Thursday, February 9, 2012

Snapshots – Americana Food Tour: Cleveland Greenmarket

When I was working at Gilt Taste, Ruth Reichl –who exudes happiness like a Labrador– raved about a weekend getaway to Cleveland. In true Tanaka fashion, I put shoved my foot in my mouth and blurted:

"Ruth, Cleveland? Really? Don't they compare Cleveland to Hell?"

Immediately, I realized that this was the absolute wrong thing to say. (But, hey, that's part of my charm, right?) Later, I read that Ruth's mom, whom she shares a tormented albeit artistically rich relationship with, grew up in Cleveland. (Ugh.) She has fond childhood memories of this place – especially Cleveland's West Side Market which, is rich with local history and artisanal purveyors. (Double ugh.) From that moment on, the West Side Market was on my bucket list – it became a stop on our Americana Food Tour. And, Ruth was right.

Before leaving Cleveland, we grabbed a homemade walnut cinnamon roll cluster for our friends. They were waiting for us at our next stop, Louisville. When we got there, they coyly opened the plastic wrapper, and dove in, taking handfuls at a time. Less than 16 hours later, the entire confection was a distant memory. It was sweet (but, not too sweet), nutty, and freshly baked that morning. I still talk about that walnut cinnamon roll cluster and the West Side Market where we found it. Not returning really would be Hell.

Check out our snapshots below. Enjoy!

Excuse the awkward expression – It was 30 degrees and windy in Cleveland chilly December day in 2011.

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