Quick Bites


It’s not Christmas Day itself. It’s the day before that’s most important to Poles and Polish-Americans.

Christmas Eve is the traditional time for faith, family and food. But in Cleveland  a couple weeks before the big day, there’s a sort of rehearsal dinner.

That’s where WKSU’s Vivian Goodman takes us for today’s Quick Bite.

 Three Ohio cities -- Toledo, Parma and Cleveland -- are among the top 20 in the U.S. with the largest Polish-American populations.


Editor's note:  This story was originally published in December of 2015. 

In these last two weeks before Christmas, home cooks are racking their brains and rifling through recipe boxes, trying to recall just how Grandma worked her magic for those traditional holiday treats. 

Every ethnicity has its favorites, and Italians are especially fond of cookies. 

In today’s Quick Bite, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman visits a Bath Township kitchen and an Italian grocery in Highland Heights to nibble a few.


Many Native Americans observe Thanksgiving. They just don’t celebrate it. It’s often a time for somber reflection on a sorrowful history, and always a time to honor ancestors.

But food is important, too, as WKSU’s Vivian Goodman discovered in a kitchen in Kent.


Editor's note: This story was originally published on April 29, 2016.

Cleveland’s restaurant renaissance has been widely recognized. But closer to home, east siders still argue with west siders about which side of the Cuyahoga River has the best cuisine.

Diners at a recent gourmet feast have cast their votes on the issue, and WKSU’s Vivian Goodman tallies the results in today’s Quick Bite.

Competition is fierce, but friendly, at the first-ever “East versus West” competition of Cleveland chefs.

Chagrin Falls Townie Opens A Place to Come Home To

Oct 21, 2016

Nostalgia is the key ingredient at a restaurant that recently opened in Chagrin Falls. It’s new, but the menu is retro, and the location's  familiar.

For seven years, the sign outside said Fresh Start Diner, and before that for half a century it was Dink’s Colonial Restaurant, a Chagrin Falls culinary landmark.

Jack Krissinger has renamed it North Main Diner. “I’m the owner-operator-chef-general crazy person.” 

He’s a Chagrin Falls townie from way back.

SHANE WYNN / Akron Honey Company

An Akron beekeeper is offering unique types of honey from hives scattered across the city.

In today’s Quick Bite, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports the color and flavor of each batch depends on the nectar source in different residential neighborhoods.

Brent Wesley, the founder of Akron Honey Company, works full time in information technology. He got into beekeeping for the love of honey.

A Tea-Based Beverage from Taiwan Bubbles Up in Kent

Oct 7, 2016

Two new cafes in Kent are serving a cold beverage that’s wildly popular in many Asian countries. In today’s Quick Bite, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports the drink is catching on here as a novelty for some,  and for others, a refreshing taste of home.

Bubble tea is tea that’s shaken or stirred with milk or fruit juice, with tiny balls of tapioca dropped into it. Mingliang Xie uses green tea for most drinks served at Ming’s Bubble Tea on East Main Street in Kent.

WKSU announces the retirement of award-winning reporter/producer Vivian Goodman on Oct. 31. During her two decades with the station, Vivian has been a classical music host, a news anchor and a reporter focusing on the arts and, more recently, Northeast Ohio’s expanding food culture with the weekly “Quick Bites” feature. Other stand-out work has been Goodman’s multiple trips covering the Cleveland Orchestra on international tours, the “Mean Kids” series on bullying and several pieces on race relations in Northeast Ohio.

doug and menu
KELLEY NOTARO / Mughal art and food at CMA

The Cleveland Museum of Art is offering a look at the priceless art treasures of Indian emperors. Plus, a chance to feast like one. WKSU’s Vivian Goodman has the story in this week’s Quick Bite.

The special exhibition “Art and Stories from Mughal India” is free to the public in celebration of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s centennial year.

customers at register
TANIA SANTOS / Hattie Larlham

Farmers, food producers, and Akron shoppers have found an oasis in what used to be a food desert.

As WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports in today’s Quick Bite, disabled adults are benefiting, too.

John Luby works the register at Hattie’s Food Hub, the new corner market on Douglas Street, with his job coach Kimberly Purnell by his side.

“Do you remember what the amount was, John?” she asks. “Ten,” John replies.

“Awesome. Good job,” says his coach. “Ask her...”

kelsey and alex
VIVIAN GOODMAN / Hopewell cooking class

Home cooks know how relaxing it can be to putter in the kitchen, but for deeply troubled minds, cooking can be much more than a stress-reliever.

In today’s Quick Bite, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman visits a farm in Amish country where the art of cuisine is a form of therapy.

We’re in Middlefield on this sunny summer morning at Ohio’s only therapeutic farm community for adults with mental illness.

Peaceful surroundings

TREY KIRCHOFF / Passengers Cafe

A new coffee shop in the neighborhood of Cleveland’s West Side Market serves customers from near and very far.

In today’s Quick Bite, we visit the Passengers Café at the Cleveland Hostel.

While most guests upstairs are still asleep, resting up for a day of sight-seeing, Trey Kirchoff squeezes behind the bar in the compact lobby of the Cleveland Hostel. “It’s a little tight, but I used to run cafes in New York, and there was definitely at least one in SoHo that was much smaller. I used to have to hire very 


A new pizza parlor in Cleveland’s Waterloo Arts District features  a chef with a life-long obsession.

