Monday, July 18, 2011

Taste of Tremont 2011

So, I've finally recuperated enough from the heat and my food buzz to share my thoughts of the best damn food fest in Cleveland with you.  Sure there are bigger ones, but none pack the punch of so many great local restaurants in a cool neighborhood setting like the Taste of Tremont.

If anybody noticed, Sunday was a scorcher!  Super hot and humid weather like this would keep me away from most outdoor events but my grumbling stomach urged me on.  It was worth enduring the heat-stroke inducing weather and the expected parking difficulties.  It was nice to see our local celebrity chefs out in full force sweating right along with us to make sure we left with full bellies and happy thoughts of their neighborhood.

I love Tremont and enjoy its restaurants often, but there is something about food of this caliber eaten while walking around on a summer day, or standing on a shade dappled sidewalk that just seems BETTER for some reason.  Maybe it's the fresh air and the once-a-year excitement that takes it to another level.

The heat dulled my hunger slightly but I still accomplished my goals of sampling interesting food and discovering a new restaurant while gobbling up Tremont's tasty offerings.  No matter what you were looking for, from pierogies to ribs to a pig roast to various Asian-style dishes, there was something for everyone.  Many of the local shops were also out and selling their wares.  The folks from The Christmas Story House were handing out free magnets to go with their brochures too.

Sure people complain about the heat or the parking but my only food complaint is that there were SO many ribs.  I think I'm in the minority but I don't enjoy walking around eating such a messy dish.  Unless I go to a rib fest, I'm not ordering them.  They did look and smell wonderful but I was looking for something else.  The stuffed cabbage, pierogies and cabbage noodles from Sokolowski's and the church also looked great but it was just too hot for these steaming plates of goodness.  My second complaint was that there were plenty of garbage cans but no recycling bins.  This was really disappointing considering all the plastic water bottles and other items that could have been saved from a landfill.

The Bistro on Lincoln Park was one of the places I really wanted to check out after sampling their food at the June NEO Food Tour-Tremont.  Somehow I got full and forgot to go back for their turkey wing confit.  I'm happy that this is something that they offer at the restaurant on their Happy Hour Menu because I really was looking forward to trying it.

Here's the rundown of my food choices:
Kai Kra Prow at Ty Fun.  It was a spicy chicken and vegetable dish with Thai basil served with white rice.
Short Rib Sliders with fresh corn relish from Dim and Den Sum.
Pork spring roll and green papaya salad from Bac.
Lemon cupcake with raspberry filling from Cookie and a Cupcake.
Iced Key Limeade from Lucky's.

Everything was awesome!  I have been wanting to try Bac since I first heard about them and I will be heading to the restaurant soon.  The papaya salad was my favorite of the day - perfectly refreshing and delicious.  Their menu also included guacamole with bacon that looked really good too.  I overheard people commenting on how tasty it was and wanted to try it but I was saving room for that cupcake!

There was definitely a heat wave in town for the Taste of Tremont but the two hottest places to be were Fahrenheit and Dante.  Rocco and Dante really know how to throw a party!  The lot next to Dante had a roof top band, dunking booth and a mechanical bull.  The Fahrenheit patio was hopping and Rocco himself was manning the grill. Fahrenheit's sangria was calling my name but it was just too packed to try to get a glass.  I definitely wanted to try Rocco's Cleveland Nachos (homemade potato chips with goat cheese fondue and scallions) and their Tremont Cheese Steak sandwiches - if only I wasn't so hot and full I would have! The tacos sold out so they must have been great too.

So if you didn't go on Sunday, make sure you check it out next year.  It's always fun and you are sure to leave with a full belly and a smile on your face.


  1. Sounds like a very fun event! I really enjoyed Bac at the Silver Spoon Awards and can't wait to get there for dinner some night.

  2. wow Crystal simply a heartfelt wow! Very well written. GREAT for Cleveland plus enticing to those yet to visit Cleveland. The Cleveland's tourist office should give you an award! You made my mouth water.You made we want to take Joy to Tremont and experience some of the places you covered.I'm not a big fan of Cleveland...yet. However with all the links you include you make it easy to become one! Keep it up Crystal you may be pleasantly suprized at the reward of your efforts! Love you

  3. Sorry we missed you on Sunday. There was so much great food this year, I don't know how anyone would have gotten to it all! Hope to see you at Bistro for happy hour and turkey wings sometime soon!


Love to hear from you!