Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland’

Cleveland Airport – safety second

Posted by jwpiper on January 29, 2009

There are lots of benefits to living in Cleveland. One minor example which only surfaces periodically for a few months a year is that air traffic control will land and take off plans in any weather. It’s nice to have a minor hub for a major airline in town, making travel easy, but the periodic snow dumps we get could be a real pain if Cleveland were a more major hub. As it is, we fit just the right profile to be important enough to fly in crazy weather and unimportant enough to make that possible.

I don’t even know how many inches of snow we got over the 24 hours previous to my landing, but visibility was about a mile and the runway was a complete mess. To put the weather in perspective, after landing, it took me 3 times as long to drive home as it usually would. In truth, they did close the airport just before we landed and again just after we landed. But at most cities, either our flight would have been cancelled in the first place or we would have been rerouted to another city. But not Cleveland. The picture above is outside my window of the snowplows only a hundred or so yards away from the plane on one of the runways.


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Cleveland – Lolita

Posted by jwpiper on January 10, 2009

One of Cleveland’s culinary gems, Lolita is Michael Symon‘s original restaurant in Cleveland. Once called Lola, it’s name was changed upon openning a new restaurant (you guessed it, Lola) in downton Cleveland. It’s nestled in part of what I think of as Cleveland’s gastronomic center: Tremont, just across the river from downtown.

For the value concsious, Lolita is one of the top treasures in town. Most entrees are priced $16-18, and come with a side included. The portions are varied, but generally satisfying. The menu is compact but ample, with seasonally appropriate dishes. The wine list includes a very long selection by the glass – all reasonably priced.

I always try to go on Tuesdays when they roast a Berkshire pig, but I don’t seem to be able to often. My last visit, I was convinced to try one of the pizzas. That was my only negative experience there… not that it was bad, just not as special as the other preparations in my opinion.

This visit, we started with appetizers of warm olives and stuffed dates. I was inspired to order the braised pork shank, and was not dissapointed. Served alongside a creamy polenta as the side and atop a lentil sauce, it was crispy and tender. My wife had a plate of squash ravioli and Matt C., roasted chicken. Without exception, we were all quite pleased.

There is little excuse for how seldom we make it to Lolita. I count it among my favorite restaurants in town. The food is good, the value impressive, and the ambiance warm and unpretentious. Michael Symon has well deserved his status as a celebrity chef.

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