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So Potbelly finally decided to open a store in Cleveland…HOORAY!

Obviously one of our more favorite sandwich shops from Chicago…we are now glad to have my wreck readily available.

So braving the first day crowd, we opted to check it out.

Balloons adorned the front entrance. Reps from corporate darted in and out of the crowd saying a 15 minute wait..

Welcome to Cleveland Potbelly

It took us about 22.

Potbelly reps holding up the post

But once inside, a festive crowd seemed to be enjoying their sandwiches in the shop.

Out of my way…I need a wreck!

Also there was some kind of live entertainment.

Smelly Cat….Smelly Cat…

Weird right?

Classic Potbelly restaurant w/ the loop line, to the counter.

Getting closer….er….sorta

Now what surprised me was they had a staff member assigned to a tablet taking orders to help speed things up.

Wreck please!

NICE! Groovy that they kept it all aligned right. Orders were all correct.

When I got to the first counter, they said they were out of cookies.

Where are my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

Focus on sandwich…Focus on sandwich…Focus on sandwich…

We had Ms. Bacon Makes Everything Better! making our sandwich. Things were looking up.

Ms. Bacon Makes Everything Better!

She asked us if we want it hot….Ahem, those that know – get it hot.

Potbelly sandwiches

Simple unassuming bag with a few descriptors needed because you are about to an experience a wreck

A Wreck – Salami, Roast beef, Turkey, Ham & Swiss cheese (Orig)

A Wreck

This is, in my opinion, their signature sandwich.

Get it with everything….esp get it HOT. That’s right, if you don’t order it hot, you’re a pansy.

First bite bliss

Ordering it hot allows you to get a bunch of chopped pickled spiced sport peppers. So frickin good.

Yeah I’ll say it….they were little perfect explosions in my mouth.

It’s also the perfect blend of mayo mixed w/ onions and the cornucopia of meats. As they melt together and get happy, the sandwich gets sloppy…like your mom.

A Wreck should really be…..well…a wreck

If you don’t have juicy stuff running down your arms, you’re doing it all wrong.

Just remember to do the Guy Fieri hunch or hose yourself down post sandwich.

Hose yourself down after lunch will ya

Awww yeah, it’s that good.

Mushroom Melt – Mushrooms, Swiss, Provolone & Cheddar Cheeses (Skinny)

Mushroom Melt

This one was on their “economy” menu. Sandwich, but skinnier.

Mushroom monotony

Meh. It had mushrooms on it…but to me, it wasn’t anything special.

So, what did we learn here today….Hmmmm.

Look-if you’re going to pop your Potbelly’s cherry, roll up your sleeves and just get A Wreck.

Wait, wasn’t your “first time”  a wreck too?

This is NOT the wreck you want.

More importantly Pansy, get it hot.

Now don’t call me Shirley and get your ass down to the new Potbelly restie.

Welcome to CLE!

Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Cleveland

515 Euclid Ave

Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Hours are M-F: 11a – 7p / Sat: 11a – 3p

Thanks for the great sandwich shop and location Craig. See you VERY soon.

Also-I think they are opening up a store in Mayfield Heights later in the Summer/Fall.

But don’t wait to get your Wreck.

#getsome

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…

@QuarryLaneFarms presents #OysterFest2012

So OysterFest started back in 2010 where we basically ordered hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of oysters with one simple rule: As long as everyone shucks oysters, you can eat as many oysters as you like. Raw, cooked, in your pants…didn’t matter. Just wanting to share the oyster love by shucking and sucking these great bivalves. You bet, OysterFest was an instantaneous hit.

Fast forward to 2012: Did someone order hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of oysters again?

Fo shizzle nizzle….cause this one’s a winner-winner-oyster-dinner.

Well, there was a whole lotta shucking going on – At this point, I am pretty sure I qualify for the MuthaShucker trophy.

Here’s the menu run down…

Soup: Cream of Asparagus Soup

Asparagus from the Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio. Easily the best asparagus I’ve ever had in my life.

@TheChefsGarden Asparagus – Fit for a king!

And it was pretty healthy since I added a whole bunch of creme fraiche too.

Super mahalos to @sobechic for the magical veggie box.

Salad: Watermelon feta basil

Watermelon, feta, basil, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper

Yeah, call me a chick…I got this one from Pinterest.

Apps: Various cheeses from Grandpa’s Cheese barn and QLF Veggie platter

Grandpa’s Cheese Barn in Ashland, Ohio sounds creepy but it’s a great tourist trap place.

Grandpa’s Cheese Barn

Thanks to @srouser for the awesome Whiskey Cheese pick! Grandpa’s Cheese Barn is also a great pit stop between Columbus-to-Cleveland.

Also – who doesn’t enjoy a good veggie platter?

Veggie platter w/ dip

Yeah, call me Nancy now cause I got the dip bowls idea from Pinterest too. Mamsey Pansey!

Main: Chincoteague Oysters (VA) and East Point Oysters (NJ)

Chincoteague

East Point

We order oysters by the hundreds

Don’t judge. If you order your oysters by the hundreds, probably a better guarantee on freshness cause your fish monger should order fresh case(s).

Us? We have a direct line to Mr. Verba at Euclid Fish (@EuclidFishCo). Solid guy – trust him w/ my bivalves.

We can’t stress this enough – YOU SHOULD BE ON A FIRST NAME BASIS WITH YOUR FISH MONGER. Nuff said.

