Thanksgiving is the time of year that, without fail, I land in Cleveland with my husband. We have a few things we must do every year. A Black Friday visit to Great Lakes Brewing is one of those things. The brewery is one of many excellent local groups, but it is without a doubt my favorite in Cleveland.
Great Lakes operates a brew pub across from the famous West Side Market, and it was a very busy friday. We reserved a table for our family and spent the wait downstairs at one of two bars in the building. The little oasis has more than once kept us busy while waiting for a table. You can stand or sit, and they’ll serve you a beer even if you haven’t gotten a table or a seat at the bar.
This was somehow the first time I ever tried the annual Christmas Ale. It’s long been a favorite of my husband, so we when we sat at the bar, I mimicked his order. The spiced ale contains all of my favorite tastes of the holiday, cinnamon and ginger in particular. You can also taste a little bit of honey on the end which provides a sweet note that helps elevate the beer.
Once we were at our table, we ate well. I went in for a burger for the first time in ages with the strangely named ‘Log Jam Burger’. When it arrived at the table, I could only wonder if I’d be able to finish it. They stacked that burger high on a brioche bun with a fried hunk of pepperjack cheese and bacon jam for good measure. The fried cheese added a crunchy element to the burger that I think it sorely needed. I barely noticed the bacon jams in the middle of all of the flavor from the meat and the cheese, however.
As far as I’m concerned, Great Lakes is a must visit for anyone in the Cleveland area. Did I mention they source much of their food from the West Side Market, right across the road? We stopped in there too while we were in the area, but that’s a story for another day.
An idea born in Normal, Illinois, Eating Normal hopes to chronicle the eating Experiences of a Red bird.
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