Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: Weekend Adventure in Cleveland - Part 1

11.23.2009

Weekend Adventure in Cleveland - Part 1

I spent this weekend in Cleveland for a couple hockey games with the Dayton Fangs, a team based out of Dayton (about 1.5 hrs. from Columbus) that adopted me in October after their goalie went down with a knee injury and opted for season-ending surgery. These away games marked the second and third that I've played in net for them, and I've enjoyed their team's spunk, drive, and personality. I was fortunate to get this weekend off after being denied the request from work the first time around and used the opportunity to give Eleanor (my Yamaha FJR1300 for the new readers) some exercise, a new area to explore, and to give my heated Gerbing gloves to the test. So, before the first game, I went for some food and sightseeing.

I left Columbus a bit hungry, so I made my way to Parma and Antonio's Restaurant. If you're a Drew Carey fan, you've probably heard him plug this restaurant quite a number of times on many of the shows that he's been on. This is the famous restaurant that makes the pizzas that he has shipped across the country for his show's crew and other special events. I was very curious to taste why he has remained so loyal to this eatery in his hometown.

The interior of the restaurant was dimly lit so it had a very romantic (and very stereotypically Italian) appearance to it. I ordered a lunch serving of shrimp fettuccine alfredo and a small, personal pizza (half mushrooms only, half pepperoni only) to try. The pasta dish came with a side of salad and a section freshly baked bread. The salad was very delicious with their homemade croutons; every part of the salad all the way down to the olives tasted as if they were handpicked. The bread was so soft and flavorful that butter was a complete afterthought. When the pasta came, I was immediately surprised by the flavorful smell of the cream and cheese from the alfredo sauce. The pasta itself was perfectly cooked al dente, and the shrimp was plump and tender. This fettuccine has definitely made it up there in my list of favorites, joining the ranks of one of my other favorite restaurants, Pasta Roma in Los Angeles.

When I was halfway through the alfredo, my server brought in the pizza. This pizza was very meticulously made. The mozzarella cheese was so fresh that it melted in the gooey, stringy fashion that you can't get with Papa John's (or any chain for that matter). The pepperoni and mushrooms were very fresh and complemented the cheese very well, and the crust had a light texture and taste that just made every bite enjoyable. This would definitely be a pizza I wouldn't hesitate to order for takeout.

Now I understand why Drew Carey will dish the dough to get a bunch of these pies shipped to LA. This experiment was well worth it and a lot of food for the price. If you're ever headed up to the Parma area and want some Italian, go to Antonio's - a definite stand-out in Cleveland.