The old-country vibe starts the moment you log onto Sterle's website and get hit by a blast of bouncy accordion music. The menu itself could have been concocted by your Slovenian — or Polish or German or Italian — grandma. There's wienerschnitzel, sauerkraut, strudel, veal scallopini, pork chops, chicken parmigiana — not a single bite of trendy bistro food. Prices are low, family-style meals are the specialty, and it's clear that no cutting-edge designer had anything to do with the huge dining room's country-lodge ambiance. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can bring Grandma to hear all her favorite polka tunes played live by top Cleveland musicians, with dancing to work off that big meal (Sterle's is unfamiliar with the "small plate" concept). The food scene in Cleveland has changed a lot in the 50 years since Sterle's opened, but a meal here will take you right back to 1960, long before anyone heard of "global fusion" cuisine or knew what a "bistro" was.
1401 East 55th St., 216-881-4181, sterlescountryhouse.com