Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lopez on Lee

Is everyone enjoying Cleveland Beer Week? "R" and I popped in to Society Lounge on East 4th last night after dinner, and they have some delicious beer cocktails cooked up there. The Dreadnought is like an adult chocolate milk.

I kicked off Beer Week on Friday by traveling over to the east side for the Collaboration Kickoff at Cedar/Lee. Michelle and I decided that we needed some food in our bellies before we started our progressive beer tasting, so we selected Lopez Southwest Kitchen and Tequila Saloon. Often referred to as "Lopez on Lee", it is located right in the heart of the Cedar/Lee restaurants and businesses. They have a small parking lot next to the restaurant, with valet service.
We decided to start with some of the Iron Chef Guacamole with bleu cheese, house bacon, and sage ($9.50). A "Food Network favorite", this guacamole reminded me of Momocho's.
I liked how it was served with pickled vegetables. My only complaint? The special ingredients were used only as a topping, so they weren't mixed in and the flavors were isolated to just a few bites. Momocho does do a better job of infusing the unique ingredients into the guacamole. I also started off our meal with a cucumber margarita ($9). Again, Momocho's version is much better. This was a good margarita, but it just tasted like a classic version. I should have tried one of the more unusual types available. Our server suggested the blood orange.

The menu was very tempting, and as soon as I felt like I had settled on something, then another item would jump out at me. I finally went with my gut and ordered two tacos. I ordered the Butter Poached Lobster with guacamole, smoked tomato, and house bacon ($10), and the Mole Dusted Rare Seared Tuna taco with mango habanero salsa, radish, and crema ($7.50).
Look at all of that lobster!

My only complaint of the two? The smoked tomato in the lobster taco were actually whole cherry tomatoes. That was unappealing to me, so I picked them out. Otherwise, both tacos were fabulous! I'd order them both again. Then again, maybe not, because so many others sounded just as appetizing. I also loved how Michelle's burrito was grilled, and I'd like to try one. Or an enchilada, get the point.

The food can feel a bit overpriced for "Mexican", but overall it was very good and felt like they were using quality ingredients. I walked away full, and satisfied with my meal.

Then we headed out for a progressive beer tasting around several bars in the Cedar/Lee area. I was a bit letdown with the collaboration beers overall. Many of them just weren't my style, but the Pancake Porter was my biggest disappointment. I really didn't pick up any of the "maple, coffee, etc." listed in the description. I had expected it to be bolder and sweeter than it was. Ah, oh well. We had a great time walking around on a nice chilly evening. The neighborhood was packed, and the excitement for the start of Beer Week was intoxicating. Oh, wait, was that the beer? Ha.

What have you been doing during Beer Week?

Lopez Southwest Kitchen and Tequila Saloon
2196 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118


Heather said...

Jay said the pancake porter was his biggest disappointment, too!

Ryan said...

Couldn't agree more on the collab beers. I felt that they were pretty disappointing, with the Pancake Porter being my biggest disappointment. I had high hopes for that one.

Ryan said...

I absolutely agree that the collab beers were pretty disappointing. I was really excited for the Pancake Porter, but thought it may have been the worst of the bunch. The Wango Tango Mango was my favorite.