I went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame yesterday, followed by a little touring of Cleveland. Big thanks to all Cleveland posters past and present (esp. mrnyc) for giving great recommendations.
First, and non-chowishly, the R&R HoF was fantastic. It wildly exceeded my modest expectations and was definitely worth the steep price of admission. I guarantee you will learn a lot. Moving on...
Afterwards, we drove around a little, checked out the Flats, took a pass, and went to Great Lakes. Top-notch place, loved the different spaces, and great happy hour -- other than the fact it was a total sausage fest, but that improved :) Then it was off to Frank Sterle's, which, much to our dismay, was closed (Wed., kind of early -- normal?). Marie's was open, however. Note, it has been described as Slovenian, but we were assured it was Croatian, a fact affirmed by the Karlovacko beer. The cevapi, homemade sausages w/potato dumplings, was a gutbuster. The barley soup was great. It wasn't four stars (esp. the veggies) and it was a pretty dead (see above), but it was definitely memorable.
Then, back to GLBP for another quick one and some advice. We ended up cruising around Tremont and popping into Lolita's to see what was up before heading for home. To say we were underdressed would be a risible understatement. Nevertheless, everyone was very cool. I don't know, maybe a Wednesday is the right time to visit -- at the very least the HoF is open until 9.
I have to say, having grown up in Columbus and having never gone out in Cleveland during my legal drinking years, Cleveland rocks. It was easy to get around (even with a baseball game + rush hour), inexpensive, clean, dynamic, scenic (seriously), and super friendly. I have a hard time believing the stories about population loss, particularly when I see what homes are going for. Makes me want to vomit in my mouth when I think about DC/NYC real estate. Cheers, Cleveland, I'll be back.
There was positively no room for any more food by that point. Had a light digestif and a look around and then hit the road. That place looks great, though. And there was absolutely zero attitude considering how underdressed we were. Had I to do it all over again, I probably would have eaten there, but seriously, no regrets.
Next time you're in cleveland try Three Birds Restaurant in Lakewood (about 6 mi from downtown Cleveland.). Great mix of seafood and gourmet Americana. Always great service and great value. Lakewood has a good bar scene in several parts of this suburb of Cleveland. Also recommend Westlake cab after a long night out.