in exchange for promoting the event. Opinions are 100% my own and based on attending last year’s Twilight.

Win 2 VIP Tickets to SC4K’s Luau on the Lake

lake erie

You’re lounging with a view of the water, frosty beer or fruity umbrella drink in hand. You can hear laughter coming from a Conga line and smell the spices of a delicious beachside feast. Maybe you’ll take in a game of beach volleyball later.

Sounds like a fantastic afternoon, doesn’t it?

Fortunately,  you don’t need to hop on a plane to a tropical locale to enjoy it.  On July 12, you only have to go as far as Whiskey Island’s Wendy Park for the 9th annual Luau on the Lake.

What’s even better is that all proceeds from the party will benefit Shoes and Clothes for Kids, the only non-profit in Greater Cleveland that provides new shoes and clothing throughout the year to thousands of children in need, all at no charge.

And best yet? You can win a pair of VIP tickets to the event on Clue into Cleveland.

luau on the lake

From 4 to 9pm on July 12, enjoy SC4K’s celebration fit for a Tiki God. A lakeside dinner is served til 7:30 featuring jerk-seasoned green beans, saffron and Caribbean-spiced brown rice, pan-seared chicken with spicy plum sauce, Polynesian BBQ pulled pork sliders, and island sorbet.

Beer, wine, snacks, music, sand volleyball, and a limbo contest are available throughout the night for all ticketholders, while VIP “Big Kahunas” will also get a souvenir cup and three tickets for island cocktails, early admittance at 3:30pm, and a lei and floral tote to go with their Hawaiian shirts. 

New to this year’s Luau on the Lake is a 24-team, single elimination cornhole tournament. Up for grabs – a cornhole board set complete with bags and 4 tickets to an Indians game. Teams will be able to register for $20 each.

General admission tickets are $50 through July 7. After that and at the door, they’re $60. VIP tickets are $60 through July 7 and available for presale only.

The funds raised by Luau will be instrumental in helping SC4K distribute $2.4-million worth of new clothing and Payless shoe gift cards to children this year.

Want to spend your July 12th at Luau on the Lake? Enter my giveaway for two Big Kahuna VIP tickets right now.

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment with what your favorite beachside activity is. (Mine is just relaxing by the water with a good book.)

2) Follow @ADHicken and @SC4K on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Shoes and Clothes for Kids and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to party like a Big Kahuna at Luau on the Lake! Enter @ADHicken’s @SC4K giveaway for VIP tickets http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2ww #SC4KLuau14

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Sunday, July 6 at 11:59PM to enter. On Monday, July 7, Random.org will select a winner and I’ll announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Luau on the Lake with a guest in exchange for previewing the event. My choice to blog about it is based on how much Scott and I have enjoyed this event in years past.

Intoxicating Pairings: Cleveland Beer Events for Those Who Like to Learn, Laugh or Draw

I’ve been on the road the past week, so this bit of blogkeeping is belated. Congratulations to Elizabeth P for winning 2 tickets to the Tri-C JazzFest!

Scott and me celebrating his birthday at a beer and comic books event

One of my favorite beer pairing events was Great Lakes Brewing Company’s comic books and beer night

When I hear the phrase “beer pairings,” my thoughts – as yours probably do – immediately go to beer and food. From cheese and chocolate to bacon, seafood, and sushi.

However, this post is not about that kind of pairing. (If you’re here looking for that, save the date for Cleveland Beer Week 2014 October 10-18, which promises to be full of great food and beer events.)

Instead, I’m talking today about beer paired with some unexpected activities. From comedy to science to art, here are 3 upcoming events if you’d like to do something different while drinking your favorite pint.

Science After Dark - Home Brew

Did you miss Great Lakes Science Center’s Yuri’s Night? I have good news for you:

This Thursday, June 26, GLSC is continuing their series of 21-and-over ‘Science After Dark’ events with HOME BREW from 6:30-9:30 pm.

  • Do you know what happens to beer when you take away air pressure? Witness it firsthand when the Science Center staff tests it out with different kinds of brews. 
  • Want to learn about home brewing? Meet Paul and Reed from Cleveland Brew Shop at their “Yeast: The Workhorse of Beer” demonstration.
  • Ever wondered, as I have, why your speech sounds funny after you start drinking? Dr. Amee Shah of CSU’s Speech Acoustics & Perception Lab will discuss your brain on booze.

