We are extremely sad to hear of the passing of one of the original Tommy’s family members, Bill “Mr. Stress” Miller. We will miss your clever sense of humor and wise repartee.
We hope, wherever you are, you have good books, lively conversation, your favorite canine companions, excellent music with your fellow Blues Masters and most importantly a quiet spot to fish!
Tommy’s will be CLOSED on Sunday, April 5th
We will reopen Monday, April 6th at 9:00AM
Tommy and Cindy have another grandson to add to the crew!!
Blake Thomas Murphy born to Lindsay and Casey Murphy on March 24, 2015 at 3:03 AM!
Apparently we don’t just have the best milkshakes on Earth, but we are one of the top 14 most romantic restaurants in Cleveland!
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Romance is in the eye, and the heart, of the beholder – just as with beauty.
And the perfect place you choose to woo that special someone, or remind him or her just how much you care, is every bit a personal call. One lover’s magical hideaway could be another’s… “Seriously?”
So as I set about conjuring a list of 14 romantic places to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I tried on as many “hats” as possible. Namely, I aimed for settings that I’d have liked to take a date (and these days, my wife) at different ages and styles. Stages of finance, too.
(PS: I started by considering places where I’ve enjoyed good food, too.)
Whether bargain basement or luxe, the underlying factor in including these spots on my list is whether any given setting has its own sort of beauty (or coolness) to it. I tried to come up with places that afford a special kind of mood, one that contributes to conversation and intimacy.
Though it probably goes without saying, if you’re set on celebrating your love on Valentine’s Day and haven’t already booked a table, you’d better start making calls. (Plenty of places offer holiday specials on Friday and even on Sunday, if you’re willing to bend the rules…)
Anyway, here are my 14. I’ll be curious to hear yours.
Tommy’s, 1824 Coventry Road (Coventry Village), Cleveland Heights; 216-321-7757 – Maybe it’s my old hippie roots calling, but a visit to Tommy’s – Earth-friendly, health-friendly, veggie-friendly, mostly-just-friendly – tickles my twenty-something soul. It may not be moody and romantic, but it’s a perfect “different strokes for different folks” kind of place.
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio — Long before gluten-free trendy, way back when vegetarianism was an oddity and being a vegan got you REALLY weird looks, Tommy’s Restaurant was serving all of the above. The Cleveland Heights mainstay has catered to those with special dietary needs – or just in search of healthful dining options – since 1972.
It’s a formula that has worked quite well for the 42-year-old Coventry Road favorite, if a recent Sunday afternoon is testament. Or any afternoon, really. Tommy’s, a throwback to when Coventry was our very own Haight Ashbury, is busier and bigger than ever. They were ahead of the curve on healthy eating, and Cleveland is catching up.
But (wo)man – and kids – do not live on healthy foods alone. We need flavor, and options, and even treats. Healthy ones, of course. Tommy’s has all of these in abundance – no wonder they’ve lasted so long. Much of the time you wouldn’t even know you were eating veggie or gluten- or dairy-free foods here, if you hadn’t placed the order.
My 7-year-old, a friend and I visited on recent weekend. It was the perfect choice for our outing, as I’m encouraging my daughter to eat more healthfully and my friend cannot eat dairy or meat. Plus, we all love Tommy’s laid back vibe, with its big airy rooms, sleek blond wood and local art on the walls – not to mention it’s proximity to Big Fun and Mac’s Backs for after-lunch browsing.
We went around noon, still time to order breakfast, served till 1 p.m. on weekends, or lunch. It was a split decision for our table, with my friend opting for the wonderfully fluffy Alexandra pancakes topped with fresh bananas and strawberries ($3.99), with a side of crispy hash browns. Since she cannot consume dairy or soy, she was delighted with Tommy’s Rice Dream milkshakes ($7.29), the only place in town she has found them. The rich shake was made with freshly blended strawberries, a great treat on a cold winter day.
And kudos to our server who noted her request and made sure she knew that the pancakes were made with butter without my friend even having to ask about the ingredients. Note: this is also labeled on Tommy’s menu, which carefully notes the vegan, gluten- and dairy-free options, as well as what is made with salt or nuts.
Lunch options range from Tommy’s famous wraps and falafel to a wide variety of salads, tofu and tempeh entrees, meat pies, spinach pies, sandwiches and pizzas. Yes, they do serve meat, including those burgers and hot dogs. Not bad for place that also employs a specialist to craft vegan and gluten-free options.
My daughter and I both opted to go veggie that day. She chose the Quigley, toasted cheese on a pita with five cheeses, including Swiss, Cheddar and Muenster, and a heaping of tomato slices and green peppers ($7.99). It was a great twist on the usual kids favorite, and she loved the crisp veggies. I went with the Ceebee sandwich, a longtime Tommy’s favorite – falafel with veggies, sesame sauce, cheese, sunflower seeds and hummus ($8.99). It was just right: the falafel was crispy and zesty, topped with fresh sprouts and a great foil to the thick, garlicky hummus and sunflower seeds.
