Here’s to new food options in Avon Lake!

Avon Lake is a great place to call home. I am happy it is mine. If it has one shortcoming though, a lack of quality food options might be it. I find the restaurant options to be somewhat limited and lacking and, frankly, I think I’m being kind by putting it this way. There’s pizza, pizza and more pizza, a couple of Asian choices and then a smattering of other spots that I don’t hate but don’t love. A few spots easily qualify for an episode Gordon Ramsay’s  Kitchen Nightmares. The town has seen many cafes and restaurants come and go: Bar Symon, Atlanta Bread Company, Arabica and the list goes on. Not sure of the specifics around each closing but I assume it is the standard reason – patronage volumes that are lower than required to sustain the business.

Perhaps I’m a harsher critic as I have a handful of particulars to consider when selecting a restaurant: I’m vegetarian, my husband is a carnivore and we have a child under 2. I also want to mention that I’m a bit of a foodie who is also into natural and organic foods. Add to this that I’m also a big proponent of supporting local, independent resturants. Surely you can see that my finding qualified food options  falls just shy of a mini miracle.

The good news is that several new spots just opened or will be shortly within Avon Lake so I’ll have some new options and so will you!

Jenni Juggs (Now Open!)

Photo credit: Lori E. Switaj

The name is interesting and certainly memorable. One might interpret it for a different type of establishment (or at least this is the reaction I’ve received from most people when I share the name) but the truth is that it is billed as a quaint spot offering finger-lickin’ good Southern Comfort Food. This is certainly a new category to be represented in the far west side of Cleveland. The menu features the expected southern classics: chicken and waffles, cornmeal-crusted catfish, hush puppies, cole slaw and sweet tea. The “sides” menu is tempting enough for me to order just from it. Recent reviews that I’ve read report a cute and pleasant atmosphere, tasty mac ‘n’ cheese and cornbread and promises of return visits.

The location is on the eastern end of Avon Lake in the northern end of the Learwood Plaza (the Giant Eagle plaza, as locals refer to it) and is the fully renovated former home of an Italian restaurant (another example of an Avon Lake restaurant gone bye-bye). I’m tickled as this location is a five-minute bike ride from my house making it a great choice for a weekday dinner or a weekend brunch spot. With the addition of Jenni Juggs, the Learwood Plaza has become an even more enjoyable, diverse destination. You can get a pedicure at Luxury Nails, enjoy an order of fried green tomatoes at Jenni Juggs, browse a newly opened Goodwill location, stop by the Ron Zehel Guitar Center for a new set of strings, and finally grab a few groceries at Giant Eagle.

Hours: Tuesday- Thursday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sunday brunch, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and regular service 2 p.m .- 9 p.m. Takeout is also available. 440-653-5255

Cafe Melissa (Coming November 2012!)

I recently enjoyed a veggie burger from Sweet Melissa at the 2012 Avon Lake Summer Market. I’ve also enjoyed their food at their Rocky River location over the last several years. While ordering my burger at the Summer Market, I overheard talk that they would be opening a location in Avon Lake come this November. I was thrilled at the news! (I was also thrilled when they gave me a Free Appetizer gift card for the new location.)

The Sweet Melissa location in Avon Lake will be called Cafe Melissa and will be open for breakfast every day starting at 9 a.m. The menu is to be announced although I’m hoping that at least most of my favorites from the Rocky River location will carry over. The Cafe Melissa location will be in the former Donatos building on Walker Road just West of Route 83/Avon Belden Road.

Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

A Mediterranean Restaurant (Coming soon!)

So, I have to say that I don’t have any confirmed info on this new food offering other than what I have heard through the grapevine around town but I want to believe it so I’m sharing! The story is that a new Mediterranean restaurant is opening in the former Tucky’s location (ah, yet another former Avon Lake restaurant and, wow, this one really didn’t last long). There are signs of work being started at the former Tucky’s location so there could be some validity to the rumors. Let’s hope so. Location-wise, it is literally a stone’s throw from the new Jenni Juggs. Hopefully, with two very different cuisines, the restaurants will complement versus threaten each other. I’ll be sure to share more on this one as news develop!

Let’s eat!

So for now, give Jenni Juggs a try and let me know what you think! I will be checking it out soon myself and using the $10 gift card that they gave to the Luxury Nails salon to distribute to its customers. (Kudos to both Jenni Juggs and Cafe Melissa for including an enticement in their grand opening promotional efforts. It works!)


The Summer Market.


I’m looking forward to The Summer Market in Avon Lake next weekend. Friday and Saturday, July 27-28, 2012, to be exact. There will be plenty of quality vendors offering up their wares from furniture to jewelry, fresh produce to home decor and more. And some great food courtesy of Sweet Melissa, Sweet Basil, Sweet! ( a mobile cupcakery), Fahrenheit, Woolson Concessions and Humble Pie Bakery make the event even more irresistible. Extras include live music and a photographer to help you capture the moment. Oh, and did I mention the park is at the water’s edge of Lake Erie? Get there!


