Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Dave Huffman Debuts 'Bitchy Vegan Homo' Cooking Show Just in Time for Cleveland VegFest

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 10:55 AM

  • Courtesy of Bitchy Vegan Homo
What do you say to people that believe vegan food can't be delicious?

"I feed them and they shut the hell up," Dave Huffman says.

If you stopped by the cafe at the Cleveland International Film Festival, you may have snagged one of Huffman's delicious vegan baked goods. By day Dave provides Cleveland with the most entertaining lineups of film as the Director of Marketing for the Cleveland Cinemas, but by night, Huffman is the Bitchy Vegan Homo.

"My mother is a notoriously awful cook, so I have been fending for myself in the kitchen for years," says Huffman. This legendary vegan party specialist has just debuted his new online cooking show focusing on plant-based meals and Huffman's signature sass.

"I basically taught myself to cook by watching cooking shows," he says. "The way my house is set up, there is a counter where guests can sit and visit as I cook in the kitchen. So many of them would say 'I feel like I'm watching the Dave Huffman cooking show' that I finally thought I should give it a try."

Huffman released the Bitchy Vegan Homo pilot episode today, a guide on how to make the best baked vegan mac and cheese alongside guest Matt Fish, owner and founder of Melt Bar & Grilled.

Huffman is also appearing at Cleveland's upcoming VegFest to host a live cooking session entitled, Party Food Tips from the Self-Proclaimed World's Best Host. This live episode of Bitchy Vegan Homo will take place at 3:15 p.m., where he'll share tips, his love of vegan cooking and animals.

Cleveland Vegan Society's VegFest returns Saturday, May 5, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, 300 Lakeside Ave.  Admission is free but there is a $5 suggested donation at the door.

For more information on VegFest, click here.

You can watch the pilot episode of Bitchy Vegan Homo right here:

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Boomerang Chef Opens Lox, Stock and Brisket in University Heights

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 10:36 AM

  • Photo courtesy Lox, Stock and Brisket FB

If you haven’t yet heard of chef Anthony Zappola, just wait. The Cleveland native has held top spots at some of the nation’s finest restaurants, most recently Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, where he worked as executive chef. It was there that he caught the attention of the local food media and was awarded Best New Chef by Las Vegas Weekly.

After a decade and a half with Craft Restaurants, working in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Vegas, Zappola launched the Rice Shop, a popular Asian-fusion concept that took root in a former Chinese takeout shop. Last year, the chef decided to sell that concept and return home to Northeast Ohio to open his latest venture: Lox, Stock and Brisket.

Lox, Stock and Brisket (13892 Cedar Rd., 216-471-8175) opened quietly this week in the former Ribsticks spot in University Heights. The chef was attracted to the space because of its smoker, in much the same way he was drawn to a former Chinese carryout because of its well-seasoned wok. The star product exiting that smoker is beef brisket, which is treated almost like pastrami thanks to a brine-rub-smoke process.

Zappola’s twist on the Jewish deli features a straightforward menu of soups, sandwiches and sides that are inspired by the neighborhood around it. There’s matzo ball soup, a lox platter with house pickles, and a roster of tantalizing sandwiches built around brisket, smoked turkey, lox, tuna salad and a breaded chicken schnitzel.

The Rueben on rye is packed with brisket, kraut, swiss and Russian dressing. The Lincoln Park is a chicken schnitzel sandwich with pickle slaw and hot sauce aioli, and the Larry David combines brisket and turkey with cheese, onions, slaw, kraut, lettuce, tomato and pretty much everything else in the restaurant.

Items like brisket, turkey, lox and tuna salad are also available by the pound.

Zappola says that he hoped to get his feet underneath him during a “soft opening period,” but he forgot how quickly word spreads on Cleveland’s east side.

“I wanted to do a soft opening so I can get the recipes down and ease into this,” he says. “But I already sold out on the first day. The place is cool, it’s small and already it’s getting a lot of attention.”

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Wild Mango to Open New Eastside Location at Legacy Village

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 12:08 PM


Jia Wei opened his first restaurant, Weia Teia, in Oberlin back in 1997. He followed that successful venture up with Wild Mango, which he opened three years later at Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted. Come December, he’ll open a second Wild Mango, this one at Legacy Village.

“I have long had my sights on Legacy Village as the location for a new eastside restaurant,” Wei says. “Legacy Village reflects a comfortable, upscale ambiance that is perfectly aligned with the Wild Mango experience – from our uniquely sophisticated decor and high touch service, to the eclectic dishes that grace our menu.”

Wild Mango has earned a reputation for its distinctive cuisine, a blend of Asian, European and Latin flavors. Appetizers range from pot stickers with ginger and soy to goat cheese raviolis with tomato sauce. A Vietnamese salad bowl is countered by an iceberg wedge. Grilled strip steaks and beef tenderloin sit alongside five-spice roast duck honey-glazed chicken with steamed rice.

When it opens at the tail end of this year, it will do so in the former home of Stir Crazy, which overlooks the lawn.

“We’re delighted to welcome Wild Mango to Legacy Village,” says Legacy Village GM Susan Windle. “The restaurant will open with an established base of eastside customers who have traveled across town for years to enjoy the cuisine and ambiance that is uniquely Wild Mango.”

