In addition to offering hot dogs with dozens of toppings, the Dog slathers on the live music — with an emphasis on local indie-style bands, mixed with some cool out-of-town rockers you wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
Classic American-style diner food is the star at Big Egg. While most days, the hours are a reasonable 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., an around-the-clock schedule is observed on Fridays and Saturdays, making it the ideal spot for sobering up after last call at nearby bars and clubs.
The menu at chef Nate Williams' Ohio City sandwich shop is as crisp as an album's track list. Just eight giant sammies: no soups, no sides, no desserts. All the meats are marinated, brined, and roasted in-house, and the drippings from each are reserved for use as gravy. Most of the sandwiches are modeled after classic American varieties and can be had drenched in jus or topped with chips for crunch. Best of all, the shop stays open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Mainly carryout.
Commuters who missed the upscale breakfast-and-lunch options at Juniper Grille can take comfort in Carnegie Kitchen, which seems to have picked up where that diner left off. Chef-owner Jeff Uniatowski, formerly of Mise and House of Blue, crafts a value-driven menu with broad appeal. Contemporary versions of diner classics like steak and eggs, corned beef hash and bagels and lox give way to chopped salads, mile-high Reubens, and grilled-salmon sandwiches.
The main attraction at this downtown bar and grill is the 40 beers on tap always fresh, always rotating. To go with, pick the fresh, hand-formed burgers on a pretzel bun. The casual atmosphere includes plenty of TVs tuned to sports, making it just right for a Gateway-district beer break.
Quickly becoming downtowners' favorite lunch stop, Josh Kabat's casual sandwich shop features almost a dozen meaty, Cleveland-themed creations. The Terminal, for example, combines Black Forest ham, brie, mustard and apricot jam in a soft 8-inch sub bun. Dining is mainly carryout, but a few tables accommodate those who can't wait to dig in.
This sleekly outfitted restaurant and bar has a view like no other, overlooking the promenades of the elaborate, historic, and exquisitely restored Arcade. The glam setting, in combination with well-prepared breakfast and lunch fare, makes it a fine choice for travelers and downtown workers alike.
Settled inside the Golden Plaza, this modest bistro offers a full lineup of Korean specialties, including a version of bibimbap that is out of this world.
A friendly downtown gathering place for after-work drinks, Leader also serves salads, sandwiches, and appetizers during lunch and dinner.
Maha's specializes in Mediterranean foods, especially falafal wraps. They've got burgers and BLTs, but the menu is also loaded with middle-eastern favorites like kibbie, hummus and mujadara.
When it comes to freshly made Middle Eastern foods, Nate's is great. Especially beloved for its thick, smooth hummus with a texture like whipped butter, Nate's also makes smoky baba ghannouj, crisp fried kibbeh, and tender, plump meat or spinach pies. If your tastes run to more traditional deli fare, try a king-sized corned-beef or pastrami sandwich. Service is casual and friendly, and the place has the feel of a neighborhood cornerstone.
Slyman's claims it's the home of Cleveland's biggest and best corned-beef sandwich, and so far no one has come forth to challenge them convincingly for the title. The three-inch-thick corned-beef sandwich weighs in at a walloping 12 ounces, and a Reuben tips the scales at almost one pound. Thanks to that lean, tender, thin-sliced meat, both sandwiches are champs.
A welcome alternative to fast-food lunches, this funky downtown noodle house and juice bar combines fresh flavors and speedy counter service with a casual college-town vibe, for a dining "experience" as unique as it is inexpensive. That's probably why the lines are sometimes out the door. Go, and feel good.
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