Cleveland Rocks!

Posted by danielle on May 17th, 2010. Filed under: Adventures, Recent Posts.

Over the weekend we took a road trip to Cleveland, Ohio. Last week, when I told people of our plans, I was faced with confused expressions followed by the question, “why?”

The main reason was to buy groceries. I’m not joking, but I’ll get to that later. We really just felt like getting away and while I’d driven though Cleveland on several occasions, we’ve never actually been there. We were curious.

Cleveland is similar to other rust belt cities we’ve visited with beautiful crumbling skyscrapers and ostentatious civic buildings of the progressive era – reminders of a more prosperous time. Situated on the shore of Lake Erie, it’s unfortunate that the lakefront is marred by an airport and an unsightly football stadium, although between them stands a less offensive science center building and the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

We paid a visit to the later.

Inside, we saw artifacts like Jim Morrison’s boy scout uniform, Slash’s trademark hat and a purple Cadillac, once belonging to Elvis. Also exhibited were outfits worn by various artists over the years along with instruments and equipment from bygone eras in music history. It was somewhat interesting but I was a little underwhelmed by the whole experience.

Then on our way back the car we saw the worlds largest rubber stamp.

So, now we can check that off our bucket list.

When I was researching the city last week, it came to my attention that Cleveland was becoming well known for it’s great restaurants. By Saturday evening we’d drifted out the suburbs and although we had planned to go back to city to check out the local cuisine we’d simply run out of steam. Instead, we decided to try an eatery called Paladar Latin Kitchen, located in an upscale strip mall near our hotel. Everything on the menu looked good and we couldn’t decide so we ended up ordering A LOT of food. It was amazing.

Even though we were stuffed, we decided we’d try some dessert anyway. We ordered cheesecake. It was sooooo good. It tasted like real homemade cheesecake, not the usual commercial variety we often find when we go out for dinner. Best of all, we dined on the patio. Our first outdoor meal of the season and proof that summer is almost officially here!

The next morning was the big trip to the grocery store. We were first introduced to Trader Joes and it’s awesomeness during our first visit to California. A few years back I discovered their rice pasta macaroni and cheese dinner and now I’m addicted. Nothing available here compares and the supply that I’d brought back from Palm Springs a few months ago had been consumed. Cleveland is our closest Trader Joes location. Along with their mac and cheese, they also have a variety of other unique products and many of them are gluten free. It was so much fun to shop there without having to worry about how much food I can fit in my suitcase.

Our final stop in Cleveland was it’s historic West Side Market. I could have sworn I’d read somewhere that it was open on Sunday but I must have confused it with the Café hours. The market itself was all closed up but we did stay for breakfast at the bustling café where we had bacon and eggs, along with the best hash browns I’ve ever had. I’d really like to know how they got those bits of potato so crispy without burning them.

And that was it. It was time to head back to Canada and think about our next adventure.

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