Sunday, July 18, 2010

Taste of Tremont

The Taste of Tremont is the one day in the year Professor Ave in Tremont is closed to vehicular traffic and thousands of Clevelanders pack a 2-1/2 block area from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Hordes made their pilgrimage as early as 11:30 a.m., welcomed by the scent of incense presented by Ty Fun, a Thai restaurant on Jefferson Ave.

Ty Fun Altar
Buddhist altar

Ty Fun's food offerings this year were spring rolls ($2), kai kra prow ($6), vegetarian pad thai ($5), and beef panang ($6), which we didn't try. Bug had his eye on Fahrenheit's cheese steak sandwich that he woefully passed up last year.

Fahrenheit Rocco
Rocco's modern life

Amidst the thumping music and black bar tables brought out from the restaurant, Chef Rocco Whalen drummed up Fahrenheit's offerings on his bullhorn: Chinese chicken salad ($5), "Loaded" chips ($6), and Tremont cheesesteak ($7).

Bug ordered his cheesesteak sandwich "wit provi" (with provolone). It was salty and dry with nothing for cheese so it wasn't worth it for me. Bug was disappointed with the dryness and scant amount of cheese, but was satisfied to finally cross that off his to-do list. How could it beat a year of anxious anticipation? What can one expect for only $7? I am glad that I no longer have to hear about the one that got away! :)

Tremont Cheesesteak
Tremont cheesesteak wit (a squiggle of) provi by Fahrenheit

What I missed this year was Fahrenheit's tacos. The truck was around, but it wasn't givin' up any tacos.

Lago's pizza was pretty popular. The restaurant recently put up some interesting weekly specials like vegetarian Mondays; Tab Tuesdays, where the restaurant picks up a portion or all of the tab; and Taste of Thursday where several special dishes are created, centered around a particular ingredient. For example, this week's ingredient is strawberries so the dishes being prepared are strawberries, goat cheese, and spinach salad, pan-seared duck with strawberry-apricot compote, and strawberry cobbler with mascarpone zabaglione.

Lago Pizza
Pizza by Lago

While I would like to eat Fahrenheit's lobster pizza this week, that strawberry menu sounds delightful. Guess we'll see when Thursday comes around.

Got Soul
Got soul?

Yet another year went by where my thirst wasn't quenched by Lolita's mint lemonade. The line here was the longest of all the booths. I didn't feel like waiting through 30 people, which probably went quickly as only 2 items were offered -- their trademark mac and cheese ($5) along with the mint lemonade ($2).


Bug scrounged up a dollar in change so we walked by the booth 10 minute 'til closing. The stand was vacant. Maybe next year.

Grumpy's offerings were centered around chips -- chips with salsa, chips with Texas caviar, and nachos. With the sun's rays beating down on the asphalt, that Arnold Palmer sparkled like liquid gold.

Grumpys offerings

In a not so busy end was Roosevelt Post 58 Polish Legion of American Veterans. They offered kielbasa and sauerkraut in a hot dog bun for $3. I was extremely pleased with the sausage packed with juicy, smoky, garlicky spiciness wrapped in a firm casing. The sauerkraut was probably cooked with some kielbasa, since it was mellow (the way I like it) and smoky. Being an exclusive club, I felt fortunate to sample their food!

Kielbasa and Kraut
Kielbasa and sauerkraut

A couple of new restaurant names appeared in the mix -- La Fuega and Istanbul Turkish Grill.

La Fuega
La Fuega

La Fuega has a cute logo that reminds me of nose art from World War II warplanes. Their representative to the event was a "New Mexican style" green chile mini-cheeseburger ($5).

Istanbul Turkish Grill served chicken fillet or kofta with rice or bulgar ($6) and baklava ($3). I look forward to seeing their full menu, as I love Mediterranean food despite an aversion to raw onions and cilantro!

Istanbul Turkish Grill
Istanbul Turkish Grill

Good luck to the new restaurants! Hope to see the 22 neighborhood restaurants that participated, as well as the other local businesses, grow to more next year!

- Cassaendra

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