Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eat Your Heart Out

My favorite thing about coming home is eating. Also, you know, spending time with people I love, but mostly the eating. I've been known to make four trips in two days to my favorite hometown restaurant chain, Rockne's, & whenever possible, I try to convince friends to make the 45-minute trek to Cleveland to eat at gems like Happy Dog and Melt, Northeast Ohio's finest artery-clogging establishments.

But some of those establishments, it turns out, exist right in my old backyard - almost literally. While home this week, I seized the opportunity to ditch dieting & embrace unhealthy gorging. Yeah, yeah, judge away. Sometime you've just gotta eat your weight in gourmet in food.

  • Flip Side
    I don't even like hamburgers (actually, I've never had a hamburger), but I couldn't passup the quirky menu at Hudson's new(ish) burger joint. After an truly epic wait, I bucked the trend & ordered a chicken sandwich with two-year aged cheddar & an appetizer of mini corn dogs. And I washed it down with a Medjool date milkshake spiked with bacon vodka. And my palate will never be the same. In a good way.

  • Pad Thai
    While I think it's weird to name a restaurant after your most recognizable dish (can you imagine an Italian joint named Lasagna?), that's not the point. The point is this: I inhaled my basil chicken with a ferocity not seen since my early DC days, when the servers at my neighborhood Thai establishment came to know me by name. I doubted the Midwest's ability to bring me delicious Thai food, but I underestimated my fair Ohio.

  • Totally Cooked
    On Fridays, the catering-company-slash-café down the road from my house sets up a midday BBQ truck in their parking lot, advertising with the motto, "We do the grillin', you do the chill in'." I paid inside for a pulled pork sandwich & carried my order out to the truck, where Dante, TC's loudmouthed & enthusiastic owner, laughed at me: "I love serving this to my Jewish customers!" Guilty as charged. I planned to take a photo, but this was all that was left by the time I remembered.

  • Mr. Zub's at the Matinee
    Circa 1:00am in Akron's Highland Square neighborhood, I consumed a hot dog named after cinematic porn star Dirk Diggler (see: "Boogie Nights"). It was topped with cheese & onions & chili & was undoubtedly the largest wiener I have ever seen. Pun intended, har de har har. I took half home & can now confirm that cold, leftover hot dogs taste as foul as they sound like they will.

Now, pardon me while I stock up on nothing but Diet Coke & heads of lettuce to eat for the next month as my body recovers...
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