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Cleveland hound needs rec in their own town!

I know you've been there. You are in a rut, but you didn't realize it till a friend visits from out of town and says "someplace we have never been before, together or apart".

We want something moderate (20 and under) with great food. Alcohol isn't that big a deal, we could even bring our own. Live east but am willing to go from near west side of cleveland to east side.

Places we usually go to and enjoy are as follows

Siam Cafe
Bangkok Restaurant
Korea House
Mi Pueblo
Pacific East
Diner on Clifton
Mint cafe
Dewey's Pizza

Is there a gem on the west side I have been missing? Isn't there a beer bar (NOT beir markt) that has a cask selection with really good food?

Ugh....I feel like I have been living in a hermetically sealed restaurant universe!

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  1. On the east side, if you've not been, you can try out:

    Lopez (upscale Tex-Mex)
    Marotta's (N. Italian)
    Hunan Coventry (obviously Chinese)

    If you go to Marotta's and they have it on special, get the bolegnese. It is $22, but all the main courses come with a house salad.

    1. I'm not the best on E side places but I see you're missing Anatolia, which is one of my favorites in the whole Cleveland area (http://www.anatoliacafe.com/index.php) and Marotta's, which has pretty good pizza (http://www.marottas.com/). Also on the E side of downtown is #1 Pho (no website, but here's a write-up: http://www.cleveland.com/dining/revie...


      I don't see any mention of any place that's actually downtown. Have you checked out Wonder Bar? (http://wonderbarcleveland.com/) They are doing REALLY good food in a REALLY tiny kitchen and with their tapas positioning are very affordable. The cafe at the West Side Market also serves dinner and it's inexpensive and good, they also have a full bar (http://www.westsidemarketcafe.com/). In Ohio City of course is Johnny Mango, they have the best margaritas in town (www.jmango.com) and Momocho, which is great, innovative Mexican (not so much tex-Mex but actual Mexican) (http://www.momocho.com/).

      If you're up for a quick and great, inexpensive lunch, Leolai bakery has the best Cuban sandwiches in town, they also have great flan (http://www.lelolaibakery.com/). I know you said you weren't a fan but Bier Market is going to start serving food soon, I heard from some friends that went to a "preview" of the menu and they said it's very good. (http://www.bier-markt.com/#


      There's always the Harp for a truly authentic Irish whiskey selection (one of the few places in town that has Powers) and good boxty (http://www.the-harp.com/), they are just over the Detroit-superior bridge overlooking the Westbound shoreway.

      the Parkview lounge has pretty good food and great ambience, it's near west side (http://www.parkviewniteclub.com/) and the Happy Dog is there as well, very cute inside: (http://www.clevelandnights.com/clevel...


      Have you had the burgers at the Little Bar & Grill? Great, small place, great, greasy burgers. Owned by the people who own Johnny's downtown, it's in the alley just next to Johnny's (on Frankfort, no web site).

      I don't see anything in Tremont mentioned in your list either.
      Fat Cats (http://coolplacestoeat.com/fatcats.html
      )Lava Lounge (same owners) (http://www.coolplacestoeat.com/lava.html
      )Lolita (www.lolabistro.com)(try the new pizzas!
      )La Tortilla Feliz (https://tortillafeliz.com/
      )South Side (http://www.southsidecleveland.com/


      These are just off the top of my head. You are really missing out! :)

      1. the beer engine is the beer place you are thinking of. It is not a foodie place, but what they have, they do well, ie burgers. the beer quality is the best in the inner ring. And they do have cask conditioned. Buckeye Beer Engine
        15315 Madison Avenue
        Lakewood, OH 44107
        I will second Anatolia. It is one of the best places in the area IMO. the yogart dishes are a must. Also missing Phenom Phen (http://ohiorestaurant.com/ ). the OC location is not far, and you should check you may be able to BYOB. Also Ty Fun in tremont is supposed to be great, although I have not been before. Some great bar happy hours (food and drink) can be had at Lolita, Flying fig, and Lago

        1. El Tango is one of the best restaurants in the area at any price. The green chile stew is amazing.

          Bangkok Restaurant? There are a couple restaurants with similar names but I'm not aware of anything with that exact name. Where is it? I assume you would recommend it? Is there anything in particular that's worth trying?

          1. Recently discovered Peking Gourmet, which is in the same strip mall as Anatolia (across the street from whole foods) which has pretty passable Chinese food.

            On the west side, I have heard that Melt is good, but never visited.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jephro

              Melt is awesome but not the near W side, it's really the W side (come on over! it's not that far!)

            2. I visited my sister in Cleveland recently, and she took me to the Grovewood Tavern. It was great, with a creative menu and really tasty food. Fun atmosphere too.

              Grovewood Tavern
              17105 Grovewood Ave, Cleveland, OH

              3 Replies
              1. re: ajs228

                Thanks to all for such thoughtful responses.

                Looks like Marotta's for pizza thursday night and Grovewood saturday.

                Especially appreciate the reco for El Tango, that is my next trip to west side. I especially like the fact that it is BYOB. EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                Bangkok used to be on Warrensville road, just north of Cedar. They sold it to cousins and re-opened on Mayfield rd. where Trivassano's (sp?) used to be. Lovely food, nice family, and just an all around pleasure. I am hooked on thai gra pao (with a fried egg on top) and yellow curry with beef.

                Forgot to write Anatolia and Phenom Phen, two of our favorites.

                Also appreciate the reco for Wonder Bar. Was wondering if it was more about THE SCENE than the food, ya know?

                All this talk reminds of the ORIGINAL Players Pizza and Pasta, when it was onwned by the Sherry's. THAT was a restaurant. My friend who is visiting this weekend and I forged our friendship over late dinners there and we still talk about it. *heavy sigh*


                1. re: thegreekone

                  near marotta's we liked the colony. totally divey but had great specials. it worked for us because my hubby could do bar food, i could do more gourmet, we could bring kids and still feel cool. :) rachel's carribean was interesting on green - not amazing but different so since you're already on the eastside, something else to try. fat cats has the best view if you sit outside.

                  1. re: thegreekone

                    It's not really a "scene" per se, just some after work folks drinking. The food is the real star. Definitely get the polenta dish (not vegetarian if that matters) and the feta and tomato dish, and the new steak & eggs is terrific. If we have a party of 2 or more, we always get several things to share, it's like tapas with servings not quite big enough for one thing to be an entree, but 2 are good. 4 is better for 2 people, then you get to try a bunch of different things.

                2. Hi Greek,

                  You could have a decent meal under 20 with live music at Nighttown on Cedar.... we love the food there. Also, we second Marotta's. Definitely Melt, too.....

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: janbo19

                    A fun West Side spot for a divey bar-food experience is The Drink on Detroit in Lakewood. Believe it or not, they have wonderful shrimp bisque (spicy, creamy -- wonderful). After my partner and I each get a bowl of the bisque, we split a grilled cheese sandwich and we're full! (Then roll over to the Detroit Theatre for a $3 movie.)

                  2. Yes indeed, Cleve scene is pretty claustrophobic town for quality restaurants. Here's a new one on the east side- Nuevo Latino with great drinks and hopping atmosphere in the Eton Center strip mall on Chagrin near 271 - really not far from the west....Paladar.
                    Highly recommended.