Friday, July 31, 2015

3 Palms Pizzeria -- Hudson, OH

3 Palms Pizzeria is a Neapolitian style pizza restaurant in the First & Main shopping district of downtown Hudson. The first time I tried 3 Palms was during the Taste of Hudson last year and it quickly became one of our favorite restaurants in Hudson.

The dining area at 3 Palms consists of heavy wooden tables, giving the restaurant a rustic feel. There are large windows throughout the dining area, giving you plenty of sunlight during your dining experience.

Make sure you save room for dessert, upon entering 3 Palms, you'll be greeted by the dessert case and the gelato case. You need to order the gelato, it's wonderful, I've never tried a flavor here that I didn't like.

On a Friday or Saturday you may need to wait a little for a table, 3 Palms wrote down my phone number and told me that we could walk around outside and would receive a text when our table was ready.

It was an incredibly nice night, so Dave and I opted to sit out on their patio. They have a mix of some larger group tables and some couple's tables outside.

The patio is along the front and side of the restaurant, we were at a table closest to the main entrance. However, the patio starts far enough away from the main entrance, that we weren't bothered by people entering and leaving the restaurant. One of my biggest restaurant pet peeves is being seated too close to the main door or the kitchen entrance, it always makes it difficult to enjoy your meal, because there's too much activity.

Flowers were everywhere along their gate.

We weren't too hungry, so we skipped ordering a starter. If you're hungry for an appetizer, I would recommend the Crispy Fried Artichokes served with lemon roasted garlic dipping sauce or the Antipasto Plate if you're ordering an appetizer for a larger group.

We split a Funghi Pizza which includes wild mushrooms, cippolini onions and smoked mozzarella cheese (smoked in house).

All pizzas at 3 Palms are prepared in the traditional Neapolitian way and cooked in a wood burning pizza oven. Due to the dough being hand rolled, each pizza may look a little different due to the individual qualities it may have obtained through hand rolling and wood firing. 

I love the thin, crispy crust that 3 Palms creates with their pizza making techniques and cooking the pizza in a wood burning oven. If mushrooms aren't a food you love, 3 Palms has a large list of pizza options and includes all of the ingredients for each on their menu. I've also tried the Margherita pizza before and loved it just as much as the Funghi.

For dessert Dave and I split some caramel gelato. Gelato is denser than ice cream, but it has a lower percentage of fat, allowing the flavors to shine through better. I have never been disappointed with 3 Palms gelato, I'm sure all of their flavors taste divine. 

My rating for 3 Palms:

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Crazy But True Gourmet Popcorn -- Hudson, OH

Crazy But True Gourmet Popcorn is located in the First and Main Shopping district in Hudson, they also have a pop-up shop in Legacy Village. Each location has 50 flavors on site daily and the capability to produce 100 different flavors. 


When we visited Crazy But True we were able to sample several popcorn blends before making our purchase. The staff was incredibly friendly as far as letting us try different popcorn flavors and making recommendations based on what we had tried.

What we tried:

Savory: Coconut Curry, Pizza, Beer Cheese.

Premium: Birthday Cake, Buckeye, Puppy Chow.

Employee favorites, the midnight rollo sounds great, I can't wait to try it next time we're in Hudson.

Crazy But True can put together super cute favors for bridal showers, baby showers, corporate events, etc. 

We purchased a small bag of the pizza and puppy chow popcorn.

The pizza popcorn had all of the flavors of pizza on an orange cheddar popcorn -- think of those classic pizza seasonings, but in mini form. 

The puppy chow popcorn was my personal favorite -- puppy chow applied to popcorn, there were even some Chex pieces throughout. This was perfect for satisfying my sweet tooth.

My review for Crazy But True Gourmet Popcorn:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Taste of Akron -- Akron, OH

Last night was the Taste of Akron which kicks off the three day set of events hosted by the Akron Arts Expo. Tonight is the Summer Uncorked Wine Tasting and tomorrow is the Akron Arts Expo Concert. All three events are hosted in Hardesty Park.

Unlike the Taste of Tremont, the Taste of Akron operates on tickets. You pay for the tickets at the beginning, by cash or credit card and then use those tickets to purchase food from vendors. Each ticket is $2, we bought fifteen tickets for $30 and used all of our tickets in sampling from the vendors.

