there’s nothing to do in cleveland

We’ve all heard this, right?And I’m willing to bet all equally annoyed when someone mutters it. Regardless of the day or time of  year, there always seems to be something taking place – for families and empty-nesters to everyone in between. Our problem is that we just can’t seem to make time to take advantage of the constant happenings, especially now that we are trying to adjust to the new norm, aka the craziness of having two kids. But this past weekend was the exception. This past weekend, we did it all.

The weekend kicked off with our family tradition: Friday night pizza pie. For the past year-ish we’ve been going to Joey’s in Chagrin Falls. Now I’ll be the first to admit this is not a great restaurant, at least in my opinion. Seriously – if they made some tweaks and really focused on improving the quality of food, this place could be a gold mine, especially given its location. They could also stand to spruce up the place. But all things aside, there’s something about it that pulls us in – and truthfully, the pizza isn’t that bad, which is what we always order. Perhaps it’s because this was my family’s go-to place when I was a kid, or because we like to pretend we live in The Falls. Whatever it is, it’s become our  family place for pizza pie and my daughter can’t get enough of it.

On Saturday night we headed out, sans kids, to meet our friends at the new Crop. I’ll actually share more on this visit later via Metromix, but let’s just say each of us was really taken aback by how magnificent the space is. I’m actually quite surprised to hear some mixed reviews on its new location in the former bank. At least for us, we were in awe from the moment we stepped in. And the food was really good, too!

For once, I was able to stay up past my bedtime so we headed to the Velvet Tango Room. Ironically, this was actually the first time I’ve been to the VTR at night. Usually we go pre dinner. And I must admit, I think I like the vibe much better when it’s still light out (yes, I realize I’m part senior citizen…). It’s less crowded and the service is better (staff is more relaxed, not as tense and more friendly overall). But the one constant, regardless of time of visit, is that the drinks are still exceptionally made. One of our friends, who has never been, commented how interesting it was to watch them make each drinks with such precision and care.

On Sunday, post a slight cocktail-induced headache, we packed up the kids and hit the Yours Truly in our make believe town of Chagrin Falls for breakfast, then went straight to Patterson. This also has become a yearly tradition: pumpkins and fritters. Are they the best fritters? Not necessarily. But there’s nothing like heading here each fall to split one, while soaking in all the seasonal surroundings, hectic crowds and of course, pumpkin pickin’.

The weekend wrapped up with a family fall hike through the Metroparks, complete with Stella, our dog, who finally got to join in some fun. Every time we walk around the parks, regardless of which reservation we’re at, I am always in awe of just how beautiful the grounds are and just what a gem this system is.

Yeah, it’s a shame there’s never anything going on.


  1. JackieBebenroth
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    I spent my childhood living on the east side and Joey’s was a tradition for our family too! I agree that they may not have the best food in town, but their white pizza tastes the same as it did 20 years ago and I use that as the standard for all the white pizzas I’ve ever had. :)

  2. dwirthwein
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Nice report… 1) plenty of lovely homes all over Chagrin – come join us – would love to have you… – Jeni’s alone is worth moving, right?… 2) We live right up Main Street from Joey’s… have never been… never plan to (unless they spruce up/raise the standards… Just too many negatives I’ve heard… 3) The same spruce up or freshen up advice is also warranted for several other/most other downtown Chagrin spots… which skew way too old and look way too dated.. would love some new blood to head into town and/or re-dos of some of the old, dated “favorites” (not mine) – your fave Yours Truly included and that 80s looking former Dink’s the (not) Fresh Start Diner…. Copying Hudson, with Flip Side, One Red Door, etcc.. type would be welcome… – newer/fresher 4) I’m not from originally around here – and apple fritters are new to me – but had my first Patterson’s apple fritter about two weeks ago and my wife, daughter and I (food lovers, all…) thought it was pretty much the best single thing we’ve ever eaten – anytime, anywhere… A refined thing of beauty.. – briochey and delicious but still a bit understated – like a pastry you’d get in Paris… If there is a better fritter – please, please tell me.. Frankly, I can’t believe there is much better anything than that on earth… no kidding…

  3. cleshopaholic
    Posted October 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Ugh. I hate when people complain about having nothing to do here– if only they would step outside their comfort zone, they’d notice that there are many many weekends where there is almost too much going on (planned events), and so much more to do and explore!! I’m hoping to try crop this weekend- anything you specifically recommend?

  4. clevelynne
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for supporting our lovely town! We love you. I won’t eat at Joey’s, and was delighted when I was recently introduced to Crostata’s in Highland Heights. The pizza is sooooooo good there, and the atmosphere is great too.

  5. MichelleVocaireVenorsky
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Crostata’s has been on my lost forever! It’s really about time we go as I continue to hear such good things.

    Everything at Crops was good, but I especially liked the seared tune with cous cous and Jamie is still talking about the corn chowder.

  6. clevelynne
    Posted October 26, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I think we’ll hit Crop next weekend. You’ll love Crostata’s. We were just saying that Crostata’s should go into CF, as there isn’t a really good pizzaria there. I bet after you go, you’ll devote an ENTIRE post to the restaurant!