For my nerdy better half I planned a night out barhopping in Ohio City as his Birthday treat! Last year I took him to NYC and we had a crazy night of drinking in the West Village. We started at Marie's Crisis, an awesomely fun gay piano bar (I wish we had one just like it in CLE), the White Horse Tavern, where Dylan Thomas supposedly drank himself to death, and the Slaughtered Lamb, where our waitress, who had on a barely-there top, bent over us again and again to light the flaming drinks we couldn't stop ordering. We topped off the night a Gray's Papaya for a 2 a.m. legendarily drunk food fix. This year I took him up to Westfield, NY for the weekend, where we got to taste a lot of wines, but we made it home just in time for a little CLE bar crawl! We made four stops along this Bar Crawl. All places we've been wanting to go, but hadn't had the chance to yet.
Stop #1 - Nano Brew Our journey started at Nano Brew. They have an extensive local beer list, including a few of their own. We thoroughly enjoyed the hoppy Nano Namber Ale and the fruity Market Garden Citramax.
They have a super cool menu. I can't wait to go back and try the PB&J, peanut butter, bacon, jam and arugula. We decided to start off the evening with the Stoner Fries, waffle fries with chorizo chili, cheese sauce & scallions. They were truly a stoner's wet dream! The chorizo chili had the greatest spiciness to it.
Stop #2 - The Black Pig We were crazy impressed by the food and cocktails at the Black Pig. It's the kind of place I want to take my mom to so she can see why we are so in love with the Ohio City neighborhood and she would leave getting it.
I am a sucker for an inventive cocktail menu! We started with a Blood and Sand (left), it had a fantastically interesting smell that I just couldn't place, and the Millionaire (right).
We couldn't choose between the Braised Pork Belly and the Smoked Salmon so went with both. The smoked salmon was outrageously delicious! The combination of the salmon with the pickled onions was so smokey and sweet. The Salmon really stole the show, but Braised Pork Belly is always awesome. The Vietnamese make something similar to this dish, but with a hard boiled egg. It reminded me of a comforting chicken pot pie on a cold day. Bad day? Come get this ultimate comfort food dish along with a cocktail. I paired it with the Centennial, which tasted like a chocolate/coffee grasshopper. It worked.
Stop #3 - ABC Tavern We made a quick stop at ABC Tavern to get our drink on. I picked an Ace Apple Honey Cider off the board on the wall. It was like drinking a sour apple jolly rancher and I absolutely loved it! It seemed really crowded for a Sunday night in Ohio City, which gave us a fun kick in the ass to liven it up. What a a great Sunday Funday spot. I'd like to go back and try some of the fun food. I spotted Hush Puppies on the menu.
Stop #4 - Market Garden Brewery
The Market Garden Brewery was last, but certainly not least. I rarely turn down the chance to have a Beer Cocktail and I there was no way I was going to turn down a Beer Cocktail called the Joan Harris. It was as good as you would imagine drinking a Joan to be. I would for sure get it again.
The Sriracha BBQ Chicken Wings were unbelievably good. I am a true Sriracha lover and know that just a few drops of a fresh bottle of Sriracha can scorch, but these were very mild. They had all the awesome Sriracha flavor without the burn. Anyone who can tolerate a little heat could go for these. The Smokey BBQ Popcorn was a great bar food that pairs well with spicy Kennett Ale.
Since I don't bake it was probably best to get cake out. The Lemon Pound Cake with Raspberry Sorbet and Banana Bread with Brown Butter Ice Cream with Carmel Sauce were far better than any cake I could have pulled off. They were also the icing on the cake of our Birthday Bar Crawl.