Conquering Cleveland: Progressive Field

Heading to Cleveland, Ohio, was a quasi-spontaneous trip. It was either hiking in the Adirondacks or checking off another stadium. Since we kicked off opening weekend in New York and didn’t head out to any other stadium this year, hitting up Progressive Field toward the end of baseball season seemed fitting.

Aside a couple of worthwhile pit stops in past travels to Katey’s hometown, this was the longest stay we’ve had in C-Land. To be upfront: It’s a great city.

After a smooth five-hour car ride, checking into the Airbnb, and sampling grog from a few craft breweries, the two of us made it to stadium number seven — Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians. We Uber-ed over the beautiful Hope Memorial Bridge to the stadium, which feels like Atreyu’s quest to cross through the three gates.

It was a packed house we discovered. Our day-of tickets were for standing room only, which we were fine with. Although the Indians lost, we enjoyed the atmosphere and exploring the stadium.

Progressive, despite being named after the corporation, lives up to it’s name. There is a great balance between classic baseball stadium qualities and the modern. It’s not cold, nor are the fans; there were no issues with my wearing a Yankees cap.

This resonated throughout the day-long stay in Cleveland — everyone is really nice. More on that in the next update.

The home of the Indians is very friendly to local business — restaurants and breweries. Unlike Yankee Stadium and Camden Yards to name a couple, the restaurants aren’t overly repetitive. Prior to venturing around, we researched and zeroed-in on one food item by Throwing Smoke: “The Flamethrower.”

For $13.75, the huge sandwich features pork belly and pulled pork, green apple coleslaw, bacon jam, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos also comes with a bag of crispy Miss Vickie’s chips.

Needless to say, I finished the massive beast and all of its flavor. As I was taking a photo of the gent preparing the pork-focused staple, he really did lay on the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The Cheetos aren’t that hot in my opinion, but the crushed topping did add a lot to the overall flavor.

I was going to stop there. However, it wasn’t long after we saw Happy Dog. The nearby hotdog stand featured unique offerings, and the “Killer” Kilbane Dog caught my eye. The $9 New York-style beef dog made in Ohio (the gent preparing the food showed us the box) was a hearty piece of meat, enough to the point were I should say New Yorkers stadium foodies should take note.

The Killer Kilbane was one of the more basic offerings. It’s prepared with fresh chunky peanut butter, “alien” pickle relish, and Sriracha sauce. The abnormally bright green relish is surely an eye-catcher. To my surprise, the four distinct flavors of each ingredient played well together. I loved every bite.

Kudos also goes out to Pasta al Dante, who hooked Katey up with three meatballs (not shown), event though the option wasn’t on the menu (without some pasta being involved). They charged us $8.50 for three hearty meatballs, a better value than most small plates restaurants.

Although the Phillies came back to win, the post-game fireworks were enjoyable.

Lucky number seven checked off the list. Cheers to making progress at Progressive Field

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