There will also be hands-on activities including LEGO-building and science board and card games created by Cleveland Institute of Art students. Or you can try creating a putt-putt golf hole using everyday materials.

And, of course, beer and coffee samples from Fat Head’s Brewery, Crafted Artisan Meadery, Jackie O’ Brewery, Great Lakes Brewing Company, and Phoenix Coffee will be available.·

Tickets are $18 in advance/$21 at the door (only $12 for members). Buy tickets online here or call 216-621-2400.

CLEVELAND DRINK AND DRAW

Avengers Artists, Assemble!”

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional, amateur, or completely-out-of-practice artist like me. Join the Cleveland Drink & Draw Social Club at one of their twice-monthly meetups. They’re at Great Lakes Brewing Company the first Wednesday and Lava Lounge the third Thursday of every month.

That means the next one is July 2nd in GLBC’s Rockefeller Room (7-11pm).

Started in 2012 by the Rust Belt Monster Collective, the Drink & Draw Social Club is “a place to exchange techniques, build contacts, and most importantly; bond over what is far too often a solitary passion.”

All you have to do is bring your art supplies. Every event also includes group “jam pieces” and prizes from long-time supporters Carol And John’s Comic shop. 

brewhahalogo

Not into science or art? Well, everyone likes to laugh.

On July 10, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s YP Pantry group will be hosting the inaugural BrewHaha – Lager and Laughs for Hunger Relief.

From 6-9pm at the Food Bank’s distribution center, enjoy the talents of Last Call Cleveland and local comedians Josh Womack, Mary Santora, and Jake Solomon while sampling beer from Chardon BrewWorks, Great Lakes, Market Garden, Willoughby Brewing Company, Platform Beer Company, Deschutes Brewery and others.

The comedy show will be hosted by the always-hilarious Bill Squire, co-host of the Alan Cox Show and live music will be provided by Newshoes.  

Individual tickets are $25, which includes 20 samples of beer in a souvenir beer tasting glass and the evening’s entertainment. Tickets for two are discounted at $45 and designated drivers can enjoy water, non-alcoholic beverages and all of the performances for only $10. Get them here.

All proceeds from the evening go to benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s mission to provide food to those in need.

***

I hope you check out at least one of, if not all of these events. The Cleveland beer scene is incredible, and it’s exciting to see the city not just embrace it, but do so in such eclectic ways.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Great Lakes Science Center’s HOME BREW with a guest. I also used to be on the YP Pantry board. However, I chose to blog about these events independently of those decisions and the opinions are 100% mine.

Giveaway: Win 2 Tickets to Cleveland’s Tri-C JazzFest

TRI-C JAZZFEST

In its heyday, PlayhouseSquare played host to crooners, jazz and big bands musicians like Bing Crosby and ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.

Now, as PlayhouseSquare’s revitalization hits a dazzling high, Cleveland’s own jazz festival, the Tri-C JazzFest has unveiled a new format celebrating the district.

It’s the 35th anniversary of the Tri-C JazzFest and they’re making a big move – closing down Euclid Ave. between 13th and 14th St with three days of concerts.

From June 26-28, music lovers can take in twelve ticketed shows throughout PlayhouseSquare’s theatres, plus a host of free outdoor music, food trucks and Great Lakes brews on Star Plaza.

Concerts include trumpeter Sean Jones and the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra opening the festival on June 26; Eddie Palmieri, whose career as bandleader spans 50 years, with a night of salsa and Latin jazz on June 27; and pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias performing her tribute to Chet Baker at the Hanna on June 28. Check out the full schedule below:

JazzFest lineup

The free Star Plaza concerts, which are the latest centennial gifts from the Cleveland Foundation, will take place outside on Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28 starting at 3pm.

You can learn more about the musicians and purchase tickets on the JazzFest website.

You can also win two tickets right here to the Raul Midón concert on June 28!

Blind since infancy, Midón grew up listening to his father’s collection of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis records, as well as the pop music of the time: Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Paul Simon.

He writes on the JazzFest’s website: “The way I play today is an amalgam of those styles, mixed with my fascination with the great rock and blues guitarists like Eric Clapton and B.B. King. I’m constantly trying to integrate everything I know musically into the guitar.”

The New York Times describes Midón as “a one-man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus.” And now you can enjoy his concert at the Hanna Theatre by entering my giveaway.

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment telling me who your favorite jazz, blues or swing musician is.

