Eating Out in the Time of COVID – #2

July 15, 2020 at 7:42 PM Leave a comment

As restaurants have begun to reopen, we have been making a concerted effort to visit. Yes, we love to eat and we have been doing loads of cooking at home, but we still miss going out. However, in our new reality, going out is much different. Michele has some very specific expectations before she agrees to venture out into the new virus filled world.

First, she has sworn off any new spots. If we have been to a place that she knows maintained a clean, safe establishment, she believes they will do an equally good job cleaning under the new COVID guidelines.

Secondly, she wants to go to a place early. This has never been an issue for us. We’ve always eaten earlier than most people. Her logic is that the place will be the cleanest, early. As other guests enter, the likelihood of vulnerability rises.

Lastly, she uses the common sense a nurse learns over a career to keep patients safe. She asks for the table to be cleaned before we sit, to actually see the cleaning. She watches as the utensils are delivered and the bread is presented. Who is wearing a mask, who is wearing gloves and who appears to be ignoring guidelines? Those measures factor into a return visit. This approach has been pretty successful for us so far.

As we mentioned in the last post, L’Albatros really wowed us with an approach to cleanliness that is now the benchmark by which all other places will be measured. We also found a very conscientious staff at Hyde Park in Beachwood. We enjoy visiting this place for one of the best “Early Bird” menus in the city. Their Wedge Salad is old-school killer with plenty of bleu cheese and candied walnuts (Michele is allergic to Bleu, so she substitutes a ranch and enjoys that as well.) The nice thing this time was the staff welcome. We genuinely felt they were happy for our having visited. That is sure nice, especially when a visit is questionable. “Should we go out, or shouldn’t we?” it is a tough question today.

Our most recent stop was lunch at Wild Mango in Legacy Village. We ate outside, so no issues with distancing. We also had lunch early, again avoiding the crowds. We could find nothing out of sorts here, either. The food was as good as it always is, too, so that was good to know.

A few others were “almost” there. With some finesse, Great Scott, Crostata’s and Vittorio’s will be just as good as the benchmark. Jeff never noticed a thing, like most everyone who enters the place with a mask. Michele got back in the car after our visit and reminded him that “X” and “Y” should have been done a different way.

Some of the fast-casual places are also doing a very good job keeping us as safe as possible. Brassicas so impressed us on our first visit that we have already been back. They have taken cleanliness to a new level. McAlister’s, a sandwich shop in Great Northern Mall cleaned the table before we sat and were very attentive to our needs. Gloves and masks were ever-present. East Coast Custard has rearranged the entry and exit, so getting a cool treat on these hot days is more orderly than before, but still as refreshing!

This is a tough time for the food business. After about three months closed and a pile of codes to follow, it can’t be easy. Folks around us still question the wisdom in returning and that reduces the likely visitors. The road through 2020 will be the toughest all of us will remember in our whole life. We want to help support everyone who is trying. A downturn and vaccine are around the corner, but can we all hold on for that much longer? Time will tell. 11401 Bellflower Road Cleveland, OH 44106 216-791-7880 26300 Chagrin Boulevard Beachwood, OH 44122 216-464-0688 25385 Cedar Road Lyndhurst, OH 44124 216-716-8001 21801 Lakeshore Boulevard Euclid, OH 44123 216-417-3019 558 Bishop Road Highland Heights, OH 44143 440-449-7800 29664 Euclid Avenue Wickliffe, OH 44092 440-585-7700 20301 Meade Road Shaker Heights, OH 44122 216-848-0450 356 Great Northern Mall North Olmstead, OH 44070 440-734-4440 5681 Mayfield Road Lyndhurst, OH 44124 440-461-7690

Entry filed under: Cleveland Food Comments, Cleveland Restaurants Review. Tags: , , , , , , .

Eating Out in the Time of COVID – L’Albatros Mama Catena

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