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What's Your Favorite Foodie Paradise? For Me, Cleveland's West Side Market

A trip home isn't complete without a stop at this spot on W. 25th St. and Lorain.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

WNYC

Every place has its food institutions, its "bests" (best pizza, best tacos, best cheesecake). For Cleveland, Ohio, the best place to shop for homemade, homegrown, home-cooked, handmade food is the West Side Market on W. 25th St. and Lorain.

I visited the market last weekend, during a trip home to visit my folks. I came away with enchiladas (eight different kinds, including shredded pork loin with cheese and guajillo chili sauce, and zucchini, corn and tomato with green tomatillo sauce) from Orale Contemporary Mexican Cuisine, a huge apple fritter the size of my hand (for my dad, not for me, I swear!) from Spanos Bakery, excellent sweet potato biscuits from Christopher's Bakery, and some Spanish paprika and two different kinds of chili powder from Urban Herbs.

According to the market's Web site, the West Side Market's origins date back to 1840. The current yellow brick market house, with its distinctive, herringbone-patterned ceiling, was dedicated in 1912. 

It's been around a long time, and has the fan base to prove it. The market's Web site says one million people visited last year. 

The market makes me think about New York City's food institutions. The greenmarket at Union Square. Zabar's on the Upper West Side. The Lower East Side appetizing store Russ and Daughters. They are places that make you want to cook, that excite your tastebuds in ways no plain old supermarket aisle can, places that make you glad you live nearby. 

What are your food institutions? Tell us where you like to shop, and why ... especially if it's in Cleveland.   

Amy Eddings/WNYC
Chicken feet at Kaufmann Poultry at the West Side Market. There were also pigs' feet, tripe, and an entire suckling pig at the market.
Amy Eddings/WNYC
Eight different kinds of enchiladas at Orale's stall in the West Side Market.
Amy Eddings/WNYC
Apple fritters, a bakery staple at the market. That, and Russian tea cakes.

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Comments [1]

kerry nolan from not in Paris, sadly

My favorite place on Earth is Le Grand Epicerie in Paris. From duck confit to Iberico ham; small-producer Champagnes to the most luxurious yogurt - and everything in between - it is my culinary Mecca, my grownup playland. It is the first place I go after I drop my luggage. It is worth every Euro I spend.

Nov. 09 2011 08:11 AM

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