The Taste of Akron vendors:
  1. Acme Fresh Market Catering
  2. Bistro on Main
  3. Bombay Grill
  4. Chocolates by Erin
  5. Crave
  6. D'Agnese's**
  7. DBA
  8. DiFeo's Catering
  9. Fleming's Prime Steakhouse**
  10. Frank's Place on Market
  11. Moe's Resturant
  12. Ms. Julie's Kitchen
  13. Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar**
  14. Old Carolina BBQ
  15. Papa Joe's
  16. Papa John;s
  17. Teriyaki Madness
  18. The Culinary Chameleon
  19. The Office Bistro
  20. The Pierogi Lady**
  21. Three Sister's Momo**
Food Trucks:
  1. The Beach Comber
  2. Popsmith**
  3. Premier Crepes
  4. Southern Thangs**
  5. Stone Pelican Rolling Cafe
  6. Stray Dog 
  7. Wholly Frijoles
** locations are vendors that we sampled last night at the Taste of Akron.

The first sample we had was a Vegetarian Momo from Three Sister's Momo (a momo is a dumpling). I thought that this sample was good, the filing was flavorful and they were well cooked. These were spicy. Dave thought it was a nice one ticket item, because it wasn't something that we had tried before and we were able to get a nice taste of what Three Sister's Momo had to offer.

The next sample we had was a Michelada Tofu Taco from Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar. I wouldn't be fully transparent if I didn't state that Dave and I are already huge fans of Nuevo. We love going to their restaurant in Akron and were excited to see them at the Taste of Akron. I love this taco, it was full of flavor and is not something that I have seen on their menu before. It was also a huge portion for only two tickets. Dave and I really liked this taco and are planning a trip to Nuevo. 

Next up was D'Agnese's and we tried the Feta & Watermelon Salad. I liked the combination of the feta and the watermelon, but there was a lot of red onion in this and I didn't want to taste red onion for the rest of the evening, so I kind of picked around it. I did like that they served these in a resealable container, we were able to get the sample and hold onto it easily as we went to different vendors. Dave liked how fresh this was and said it was nice to veer away from the other food offerings which were pretty rich. 

Cheddar & Potato Pierogis from the Pierogi Lady. I already talked about the Pierogi Lady during my Hartville Flea Market post, but I can't rave about her enough. She had five different types of pierogis available at the taste of Akron (I don't eat meat, so I had to skip out on four of the offerings) and she always delivers a wonderful serving of pierogis. Dave and I can't visit a Taste without a stop to the Pierogi Lady, she's a festival staple for us. 

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse served Augratin Flemings Potatoes. I'm lucky that I got a bite of these potatoes since Dave enjoyed them so much. The blend of cheese which Flemings uses is great, you can taste several different types of cheese and they are just covered in the cheese. The leeks that are in the potatoes give them an onion-like flavor. We really liked these, the dish was pretty much all the same texture and didn't photograph well, but it tasted good. 

The band Get On Up played throughout the evening, they were great! There was a large group of people watching the band and dancing to the music.

The food truck vendors were in a different location than the other vendors, they were across the park, with the main stage separating the two food vendor locations.

Our first stop was Southern Thangs, we had tried their Deep Fried S'more last year and wanted to sample it again. 

Messy perfection. The Deep Fried S'more is quite a bit of dessert. I personally like the batter the best, the beer batter + graham cracker + Godiva chocolate really makes this something special. This is a messy sample though, Dave and I struggled with eating it, I wish I had picked a knife up from one of the other vendors, plastic forks made this one a struggle. 

We had tried the Popsmith last year at the Taste of Akron and think it's such a cool concept. The Popsmith travels around around to various festivals and sells popsicles in a variety of combinations. Here's the menu from last night.

Dave ordered the Rhubarb Orange Blossom and I had the Cherry Amaretto. The Rhubarb Orange Blossom was tart with bright notes of citrus, whereas the Cherry Amaretto was sweet and had a nice hint of that classic amaretto flavor. We thought these were a nice way to cap off our evening. 

Final thoughts on the Taste of Akon. Although parking is a little crazy, this year there were locations roped off in Hardesty Park in addition to street parking, we easily got a spot in the field and were able to leave without incident. There was an incredibly long line for tickets, but since they had three lines, two for cash and one for credit card, we were able to by pass the long lines and pay for our tickets by credit card which was convenient. I really prefer dealing with tickets over dealing with cash, I'm not sure if I just think it's more fun or if it makes me feel like I'm not really spending money, but I enjoy that aspect of the Taste of Akron.

I really dislike the set-up of this event. All of the vendors are located under a large tent, some vendors line the left side, others the right side. As a result, all of the lines butt up against each other, it's difficult to tell where the line ends and which line is which. All of the vendors have long lines and due to all of the people trying to navigate through the tent it's difficult to stand in line to wait, because you're constantly being jostled by people on the move. I really wish that they would use two food tents, that way even if the lines are long, the lines of people won't be backing up into other food lines and there will be less people trying to weave through the lines to get to other vendors.

