The second weekend in August means only one thing for Clevelanders – The Feast of Assumption. 

Now, I would tell you a long elaborate tail of Jesus and the Disciples and how they lobbed brimstone and hail from the heavens above…but lets face it – I’ve never marched in the parade, my girlfriend’s name isn’t Sn00kie and I am not sure if there is a “Saint Assumption”. That being said, we always make sure to grab our closest Italian friends and head on down with lotsa cash in our hands to stuff ourselves silly in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood. 

Bless the sea on this the Feast of Our Lady

Parking always sucks since Little Italy has virtually shut down every road. We opted to park at University Hospitals Case Medical Center (Incidentally, their brand new cancer hospital is looking great!). BTW – much cheaper parking there compared to the overpriced lots with sweaty guido attendants. 

On arrival, we were greeted with bowls of cavatelli and meatballs. Furnished by Nido Italia, the cavatelli tasted like grade-school cafeteria cavatelli – overcooked and mushy. Much like my balls this afternoon, they were soggy. Meatballs (two rather small ones) were mediocre. 

Cavatelli & Meatballs

Their pasta red sauce did help cover up the lunch lady pasta. 

Our first stop...

Sauce was definitely the savior on this – barely saving this dish. Let’s just say that Saint Assumption won’t be taking this home to his mother. 

The crews from Dim And Dem Sum have been touting their “Italian Nachos” all week long. We were honestly excited to see these nachos as we curiously sloshed our way over to their booth. Yes I said booth as they did not appear to have wheels below them. 

Dim And Den Sum - I think Mike Schoen was spocking us out!

Basically it was the standard salty industrial tortilla chips topped with their bolonaise sauce, mozzarella, arugula, and creme fraiche. 

Chris and Jeremy – you guys are insane to serve Creme fraiche in this heat wave. 

The plain cut arugula was no help. Maybe if they sautéed the arugula it would have been better…but straight cut on the nachos? Not much pizzaz gents. 

Italian Nachos from DADS

The problem here was the bolonaise (not balogna which is slightly different GG). The bolonaise should have been stewed longer as the chunks of beef didn’t break up into smaller bits and render down. And even more importantly, try not to serve your food with lotsa greenery and shrubbery in plain view (rosemary and thyme twiggery). 

Rustic and woody!

Yo-if I wanted twigs, I would have gnawed on a tree. 

Additionally, the weather was working against your mozzarella ball….I mean cheese. 

Italian Nachos? Um.....

Moving on to another Feast staple: Sausage wrapped in pizza. 

We were introduced to this “Italian delicacy” a few years back by a few hard-core Italians. At first, we thought they were crazy, but soon found out, this little weird combination works well. Very well. Drunk at 4am very well. 

So we stopped by Corbo’s for some Pizza and Sausage Sandwiches. 

BAM! Corbo's

The weird part? The kid asked me if I’d like onions and peppers on it. I obliged and received this mess. 

Pizza and "white" sausage

Few items: 

1. A ghastly colored sausage doesn’t look appealing. Even Mama G exclaimed “That sausage isn’t cooked! Watts-a-mata with them?” 

2. The amount of sausage should not be eclipsed by the amount of onions and peppers. Thanks be to God. 

3. If you’re at the Feast, your pizza better be good. And thank Saint Assumption this one was good.  

Personal note: This monstrosity of a meal should be served w/ a thinner soft pizza that can be wrapped around the sausage. Key word “wrap”. 

Pizza blanket

Corbo’s, please retool and eliminate your onions and peppers. 

Hot chicks eating...

BALLS! Yes, Corbo’s also offered up meatballs. 

Served up were two ginormous meat balls for consumption. Just masterful.  Watching hot girls devour two large balls in the street was awesome. 

Corbo's two balls

A bold move since most other places were serving their meatballs with some pasta…Nope-Corbo’s flops their two balls in a bowl and lightly sauced them then dashed with Parmesan cheese. 

These were great. Thick and juicy, they were full of flavor and thank the patron Saint of Assumption cause he taught them to make sure it was a shallow saucing. Nice job Corbo’s. 

One of Corbo's balls

I think I could only handle one ball. Heh heh heh. 

Italian ice was in fashion so we opted to grab a few which saved us from melting completely on Mayfield Road. 

The various vendors on the streets were nice enough to provide napkins for all of us. 

Sad that those vendors also hosed many people charging in excess of $3-$4 per bottle of water. 

$4 per bottle? Are you serious?

We walked right past those eye-gouging punks and bought a bunch of bottled water, same size, for a $1 per bottle. We tipped the gal $20 and said keep em cold. 

Keep em cold please!

Also had to stop by Presti’s…for pizza bread. HA! You thought we were gonna say doughnut huh? 

Presti's - a long time staple in Little Italy

Their pizza bread was delicious from years past – thanks to the right amount of pepperoni grease. 

Pepperoni Pizza bread from Presti's

Though, I remember it with less bread and more pepperoni. Hmmmmm… 

Macro on the Pizza bread

Also rumor has it that a famous Cleveland blogger is a master at pizza bread. Maybe I’ll ask her the secret to the Italian pizza bread. 

Yo Poppeye – Their spinach pizza roll wasn’t that great, but it served as our veggies for the day. 

Veggie me this Spinach boy

The bread from Presti’s was the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Perfect. 

Aside from the schwetty balls and sweltering heat, this year’s Feast of Assumption…was a pretty typical “Feast”. With hordes of really Italian people and sadly, no signs of Sn00kie this year. 

Peace out Little Italy – Grazie and Chow.

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…

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