One of the bonuses of my job as a travel writer is going on press trips with fellow travel writers. We “get” each other. We’re a curious group, with a shared desire to have our heads filled with intriguing new information, to taste something delicious prepared in ways we’ve never had before, to ask a boatload of questions and to take photos galore. We often have the opportunity to eat in the finest restaurants in town, and we’re very generous about sharing bites and giving opinions about who ordered best. We usually get to sample several of the house specialties in terms of appetizers and desserts, and we each order our own entrees — almost always offering our tablemates a sample. After all, the restaurants want us to try their signature items and then spread the word to our readers about ones we particularly enjoyed. It’s most definitely a win-win proposition. The owners get feedback and publicity, and we get a fabulous meal. What’s not to love?
A recent dinner near Cleveland stands out in my mind. My fellow diners and I had spent a couple of days together and developed a great camaraderie, even though we were all from vastly different parts of the country. The last thing on our trip agenda was to be an outdoor performance of the Cleveland Symphony, but on the way we headed to Lockkeepers for dinner.
And it was visually pleasing inside as well. To add to the extraordinary nature of the occasion, we had the whole upstairs Sommelier Room to ourselves which overlooked the main dining room through glass partitions.
The entrees came in abundant portions. If only I’d had a way to take my leftovers home! Lasagna with layers of pasta made inhouse. The biggest scallops I’ve ever seen. A salmon filet surrounded by veggies. A pork chop that made all of us gasp at its size and thickness. Each dish was exceptional.
Just when we thought we had used all possible superlatives, out came the desserts! A cannoli, tiramisu, housemade gelatos, and the pastry chef’s specialty — A Campfire Brownie. Listen to this description: “Salted Valrona Fudge Brownie, Pecan Blondie, Caramel, Graham Cracker Crust, Housemade Marshmallow.” Yes, we EACH had a bit of all of these. My goodness, what a smashing finale!
Maintaining a healthy weight is quite a challenge for a travel writer, but it can be done. As I mentioned earlier, with many of these dishes, we each just took a small sample. Also, between meals, we are in constant motion. The calories in vs. calories out ratio manages to balance itself fairly well.
You can read my review of Lockkeepers in TheYums.com here. Have I convinced you to make Lockkeepers part of your itinerary when you visit Cleveland? Be aware that the menu changes seasonally. If you go in the fall or spring, you are likely to find many other great dishes.
And, even more so, have I made you start thinking about becoming a travel writer? Feel free to ask me questions. I love talking about it.