Additional thoughts about the 10th Annual Taste of Akron.

Favorite Sample:
  •      Dave-- Michelada Tofu Taco (Nuevo) and Rhubarb Orange Blossom Popsicle (Popsmith). 
  •      Alecia -- Deep Fried S'more (Southern Thangs) and Michelada Tofu Taco (Nuevo).

My rating for the Taste of Akron:

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Taste of Tremont -- Cleveland, OH

On Sunday we visited the 13th Annual Taste of Tremont, despite the heat the event was absolutely packed. Parking can be a bit difficult in Tremont, there's mainly street parking, we heard some churches were charging a few dollars for parking and that there was a shuttle for the event which cost $10 -- if you're dedicated and willing to walk you can probably find a street space. Professor Avenue is closed off for the event and there are vendors all along the street. The beer garden is located at the north end of Professor Avenue, alcoholic beverages are also available on the patios of the restaurants in the area.

Unlike other Taste events that I've attended in different cities, this one doesn't use tickets or swipe cards, you pay each vendor as you go. A few vendors took cards, but you'll absolutely want to bring cash as most are cash only. 

Our first stop was Signature Slush for a strawberry lemonade. We parked about a block away from the event and in the time it took us to walk from our car to Professor Ave. we were parched. The strawberry lemonade was just what we needed.

I love Ohio, there were plenty of vendors selling Ohio goods and tee shirts. 

Our first food stop was Press Wine Bar for Sweet Potato Tater Tots with Avocado Cream. These were awesome! The tater tots were incredibly crisp and the light avocado dressing that was paired with them was divine. I wish that we had gone back to get a second order, we scarfed these down.

We also stopped at Michael Symon's Lolita for some macaroni and cheese. Iron Chef Michael Symon is a Cleveland native! 


The macaroni and cheese was incredibly creamy due to the goat cheese which was used and it was seasoned with rosemary. This was another A+ taste in our book. 

We couldn't resist stopping for some ice cream, this cookies and cream ice cream sandwich from Tremont Scoops was enjoyed by Dave. It had a taste of bananas and I really hate bananas, I know I'm a total weirdo, so Dave was the only one who ate our ice cream sandwich. Tremont Scoops was offering several vegan ice cream options, I'm guessing that the cookie was vegan as well and contained banana. Someone else in our group tried the vanilla which was sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. Overall, these were a hit with the guys. There was a line out the door for ice cream cones, otherwise we would have sampled some additional ice cream.

Although there was a pierogi vendor with a variety of pierogis, we stopped at the booth in front of St. John Cantius Church. The $1 per pierogi price was hard to pass up. The pierogis were huge and homemade. I wish that we had picked up a few more, I love a good pierogi.

By the end of the event we were pretty full, but we do have an apple pie from Gray House Pies to enjoy later. 

For a brief reprieve from the heat we stopped at Lilly Handmade Chocolates which is located on Starkweather Ave which is at the south end of Professor Ave.

All of their chocolates are handmade daily and are full of sweet, salty and savory flavors. It was really difficult for me to choose, we only picked up a few truffles. Next time I'm in Tremont I plan on picking up a dozen, so that I can try more of the flavors.

I did enjoy the 
P. B. Monster Truffle which has "fresh peanut butter + clover honey + feuilletine crunch + himalayan pink salt + milk chocolate."

My coffee addicted sorority sister (love you Kaley) picked up a flight of coffee from duck-rabbit coffee.

All were cold-brewed there was a coffee from Burundi, Ethiopia and Columbia. It was quite a bit of coffee, even for two coffee lovers, this flight is probably best if shared. Coffee connoisseurs would likely be able to note the differences between each, I'm a coffee drinker who likes cream and toppings, so subtle flavor nuances are lost on me.

Overall we had a great time at the Taste of Tremont. There were several locations on Professor Ave. which had live music. The north side of Professor Ave. was definitely a more vibrant scene, that's where the beer garden was located and most of the restaurants which had patios, the south side of Professor Ave. had a chiller vibe, vendors there were selling jewelry, thai massage, candles and vegan cashew spreads. There was a wide variety of food options and a bustling crowd which helped to fuel the positive vibe.

The Taste of Tremont was very crowded, but we didn't wait in too long of a line for anything that we sampled. There were enough options that it was easy to get what you wanted, each vendor had about four items available. Something that stood out to me was how clean the event was, there were no overflowing trashcans or litter strewn on the ground -- J.V. Janitorial Services did a wonderful job keeping the event tidy, it really made the Taste of Tremont stand out above other festivals.

We'll be attending the 14th Annual Taste of Tremont next summer.

My review for the Taste of Tremont: