Friday, March 25, 2011

An Afternoon Outing in Glendale at the Grand Finale and Bluebird Bakery

It was a gorgeous sunny day for Neil to meet his good friend Angela.  She had a very thoughtful gift for him that I think was actually meant for me...a cat grass and catnip plant for our garden.  Gifts that keep on giving are the best in my opinion! 

Grand Finale

The Main Victorian Dining Room of the Grand Finale
      I've been thinking of having lunch at the Grand Finale so it was the first place that popped into my mind to meet.  It was their house salad and crêpes that were calling me.  We've been there numerous times and everything on the menu has always worked for me.  From brunch to lunch to dinner to dessert and drinks, the Grand Finale has been serving up french inspired cuisine since 1978.  It came into existence when the Sunday brunch was sweeping America and it's a tradition that continues today.  On Mothers' Day, the line can circle around the parking lot before they open. Is it worth it?  Absolutely!  The bite-sized crepes and desserts in tiny glass cups are just right for grazing on the brunch buffet.

       But today is all about lunch.  We arrived at 12:30 and the place is bustling.  Grand Finale is in a converted Victorian home that has been extended to include a garden room.  Fortunately, that's where we were seated – bright and inviting with just a glimpse of the outdoor courtyard.  

Mediterranean Salmon Salad
House Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Spinach with Four Cheeses and Coq au Vin Crêpes
      Service was polite and attentive and it felt like all the servers were there just for us.  A selection of breads arrived.  They're so tempting, I can make a meal from them!  Angela ordered the Mediterranean salmon salad with a lemon oregano vinaigrette on the side.  The romaine base included chilled asparagus, artichoke hearts, calamata olives, and sweet peppers.  From her expressions and comments, she approved.  I went with my initial thought of the house salad with creamy avocado dressing, reminiscent of Seven Seas' green goddess.  The salad is cold, fresh, and crisp with a generous amount of sliced mushrooms and sprouts.  I chose two different crêpes (you can order either one or two from six choices)—the spinach with four cheeses and the coq au vin.  Both arrived piping hot, as they always have.  I'm completely satisfied and content. 

Grand Finale at 3 East Sharon Road in Glendale, OH

Bluebird Bakery

The Expanded Bluebird Bakery
      Remembering our stops at Bluebird Bakery when we were working in the area, Angela and I couldn't resist checking it out.  In addition to our regular visits, we went there once to sample cakes when Angela was planning her wedding.  It's a sugar experience that everyone should have at least once in this life!  They've now expanded their space to include the much larger store next door.  It was a wise move.  They've also extended their service to include breakfast and lunch.  The dining area is charming and cheery with yellow walls and blue and white accents.

Apricot Scone
Jenny Dennis is the proprietor and her confections are among the finest.  Angela chose her macaroons and I went with my favorite, her scones.  Only today, the selection was down to just the chocolate chip variety.  The young woman behind the counter (who remembered us from five years was probably the cake testing) suggested that there were more in the day old bin.  That's where I found two apricot scones for the price of one!  As for the taste?  I couldn't tell that they were from the day before.  They were still fresh in my opinion.  We sat in the corner and took in the new environs.  There's no rush here.  It's a place to sit and spend some time and the two of us savored our selections and time catching up with one another.  We vowed to come back for lunch some day.  On our way out, I picked Eric up one of Jenny's macaroons (not to be confused with the regular macaroon).  These are two macaroons stuck together with chocolate cream icing and dipped in a rich dark chocolate.  He enjoyed the treat, as did Dexter the cat grass and catnip.  It was a day when we all benefitted from our visit to Glendale.

Bluebird's Tempting Display Case

Bluebird Bakery at 29 Village Square in Glendale, OH

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