Tag Archives: Ohio City

Thai at Banana Blossom in Cleveland

One of our favorite things in Cleveland is the surprising proliferation of quality Southeast Asian food. We have tried over a dozen Thai places in the area, but we keep coming back to Cleveland stalwart Banana Blossom (2800 Clinton Ave, Cleveland, OH) – it is our favorite, consistently solid spot for Thai classics in the city. Banana Blossom has been holding down an unassuming corner in the Ohio City neighborhood for a while, before it was the artsy, bustling neighborhood it is today. Banana Blossom is bigger on the inside than you might think, with a peaceful ambiance.

You can get all of your favorite Thai dishes at Banana Blossom, but we feel they are all executed better than you would normally find. The menu has a wide selection of salads, soups, noodle dishes and curries. There are some more unusual dishes like Prik Khing Salmon (Deep-Fried Salmon with String Beans and Our Homemade Prik Khing Sauce – $15.95) and roasted tamarind duck ($18.95). Despite the broad offerings,  when we go to Banana Blossom we usually stick with our classics: Pad See Eiw (stir-fried wide rice noodles with chicken and shrimp, eggs, carrots and broccoli – $11.50), and Penang Curry (a medium-spicy curry with chiles, coriander, kaffir lime peel, galangal, bell pepper, string beans, baby corn, eggplant and basil leaves – $12.95). Sometimes we will also start out with a refreshing papaya Salad (with string beans, tomato and peanuts – $8.95), which is also pretty spicy!

The service is quick and efficient, and you are never left waiting too long, even when it is busy. M also likes that he can get a legitimately spicy Penang curry (you can specify a heat level of 1-5). The portions at Banana Blossom are generous, and there are a wide variety of proteins: Chicken, Duck, Beef, Pork, Shrimp, Salmon, Tofu or Vegetable. Banana Blossom even has a full bar, though we usually just stick to the Thai iced teas ($3)! We have never been disappointed at Banana Blossom, and if you are looking for some comforting, classic Thai food in Cleveland, definitely visit!

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The Black Pig: Snout to Tail eating in Cleveland

There is nothing M loves more than well-prepared pork and charcuterie, and Black Pig (2801 Bridge Avenue, Cleveland) has both in spades. The logo for the Black Pig is a gigantic, portly swine, and this place definitely takes its pig seriously. The restaurant is tucked into a restored Victorian home on a quiet corner of Ohio City, where they relocated in early 2015. The inside of Black Pig is casual and comfortable, featuring the exposed brick of the old house and lots of windows.

BlackPigCharcuterie

The menu at Black Pig puts its focus on classic American dishes made with local ingredients, as well as a curated selection of craft brews and unique cocktails. The menu is divided into small plates and entrees, a section called “the weekly pig” and a rotating menu of freshly-made pasta. Recently, they even rolled out a special 3-course pasta tasting (we will have to come back for that). Though pork-centric, there are also a myriad of vegetarian and fish options. We started out with the charcuterie plate, with all house-made meats (including patê, sausage and prosciutto) and pickles (pictured above), as well as cheese plate featuring cheeses from the Midwest. We selected a few of the appetizers to share: Brussels sprouts and fingerling potatoes. The roast fingerling potatoes, drenched in lemon and Parmesan, were particularly delicious (below).

BlackPigPotatoes.

For entrees, we chose off the Weekly Pig menu, which featured classic pork preparations, including: Pork Collar, schnitzel, Sausage and cabbage, and a pork chop. M ordered the Pork chop over corn salsa and L got the short ribs, served with hush puppies, roasted beans and chili peppers (below). Both pork dishes were extremely successful: the pork chop was juicy and tender (which is difficult to do for pork chops), and the short ribs, in a balsamic reduction, were fork-tender and extremely flavorful. Creative desserts like an almond financier cake rounded out the menu. Black Pig is a great place for a date night or special occasion, though you will feel welcome for a casual night out, too. The menu at the Black Pig changes with the seasons, so there is always something new to try.

BlackPigShortRib

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