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Swensons Drive-In Officially Coming to the West Side This Summer

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:34 AM

  • Photo Provided
Swensons Drive-In has announced its building another Cleveland-area location. This time the favorite Akron-based burger joint is coming to the west side with a North Olmsted spot.

Construction officially kicked off yesterday and the LeBron-approved restaurant is slated to open this summer.

“We’re definitely working hard to get some new sites open in Cleveland,” CEO Jeff Flowers told Scene last year when Swensons expanded to University Heights. “We’re slow, we’re methodical, and we’re going to make sure we do things right.”

No word yet on when a Swensons will open downtown Cleveland or a nearby neighborhood. In the meantime, there are currently eight other Swensons locations to get your fix. 
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Larder Delicatessen and Bakery to Open April 24 in Ohio City

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:31 AM

Jeremy Umansky of Larder - PHOTO BY BARNEY TAXEL
  • Photo by Barney Taxel
  • Jeremy Umansky of Larder

It’s been two years since Jeremy Umansky announced his plans for Schmaltz Delicatessen and Bakery, a from-scratch Eastern European deli that will rely heavily on techniques like koji culturing, fermentation and foraging. Since that announcement, the name has changed to Larder, Umansky has found a location in Ohio City, and that location has been steadily transformed into a deli with an Old World aesthetic.

When it opens at 10 a.m. on April 24, the “kosher-style” deli will server soups, sandwiches, beef-based charcuterie, house-baked breads and assorted pickles and ferments. The chef is joined in the project by wife Allie La Valle-Umansky, a pastry chef, and chef de cuisine Kenneth Scott.

Read Scene’s original article on Umansky, Larder, and the 1800s-era firehouse it calls home here.

Going forward, Larder will be open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Barrio Brings the Bacon and 'Crack Sauce' to Updated Menu

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 5:11 PM

  • Photo via Facebook
Barrio is adding 11 fresh selections to its "build-your-tacos" menu, while simplifying some if its language. And because change can be hard, let's unpack exactly how much is new.

In place of the White Widow tortilla option is the Bombshell, notable for it's crumbled bacon and queso between a hard and soft taco shell. The White Widow was more about the cilantro, spicy kick. The Bombshell meanwhile is all about the bacon.

Also added to the menu is the chili-spiced ground sirloin (aka ground beef). The shrimp, which will now include a jalapeno lime sauce, has gone up $1 in price. Braised beef is now Certified Angus Beef braised short rib, spice-marinated chicken is now spice-rubbed chicken and grilled portobello mushrooms are now pan-seared portobellos. The Pescado del Dia box now reads "Fish of the Day."

New toppings include caramelized onions and poblanos along with pico de gallo and the Napa Slaw. Also added is something Barrio is calling "crack sauce," which is essentially their own take on ranch.

Since opening in Tremont 2012, Barrio has been wildly popular, expanding to downtown, Willoughby, Lakewood and Cleveland Heights. Barrio's next addition is a new restaurant in New Hampshire.

“As we continue to grow, we’re committed to maintaining the same neighborhood feel as our Cleveland-based restaurants,” owner Sean Fairbairn previously told Scene. “We’re sourcing fresh, local ingredients, and working to build a beer list that includes local brews.”

Check out all of the new menu items right here.
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Domino's Pizza Will Now Deliver To Popular Cleveland 'Hotspots' Like The West 117th Street Target or The Express Deli Parking Lot

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 4:52 PM

  • Wikimedia Commons

Fans of chain pizza, rejoice! The fine folks at Domino's announced today that they will now be delivering to 'Hotspots' in addition to their normal home delivery. What criteria exactly determines a Hotspot is impossible to understand, because an intensive look at their GPS location guide serves up more questions than answers.

Right off the bat, there are significantly less Hotspots located on the east side than anywhere else in the city. With the exception of a few parks and elementary schools, east side fans of cheap cheesy bread and soggy hot wings will have to have delivery sent the old fashioned way— to their house.

There's also an abundance of schools listed as hotspots. Unless things have changed and teachers are no longer ordering mass quantities of cardboard covered in cheese in an attempt to celebrate the accomplishments of children, Domino's has always delivered to schools. Hotels also make up a lot of the hotspot locations, but Domino's online delivery already included the option to select a room number for hotel delivery. So...why make the locations a hotspot?

Some of the hotspots listed like Progressive Field make sense, but most of the other locations are downright silly. The Target off of 117th Street in Cleveland is listed as a hotspot, for instance, as well as the parking lot of Express Deli in West Park. Both of these locations sell food and neither of these locations allow you to bring food inside (Target's exceptions being for small children and medical reasons). So unless you're going to throw a parking lot pizza party, I'm hard-pressed to figure out why anyone would need a pizza delivered to these locations.

I'm not one to judge the pizza eating habits of others, because I'm sure there have been plenty of people waiting at the Amtrak station or perusing the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame that were struck with an immediate craving for an ExtravaganZZa™ that could not be tamed. Luckily for them, Domino's will now satisfy that hunger with hotspot delivery.
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