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Like the South's great roadside BBQ stands, this little eatery is tucked into a Plain-Jane building with minimal charm. Fortunately, the tender, slow-smoked meats -- ribs, brisket, pork tenderloin, chicken,turkey,and sausage -- more than make up for it. Add tang with one of a half-dozen house-made sauces representing various regional styles. Carry out or dine in.
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.
You've gotta love Romeo's pizzas, award-winning numbers made from mountains of savory toppings slathered in tangy sauce and loaded onto thick but remarkably tender crusts — and so delicious that they've taken pizza-meister Sean Brauser all the way to the World Pizza Championships in Italy. Romeo's menu also offers calzones, stromboli, salads, and sandwiches; except for one small table, it's carryout only at this bustling little spot.
Cozy and retro, this former workingman’s watering hole serves up food, booze, and a bowling machine along with the live music. You’ll find locals laying down everything from lounge and jazz to folk and bluegrass.
Following in the ultra-successful footsteps of Anatolia Cafe, Northeast Ohio’s first Turkish restaurant, Dervish introduces the Middle Eastern cuisine to far West Siders. Despite an exotic-sounding pedigree, the cuisine is remarkably approachable, largely healthful, and ideally suited to our meat-and-potatoes sensibilities. There are vegetarian spreads, flavorful grilled meat kebabs, and simply prepared seafood items. Comfort foods like stuffed peppers and Turkish pizza transcend cultural borders.
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.
This splashy pan-Asian bistro saves West Siders the hassle of heading to AsiaTown for their stir-fry fix. Granted, the dishes lack the authenticity and complexity of the real McCoy, but that's the price we pay for convenience. The sweeping menu touches on the cuisines of Thailand, China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan. In addition to sushi and sashimi, there are Thai salads, Chinese staples, Vietnamese noodle soups and Korean barbecue. Beer, wine, sake and cocktails available. Large patio with alfresco bar.
What this jewel box of a bistro lacks in size, it more than makes up for in style, thanks to an umami-filled contemporary Asian menu. There are nods to Chinese, Thai and Japanese cuisine, with stellar ingredients buoyed by complementary flavors and spices. Sushi and seafood shine, as do heartier meats like pork belly and duck. Vegetarians can even dine well on crispy tofu and pad Thai.
A laid-back vibe, a killer bar, and an ambitious kitchen cooking up everything from burgers to braised lamb make this friendly East Side gastropub a worthwhile find.
Touch’s DJs spin the freshest cuts in town. They’ll also play stuff you’ve heard, but the DJs here pride themselves on the funk, soul, indie rock, and dance remixes that never hit the Top 40.
This mellow East Fourth St. bar packs no shortage of different styles on its stage — everything from reggae and blues to jazz and R&B. On weekends, DJs take over for the late shift.
The dining room at this posh twin-condo complex has been the site of numerous short-lived restaurants. But if any endeavor has reason to survive it is Americano, an impressive Euro-American bistro. An ambitious kitchen crafts its own charcuterie, pickles, condiments and breads. The at-times-brilliant bistro fare straddles the line between classic French and seasonal American, with prices thankfully in line with the latter. Enjoy mussels, crab cakes, steak frites, beef Bourguignon and seared scallops. Full bar and wine list.
Stampede over to Harry Buffalo when you need a fix of low-fat bison steaks, ribs, or burgers: This homegrown chain, with six area locations, is the largest purchaser of buffalo meat in Ohio. Besides bison, the large menu includes beef, salads, pastas, and chicken. The video games and a big list of imported, domestic, and microbrewed beers are just what urban cowboys need after a long week on the trail.
While real pubs are woven into the fabric of a neighborhood, you’ll find Claddagh (part of a national chain) adrift in the middle of a parking lot, surrounded by a shopping mecca. Once you're inside, though, evocative decor, friendly service and a multipage menu of well-prepared dishes, including a standout version of fish ’n’ chips, help soften the blow. Nor does it hurt that the full bar carries a solid selection of draft beers as well as every Irish whiskey available in the U.S.
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.
Part of a small Michigan chain, this little soup, salad, and sandwich shop offers good-tasting fare at reasonable prices. A dozen soups du jour provide plenty of variety, and while none of them are made onsite (they come fresh from a central commissary), the result is still brimming with homey comfort. Dine in, carry out, or order online.
Smartly designed and beautifully appointed, this suburban winery and wine bar features a friendly vibe, a crackling fire, live music, and acres of fabulous gardens. To drink, find an assortment of craft-brewed beer and ThornCreek’s own wines; to eat, the simple but well-assembled fare includes ample cheese plates, savory olive samplers, focaccia pizzas, and indulgent desserts.
Colorful, comfy, and family friendly, this neighborhood cafe is known for its homey breakfasts and Sunday brunch, as well as its afternoon lineup of soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Free wi-fi access and a cozy lounge area make it a good choice for catching up on e-mail while sipping a cup of freshly brewed joe.
Aladdin's serves reliable, health-conscious foods like freshly squeezed juices, vegetarian chili, and an assortment of pita and roll-up sandwiches. For dessert, some diners can't get enough of the crunchy, honey-soaked walnut baklava, which is some of the best around.
Besides offering the usual takeout options, this storefront pizza palace supplies the eats for Hotz Café, next door’s vintage tavern, thereby solving the problem of how to entertain your buds when the apartment’s a mess and the beer is all gone. For a touch of class, a buttery half-head of roasted garlic sits in the center of all the thick-crusted specialty pizzas. Ribs, chicken and salads are available too, along with bar noshes like fried pickles and wings.
Globetrotter, baker, and neighborhood booster, Niki Gillota offers a tempting array of edibles, including soups, sandwiches, and freshly made muffins, scones and pastries. Oven-baked chili is a mild-mannered crowd-pleaser, and rich lattes — like the cinnamon-scented “Mexico City” — have earned a following.
Like a modern-day roadhouse, noisy, energetic Russo's features a wildly eclectic repertoire of Cajun, Italian, Asian and southwestern-influenced dishes. To really feel part of the action, grab a seat at the bar surrounding the open kitchen, and watch the culinary magic unfold.
Some of the city's top players belt out a soundtrack of classic blues and R&B from their perch tucked away in the corner of this neighborhood bar in one of Cleveland's hottest neighborhoods.
Only in Cleveland could you find a functional bowling alley that doubles as an upscale restaurant and martini-friendly bar.
This Irish bar in the heart of downtown features live music most weekends — primarily singer-songwriters and Irish acts. But it’s best known for having Guinness on tap and throwing one hell of a St. Paddy’s Day party.
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