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After having Georgetown Cupcakes and Baked & Wired pumpkin muffins on Friday, the last thing I needed this morning was a donut. But I couldn’t resist checking out the newly opened Sugar Shack in Old Town. There was a line out the door as we drove up to 804 N. Henry Street but it moved quickly and we were ordering our donuts within 10 minutes.

The original Sugar Shack, located in Richmond, was named one of the top 10 Tastiest Donuts in the USA.  During his time representing in Richmond, Virginia Delegate Rob Krupicka (D-Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax) enjoyed Sugar Shack so much, he decided to bring his favorite donuts to Northern Virginia by opening his own shop. After tasting my first one (caramel with nuts on top), I’m glad he did ~ they are decadently delicious!

Not only are the donuts tasty but the store is also helpful to the community. Sugar Shack Alexandria has teamed up with Together We Bake (a non-profit that trains women in need)to staff the labor-intensive kitchen where each donut is hand-crafted. No machines! The flavors, such as mint julep, maple bacon, s’mores, change frequently but there’s always the standard ones (chocolate, glazed, etc).

Sugar Shack Hanging Donut

Sugar Shack Donut Display
Some of the many choices.

Sugar Shack Coffee
Delicious Coffees

Sugar Shack and GW
Looking through a porthole inside the shop

I highly recommend Sugar Shack the next time you’re in Northern Virginia and get a craving for donuts and coffee!

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Ohio City is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s located immediately west of the Cuyahoga River and has eclectic shops & restaurants including the fabulous West Side Market.

West Side Mural
Beautiful Mural

Yogurt shop on the West Side
Vegan Yogurt Shop

Cigar Sign
Cigar Store

Cleveland Bridge
Bridge to the West Side

Statue on the Cleveland Bridge
Statue as you cross the bridge heading back into downtown Cleveland

West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest publicly-owned market has over a 100 vendors offering meats (lots and lots of meats), seafood, fruits, vegetables, tasty baked goods, dairy, beautiful flowers, ready-to-eat foods, spices, local honey, Ohio maple syrup and nuts.

West Side Market Sign

West End Market Slovenian Saugage
Slovenian sausage

West Side Market Beef
More beef…

West side market olives
Olives and all other Middle East delights

West Side Market Oranges
Bright and Delicious Oranges

West Side Market Pommegranets
Pomegranates ~ we got 11 for $10

West Side Market V
West Side Market

Westside Market 2014
Spices and Spiciness

Westside Market American Flag
Flag at West Side Market

Westside market est 1976
Don’t forget to pick up some CAKE

Westside Market signs 2014
Ice Cream and more

Westside market clock 2014
The 137 foot clock tower has been a Cleveland landmark since 1912.

The Market is open year-round on Mondays & Wednesdays from 7-4:00pm and Fridays & Saturdays from 7-6:00pm. The Market is closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Located at 1979 West 25th Street (Cleveland), the market is easy to get to either by public transportation or by car (parking is free). Click here for directions.

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Great Lakes Brewing Co

If you find yourself in Cleveland, head over to the West Side and check out Great Lakes Brewing Co. We stopped in for lunch and I was blown away by the superb (and very informative) customer service, overall great atmosphere, and the delicious food.

Great Lakes Sausage
For the Meat Lovers, it’s the all-sausage plate

Great Lakes Squash Ravioli
For the Vegetarians, delicious Butternut Squash ravioli

Beer Tasting Sampler at Great Lakes Brewing Co
The beer sampler is a great option if you’re not quite sure which beer you want to order. The sampler is a collection of Great Lakes beers including the newest ones served only on location.

Beer Menu Great Lakes Brewery
My favorite ended up being the Aloha Ale but the Eliot Ness was a close second. The good thing is Great Lakes Beer can be found in many states so I can restock if needed. Unfortunately, Aloha Ale is only available at the Cleveland location.

If you decide to go, especially on the weekend, be sure to arrive early. They don’t take reservations except for parties of 8 or more Monday through Thursday only. Another bonus, the prices are great ~ it won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet.

Unfortunately for me, all the tours of the Brewery were booked. If that’s of interest to you, make a reservation as soon as possible. Click here to check dates/times on all their events.

A few more photos of our Great Lakes Brew Pub visit:

Beer barrels at Great Lakes Brewing Co
Beer Barrels

Delicious Beers at the Great Lakes Brewing Co

Great Lakes Brewing Co Sign

Great Lakes Brewing Co

Great Lakes Tasting beers II

IMG_3293

Great Lakes Brewing Co

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One of my previous jobs required I prepare itineraries for visiting VIPs. One thing I learned is to always be flexible ~ it’s not a matter of IF things change, but WHEN things change. Only a week into planning our UK trip and the schedule has already been turned around. Due to John’s work constraints, we’ve decided to go to Scotland first then to London.

