Blogs > Eating It Up Locally!

Who wants to cook? Let’s go out to eat. See where News-Herald staff members dined and where they go to unwind in our area. You might just find a new treasure in your own neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dining Out: Kickstart Grill at Coach's Tavern in Willowick is a kick

When one of our friends suggested we make a visit to Kickstart Grille at Coach's Tavern in Willowick, it didn't take a lot of convincing for me to go. A new place with fresh bar food in a casual environment? I'm in.

So my wife and I and another couple visited on a recent Saturday, and it wasn't until we pulled into the parking lot that we realized Coach's Tavern is the former site of Buffalo Wild Wings. That, of course, is long gone, but none of us had been there since it left.

Actually, it didn't completely leave. The layout of the place is similar, with the kitchen distinctly separated from the bar, the way all BW3s seem to be set up. If you forced me to wager, I'd say that the formica-topped high tables and stools that populate the dining room are also holdovers.

Coach's is in a lot of ways the prototypical neighborhood bar – on the dim side, not too big, quite a few flat-screen TVs. But not-so-typical is the food part of the equation. Kickstart Grille arrived in January, and is not fully integrated – at least not yet – into the whole place. For example, we ordered and paid separately for food and drinks.

Lake County native Dennis Blakeslee is the one who has brought Kickstart into Coach's, which was without a kitchen for some time and is now open for lunch. He takes pride in using only fresh ingredients throughout the menu, which is dotted with the description “disgustingly delicious.” And a fair amount of bacon.

Read more at Correspondent Mark Koestner's review: Dining Out: Kickstart Grill at Coach's Tavern in Willowick is a kick.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Dining Out: Momocho sister restaurant El Carnicero serves interesting modern Mexican cuisine

Ever since The News-Herald reviewed Momocho -- a modern-Mexican restaurant in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood -- I’ve been dying to try it.

But Momocho is small. And very, very popular.

I once walked in with a friend on a Saturday night and was told the wait would be about an hour and a half, if memory serves. Having worked out shortly before we’d headed west for the night, my friend was in no mood for that kind of wait. I’d blame my not eating there that night on her, but the packed placed didn’t seem an ideal place to kill an hour and a half of our lives. So it was a no-go.

When another friend recently suggested we try El Carnicero in Lakewood, Momocho’s newer — and bigger — sister restaurant, I was decidedly on board, even though I knew I would have trouble sticking to my low-carb diet for the night. (You gotta have priorities, people.)

We met for some “mod Mex,” as they call it, around 7 on a recent Saturday night, and when I’d arrived in the fairly spacious eatery, I found Erin at the back bar, where she’d procured us a couple of seats. (This was already going better than my Momocho attempt.)

Read more on Assistant Managing Editor Mark Meszoros' review: Dining Out: Momocho sister restaurant El Carnicero serves interesting modern Mexican cuisine.

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hold The Coffee moving to its own News-Herald blog

Hold The Coffee is out of its trial-phase and is ready for the big boys. (Big boys like NEOMG's upcoming coffee shop blog from reporter Chanda Neely. I am super excited for its launch.)

Yes, that is a T-shirt sporting the logo from
"Relax, It Is Just Coffee" in Mansfield. My
boyfriend Matt bought it as a Valentines gift.
Readers of my weekly coffee shop adventures will need to go to the official Hold The Coffee blog to find future reviews of local neighborhood coffee shops. Nothing against the Eating It Up Locally blog. (I am a big foodie who loves the restaurant reviews posted here.) It's just hard to send out links to my content when it's only a search label inside the bigger-themed blog. This new blog should help readers find more of my posts more easily. 

Back in November, Digital and Mobile Editor Cheryl Sadler and I agreed to embed the blog into Eating It Up Locally so that there wouldn't be much heart ache in case my enthusiasm for posting fizzled out quickly. (Afterall, I work a full-time job covering the crazy and fun stories in the east end of Lake County. This blog is only a fun hobby of mine.) Fourteen posts later, I have proven my commitment to reviewing coffee shops and in a talk this Friday, Cheryl agreed to make a News-Herald blog dedicated to my weekly reviews of coffee shops.

I have already copied all of my previous posts to the new blog and I hope to post a new one today focused on a very sophisticated coffee shop in Cleveland's Gateway District.

You probably won't see any difference in content in the new blog--I am still going to review everything but the actual coffee served at the coffee shops. But maybe this blog will allow enough exposure to give me a post that breaks triple-digit clicks. 

Again, if you have suggestions of a coffee shop for a future entry, send it to me via on Twitter at @SimonSaysNH.

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