Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Birthday Weekend!

I love birthdays!  I love any type of celebration really - it usually means that there is going to be fun, laughter, and good food :)  I especially love good food!!  This past Saturday was my dad's birthday - let's just say he is finally able to get all the sweet senior citizen discounts - and you know what they say "all senior citizens should have life alert"  haha maybe a belated birthday present?  But, really when it's my dad's birthday, I think of a little kid - think baseball game, a chocolate birthday cake, and arcade games... Yes a senior citizen with the all the above!  He's so cute.

So for Papa Easy's birthday, I bought him a pair of Indians tickets for him to take my mom to the Indians game - he was so disappointed at the beginning of the week when none of us had given him tickets yet!  Not only was there a game on his birthday, but it was also Albert Belle bobble head day - to the first 10,000 fans and my dad is always the guy who has to be there when the gate opens - but the RTA Rapid system messed that up, since it was shut down.  The RTA bus transported them to the game instead....taking an hour and a half!! Really?  Sadly, he missed out on the free bobble head :(  But since my family loves the word free, he was able to score a free Indians cap from one of the stands by showing his ID and how sad he was that he didn't get a bobble head on his birthday.

While my parents were at the game, I made reservations at one of the most amazing sushi restaurants around - Ginko!  Ginko is located in Tremont, right below Dante - both restaurants are owned by Dante Boccuzzi and both are fantastic!  Anyway, Ginko is very tiny - there is a sushi bar that takes up most of the restaurant and probably has 12-16 bar stools, then there are a few tables that can seat 5-7 people.  The restaurant also has a few old school arcade games - the feature my dad loved most!  The restaurant is beautiful and has a lot of blown glass decorations.  The waitstaff is very friendly and accommodating - you never have an empty glass.

We started with warm, damp towels to clean our hands and then the ordering frenzy began!  My sisters and I started with miso soup, while my parents started with a seaweed and soba noodle salad.  We moved on to our appetizer of the day: a tempura snow crab with tempura mangos and a mango-mint dipping sauce.  Obviously we ordered sushi - we had the Ginko roll, The Zeppelin roll, and the California "sunshine" roll with spicy mayo on the side.

 Our warm hand towel - felt so special - and I love the little details!

 My sister, Ash, with her bowl of soup - our bowls came stacked to our table.

 Excited for the soup in my bowl

 They serve soup the Japanese traditional way - without a spoon - Yes we sipped, drank, and slurped our soup!
 My parents seaweed and soba noodle salad - it had a really nice flavor that I don't even know how to describe!

 Our tempura crab and mango appetizer.  This was so delicious!  I only had a little because its tempura, but the flavor of the tempura mango was wonderful - not too sweet and very light.  The texture of the tempura crab was awesome and the flavor with the mango-mint sauce was a perfect combination.
 Tiffany showing off her crab claw before eating it - yes, the ENTIRE thing was edible!

California "Sunshine" roll - Snow crab, cucumber, avocado, tobiko

The Ginko roll - the two rolls on either side - and The Zeppelin roll - in the middle.  The Ginko roll has tuna, salmon, hamachi, avocado, cucumber, kaiware, romaine lettuce, daikon, and tobiko.  The Zeppelin is the specialty of the house - all I will say is you need to try it and experience the delicious combination for yourself!

The birthday boy enjoying some old-school Atari Millipede :)  It's the little things!

If you enjoy sushi and haven't tried Ginko, you need to get there right now!  Highly recommended and I can rave about this place forever!

At home we had a gorgeous cake waiting for my dad.  He wanted chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate - so that is exactly what he got!  We ordered the cake from Just Desserts by Natalie.  She makes some of the most amazing cakes right inside her house.  Everything is homemade and tastes wonderful.  Natalie makes cakes, cupcakes, and cookie trays, - including, but not limited to, specialty cakes, wedding cakes, and cake in a jar.  She bakes in a pet and smoke-free environment.  Just Desserts is something you should definitely check out by clicking on the link above...she has her prices and pictures of everything she has baked, decorated and sold!  AND if you become a fan of her page she occasionally has giveaways of her baked goods - usually you have to pick them up, but the trip is so worth it!   Now check out this delicious cake:

 Chocolate cake with chocolate fudge center, chocolate buttercream icing, and milk chocolate Hershey kisses.

One happy birthday boy!

I didn't personally have any cake because I don't really ever eat sweets - unless it is low-sugar, cal, fat, etc.  But my dad, mom, and sisters all loved it!  My dad said it was the best chocolate cake he ever had!  And my dad has had a lot of chocolate cake in his lifetime - so believe me, it is one darn good chocolate cake.  

After church today, we had my dad's birthday lunch at Bonefish Grill.  I just quickly want to share what I ate, because I am very happy with the healthy options I was presented with :)

 Fresh Ceviche - Chilled bay scallops, shrimp, fresh fish, avocado, citrus, peppers, cilantro - and no, I did not have any chips!

 Grilled Sea Scallops and Shrimp - side of seasonal veggies and asparagus

Fresh fruit - came with my mom's meal, but I can never pass up so good-looking berries and grapes!

I also made a trip to EarthFare after walking some trails at the Rocky River Reservation - and I found out there really is a river there :) - and I have some new finds to share with you tomorrow night!!

Well, I hope everyone had an amazing weekend, filled with scrumptious food!  I am just so thankful that my dad enjoyed his birthday :) and I was able to get some relaxation time!  Now I have to get ready for bed to be up for a 3.5 hour work-day ;) Thank you Tiff for having a weird work schedule!

Have a good night!

What did you do over the weekend?

Where do you like to eat for your birthday or other special occasions?

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