Along with the start of the most joyful month of the year, Saturday, Dec. 1 is National Pie Day. Overwhelmed by the endless sea of trendy cupcakes and doughnuts, the old-fashioned pie has been overlooked lately. Its history reaches back to the ancient Greeks, and it’s been filled with everything from meat to apple. Here in Northeast Ohio, there are still many places to get this American staple besides your grandma’s house. Here are some of the best I’ve found in my travels around our great city. I will be eager to hear what you think after you’ve tried them.
* Drunken Cherry Pie
Loaded with both sweet and tart cherries, this one also includes a touch of bourbon. Best enjoyed by taking it home, heating it up, and decorating the top with some vanilla ice cream,
Grey House Pies, Westlake and Fairview Park, greyhousepies.com
* Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Featured at the Tremont Farmers Market, this is one of many tasty fruit pies turned out by this imaginative bakery.
Humble Pie Baking Company, 440-360-0550
* Pumpkin Pie
There’s nothing ordinary about this seasonal favorite in the hands of Tim and Terri Kiedrowski, lifelong Lorain County residents who have been baking great pies since 1984. Their critically acclaimed Amherst shop is worth the trip. There’s lots to choose from, though this time of year pumpkin is the preferred choice. The taste transcends any written description.
Kiedrowski’s Bakery, 2267 Foster Park Rd., Amherst, 440-282-2700, kiedrowskibakery.com
* Pecan Pie
SOHO chef/owner Nolan Konkoski’s hand-made pecan pie is simply amazing. What really sets it apart is the bourbon-brown butter ice cream. The next time you’re in Ohio City, get this dessert.
SOHO Kitchen & Bar, 1889 West 25th St., Cleveland, 216-298-9090, sohocleveland.com
* Chocolate Cream Pie
For a truly incredible version of this classic, stop at Joe’s Deli in Rocky River. The light chocolate pudding is topped with real whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Just one note of caution: This is a huge pie, so bring a big appetite.
Joe’s Deli, 19215 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River, 440-333-7890, myjoesdeli.com
* Candy Cane Pie
Yes, this is a recommendation for a chain, but its pies are good. And enjoying this particular pie at the Bakers Square in Mentor this month is a special treat. It features a dark cookie crumb crust, layered with milk chocolate and topped with a peppermint chip white filling, mixed and finished with more chocolate, whipped cream, and candy canes. It won’t be around for long, so enjoy it while you can.
Bakers Square, 800 Plaza Blvd., Mentor, 440-255-6960, bakerssquare.com
The production got off to a strong start with an elaborate Victorian parlor set that drew applause from the audience even before the dancing began. As the guests, who had trooped across the front of the stage during the overture, gradually filled the room, it took on the air of a holiday three-ring circus, with a bustle of smaller activities — children playing and opening presents, adults dancing or in earnest conversation — framing the main action.
The dancing was fluid and joyful, but most striking was the choreography, which maneuvered up to 40 people at a time through routines executed with grace and precision. Considering that the many children onstage were local performers who just joined the company for its Cleveland performances, it was a masterful demonstration of timing and execution, pulled off with seemingly effortless grace.
Mere weeks after being announced as the new CEO of MetroHealth Hospital, John Brennan has backed out of the position, according to a source.
The subject of a glowing editorial in the PD, Brennan was given the title on November 14.
The hospital has had its share of problems and public missteps in recent years, though most held hope that Brennan could turn things around.
More on this as it comes.
Update: He'll be taking an expanded role and staying on at St. Barnabas in New Jersey.
I am hopeful that someone will beat this challenge before I go for a rematch in the spring. If you think you’re up for it, check out the rules posted below. And good luck. Winners will get their name on a plaque, a trophy to take home, and bragging rights good for any time of the year.
Win or lose, challengers will not be reimbursed for the price of the sundae.
• The entire sundae, including the two side toppings and pretzel, must be consumed by one person in 30 minutes or less.
• Ice cream flavor substitutions can be made, but there must be at least five different ice cream flavors, and no more than three scoops of vanilla.
• Whipped cream is not permitted as a choice of side toppings.
• The sundae must be eaten in the main room, in full view of Sweet Moses employees.
• The sundae will be considered completely consumed only when the content of the bowl is lower than the edge of the spoon.
• Once the clock begins, timing is continuous. Breaks of any type will not stop the clock.
• If someone other than the challenge participant consumes any part of the sundae, the participant will be disqualified from the challenge.
• Please be courteous to the guests around you. Excessive belching, groaning, and gagging noises or other offensive behavior will lead to disqualification.
• Completing the challenge entitles the winner to a trophy and his/her name engraved on the shop’s plaque.
• Disqualifications will be at the sole discretion of the Sweet Moses manager on duty. In the event of disqualification, no refunds will be issued.
Byron Scott sums up the Cavs season so far, especially in the new Kyrie Irvingless era, in one sentence.
Naked folks showed up in John Boehner's office today protesting against clothing and the GOP's idea of cutting HIV/AIDS funding as the ever-dangerous fiscal cliff approaches. Looks like that fella on the right is dealing with a fiscal cliff of his own.
“Boehner, Boehner, don’t be a dick. Budget cuts will make us sick,” was the cry, though no one was really listening. (Via @chrisgeidner)
’Tis the season, which gave Alan Glazen an idea. Embracing the social and economic diversity of Ohio City, Glazen wanted to reach out to one of the largest residential bases in the neighborhood, the seniors at Riverview Towers. His first phone call was to Councilman Cimperman’s office. They loved the idea and with Glazen, they took up the charge. Together they talked to fellow purveyors of hospitality, and rallied the troops behind a bold, heartfelt idea. The result: A “neighbor party” on Nov. 28 for the seniors at Riverview. From noon till 2 p.m., more than 200 of them will be treated to some of the best food that Ohio City has to offer. Participating establishments include ABC the Tavern, Orale!, Crop Bistro, NANO Brew, Bonbon Pastry and Cafe, Soho Kitchen and Bar, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Good to Go Café, Humble Pie Baking Company, and the Flying Fig. And the list keeps growing.
The food craze is good fun, but at the end of the day it is initiatives like this that define who we are as Clevelanders. And though it’s a week after Thanksgiving, something tells me that residents and business owners alike will leave this party feeling thankful.