If you've ever doubted that toasty, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches are the universal comfort food, just check out this boisterous Lakewood bar, where the kitchen turns out more than two dozen scrumptious variations on the theme, and the clientele ranges from smiling grannies to pierced, inked, and also smiling local rockers. Impressive beer selection.
This aromatic eatery offers authentic Cambodian and Vietnamese dishes, flavored with ingredients like fresh Asian basil, lemongrass, and coconut milk. Much of the menu is devoted to noodles, including an assortment of pad Thai. Cash only. Carryout only.
Diners at this locally based, quick-casual chain inside Great Northern Mall can design their salads from a near-endless selection of greens, toppings and dressings, which are then chopped by a mezzaluna-wielding staffer on a wooden block. More than a novelty, the chopping means that every bite offers the perfect blend of greens, toppings and dressing. Creations also can be folded into a large flour tortilla.
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sun-Thurs, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fri-Sat
Lakewood’s last call before you hit Rocky River, Around the Corner boasts multiple rooms and patios filled with burger munchers, karaoke hounds, and music fans taking in danceable local rock, blues bands, and DJs.
From the elegant crowd to the complementary gourmet pizza served on the hour during happy hour, Players is top-shelf, all the way.
Now under the ownership of first-class culinarian Manny Nieves, this Rocky River anchor is part wine shop, part gourmet market, and part deli, featuring everything from Saturday-morning coffee and pastries to weeknight carryout dinners. At lunch, a tasty variety of freshly made sandwiches star, including the signature 2X BLT, featuring a double dose of double thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon from fine-meats purveyor Blue Ribbon.
Aladdins serves a variety of simply prepared, Middle Eastern-inspired foods, including homemade soups, salads, pita wraps, steamed veggie plates, and pita pizzas. Choices for vegetarians abound, and freshly squeezed juices, fruit smoothies, and a small selection of beers and wines are available.
Built largely from local, sustainable, and organic ingredients, the vegetarian menu at this coffeehouse is wholesome if not terribly thrilling. Fresh salads, house-made soups, straightforward veggie sandwiches, pizzas, and calzones fill the concise menu. Superbly brewed Phoenix coffee pairs beautifully with Root's house-baked vegan and vegetarian pastries.
This warm sports bar hosts live rock and blues when major games aren't commanding attention.
Comfy, cozy, and casual enough to take the kids, this tidy taqueria offers a large menu of freshly prepped Mexican and Tex-Mex standards, ranging from flautas, burritos, and homemade tamales to cheesecake and fried ice cream. Special menus for kids and non-carnivores make it a particularly appealing family destination.
Soft seating, candlelight, and knowledgeable staffers fill this suburban wine bar with easy elegance. The reasonably priced wine list contains more than 400 selections, mostly from small boutique wineries, and a modest tapas menu includes cheeses, smoked salmon, and more. Afterward, stop in at the attached wine shop and take home some new favorites.
Former Browns player Al Bubba Baker has discovered life beyond the gridiron and its dry-rubbed, slow-smoked, and slathered with homemade BBQ sauce. While Bubbas St. Louis-style ribs are meaty monsters, his boneless baby-back rib steak is one for the record books, deboned by a secret process and tender enough to cut with a fork.
The fragrance and flavor of Tay Do's authentic Vietnamese cuisine full of ginger, lime, cilantro, and mint is enough to transport diners from the bare-bones dining room into a full-blown floral fantasy. Favorites include ephemeral Vietnamese crepes, strong French coffee with condensed milk, and some of the best tofu dishes in town. Small beer list try the Tsing Tao.
The prototype for what owners hope will become a national chain, this cheerful quick-serve burger joint offers dribble-down-your-chin double-cheeseburgers, freshly cut fries and a small assortment of sandwiches and freshly made soups.
This little gem of an ice-cream parlor and candy store couldn't be sweeter. Done up in cotton-candy colors, with an Alice in Wonderland tea-party theme, Malley's makes jumbo sundaes, ice cream sodas, milkshakes, parfaits, and special treats like strawberry shortcakes with generous scoops of ice cream, real whipped cream, and homemade sauces. Long hours ensure you can always get your daily ice-cream fix.
