Restaurant Review: West End Bistro

Located in an old house in the middle of downtown Chagrin Falls, West End Bistro is nothing if not quaint. While the constraints of a house make for an interesting layout, with the kitchen and bar downstairs and a smallish dining room on the second floor (there’s also ample seating out on the patio, though it didn’t do us much good in December), it doesn’t detract from the experience.

The menu, perhaps intentionally coordinated to fit the space, is also on the small side, with a few starters, salads, and about a half-dozen options for each of the pizza and entree sections. Small though it may be, the menu isn’t lacking for variety, and most people should be able to find something to suit their tastes from amongst the mostly American-with-a-twist fares.

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Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

Red Cabbage Sauerkraut
Homemade sauerkraut has become a staple for us around here, particularly during the winter when there’s not much in the way of fresh produce. We’ve made a more traditional variety on numerous occasions in the past, but since kraut is infinitely customizable, I wanted to make something a little different, using… brace yourselves… red cabbage.

Okay, it’s not exactly a culinary breakthrough, but it’s pretty and delicious, and with some added beets and carrots, makes for a really nice addition to any sandwich or burger, or just a simple side. Plus, you get the benefits of all those phytonutrients that tag along with dark vegetables.

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Squash and Swiss Soup

Swiss Cheese and Squash Soup

We like our soups in the winter. They’re a great way to get a full complement of nutrients (and get the kids to eat vegetables), they’re hearty and warm, quick and easy to make, and a fantastic method for cleaning the fridge (really – take whatever bits and pieces of vegetables and meat you have creating clutter, and toss them into a pot with some broth).

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The Inn on Coventry

During a recent day off around the holidays, we took the kids out to breakfast (and once again wondered why we continue to take E anywhere…). Since we expected it to be eventful, we wanted something low-key and simple, which eventually led us to the Inn on Coventry.

The Inn on Coventry has been a neighborhood staple for over 30 years, and specializes in low-key. If you want a no-frills, down-to-earth diner that serves up simple home-style fare, this is your place. Close your eyes, and you can almost imagine yourself back in grandma’s kitchen.

The menu consists mostly of breakfast staples (which is served all day), but also has a selection of non-breakfast items (though why bother with that?).

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The Backyard Medicine Cabinet: Yarrow

The Backyard Medicine Cabinet - Yarrow

Yarrow is another plant that you may very well already be growing in your gardens without fully realizing its potent medicinal properties. It comes in a variety of colors, and its delicate foliage and flower heads make it a beautiful addition to any bed. While I have a dedicated area for growing most of my medicinals, yarrow is nice enough to put up front with the rest of the flowers.

But beyond that visual appeal lie a number of health benefits as well, so if you decide to grow it, you get a double whammy of goodness.

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