Last weekend, I had the pleasure of embarking on a rock and roll press tour to the city of Cleveland. While there, I ate too much, I drank too much, and I surprisingly had too much fun in the process. All of the events I took part in were scheduled by the wonderful people at Positively Cleveland, which highlighted the best that Cleveland has to offer while keeping us away from the tourist spots.
Upon arrival, I checked into my hotel and reviewed our schedules. Before leaving for the Ritz, lanyards with our names were passed out. On the flip-side of the badge was the itinerary, which came in handy throughout the trip.
All of the events were outlined by place and time, starting with Happy Hour “Rocktails” at the Ritz-Carlton located in Downtown Cleveland. All of the featured drinks here had song titles in their name. I enjoyed the “Island in the Sun”, which was delicious. Any drink that has tequila in it that is not a tequila sunrise is good in my book. It was a bit on the sweet side, so I gave it to one of my tour companions, Casey from the Detroit-based Motor City Blog. Although there was confirmation that quite a few celebrities were guests of the hotel at the time, we did not spot any.
After a short trip in our “Rock Van” (AKA, a white 15-passenger vehicle) we headbanged our way over to the Prosperity Social Club. This place is amazing. The food is tasty and the owner is passionate and extremely enthusiastic about her Tremont restaurant. It reminded me quite a bit of The Surly Girl Saloon.
Within a few minutes of sipping spirits and enjoying the live band playing in the restaurant, appetizers appeared at our table. Because I am a vegetarian, I enjoyed the pita nachos and pierogies as well as the best spinach and artichoke dip I have ever tasted, and I skipped out on the Andouille-stuffed banana peppers and mini rueben and tilapia sandwiches. I also tried their portobello mushroom sandwich with fries. Needless to say, I ate a ton, not only here but throughout the whole trip.
The highlight of this bar/restaurant is the vintage bowling machine. Pretty self explanatory, but the game provided some entertainment for our tour group.
After a small van tour around the neighborhood of Tremont, we stopped by the Wonder Bar for a beer before the Free Concert for Cleveland. The concert featured George Clinton sans the trademark rainbow-colored dreads and long beard, who performed a mind-blowing show with Parliament. The band included three backup singers, one of which whom wore roller skates. I grew up listening to George Clinton, and finally seeing the 70-year old perform with such zeal and vigor was inspiring.
After the set, Kid Cudi took the stage. I admit, I didn’t know a lot about Kid Cudi, but I was impressed entirely. I only knew of the single that made him popular in the first place, “Day and Night“. His style is completely original and he is a surprisingly good singer as well as a good rapper. His set was simple: a guitar player, a drummer, and an awesome light show.
This was only day one. We returned to our hotel around 11:00PM with droopy eyes. But, this is only the beginning of the trip of a lifetime.
Disclaimer: This travel excursion to Cleveland was provided by Positively Cleveland and included travel accommodations, complimentary meals and entertainment and other all-inclusive provisions.