Day 2: The Museum… and stuff

Yeah this post should have happened over a week ago, but I had a work fiasco that consumed 100% of my life this week and totally sucked. It’s being dealt with, and now this can happen.

When you make the drive from Columbus to Cleveland, you have 140 long miles of flat, unchanging highway to experience. You learn that Ohio has lots of grass, plenty of corn, one state policeman for every three citizens, and a Bob Evans restaurant at every single highway exit.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was our first destination upon arriving in the fortunately-easy-to-navigate city of Cleveland.   The museum is pretty nifty and I quite enjoyed seeing the tiny jackets and shoes of famous musicianly people.  The stuff they have at the museum ranges from the obvious (Elvis’ sparkly white jumpsuit) to the more obscure.   I took a gander at Lennon’s glasses and piano, Jimi Hendrix’s really crappy childhood drawings, Stevie Nicks’ super skinny dresses, … uhhhmm… some guy’s tap shoes… a jersey…. Eminem’s hat. And stuff.  Turns out I don’t remember a lot of specifics.

Laura and I talked at length about how we don’t understand how all these guys actually wore most of the clothes in the museum.  Do rock stars really do that much blow?

The answer is yes.

We went inside  Johnny Cash’s tour bus and saw where June did her makeup. John had a chicken rotisserie installed in the bus’s little kitchen.

Cute.

Turns out the museum didn’t take us nearly as long to get through as we figured it would. It wasn’t quite as big as we expected,
and even after we wasted some time in the gift shop and restaurant area, we were out of there in under three hours and decided to spend some time walking around the immediate area.

Exiting the museum, we got badgered on the street by a lady trying to convince us to give money to homeless people so they could get access to water, because it’s so hot they can’t find any.  I started to wonder why it’s hard to find water when the city is surrounded by Lake Erie. She was pitching this to us literally within a frisbee’s throw of 9,940 sq. miles of water.  Also, can’t anyone just walk into a McDonald’s bathroom and get some water whenever they want?  Or a K-Mart or a Burger King or, you know, anywhere with a sink? I’m pretty sure that’s a thing that can happen at any time.  Then I realized I don’t know what it’s like to be homeless, so maybe I shouldn’t judge and be a dick about it.

I would have given her a few dollars, but carrying cash is for grandpas and crack dealers.

Seriously… there’s a huge lake.

Right there.

Proof

After we romanced the daylight a little and sat along the lakeside pier watching seagulls fight over potato chips, we decided to go find our hotel and figure out how to kill more time until dinner.  We located the place, put down our junk, and as I took out the clothes I intended to wear that evening, realized I didn’t pack a belt.

Fast forward to the worst Wal Mart I’ve ever seen in my life.

It looked the same on the inside.  I don’t even want to talk about it.

Dinner at Lola was insane.  Lola is an adorable and classy restaurant on a foot traffic-only street in the heart of Cleveland.  They have a walk-in raised wine wall behind the bar, a beautiful open kitchen and a menu of fantastic eating options.  It is the restaurant of Michael Symon, known for being an Iron Chef and a bald man who smiles a lot. I’d be smiling too if I could cook like the folks that work there.  I might even shave my head.

Swankier than Hilary.

We immediately fell in love with the place when inserting the first bites of beef cheek pierogie appetizer into our mouths.  It exploded like Alderaan with flavor that I don’t have the culinary vocabulary to describe with the justice it deserves, so I won’t try.

My meal started off with a lobster salad on a long skinny plate that was perfectly excellent in all ways.  Laura had a root vegetable salad that made her equally happy.

She continued with a pork chop over marscapone polenta that made her knees buckle and her body temperature rise as if Alexander Skarsgaard just entered the room.

I ordered the duck served on sweet potato puree and slaw, which I’m sure was marinated in the tears of angels, braised in unicorn blood and garnished with the laughter of babies.  It’s a good thing I bought that belt, because it kept contained all the soil that entered my pants due to the goodness of this cuisine.

I just described my meal at a fine dining restaurant via a poop joke.  Classy.

Laura finished with a fruit sorbet that looked rather nice, and I finished with the signature ice cream sandwich – a red macaroon with pistachio ice cream, crushed pistachios and some gold shavings on top.

I f’ing ate gold.

Go to Cleveland and eat at Lola. Just make sure you bring money because it will require a bit of that.  But that’s obvious.  You can eat gold, for Christ’s sake.  They FEED it to you.

Next up: Day 3 – the “Figure it out as you go” day.

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