Cleveland. These days I think it has an unfounded bad rap. Living in California my whole life I never had any positive connection about the city beyond the Drew Carey Show. Well after visting for a week on a gig, I found many things to like about the city. Most of all the Porco Lounge and Tiki Room.
It’s pretty much standard procedure now, to look up any tiki bars a city may have. So doing my cursory search in Cleveland I found Porco. Since time on this gig was tight, after deciding when I would fit it in to the schedule, not knowing the city at all, I looked up where the heck it was. Boy am I glad I looked at the street view because as you can see from the picture here – there is no way that you’d think that would be a tiki bar. More looks like an abandoned, I dunno. Haberdashery? But, once you venture to the back (the door in front is just for show), a perfectly nice patio greets you. Then you are lead to the expertly decorated and thoroughly inviting tiki bar within. When we visited, the sun was setting, and from the outside of the building, it looked boarded up. Inside the bar the boards were strategically placed that would let these gorgeous beams of light shooting through the bar.
The booths at Porco Lounge were large and comfy. When we visited (a Monday afternoon) it was lively but not too crowded. The menu was really fun and I wish I nabbed a picture of it, sadly I was too excited to dive into the beverages to record it. What I do remember from it is that they have three levels of “Suffering Bastards” which I thought was awesome and really unique. One made with Gin, another with Bourbon or something I think. The point though, is their menu was fun and varied (and even illustrated really really well – it looked like a comic book or something out of MAD magazine).
I went right to the Zombie and in presentation alone it gets high marks – Dry Ice FTW! Hah, I would do this in my home made ones all the time if I could, easily. Talk about freaking the cats out! Another beverage I had was not technically from Porco Lounge, but was created by a neighboring bar in Pittsburgh (Hidden Harbor). It was pretty great too, good enough that I have been trying to emulate it at home. Called the Tropic Thunder, it’s kind of a mix between a Mai Tai and a Zombie – It’s like they know me!
Well now I’m sorry that I don’t for see coming back to Cleveland anytime soon. This is certainly once place that I’m going to miss.