Saturday, April 16, 2011
Joe's and Jeni's
Joe's Deli over on Hilliard, in Rocky River has a massive following. It's pretty much packed all day long on the weekends, and pretty full the rest of the week. West Siders love this place. If I had to describe it, I'd say it's got the feeling of a Perkins (carpeted floor and overall decoration) with the menu and service of those large diners you find on the East Coast (the ones that have the shiny chrome and are also always packed). I think it's more like a diner than a deli, but whatever.
I ordered the Philadelphian which consisted of hot pastrami on rye with sides of yellow mustard and prepared horseradish. The sandwich comes with a pickle split in half lengthwise as well as a fruit cup. Since the sandwich didn't come with fries, I made the mistake of ordering a side ($3.75, ouch!). First off there were a lot of them. Secondly, they weren't cheap. And once they arrived, the sandwich was so big I couldn't come close to eating all of them.
The pastrami was surprisingly very good. Not just, "Oh, nice. I like the way that tastes." But, "Day-yam! I just wasted my $3.75 on those diamond encrusted french fries that I'm not going to have any room for." Slaw (good) + horseradish + yellow mustard + pastrami = fries in the trash.
I was very skeptical about how tasty the food was going to be versus what they charge, but like anyone that sells anything that is reeeeeally good, whether it's Steve Jobs, the local crack dealer, or Joe from Joe's Deli, they have calculated precisely the threshold at which someone says it's not worth it and walks away, or can't help themselves and stays.
Joe's Deli charges a premium, but the service is very attentive, the place is spotless, the food comes out quickly, and most importantly tastes really good. It's the kind of place you can take someone of any age, with any level of palate sophistication and everyone will be happy.
19215 Hilliard Blvd
Rocky River, OH 44116
Cheesecake (my brother-in-law) and I went to the Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Chagrin Falls last Friday night around 10. I have to say, it's been a while since I've seen that many intoxicated middle-aged people (which is saying something since I just got back from the Masters last week). I mean, seriously, more than a few customers were incapable of pronouncing the flavor 'Brambleberry'.
I'm not one to jump to the newest restaurant openings, but Jeni's has pretty much got it's formula down by now, so we figured we'd grab some dessert. The only real criticism I have of the place is that you don't even know they sell sundaes until you make it to the cash register. In the back corner of the store is the menu with the sundaes they offer. I think something a little more visible from the ice cream case would at least let people know they even offer them.
The Cocoa Rococo sundae (dark chocolate ice cream topped with their caramel sauce, whipped cream and nuts) is quite the after dinner treat. I have it on good advice that the Pistachio Honey ice cream sandwich (or what they call a macaroon) is very popular as well.
Some will pass on Jeni's because of the price. Some will pass because of the drive. If neither is a problem, then why not have dinner at Umami and dessert at Jeni's?
Jeni Britton Bauer also has a book coming out in June. If your like us and make ice cream at home, these home adapted recipes should be pretty interesting.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
67 North Main Street
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022