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Last week we stopped by the West Side Market to pick up a couple things. I had heard about the cuban sandwich at Lelolai Bakery and Cafe. Regina wanted falafel from Nate's Deli.
Since I knew my lunch would be a little bit quicker to order (and make), we decided to go to Lelolai first. As we were about to walk in the front door I was tapped up by an elderly panhandler for some food money.
"You got any change so I can buy a sandwich?"
"Come on in, I'll get you one.", I told him.
With a confused but excited look on his face the man came in with us to order a sandwich.
I ordered the regular Cuban Sandwich with fresh roasted pork, swiss cheese, mayo, lettuce, and tomato). My new found friend opted for the Corned Beef sandwich (with extra cheese).
As I was about to pay, the man then says, "Hey! What is this?"
When he was informed that it was bread putting he said, "I'll have that!"
The counter guy peered up at me is if to seek my approval. Not believing what was going on I just said, "That's fine, add a bread pudding for him."
Just as the guy gave me my new total, the entitled panhandler declared, "...and a large coke, too!"
Wanting to bust out a Judge Smails and say, "You'll get nothing and like it!"
I instead told the cashier, "Hurry up and ring it up before he orders anything else."
I have to say, at this point I felt bad for the guy at the counter because now the panhandler was bugging him for anything extra he could get. Sorry that I ever made the offer in the first place - I just sat and waited for my order.
The sandwich was decent. I don't want to pass too much judgment on the quality of the food because at this point I was somewhat steamed by the events that had just taken place. I will say this: they make all of their bread and roasted pork on the premises. I don't know that I would go out of my way to come here, but judging by all of the people in the store - it's popular.
So after wolfing down my sandwich I went by the door to throw away my wrappers. As I went to leave, my now satiated (or so I thought) friend comes up to me.
"Listen, I didn't get to thank you for the sandwich."
"...and the bread pudding, and the coke.", I thought to myself.
"No problem.", I told him.
"Say, would you happen to have any change on you?" he asked (with a completely serious look on his face).
Absolutely gobsmacked, all I could manage to say was, "No, sorry dude."
That sandwich may have been somewhat forgettable, but the story wasn't. So if you happen to be in Ohio City and you see a elderly man struggling to carry his watermelon sized balls around, run the other way.
Lelolai Bakery & Café
1889 W 25th St
Cleveland, OH 44113