Ohio Blogging Association // December Meetup at TownHall

January 14, 2015 in beer,bloggers,cleveland,desserts,drinks,events,explore locally,food,life,OBA,Ohio,pictures,review,social media

Just before the holidays the Ohio Blogging Association celebrated it’s last meetup of 2014 with a visit to local Ohio City restaurant, TownHall.

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[photo credit: Alicia – Poise in Parma]

The philosophy behind TownHall is definitely a philosophy I support — organic, sustainable, and locally sourced food. They offer an array of gluten free, vegetarian and vegan dishes — and all are delicious!

We learned that over the last year they have made it a goal to become 100% non-GMO. And as of just the other day, they have succeeded! They are now 100% non-GMO!

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Trust me, while I was there I certainly had some questions about this for the staff. Chad + I put a huge focus on consciously choosing our food from sources that are non-GMO when we can. ‘Cause let’s face it — there are somethings that are difficult to locate non-GMO. So serious props to Townhall and the staff for this huge accomplishment!

In addition to me grilling the staff on their non-GMO initiative, I promise I did taste a LOT of food.

Our meetup was on a Monday night, which happens to be both Vegan Night AND Craft Beer Monday (every Monday $3 for any of their 36 drafts from 6pm to close). Their craft beer list is extensive and impressive. And as a non-vegan, I can testify that meat-eaters will love their vegan offerings, too!

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We started our food journey with Black Bean-Quinoa Falafel Steam Buns (with pickled red onions and sriracha cucumber vegan aioli). So, so, good. I have to admit, I love steam buns; but these weren’t just any steam buns. The falafel and aioli packed a little bit of a kick, too!

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Next up was a gigantic Raw Vegetable Crudite Platter with White Hummus and Kalamata Olive Dip. That kalamata dip — heavenly. I could have licked the bowl clean. Really.

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My entrée of choice was the Kobe Steak + Potatoes (Rosemary fingerlings, portabella + roasted red pepper roll, with a balsamic reduction drizzle). It did not disappoint. I, for one, did not expect to be able to finish my meal. Let’s face it —  my eyes are always bigger than my stomach. But I dominated this kobe steak and potatoes. It is by far one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

I think most of us felt this way about our entrées because we were all silent. A large group of 20 or so outgoing bloggers not speaking!? That’s more outrageous than the idea of me finishing a meal! But it’s the truth.

I nearly forgot one of the coolest features of TownHall — you can take home any of their 36 draft beers in a 32-ounce Crowler, pressure sealed for freshness in an aluminum can! This is way cooler than any Growler I’ve seen. As the only one in my household that enjoys beer, a 64-oz growler is just not something one can (or should) tackle on their own! Ha!

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We ended our TownHall food adventure by stuffing ourselves to the max on a giant Skillet Cookie (chocolate chip cookie topped with Mitchell’s vanilla ice cream).

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At this point in the evening I was fairly certain I couldn’t eat another bite, but when Mitchell’s ice cream is presented to you literally on a platter, you eat it. That’s foodie rule #1 in my book: Never say no to Mitchell’s ice cream.

Other items of note about TownHall: In addition to the restaurant, they have a more laid-back side which features an Urban Cafe, complete with wifi and laptop accessibility. The menu is the same on the Urban Cafe side, but offers a more relaxed “on-the-go” versus sit and chat vibe. It also features a bean bar complete with artisan coffee offerings, as well as a juice bar!

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It was an awesome evening spent with awesome blogger friends. I’m so grateful to have these people in my life and to have ended 2014 with such a bang (and food coma)!

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