Cleveland Just Might Be the New Orleans of the North

Sweet Gnocchi

We’re talking a serious food town here folks. I just got back from dinner at Karen’s where she, Anne and I feasted on some fresh pasta we bought at the West Side Market. Crushed red pepper fettuccini and mmmm was it good! Just a little olive oil and Parmesian cheese. Perfect.

Pounds of Pasta

Last time I was in Cleveland, which just happened to be almost exactly a year ago (on my way back from another baseball excursion to Toronto and Niagara Falls) this vendor caught my eye, with two cases full of fresh pasta. I vowed the next time I was in town, I’d bring the cooler and stock up. And so I did, coming back with sage and mushroom pasta, gnocchi (sweet potato and sweet pea), two wheels of Amish farmer’s cheese, and Buffalo blue cheese sausages for the grill.

While there, we had bratwurst sandwiches for lunch and sampled a variety of the best kolachkies I’ve ever had. Karen also bought a coconut bar, a local delicacy that consists of a slice of moist chocolate cake rolled in coconut.

That was just the tip of the iceberg people. Spices, French pastries, olives, cheeses galore, a thousand different cuts of meat, shepherds pie and “pah-stees,” cupcakes that looked out of this world, sausages and slabs of bacon, pierogi, fresh baked bread of every variety, gyros that were the talk of the market, and a three-layer coconut cake that had my nose pressed against the glass case. A serious foody’s paradise. Almost worth moving to Cleveland for.

Next time I’m there (and we’re already planning a return trip) I’m taking two coolers. I kid you not.

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