While most of his Lakewood neighbors aim high or low, Jim Sprenger steers for the middle, serving good-quality grub at rational prices in a comfortable setting. Family-friendly comfort food like chicken paprikash, fish and chips, and amazing grass-fed-beef burgers share the menu with creative sandwiches and bacon-and-cheese-topped fries. Toss in quality craft brews and attentive service, and you are indeed eatin' good in the neighborhood.
Noisy, friendly, and relaxed, the Lizard is one of Gateway's sure bets for juicy burgers, imaginative sandwiches, and overflowing salad bowls. The huge international beer list doesn't hurt either.
Market partners John Owen and Dave Rudiger have transformed a former municipal impound lot into an upscale sports bar. To go with the 100 beers and the requisite banks of flat screens, Market offers shareable starters, big salads, great sandwiches, and plenty of steaks, pastas, and seafood. A heated patio extends outdoor dining well into fall.
If youthful and edgy are what it takes to toss your trenne, this snug little restaurant at the far end of a Parma strip plaza may not be your kind of place. But if good-tasting Italian fare, brought forth in large portions at reasonable prices, is what makes your Alfredo creamy, look no further than the dimly lit Corleones.
If you like a little sizzle with your steak, head over to this unpretentious West Sider, where you can watch in atavistic wonder as your steak sears, tableside, on a 750-degree slab of volcanic stone. Gimmicks aside, the result is a top-quality piece of meat, full of juicy savor. Alternatively, enjoy a selection of Greek and Mediterranean classics, like saganaki and braised lamb shanks; on Sundays, the brunch buffet is a popular bargain.
Chef, artist and musician Antonio Carafelli turns humble Tex-Mex and Latino standards into flavorful masterpieces in this little Lakewood storefront.
Madagascar vanilla, Holland cocoa, and berries from the great Northwest all find their way into brothers Mike and Pete Mitchell's stupendous homemade ice cream. Besides scoops of candy-crammed Double-Chocolate Chunk and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, the colorful and contemporary year-round ice-cream parlor serves big specialty sundaes, malts, shakes, and fat-free fresh fruit smoothies.
This smart seafood restaurant has built an enviable rep on its concise menu of straightforward dishes. These days, that includes Asian-themed items like tiger shrimp yakitori, pulled-pork-filled steamed buns, and ramen noodle bowls with braised pork belly. Come Mardi Gras season, Salmon Dave's is one of the best places to be. Full bar, extensive wine list.
An outpost of the Northfield Center original, this Polish soul kitchen serves big portions of well-prepared standards like cabbage rolls, fresh kielbasa, and roast pork. Don't let the paper placemats and counter service fool you: The hearty food is a tasty bargain. And certainly don't miss the jumbo pierogi, our pick for some of the best around.
"Delicate," "precise," and "beautifully balanced" are just a few of the terms that spring to mind when we recall the preparations at this little gem of an Italian restaurant. While nearly every dish is as close to perfection as any kitchen is likely to come, the ephemeral gnocchi, the fork-tender veal, and the homemade desserts are so exactly right, they nearly make us weep.
Part of a national chain that attempts to recreate the experience of a boisterous Italian wedding circa 1950, Buca di Beppo is crowded, noisy, and fun. The wall-posted menu includes gargantuan appetizers, salads, pizza, pasta, veal, and chicken dishes made for sharing. The food is good, even if it is overshadowed by sheer portion size.
Established in 1998 as a premier brewpub and restaurant, Rocky River Brewing Company was founded on creating world-class handcrafted beers, an award-winning menu, and a great dining experience. Over the past 10 years, Rocky River Brewing Company has won more than a dozen national and international medals for its beers and numerous Silver Spoon awards for its food.
Pie man Joe Schlott bakes his offerings fresh daily from all-natural ingredients, with locally grown fruits and pure-butter crusts. The result is 35 varieties of delicious seasonal pies, both sweet and savory. Pick one up at the store. Or order by phone for pick up the next day.
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