A Pig’s Feast at “Lola” by Michael Symon

How about a meal entirely of Pork?  Yes, heaven does exist right in the heart of Cleveland, OH.  Michael Symon’s restaurant Lola is the crown jewel of Cleveland’s vibrant culinary scene. The Iron Chef’s inventive and creative menu offers a modern spin on classic favorites, while always showcasing the best of what local purveyors are producing just miles away.  I was recently on a road trip from Chicago to D. C. and purposely routed my journey through Cleveland in order to dine here at Lola.  Let me tell you, it was worth it!

(P.S. If you are a fan of Chef Symon, check out my recent interview with him for Better Recipes!  Lots of great pork recipes from him as well.)


I took one look at the menu and knew what had to be done.  Appetizer, main dish and dessert…all made with pork!


I started off with the Pig Ear Salad with orange, olive, feta, and roasted garlic.  This was my first time trying pig ear, and I have to say, it was outstanding!  It was crunchy and flavorful, and tasted like a nice, hearty bacon.  A perfect contrast to the bright salad underneath.  It left me wondering why we all don’t eat pig ears more often!


For my main course, I had to order the Smoked Berkshire Pork Chop with chilies, cheesy polenta, and BBQ onions.  Just look at that photo….have you ever seen a more beautiful pork chop?  The pork was cooked to perfection and was so juicy and tender it practically melted in my mouth.  It paired perfectly with the creamy, cheesy polenta and I practically licked my plate to get every drop of the BBQ sauce.


Upon browsing the dessert menu, my eyes immediately found the “6 A.M. Special.”  Featuring brioche French toast, caramelized apple, and maple-bacon ice cream.  I was sold – pork for dessert!  Honestly, this dessert makes you wonder why you don’t always put bacon in your ice cream.  The sweet ice cream and maple syrup pair perfectly with the salty bacon.  I loved the title and the fact it was served in a small breakfast skillet.  The perfect way to top off my Iron Chef pork-fest!


I also came home with a great souvenir!  You have to check out Chef Symon’s t-shirt collection online.  You just might see this pork-loving hot pink tee show up in my photos and videos in the coming months.  Real women eat pork and stylish women wear pork!

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