Hot Dirty Bird

This weekend Bernard slapped me around a bit, well, more like mother nature slapped me around and then Bernard had to go get all cankterious on my ass. Friday's weather sucked it, the constant drizzling rain turn heavy once I hit Akron and I had to pull over because I couldn't see. Why couldn't I see? Oh, because Bernard's windshield wipers don't work. Most likely due to the short in the dash. And it was supposed to rain all weekend and this was the only weekend I had free to bring it to the mechanic (who is in Cleveland).

It didn't help that my dad was being a bit of an ass about the whole thing. But eventually the weather cleared and I was able to get back on the road. Only to be stuck in THREE traffic jams. THREE. WTF? Never in my life have I been stuck in so much traffic on the east side of Cleveland. It turned what should have been a 4.5 hour drive into a 6 hour odyssey.

The best part of the drive was the car full of awesome dudes who pulled up next to me on the freeway and rode along side of me giving me the thumbs up and admiring my car. They did that for about 2 miles which really cracked me up, clearly they love Bernard. I love him too, even when he's mean to me. Is that the definition of an abusive relationship?

After dinner with my dad I managed to upend the entire box of takeaway wings onto the passenger side of the midget. And since it was dark and there is no interior light I had to feel around in the dark for sticky little wings. Just a perfect sort of topper to a craptastic day. Poor Bernard probably still has wing sauce smeared all over his seats (which are thankfully black leather).

Saturday we headed out to downtown Cleveland to Hot Sauce Williams, which lived up to it's previous reviews and it was awesome. Unfortunately I must now hate myself because they didn't have any banana pudding. I was pretty damn sad about that, but I consoled myself with the pork shoulder sandwich and fried okra. I think fried okra can pretty much right any wrong and make any day better.

Since we were downtown we headed over to Gallucci's  for some fun ethnic shopping. Hello prosciutto stuffed olives, you are delicious in my belly.

Then the West Side Market, were we bought some ridiculously cheap produce and I stared at one of the cute butchers wishing like hell I had a cooler for the drive back so I would have a reason to talk to him.

Saturday night was all about Lolita. Yumi and I along with Carrie and Bill headed down to Tremont for dinner. If you live in Cleveland you must go, and go now. Make reservations. And take me with you.

First off the decor and stuff was great, the light was low but not too dim. You could see everything clearly but it was just a nice warm cozy feel. It was small and the waitstaff was awesome. Our waitress was a really cute pixish girl that awesomely could tell you about everything on the menu. She even knew where the chickens came from, which to me is one of the marks of knowledgeable waitstaff.

Yumi started off with a Loupe Loupe which was Champagne, Chambord, vodka and cherry juice. It was sweet and delicious. I had a Hot Dirty Bird which was a dirty martini that had Grey Goose, olive juice and Tabasco in it. I would actually like to have a t-shirt that said "Hot Dirty Bird", I am also going to attempt to re-create this drink at home. I suspect lots of drunkeness will follow while I attempt to get the recipe right. The presentation of the drinks was great, they brought the shakers to the table and poured them right there. Same with the wine my friend Carrie ordered.

For starters we had tomatoes with balsamic and oil, which were just ok in my book. I thought the tomato was a bit under ripe and out of season. But that was honestly my only complaint about the whole meal. We also ordered the crispy chicken livers which were soft and velvety. They weren't overly minerally or anything to me, and I ate nearly the whole serving myself since the others were huge fans of liver.

Carrie and Yumi ordered the braised pork cheeks with roasted onions and chilies. It was in some sort of reduction that had balsamic vinegar and they were very tender from the braising. Bill ordered their Soprassata pizza that was spicy sauce, fresh mozzarella and their own cured sopressata. It was very good, the crust had a great crunch and chew to it. And the sopressata melted in your mouth, it was amazing.

I had their roasted chicken on the recommendation of the waitress and she did not steer me wrong. It was entirely de-boned and so unbelievably crispy I can't even imagine how they got it that way. Not only that but the chicken was moist and not the least bit dry, plus you could really taste the under notes of lemon and rosemary. It had a small sprinkling of white beans on top with a few micro greens. I ate the whole damn thing. Half a chicken!

For sides, Yumi and I both got the escarole with lemon and salt. It was perfectly bitter but the lemon brightened the whole thing up. Carrie got their roasted cauliflower and said it was excellent.

Carrie and Bill got the chocolate pot du creme for dessert (chocolate, sea salt, candied pecans, Carmel and Chantilly creme), and it was very good. Bill wolfed it down, it was comical how fast he ate it. If someone could have injected it right into his veins he probably would have taken them up on it. Yumi and I had no room for dessert.

I am so going back there again because I just have to have the chicken livers again. Plus I want to try all the other things on their menu.

I've heard their Big Board for Two, which is their own cured meats and cheeses is amazing. You have to love a restaurant that cures their own meats.

We were supposed to head over to The Velvet Tango Lounge afterwards but we were completely full and tired (I had half a chicken in my stomach) so we headed home.

If you can possibly believe it my mother made us a huge Sunday breakfast, sweet rolls, swiss scramble, homemade corned beef hash, etc. And I ate a little bit of everything.

And in a fit of bravery I went traipsing off to the salon with Holly's photo in hand and had them lop off my hair. I'm hoping the change in hair with change my chi or mojo or whatever you want to call it and bring me all sorts of new, fantastic things. New love, new job, new home. Anything, I just feel the need for change and my hair seemed like a good place to start.

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