2) If you’re a fan of Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

3) Follow @ADHicken and @TriCJazzFest on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to see @RaulMidon at @PlayhouseSquare on 6/28. Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway for #TriCJazzFest tickets: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2w3

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Tuesday, June 17 at 11:59PM to enter.  On Wednesday, June 18, Random.org will select a winner and I’ll announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Tri-C JazzFest with a guest in exchange for previewing the event. My choice to blog about the festival is based on how much Scott and I have enjoyed these concerts in years past. Opinions are my own.

Gone Fishin’ (and a #GrapesAndAle winner)

It's as if this bench was made just for Scott

Scott finds his perfect bench in Culpeper

I’ve gone fishing … Literally.   While spending this week in Virginia, I plan on catching a flounder or two at my parents’ house.

We’ve enjoyed our vacation so far, hitting up a few new antique shops in Gordonsville and Fredericksburg, taking drives through the country and strolls through Culpeper. And I can’t wait to spend the next couple of days along the Chesapeake.

These trips to see my sister Gabbie and my parents always come at the perfect time – allowing me to hit reset when I need to the most.

Gabbie and Scott figure out which antique store we're heading to next

Gabbie and Scott figure out which antique store we’re heading to next

Although my blog and I are both on vacation this week, I do have a winner to announce for my Grapes and Ale giveaway.

After placing the total number of entries into Random.org: Congratulations, entry 29 – Mindy Rodgers, for winning this giveaway! Please reply to my email by June 9 to confirm you can attend Grapes and Ale.

Grapes and Ale winner

Grapes and Ale tickets are still available for purchase online. Learn more here.

Have a wonderful week and if you miss me, head over to Beyond Bylines today where I’ve written about the torture (at least for me) of writing a blog’s About page.

Giveway: BBQ, Brews and Blues at Our Lady of the Wayside’s Grapes and Ale

Nothing – not even an 8-days-and-counting sinus infection – could have stopped me from BBQing with Scott’s family this weekend.

Memorial Day Picnic

The weather was perfect (unbelievably so, after our winter), the grill was blazing with cheese brats and Dad Hicken’s BBQ-sauce-laced burgers, and Scott’s mom put together one of the best macaroni salads I’ve had.

Scott and I even squeezed in a bike ride down to the lake. It was a much-needed distraction to forget about the voice I lost 5 days earlier.

I love BBQs, and the best one of the summer happens in a few weeks. On June 27, Our Lady of the Wayside and Giant Eagle will host their annual Grapes & Ale party at Progressive Field. 

Grapes and Ale

From 7-10pm, enjoy barbeque from Hot Sauce Williams, Famous Dave’s, 100th Bomb Group, Battery Park Wine Bar, and Corleone’s while sampling 200 wines and beers from William Hill Estate Winery, St. Michelle, Chloe Wine Collection, Great Lakes, Magic Hat, and more.

Colin Dussault’s Acoustic Side Project is back this year with live blues music throughout the night.

This party pretty much sums up all the best parts of summer for me: BBQ, beer, and the Indians ballpark.

Just learn from my first Grapes and Ale experience. Don’t wear white unless you’re carrying stain remover.

I’m not the only one who loves Grapes and Ale. The event has gotten so big the last couple years that Our Lady of the Wayside is expanding the space they use in Progressive Field.  That means room for even more fun!

Also new this year: Cupcake Vineyards’ Wine Truck will be making a tour stop  at the event.

Cupcake Tour

Grapes and Ale raises money for Our Lady of the Wayside. Located out in Avon, they provide services for 500 children and adults with developmental disabilities. Their programs include:

Grapes and Ale tickets start at $50 (Premiere Grand Tasting level), which gets you access to wine samplings and BBQ, a souvenir glass, music, silent auction and the Cupcake Truck Tour. Samplings of craft beers are also available for purchase at the WKNR Market Pavilion Brew Garden. The $125 VIP Majic of Wine Tasting ticket includes all of this, plus free parking and a blind wine tasting from 6-7pm.

Don’t plan on drinking? Enjoy BBQ, unlimited water and pepsi with a $20 Designated Driver ticket.

You can order tickets online or you can enter to win two $50 tickets right here!

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment telling me what’s your favorite side dish to serve at a BBQ.

