When I want an Impossible Burger while eating out I go to the place that always has one, never been out, not when I was there.
MY FRIENDS RESTAURANT. It’s also a block away which makes it convenient.
Although I’ve never been in the kitchen, the parts that I can see are cleaner than any other restaurant I’ve been to in the Cleveland area, right up there with the high end hotels downtown.
Steve and I have been eating at MY FRIENDS for almost twelve years and in all that time I never heard anybody complain about the food, the service or the restaurant.
It’s multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-gender, multi-economic with something to satisfy everyone.
For me, it’s the Impossible Burger. Before that it was linguini with marinara, Kalamata black olives, artichoke hearts and roasted peppers made to order, or hummus with cucumber dippers and an extra drizzle of olive oil on top.
They make the best tater tots ever. I can make a meal of just taters and often do. The prices are moderate and the portions large.
At night especially, they sell a lot of desserts. They have two deli cases full and replenish it throughout the week.
Friendly owner, hosts, wait staff, chefs and kitchen staff and clientelle.
A family place. Open twenty four hours, so at night it’s more couples, friends, singles. Wine and beer only. Canned music. It’s not rowdy. Just people having fun being out and about in the company of others.
Since the pandemic they do a lot of take out orders.
It seems that somebody’s God wanted to break up that harmony.
Over a week ago at four A.M. a gun fight broke out in the restaurant among four black Africans. Two dead and two wounded. According to legend that has already begun to take form, about four hundred black Africans surrounded the restaurant in supposed memoriam blocking off the street with a large police presence – people milling about drinking, smoking weed and acting happy as they celebrated the lives of those dead while mourning their violent passing. They were friendly to all and wanted management to know that they would still frequent the place continuing to bring their business. They had a flower wall and all.
Someone told me that’s what they do when one of them dies from the street. They go all out in support. Someone told Steve that one of them had a HEARTLESS FELON tattoo – representing the most violent gang in Cleveland.
Who knows, but them.
What I do know is I won’t stop going to the place to get my Impossible Burger. But I will be more alert to those sitting around me, and I suspect other patrons will do the same.
Now to that Impossible Burger done my way.
It comes with a big leafy lettuce cup, a big slice of tomato and chips.
I forego the chips, tomato and lettuce. I don’t want them.
I make a request of the server to tell the chef that the burger be medium doneness and charred. He does the burger medium and then chars only one side – a fair amount, since he’s knows I like charred, but charred on both sides would be too much char, or maybe it was originally done by accident and it turned out great.
I request sauerkraut as my side. The chef grills it – perfect. I was expecting cold and he did me one better.
When I receive it I spread the top with poupon dijon mustard and heated barbecue sauce.
I place the sauerkraut on top and eat it fork and knife style absent the bun.
Ah, it is so good that way.
Somebody’s God had a plan to disrupt the harmony at MY FRIENDS RESTAURANT, but it didn’t work. Neighbors came out in support. Sure many will stay away, at least until the memory fades, because of the gruesome and reckless way these shooters/murderers behaved.
Maybe they christened the neighborhood their way, by shooting up the inside of a family restaurant, thus the huge turnout for their memoriam. I don’t know where they live or hang and I don’t wish to know. One thing is clear, they didn’t scare me nor Steve away. They didn’t disrupt our harmony.
I still get My Impossible Burger done My Way @ MY FRIENDS Restaurant.