Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Punch Bowl Social Cleveland

One thing that I'm loving about the new development in The Flats is that you can make a whole night of entertainment within walking distance. For us, that has included stops at Punch Bowl Social on several occasions.

I was already familiar with the place, having stopped in there for both pre and post-dinner drinks and games. The monthly CLE Dinner Club outing had also given me a taste of the menu several months ago. But, when they reached out to me to see if I would be interested in partnering for a review, I wanted to take them up on it to really experience the "three prong approach" of Eat.Drink.Social.

Armed with two friends, we started off the evening right, with one of their signature punches. I went with the bourbon-based The Bachelor's Bowl.
I've almost always ordered one of their punches, and I can say that they go down easy.

With drink in hand, we got a full tour of the facility, which can be hard to take in when it's a busier weekend night. I noticed things that I hadn't seen before, and I finally got a peek at the upstairs area. Which includes this giant Scrabble board!
The upstairs would be perfect for a private party, with plenty of gaming options, a bar, and karaoke room. They have four bars total, and plans for a fifth once the rooftop patio opens. That space alone will accommodate up to 300 guests (150 seated), with stunning views of the river and Downtown.

Then, it was time for some food. I did notice that the Executive Chef was a change since the CLE Dinner Club event we attended. They are a scratch kitchen, making everything in-house, except for their bread and desserts. The desserts are coming from Luna Bakery on the east side of Cleveland.

The meal started off on a high note, with these fresh biscuits and jam. I'm glad that there weren't more.
We decided to share the Stuffed Creminis with taleggio ($9).
And Deviled Eggs ($6). Two standard classics that were easy to share.
I had a really hard time choosing my entree from the appetizing menu, but I settled on the Very Serious Grilled Cheese ($12).
With gruyere and goat cheeses, poached pear, and quince...this is an "adult" grilled cheese on steroids. My only wish? The ciabatta needed to be grilled a bit more to hold up to the gooey insides. Otherwise, this was a fantastic sandwich, and I'll be adding some poached fruit to my homemade ones in the future.

The Cubano ($13) was another hit at the table. The mustard cream was a real standout there. Just a bit more toasting on the bread needed here as well, but an excellent choice and the "reason" that our server started working there. Their version of Chicken and Waffles ($16) is too sweet for my personal taste, but a shot of local Pope's Hot Sauce was the perfect addition to the dish. The waffle itself had great texture.

They are sourcing a handful of products from local Cleveland vendors, and many others from the home of the original Punch Bowl Social, Denver. Which is always a good thing.

In a complete food coma, it was time to play some games. Aside from classic arcade games, you can choose from things like darts, shuffleboard, bowling, table tennis, Foosball, karaoke, and more.
Our choice? Bowling!
Let's just say that two of us combined still didn't touch the score of our winner, but we had lots of laughs (and gutter balls). One thing that I discovered...they have "bumpers" and you can actually set the lane to put them up only on certain players. Great for families, or me.

So, while you can make a whole night of it down in The Flats, you can even do that at just one stop at Punch Bowl Social. Also, it's totally family-friendly before 10PM, and they are running a summer special where kids can bowl for free on Monday - Wednesday from 11AM - 2PM. Breakfast is served until 3PM every day, and it's a great location for a workday lunch. An escape to the riverside, and maybe a quick game of skee-ball?

I enjoyed myself even more than past visits, and we'll continue to stop in here. Visiting another city and looking for something to do? They have 11 locations, and more on the way.

Punch Bowl Social Cleveland
1086 West 11th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113

Disclosure: All food, drink, and games were provided in exchange for this blog post. All opinions stated are 100% my own.