2) If you’re a fan of Our Lady of the Wayside and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

3) Follow @ADHicken and @OurLadyWayside on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win a night of BBQ, brews and blues at #GrapesandAle - enter @ADHicken’s giveaway for tickets: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2vJ #CLE

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Tuesday, June 3 at 11:59PM to enter.  On Wednesday, June 4, Random.org will select a winner and I’ll announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Grapes and Ale with a guest in exchange for previewing the event. My choice to blog about this event is based on how much fun Scott and I had in years past. Opinions are my own.

I’m Sticking with Duck Tape: Avon’s Duck Tape Festival

My allergies hit me hard this past weekend and while I tried to rest up on Sunday morning, I turned to the soothing voice of Charles Osgood to take my mind off it.

It’s always a treat if I’m able to catch CBS Sunday Morning and I’m glad I tuned into the latest episode which featured something from my own backyard: the Duck Tape plant in Avon, Ohio.

In my college theatre tech days, there were few things I loved more than duct tape, hot glue guns, and a Leatherman. So after Scott and I moved to Avon Lake, I was excited to discover we lived only five minutes from ShurTech’s headquarters, home to the Duck Tape brand of duct tape.

While Duck Tape offers all the traditional types of duct tape and adhesives (I’m partial to ShurTech’s FrogTape for our painting projects), I have spent hours on their site looking at crafting and fabric tapes and colors and prints. They even have an Avengers Duck Tape, you guys!

If you’re on the hunt for a weekend craft activity, look no further than the Ducktivities page for decorative boxes, a Chevron clutch and even a travel game kit. Want to repurpose an old picture frame into a decorative chalkboard? Easy with their Chalkboard Deco Adhesive Laminate.

All things Duck Tape will be celebrated June 13-15 at this year’s Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival.

Duck Tape Festival

It’s the 11th year of the event which takes place at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Avon and features concerts, a Duct Tape Parade, crafting areas and various other duct tape-related activities.

Last year’s winning float was a life-size version of the Back to the Future DeLorean so I can’t wait to see what this year’s parade participants have planned.

The festival is also attempting to break the Guinness World Record of most people modeling in a duct tape fashion show, and you can help!

If you’d like to participate in the fashion show, register here.

Participants are required to wear a minimum of two garments made entirely of duct tape (examples include: shirt/vest/jacket/skirt/pants/shorts) OR one garment made entirely of duct tape and one accessory item made entirely of duct tape (examples include: shoes/hat/scarf/hair bow/headband/purse).

You can read my recap of the 2011 festival and learn more about this year’s Duck Tape Festival at ducktapefestival.com.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend a tour of the ShurTech headquarters, but was unable to attend. I also received a box of Duck Tape crafting supplies. My opinions and the choice to blog about the Duck Tape Festival are 100% my own.

ZippityZooDoo: June 6 at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Reminder: Sunday is your last chance to win 2 tickets to the Silver Spoon Awards.
Tweet daily for extra entries.

Photo provided by ClevelandZooSociety.org, courtesy of Dale McDonald

Photo provided by ClevelandZooSociety.org, courtesy of Dale McDonald

There’s a lot going on at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo right now, as the Zoo shakes off winter and prepares for a summer full of activities. Summer Day Camp starts in less than a month, tickets are on sale for Twilight at the Zoo, and – as I write this – Carousel Works is at the zoo installing the new Circle of Wildlife carousel:

Carousel Works

It’s no wonder with everything going on that Cleveland’s zoo is one of the final nominees in the USA Today 10Best U.S. Zoos contest. Be sure to vote for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo here!

To continue bringing us more educational and conservation activities, the Cleveland Zoological Society raises money and awareness through zoo memberships, adopt-an-animal programs and fundraising events.

Their next fundraiser, ZippityZooDoo, will be held June 6. It’s the event’s 41st year and is always a wonderful evening celebrating the kick off of the Zoo’s summer season.

ZippityZooDoo starts at 6pm with an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy strolling around parts of the Zoo and getting up-close with some of its animals.

Then at 8pm, sit beneath the summer night sky for a gourmet dinner. Check out the menu, which includes olive and goat cheese stuffed mission fig with citrus pomegranate syrup, caviar, and maple citrus glazed airline chicken.

Photo provided by ClevelandZooSociety.org, courtesy of Dale McDonald

Photo provided by ClevelandZooSociety.org, courtesy of Dale McDonald

Dancing to The Element til 11 and a silent auction featuring behind-the-scenes experiences with orangutans, gorillas, and flamingos (among many other prizes) round out the night.

