Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back from Vacation

This past week I have been in Western PA visiting my sister and her kids. It was a great trip and awesome to get out of the city for a while. I could have done without the humidity, but it was not unbearable.

We did a lot of food related stuff, as my sister loves food as much as I do. Her kids are pretty adventurous as well.

We went to the historic West Side Market in Cleveland. It was simply amazing.

Tons of food vendors offering, meats, cheeses, baked goods and tons of other goodies.

This pistachio cake looked amazing.

Lots of baked goods.

I also got some beef jerky that was featured on the Food Networks's show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate". Michael Symon chose it as his favorite salty treat. It is the best jerky I have ever had and I am a bit of jerky nut. This whole trip had a lot to do with Michael Symon as he is from Cleveland and it is just a short trip from my sister's house.

We went to his restaurant Lola in downtown Cleveland. I was so excited!!

The restaurant was gorgeous.

It was great to be able to sit next to the prep area and watch them plate the food and prepare it for serving.

I got Chef Symon's famous Beef Cheek Pierogies. Anthony Bourdain got these when he visited the restaurant on his show No Reservations. Beef Cheek is like the most tender and juicy pot roast you could ever imagine. The pierogies had a mushroom sauce and a horseradish sauce. I seriously could have ate 10 of these, but they were just my starter.

I also got the roasted asparagus and a wild mushroom salad with goat cheese and a pistachio vinaigrette. Holy cow I got STUFFED on a salad. The cheese and vinaigrette were so rich I could not even finish it. Needless to say it was one of the best meals of my life. Even better that I could share it with my sister, my niece and my 'Aunt In-law'.

I did not want to be totally obnoxious and use flash so here are some less than great pics of what everyone else got...

My sister got a club with a chili corn soup. In the foreground you can also see the bread they served, which was fresh and amazing.

My niece got mac and cheese with goat cheese and chicken confit. Holy cow was it good, and she liked it too.

My Aunt (actually Tom's aunt who lives very close to my sister, they hang out all the time which is quite awesome. She is the same aunt that rescued Tanner, our youngest boston. She drove him all the way to AZ after fostering him for a couple of months. She is one wonderful lady.) got the Chicken Puillard with Cous Cous and veggies.

Finally here is a picture of me and my niece being goofs in the bathroom at Lola...

I have a lot more food stuff to share from my trip, then back to the cooking!


  1. Haha, as soon as I read Cleveland I thought, MICHAEL SYMON!! I love him. I'm glad that jerky was as good as he made it sound.

  2. fantastic. I wish that I could have made it over for a short time with you guys. I swear I would've come for more than the food.

  3. I LOVE Michael Symon. So jealous. One day I'm going to get up to Cleveland to eat there...

  4. What a fabulous restaurant!!

  5. hi, yummy food..i just saw Symon on food network last nite on iron cook?, stayed up to late wAtching it..


  6. Jerky! I got B a dehydrator for his birthday and he has been jerkying like mad. We got some beef at the local Asian supermarket, ran it through the meat grinder on our Kitchenaid a couple of times, and the jerky it made was so delicious and tender. Never had anything like it; it was sooo good. Do you dehydrate ?

  7. Have you ever had someone in
    Minnisnowda SO Jelly of you? Now you do!

    Cheers for better eating,


  8. Oh wow the market looked like so much fun... I love places like that! Oh an the pierogie looked devine!