Can you believe that I've lived in Cleveland for my entire life and up until recently, I'd never been to the Beachland Ballroom? Crazy, right? Thank goodness my year of "why the heck not" is getting me out of my normal routines.
A few Sundays ago, I had the pleasure of meeting up with some of the ladies from the Cleveland Veganz meetup group at the Beachland Ballroom for brunch. It was super nice to meet some of the people I've spoken with online. (And after losing more than 50% of my friends in my late 2009 breakup, I could definitely use some more people in my social circle) In my recent pursuit of new friends/acquaintances, I've been happy to find that strangers are pretty welcoming...especially if you have something in common or have a tale of woe. (divorced women tend to love me)
But enough about that. You want to hear about the food, right?
Despite how the Beachland Ballroom looks (if you've never been there, it looks like a weathered, worn down, neighborhood hangout/old man bar), it draws in a great brunch crowd with its vegan and vegetarian friendly fare. There's always a dj spinning tunes (or pressing buttons on a laptop, as was the case when I was there), and the bar is most definitely open.
Feeling adventurous, I decided to order a bloody mary. I'd never had one before, since bloody mary mix generally contains wordhestire sauce - which you may not realize - contains anchovies. My waitress assured me that the Beachland uses fish-free mix, so I decided to order a drink. (in hindsight, not the smartest move before a long Sunday run...oy) I love tomato juice and I love vodka...so I hoped for the best.
I was not a fan. I could have been a fan...but despite my love of tomato juice and vodka, I do not like anything spicy. And whoo-boy, this was spicy.
After a pretty long wait, my brunch arrived. I ordered a tofu scramble with breakfast potatoes and greens.
Let me give a quick disclaimer - I'm not much of a breakfast fan. Unless it's a pumpkin pancake or a bagel, I'm generally not into breakfast food. So...I can't rave about my meal. The tofu was nicely cooked and had some flavor, but it wasn't the best tofu dish I've ever eaten. I do appreciate the presence of vegan and vegetarian items on the brunch menu, though. Try finding tofu in your local Denny's or Eat 'N Park...it's not going to happen.
If you're looking for a different kind of brunch experience or are on the hunt for some vegan grub and some "hair of the dog" action, you should give Beachland Ballroom a gander some weekend.