Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Crop Rocks

We are really loving spending time down in The Flats since all of the restaurants and bars have been popping up over the last year. There are still a couple of places that we haven't been yet, but we did get to cross two off the other night with friends.

For pre-dinner drinks, we met at Beerhead Bar + Eatery. With six locations spread across Illinois, Ohio, NY, and Pennsylvania, it is a chain, but one that I think will be welcomed in Cleveland, and do well in that area. They are offering 50 beers on tap and 400+ in bottles. Beer is certainly the focus here, but they do have wine and cocktail offerings. Just don't ask them to make a "mock"tail (not for me!), because you'll thrown them for a loop and you'll get a skunky-tasting non-alcoholic beer instead. With so many dining options and great places to grab wine and cocktails in that area now, it's nice to have a craft beer option. They are serving some small plate food and pizzas too, and I've heard that the pizza is good. We'll be back.

We had dinner reservations at the new Crop Rocks restaurant from the folks behind Crop Bistro and Crop Kitchen. They also opened up Crop Sticks right next door to Crop Rocks.
This casual bar setting highlights 50 years worth of Cleveland music history and 15,000 vinyl records. The menu is "American Comfort Food," and plenty of the dishes are served right on metal trays. The vibe is fun, laid-back and will be great during the warmer months when they open up the garage door-style walls behind the main bar overlooking the river.

I went with the Kung-Fu Fighting ($13) with Korean BBQ meatloaf, kim chi, and sriracha aioli on a toasted bun. Yes, almost every dish is named after a musical reference.
The sandwich contents were a bit mushy and I made quite a mess of myself as I ate half of it, but it had good flavor. I'd probably order other items before revisiting this one though.

With the sandwiches, french fries are served, but for a small up-charge you can substitute a side of gravy cheese fries, shrapnel fries, slaw, or a salad. Pictured above are the gravy and cheese fries, and they were outstanding. The gravy was very flavorful, and they didn't overdo the quantity of gravy on on the fries. You got the flavor of it without the fries turning to complete wet mush.

Mr. H and our friends were happy with their food as well. We'll revisit this one. I also popped my head into Crop Sticks (because the bathroom hallway connects both restaurants). This small Asian bistro is more formal than its sister restaurant next door. Something for everyone.

Then, we headed to Punch Bowl Social where I embarrassed myself on the bowling lanes, but we had a good laugh. Between pre-dinner drink destinations, several restaurants, and entertainment like Punch Bowl and Big Bang (dueling piano bar), you can really make a night of it in The Flats now.

Crop Rocks
1075 Old River Road
Cleveland, OH 44113