just back from visiting the relatives. great time and great fun food.
LOLA: this is in the cool tremont neighborhood on the near west side of downtown and is one of the best restaurants in cleveland. they have a hot chef, michael symon and the menu has local touches like upscaled versions of pierogies and lake erie walleye.
we sat outside and we all shared and mom loved it.
to start i had a wonderful greens salad, my spouse had to try the pirogies of course and mom had rabbit in philo. we then had lamb, scallops, and short ribs for mains. my spouse's lamb was rare and very tasty. my large scallops were plentiful, remarkably fresh and cooked correctly. they sat on a bed of sweet mintly corn that was just refreshing. mom's slow cooked short ribs came with thick home made noodles. this dish was spectacularly delicious and the real winner of the night. we split a creme brulee and coffees for dessert. total cost for three was $190 (inc. tip, aperitifs and a bottle of sancerre) and there you go.
LA TORTILLA FELIZ: also in tremont, this converted former corner diner is a great pan-latino restaurant with arms folded around all of south america that works.
instead of the usual corn chips and dip thing LTF offers a house bean dip with thick corn tortilla strips for dipping. this was excellent as are the range of south american beers and drinks, several of which i had never heard of before.
my spouse had platanos fritos and chuchito de pollo apps for her lunch. who doesnt like platanos and the latter were very good tamale-like chicken corn flour dumplings. i had ceviche de tilapia app and iguashte de verduras as a main dish. my main was a tasty stew of tofu, potatos, long green beans and carrots in a pumpkin/sesame sauce.
FRANKIE STERLE'S SLOVENIAN COUNTRY HOUSE: just off the lake on e55th street we stopped in this institution for early dinner right off the road from nyc. its an authentic kitschy place in the old gigantic beerhall style if you know what i mean. slovenian was spoken and the polka band was polka-ing and the people were doing that cleveland-style polka where you slide your feet on sawdust so i knew i was back home. my native dayton spouse's jaw was dropped the whole time! the place was packed and at age 40, we were the youngest people in there by half until someone came in with grandkids as we were leaving.
we had a cheap pitcher of beer i dont know what it was maybe paulaner? what a menu. spouse had naravani, which is veal with mushrooms. i had klobase and zelje, which is a mild kielbasa with kraut and beets. both were quite tasty home style food and of course very filling. we danced it off a little before we left.
CAPSULE: in lakewood on madison. now my jaw dropped at this unexpected ny-style groovy place for drinks. shameless plug---check out my step brother's new surf record shop 'ho-dad's' nearby that just opened.
LORAIN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL: very sweet. we saw the princess parade and the baton twirler groups. the food stands were great, first i had slovenian cevapicici. these are little breakfast like sausages with tomato/onion/sour cream on delicious thick puffy pita. you can get them as bar food around cleveland area sometimes. next i had several styles of pierogies from different nationalities, mom had some hungarian palachinta and we were stuffed so i passed on the latino and asian chow. one of the nicest annual food festivals.
LAKE ERIE FISH: great lakes fish are mandatory. mom's husband caught lake erie walleye, perch and bass so we had one heck of a fish fry at home. with pbr and sun tea to wash it down there is nothing better.