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Jul 15, 2007 05:11 PM

Foodie moving to Cleveland- Advice?

I'm moving to Cleveland soon and I'm hoping all of you chowhounds can advise me on the best ethnic food (esp Thai) and thin crust pizza in town. I love pad thai, masaman curry, and tom kha, and would love to hear where you recommend. Also love mu shu with real chinese pancakes. Any advice appreciated! Thanks!

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  1. I promise to try and help, but in the meantime try:
    this is where some active food talk goes on. there are a lot behaviors on the board and no moderation, but you can still get some really good info. I think we can come up with some great Thai, but am a little concerned about the pizza and the Chinese pancakes. We are b/t chicago and ny and the pizza reflects that crust wise! Any part of town that you are interested in or will you travel for chow?

    edit: I also like the book Ethnic Eats by Laura Taxel (sp?) a great run down of ethnic spotsIt is available in local bookstores and probably on line. We do have great ethnic food here for sure.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lyn

      Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the warm welcome. Lyn, I am always willing to travel for great food. To be honest, that is WHY I travel. =) Stuart & Lyn, thanks for the book tip. I'll get one ASAP. What a great city! I love it already!

    2. When it rains it pours, I guess. There's a lot of Cleveland questions today.

      Welcome to Cleveland. I look forward to sharing many hot chowhound tips.

      First of all, there's a book called Cleveland Ethnic Eats. If you're interested in any kind of ethnic food then this book is a good resource.

      I just recommended Siam Cafe in the "vegetarian visiting Cleveland" thread but it's even more relevant in this thread. Obviously, they have Thai food but they also have Chinese food and Vietnamese food. In case you're skeptical of such a wide range of cuisine let me just say that I was skeptical, too. The chef is Chinese and he lived for years in Vietnam and Thailand. He's not furiously turning the pages of some cookbook while he's making your pad thai.

      Of the three, I'm most familiar with the Chinese. It's some of the best Chinese food I've had anywhere. I also love some of their Vietnamese food. The charbroiled beef over vermicelli? The bun bo hue? Incredible. As for the Thai food, the tom kha is fantastic. Something called Siam scallops is also great.

      I bet they'd do a great job with mu shu. It's not on the menu but I've seen and eaten a lot of food at that restaurant that isn't on the menu. They do a scallion pancake which they fill with bbq pork. It requires a special flour so you have to check ahead of time to see if it's available. Maybe mu shu is different enough that it would be too much of a hassle for them but it never hurts to ask. I know that several restaurants in Cleveland have it but if I could get Siam Cafe to make it...

      Siam Cafe
      3951 Saint Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, OH 44114

      1. Cambodian and Vietmanese. never had a bad meal! I have only been to the Ohio City (w.25th) store. I concur fully with Siam cafe...

        1 Reply
        1. re: lyn

          Siam Cafe is great! I went to Ty Fun Thai Bistro a few months back and the food was awesome- it is in the Tremont neighborhood, close to downtown.

        2. welcome to the cleve and btw i love your oven pizza stone ;)

          you are coming to a real foodie region, but just be prepared to travel all around it to get what you want. in cleveland all roads lead away from the westside market:

          as mentioned, SIAM CAFE in chinatown is a must.

          there are others scattered around town, but LEMONGRASS at cedar-lee is an old fav thai. i've never been, but nearby THE MINT CAFE would def be worth a try:

          just about any americanized chinese place will prob have your moo shu dish so you will be fine for that. for example, on my first guess i found it where i thought i remember eating it -- here it is on a HUNAN COVENTRY takeout menu:

          as for thin pizza (do you mean real italian style?) i have no idea. lotsa good 'za around the cleve tho. i dk what is up with PLAYERS ON MADISON anymore but thats all i could think of:

          those will get you started -- please do report back on your food adventures!

          1 Reply
          1. re: mrnyc

            not totally thin crust but some good pizza in cleveland is at mama santa's in little italy, geraci's in university heights (no credit cards), and marotta's also at cedar-lee in cleveland heights.

            enjoy! cleveland is a great city and there are plenty of folks to offer great recommendations of must-try places. i miss it!

          2. Welcome to Cleveland!

            For Vietnamese, my hands down favorite is Superior Pho.
            I make it a point to seek out bahn mi shops in cities I visit and this is one of the best I've ever had. The cabbage salads (pork, chicken) are always right on and the pho has just the right amount of heat and spice. Just don't go expecting atmosphere or a wine list!

            For Thai, my favorite is Thai Gourmet in Stow. Depending on where you settle, it can be a bit of a hike but the curries are worth it.

            Authentic chinese fare can be had at Bo Loong (dim sum) but for a contemporary twist and always consistent fare try Hunan by the Falls.

            Pizza? I'm going to risk the wrath of my fellow Clevelanders but since moving here from NYC years ago, I have not found any that I would recommend if you're looking for a thin crust, NY-style pie.

            3 Replies
            1. re: GDub

              and just the same i havent found any cleveland style pizza since moving to nyc either - lol!

              i think VINCENZAS downtown or CAPRI is as close as it gets, but i am not sure anymore. not the same tho. perhaps others know better.

              if you really want ny style and not true italian as i suspected and get a chance to get around a little there is a ny style pizza mini-chain in ohio and that is FLYING PIZZA. you can find the original in downtown dayton and there are branches in cinci and in cols on high st near osu. the owners are from nyc and for sure the osu branch is a "correct" and familar looking and feeling nyc style slice joint.

              1. re: GDub

                lol gdub. we are kindred spirits in seeking out banh mi sandwiches nationwide and thinking Superior Pho is the best. so true. I also always have to argue the Superior Pho's Pho is better than the other local competition which is wrapped in a prettier bow but not as tasty.No there is not fancy wine or any wine at all but I asked the owner if I could bring some in some day and he reluctently agreed. Of course i concider myself to be one of his "teachers pets".

                1. re: lyn

                  And I thought I was the only one afflicted with this crazy compulsion!! We'll have to get together there so that I can vicariously curry favor and you can add a number or two to the BYO contigency. : )