Route 83 & Lake Road at Veterans Park, Avon Lake, OH

July 27: 5-9 pm

July 28: 9 am-4 pm

sunday in july.

if there is one thing that having a baby forces you to do that is live in the moment and take it one day at a time. so, here’s my post about today, a sunday in july.

the day started off playing with lucy and all of her toys on the living room floor. some bad dane cook movie on in the background. little lucy was still battling her ear infection that was diagnosed yesterday at the ER (a great way to start the weekend, by the way) and the subsequent fever. but i could tell she was beginning to pull out of it by her interest in her bevy of toys!

hubby and i worked up the energy to go check out made in the 216 down on 4th street. it felt a little like the day after the party with things picked over and a bit bare. the photo booth was fun though and we took full advantage of it. felt great to get out of the house and lucy was a trooper and hung in there while we stopped by target afterward to grab socks.

after being back at home for a bit, we decided it was pool time! we scored a super cute little whale-shaped pool at target a few weeks back and were excited to test it out. it was lucy’s first time wearing her yellow polka dot bikini too. and…probably her last as it is snug. (i bought it when she was maybe 2 weeks old and boy is kids’ clothing sizing terribly off. can someone fix that already?)

then lucy napped (hooray) and joe worked on his scooter and i worked on some new mini cake stands that will soon be for sale at salty not sweet (@saltycleveland).

and now, with ohio city four cheese ravioli in our stomachs and showers had, things are winding down. lucy is asleep but not so sure for how long with her not feeling well.

today felt like a bit of a marathon (especially with a sick kiddo) and i know that it’s not over yet (again, kiddo) but if i step back for a moment i can see that it was a good one. i think i just need to remember to step back more often.

Sunday at the Bakery.

Today, I had a lovely time kicking back with my husband and good friend. The three of us enjoyed coffee and pastry treats at the Blackbird Baking Company in Lakewood. I had a raspberry jammer. I would have shown you a photo of it with this post (because they are quite pretty) but I had polished it off by the time I remembered that I was supposed to take a photo. Hey–it happens. And that is testament to just how delicious it was.

If you haven’t checked out this spot on the borderline between Lakewood and Rocky River, you should. Hang out there with a friend or bring along your laptop. And make sure you take a fresh loaf of bread home with you as well. I’m going to enjoy one of their multigrain options as toast tomorrow morning.

the perfect dress.

this is my cry for help. i’m looking for the perfect dress to wear to a friend’s wedding. it’s a lovely couple that is getting married and my husband is even in the wedding so i want to be sure to look my best.

dresses have always been tricky for me. it’s tough to find one that nips in at the waist, out at the hips, hits the knee, and flatters on top. i always seem to qualify a few of those points but never all of them.

so, i have less than two weeks to pull this off. send me your suggestions. i’m looking for something cool, classic with a modern twist and at least semi comfortable. show me the way!

i can’t believe i’m blogging about deodorant.

but i am. and here’s why.

i love sharing news of a great product with other people. and deodorant is no exception.

i’ve been on a quest for a deodorant that wasn’t full of aluminum or other harsh chemicals. but i also wanted something that worked. that combination was not easy to find. i tried all kinds of natural deodorants including crystal stones, lavender roll-ons, unscented bars. each ended up creating a new strange and not so pleasant scent by mid-day or just did nothing at all leaving me…unprotected. (“unprotected” sounds like something from a cheesy deodorant commercial so i had to say it.)

i had almost given up and resorted back to my secret solid–chemicals and all. and then i decided to give natural deodorant one more shot–earth science liken plant herbal scent natural deodorant. (and it was on sale at heinen’s.)

and the verdict–it works! and the scent is a pleasing light citrus. plus it’s paraben-free and not tested on animals.

so go for it. it’s all of these little things we do for better health that really do add up.

cool clevelander 2010

if i had to vote for the coolest clevelander of 2010 it would be an easy vote for danielle deboe. google the girl and see for yourself. the list of her cool contributions to cleveland–from shop owner of Room Service to her unwaivering promotion of our city–could constitute an entire blog on its own. but what i will share with you in this post is her latest contribution–her participation at the TEDxCLE event. danielle charmingly shared her view on how one may go about “arriving at doing something”.

color your winter bright.

so sometimes it’s very small things that help us get through a dark time. ya know, a dark, dreary and COLD time like this winter.

and i’ve found one of those small things: a $5 bottle of nail polish from urban outfitters in a punchy purply pink that is the perfect pick-me-up. paired with dark clothing, this polish almost reads as a fluorescent. it’s very, shall we say, miami (pronounced mee-ah-mee).

and notice how cool the bottle is. very 80s meets 90s. and the cap is a matte texture which helps you keep a firm grip while you paint away.

so go crazy! get colorful! what else can you drop $5 on and enjoy so much!?

smaw things.

yep, small things. tiny things. little stuff. teeniny-ness. if you know me at all, you know that this is what i’m all about. in fact, i even invented a word to describe tiny, delicious, sometimes ridiculous things–smaw!

so here’s some smaw stuff that i made for you–irish pride dog tees. get one now so you have it well in advance of st. patty’s day. you can order at

what $14.14 gets you at goodwill.

i decided to hit up goodwill in avon lake today. uh, it was packed. it was insanity. apparently saturday is THE day to go to goodwill. i’m glad i faced the crowd though because i found a few gems. and i got them all for a grand total of $14.14.!

the bowls

i scored a set of two small bowls that are the perfect size for filling with a hearty helping of soup this winter. they are marked with “mancer” on the bottom. i tried to google this but couldn’t find much except that it is italian. the colors are great and i especially love the “drips” on the inside edges.

the plate

this is the mystery item i purchased. it is an approximately 9″ plate marked on the bottom with “the bailey-walker vitrified china 1929“. but that marking doesn’t explain the big “M” bannered with “OHIO” on the top of the plate. any ideas?

and a bassinet

after i purchased this, i texted my husband to inform him we were the proud owners of bassinet. i don’t think he believed me at first. but here’s the deal. this bassinet is in great shape and was only $6. and i’ve been looking for one to use at craft shows to display my lovely ruby alabama items. so, now i have one. and who knows–maybe it will come in handy some day for its real purpose.