Friday, August 17, 2012

Cleveland Browns Score a (Culinary) Touchdown

As Brandon Weeden and Co. were warming up in Green Bay last night for their second preseason game, I was stretching out my taste buds at Cleveland Browns Stadium. My goal? To taste all of the new gourmet food options on the club level from three of Cleveland's most popular chefs — Michael Symon, Jonathon Sawyer and Rocco Whalen.

While season ticket holders, who were also invited to the event, lined up as B Spot chef Matt Harlan served up Lola fries (sprinkled with rosemary and sea salt) and the Fat Doug (a burger with coleslaw, pastrami, Swiss and mustard) — I headed to the newest concept, Sawyer's Street Frites.

Chef Sawyer, who was on the line, paused to chat with guests while sporting an awesome Browns hat, posed for pictures and even kicked back with a cold one. "This is a dream come true for both me and Rocco," he said. "We've been dreaming about doing this since we could sit upright."

I grabbed one of Danko's Donuts — a sweet and yeasty beast of a dessert topped with a sticky but delicious sauce — and the gravy frites. An avid cheese connoisseur, the cheese curds are what did it for me. The spicy gravy mixed with the creaminess of the cheese somehow kept the fries crisp instead of soggy, which I wasn't expecting. This was the one dish I completely finished and even contemplated getting more of. (Trust me, it tastes better than it looks.)

Rosie and Rocco's had the most options of the evening with a variety of salads, pizzas and meatballs. Rocco also worked the line, dishing out a variety of meatballs that guests could either sample solo or eat in a sandwich. Knowing that these meatballs were inspired by his mother's recipes, I had to try them.

While Momma Rosie's Meatball with veal, pork, beef, parmesan and marinara was tender and juicy, the one that caught my eye was Rocco's Mozzarella Meatball with fresh basil and parmesan. Lucky for me, I was eating alone, so I was easily able to sneak off into a corner and drink some of the tangy sauce. It was that good. 

Regardless of how the Browns do this year or how much it rains and/or snows, I know I will continue to sport my brown and orange and cheer on the home team — especially with dishes like this to comfort me along the way.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

YUM! Thanks for sharing. Sounds like it's going to be an awesome season at Cleveland Browns Stadium, one way or another!