Day One in London will now be John’s graduation event so we’ve only got the morning to ourselves. Sounds like a good day to sleep-in, do laundry (from our week in Scotland) and then enjoy lunch at Maguro, our favorite Japanese restaurant. It’s located in Maida Vale.

Majuro Sushi London

My friend, Leslie introduced me to Maguro early on and we returned frequently throughout the year. I went once for dinner but I prefer their lunch. I always opted for the Tofu Teriyaki and it was consistently delicious. So yummy that my mouth is watering as I write this…

Bento Box, Maguros, London

Maguros, London Maida Vale

Tofu Teriyaki Bento Box

Maguro is located at 5 LANARK PLACE, LONDON W9 1BT, TEL 020 7289 4353 Take the Tube to Warwick Avenue Station (Bakerloo Line) then it’s a short five-minute walk to the restaurant.  The restaurant is tiny (!) and I would highly recommended making reservations. Great food, wonderful service and intimate atmosphere ~ you won’t be disappointed.

After lunch, we’ll head to John’s graduation ceremony and then the evening reception which hopefully will be followed with a last round with friends at a local pub. I better make day two a late start as well!!

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Since I love the musical Mama Mia, I couldn’t help but think of the Super Trouper lyrics “When I called you last night from Glasgow, all I do is eat and sleep and sing …”

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and it has the most hipster people we’ve seen so far. London and Edinburgh can boast very elegantly styled businessmen and women, but the style in Glasgow is definitely more avant-garde. Some of the styles bordered on Jerseylicious (way too much makeup and big hair) but mostly the styles seemed fresh and fun. I took a few “stalker” photos

Fun Socks, Glasgow

Fun Socks, Glasgow

Collar up, Stylish Stores in Glasgow

Collar up, Stylish Shoes in Glasgow

Glasgow Fashion Window

Glasgow Fashion Window

We didn’t hit up the bar scene nor did we check out the guidebook’s promise of  hedonistic clubs but we can attest that the restaurants we ate at are fun, funky and top-notch. On the first night we ate a delicious Mediterranean meal at “Brutti Ma Buoni”  ~ very friendly staff made for a happy place to have dinner. The second day we went to a vegan restaurant called “Mono” ~ fabulous food right down to the non-cheese cheesecake. There was a performing Arts Group called “Buzzcut” which was part of their 2nd Annual Arts Festival. Another indication of Glasgow’s vibrant and energetic music and arts scene.

Mono Restaurant ~ Delicious Vegan options!

Mono Restaurant ~ Delicious Vegan options!

Greek Salad and Hummus at Mono Restaurant, Glasgow

Greek Salad and Hummus at Mono Restaurant, Glasgow

Stir Fry at Mono Restaurant. SO DELICIOUS!

Stir Fry at Mono Restaurant. SO DELICIOUS!

One of Many Statues througout Glasgow

One of Many Statues througout Glasgow

Straight, No Chaser

Straight, No Chaser

Glasgow Phone Booth ~ Dr.Who?

Glasgow Phone Booth ~ Dr.Who?

Archway to City Hall, Glasgow

Archway to City Hall, Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art

Gallery of Modern Art ~ don’t know why there’s a safety cone on the statue but seems appropriate in front of the Modern Art Gallery

Gallery Of Modern Art at Night

Gallery Of Modern Art at Night

There’s a lot to do in Glasgow but since we only had one full day, we opted for the Glasgow Cathedral and the Beautiful City Hall which I’ll post next…

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I don’t think of myself as a “foodie” but I’m learning a lot in London. This city has a fantastic array of restaurant and market choices. I may not be an expert when I leave but I know I’ve been spoiled!! Seems around every corner is an opportunity for a great meal or nibbly bits. We happened to walk by Green Valley Market the other day on our way to Hyde Park. After seeing the gorgeous mounds of Baklava in the window display, we couldn’t resist going in. It cost under £5 to buy 300g of assorted Baklava. YUM! If you’re in London (living or visiting), I would highly recommend checking this market out.  In addition to Baklava, they have fresh fruit/vegetables, a deli, other candies, bakery items, etc. It’s located at Edgware and Upper Berkeley close to Marble Arch/Hyde Park.

Baklava at Green Valley Market

Baklava at Green Valley Market

Green Valley Market on Upper Berkeley and Edgware Road

Green Valley Market on Upper Berkeley and Edgware Road

Baklava in the Market Window

Baklava in the Market Window

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Happy Birthday to John!

Favorite Girl and I had a nice birthday dinner waiting for John when he got home from work.  I even cooked chicken for him which is a big deal for this vegetarian girl 🙂  It was a recipe which required the least amount of “handling”.  We ate in the new breakfast nook because, after the removal of the wood paneling, we can’t seem to get tired of looking at it.

We made a double layer cake ~ chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate frosting in the middle and covered with vanilla frosting. Yummy!  And as you can see, Favorite Girl insisted on the exact number of candles on the cake:

Happy Birthday John ~ we love you!!

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