Looking through the photos I took at Sokolowski's University Inn
in Cleveland, I am shocked I took so few. I don't know where my mind was that night, but it obviously wasn't on my Roadfood photographic duties. Obviously, I was enjoying the company too much.
When my girlfriend Mariton and I arrived at Sokolowski's
, we took a walk across the street to enjoy the view across the river, back towards the city. As we were reaching the door of tthe restaurant, Buddy
was there to greet us. We enjoyed chatting with him for a few minutes when the Chicago gang showed up. Besides my old friend ChiTownDiner
, I had previously met his very nice brother Kerry in Austin for the Roadfood bus tour. CTD
's son Michael and Kerry's son Kevin rounded out the group.
It has already been too long for me to remember what everyone ate. So, I will just concentrate on our own food. On the way to Cleveland, I asked Mariton if she had been to a Polish restaurant before and she hadn't. Growing up in the Philippines, she most likely didn't get many opportunities. As she started through the cafeteria line, she pointed to the stuffed cabbage right away as what she wanted. When I asked her later why the stuffed cabbage, she reminded me her step-father is Russian and an excellent cook, so it is no surprise she would know this dish.
I had this dish on my previous visit and she made a fine choice. Between the two of us (and passing it around to be shared), it was gone in no time.
I got the fish, which I believe was baked scrod.
I am not a fish eater by nature, but this is excellent! One of the sides is what I call haluski, which I believe they just called buttered noodles or something like that. I had them on my previous visit and it was the one dish I did not like. I glad I tried them again, because they were much better this time.
But the best dish for me here is the fantastic pierogies.
Big, tender, ultra-buttery and full of old world flavor, these are as good a plate of pierogies as I have had anywhere. Considering I am from Pittsburgh and grew up with an Eastern European grandmother, I don't say that lightly. This is my one "must-eat" dish here.
Lots of food got passed around that night as everyone was generous in sharing their dinners. Unfortunately, the only photo I took was of someone's sausage plate. Was it Kerry's?
Can you believe I didn't even photograph my own chocolate cream pie for dessert?
The amount of food we ate was staggering. CTD
and his brother needed an entire table by themselves to hold all of their dishes. Even though the restaurant itself had closed (but the bar portion was still open), the owners told us to relax and take our time and even joined us for a while. I'm sure this had lots to do with BuddyRoadhouse
making friends everywhere he goes. Lots of stories, lots of laughs and even a fireworks display, thanks to the Indians.
I ended up meeting Buddy
all three times he came to NE Ohio this summer. Even though they were long drives, I thoroughly enjoyed each meeting. This was Mariton's first exposure to my Roadfood hobby (or is it a way of life?) and talked quite a bit on the way home of enjoying hearing all of us talk about our passion for food. We got home to Pittsburgh a little after 1:00AM.