I wrapped up my recent trip to Cleveland with brunch and a ballgame (Indians vs. Reds). Thanks to the magic of grandparents, some friends were able to relieve themselves of the duties of parenthood and join up north for this portion of the trip.
I’d heard a few good things about Flying Fig, and when I realized that they had pork belly on their brunch menu, I knew, in an instant, that we’d be dining there. It was conveniently located across the street from Great Lakes and was within walking distance of our place. (I’m still amazed at how everything fell into place for this trip.)
Their commitment to seasonal menu items was apparent when they brought out the bread and rhubarb-based jam. I devoured several pieces, with and without the jam. The bread was baked with fennel seeds, bringing a complex and unique flavor to my morning.
When my neighbor Kate and I ordered the bacon and eggs (pork belly, grits, rhubarb reduction, local eggs and fresh spinach), my server timidly broke the news that the bacon was not, in fact, traditional bacon. I felt bad for her. How many times had she dealt with disappointed customers who, having not read beyond “bacon and eggs” on the menu, expected something completely different? I tried to emphasize the fact that not only were we aware of what we were ordering, but we wanted to order it. Sadly, a look at the new menu shows an absence of bacon, suggesting that we pork belly lovers were in the minority.
The mainstream eater need not be worried; there were several selections on the menu for those not intrepid enough to eat something with the word “belly” in it. Sarah ordered some soft scrambled eggs tucked with Gruyere and chives, served with strips of bacon and potatoes. Simple, delicious.
Ryan got the baked eggs ranchero, and was a little surprised to find the eggs baked atop (as opposed to within) the casserole of local chicken, cheddar and scallions. Had I not been so hell-bent on the pork belly, I would have ordered this, runny eggs and all.
The bonus to having brunch with six people? A wider variety of entrees to peruse. The downside? It’s difficult to reach across the table and ask for a bite of someone’s food, especially if I’ve never shared a meal with them before. My neighbor Ben ordered a Tex-Mex dish called migas, which boasted local eggs, tortillas, peppers, scallions, chili, cheddar and a tomatillo-cilantro salsa. I didn’t get a taste, but it looked gorgeous.
Last, but not least, I present a simple blueberry scone, ordered by Baseball Boy. Using the rights outlined in our contract, I tasted his breakfast without reservations. It was buttery and crumbly and everything a scone should be.
Although the prices were a bit high for my taste (and the service a bit lackluster), the food is worth a second trip. And with a semi-new fascination with baseball (I know, I’ve caved), it looks like I have plenty of reasons to make the trek north.
2523 Market Ave