Bitcoin Boulevard (Illustration: Dennis Spaans/Facebook)
Last month our family spent nearly a month living on the road while spending bitcoin only. One of the most exciting and delicious stops on our 24-day journey was Bitcoin Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
The exterior of The Tavern Co. on Bitcoin Boulevard. (Photo: Cat Bleish)
Unfortunately, for those of us crazy enough to travel using bitcoin only, the food you will eat may get a little redundant. With bitcoin currency still in the early days of adoption, restaurants that accept bitcoin directly are few and far between. In fact, our menu was often restricted to the spots available on gyft.com or egifter.com, two gift card providers that allow you to use bitcoin to purchase cards for a variety of establishments.
The author's husband ponders his order on the Boulevard. (Photo: Cat Bleish)
After nearly three weeks of chain restaurant visits, our stop at Bitcoin Boulevard left our bellies full and our taste buds delighted. Upon our arrival, the founders of this effort, Nikhil Chand and his wife, Rebecca, greeted us in the driveway of their vintage 1920s home. As we strolled through their neighborhood toward our dinner spot, we discussed how they had set up more than one dozen businesses on Lee Road (aka Bitcoin Boulevard) to accept bitcoin through the third-party merchant processor, BitPay.
Our first stop was the Tavern Company, a restaurant and bar in the heart of Bitcoin Boulevard. The owner greeted us out front and helped us find a seat that would accommodate our group. I ordered the Salmon “Row” Salad and a glass of the house cabernet. My husband, John, ordered a gluten-free beer and chicken wings.
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When my meal arrived, I was delighted at the presentation of the salmon laid out on rows of ingredients, including pearl barley, mushrooms, balsamic onions, chopped spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta, all topped with vinaigrette. I devoured every morsel on my plate. John, a chicken-wing connoisseur, said his meal was equally delicious. We ordered a second round of drinks and attempted to enjoy our company as our stir-crazy kids became increasingly rambunctious.
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I took the kids for a stroll through the bitcoin tourist destination while my husband finished up and made the bitcoin payment seamlessly via BitPay. Interestingly enough, the state of Ohio does not allow alcohol to be sold for bitcoin, so we bought Nikhil and Rebecca their dinner and they paid cash for our drinks.
Ice Cream at Sweetie Fry (Photo: Courtesy of Sweetie Fry/Facebook)
We reconvened a block and a half down the road at Sweetie Fry to try some handmade ice cream, again paying with bitcoin. The ice cream shop had a unique and diverse set of flavors, including French toast. With every scoop, you got a second miniscoop of another flavor loaded on top.
I had the dark chocolate and peanut butter flavors, while my daughter enjoyed strawberry topped with French toast. Once again we paid with bitcoin directly through BitPay. Neither of these establishments had trouble accepting our payment and seemed accustomed to casually receiving payment with the cryptocurrency.
The Katz Club Diner (Photo Courtesy of The Katz Club Diner/Facebook)
When we woke the next day, we visited the Katz Club Diner further down Lee Street, or Bitcoin Boulevard.
The diner offered local foods and had many gluten-free options, including gluten-free bread. Our kids got the pancakes with local cherries and local syrup on top.
I had an egg scramble dish with goat cheese and black beans, and crispy tortillas underneath. I felt like I could have stayed there all day; every bite left me craving more. The coffee was delicious as well. We purchased our meal easily with bitcoin through the BitPay application on an iPad, but only after getting two gluten-free cookies for the road. This was one of the most expensive meals we had on the trip — over $75 after the tip — but very much worth it.
Our stay in Cleveland was brief, and we left longing for more. I never would have considered Cleveland Heights a tourist destination before receiving our invitation to check out Bitcoin Boulevard. If you are a food lover and interested in trying your hand at bitcoin-only travel, I would suggest you book a hotel with bitcoin on CheapAir and stay in Cleveland Heights. Every bite of every meal was simply amazing. What a fabulous “bitstop” on our journey.
Catherine Bleish (@TheBitMom) runs TheBitMom.com blog and podcast. She also hosts an online bitcoin consignment shop at ConsignBit.com. You can follow her journey toward a more voluntary and natural life through the Sovereign Living blog or the Sovereign Living TV reality show. She speaks at events across the country about natural living, alternative currencies, and raising sovereign children.