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Great Diners And Romanian Cuisine 

It may not inspire confidence to walk into a sparsely populated and ostensibly scantily stocked sushi bar like Aoeshi Café (2175 Lee Rd., 216.321.3700). But based on the store's pedigree, I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Aoeshi, as you might recall, was a very fine sushi restaurant in North Olmsted. That location is now Ohashi (24539 Lorain Rd., 440.716.0988). Aoeshi, which is located in a small space that was briefly occupied by Starbucks, offers a full menu of nigiri-style and rolled sushi, Japanese entrées and fish-based salads. Apparently hedging its bets, the shop also sells American-style wraps, filled with chicken, Philly steak and turkey. I enjoyed a bento box with three kinds of salad (iceberg with sesame dressing, seaweed and octopus), miso soup, crisp gyoza, tempura vegetables and a yellowtail roll, all for $10.

 A good diner is hard to find. That's why on weekend mornings, Washington Street Diner (8233 E. Washington St., 440.543.0436) is one of the busiest places in Bainbridge. A line begins forming out the door around 10:30 a.m., and it doesn't seem to let up for hours. Breakfast is served all day (weekends: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; weekdays: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and features the usual egg and batter suspects, plus killer corned beef hash, overstuffed omelets and a well-stacked breakfast sandwich. Those who prefer lunchtime items (also available all day) can choose from a selection of fresh salads, wraps, pitas, melts and Black Angus burgers. The diner was recently purchased by Dan Fromson, who is enthusiastically improving all aspects of the business.

What most folks know about Romanian cuisine could likely fit on a matchbook. With its third annual summer festival, St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Cathedral (3256 Warren Rd., 216.941.5550) hopes to change that. "Perhaps Romanian cuisine is not as well known as Greek cooking, but I'm sure those attending will be very pleased with the variety and taste of the native Romanian dishes," says Jean Dobrea, the cathedral's director of catering and food. Held August 15-17 on the church grounds in West Park, the festival will offer a host of delectable-sounding treats. Mamaliga is a polenta-like ingredient, used to make cornmeal and cheese soufflés. Grilled mititei are a type of burger, often jazzed up with fragrant spices. There will also be sausage, Romanian-style grilled chicken, stuffed cabbage and homemade pastries. Duck into the Romanian Wine Garden to sample that country's beer and wine.

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