While driving through Cleveland on a road trip last weekend, we stopped for dinner in the historic Ohio City neighborhood. We decided to try the first brew pub in Ohio, Great Lakes Brewing Company.We checked out the whole operation – an elegant upstairs bar, dining rooms indoors that had the brew tanks encased in glass, outdoor patios decorated with kegs and flowers, a gift shop, and a basement area reminiscent of European cellar pubs.
We were seated in the dining room near the brew tanks and were presented with a delicious menu with a full selection of beer from light lagers to dark stouts including an organic German ale. We were especially interested in the Cellar Dweller Organic Ale because of our interest in maintaining the viability of agriculture into the future (and to avoid supporting use of petrochemicals because of carbon footprint and effects on our health). They ran out of Cellar Dwellar so we tried the Commodore Perry IPA and the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Both were well crafted, satisfying, flavorful beers.
The best part about this restaurant is their commitment to sustainability. We were impressed wiht the variety of regional and locally sourced ingredients and sustainable seafood selections on the menu. This is the kind of business that I seek out and want to support, as where the food comes from is equally important to me as the taste. The food did taste pretty good by the way. We started out with the mussels steamed in Great Lakes’ own Dortmunder Gold Lager, garlic with butter, bell peppers and lemon. It was served with fresh hearty warm whole wheat bread for dipping in the broth. Next we ate the chopped Greek salad that was standard, but refreshing and hit the spot. We also tried the Lake Erie Perch with sauteed pea pods in lemon basil sauce. It had a light, tender buttery texture with more flavor than a typical white fish.
Next time I’m in Cleveland I am definitely going to make time to stop in for another scrumptious meal at Great Lakes Brewing Company!
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