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On Saturday Food Network was in town filming for The Great Food Truck Race in Cleveland.
That’s right – the culinary gods goosed by Chris Hodgson (Hodge’s, DimHodgePodgeTruck, and Dim and Den Sum). Nice!
So we found them all loitering around the Gordon Square area on Detroit..and a perfect day for being outside!
One of the main contestants was Pop a Waffle (@popawaffle) was there. “Serving delicious gourmet waffles on a street near you!” – yep, they are from California.
Oddly, the lines weren’t long but lots of loitering going on.
Typical setup for a food truck.
The dude working the expiditer position needed a bull horn. His semi transparent water cup wasn’t loud enough.
Singing was just OK too.
In looking at their menu, I wasn’t quite sure if this was a joke. A bunch of Californian types serving a polish boy?
I honestly believe trying to serve a Polish boy in Cleveland might have been a lame attempt to attract the Cleveland crowd.
Plus I really wouldn’t deviate from Seti’s – my current marker for an outstanding PoBoy.
Their $2 lemonade was over watered. Easily could have passed for nursing home beverage. C’mon-not cool!
BUT the crew was serving their signature dish – Fried Chicken and Waffles.
So of course we ordered it.
Two quarters of waffles, syrup and a chicken drumstick.
Chicken crust was crunchy but bland. Good texture but no taste.
Chicken was bland. Didn’t seem like they brined it prior. All good fryers know one must brine their chicken.
Powdered sugar looked like it was dusted from space.
Additionally, the chicken wasn’t cooked through either.
And here’s the face of my Fried Chicken Master, @cleveland222
That face says it all.
Not saying much when your primary waffle is soggy and your chicken needs salt.
But when you call yourself Pop a Waffle, I expect to #getsome. I got neither popped…or waffled. Maybe more like “bewildered about a waffle”
So I predict this team will be headed back to California sooner than later.
Plus their twitter presence is rather bland. If you’re going to be on a national frickin show, get a twitter account and use it. One tweet does NOT make you “in the game”.
It just makes you look bad.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…
We’ve been to XYZ the Tavern a bunch of times…and everyone there raves about their food.
So we decided to munchamuncha at XYZ the Tavern (@XYZtheTavern) located in the Gordon Square/Detroit Shoreway neioghborhood in Cleveland.
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!
Well, let me rephrase that for all those Food Network drones…
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.
Heh heh heh.
Country Fried Chicken & Waffles: with savory gravy and/or real Ohio maple syrup - $10
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 -
Oh yes we opted this guy with extra order of gravy.
Fries came out extra oily and lukewarm.
Additionally, the fries were droopy. Not cool.
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.
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.
Oh yeah, we decided to go big and dip our reuben IN the gravy.
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!
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….
I realize that eating fried chicken did not make us warm yesterday.
Thanks to @srouser for sending us to “Mr. Wonderful’s” in Willoughby Hills, our visit to this single room takeout counter did not help satisfying our dream of the magical Chicken and Waffles.
Yep-it’s called “Mr. Wonderful’s” and it’s in Willoughby Hills.
Initial thoughts? They must contract with a mini-chicken farm cause I haven’t seen these kinds of tiny breasts since 7th grade.
Maybe I should continue to hold out on the California institution known as Roscoe’s Chicken-n-Waffles.
BUT – we were quite surprised by the “Sweet Baby Jesus” sauce.
Of course the full review soon.
Keep the bojangles warm kids…I’m thinking of our own Cream of chicken wild rice and mushrooms tonight.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…