Sunday, January 22, 2012

This day in Food Porn.

Poor blog, how I've neglected you. While I have a few cerebral topics of interest, I know you'd rather look at food porn anyways.

We'd pretty much eaten the freeze bare, so heading to the West Side Market was a moral imperative. So was coffee and breakfast, so we stopped into Bonbon Pastry & Cafe.

Cuban Coffee
Cuban coffee at Bonbon
How can you go wrong with Cuban Coffee, bacon, pork belly and eggs? Bonbon is cute - and bright - little cafe on the corner of on Lorain at West 26th full of hipster employees and a mix of old school southside residents and pseudo-trendy urbanites.

It's a tiny bit pricey, but did you see the pork belly? I mean NOM. If you're looking for the $2.95 breakfast special, go to the Market Cafe. If you want something a little less than the usual, checkout Bonbon.

Bacon, Bacon & Eggs
Bacon, Bacon & Eggs at Bonbon. The rosemary
ciabatta didn't work with the flavor profile though.
During breakfast we planned out our assault on the market - and our dinners for the week:

Sweet and Fiery Port Tenderloin with Mango Salsa. Photo by SkinnyTaste.com.
Despite the massive snow storm predicted by our crack team of meteorologists, it seems a fair number of tourists actually look out their windows this morning because the Market was packed with a lot of foreign faces in designer sweats and Starbucks cups. Hey, I'm happy you came down, I'm happy you're supporting the local economy - just watch where you're going.

Tourists aside, our trip was only slow because we stopped to talk to our usual vendors. I just hope that after Minnie's case sold out that Mark made good on his promise to take her out. We did our part with a pork tenderloin and a rack of spare ribs. Yeah, those weren't on our list, but who doesn't like pork ribs?!?!

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Remember when we had a pork and beer fest on July 4th? NOM!
I really need to learn our red meat guy's name too, because we talk for ages, but there are only so many ways to say "hey, how's it going". After seriously fifteen minutes of chatter, we finally ordered our ground beef. Of course, we walked way with some extra skirt steaks too - you never know when you might need to fajita-fajita. You sure aren't going to get those at Rally's.

Actual shopping time: about 15 minutes. Time spent at the market: 60 minutes. But, I suppose that's why people always round down for use. The know us. They see us regularly - because we're putting money in their hands. Seriously, if you live in Cleveland and don't go to the West Side Market, start. You'll save money and you'll eat better.

Skirt Steak Tacos with Black Beans and Rice
Skirt Steak Tacos with Rice and Black Beans.
After breaking down all the meats and getting everything prepped for the week, we went to the dreaded Giant Eagle for dry goods. Let me say it loud: I HATE GOING TO GIANT EAGLE. Hate it. I'd rather go shoe shopping with Morgan at Nordstrom in Beachwood Place on red tag day than go to the Eagle. If you've been there, you'll know what I mean. Nordies, not golden Eagle.

Why do I hate Giant Eagle, well, lets skip past the rotten vegetables, the fruit flies and the habitually empty shelves and skip to the ridiculously rude and inconsiderate patrons. Seriously, people just don't think. You don't need to walk next to your cart. You don't need a second cart so your eight year old c an push around her baby doll. It's shopping - not home-ec.

Thankfully for everyone in Parma, I escaped the golden Eagle without going on a murderous rampage with a make-shift shank fashioned from a frozen chicken breast and jump rope.

And then we found ourselves at Melt Bar & Grilled in Independence. If you're not sitting down - sit down now.

Yeah, I've got a prejudice against Melt. Normally, I wouldn't be caught dead inside.

The Chorizo and Potato
Chorizo and Potato sandwich at Melt. And this wasn't cocktail weenie chorizo either.
I know, I know. Before you grab your pitchfork and torch, hear me out. I've only been to the Lakewood location, where there is always a long wait for a table, service is slow and it take a while for your food to get prepared. At least that has always been my experience. Yes, the sandwiches are delicious, but seriously, I don't have four hours to devote to something I know how to make at home in 20 minutes - and no, I'm not talking Kraft singles and Wonder bread.

But I'm willing to give Melt another try after today - mostly because we totally beat the system. Our hour and forty-five minute wait was cut to about three minutes when Morgan spotted to guys getting up from the bar. Service was still a bit slow, but at least I was sitting down with a delicious North Peak Diabolical in my hand.

And then the meals came. Quickly too.

The Dude Abides
The Dude Abides. Perhaps the best sandwich ever created.
Morgan got The Dude Abides and I got the Chorizo and Potato. As great as the Dude was - and hot damn was it delicious - I was reluctant to trade halves with my Chorizo and Potato. When you think potato, cheese and bread you think food coma, or at least I do, but seriously there was none of that at all. It was a bit messy, but otherwise super easy to eat. The Dude, well, he might abide, but after just one bit I was weary of needing a nap. But the next time I need to sleep away a weekend, I'm getting the Dude.

If you still need more food porn, check out Pinterest for some more delicious offerings - and then make them, because you really don't need to stop by TGI Fridays or Taco Bell for the third time this week.

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