Cleveland road trip

6 May

Alex and I have been meaning to take a road trip to Cleveland for quite some time now. The drive from Pittsburgh is only two hours and we’ve heard great things about the food scene up there. I’m also mildly obsessed with Michael Symon and have been dying to dine at one of his restaurants (specifically B Spot).

So, we decided to drive up to Cleveland the weekend after Easter with Alex’s brother and his wife. We hit the road right after work on Friday with plans to drive straight to the B Spot for dinner. As a growing pregnant woman, I didn’t think I would be able to hold off on eating dinner for so long but I guess the thought of eating at the B Spot gave me strength to endure the hunger pains.

We finally arrived at the restaurant around 8pm only to find that there was a two hour wait for a table! After some deliberation, we decided to go elsewhere for a burger [insert sad face/crying emoji here].

Even though I was a little disappointed at first, our first meal in Cleveland turned out to be pretty awesome. We ate at Flipside in Chagrin Falls, which is a very quaint little neighborhood with cute boutiques and restaurants.

Unfortunately, our meal at Flipside is unpictured due to very poor lighting but you can trust that everything looked/tasted great. For appetizers we ordered mini kobe beef corn dogs, tempura asparagus with shiitake mushrooms, chef’s made chili, onion rings, and macaroni and cheese with beef brisket. Yes, that’s basically every appetizer on the menu. Don’t judge us. Everything was really good but the macaroni and cheese with beef brisket was really exceptional. If you ever find yourself in Chagrin Falls, you must try it! The second runner up would be the chef’s made chili, which was meaty with a hint of smokiness. They had an interesting selection of burgers ranging from the Simplicity Burger (plain with
lettuce / tomato / minced red onion) to the Curry Lamb Burger (Jamison Farm lamb burger / curry yogurt sauce / mint cucumber slaw). Everyone at the table enjoyed their burger selections but admitted that it was pretty much in the same ballpark as Burgatory. So Pittsburgher’s aren’t missing out on anything!

The next morning we went to The West Side Market, which is a public market similar to Reading Terminal in Philly. There were stalls with vendors selling everything from fresh baked breads and cookies to homemade jerky and pork belly. But our favorite part about public markets is the food vendors! Alex and I love to walk around snacking and trying a variety of different foods and cuisines. We munched on cheesy bread, hot dogs, falafel sandwiches, pasties and pizza. We wanted to try the famous Steve’s Gyros but the line was far too long and we were already kinda (really) stuffed from our other snacks.

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After our trip to the market, the ladies decided to go on a shopping trip at Nordstrom Rack while the guys went to watch a junior league hockey game. I wasn’t really interested in the game but had I known they would be going to B Spot afterwards I would’ve considered tagging along! Alex felt bad that he went without me and said that he saved me half of his extra crispy fried bologna sandwich (he was kind enough to take a picture of it) but “forgot” to bring on the doggie bag. Uh huh….likely story…likely story.

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For dinner that evening we had reservations at Lolita. Everything about our meal from the service to the food was exquisite. We were a pretty difficult table to wait on (with 4 non-drinkers and 2 pregnant women with tons of questions – if you’re pregnant and you’re looking to go to Lolita, don’t worry all of their cheeses are pasteurized!) but our waitress tended to our requests with finesse. Between the six of us, we ordered every single appetizer on the menu and about 1/3 of the remaining menu. My absolute favorite appetizer was the Crispy Pig Tails and Ears tossed in a pickled chile and cilantro sauce. I think I liked it because the sauce reminded me of a Thai salad dressing and the pig ears were like cracklings. Who doesn’t love cracklings?! Alex’s favorite app was the Crispy Chicken Livers which he described as very “clean” tasting”. Even though we were really excited for the Roasted Bone Marrow (served with a salsa verde, scallion and grilled bread) it was kind of disappointing. The marrow wasn’t as “buttery” as I had hoped it would be and the sauce was unimpressive. I definitely preferred the marrow at Blue Ribbon in NYC which is served with an oxtail marmalade and a side of flake salt, it was just melt in your mouth delicious.

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For our entrees we ordered the Pork Sausage Pizza (tomato sauce, chili, house mozzarella, roasted sweet pepper) and the Roasted Chicken (served with salsa verde, chickpea puree, carrot, radish and orange) with a side of soft polenta. The chicken was out of this world. It was cooked perfectly, and the salsa verde was a perfect accompaniment. The polenta was also excellent. The mascarpone and parmesan definitely elevated the dish, making it super rich and creamy. I also think there was like a stick of butter in my little side order because it was so deliciously rich.

 

Finally, you can’t leave Cleveland without going to Corky and Lenny’s.  It’s not as fun to go there when you’re pregnant because lunch meat and lox and are a big no-no but they had a really good hot turkey sandwich.  Alex got their most popular sandwich The Sammy ( hot pastrami, corned beef, Muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, 1000 island dressing on rye) which is served with a side of coleslaw.  He said the sandwich was awesome, definitely one of the better deli sandwiches he’s had in a while but the coleslaw was pretty mediocre.  So if given a choice, opt for fries instead.
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Overall, we had a blast. Thanks for having us Cleveland! Next up….Toronto!

 

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One Response to “Cleveland road trip”

  1. Bill May 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    Thanks for the Lolita review. We have been thinking about trying out a Michael Symon restaurant in Cleveland. I think we will be going now…

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