If you don’t live in or near Cleveland, what I’m about to say is going to make you laugh. But stick with me for a moment.
Cleveland’s food scene is kicking ass right now.
Yes. Cleveland. The city that everyone else in the country (not to mention a nonzero number of its own inhabitants) pretty much laughs at is undergoing a spectacular renaissance of high-quality dining. I don’t think you can overstate Iron Chef Michael Symon’s influence on this, but that influence would have come to nothing if Cleveland’s chefs hadn’t taken the ball and run with it. But they did, and today a city that was a culinary wasteland as recently as 10 or 15 years ago is becoming a major player in the dining world.
There’s a lot of room for improvement, to be sure. As a whole, Cleveland still needs to educate its servers regarding how they’re expected to behave in a fine-dining environment — especially regarding wine service, holy crap. And restaurant owners are still figuring out that whole pricing thing; some of the city’s best places price both food and drink low enough that I’m worried about their continued financial health, while others rival San Francisco or New York for prices. The answer should really be somewhere in the middle, but these are not-unexpected growing pains that will, no doubt, eventually settle out. Overall, Cleveland has a ton of really, really great restaurants, not to mention a healthy and growing assortment of excellent destination-neighborhoods where these places are congregating. Really.
Anyway, the reason I’m talking about this is because a friend of mine recently asked which food blogs I read on a regular basis. It was a timely question, because I’d recently realized that a few of my regulars had started dropping off or going downhill, so I did a little bit of poking around and discovered a nice lineup of local food blogs that should keep me well up to date with the city’s culinary happenings. And in attempting to answer her question, I discovered that Google Reader has this neat “bundle” feature that allows you to easily share whole lineups of blogs.
- Bite Buff
- Cleveland Food and Brews
- Cleveland Foodie
- Exploring Food My Way: Satisfying the Craving
- Fun Playing With Food
- Plain Dealer Food Blog
- Scene Food Blog
- Tasty Cleveland
Not all of these are equally good, but there’s definitely a lot of good stuff therein. Here’s the link to the whole aggregate feed. Enjoy.
As an aside, it’s only recently occurred to me that answering random questions like this publicly is a nice way to keep momentum going on my blog. So if you’ve got something you’d like to ask — anything — please feel free to drop me a line.