Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eat this. Or that. Or this.

I hardly know where to start.

Aw hell, let's start in the Gordon Square district--at the Happy Dog, where you can get one of those hot dogs--the best dog I ever ate--and deluge it in any combo of about a hundred toppings, or keep it classic with sauerkraut and some Stadium Mustard. Wash it down with an ice cold Carling's Black Label. The dog'll run you five bucks; the beer's two. Now that is some classic Clevo.

... Oh my God--LUXE. Get the short ribs. They're served with a gnocchi so tender and perfect that when you spear one of those darling pasta bits and gather a few savory threads from the fall-off-the-bone braised rib and drag it all through the bleu cheese sauce and put the whole beautiful thing in your mouth, you will wonder how life can be so sublime.

Or you've got the Attitude sandwich at Latitude 41n, which is wrapped in this fried pizza dough who-knows-what stuff. Who cares? It's chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside and yeasty all over. Best part is that it's stuffed with something incredible--like their warm chicken salad. That's big ol' chunks of chicken amid bits of tomato and crunchy celery in a perfectly seasoned herbed mayo-based dressing.

... you could stop at Sweet Moses for one of their sundaes. Try the tin roof with the salted pecans and chocolate sauce and caramel sauce and fresh whipped cream. If there's a way to describe those rich fresh pecans, which are sort of oily in that perfect nut way and just salty enough to balance the richness of the homemade ice cream and those sauces (which are worth the price of admission on their own), I'm not sure what it is, but it's the way you're supposed to eat ice cream and it will set the bar for every ice cream experience for the rest of your life.

... Since you're so close to 25th Street, why not stop at Crop and get their pan-seared scallops, which have that slight bit of caramelized crust from the sear and are served on tiny polenta cakes. The whole thing is drizzled in a lobster cream sauce that is just ... well ... holy shit. Get one of their Gin-Ginger Gimlets for a perfect spicy sweet citrusy contrast to this heavenly bite.

Good christ. I'm stuffed.

But if you still want more, there is more. Plenty more. Just hop over to Fresh Water to see what a bevy of local notables have to add to this list courtesy of yours truly.

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glittergirl said...

i work right by the west side market, and it has been a pure joyous revelation, finding all the amazing places to eat & drink.

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

the short rib gnocchi at luxe is my favorite meal in cleveland, FACT.

Erin O'Brien said...

Hola CLE chickas!

It's amazing to me that all these incredible food options are available within about 1/10 of a mile on Detroit Ave. in a neighborhood that may still have its rough spots, but is a far far cry from what it used to be.

Viva Gordon Square!

Anonymous said... awesome....thank you
thank you.

philbilly said...

Just had lunch at the West Side Market today, City Roast coffee,garlic sausage from Dohar's and maple leaf candy on the mezzanine, doesn't get any better.

twinkly sparkles said...

I am pining away over here in Western Mass....

Nin Andrews said...

Envious I am! Though I will say we have the best vegan deli in Ohio down here in Youngstown, so good even the steak eaters stop in for lunch. Beyond that, I am heading up to Cleveland as soon as I can . . .

philbilly said...

Nin, heading to Youngstown soon,would like know where is the vegan chili, please?

I am slowly shifting away from a time-honored strict diet of meat, alcohol and cake, even trying seitan and tofu dishes and really enjoying them. I have discovered that if a vegan dish is named honestly about what it is, and isn't, it can be very good, even great. What doesn't work are attempts to replicate Andouille sausage, or the like. I tried "Not Dogs" in 1974, and they are every bit as disgusting today.

I've noticed vegan chili is not only good, it doesn't make you want to nap afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Erin, gotta hand it to you, you've got a cook book to pimp and you share all this great local flavor too. Love you kid

Good news for Brooklyn-the Hugo Boss plant which was on corporate death row 2 years ago just signed a new labor deal and is adding a new product line to be handled out of the Brooklyn plant...


alphadog said...

Alright Erin O'Brien, I know it's your blog and I know it's your article but WTF, no Grumpy's W 14th Spl. for breakfast? For shame.

If any of you find yourselves on the West Side at breakfast time and in need of some of the best corned beef hash you'll ever taste, hit Grumpy's on W 14th. If you're disappointed, I'll buy your breakfast; that's how good it I think it is.

philbilly said...

I'm guessing it's the Flaming Ice Cube in Boardman, damned if they're not on Public Square here in the CLE as well.

Remember Genesis, in the early
70's, edge of Murray Hill? Huge plates of spinach, sunflower seeds and sprouts under organic yogurt dressing served intermittenly by really high, really mellow wait staff. Ravi Shankar on the stereo, herbal tea, hippie girls in halter tops and sandals. Paradise.

Erin O'Brien said...

Grumpy's? Are you kidding me? LOVE. Especially the unmatched chipped coffee cups and the local art. The corned beef has is a given.

Phil, the Flaming Ice Cube's got a lot of heart. I mean COME ON starting a vegan cafe in the hardscrabble land of tattoo parlors and James Traficant? Talk about your balls.

As for Genesis, I don't remember it. Like Joni says, they paved paradise, put up a parking lot... Godamn war on drugs.

philbilly said...

Erin, Genesis was way ahead of its time. I think it was housed somewhere in the buildings that eventually became the David E. Davis Sculpture Studios and is now the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve. Memory fogs a bit during this chapter.

Tofu always tastes better when the waitress smiles and wafts patchuoli oil atchya.

I'll be checking out both 'Cubes soon.