Margaret and Phillip Nabors were ahead of the curve in championing natural and organic foods when they opened Mustard Seed Market & Café in 1981. To ensure the integrity of every item stocked on their shelves, the Nabors developed a list of golden standards—nine guidelines that range from a ban on high-fructose corn syrup to selling only cruelty-free cosmetics. This combination of rigor and passion has propelled Mustard Seed for more than 30 years, filling two locations with locally grown produce, fresh-baked vegan cookies, and naturally lean-but-tender beef from certified Piedmontese cattle, which are raised on an all-vegetarian diet free of steroids and antibiotics.
Today, the Nabors' children, Abraham and Gabe, have joined their parents in leading Mustard Seed's team of natural-foods experts—who include everyone from the customer-service associates to the stockers, ensuring that shoppers can find answers to their questions around every corner. The store also educates customers through classes and free lectures on topics such as California wines and what’s going to happen when they run out of letters to name the vitamins.
The recipient of Cleveland Magazine's 2008 Silver Spoon Award for Best Chinese, Hunan Solon’s multiple menus chronicle an eclectic array of traditional Chinese and pan-Asian cuisine. A vast lunch selection pits the Sino-centric Hunan chicken combo platter ($7) against the Southeast Asian pad thai ($6) in a gustatory battle of poultry/noodle supremacy.
The Glenwillow Grille's tasty menu features a wide variety of savory starters, salads, flatbreads, sandwiches, and specialty entrees that will sweep your taste buds off their soft-palated shoes. Lay the foundation for your feast with an order of stuffed banana peppers ($8) filled to the brims with spicy Italian sausage and creamy ricotta cheese, topped with a marinara-mozzarella classic combo. Sandwiches allow diners to hold hands with their meals and eat them too, featuring stratified delights such as Italian paninis ($10) and patty melts with gruyere cheese and sautéed onions on toasted rye bread ($10). Grilled flatbreads up the low-altitude food ante even higher with well-balanced margherita ($9), pesto-chicken ($12), and spinach- and artichoke-topped ($11) thin crusts. The jumbo coconut shrimp is a chef specialty, combining socially butterflied shrimp rolled in coconut-tempura batter with an entourage of pineapple, red-pepper, and spinach risotto ($17), and a plate of Glenwillow's pasta of the day ($14) has the power to make all eaters feel relevant, even if they don't have cable.
When Frank Cangemi first opened Miles Famers Market in 1971, it was a seasonal, open-air market that only sold fresh fruits and vegetables. Frank would arrive at the Northern Ohio Food Terminal at 3 a.m. every day and proceed to hand select his stock of fresh produce, carefully choosing veggies without bruises and punting overly ripe cantaloupes. This hand selection and attention to detail is something he still does to this day, even though Miles Farmers Market has expanded to a 21,000-square-foot shopping space that also houses a deli, a butcher, and a bakery.
Its cheese department hosts more than 400 varieties of cheese, which complement varietals from a wine section that Wine Spectator hailed as “outstanding.” Its bistro not only makes up quick bites but also full dinners to go. Its staffers help foodies navigate the aisles and are on hand to offer tips that range from how to ripen an unfamiliar fruit to how to successfully wash food in the dishwasher.
Yet, even with all of this, it’s the dedication to having the best produce that really draws in shoppers. For more than 40 years, Miles has fostered partnerships with local produce growers such as Burnham, Spiegelberg, and Rittman Orchards, as well as Ohio Fruit Growers. These alliances allow for a vast selection of organic and local produce that may have been ripening on the vine or stalk seven hours before hitting store shelves.
Organic Energy Restaurant and Power Juice Cafe sates health-conscious appetites with a menu ripe with smoothies, shakes, and comestibles for carnivores and herbivores alike. Nondairy smoothies are loaded with fruity fantasticals and arrive in forms such as the Blue Lagoon, which comprises blueberry, mango, and banana for a fiber-filled punch (16 oz./$6.50; 20 oz./$8). Those wanting more girth for their guzzling can appreciate the power of power shakes, which can be whipped up with dairy or nondairy milk (16 oz./$7; 20 oz./$8). Blueberries, mangoes, almond milk, and honey make up the Instant Cleanse, designed for toxin rebels and on-the-go dieters alike.