Friday, October 30, 2015

Oak and Embers Tavern

Two of our good friends grew up in Chesterland, Ohio, and they have played the role of our tour guides for that area over the years. That led us to a meal at Guido's Pizza Haven earlier this year, and last week, they brought us to Oak and Embers Tavern.
It had been on my restaurant radar for a while now, but it really started to get people talking after it was featured on chef Michael Symon's new Food Network show "Burger, Brew & Q."

Good BBQ food is hard to come by in Cleveland. Near impossible.

But, I'm happy to report that this was one of the better traditional BBQ meals that I've had in the area, and we left quite happy and stuffed. With a ton of leftovers that lasted me two lunches.

They have a selection of small plates, soups, and salads to get you started. However, our crew of six went right for the Smoke That Meat section of the menu. I was thrilled to see a Pick Two or Pick Three Combo, because, how was a girl to decide?!

I did the Pick Two Combo ($22) with two meats and two sides. I ordered the Pulled Pork and the Baby Back Ribs. Picking two sides was difficult, because I seriously could have made a meal from the tempting choices. I ended up with the Mac & Cheese and Baked Beans. Each platter comes with Cornbread.
I don't think that this photo does the size of the portions justice. I mean, look, it's served on a platter, not a plate.

I thought that the BBQ sauce on the pulled pork and ribs (same) was very flavorful without real heat to it that would turn off people that don't care for spicy food. The meat on both was tender, and not dry. I would have liked a more distinct rub on the ribs, but that's personal taste. The sides were tasty as well, but I could have used some butter for the cornbread.

They also have a decent craft beer list, which immediately won points with me. Although, they had changed a tap out without correcting the menu yet, and the Founder's Breakfast Stout that I was pumped to order wasn't available any longer. I found a replacement in the list of bottled beers, and all was well.

Overall, we left in a food coma, with to-go boxes, and an even better impression of Chesterland than before. It helped that we then stopped in at Red, Wine, and Brew (almost next door) and picked up some excellent bottles of craft beer, including my favorite...Big Bad Baptist from Epic Brewing. Seriously, I'm addicted. Between the food and brews, it was well worth the drive over to the far east side!

Who does your favorite BBQ food in the Greater Cleveland area? 

Oak and Embers Tavern
8003 Mayfield Road
Chesterland, OH 44026