Tag Archives: Ohio

Lola

17 Jan

Finally went here for lunch the other day and it’s another great restaurant started by Michael Symon – a native Clevelander.  The beer list includes more macros than micros, however he’s offering really nice micros: Erie Brewing Railbender Ale, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura, Leelenau Brewing Co. Amber Ale, Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold and another GL I can’t remember along with a few others. On Dec. 21st, Lola had a beer dinner featuring: FFF Alpha Klaus, Breckinridge Christmas, Aventinus, Heavy Seas Winter Storm, De Dolle Stille Nacht and Redstone Winter Solstice.

The food is awesome: this man loves meat.  Beef cheek pierogies, incredible desserts like corn pudding with butter ice cream or french toast with maple/bacon ice cream.  Pig roasts every tuesday night. E. 4th St. is a really small but cool spot with tons of little restaurants offering yumminess. Lola is actually pretty large, the service is awesome, atmosphere posh but relaxed. It’s a happy spot if a little pricey (lunch with soup, pierogies and pint: $35+tip). Parking all around, tops $8 at the parking garage a few blocks down and valet at Lola.  Cleveland is a city that gets a lot of heat but for those who live there, the golden spots are all around you just have to look for them.

Le BLT

4 Jan

Unfortunately, if I don’t eat every two hours my hands start to shake, I get grumpy (even a little weepy if it’s been a very long time) and sleepy.  The hunger shakes struck when I was out running errands and so before I got really nasty or passed out we stopped at Swensons for some blazing hot tater tots.  It’s a family run, strictly Northeastern Ohio drive-in burger joint that has a special spot in most every NE Ohio native’s heart, unless they’re a total Scrooge.  By the time we got home I was still hungry which catapulted exponentially after browsing through Paste Magazine’s 15 best food movies.  So, I whipped up a BLT.

Fried 2 strips of bacon, and once I flipped them I threw in a handful of halved grape tomatoes.  While those were bouncing all over the place, I stuck 2 pieces of wheat bread in the toaster, then turned the burner off under the b and t.  Next a little miracle whip spread on one slice of bread, tomatoes over top, 2 slices of havarti — one on each slice (or you can put the cheese over the tomatoes while they’re still in the pan until it melts a bit), then the bacon halved so it makes 4 pieces.  A scoop of horseradish on one slice spread over, or under, the cheese, then a big wad of crisp romaine.  Crunchy, creamy, bacony goodness — really nothing beats a BLT in a pinch:  “So shines a good deed in a weary world” (courtesy of Willy Wonka).

L’Albatros

23 Dec

Just woke up from a killer food coma, thanks to dinner at L’Albatros with the fam.  The recent addition to the Cleveland restaurant scene has taken up residence in the old That Place on Bellflower.  Great ambience, friendly and intelligent staff and food that blows the mind.  I’m just coming off finals week and therefore have averaged maybe 8 hours of sleep in the past week, so I’ve been eating cereal and crack.  That said, today was a total reversal of that routine: prato misto and a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout at Sergio’s and at L’Albatros; escargot, cassoulet and a canalé with cherry compote and a Reissdorf Kölsch.

L’Albatros has a decent beer list with some Great Lakes, Orval, Duvel, Old Speckled Hen, Gavroche but with LINDEMAN’S!  I have such a pet-peeve when places try to offer lambics but then offer the MOST crap one.  Ok that aside, the food is to die for and you’ll be fighting off the “itis” before you know it, but in such a good way.

Troyer’s

21 Nov

If happiness isn’t an entire Troyer’s pumpkin pie in front of me, then I don’t want to know what happiness is.  I spent my first 9 years in Wooster, OH just a few minutes away from what I consider to be the best pumpkin pie ever.  I’ve never tried my hand at making my own pumpkin pie because there didn’t seem to be much of a point when the Amish down the road had already made the best.  Sadly it’s a recipe probably as closely guarded as the Coca-Cola recipe so, there’s that.  I picked up 3 of them for my mom before coming home for the holidays — it took every ounce of my self-control to keep from sneaking a piece for a day and a half.  Since first posting this, as of last night my mother and I put away the 3 pies in 3 days.  Not too shabby.

Nona

16 Nov

Nona — Italian for ninth — is a modest enoteca/osteria/ristorante in Granville (home to our rival school, Denison University).  Located right on the “main drag” of the town, Nona offers a small portal back to Toscana with an Italian/English menu, the feel of an authentic Italian enoteca and a wine list that includes the famous Brunello di Montalcino and other DOCG wines.

The service was excellent and friendly, the atmosphere muted but warm and bustling and the food was life-saving.  To start my roommate ordered the vegetable soup which made her eyes roll back in her head and for me the braised fennel with blood orange vinegar infused onions.  Ummm ok so that all rocked pretty hard but then came our primi: for my roommate, the Sundried Tomato and Asiago Ravioli with Arugula pesto and Toasted Almond Butter and for me, the spinach and ricotta tortellini with ragu — TO DIE FOR.  All the pasta is done in-house so the freshness can’t really be beat.

For the dolci, we split a gorgeous flaky pastry nest of roasted apples and balsamic gelato.  Whatever, we basically had a roommate date but we had so much fun and you could not have slapped the grins off our face.  I think our waitress thought we were slightly insane because we gushed at every special she told us about but whatever.


Bumzor

13 Nov

I’ve visited the Great Lakes Brewing Co. two or three times and taken the tour each time in hopes that the next will be better than the last.  Alas, alak they insisted on being a full 15 minutes long.  Highlights included talking about the history of the place, looking at sealed bags of barley and malts and empty mashtuns, then popping out a quarter for a quarter sized sample of their most lack-luster beers.

great lakes

I’m confused and disappointed by this, the largest regional brewer in Ohio presenting such a downer.  Even Sam Adams in Jamaica Plain, Boston can put on a tour that shows you the difference between various hops and barley – taste, smell and feel them – then wind up the tour with communal and bountiful samples of multiple beers.  Why must the largest Ohio brewer be such a bummer?

New Haul

18 Oct

Got a new haul today from Grapes of Mirth at North Market where I was also picking up veal shanks from Bluescreek Farm Meats.  Very happy with my finds and the service at Grapes of Mirth.  The selection is starting to get slim for me so I’m looking for new spots since I’ve had almost everything there at this point.  Also, after a quick stop at home for fall break I ran up to the Beer Engine and grabbed some Viking’s Blod!!!  Gahhh, can’t wait to crack all these babies but for now it’s nose to the grindstone for school work and beer dinner fundraiser preparations.

yum yum

Pictured above from left to right:  Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw/Blue, New Holland Charkoota Rye, Fantome Pissenlit, Bell’s Java Stout and Bell’s Double Cream Stout.

The hilarious part about the Fantome is that this saison is brewed using diuretic dandelions found in the region: “The yellow flowers are removed and dried in the sun, then soaked in water for a few days. The thick, dark dandelion “tea” that results is the basis for the Pissenlit, which is made also from traditional barley malt and hops. It resembles a classic saison beer – golden spritzy brew, strong and very flavorful, with a good hop bite. You may have to strain to taste the dandelions, but you know they’re in there.

It should be noted that uncooked, the dandelion has a diuretic effect and is known in France as Pissenlit (literally, “wet the bed” – this also happens to be the British folk-name) for precisely this reason” (http://ratebeer.com/beer/fantome-pissenlit/10959/).

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