Category Archives: Other Voices

Help Michael, Marika and Lucy’s Sweet Surrender

Carl Skalak of Blue Pike Farm wrote this:

   The picture of a barn raising,  a community effort to collectively help out a neighbor seems quaint and out of reach for those of us of a more urban persuasion.  Well, the local food community is a community too and one of our own suffered a calamity this weekend in the form of a assault and robbery.
      Michael & Marika Feigenbaum were robbed again this Memorial Day weekend at their bakery, “Lucy’s Sweet Surrender”  on Buckeye Rd. Fortunately, nobody was shot this time, but Michael got roughed up more than a little bit. I saw him Saturday morning about 4 hours after the assault and he was gamely trying to keep up with the orders but was visibly hurting. They lost several days worth of store receipts and the cash box for the day’s farmers markets. While he didn’t mention a figure I’m sure his loss was more than several thousand in cash alone. Money that will take months of effort to recoup. Theirs is not a business with large profit margins.
      Michael is a stubborn cuss, from Russian Jewish stock and will, I expect soldier on. Marika is still shaking and I think still not really yet recovered from being shot last year.  But this kind of calamity is not only a serious financial hit, but more so an emotional blow. Two violent robberies in 18 months is a bit much, even by Cleveland standards.
      “What’s political is also personal. If you believe in something, you should be willing to make sacrifices to support it, even if it’s expensive or inconvenient.” (Russ Parsons, L.A. Times food writer)
     What can you do?  Well, if you need a loaf of bread, food for a graduation party, office event, family get-together or just because you like quality baked goods consider making a purchase from them at the store on Buckeye or at one of the farmers markets (Shaker Sq. or Crocker Park on Saturdays). If you are already a customer, buy something extra. There is  little downside for you because “Lucy’s Sweet Surrender” makes quality stuff (I’m a fool for his poppy seed goodies) . And your support now can make a big difference in gritting them back on track.
      You won’t get any splinters in your fingers and you’ll help rebuild their business too.
     Bravo to  Carl. I couldn’t have said it better and I think what he’s trying to do by encouraging all of us to get involved in this small, simple way is brilliant… and right.   Please act on his suggestion and pass this call for help on to everyone you know. Thanks.


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The Cleveland Connection

Something I posted in August, 2009 led to such a sweet story-told through comments- that I want to recap the thread.

I qorte a post about my discovery that Russian tea biscuits were a Cleveland thing and not Russian at all. One of the people that responded was a Clevelander living in Los Angeles. A fan of these pastires, she’d found one place there that made them. It was called Bea’s Bakery. They also had coconut bars, another beloved treat from home, and real corn rye bread. She wrote that it was rumored that a baker had once worked for our own Davis Bakery. I encourgaed her to do some investigating and report back.

It took her a year and a half but she got results. Retuning to the blog a couple of weeks ago she announced that Bea of Bea’s Bakery was from Cleveland and that her father had owned a bakery here, selling BOTH  Russian tea biscuits and coconut bars!  And indeed one of her bakers, now retired, had been employed by Davis   back in the ’50s. Ohiogirl, as she calls herself, ended her latest comment this way: “Now I know why her stuff tastes so right to me.”

Sweet, huh?

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Words of Wisdom from CIA

These remarks from Mark Erickson, Vice President Dean of Culinary Education at The Culinary Institute of Education, struck me as particularly profound and representative of what is at the heart of Cleveland Ethnic Eats.

Mark Erickson

The challenge for chefs today is to not only be aware of authentic cuisines, but to truly understand them. Our customers are now well-traveled and culturally savvy, and they have come to expect a variety of world flavors, whether they’re dining out or shopping at the supermarket.

At the same time that we learn about new cuisines, it becomes our responsibility to protect and maintain our culinary heritage. Many traditions that have been passed from generation to generation are in danger of disappearing because of the fast-paced world in which we now live. Therefore, our approach to ingredients, cuisines and fundamental cooking techniques continues to be key to all culinary professionals — no matter how innovative and experienced we may be.

We would not be where we are today if it weren’t for the work of those who came before us, and one can say that the past and the future are equally important to the culinary arts. That’s why our chefs and instructors are exploring both, through diverse, innovative research initiatives. They’re seeking to shed new light on the underlying science of our craft, preserve the art of time-honored culinary traditions, and share those results with the industry. 

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Nurture Little Ethnic Eaters

Help for moms and dads who want their kids to have a taste for pad thai, chicken korma, and grilled calamari. 

New Videos Help Parents of Picky Eaters
Author of “My Two-Year Old Eats Octopus,” gives mealtime tips for raising children who love to eat everything.

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Read about a Hungarian bakery and cafe in Wooster called Tulipan at  Exploring Food My Way,  an always fascinating blog about one man’s quest for delicousness. Based on his description and photos it sounds-and looks- to be a charming spot to satisfy a craving for dobos torte and strudel.


Filed under Other Voices, Restaurants

Seeing the World Through Rose Colored Glasses…full of margarita

I don’t like pink drinks. When a cocktail has a magenta or bubble gum hue it usually signifies the cloying sweetness of a drink for those who want all the fun of booze without actually ever having to taste the alcohol.  However, last night I found a tremendous exception to this rule. Johnny Mango in Ohio City has concocted a Watermelon Margarita that truly embodies summer. Rimmed with salt, this libation brings back memories of seed spitting contests in the back yard, but with the adult touch of lots of tequila. It is made with real, freshly juiced watermelon and no artificial flavors or sweeteners. I would still be very wary of a similarly tinted beverage at other establishments but I know that they specialize here in fresh squeezed juices and pride themselves on not using artificial flavors or mixers, and have never disappointed with their cocktails. Their Watermelon Margarita is not only a drink that I enjoyed, but one I will definitely be going back for. by Nathan Taxel

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Blogger Book Review

A fellow blogger and eating enthusiast  posted a detailed, thoughtful and made-me-blush citizen’s review of Cleveland Ethnic Eats this morning. Read what he has to say at Exploring Food My Way, and while you’re there check out the many other fascinating posts on all things edible.


Filed under In The Media, Other Voices