|cleveland’s west side market (courtesy of happyincle.net)|
so, we woke up a tad groggy on our second day in cleveland. perhaps that go-to nightcap was unnecessary? however, since we had a good plan of where to eat from our detective work the night before, the day didn’t get away from us. i love a good brunch, & our investigative work paid off. we grabbed a cab to the flying fig & settled in for one of the best meals of the trip. we chose this restaurant partly from recommendations and partly for the locale. the restaurant is part of the whole farm-to-table movement and sources local farms for their ever-changing seasonal menu. it’s also (conveniently) located right next to one of the most amazing food markets in america, cleveland’s west side market. there are over 100 vendors selling pretty much everything from fine meats & cheeses to fresh seafood & baked goods. there are also booths with ready-to-eat foods, like fresh pasta, pizza, sandwiches, cupcakes, etc. it’s really hard to write this because, in full-disclosure, we failed in our attempt to see all of the greatness that is the west side market in person. the market is closed on sunday – which is just crazy because it’s such a huge shopping day! i sheepishly browsed around at the tiny shop located between the restaurant and the west side market in hopes of finding something great to make up for the disappointment. i came across a bottle of maggie beer verjuice. what a gem! this particular brand, from australia, was one of the first to produce verjuice commercially. from the french word “verjus,” it has quite the history as it originated during roman times and was a staple of parisian kitchens in the 14th & 15th centuries. it’s made from half-ripened grapes & brings a light level of acid & brightness to salad dressings or sauces (less so than a lemon or red wine vinegar). i bought the sangiovese version, which is a bit sweeter and really nice for desserts. thank goodness for that find & the food at the flying fig, or i would’ve been blue the rest of the day for missing out on the market.
|creamy polenta and crispy poached egg @ the flying fig|
the flying fig is a small, cozy neighborhood restaurant. it’s really charming with a cool clientele. the menu was exceptional. every dish is listed with a brief & tasty description, each one sounding somehow better than the one before. after much deliberation with the waiter and each other, we decided: me – the creamy polenta & crispy poached egg (above) with local mushrooms, spinach, & tallegio; my old college roomie – baked eggs ranchero (below) with “plum creek farm” chicken, cheddar, scallions, ranchero sauce, & crème fraiche.
|taking care of business @ the greenhouse tavern|
in closing, for all you food lovers, go to cleveland! check out the west side market & tell me all about it. check out all of the restaurants i mentioned, as you won’t be disappointed. and, if you see one of my favorite food writers, michael ruhlman, who resides there, tell him i said hi & i hope to meet him next time.