We've never been shy about describing the Cleveland Flea as part treasure hunt, part maker center, part culinary adventure. Let's just say, organizing the food portion of our events is sort of dreamy. We don't actually get to take a bite of each dream, but we try.
This month, we're dreaming about backyard BBQs on sunny summer days. Here's some inspiration for building your own handheld picnic at the Flea.
The life-changing hot dog
Wolf Boy Provisions (BOOTH 13) debuted at the April 2015 Flea with Chef Matt Baber's inventive, yet familiar takes on hot dogs, bacon and sausages. They're hand-made with local ingredients, sustainable practices and nothing else. And let's just say they're hitting the spot.
The meaty booth was sampling out pigs-in-blankets in April when a voice rose from the crowd. "This hot dog just changed my life!" a sampler shouted. Talk about a good review!
We think it's in your best interest to stop by BOOTH 13 at June Flea to give your own review. (And if you were that guy, stop by the booth because we think you have a spokes-job in your future.)
Bite into backyard BBQ
OK, let's be honest. It's probably better than what's coming out of your backyard. Unless, of course, you're Shane Vidovic and Ted Dupaski, the guys behind The Proper Pig Smokehouse's Texas-style meats.
The Proper Pig (SPOT 142) slow-smokes its meats with the patience, skill and spice most of us can't master (even if you have a great smoker). You'll find the pulled pork sandwich tender, smoky and flavorful with just the right amount of kick in the sauce.
And, umm, bacon on a stick? We knew someone would figure out how to take bacon to the next level. Find these smoky, porky bites in SPOT 142 on The Proper Pig food truck.
Ice cream to order
Building sundaes right before your eyes has been a soda-shop usual since the days of Donna Reed. But making ice cream, to-order and on the spot? We haven't really seen that happen (right before our eyes!) anyplace other than Piccadilly Artisan Yogurt (BOOTH 15). They mix your pick of fresh, local, organic — even vegan — ingredients and instantly chill your treat with liquid nitrogen.
If you didn't catch our spot on Kickin' It With Kenny on Friday morning, here's a glimpse at what your custom-crafted Piccadilly frozen awesome looks like.
There's a sparkle in your sweet tea
What's a BBQ without sweet tea? Well, the Bearded Buch (that's "booch" to you) gives it a little twist. Kombucha is sweet tea fermented with culture.
Bearded Buch (BOOTH 22) owners Daniell and Aaron Powell start with subtly flavored organic teas and use traditional fermentation to create a living, probiotic-rich drink that's naturally effervescent. While it's not a cure-all potion, kombucha does have a way of bringing your body into balance to help heal itself. And on these hot, summer days, we can't think of a better cure than a quenching swig of flavorful buch.