CO Trip Day 2 & 3 May 7 - 8, 2010
385 + ~400 miles traveled
Day 2 & 3 of our trek west have came and went quickly, and brought us from Ashtabula, Ohio, to Avoca, Iowa, with a stopping point of the great city Chicago, Illinois in between. We have loved seeing the countryside unfold before us, and Ruthie has stayed strong as our trusty Stallion. But lets get down to the more important details here; what we’ve eaten, and how delicious it was.
Our first stop was Lucky’s Café in Cleveland, Ohio; another Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives hit conveniently stationed along the way of our already mapped route. This was a pick that I was particularly excited to get to, as it is a place that encompasses many of the food values I believe are incredibly important and advocate whole heartedly. The first is that they grow a variety of the ingredients they use to create their menu. Right next to their building spot they have a line up of garden plots placed among a group of picnic tables where customers can enjoy their food right next to…well, their food; right where it came from. And anything they cannot grow or make themselves on site, they buy from other regional food providers in the Ohio area. Because, just as our waitress explained to us, “we believe it just tastes better.” And she’s absolutely right.
It turned out that we arrived at Lucky’s at about 9:30 AM. Ever since I had seen the video clip from the show, I knew I needed to try their Rueben sandwich, no matter what else seduced me from their tantalizing menu. And, apparently, no matter what time of day it was because I dove into this phenomenon of sandwich before some people had even started their workday.
And it was worth every single flavorful, juicy, tender, cheesy, crunchy crust, fresh bread, tangy, sweet, and savory bite. I know I say a lot of things I eat were ‘the best things ever’, but honestly, ladies and gentleman this-is-it. This is the real deal, the Cadillac, the Larry Bird, the whatever-you-want-to-call-it-that’s-the-best because it is that awesome.
The corned beef: from locally raised cattle, brined in-house with seasonings taken straight from the garden. Fall-apart tender, amazing beef flavor that is perfectly supported by a backdrop of the brining elements like coriander seed, ground mace, and fresh thyme.
The bread: housemade, rye, crisped on the griddle top, still soft interior
The sauerkraut: housemade, spot-on acidity, not oversalted, wilted just enough and maintaining a fresh crunch
The cheese: swiss, melted, not too much
The Thousand Island dressing: housemade, gently flavored, thoughtfully provided on the side for personal application. The chopped pickles in it? From cucumbers they grow in their garden, which they then pickle, and add to your dressing. No big deal.
All together: Rueben Bliss.
Go. Go to Cleveland, just for Lucky’s. They care about what they serve, and your taste buds will thank you.
Oh, we also got some of the baked goods to go (how can you honestly bypass them on the way out?) We enjoyed them on the road on our 'Atlas Coffee Table' as Mom likes to call it. Yum.