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Need food reccomendations for a visit to Cleveland

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  • Scott K Aug 13, 2001 12:20 PM

Coming to Cleveland on business for two days. Not sure where we are staying in the city, but need some reccomendations for not too expensive places to eat. Please keep in mind that I am from NY City, so I would like to try things that I won't be able to find in New York or that Cleveland does better. I do know that we will be going to an Indians game, so if there is a place around there or in the stadium, do tell. Thanks.

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  1. Scott, I lived in Cleveland years ago so can't be of much help on current events. Heidi is a regular poster on Chowhound, but she may be taking a break or on vacation. She would be the person to trust. You might try a search (Chowhound or the Cleveland forum, if they have searchable archives)including Heidi + Cleveland.

    You might also 'lurk' on the forum sponsored by the Cleveland newspaper, The Plain Dealer. I'd say post a query, but it is frequented by a lot of pretty nasty folks. I will include the link below, but don't say I didn't warn you!

    Link: http://www.cleveland.com/forums/food/

    1 Reply
    1. re: gini

      heh, it reads a little like some of the alt.* groups on usenet five years ago...

    2. Hi Scott, hope I can help out a bit. If I knew your whereabouts I could more readily assist you. I will try to give you some suggestions that are uniquely Cleveland.

      At the Indians game stick to hotdogs and peanuts. Don't be seduced by the pizza and recently added sushi. Yuk. You must pay a visit to the West Side market (closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays -link provided below). Not all of the vendors are outstanding but many are including City Roast coffee for superior coffee. You can also meander and munch on offerings for takeout, like a great bratwurst sandwich. Next to the Market is Nate's Deli which is a combo of deli and Middle Eastern chow. Incredibly cheap and I always opt for the Mid-east selections.

      A couple of streets away is the Great lakes Brewing co. (www.greatlakes.com). The beers are superlative in their own right and also sport great Cleveland-linked monikers like the Burning River Pale Ale. I recently organized a tour of the brewery for our local Slowfood convivium and the tour was historically informational and truly interesting. The food, sadly, doesn't achieve the same top rating as the brews. For a better meal just stroll across the street to The Flying Fig for contemporary American cuisine (I guess this would be the most apt title).

      If you manage to get to (very) Little Italy, locate Presti's bakery and indulge in the sour cream doughnuts and eat them that day. I've never had a better doughnut.If you can give me more direction I can be of better service. Have fun!

      Link: http://www.westsidemarket.com

      5 Replies
      1. re: Heidi Claire

        That would be www.greatlakesbrewing.com

        Link: http://www.greatlakesbrewing.com

        1. re: Heidi Claire

          Thanks for all the great advice. It appears that I will be staying near Jacobs Field.

          1. re: Scott K

            a few more things if you haven't gone yet! My brother is a good source and he says go to JOHNNY'S BISTRO downtown. it's kind of swank and good for a business meeting. a nice way to take a walk and avoid the terminal tower/tower city hotel restaurants. i'd like to hear your opinion on how cleveland is doing the french bistro thing compared to how we do it out here.

            Try a hotdog from a vendor downtown or at the game. yes, that is real pickle relish, not that horrid onion/tomato goop we get out here in nyc! and the brown stadium mustard is by far the best in the land.

            Finally, if you get time to go to the west side market and great lakes brewery pub across the street, ask the bartender to show you the bullet holes where eliot ness shot it up back in prohibition. and have a 'burning river' brew for me (i wish we could get it here). and enjoy your perch/walleye and pierogies!

          2. re: Heidi Claire

            Again, thanks for all the help. One last question, which steak place would you reccomend?

            1. re: Scott K

              The original Ferris' Steak House at 8700 Detroit Avenue, approx. 15 min. from downtown Cleveland, take Detroit-Superior Bridge to west side of Cleveland. Established in 1940.

          3. i agree with heidi on great lakes for beer and presti's for doughnuts, but the best local food of all is our pumped up weight lifter style palate pleasing pierogies!!! i always complain to friends (in nyc) that they are pathetic out here. you will see what i mean if you visit the west side market as suggested above and look in on the pierogie stand (prune, apricot, etc. on and on). try'em at parma pierogies. or have generic ones anywhere with fried lake erie perch or walleye. hope you get this in time.

            p.s. - the local newspaper forums are 'open' and not for the faint of heart. i gave up on them quite a while ago myself. have a good visit, tell us what you did.

            1 Reply
            1. re: mrnyc

              Great call on the walleye - guess I just take this tasty catch for granted. Was going to recommend pierogi but wasn't sure how good the ones at Pierogi Palace were at the market. I haven't had Parma Pierogis since the now defunct eastside location was open. I remember thinking they didn't use real butter on top but perhaps I'm wrong. The best ones are usually found at local ethnic festivals and church fairs.

            2. try John's Cafe on E52. It's about 10 minutes from Jacobs Field. Menu is roast duck, roast pork, and a daily special served with saurkraut. It seats about 15 people, is a dive, but serves the best roast duck. meal for 2 with a couple of Dab draft beers is about $20

              1. First, I want to thank everybody for their suggestions. Unfortunetely, my business had me working long hours and therefore didn't get time to do much chowing. My one noteworthy meal was at Hyde Park Grill near Jacobs Field. I ordered the 20 oz. Kansas City steak and thought it was excellent. It was cooked perfectly to my order, and I thought the seasoning was great. I had to order my favorite side, creamed spinach, which sadly was putrid. Maybe it was a specific ingredient that I don't like, but it was sour and inedible for me. However, I just put it aside and enjoyed my steak. Moreover, though it has nothing to do with food, went to an Indians game and Jacob's field is fantsatic.