Monday, July 5, 2010

Cleveland Rocks?

Cleveland has been in the news so much lately! From Betty White's new show Hot in Clevelandto the Lebron staying or leaving debate, to the TV show, Man vs. Food making it's Cleveland debut. But, can I just say that I never imagined myself making a post about Cleveland because I never really ventured outside of my bubble that is Chagrin Falls. But lately, my adventures have taken me downtown and midtown Cleveland where I've actually discovered that Cleveland isn't even a little bit miserable (GASP!) and in fact, I actually like it a lot (even BIGGER gasp!).

So, Cleveland, you're wonderful, let me count the ways:

1. Melt: After seeing the Man vs. Food Melt challenge, it's hard to stay away from this place! And since there was a two hour wait one time when we attempted to go here, it seems like everyone in Cleveland thought the same thing! The menu is pretty much just grilled cheese sandwiches with anything you could possibly imagine in them! And the beer list is huge, too! Best gourmet grilled cheese I've ever eaten!
below: the Man vs. Food guy with the owner and Melt

2. The Waterloo Arts Fest: In the last weekend of June, the neighborhood of Colinwood in Cleveland has a huge arts fest on Waterloo street. The close off the whole street and close to 10,000 people come to eat and shop and hear the bands (everything from rock to acoustic to a polka band). Jeff actually has been helping out at Star Pop, the vintage toy shop on the street, so of course I HAD to go! And I'm so glad I did because it was a BLAST!3. B-spot: Jeff and I went to this new Michael Symon restaurant with his Mom and we had the best food and the best time. The menu has any kind of burger you could ever want a ton of different milkshakes (which you can make alcoholic, as we accidentally found out!) and the best fries EVER (they use rosemary instead of the usual salt and pepper to season!) Not to mention that the decor is weird and awesome, and they used the space amazingly well--it used to be a Coldstone creamery, but you would NEVER guess!
4. Humphrey Popcorn Company Tour: Jeff's Mom and I went on a tour of a local popcorn and candy company whose products I used to sell at the popcorn shop. They were recently on the Food Network for their Toffee Crunch popcorn, and about two years ago they were on the Food Network's Christmas special, too! It's a family owned business (we met the 4th Humphrey to own it, although he might be the last) that actually used to own Euclid Beach, an amusement park on Lake Erie in the 40s, 50s, 60s era. We got to see how the popcorn balls were made and sealed and how their taffy was made! It was so fun, especially since we got free samples and we were on the tour with a summer camp! haha
5. West Side Market: I didn't even know that this historic part of Cleveland, located in Ohio City downtown, even existed until I watched the Man vs. Food Cleveland episode! Jeff and I went there a few days ago and it was so FUN! And DELICIOUS! We walked around the fruit and veggie stands for about .4 seconds to get into the unhealthy part of the Market (haha). But even the healthy stands had delicious pineapple and watermelon (we got to sample!) it reminded me of the market in Aladin where Jasmine and Aladin first meet! The unhealthy part of the market has a million meat stands and sweets and bakeries! We walked around and got popcorn and marshmallows covered in chocolate and pepperoni bread and beef jerky and Chinese chicken! Everything was cheap and delicious! Afterward we went across the street to a little arts fest that they have every Saturday with a bunch of jewelry and art tents! As we made our way through the tents, we ended up at the Great Lakes Brewery which I should honestly have as it's own reason why I love Cleveland because it's SO cool!
6. The Happy Dog: Even though I didn't eat here, I HAD to put it in. Jeff and I went here for a show, and found out they have the BEST hot dogs EVER! They offer about 50 topping from potato chips to fruit loops to mustard and ketchup.
So, Cleveland, I'm sorry for misjudging you! And don't tell Jeff, but he was always right about you!

Hopefully I'll have more fun Cleveland based adventures to report at the end of the summer! I still want to go to the Zoo again because they have a funny exhibit on animal poop (I'm not kidding!) and I want to go to the Science Center again!

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