Rob Portman’s Guide to Properly Rocking Cleveland

Posted August 6, 2015 at 1:35pm

With the first GOP debate almost upon us, the eyes of the nation are turning to Cleveland — a destination Sen. Rob Portman insists is well worth exploring.  

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“It’s a great town. There’s so many beautiful areas now,” the Ohio Republican told HOH about the Rock and Roll Capital of the World.  

Lord knows if any of the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls will circulate anywhere other than the Quicken Loans Arena lobby — not a single one mentioned “sightseeing” when they shared their pre-debate rituals with IJ Review — before or after Thursday night’s Fox News Channel-moderated media circus.  

Per Portman, anyone who’s feeling adventurous ought to spend some time getting to know the city. The locales he recommended building into one’s agenda include: Ohio City , “a neighborhood where there’s a lot of bars and pubs and restaurants. One of my favorites is Great Lakes [Brewing Company] ,” he noted. (Prefer to stay clear-headed for the televised yakfest? There’s an ice cream social scheduled for 7 p.m. at Fairview Park), The Flats , Tremont and Little Italy .  

“Just really fun neighborhoods,” he advised.  

As for dining, Portman’s lone recommendation is one to really chew on.  

“EDWINS. It’s good American fare. Fine dining. And the people who serve you and the people who cook it are all ex-offenders,” he said, talking up a working restaurant (13101 Shaker Square) that doubles as a culinary academy for former prisoners striving to transition back into civilian life.  

100 SECOND CHANCES from StoryLens & Ice Lens Pictures on Vimeo .  

“You have a chance to actually be reintroduced, you know, to society with a solid job experience. They’re teaching you a craft, a skill that’s going to help you along the way,” hospitality student Kelvin Bailey says of the EDWINS experience in “100 Second Chances,” a four-minute peek into the unique training ground produced by StoryLens. “It’s a good rehabilitation tool.”  

“Really our goal is that they could go into any kitchen and be as qualified as anyone that just got out of culinary school,” EDWINS’ sous chef Gerry Grim told Team StoryLens about his instructional endgame.  

Just some food for thought, candidates.  

UPDATE:  

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, suggested visitors carve out time for West Side Market , a 103-year old public market that, according to Brown, “is still going strong!”