Today is the Ohio Blogging Association's state-wide blog swap, where participating bloggers are paired up, and we're sharing posts on each other's blogs. Today, I have a post for you from Katie at Beer and Clothing in Cleveland. My post about the CLEDinnerClub is over on Julie's blog at Wearing Mascara. Enjoy!
Cleveland's food scene never ceases to amaze me. Our restaurant offerings are what I would claim is the biggest change I've witnessed in the city. Maybe it's because I grew up in the 'burbs but I think I'm onto something from all of the grand openings I've seen now living on the West Side. I can remember when there was just one Melt people! Now there's four, Lakewood (which boasts the original Aladdin's as well,) Cleveland Heights, Independence and now Mentor. I cannot stand to hear one more person say "I'm not sure if it was worth the wait." Melt is always worth the wait, always. Sorry, I digress...
One of the hardships that come with lots of new exciting places to dine out is not being able to pick a favorite. I know, must be terrible. One thing I would love to be though is a regular somewhere! I want to walk in to somewhere that knows my name, knows my poison, and knows if there might be a special to top my "usual." I'm working on it. Katrina's blog excels at making the restaurant experience personal (From Katrina-- awww, thank you!!) and so, for this blog swap, I wanted to share a few restaurants I personally recommend.
1. Maxi's Bistro in Little Italy. My better half will not be pleased that I'm making this public knowledge. The establishment is not particularly big and it is one place in Cleveland we routinely visit. If you ever get the last order of the Penne Pasta Alla Flavia before I do, words will be had. I typically prefer my dishes to "let the ingredients speak for themselves." This sauce changes everything. I want to put it on everything. I can't keep Boyface out of it frankly. In the fall, they have a drink consisting of apple cider and bourbon. The staff is always warm and friendly and the back patio is perfect when the weather accommodates My one hint here: order bread fast and often. The bread is put in the oven fresh for each table and we occasionally are without bread for the meal. Normally I don't eat bread during the meal but with a sauce like that, it's practically a sin to go without. (From Katrina-- the sauces at this classic Italian place are sooo good)
2. SOHO in Ohio City. I've reviewed SOHO at my blog before but I can't help but mention it again. This is the kind of place I want to be a regular at. I've never had a bad dish, bad service, and most importantly, a bad drink. We've been there just the two of us for drinks and the cheese board. We've been there on a double date. We've been for a very hungover, much needed brunch. We've been to the bar, an intimate table in a corner, and out in the patio with a big ole' umbrella. It was meant to be that we happened to wander in on their public opening night. My favorite dishes so far are the chicken-fried pork salad and shrimp po'boy. Doesn't look like the have the shrimp po'boy yet. I'm crossing my fingers for a crawdad po'boy someday!
3. Eddy & Iggy's. This is a place where I've been a regular. My first place in Lakewood was of walking distance, so we spent a lot of time here. A lot of happy hours, sports games, and late nights. This is a place where they knew my name...they might not anymore but the owner recognizes us. It's been fun to watch Eddy & Iggy's evolve into the bar they are now. They have a few homebrews, always delicious and dangerously potent. I have yet to have a bad dish here too. You would be hard pressed to find anything healthy but it's simple to find something that just tastes good. My favorite is their soft-pretzel sticks. They are perfectly crispy on the outside with a delightful contrast of fluff on the inside. I didn't know one could have a preference on a stadium food, but I do now. My only caveat is this- Eddy & Iggy's now hosts karaoke seven nights a week. How does a sports bar get away with being a karaoke bar? I'm not quite sure, but it works for me. It does not sit well with everyone I love though. Did I mention it's within stumbling distance of one of my close girlfriend's apartments now? There may be an Eddy & Iggy's renaissance in my near future, hope to see you there!
Thank you, Katie, for sharing some of your favorites with my readers! This is why I love blog swapping-- I've never been to Eddy & Iggy's. Who's meeting us there?