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Kicking it with Maury
by Maury Feren

It's been a busy weekend. My niece and nephew came in from New York to celebrate my 100th birthday which is coming up September 5th at Park Synagogue.

That will be a big bash. I will tell you more when it happens. The Men's Club at Park is planning it so I really don't know the intimate details. From what I hear it is going to be a Hawaiian theme and casual dress.

So let me tell you how this two day trip worked out. It was important to my family to come now because of certain difficulties on September 5th.

We all met for brunch at Corky's on Friday. All parts of the family showed up. Corky's is one of those old time Deli's that still draws crowds. The place is always buzzing. The food is big portions. Corned beef is still King. Matzo ball soup is still popular and you'll always find someone who likes to drink Dr. Brown.

However, they like all of the menu and the camaraderie of a Jewish centered group. People like to cheat when they are at a Deli. My nephew dug into a New York hot pastrami sandwich as if he never had it before. Most everybody followed the pattern with corned beef winning out. I had my usual egg whites and hash browns which always serve the purpose. You go to Corky's for lots of food and just to get to see everybody you know.

I have to recognize there is always an energy factor in what I do. So I let things rest until dinner time. That was our first chance to focus on the great restaurants that we have acquired since my family has been here some 5-6 years ago. The restaurant we chose was Flour on route 91 in Orange village.

However, it was closed for lunch on the day we chose. So we moved to Bowl of Pho in the village shopping center on Chagrin Blvd. in the same area as Corky's, De Gaetano's Gelato, and TJ Maxx. I could not have made a better choice. My niece and nephew loved their food. Cheri chose the vegetarian soup that is always filled with fresh rice noodles, bean sprouts, lime and basil.

Jeff more or less followed in my tracks and ordered the cabbage salad with chicken. They serve a light vinegar dressing that comes with the salad making it my number one dish. Guests I've invited there feel the same having ordered it. However, you have to recognize the power of the soup they offer. Bowl of Pho means soup. The choices are innumerable.

There are a few of these Vietnamese restaurants that have popped up over the years. The best of them at 30th and Superior Ave. and also the Arcade Vietnamese restaurant in the same area. They both have led the way following in the footsteps of the first Vietnamese restaurant at 65th on Detroit which is still operating just as they did 25 years ago.

Another day has gone by. We have to fill it with good food. Jewish people are known to be gourmands. So what better choice than Moxie's on Richmond and Chagrin for a terrific dinner. Jeff my nephew chose duck breast while Cheri my niece and I chose there E. W chicken. Moxie's has stayed on top of the restaurant scene quietly.

You can see how beautifully every dish comes out of the kitchen. Each one looks like an art piece. Jeff's order of duck looked like a dream photo with small slices of duck breast surrounded by a nice selection of accompaniments. It is so juicy and tender but also presented as a picturesque piece. The portions are so large there is no way to finish the serving.

For finals, I wanted to do something they would remember. How was I going to beat the Moxie dinner? It can't be done. It was done too well to even think about competing. From the olive oil dish and bread to our entrees everything was exceptional. Oh well, I will take a shot and give them a taste of real Mediterranean food so we left and moved on to Anatolia, a Turkish restaurant on Lee road a few hundred yards north of the Cedar Lee theater.

A featured fish fillet called Vitrazoni imported from the Mediterranean Sea served with head off. It looks and tastes like its cousin Trout even though it is from another part of the world. It comes with rice and spinach making it a full meal. The fish peels off its skin easily and has great flavor. Two of us ordered the fish while someone else ordered the shrimp dish. We all tried the Turkish red and white wines. We also split a Shepard salad that was fresh and tasty.

It's so wonderful to have these terrific restaurants to back us up. As I mentioned in the first part of this story Cleveland has a terrific restaurant background comparing well with New York and Chicago on a smaller scale.

Enjoying a wonderful meal at 4 terrific places made our visitors very happy. Made for easy talk and more than enjoyable eating. I'm sure our guesst will be talking about Cleveland and the great time they had mentioning these 4 places I'm writing about.

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