November 15, 2013

A Little Midwest Competition

Have you met Margaret?  (say that like Barney Stinson)  She lives in Cleveland, Ohio (which is the home of Ted Mosby - OK enough How I Met Your Mother references.)

During our cross country move, we passed through Cleveland and I was intrigued.  I've never heard too much about this fellow Midwest city and we all know how much I love the Twin Cities, so we decided to get together today and do a little comparison between the two.

OH:  Cleveland has definitely become a foodie town.  Thanks in large part to Iron Chef Michael Symon and a huge number of other amazing chefs in our city - the restaurant scene is booming.  We have insanely fantastic gourmet restaurants right next door to amazing burger joints.  And we have Melt… which is ALL GRILLED CHEESE.  Yep.  Pretty amazing.  My favorite?  A sandwich with cream cheese and jalapeƱos, all battered and deep fried like a jalapeƱo popper.  They also have a sandwich with pirogues on it; another with lasagna; a third with cheese sticks and meatballs.  I think you get it.  Awesome.

We love our microbrews! Great Lakes Brewing Company (and their famous Christmas Ale...even though I don’t really like it), Market Garden Brewery, and Nano Brew- all of which are on the same stretch of road; makes beer sampling in the area pretty awesome. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All across the state (even in my tiny hometown), there are microbrews popping up. Most of my absolute favorite beers are from small Ohio breweries.

MN:  Being a vegetarian, I can only take someone else's word for it, but we are the home of the Juicy Lucy.  Think Hamburger with a whole bunch of cheese and other goodies stuff inside the burger.  Take one bite and your face is covered in oozy goodness.  The MN State Fair offers a wide variety of crazy fried foods - thank goodness it's only 12 days a year or we would all be seriously unhealthy.  So many good restaurants in the Twin Cities with such good variety, it's hard to try everything.

Local beers are pretty fantastic - Surly, Summit, Premium, Fulton… just to name a few.  There is nothing better than an ice cold beer that was made just down the street.  Two Gingers Whiskey was also born and raised in the Twin Cities.

OH:  Cleveland is a hidden gem when it comes to tourist destinations.  Most people don't think of Cleveland as an overly exciting place to visit, but we have lots to offer.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is an amazing museum highlighting the greats of the music industry.  Playhouse Square is our theater district and is the second largest theater complex in the country (only behind NYC.)  University Circle includes the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum, the Botanical Gardens, Western Revere Historical Society, etc Basically, a bunch of super awesome museums, a few of which are free/cheap.  The Westside Market is a huge indoor/outdoor market with anything you would ever want - fruits and veggies, meat and seafood, cheese and bread, spices and hot sauces.  It's huge and totally awesome.

MN:  Lakes, lakes, lakes (and the Mississippi).  The landscape is the best part.  Many people come to town to go to the Mall of America, but personally, it's my least favorite part.  Sure, the indoor roller coaster is fun in the winter, but it's busy and HUGE and there are way more fun things to do.  

OH:  Ohio, in general, is blessed to have multiple professional sports teams - 3 in Cleveland, 2 in Cincinnati (Reds & Bengals) and 1 in Columbus (Bluejackets.) Clevelanders love their sports teams more than is probably healthy.  Because they tend to lose…a lot.  Especially the Browns.  So just know that we always say, "there's always next year."  We drink a lot on game days (see: they lose a lot.)  And if you mention Lebron in our city, you will get things thrown at you.  And the Buckeyes?  Doesn't matter if you went to Ohio State or not… the majority of the state are OSU fans.  If you tell, O-H anywhere in the state, someone will reply with I-O.  And Michigan?  We all hate that state.

MN:  We may not have great teams, but we have great athletes.  Adrian Peterson is Mr. Fantasy Football (and my favorite player.)  There is always some sort of soap opera with the Vikings (3 quarterbacks, Brett Favre, Sex Boats).  We have hometown hero, Joe Mauer, playing for the MN Twins and Target Field is an awesome place to see a baseball game.  Ricky Rubio & Kevin Love are the most loved Timberwolves.  Our MN Lynx (women's basketball) are the champions in our state.

Oh yeah, there is also the MN Wild and the MN Gophers, but I went to University of MN - Duluth, so I'm a Bulldog and I don't care about the Wild… sorry, I'm still bitter that the North Stars left.

OH:  We love our city; we love to show off our city. As long as you don’t speak poorly of Cleveland, a Clevelander will embrace you and be happy to have you. I love being out of state (or country) and finding out someone is from Ohio. There is an instant connection, normally over sports teams or what college you went to (I absolutely love that there are Bobcat’s everywhere). Ohioans truly care about the people they meet. Yes, they actually want to know where you’re from, what you do for a living, what your parents do for a living, where you went to college, how you met your significant other, etc… Overly chatty? Maybe. But all done with the best intentions.

MN:  Have you heard the phrase Minnesota Nice?  It's real folks.  Everyone smiles and waves.  Everyone loves everyone (except maybe Packer fans.)  There is an amazing sense of community.  I love it.

What do you think?  Have you ever been to Ohio?  I think I want to go back and spend a little more time there.  I think these two places have more in common than I thought.  Microbrews, awesome sports teams and great people.

Go get to know Margaret a little bit better.  Start with this post and then read this post which is when I realized how much we have in common.  You can find her on FacebookTwitter and Bloglovin.  Go tell her Hi.


  1. I love Margaret, even though she's a Browns fan. ;)

    Living in Columbus, I can tell you that transplanted Clevelanders here freak OUT when the Great Lakes Christmas Ale comes out.

    Also, Melt is opening in Columbus TODAY! And I can walk to it. I'm very excited.

    Steph, I hope you get back to Ohio someday!

  2. This is adorable! I love the vs. idea, it's cool to see the best of each state from the people who love it most.

  3. I love how this turned out!! It really is funny to see the commonalities between our states. You're welcome in Cleveland anytime and we'll drink lots of micro brews (and grilled cheese- they have a ton of vegetarian options!).

  4. Okay, I'm just going to have to visit both of y'all to get my fill of food, beer, and friends.

  5. I've only been to Ohio twice: Once to Miami U for a conference, and once to Columbus to visit Gwen!

  6. O-H!!!! :) This Ohio gal is stoked about this post- even if a Clevelander wrote it ;)

  7. As a born and bread Michigan lover (and homestate-er [?]) I just want you to know that I love you and I accept your enjoyment of Ohio...

    even if I think you're a tiny bit wrong :P

    (and just so we're clear, this is a joke. you're great. And Ohio is a state, so I'll give them that)


Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.