The dust has settled and it has been a week since Ohio’s favorite son announced his decision to leave the blue collar confines of Northeast Ohio for the no collar comforts of Southern California. How does this make you feel? Have you breezed through the seven stages of grief or are you stuck in denial? I decided to go to Meister’s Bar, a Grandview Heights haunt for Cleveland sports fans, to get the pulse of Cavalier’s Nation and for some of the best deep dish in town.
Located at 1168 Chambers Road, west of Kenny and east of Northwest, Meister’s is a tucked away gem that offers comfort (and comfort food) to the weariest among us: the Cleveland sports fans. If you know this poor soul, take them to Meister’s to either drink away their sorrows with different nightly drink specials, or to eat away their worries with delicious deep dish.
On my recent visit, I ordered a deep dish pepperoni – no need to reinvent the wheel, just a need to eat it. Costing only $20 and only available at 16 inch size, this dish is baked in stages and properly took 45 minutes to arrive, which is completely acceptable and worth the wait. Perfection takes time and if you are expecting a Donato’s 15 minute wait, order another drink and chill – you probably need it.
As you can tell from the above photo, the sauce is on top of the pepperoni and the pepperoni is on top of the cheese, which provides a smooth and subdued texture that perfectly complements the sweeter sauce, gooey cheese and spicy pepperoni.
If deep dish isn’t your thing, Meister’s offers a thinner crust pizza as well as assorted appetizers, salads and subs to accompany their fully stocked bar. This is, after all, a bar for Cleveland sports fans, so spirits are needed.
On a mild summer afternoon, I encountered both hot and cool takes on LeBron and his latest decision. Here are the highlights:
“Of course I’m sad to see him go, but will always have fun memories. When I’m old and my kids are grown, I can annoy them with tales about how one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen played on my team and how I was able to witness incredible performances that defied comprehension”.
-Jack, Forest Park, 39
“The Warriors Super Team has destroyed the NBA. LeBron does not matter.”
-Julio, Olentangy Commons, 22
“I respect his decision. Dan Gilbert (Cavaliers Owner) gave LeBron no options. The entertainment factor also matters. Good for LeBron. Thanks for the championship”.
-Pete, German Village, 28
“My feelings are mixed between upset and not pissed. The Lakers’ roster isn’t any better than the Cavs’ roster, so why not stay? I blame Dan Gilbert. Go Tribe!”
-Brian, Columbus, 37
“I’m happy for LeBron. He did what Cleveland wanted, so I am happy and he can do what he likes with his career. MOST of his fans know he is a good guy who does good deeds, so I think they respect him and are happy for him. Regardless of what happens next, he will be known for playing in Cleveland.”
-Jessica, West Gate, 37
“It’s obviously sad to see him leave, but he delivered on his championship promise, so it is hard to be upset. His accomplishments will be remembered in Cleveland forever and I wish him success in Los Angeles. Hopefully we can draft his son in 4 years.”
-Erik, Lewis Center, 34
“LeBron came, saw and conquered. To continue his legacy, LeBron had no choice but to leave. Cleveland couldn’t create the team LeBron needed to win championships. I’m wine and gold, but I may secretly wear a purple and gold #23 jersey in the hopes that Los Angeles dethrones Golden State. You are welcome home anytime, LeBron.”
-Lindsay, Lewis Center, 35
“I’m sad to see LeBron leave again. When I saw the news, I wasn’t mad, more so disappointed. The road to the finals will be tougher in the west. I felt like with Cleveland he still had a chance.”
-Brien, Westgate, 33
All in all, I found the crowd to be more forgiving than not, and it is hard to be anything else considering all of the good LeBron has done for the good people of Northeast Ohio. How many schools are YOU opening next year?
As for my thoughts? I think LeBron will never NOT be competitive, but leaving for Los Angeles is the beginning of his transition from sports icon to entertainment icon. His role in 2015’s Train Wreck was well received, Space Jam 2 (featuring James) will be in theaters in 2019 and his production company will soon start begin filming a remake of the 1990 classic House Party.
To keep this perspective in entertainment terms, the prologue has ended and the epilogue has begun. If this was a television show, it would be the Breaking Bad episode where Walt gets in the van, The Americans moment when Paige walks off of the train or the Mad Men meeting when Don leaves McCann-Erikson for California.
What happens next is inconsequential because the exciting part of the story is over.