We couldn’t go to Tommy’s without a spinach pie, though, so we ordered one with Muenster cheese ($6.89) to share. Wrapped and baked in soft pita, the hot pie was a savory blend of spinach, onions and cheese – an American slant on a Mediterranean favorite.
We also couldn’t go to Tommy’s without sharing a shake, so we split one of their famous 20 ounce mocha blends ($5.99). Though they also make shakes with yogurt or soy, we went with good old milk. It may not have been the healthiest option on the dessert menu that also includes Power Smoothies, gluten-free lemon cookies, vegan cookies and Tofutti shakes, but it certainly was delicious.
Taste Bites: Tommy’s Restaurant
Where: 1824 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights
Hours: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday; 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday; 7:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday
Prices: Breakfast, $3.99 – $10.59; Falafel, wraps, meat pies, spinach pies $6.79- $10.59; Burgers & sandwiches, $6.49 – $10. 79; Salads, $6.80 – $12.75; Shakes and desserts, $4.99 – $7.29
Reservations: Not accepted. Expect to wait on weekends.
Credit cards: All major cards accepted.
Cuisine: American, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free
Kids: No kids menu, many healthy, kid-friendly options.
Accessibility: Fully accessible.
From Saturday, January 31st~Saturday, February 7th we will be open from:
11:00AM to 9:00PM
We will NOT be serving breakfast!
Sunday, February 8th we will be open from:
9:00AM to 9:00PM
December 19th 2014
JOY TO THE WORLD…
Or at least to 25 first graders
Santa, his trusty Elf, Ms. Magic(my wife Debbie),
and my daughter Arleigh’s 1st grade class.
Things happen for a reason. I believe that. What that reason is… is the tough part figuring out. Two years ago, I was on Marketplace with
Kai Ryssdal. As a big fan of the show, I was honored to be asked to talk about small business. I got calls from long lost friends, college buddies, and one from a gentleman named Frank, who happened to hear the show from his hometown of Toledo. Frank must have like what he heard on the radio show because he contacted me and wanted to buy $100.00 worth of merchandise to help my small business. Whatta guy!
I told Frank, I had a better idea. Let’s leverage his $100.00 and I will make it worth at least 3 times that amount, so that we can buy gifts for my daughter Arleigh’s kindergarten class. I let Frank know that these kids came from one of the poorest districts in the state. I also let him know that I would dress up as Santa to hand out our goodies. That first Christmas giveaway-2012 was an incredible success. I don’t know who enjoyed it more- The kids or your humble narrator. Last year, our angel Frank, upped his ante. We at The North Pole raised the bar too, adding my wife Debbie, exuberant elf, Ms. Magic to the event. True to form, our friend Frank came through again for the 3rd year in a row. As you can see, the kids had a great time and loved their gifts.
I have to tell you something…There is nothing like being Santa. You are an almighty force to these kids. I felt like I could walk on water and my feet didn’t touch the ground either. Bucket lists are popular now. Dressing up as Santa should be on everyone’s bucket list. I will put this out there too. If anyone wants to borrow my Santa outfit to brighten the lives of others, as long as it is available, you can borrow it for no charge.
One recommendation: Try and and adjust the beard/mustache a little better than me so that you don’t look like The Werewolf meets Santa.
Thanks to Kai Ryssdal, the gang at Marketplace, Debbie, Arleigh, and Frank for putting smiles on a lot of faces.
Support Brick and Mortar
For the past few years I have written about the demise of independent businesses. Each year, more and more Mom and Pops are forced to close. It used to be that Big Box was 75%
of the competitive problem and online sales was 25%. The tide has shifted and now it is probably 75% online and 25% Big Box. This rapid increase of E-commerce in market position has become the indie stores’ Kryptonite. The buying public has become very complacent and if I may say- lazy.
Can you blame them? My big concern is that the deleterious effect on brick and mortar needs to be addressed before it is too late. I’m not just talking about retail stores closing. I’m talking about commercial districts and neighborhoods fighting against rampant vacancies. In many cases, gentrification has made rent unaffordable to artists, entrepreneurs, and indie businesses. So what can we all do? How about doing your last minute shopping in a local brick and mortar. Support those who support you. I say that because, we independent store owners are the first to give gift certificates, donations, and support to local charities and neighborhood groups. We hire and pay taxes locally. We spend and invest our personal and business dollars in our community and surrounding areas. When an independent store closes, an accountant, a lawyer, an insurance broker, a printer, etc… loses a valued customer. I ask that you think twice before you pick up your smartphone or computer and place an order online. Send some of that business that leaves our community and shop locally. Talk to a human, get expert advice, and we all win.
SUPPORT THE ARTS AND FILL YOUR STOMACH WITH GOOD FOOD…
15 YEARS OF TOMMY AND THE COMMUNITY HELPING HEIGHTS ARTS.
WHAT A GREAT WAY TO START THE NEW YEAR.
HAPPY HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!!
Big Fun – 1814 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44118 216-371-4386
Big Fun Cleveland – 11512 Clifton Blvd, Cleveland, Ohio 44102 216-631-4386
Support Brick and Mortar
Show your student ID and get 50% off of a Tommy’s t-shirt! Now through December 20th!!