This downtown Akron club books bands that never would have found the Rubber City a few years ago — say, Dinosaur Jr. and the Drive-By Truckers. Between the touring acts, original locals take the stage.
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.
Michoacan state eateries celebrate the simple pleasures of mole poblano, Swiss enchiladas with chicken and green sauce, and pork ribs with tomatillo sauce. The west side location is a classic taqueria (read: diner) serving a crowd that grew up eating the stuff.
Clever cuisine, playful decor, and intimate surroundings make this "modern Mexican" eatery like nothing else in town. Don't come around looking for refried beans and rice; luscious lamb "adobo" and avocado-leaf-crusted tuna are more Momocho's style. Factor in the fruit-infused margaritas, chilada-style beers, and the smart array of tequilas, and even the fiercest bandito would happily pull up a chair.
Every college campus needs a nearby spot like Mama Santa's, with its retro vibe, cheap wine, and stunningly inexpensive Italian eats. Thin, greaseless, crisp-crusted pizza is the specialty of the casa; when you and the gang can score a 15-incher for less than 10 bucks, who cares if there's a wait for a table?
Taking a page from the Big Apple playbook, this pretty little bakeshop is all about cupcakes, in dozens of flavors and garnished with a superlative buttercream frosting. Served on a cupcake-sized plate, a cup of tea on the side, they may well be the sweetest snack in town.
Part of a three-club complex (along with the staid Man's World in the back and leather-only Crossover in the basement), the woodsy Shed is home base for Cleveland's only gay country line-dance group. On Sundays, the evening starts with dance lessons for beginners.
This dim cantina hosts blues and rock bands during and after dinner. Mexican decor includes pottery and photos of Pancho Villa with his motorcycle.
Markko's is an estate winegrower of Chardonnay, Johannisberg Riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines demonstrate the character and potential of the Lake Erie region. The Gadding Vine newsletter covers wines and events. Markko's wines are sold at the winery and can be shipped via UPS.
Although it has the sleek brass, glass, and polished-wood look of a chain restaurant, this charming pub is locally owned and operated. The large menu goes well beyond colcannon and boxty to embrace quiche, gyros, and even burgers; no matter what you pick, the warm, custardy bread pudding makes a sweet ending. Irish brews on draft.
Sleek and handsome, this putatively Irish pub (younger sib to the Twinsburg original) offers an eclectic menu of lunch and dinner fare, ranging from boxty and Irish stew to quiche, gyros, and penne primavera. Despite a busy bar scene, speedy service and a no-smoking policy make this a family-friendly destination.
Located on the West Bank of the Flats, the expansive McCarthy's Dowtown is, as you might expect, very green. Danceable bands and DJs entertain during the weekends; during the week, plasma screens assume that duty.
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