Here are my favorite shucking tools.

Happy Mother shucking!!!

Use whatever you like…but I’ve been using this stuff forever.

Raw Oysters – Oysters should always be really fresh, clean and clear briny deliciousness. Not cloudy or dirty.

Briny oysters clean and delicious

And shucking should be clean and easy.

There are about a million toppings and stuff to put on, but I’d really suggest you try a few without anything. Yes that’s right – really taste the oysters-plain, see what the oysters ate, and really taste the water they were raised in.

Balls out time cause it really tells a lot about your product and your fishmonger.

Also clues on oyster freshness, from outside the shells, check out the seaweed that arrives on the shells/in the box too.

Seaweed so fresh, you can eat it

Pretty fresh huh?

Roasted oysters

Similar to an Oyster Roast in Charleston, this is a simple alternative to those who can’t get over their textural issues.

Step-1: Throw them on the grill.

Step-2: Wait 3 minutes

Step-3: Easily open oysters.

Step-4: Devour.

Step-5: Hit on your oyster roaster guy (OK, this one is optional…sorta).

Rinse/Repeat

The oysters should cook in their shell and suck up the briny jus inside.

Oysters also pop open when they are ready to be pulled too.

Oyster roasting – pops when ready

So easy, a caveman can do it.

Deep fried oysters

Fresh shucked larger oysters, secret breadcrumb mix, deep fry for 1 minute, serve hot.

Fry baby fry!

Doesn’t get any easier right?

Dessert: mini lemon tarts and cake pops

Super huge thanks to @hfish of MyGreatBigRecipeChallenge for the mini lemon tarts.

Awesome crust!

Cake pops…yes the coolest dessert yet!

Cake pops and props

Easy and fun stuff – cake pops seems to be the latest rage for desserts.

They were delicious!

In the end, OysterFest2012 was all about great friends and meeting new folks. And yes, the props helped too.

Mrs. Lips galore, Mr. Meatballs, and Ms. Talonclaw busting out the props!

The Brit and Ms. America (with a guest appearance from bowtie sausage fingers)

Ladies all at once now…

Stash McGee and Smiles McGee!

Cake pops and props are a hit!

Mrs Bowtie and the Aloha Shirt Bandit!

Mr. Bond and Mrs. Peggy Sue

In the famous words by Bourdain, “So what did we learn today?”

Oysters + Bourbon + Props + Friends = Another successful #OysterFest2012.

Sweeping up shells and dreaming of the next OysterFest.

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms….

We’ve been to XYZ the Tavern a bunch of times…and everyone there raves about their food.

Our response…well…er…um….

So we decided to munchamuncha at XYZ the Tavern (@XYZtheTavern) located in the Gordon Square/Detroit Shoreway neioghborhood in Cleveland.

On Detroit Ave

Located at 6419 Detroit Ave in Cleveland….this is the sister ship tavern of the Cleveland famous ABC Tavern at 1872 W 25th St in Cleveland.

A few interesting tidbits about the menu – the guy planning out this menu must be having a threesome with a Japanese chick and an Italian chick…cause they are serving Country Fried Chicken & Waffles and Soba noodles and Gnocchi du jour!?!!?! WTH? Put those three together and it sounds like the start of a great prono!

Variety right?

Well, let me rephrase that for all those Food Network drones…

Triple D style....

 

Alan’s got one tavern in Cleveland…and decides he wants another one.

But he doesn’t want to drive too far.

So he grabs his two buddies – Chef Kelly and Chef Reichart…Drinks alot of Mountain Dew…

And comes up with a menu with good scratch cooking…with some “higher priced chunks of beef”…

This…is XYZ Tavern.

Winner winner chicken dinner....

Heh heh heh.

Country Fried Chicken & Waffles: with savory gravy and/or real Ohio maple syrup – $10

Chicken & waffles with maple syrup and gravy

Basically this is gigantic chicken tenders lanced with quartered waffles.

Sweet, salty, savory….the only thing we wanted was spicy. Bring on the Siracha!

For your decision whether to get gravy or waffles? Get both.

XYZ the Tavern Reuben –

XYZ the Tavern's Reuben

Oh yes we opted this guy with extra order of gravy.

Fries came out extra oily and lukewarm.

Greezy

Additionally, the fries were droopy. Not cool.

The flaccid fries at XYZ the Tavern

Corned beef was well marbled but could have used more time in. Comparatively, we like Corky & Lenny’s, Jacks, Slyman’s, and Lucky’s better.

Marbling...

But in the heat of the moment, this sandwich would do since the near west side seems to have a lack of corned beef places in my drunken stupor.

Should we?

Go for a swim?

Oh yeah, we decided to go big and dip our reuben IN the gravy.

Ahhhh yes.....Gravy goodness

Delicious…..just delicious.

Now the best part of our visit? Hands down – the staff. (how often do we get to say that?!?!?!)

Three sips of water, and different wait staff was Johnny on the spot to fill our glasses.

Needing another napkin, the waitress from another table rushed one to us w/in 30 seconds.

Half way done with my Stella, a different waiter slid in and asked if I wanted another.

And then another staff member brought us our beers! Halleuja!

Beer me please...

This cohesive team of wait staff are incredible!

Yes, the staff members/bar tenders at XYZ the Tavern will have us coming back again and again and again…

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms….

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