Hey girl, enjoy. If I show up I'll bring some homemade jam (a la Christine Ferber) and a fabuloulsy fresh picked and wow you peach or two. Being a visitor to my spot on this earth, I'd also most likely chug along a Garlic Expressions Dressing (food safe) or maybe a goat cheese or two if you can baby it to a refrige.
Hey! Where was my jam? And peaches? I looooove peaches! Darn it all!
I tried to find Garlic Expressions, but no such luck. None at the farmer's markets, and I only managed to make a quick stop at one grocery store (not including TJs which doesn't have it, either).
I loved loved loved Cleveland! I'd love to go back and take the time to see things at my leisure, especially the architecture. We chanced upon the Huntington Building which was one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever seen. We were told by one of the bank employees that the bank was moving out and it would house a hotel. And even the building which houses Penzey's (and will soon house Crop, I heard) is fantastic. I'm hoping to return to Cleveland to do an architecture tour if one exists.
I will be completely honest here and say that I was very very disappointed with most of the meals. Of the restaurants we visited, the only one to which I would return is Lolita. Maybe AMP150, but I certainly would not bother with the other places at which we dined (based on what we ate and the value for our money). I think we got ripped off at Greenhouse Tavern (although the sole pescetarian in the group was gouged--he was initially charged $70+tax+tip for what amounted to a plate of peppers--$6 on the menu--and some crappy desserts, but they later reduced his tab to $30+tt) and also at Fahrenheit (although Fahrenheit was supposed to be just pre-dinner noshes, I'd still have done better had I ordered from the menu--an assortment of small desserts, spring rolls, housemade potato chips, and small pizzas and they charged us $11/person but only the spring rolls and I think the desserts were replenished--once--at least while I was there).
I know I'm harping on money, but I am simple prairie folk, and I expect value for what little money I have to spend on these things. I think this was the most expensive weekend of the four gatherings I've attended but the food was not better (and in some cases, it was, imo, not good at all). Generally, I was not impressed, but perhaps that has more to do with the planning than the restaurants/chefs themselves.
I did love the Velvet Tango Room and Paulius. Their root beer is the best I've had (and no, they don't use hires concentrate ) And I lust after Sweet Moses and their Chocolate Malteds and sundaes. I don't even like ice cream that much, but I still managed to go there twice (and I would have gone four times had someone been willing to take me after Friday evening dinner and after the Sunday brunch).
I was very happy to have met you, beans, and I hope you can come to Philadelphia next year. You can be my +1! And you know that person who turned her back on you at VTR? She never once spoke to me during the entire weekend, although she did make a point of introducing herself to my mother (and she knew my mother was my mother). How strange people can be! It's just food for god's sake!
If anyone is interested, pics are up here