Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Taste of NOLA in Cleveland

Yesterday I wrote about wiling the day away in Cleveland's up-and-coming neighborhood, Tremont. John and I enjoyed our time there so much that we went back a few days later, this time to enjoy a late dinner. Again, I went back and forth about our options, and whether I felt like sushi, tapas, Spanish, or Thai. I always scour menus on websites before deciding on places, which means that by the time the hostess seats us at our table, I usually already know what I want.

One Tremont restaurant menu in particular caught my eye. The Bourbon Street Barrel Room offers a little taste of New Orleans creole fare.

I loved the vibe of this place. The bar was expansive, running the whole side of the space. John and I just decided to sit at the bar and schmooze with the bartender, since it was pretty packed. This ended up being the very right decision, because we got to watch the bartenders create the Barrel Room's craft cocktails. I opted for their martini take on a Cucumber Mint Gimlet. John went Prohibition-era classic with an aromatic Sazerac and a Vieux Carre.

I probably would have been satisfied trying out their extensive drink menu all night long, but one thing was calling my name: Hot Legs, their recipe for crispy FROG LEGS in a house-made Louisiana hot sauce. I had never had frog legs in my entire life, and I didn't really know what to expect. The fact that they were fried (and didn't have any frog toesies) probably helped a little bit. But I was so hungry by this point, I just dove right in!

They give you two massive frog legs, which are definitely a nice option to share. The meat literally fell off the bone. It was significantly more tender and juicy (and meatier!) than I would have ever guessed. John decided to document my first couple of bites with some blurry photos...

Verdict? Delicious!

I probably could have eaten another plate full! Since were weren't just gorging on appetizers, I knew I had to pace myself. Our order of Hush Puppies quickly followed, and we dug into those right quick. I always forget what hush puppies are until I start eating them again, since I rarely see them on menus. A ball of fried cornbread, oh my g! By this point, the diet was off! And their house-made Bistro sauce was to die for, I wanted to dip everything in it.

Here at Bourbon Street, Cleveland, they offer nine different Po' Boy options. One of my favorite meals is a Shrimp Po' Boy. I just can't describe it, I never walk away feeling like I made the wrong choice, no matter where I eat it. And this one came highly recommended by our bartender!

I got the shrimp (couldn't you just die?), and John got the Catfish Po' Boy. Just while sitting at the bar eating our food, I heard three different couples ordering this same combination of food. Maybe everyone saw how much we were enjoying ours? I'm gonna pretend that's true.

It's approaching lunch as I type this (maybe as you're reading this, too), so I'm going to leave you with the vision of two unbelievably scrumptious sandwiches. Believe me, they taste even better than they look....

Now I'm hungry. Aren't you?

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