Over the past year we’ve met a bunch of super awesome Cleveland bloggers, social media influencers, and movers and shakers making things happen in Cleveland. They’ve really helped us get even more excited about blogging and what we love about Cleveland, and we felt that our readers should get to know these amazing people too. So, we’re introducing the Beard/Broad spotlight where we interview a new friend of ours about their favorite foods, drinks and CLE activities. We hope you enjoy getting to know our new friends, and maybe you’ll find a new favorite Cleveland eating or drinking spot too!
We’re excited to announce that Shibani Faehnle of Bombay Taxi Boutique will be our first spotlight post! Shibani is a badass, modern day Renaissance woman. She is a transplant from Mumbai, India, but has lived in Cleveland, Ohio for the past 13 years with her husband Nick, and their three rescue dogs – Clair, Webster, and Reggie (you know how we feel about pets). She lives by the motto #SparkleEveryDay and has the superhero power of being able to use jewelry to style any outfit and enhance any feature you need help with. Oh, and she’s a powerhouse on social media and just a super fun person to be around.
In 2015 she launched her online jewelry boutique Bombay Taxi. From her website: “We love the concept of affordable luxury, and have carefully curated a selection of limited-edition pieces, hand-crafted by artisans in India. We appreciate unique pieces, and carry no more than 25 of any given piece, with some pieces being truly one-of-a-kind. Our pieces are all named after Bollywood actresses, since the color, music, and emotion of Bollywood are so entwined in the city of Mumbai (Bombay) that serves as the inspiration for our store. 10% of our net revenue is donated to charity.” Fun fact: Broad was her first bridal client, she bought her nine bridesmaids’ earrings from Shibani (Broad also owns a bunch of other Bombay Taxi jewelry).
Now on to the fun stuff!
What’s your favorite at-home drink?
I’m quite lazy, so I have to say wine. That said, I did just buy the Savoy Cocktail book so I’m inspired to try some classic cocktails this year. It’s my 2018 Resolution – drink more cocktails.
What’s your favorite drink to order when you’re out?
Depends on where I am – there are a few bars and restaurants that have amazing cocktail menus, so I would likely try their cocktails, but my favorite, don’t-think-about-it drink is prosecco. I love bubbles.
What’s your favorite CLE restaurant when you’re on a budget? When you’re feeling fancy?
One of my favorite new restaurants in Cleveland also happens to be one of the most wallet friendly – Xinji. I am OBSESSED with their spicy miso ramen. OBSESSED.
When I’m feeling fancy I enjoy Urban Farmer and Red, although I’m more into the seafood than the steak. I love a good raw seafood tower.
Favorite CLE food item?
Pierogies at Sokolowski’s and Prosperity – they’re soaked in butter in both places, so you really can’t go wrong.
I picked this as a quintessential favorite Cleveland item, not necessarily as my most favorite thing to eat in Cleveland. My most favorite thing to eat in Cleveland is Pad Kee Mao at Thai Thai which I get at least twice a month (I once ate it 3 times in one week) and the aforementioned Spicy Miso Ramen at Xinji.
What’s your favorite CLE bar?
I love Velvet Tango Room, but at $20 a cocktail, I don’t get there a whole lot. On the more reasonable end, it’s a 3 way tie between Porco, Spotted Owl, and recently discovered LBM. All 3 do really good cocktails, and I like the atmosphere at all 3 locations, although they couldn’t possibly be more different. Porco is a tiki bar, Spotted Owl has a very hidden, secret vibe, and LBM is a metal viking bar!
Favorite Happy Hour?
The Plum in Ohio City – great cocktails and small bites in one of the most instagrammable locations in Cleveland.
Go to meal when you’re cooking for yourself? For a group?
I’m super lazy when I’m cooking just for myself – my go to is breakfast food, no matter what time of day. But I make it fancy by using truffle salt on my eggs LOL.
I love cooking Indian food for dinner parties because (a) I am Indian and (b) I love introducing people to Bombay (Mumbai) specialities, which is where I’m from. I don’t always cook Indian for dinner parties though – I have a lot of friends who don’t do spicy food 😉
What’s your favorite travel destination?
This is a tough one because there are so many places I want to go that I haven’t been yet! That said, my current favorite city in the world is Amsterdam. Nick (my husband) and I visited in 2016 and I fell hopelessly in love with the city – I would move there in a heartbeat!
What would be your last meal and drink?
Assuming that I have all day to eat and no restrictions on the number of courses, here’s what I would eat, grouped by category, but in no particular order:
Indian snacks: sev puri, bhel puri, pani puri; raw oysters, preferably briny, and washed down with ice cold champagne.
more Indian food: pav bhaji, malai kebab from Khyber in Mumbai, daal bhukara from the ITC hotel in Agra;
Spicy miso ramen from Xinji, Pad Kee Mao at Thai Thai, Korean BBQ from Miega, and Spicy Chicken from Parkview.
Dessert – all the ice cream I can possibly eat at Mason’s creamery, over egg waffles and churros.
I’d be drinking champagne or prosecco or cava ALL DAY!
Your friend is in Cleveland for one day, what should they do?
Ha! I have this one down to a science depending on weather! Stretchy pants are a must. This also assumes no attendance of sporting events, which would obviously alter this schedule.
Breakfast at Brewnuts (hello Instagram) and Cleveland Bagel Co. Tour of the West Side Market (with a stop at West Side Market cafe for Bloody Marys), followed by a trip to the Cleveland Museum of Art, stop at Coquette Patisserie for champagne, oysters, and a little dessert. No lunch because obviously West Side Market involves eating too. We would then head over to Platform Beer Co. for some beer (and patio time in the summer – indoor board game in the winter), followed by cocktails and appetizers at Plum Cafe. At around 7:30 – 8:00 pm, we would head over to Xinji for ramen, walk over to Mason’s Creamery for ice cream, and then walk back over to Forest City Shuffleboard.
In the summer, I might swap the Art Museum for paddleboarding, but ideally they would be here for a weekend so we could have even more fun on Sunday!