***A bit of blogkeeping: Have you entered to win 2 tickets to the National MS Society Locavore fundraiser? Click here for more details and to enter!***
It was a busy night last night! First, I stopped in at the Ohio Blogging Association meet-up at The Underdog (the downstairs of Happy Dog). I stayed just long enough to enjoy a Fort Collins Chocolate Stout and barely resisted playing a few games of pinball, so I will leave the recaps in the capable hands of the other attendees. The next meet-up is Tuesday, September 18, when the OBA will be attending an Indians game, so I hope to see a lot of you there! Click here for more details and to RSVP.
From Happy Dog, I headed over to Browns Stadium for a preview of the new gourmet food options being offered this season on the Club Level. Three of Cleveland’s hometown chef superstars – Michael Symon, Jonathon Sawyer, and Rocco Whalen – have partnered with ARAMARK to bring their delicious cuisine to hungry Browns fans.
When I arrived, I met up with fellow bloggers Cleveland’s a Plum, The Dawg’s Dish, I Heart Cleveland, and Bite Buff. Our first stop was Sawyer’s Street Frites, where Chef Sawyer himself served us up some tasty dishes.
I went for the Carbonara Frites, with pecorino cheese, pancetta pepato, and black pepper. So tasty! To balance out the saltiness, we passed around the table one of Danko’s Donuts, a puff of doughy deliciousness with a to-die-for sauce.
Hardly believing we were eating “stadium food,” we headed over to Rosie & Rocco’s. Chef Whalen dishes up a mean meatball sandwich!
I sampled one of Momma Rosie’s meatballs, with veal, pork, beef, and parmesan, as well as a slice of thin-crust pizza with BBQ sauce, chicken, tomato, and onion. I would easily order more than just tastes of either of these! Again needing to satisfy my sweet tooth, I had a nibble of a cannoli.
At this point we couldn’t believe we were going to eat more, but there was one more stop: B-Spot. I went the traditional route here, with a stadium-style brat with onions and stadium mustard, and some Lola fries with rosemary and sea salt. While this choice may have been more toward traditional stadium food, it was still on a whole new level of taste.
The prices are for all this tasty food are right in line with what you’d pay for hot dogs, nachos or hot pretzels at other stands, so gourmet doesn’t mean even pricier, which is great!
And I almost forgot to mention the drinks… the bar served up specialty cocktails called “Orange” and “Brown” (Cleveland’s a Plum has a song about them and had I not had two Oranges, I might have thought to video it). The “Orange” featured mango Crush, citrus vodka, and fresh cinnamon sprinkled on top. The “Brown” had bourbon, root beer, vanilla bean cream, and candied orange zest. Yum!
After all that great food, it was time for a chat with the men behind it: Chefs Jonathon Sawyer, Rocco Whalen, and Matt Harlan.
Chef Whalen talked about how excited all three chefs are to be involved with the Browns and be able to bring this level of food to Browns fans. Chef Sawyer, wearing a vintage Browns hat he bought for himself as a kid, could barely contain his glee at being part of such a Cleveland institution. Chef Harlan talked about the brotherhood formed among these chefs from Tremont to East 4th Street to now the Stadium. Knowing the passion and effort that is behind the food makes it even tastier, I think.
With swag bags with some awesome Browns gear in hand, we headed off. Much thanks to the Cleveland Browns Hospitality Group for hosting such a tasty evening.
The pre-season home opener is Friday, August 24 and the regular season home opener is Sunday, September 9. Here’s to a winning Browns season and lots of great food to go along with it!
***Disclosure: I was invited by the Cleveland Browns Hospitality Group to preview the new restaurants. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***