On our recent trip to Cleveland, we started the day with a hearty breakfast at Slyman’s Restaurant, and while we were filled up with corned beef hash and hotcakes, we were still excited to explore more of Cleveland’s culinary landscape. Our boys had never been to the city before, so Mrs. Bfast w/Nick and I were excited to share the city with them (while discovering new things for ourselves). Because it was a busy Saturday, we knew a stop at the West Side Market was in order. The boys seemed impressed with its massive size. We began by running the gauntlet of the produce arcade, with all of its sights, sounds, and smells.
We then strolled the main market hall to see all the market stalls, stopping for cannolis and a lady lock at Teresa’s.
After the market visit, Mrs. Bfast w/Nick peeled off to go to the Weapons of Mass Creation festival in Gordon Square. She presented with Igloo Letterpress, while I took the boys to the Great Lakes Science Center. The Science Center sits right next to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on the lakeshore. Some of the exhibits were over their heads, but we watched a small science show (featuring fountains of Diet Coke and Mentos), wandered through the space exploration exhibit, and then spent most of our time in the Lego Travel Adventure hall. The exhibit featured elaborate Lego creations by a local enthusiast + areas for building your own Lego, Duplo, and Quatro creations.
Earlier we spotted the William G. Mather steamship docked outside. The old freighter has been converted into a museum for shipping on the Great Lakes. Guided tours are available, or guests are welcome to follow the orange painted line, which will take them throughout the entire ship. This includes a walk across the top, with some beautiful views of the lake and the Cleveland skyline. (We thought the ship tour was included in the Museum admission, when it is not, but they let us onto the ship anyway.)
The tour takes you through the crew’s quarters, the engine room, and wheelhouse.
After Mrs. Bfast w/Nick was done at the festival, we headed back downtown to stroll East Fourth Street. The weather was perfect that day, sunny and breezy without being too warm.
Our walk led us to our dinner destination: Noodlecat. We had been before (see link) and had a feeling the boys would really like it. Adults will find some solid drink options like Ohio beers, sake, and specialty sake cocktails. We tried the remarkable Japanese 75 on the suggestion of our server. It mixes Watershed gin, cherry, lemon, and a sparkling sake. It’s a perfect summer cocktail.
Between the family we split a variety of steam buns and a bowl of pork miso ramen.
The pork miso is an easy entry (and a safe bet for the kiddos) into ramen. If your only experience is with ramen packets, you need to experience the real deal. The honest stuff is loaded with more flavor and waaaaay less salt. The pork miso includes shredded pork, scallions, sesame seeds, and a six-minute egg.
The restaurant is very encouraging of kids. There are cartoons on the walls, a special Noodlekids menu, and the kid’s cups have cartoon instructions for enjoying your ramen.
Between the adults we split the dan dan ramen, a spicy concoction with peanuts, basil, soy, and a lot of heat from Szechuan chili and a spicy garlic oil. It really packed a punch.
And we supplemented it with crispy fried onigiri rice balls.
The boys were hesitant at first, but they were fans by the end.
After dinner we strolled more of downtown, then headed back to Ohio City for dessert at Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream. Mitchell’s is just up the street from the West Side Market, in a beautifully converted old theatre. You can see the production space through the big back windows.
The menu features the mouth-watering flavors we’ve come to expect from an Ohio creamery. Between the family, we tried a bit of everything: vanilla bean, blue cosmo, caramel fudge brownie, a chocolate chunk made with Great Lakes Brewing porter, and an amazing toasted pistachio. The pricing is very easy to like, too.
We made a busy day of it in Cleveland, but that’s kind of how we like to do things. We loved everything we did, saw, and ate, but once again it left us wanting to get to know the city more. Here’s hoping for a return trip soon!
Want to follow in our footsteps?
West Side Market (Facebook / @WestSideMarket)
Great Lakes Science Center (Facebook / @GLScienceCtr)
Noodlecat (Facebook / @noodle_cat)
Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream (Facebook / @MitchellsCleve)