The event’s goal is to raise $300,000 overall for the Zoo. Individual tickets start at $250, which includes valet parking, dinner, dancing, and entertainment. Other ticket levels include preferred seating, name recognition in the program, plus an exclusive VIP pre-party in the African Elephant Crossing. 

Learn more and get your tickets online. You can also read my recaps of the last two ZippityZooDoos here and here.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend ZippityZooDoo but am unable due to a scheduling conflict. Opinions are 100% my own and based on my experience at previous ZippityZooDoos.

Giveaway: Celebrate Twenty Years of Silver Spoon Awards

UPDATE: After removing one pingback and three retracted entries, and placing the remaining total in Random.org:

silver spoon winner

Congratulations, entry 26 – Franklin Mayse, for winning this giveaway!
Please reply to my email by the morning of 5/13 to confirm you can attend Silver Spoon.

Silver Spoon Awards Party, May 14, 2014

Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Awards Party, May 14

When it comes to Cleveland food events, I like to prepare in advance. That means scouting which restaurants are going to be there, developing a game plan for the most efficient tasting route, and getting my appetite in shape.

There are some events I can get away with going in blind; however, if there’s anything I’ve learned from previous years, the Silver Spoon Awards Party is not one of those events.

I mean that in the best way.

When I’m asked for a list of my favorite Cleveland food events, a small handful come to mind. Year after year, Silver Spoon is consistently tops.

tacos

Photo via Silver Spoon CLE, by Lane Baldwin Photography

Each year, Cleveland Magazine readers vote on restaurants that are the best at what they do. Whether that’s pizza, brunch, sushi, Greek food, dessert, happy hour … the list goes on. The restaurant finalists are then invited to show off their signature dish in May to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region, Northeastern Ohio.

Add on top of that, wine from eight international vinters, cocktails from Brown-Forman, a silent auction, late-night after-party in the VIP lounge, and loads of other surprises, and now you know why I prepare like I’m going to run a marathon. 

This year’s Silver Spoon Party promises to be bigger than  ever because  it’s the 20th Anniversary. On Wednesday, May 14, over 40 restaurants will take over 200 Public Square. 

20 Years of Cleveland Magazine's Silver Spoon Awards

20 Years of Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Awards

And today I’m happy to not only share a sneak peek at what this year’s restaurants have planned, but also 2 tickets for you to win!

Here are some of the dishes you’ll be salivating over:

  • Aladdin’s Eatery: Jasmine’s Favorite and Lebanese Salata
  • Blue Point Grille: Blue Point oysters
  • Bubba’s-Q World Famous Bar-B-Q: De-boned baby back rib steak and Texas style brisket
  • EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute: Rabbit pie and ratatouille
  • Felice Urban Café: Grilled Calamari Salad with New Potato Confit
  • Great Lakes Brewing Co.: A tasting of a variety of beers and Bananas Foster Mousse Cups
  • Humble Wine Bar: Chocolate towers and cheese cakes
  • Jammy Buggars: PB&J Meatball Slider
  • Luca Italian Cuisine: Sacchetti al Tartufata Bianco, white truffle and ricotta stuffed sacchetti, black truffle cream sauce, aged fig balsamic
  • Lucky’s Café: Mini Reuben, corned beef, sauerkraut, on rye with Thousand Island dressing, all house made topped with swiss
  • Master Pizza: Pepperoni, plain, sausage, and the award-winning “Popeye” pizzas
  • Pacific East Coventry: Assortment of sushi
  • Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar: Braised Beef Ropa Vieja
  • Pearl of the Orient – East: Phoenix Salad (smoked shredded duck breast, chicken breast, agar agar, honeydew, cantaloupe, sesame seeds, sesame vinaigrette)
  • Pearl of the Orient – West: Strip Steak with Hoisin Sauce and Crispy Wonton
  • Phnom Penh: Vegetable Kuy Teav Chha Khmer; Chicken Preah Vihear
  • Pier W: Crawfish etouffee and zucchini bloom fritter, fava bean emulsion
  • Salmon Dave’s Pacific Grille: House cured wild salmon with citrus barbecue sauce and a mango poblano salsa
  • Society Lounge: Ramos “Bathtub Gin” Fizz, Kegged and Carbonated Moscow Mule and Barrel Aged Woodford Manhattans
  • Spice Kitchen + Bar: Seared Ramp Ravioli with green garlic sauce and micro greens
  • Sweet Melissa: Chocolate covered strawberries, cannoli, chocolate cake, red velvet cake, NY style cheesecake, keylime tarts, cookies, and more
  • Taki’s Greek Kitchen: Lamb chops w/mavrodaphine syrup, and spicy feta dip w/pita chips
  • Toast: Pigs in a blanket
  • Ty Fun Thai Bistro: Pad Thai
  • Zoup! Euclid & East 4th Street: Lobster bisque and chicken pot pie

