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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.
The beer’s the thing at this hip-yet-homey Lakewood pub — more than two dozen choices on draft, including what owner Garin Wright calls “breakouts, hot stuff, and things you’ve never seen before in your life.” Still, the food is keeping up , with a satisfying assortment of burgers (including some meat-free variations) as well as salads, soups, and assorted noshes.
Chef, artist and musician Antonio Carafelli turns humble Tex-Mex and Latino standards into flavorful masterpieces in this little Lakewood storefront.
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.
We’ve all been there: too tired to cook and too apathetic to pull on anything fancier than jeans. On such nights, this homey little eastern European spot is just the ticket, with its comforting, inexpensive food and staff of maternal servers.
This colorful Mexican restaurant offers a large menu of well-prepared standards like burritos and enchiladas, and a few traditional dishes like shrimp in garlic and chicken in mole.
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.
Since 1948, this casual diner has been a part of West-Side life: so long, most residents can't recall a time when it wasn't dishing up burgers, onion rings, and milkshakes. A recent closure gave management the time to renovate the entire space, resulting in a fresh, vintage-tinged design that neatly fits with the retro menu. Here, thin, diner-style burgers, crisp onion rings, and thick milkshakes rule the roost. Fried clam fans will find some of the best in town.
With a decidedly California feel, this attractive wine bar boasts a barrel-vaulted ceiling, floor-to-ceiling windows and low-slung tables and couches. An appealing roster of small and not-so-small plates goes well beyond the ubiquitous cheese board. Come for the food, stay for the Enomatic, a self-serve dispenser that marries smart-card technology with sweet, sweet wine.
This pretty hacienda would look more at home on a Mexican hillside than on busy Lorain Road, but the big menu of housemade south-of-the-border fare will be familiar to most Northeast Ohioans. Among the notables, spicy serrano-spiked salsa is a standout, and quivering homemade flan, with a dulce de leche caress, is a delight.
Indian-food fans looking for some new tastes should check out this Kashmir Palace replacement. Spruced up in more ways than one, this comfortable restaurant features authentic Indian food that doesn’t appear on other menus in town. Made from scratch by a talented chef, even familiar items like butter chicken and lamb madras sing with spice and flavor.
The pool room has been turned into a music room, with both local and touring indie bands of all stripes. But the two-level ’60s-style lanes with hand pinsetting are still intact.
Candles and white lights make every evening at the Merry Arts a little like Christmas in Killarney, minus the whole "Silent Night" thing.
Local pancake wranglers Jane and Mike Frazin head west with this, their second OPH location, where the expansive menu features flapjacks, waffles, crepes, French toast, eggs, and savory, thick-sliced bacon. Our pick? The Apple Pancake, a golden zeppelin of oven-baked goodness, stuffed with Granny Smith apples and glazed in cinnamon. Good coffee, too, from local Crooked River Coffee Company.
Known more for its ribs than its rock, Pacers features DJs on the weekends. A mammoth TV and lots of booths make it a good place to watch sports.
This dim watering hole is the quintessential neighborhood bar, but with one important twist: The homemade grub is several cuts above the competition. Especially noteworthy are the boffo burgers — freshly ground, hand-formed giants, done to order and served with style — and the plump pierogies, smothered with grilled onions and sour cream. Full bar, live music on weekends.
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.
A venerable Lakewood tavern, complete with tin ceiling, wooden floors, and a well-worn bar, this neighborhood watering hole serves up booze, music, and more than a few made-from-scratch items — including burgers, pot roast, and the popular black-bean soup — during lunch, dinner, and weekend brunches.
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.
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