Food Coma in Cleveland: Black Dog Kitchen and Bar

I have discovered a little something about myself.

I’m a food snob.

I really had no clue. LB has been telling me for AGES that I’m a food snob.. she also calls me a “Foodie” which does grate on my nerves just a little bit. But then there was that time, I called myself a foodie. It happened in Cleveland.

I previously mentioned the work trip to Cleveland. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that I get very uncomfortable in social situations. And here I was in a strange town with people that I really didn’t know that well… Hello anxiety! Nice to see you back.. or .. not.

ANYWAY, the first night in the hotel, our boss asked the concierge for a recommendation for a place to eat. I heard him say there was a “nice little bar” not far from the hotel .. that it was relatively new and it had some really great food.

A bar…. I was eh about it. I’m not much of a drinker.. but hey, bar food.. burgers, fries etc.. I could get behind that.. comfort food after working all day then cramming myself into a tiny 55 seater plane? Sure.

Cute! a Newf!

We get up there.. it’s like a touch after happy hour on a Tuesday.. the place is empty. Empty…. so service was quick.

Here is where I got my wake up call about my snobbery.

See, Black Dog Kitchen and Bar is right up my alley. From their website:

Black Dog Kitchen & Bar is an American fusion gastropub that brings an eclectic variety of regional foods, burgers & more to Cleveland while giving you that Speakeasy bar type atmosphere. We use an array of Ohio local farmers, businesses, and distributors to create a unique menu and atmosphere. Whether you’re going to a game, Playhouse Square or just a nice night out, Black Dog Kitchen & Bar offers tasty options for everyone. Vegetarian and Gluten Free options available.

A funny thing happened when we got menus.

I was the most comfortable person at the table.

This never happens. Ever.

I’m that person who worries about doing the wrong thing, saying the wrong thing, or accidentally spitting on someone. I was with my coworkers.. the opportunity for discomfort was compounded exponentially.

I suddenly realized that most people don’t use the word “frites” in conversation. I realized that when people hear “bar” there is an assumption that they have the option for a Coors light. I realized that most people would like, nay! expect to have a cheeseburger on the menu that isn’t topped with a fried egg.

This, my friends, is why I referred to myself as a “foodie” at dinner. I was *excited* for this menu. My dining companions seemed uncomfortable with the options. This is exactly the kind of place I would have picked to eat. My real life peeps, as well as the people I know from my online circles would eat here without hesitation.

I had no idea the food circles I was running in until that moment. And here I thought I was all down to earth and practical.

Was describing myself as a “foodie” a sort of self depreciating comment? Possibly. At least in my head.

Am I digressing from the information on Black Dog Kitchen and Bar? yes, I am.. do I have a story about the time this situation happened to me in reverse? Yes I do.. will I tell it now?

Nope.. that’s for another day.

First of all, there is no Coors Light at Black Dog. Craft beers only. Despite my low tolerance for alcohol, I had one. It was called Dead Guy from Rogue Brewery. I ordered it because of the name.

It was delicious. Also? I was super buzzed in about 20 minutes.

The food… if there is pork belly on the menu, I’m gonna order it. (unless bone marrow is an option, since my trip to Lola, marrow now trumps belly)

Not exactly as the menu described.. I wouldn’t call those “Sweet potato tostones”.. I would call those wedges. Tostones was used as a buzz word here.. Whatevs.
It was tasty… the belly was a touch overcooked on one side.. but the fruit sauce made up for it. (oh! and for the record, one of my coworkers tried it.. she didn’t like it.. but she tried it)

I cleaned my plate.

That was a mistake.

See, I ordered the Hangover.

Angus beef burger, hash brown, peppercorn bacon, sharp cheddar and a fried egg.

It was delicious. (caveat: the hashbrown was obviously cooked on a cast iron grill. It was gray… you guys might wanna work on that a bit)

It was huge.

It horrified my coworkers… one of which thought I was a vegetarian. I informed her that was a lesbian myth and that I tried it once in college, but I didn’t really like it.

I couldn’t finish it.

I tried.. Oh I tried MIGHTILY… but alas, I was defeated.

I’d love to see this place on a Friday night. I’d love the opportunity to kick back with a few of the draft brew’s and find out what kind of bar snacks they offer.

If you are into the Gastropub scene and in Cleveland, definitely give this place a shot. Friendly service, really interesting food and great beers on tap.

Reminds me a lot of the Capital City Gastropub.. that I did eat at.. and haven’t reviewed yet. Soon.