Apparently they spell it differently in Columbus (or the editor missed correcting the mistake) but it’s clear they like to eat these packets of dough stuffed with all kinds of goodness just as much as we do uo here in Cleveland.
The story includes recipes if you want to make your own. But I’d rather buy mine. Love the ones from Perla Homemade Delights and Pierogi Palace at the West Side Market. Where do you get yours?
The October issue of Saveur Magazine has a great article written by Jane and Michael Stern about the pleasures of eating around northeast Ohio. Here’s a teaser:
“…a road trip from the shores of Lake Erie around Cleveland south to Rubber City (a k a Akron) and Canton is, in our opinion, one of the finest a food lover can take in all of America.”
What prompts this high praise from these writers are the traditional ethnic dishes served at mom and pops throughout the region. In fact, based on the places named, I’d be willing to wager that they used my book as their guide (although they don’t mention it). The pair give big shout outs to the West Side Market (the subject of my next book), Balaton, Perla Homemade Delights, State Meats, Little Polish Diner, Babushka’s Kitchen, and Al’s Corner Diner.
None of this will come as a surprise for those of you who read this blog. But it’s nice to see this part of our culinary community in the national spotlight and getting some well deserved compliments. Take a look at the article. Find more details in Cleveland Ethnic Eats. Then get out there and enjoy what the region has to offer.
It’s been way too hot to cook, or even think about cooking, the past few days. but tonight’s cold dinner was a winner and required no stove time. I made a tasty gazpacho using fresh produce I had bought at the farmers market on Saturday. To go with it, I pulled a fine selection of really special cheeses from the fridge, purchased from Gus Mouganis at Mediterranean Imports, located in the Westside Market. We had Chistou, from France made with cow and sheep milk; cloth aged Cabot cheddar; and Testun from Italy that gets its unusual flavor from time spent in oak barrels that formerly held Barolo wine fermented from Nebbiolo grapes. Each variety was new to me, chosen after Gus sliced off pieces so I could taste them. To round out this simple supper we had slices of dense sour rye bread, available only at the beginning of the month, from Zoss the Swiss Baker. Served together it was a Travel Channel feast and just the thing for a steamy summer night.
It’s taken seven years for the Duong family to turn the massive old manufacturing facilty on 38th and Superior into the Asiantown Center . There’s still work going on inside this two story urban mall and many empty spaces waiting for tenants, but the place is already destination-worthy.
The public spaces are gorgeous- renovated and redesigned with a kind of gritty elegance infused with Asian aesthetic, and decorated with orignal pieces of art. And a 20,00 square foot grocery store, stocking products from China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philipines- replacing the Asia Food Market on St. Clair which closed in April-is now open for business. There’s live fish, fresh meat and produce, bbqed pork and whole roasted ducks, and an in-house bakery, plus an in-store cafe.
After my guided tour yesterday courtesy of Alexandre Duong and his sister Angela, I polished off a wonderful Vietnamese lunch of rice paper rolls and a cold chicken and rice noodle salad, and headed home with a container of shrimp noodle soup and savory meat and bean paste filled buns for supper.
This Friday night, June 4, is a great time to check it out. Asiantown Center is hosting an art festival from 7-11 PM with works by local talent on display, live music, and good things to eat.
The project began because the Duongs needed a larger space for the market, but quickly grew into something much bigger. They had a vision of the possible, hung in during the recession and have brought something exciting to the city and the neighborhood. This family venture is the kind of development and the spirit Cleveland needs, and they deserve our praise and support.
Very bad, very sad news coming out of Thailand this week. So it seemed like just the right time to post something positive related to this country. And with the sun actually shining on a weekend, I’m thinking about cooking outside. That leads me to a happy thought- I have some Thai sausage from Mister Brisket in my freezer. They make it themselves and it’s really wonderful done on the grill.
Curious about the why and what, I called Sanford Herskovitz, the real Mr. B, to get the story of how the sausages ended up on his product list, the only Asian inspired meat in the mix . He told me that he first tasted them a Z’s, the innovative restaurant Zack Bruell opened back in the ’80′s. And Herskovitz ate many more in Bangkok on a trip to the southeast Asian nation he made with his wife Frances. Intrigued with their unqiue flavor, he decided to recreate them for his Cleveland Heights store.