It's part of  one man’s never-ending quest for the perfect pie.


His eatery’s called Citizen Pie, but he’s not a citizen himself, just a permanent resident. “My name is Vytaurus Sasnauskas. I’m from Lithuania. But I can be simply called V.” 

Simplicity, is this pizza pundit’s credo.

“Take three ingredients, flour, salt, water, and just make something to sing with the just few ingredients on top.” 

country store

Food deserts are not just an urban problem. On many Ohio country roads, you can drive for miles without finding a grocery store. But a new public-private partnership is working on the problem as WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports in today’s Quick Bite.

“One of my most favorite things to do on a summer day like this is to be able to drive the country roads of Ashtabula County,” says state Sen. Capri Cafaro. “It is peaceful. There’s a lot of natural beauty.”  

But not a lot of food available for purchase. Cafaro knows the problem well.

soup and muffins

Yoga students in Willoughby are learning another way to heal mind, body and soul. As WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports in today’s Quick Bite, plant-based nutrition is a key component of their practice.

Darlene Kelbach helps people move and breathe their way to wellness. “More nourishing breaths here, " she instructs. "Breathe in the prana, the life force energy to nourish you.”  


A Clevelander is giving back to his community by sharing his culinary knowledge.

Eric Wells offers recipes and techniques at a series of moderately-priced cooking classes in the Kinsman neighborhood.

He tries to make them fun as well as affordable.


Fruit and vegetable growers are doing a healthy business at the Cleveland Clinic. Stands sell out most Wednesdays at a thriving farmers’ market on the hospital’s main campus.

In today’s Quick Bite, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman tags along with the market’s biggest fan on his weekly shopping trip.


Over a cold beer in a warm kitchen a couple of Cleveland brothers-in-law discovered they were both crazy about sauerkraut.

That’s how Cleveland Kraut got started a couple years ago. Now it’s on store shelves from Chicago to New York.

Luke Visnic is trying something different.  “That’s salt, mustard seed, and caraway seed. We’re going to mix it in with our cabbage and also put some medallions of pickling cucumbers. And that’s an experiment that we’re working on right now.”  

Sokolowski sign

An iconic cafeteria that’s usually closed for dinner on weeknights has extended its hours to help the RNC get a taste of Cleveland.

In today’s Quick Bite WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports the Tremont family restaurant has long been recognized for its authentic Cleveland cuisine.

Featured specials Friday nights at Sokolowski’s University Inn include Chicken Paprikash, smoked Kielbasa, and the specialty of the house, Salisbury steak.


The owners of Cleveland’s downtown restaurants are setting the table for the RNC with mixed emotions: Simmering excitement with just a dollop of dread.

Logistics have been challenging. Security remains a concern. But in today’s Quick Bite, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports Cleveland’s chefs are  hoping to “wow” the RNC.

“Rock the Night in Cleveland” will be a VIP affair for delegates and their families  at Zack Hirt’s new Neuvo Modern Mexican restaurant. It’s where the storied “Captain Frank’s” seafood restaurant once stood.


A hike in the Andes has inspired a Parma man to brew up a business. 

He’s selling the tea he enjoyed in Peru and using a kiosk at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to spread the news about it.

At Cleveland Hopkins Airport Gate B-4, Ryan Florio sits down with us to explain why he opened the first Inca Tea Café at his hometown airport.

Brian Reitz / Countryside Conservancy

It’s time to grab a blanket, load the cooler and pack the basket. It’s traditional to have a picnic on the nation’s birthday. But as WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports in today’s Quick Bite, nature-loving foodies have found another special occasion to dine in the open air.

This year is the centennial of the National Park System, and Northeast Ohioans have been celebrating throughout the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s 33,000 acres.

Learning in Hudson How to Bake Perfect Pastry at Home

Jun 24, 2016
apple pie

The do-it-yourself trend has many home cooks leaving their comfort zones.  But some encounter a roadblock: fear of baking.

To fight the phobia, a cooking school in Hudson has enlisted one of Julia Child’s former baking buddies to take the mystery out of making pastry. 

Nick Malgieri is enveloped in a cloud of steam as he lifts the lid of a Dutch Oven full of cabbage. “Oh, we’re wilting nicely!”  

T. GRANT / American Museum of Natural History

  What we eat keeps us alive, but an exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History shows that even ordinary foods can be killers.

In today’s Quick Bite, WKSU’s Vivian Goodman explores “The Power of Poison.”

The American Museum of Natural History in New York designed “The Power of Poison” exhibition to share with museums across the country. The exhibition looks at poison as a force of nature as well as at its role in human history. And a lot of it concerns food.

A Delicious Way to Silence Those Noisy Little Cicadas

Jun 10, 2016
Jeremy Umansky / Larder Master & Wild Food Forager

As many of us have heard, the invasion of the 17-year cicada is well underway in Northeast Ohio.

The cicada mating call is loud, incessant, and to many humans, infuriating. But there may be an upside. We can’t beat them, but as WKSU’s Vivian Goodman reports in today’s Quick Bite, we can eat them.

Jeremy Umansky sorts through the cicadas he recently gathered. He examines the little critters closely, selecting only the tastiest-looking specimens to drop into his cooking bowl.