Wade Park Oval
Wade Park Wednesdays
11609 Corlett Ave
Cleveland, OH 44105
Bite: get ready to bend over and take it.
by Beau Cadiyo
We stepped over the yellow chain barrier and seized an empty table in the back corner of the beer garden, which gave the impression of being more adult than the surrounding area. It seemed like a small version of one of Gatsby’s early parties, with groups of people intricately connected to each other in ways we couldn’t know. Ed had just broken up with his girlfriend, so we talked about that as we ogled three girls in spring skirts, aloof and confident, at the next table over. Two people asked to sit with us, and then their three friends joined them. Like vultures, they hovered over us, waiting for us to leave, spreading themselves around the table. When Emily, Kyle, Laura and Mike arrived and agreed to hold our chairs, Ed and I got up to get food.
Ed’s text – and I quote – had promised “live music lots of sandwiches and Sarah Duffy.” It was 33% wrong. Only two “sandwiches” were available from the same stand: a $7 Turkey Croissant and a $6 Hamburger. Inexplicably Croissant-less, they offered bread instead. The sandwich came with chips and soda; Lou asked if he could trade the chips for a brownie, but was denied by the old woman; a brownie was an extra $1.25. The man under the tent, dreadlocks held back by a bandana, energetically put my sandwich and Lou’s hamburger in cardboard boats, made sure we got our small Snyder’s of Berlin chips, let us choose either cans of Strawberry/Cherry or Orange Cotton Club soda and asked for $13. In parting, he asked about the Cavs; I said that perhaps they should just bend over and take it.
Which is what we did. The sandwich had overwhelming tones of Giant Eagle Wheat Bread and mayonnaise, generously scooped from Ziploc Tupperware. The two slices of processed turkey and crunchy tomato were subtle complementary notes. The chips were thin slivers, heavily salted and oiled, with little flavor to speak of, and the soda tasted like Hi-C, heavily diluted with over-carbonated water.
However, most of the vultures had left, and we were firmly in control of the table. A pug ran over and wanted to play; little children were chastised for ripping up grass and throwing it in each others’ hair. The reggae band played for what must have been three hours. When I left, the scene had the “fade to black” quality of an old movie; people would always be drawn to East Egg and West Egg, but my directions were to move on.