His version is made with ground veal, soy sauce, cilantro, a lot of garlic and hint of sweetness from brown sugar. At just $5.99 a pound, these links are a bargain. I like mine with jasmine rice and stir fried vegetables or soba (buckwheat) noodles tossed with scallions, sesame seeds and peanut sauce. Sanford says they’re good on a bun with honey mustard. I’m definitely going to have to put that on my To Try list.
I’m talking food not the Greek economy. Got the following message on Cleveland Ethnic Eats’ Facebook fan page:
Hello Laura, Just wanted to let you know that after 51 years of being in Ohio City Market District, Athens Pastries and Imported Foods is moving to 5120 Pearl Rd in the Pearlbrook Shopping Center. I hope that you will stop in and see us. Our grand opening in June 1, but we will be moving out by the end of April.
Pencil the new address into your copies of the book (page 122 in the current edition). And schedule a date this summer to visit the new place and stock up on feta, kalamata olives, and galaktoboureka-an irresistable combination of custard wrapped in phyllo dough.
Think Gallucci’s is just a place to buy cheese, olives, pasta and other wonderful things to eat? Think again. On February 9th, from 6:30-8:30 PM, owner Ray Gallucci and his sidekick Chuck Masterpaul, who owned and operated Noggins Restaurant in Shaker Heights for 27 years, are hosting an Italian cooking class in the store. It’s a learn and dine event with a focus on winter comfort foods. The evening begins with Ray’s guided tour of an antipasto platter followed by lessons in how to prepare Tuscan beans, great as a side dish or a sauce for pasta; truffle risotto; braised lamb shanks and roasted vegetables; and balsamic syrup for a strawberry dessert. First you watch, then you have at it with fork and spoon. Though there ‘s no drinking of wine, pairings will be recommended for each dish. Buy bottles after the meal to take home along with anything else that captures your fancy during closed store shopping.
Seating’s setup in the aisle in front of the bakery counter. The small space can only accomdate 24. Chuck told me that if they have a sell out crowd and more who want to come, they’ll schedule a second session.
Cost is $50 per person. Reservations required. Call 216-881-0045 and ask for Chuck (be sure to tell him you read about the class on this blog), or email email@example.com
Made the rounds of some of my favorite places today. First stop West Side Market, where I picked up andouille and chorizo sausages, saffron and arborio rice, and a little wheel of goat camembert. The place was mobbed. Also ate a felafel. Next stop Farkas Bakery for Napoleans. It smells so incedibly good inside becaise no walls separate the kitchen from the front of the shop. Note to self: when I need cheering up, I should just go there and inhale deeply for a few minutes Then back to the East side where I bought prosecco- Italian bubbly- at The Grapevine. I love this town, I really do.
I’ve just discovered the most fantastic dessert. The official name is Engadiner Nusstorte. But at Zoss The Swiss Baker (12397 Cedar Road), the only place to get it in the Cleveland area, this excellent cake has been rechristened St. Moritz Nut Torte, a handle with more style that’s much easier for Americans to say.
Essentially it’s a caramelized walnut pie, similar to pecan pie but much much better and without the cloying over the top sugariness of corn syrup. A traditional creation from the southeastern part of Switzerland, the torte features a rich, buttery double crust with a cookie taste and texture. The filling is made with cream, walnuts, honey and sugar, a sweet but not too sweet combination that’s velvety smooth like frosting except for the nut chunks. The finished product is dense and a small slice is more than satisfying, so a little goes a long way. Delicious on it’s own and picture pretty, the torte is especially nice with a dollop of real whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
What’s especially amazing about this cake is how well it keeps. I had a piece cut from one made weeks earlier and would never have known that it wasn’t freshly baked. This makes it ideal for gift giving and shipping. Also good to have on hand for serving unexpected company or bringing to a holiday gathering.
Kurt and Barbara Zoss only make this labor intensive preparation during the holiday season, and cakes must be special ordered. Call 2160368-4055 to make sure there’s one for your table, and one- or more- for some lucky people on your list.
Sad news that specialty grocer Chandler and Rudd on Chagrin Boulevard closed earlier this month. The market has been included in a decade’s worth of editions of Cleveland Ethnic Eats, but it’s much much older than that, with a history that goes back 145 years. I used to buy cookies and candies from England there as gifts for a Brit-born friend, and loved all the products from Germany,Italy, and France because they were things I ate when living in Europe as a teenager. A fascinating article by reporter Janet Cho in Sunday’s Plain Dealer charts the rise and fall of this culinary landmark.