Check out the full list of participating restaurants to see who else will be there. Personally, I can’t wait to discover what Cork & Cleaver, DANTE/Ginko, Fired Up Tacos, Lolita, and Mama Roberto’s have up their sleeve.

Hungry yet? You can purchase tickets for the Silver Spoon Awards Party online for $150 (VIP) and $100 (general admission).  Or you can enter to win two general admission tickets right here!

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Leave a comment telling me which dish or restaurant you’re most excited for.

2) If you’re a fan of The Arthritis Foundation, Northeastern Ohio Chapter and Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here and here.

3) Follow @ADHicken and @SilverSpoonCLE on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

4) Tweet the following and leave one comment letting me know you tweeted:

I want to win tickets to @SilverSpoonCLE! Enter @ADHicken’s #SilverSpoonCLE giveaway: http://wp.me/p2Ukr0-2uQ #CLE

You can tweet once per day for additional entries. Just leave a separate comment each time you tweet.

5) Subscribe to Clue Into Cleveland via a feed tracker like Bloglovin’ or Feedly and leave one comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Sunday, May 11 at 11:59PM to enter.  On Monday, May 12, Random.org will select a winner and I’ll announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

Disclosure: I was invited to attend Silver Spoon with a guest and give away 2 tickets on my blog. My opinions and the choice to post about this event are my own.

This Saturday: Free Comic Book Day in Cleveland

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Whether you’re an avid comic book reader, a fan of superhero movies and television, or just curious about what the fuss over comics and graphic novels are, this Saturday is a day for you.

Free Comic Book Day, the first Saturday in May, is one of my favorite days of the year. Sadly, I can’t attend any of this year’s festivities because we’re hosting family from out-of-town. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out.

What is Free Comic Book Day, you ask?

The first FCBD was held in 2002. And in the last 12 years, it’s grown and sparked a nationwide movement around comics and literacy. This year, Diamond Comics Distributors estimates 2,000+ shops will be giving away more than 4.6 million free comics in one day.

Archie, Hello Kitty, GI Joe, Batman, Rocket Raccoon and The Guardians of the Galaxy will all be in attendance — as well as a bunch of comics you may not know about, but should be reading. Over 60 titles are represented in this year’s haul.

USA Today has an awesome primer on which Free Comic Book Day books to read, based on your non-comic tastes.

However, Free Comic Book Day is about more than reading comics. It also spotlights your local comic book shops and the incredible community these brick-and-mortar small businesses build.

Sure, you can just find your local shop using the FCBD store locator, pick up your free books on Saturday, and leave.

But that misses the point of FCBD, in my opinion.

Instead, stick around for a few minutes or a few hours. Talk to the other comic book fans and the shop’s staff if they’re available. Take part in any of the day’s activities that the store has planned – many of them do. You’ll learn a lot and meet the nicest, coolest people.

My local shop, Comics Are Go in Elyria, will have Cleveland artist John G signing copies of “The Lake Erie Monster.” It’s a fantastic comic (read my review here).  Even if you aren’t into comics, you’re likely familiar with John and his work, as the artist of Melt’s monthly special posters.

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Carol and John’s will be hosting not one, but two parties for Free Comic Book Day. Their annual Midnight Early Release party starts at 10 pm on Friday and goes til 2 am on Saturday. They’ll have free comic books (10 per person), free graphic novels, photo ops (including this TARDIS!), rewards for costumes, free sketches, food and drink including a special FCBD micro brew from Cleveland Action Brewery.

The day event goes from 10am til 7pm. Mark Sumerak will be autographing 200 free copies of his book Franklin Richards Son of a Genius. There will also be free sketches for kids and the live creation of a mural by the Rust Belt Monster Collective.

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You can read all about Carol and John’s event here.  They’ve also distributed comics to every single branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library for Saturday.

For other shops and FCBD events closer to where you live, check out Michael Sangiacomo’s column on Cleveland.com.