Annie, I would have picked up a couple extra to bring along for Smoke Day/Pie Fest, but I didn't think they would travel very well.
Tonight's dinner, before leaving Cleveland, was a stop at Bearden's, mentioned by Davydd a few posts north of here. BTW, it's pronounced "bear"-dens, not "beer"-dens as I had originally assumed. Their mascot is a fuzzy little teddy bear who rides around on a model train that circles the dining room.
Bearden's is a throwback neighborhood burger joint that went out of business and reopened a while back. You can still see the original charm of the place, but some of the remodeling details were a little too precious for me; the bright aqua and white color scheme being the predominant offender. Still, it's easy to see how this place would become a beloved neighborhood fixture.
The menu has all the fast food usual suspects, but goes beyond the burgers and hot dogs with some unique additions. The one thing that jumped out at me was the clam roll. I gave this serious thought, mainly because I've never had a clam roll and wanted to try it. But as I pondered ordering one I got a sudden vision in my head of wanderingjew's signature "non-regional food" frowny face. It actually made me jump back for a second.
"What's wrong with ordering a clam roll?" I said to the imaginary disapproving wanderingjew in my mind, "We're less than two blocks from a large body of water."
"Yeah," replied my wanderingjew conscience, "That large body of water is Lake Erie. The only shellfish you'll be pulling out of there will be some non-native invasive species that came in with the semi-toxic bilge water dumped by a freighter that just made its way over from southeast Asia. Take a big bite and enjoy."
"Fine," I gave in, "I'll just get a hamburger."
And that's what I did.
It was a decent burger, too. I got the double steakburger which was similar to the Steak N Shake/Schoop's/Winstead's model. Maybe a bit thicker patty with not so crispy edges. It was slightly lacking in beef flavor, but the condiments made it okay. Fries were institutional, but cooked just right with a nice crispy exterior and light fluffy potato flesh inside.
Bearden's isn't bashful about their pricing. A double burger, a small order of fries, and a small soft drink was almost $11. I thought I had been whisked away to Los Angeles for a second. Anyway, It was a decent meal. I can see why the community loves this place. I'd go back, but not until I've visited every place else I want to visit in Cleveland.
More to report during next month's return trip. See you then!