Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Carnivore Wednesdays- TownHall

Wednesdays have a new meaning at Ohio City's TownHall. Meat. They recently introduced Carnivore: For the Love of Meat as the new Wednesday special. This paleo-friendly menu offers something that I was just talking about on this blog...meat on a stick. There aren't enough meat on sticks in the world! Well, look no further, because TownHall has got 'em.

I was invited in to sample the new special Wednesday menu last week, and the sampling included a surprise beverage pairing with each of the four courses. The pairings were expertly selected, and really brought out the flavor of the dishes or complimented it well. Overall, we enjoyed the four dishes, and TownHall continues to grow on me.

First, we tried the Pulled Pork Bacon and Bleu Meatballs, paired with a Lagunitas Pilsner.
This first dish ended up being my favorite of the evening. The balls themselves are made with smoked pork, smoked applewood thick-cut bacon, gorgonzola cheese, green onion, egg, and breadcrumbs. It is served with a tangy homemade steak sauce, that kept us dunking in for more.

Then, we had the Spicy Coconut Chicken, paired with one of my favorite beers--- Willoughby Brewing Company's Peanut Butter Cup Porter. This particular pairing stood out. The flavor of the beer was more subtle when tasted with the Thai peanut sauce, but the flavor of the sauce lingered in your mouth, brought out by the beer.
The grilled chicken breast is spiced with cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Then, it is rubbed with shredded coconut and served with a Thai peanut sauce. I love Thai peanut sauce and peanut curry, but the addition of coconut was something that I hadn't had before. It worked well.

Our third sample was the Bean Bar Rubbed Ribs, paired with a Rock and Rye Slow and Low honey and orange rye whiskey.
Warning: MUST LOVE COFFEE. This bold sauce is bursting with coffee flavor. The housemade sauce is made from espresso beans, found at the TownHall bean bar thanks to their partnership with Rising Star Roasters. The barbecue sauce was tangy and delicious, but I did recommend that they try to grind the beans finer. It was a little gritty at times. The ribs themselves just fell right off the bone at the touch of a fork. They are marinated for 24 hours in brown sugar, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and smoked paprika. Then, slow roasted in Bell's Two Hearted IPA beer for three hours.

The last dish that we tried was the Marinated Flank Steak, paired with TownHall's very own blend of Jack Daniels Single Barrel that the staff themselves sampled and selected.
The strips of steak are marinated in brown sugar, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. They are served with a homemade chimmi churri sauce. This was my least favorite of the four dishes, but I wouldn't tell you not to order it. I had immediately smothered it in the sauce, but "R" tried some of the meat on its own and actually preferred it that way.

Please note that the pictures above reflect sample sizes for the tasting we were provided. They do represent the full menu of Carnivore, with the exception of the sample platter that includes all skewers. That would be a great option for a table to share. All dishes are served with fried plantains and slaw.

As I said, the food at TownHall is growing on me. My very first visit when they had just opened was far from satisfying, but I think that their food has significantly improved recently. I had a surprisingly good experience at their Vegan Night (on Mondays), and I've had a couple of great lunch meetings and delivery meals within the last six months. The grilled cheese bars have always been good, but now you can order them with a choice from their selection of soups, instead of just paired with the tomato. Also, I've gotten their black bean burger a couple of times now. It's a tad mushy, but really tasty! There wasn't one dish of the four we sampled at Carnivore that I wouldn't order again on my own.

I also really love both their front and back patios. The space has always been cool, and now the food is starting to match that appeal. However, consider yourself warned that very different crowds take over TownHall, depending on the time of day and day of the week. I'm really loving weekdays, and weekend afternoons. The crowd tends to get a little younger and heavy on the drinking on Friday and Saturday nights there.

So, if you're trying to find paleo-centric food in this city, or you just plain love meat, head to TownHall on Wednesdays now for Carnivore.

1909 West 25th Street
Cleveland, OH

Disclosure: I was invited to sample their Carnivore menu. All food and beverage was complimentary, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own. 


Heather said...

I had no idea this existed! This is right up our alley - thanks!

Bite Buff said...

I immediately thought of you, Heather!

Angel said...

Sounds great!!!

Unknown said...

Have you been for brunch? It's my favorite time to go to TownHall. I love a little sweet and savory mix at the crepe station

Bite Buff said...

Amanda- Not yet, but I'd like to!