Saturday, March 28, 2015

An Afternoon in Ohio City: West Side Market and Great Lakes Brewing Co.

So we're not exactly getting the spring weather that we hoped for.  Um, what the heck Ohio, 27° and it's almost April?  Regardless, it's a sunny beautiful day, and one of my favorite places to go on a Saturday is the West Side Market in the Ohio City neighborhood.  For some reason, every time I step inside I instantly feel like I'm somewhere else...or maybe more like I'm living back in Florence again and visiting the Mercato di San Lorenzo for some fresh vegetables and ciabatta bread.  Okay, I'm officially daydreaming - back to the West Side Market.  On the weekends, it's always bustling with with people; you literally have to shimmy sideways sometimes to get through the crowds.  But if you time your trip just right, at about 3:30 in the afternoon, all of the vendors start to mark down their prices because the West Side Market is closed on Sundays and they have to get rid of their produce for the new week.  You'll get the best deals on the freshest produce around!

If you're looking to make a day it,  be sure to check out the free brewery tours at Great Lakes Brewing Company afterwards!  They start on the hour from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays.  One word of advice: don't expect to show up 15 minutes ahead of time and get right in to the tour; I've gone on it  twice and had to sign up about an hour in advance each time.  BUT, the sign up is conveniently located about a 30 second walk to the restaurant/bar, so you sip on a fresh beer while you wait.  Not kidding with the fresh part - the draught beers at the bar are actually connected to the massive storage tanks in the brewing facility!  While you wait, I would try one of their seasonal beers because you get samples of their 5 beers brewed year-round on the tour.  My favorite seasonal on tap right now is the (S)Chillwave Double IPA.  Haha get the pun with my last name?  I know, I'm lame...

Happy Saturday Everyone!


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