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Cleveland--good Italian restaurant wanted before show at the Grog Shop

I have some friends from Japan visiting me in Columbus, Ohio. We are going to Cleveland on Saturday, December 13th to the Grog Shop on Euclid Heights Blvd. for a concert/show. The show is late. We have heard that the shows all begin really late at the Grog Shop, so we will be going to dinner first. They want good Italian--also pizza (pizza is VERY expensive in Japan) so we would like to do that. I will also take them for corned beef sandwiches----I have heard that there is a great place for that in Cleveland----nothing fancy. My friends from Japan are all about meeting new, FRIENDLY people, so that is always a big thing on their list. They want to talk to everyone, which is great...... They will also do a little Christmas shopping. I have not booked the hotel yet either, but need to be somewhere around Euclid Heights Blvd. because of everyone drinking in our little group. Any ideas? Thanks so much, Karen

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  1. Best Eastside pizza, hands down: Marotta's. http://www.marottas.com/. Marotta's pastas and other dishes are also outstanding.

    For a sit-down corned beef - the best place is Slyman's. http://www.slymans.com/. But the best pastrami sandwich in the world can be had at Mister Brisket www.misterbrisket.com. They do have a couple of tables if you want to "eat in". Neither of these places is open Sunday; Slyman's is closed Saturday also, but Mister Brisket is open on Saturday until 3pm.

    Enjoy your trip to Cleveland!

    1. The Grog shop is in Coventry just above Little Italy on Mayfield road, so Mama Santa's is a natural place for a pizza, but the reviews are varied. Valentino's Pizza is another good option.

      Slymans is the best corned beef in Cleveland.

      1. you'll have a great time at slyman's. just remember that they are only open until 2.30pm.

        as far as hotels in the immediate area cleveland heights area, the only one i can think of is the alcazar on derbyshire rd. it's a good location, and it has a lot of character. there is also glidden house at university circle.

        1. I second what others have said, the Alcazar is your best bet for hotel close by, and Slyman's is definitely the best corned beef in town but they do close mid-afternoon as someone else pointed out. Note if you do hit slyman's that the line that forms on the left is for take-out,the line that forms on the right is to dine-in, which you really shouldn't miss as it's tiny, NY-style no frills service. "We don't serve breakfast now!" "Get that at the register!" "Here's your pop, honey!" etc.

          As to shopping, you'll need to drive out to either Beachwood Place or Legacy Village. It's awfully cold to be shopping at Legacy as it's an outdoor mall, but interesting.

          1. ok. If you are willing to venture 20 minutes to the near west of downtown, this could be a funky shopping option the weekend your friends are here. The Bizaar Bizarre : http://www.bazaarbizarre.org/clevelan...

            I would kill to be an international visitor and see something local and original like this when I traveled.

            Also in the neighborhood:
            I like Kitch City for fun browsing and pop culture and gay centric gag gifts. http://cityvoter.com/kitsch-city-6511...

            This neighborhood is Detroit Shoreway and it it full on Cleveland. Take them here for a taste of an Irish bar and a well drawn Guiness: Stone Mad Irish Pub at 1306 W.65th Street

            If that is not your speed have a coffee and pastry at one of my favorite shops: Gypsy Beans http://www.gypsybeans.com/

            Slightly further afield (ie 10 minute walk or 2 minute drive from the other Detroit Shoreway places)s :http://www.suitelorain.net/ for vintage shopping. I may be off track here, but If I went to Japan, I would want to see the Japanese version of this place.

            Heading back to the Grog shop, I agree Moratta's is your best pizza bet. But if you cannot leave detroit Shoreway, Luxe is your place:
            http://www.luxecleveland.com/