This morning started out in a very Monday-ish way with a flat tire via a massive pothole. In order to shake off that yucky-ness, I’ll reminisce about another great CLE weekend.
Friday night, a CLEfriend and I met up for dinner and drinks at Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar. We started with an order of their fabulous guacamole, served with traditional tortilla chips, as well as plaintain chips. I also enjoyed a strawberry mojito – I have to start preparing for my Jamaican vacation by drinking rum now! For dinner, I had the Smoked Butternut Squash soup and the Ceviche trio.
The soup was incredible…thick and rich, with a peppery bite. It was topped with shredded tortilla and roasted corn. As many times as I’ve been to Paladar, I had never tried this soup before and I highly recommend it! Hungry in Cleveland had recommended the tuna and watermelon ceviche, but the other varieties (Ecuadorian shrimp and sweet and spicy salmon) also sounded appetizing, so I went for the trio. The tuna and watermelon ceviche was my favorite of the three. The trio was a great way to sample all the varieties, though and was just the right amount of food with the soup and guacamole.
On Saturday, CLEmom and I headed to Beachwood Place to do a little retail therapy. I needed a new bathing suit and some new summery clothes for the upcoming Jamaican adventure. After a quick lunch at Sushi Rock, where we enjoyed the Spicy Crunch and the Rock n’ Roll, we were able to find just the right items for my trip.
Saturday night, CLEguy and I met up with some CLEfriends for dinner at Melt Bar & Grilled in Lakewood. I was super excited to spot the Melt van as we approached the restaurant…I want to drive that thing around!
Once inside, we were greeted with the traditional Melt kitschy decor.
While it was a two-and-a-half hour wait for a table, we figured Melt’s amazing beer list could keep us happy for awhile. I ordered the Indigo Imp Blonde Bombshell. Indigo Imp is a CLE brewery and I highly recommend the Blonde Bombshell. CLEguy ordered the Stone Highway 78 Scotch Ale, which he highly recommends.
We were lucky enough to snag seats at the bar, so we didn’t have to wait 2 1/2 hours for Melt yummy-ness. CLEguy and one of the CLEfriends both ordered the chorizo and potato sandwich. Our bartender recommended adding an egg and I think we all agreed that was a great way to go. The egg made the sandwich almost breakfast-like and added another dimension against the spice of the chorizo. Our other CLEfriend ordered the Godfather, which is basically lasagna made into a sandwich with slices of garlic bread. Mama Mia!
I had to go with this month’s special – the Reuben Melt. This is a traditional Reuben, served on Melt’s thick-sliced bread with corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and Russian dressing. The corned beef was perfect – thin sliced and tasty. The sauerkraut was crisp and tart and added great texture and flavor to the sandwich. Make sure you get to Melt in March to give this special a try!
After dinner, we wanted to head to Put-in-Bay Lakewood (hey, we might as well be able to go to some Put-in-Bay). While the bar is still there, the new name is The Avenue Tap House. The bar boasts a good selection of draft and bottled beers, as well as live music. Fair warning, you have to enter and exit through Guy’s Pizza and, even if you just ate at Melt, you may find yourself craving a slice at the end of the night.
All in all, another great weekend in CLE as we gear up toward St. Patty’s Day. What new answers to “Why Cleveland?” did you discover this weekend?