Friday, December 13, 2013

HotSpot Cafe Opens

The building that once housed Juniper Grille and Verve on Carnegie Avenue in Downtown Cleveland has a new restaurant that calls it "home" now. HotSpot Café opened on Monday for breakfast and lunch service. "HotSpot" refers to the free WiFi service and many outlets provided for table-side charging while you dine.

I was invited to attend their Friends and Family Soft Opening last Saturday, to try out the menu and provide feedback on the overall experience. They were only in day three of business at that point, but they were starting to get the hang of things and we only saw minor mishaps that will work themselves out shortly within opening for the public.

Their menu includes clearly marked Vegan and Gluten-free items, much appreciated these days by diners with dietary restrictions. The breakfast options range from classic pancakes, eggs, and oatmeal to the more creative items like the Burrito Breakfast, interesting omelettes, corned beef hash, and Crème Brulee French Toast. The thing that caught my eye immediately were the bakery items. Scones, muffins, bagels, and a Croissant Donut.

A Croissant Donut had to be mine ($2.25).
Light, flaky, and sugary-sweet. It was something different, and delicious. Other pastries and bakery items, like cinnamon buns, are in the works.

For breakfast, I ordered the Burrito Breakfast with scrambled eggs, avocado, tomato, and potatoes served in a warm tortilla with a side of salsa and sour cream ($7.95). Dining Deals Alert!
Now, my original burrito had disappeared to another table, so they re-fired my dish and it arrived piping hot about five minutes later. Other diners at the table did have a couple of issues with their food not being hot enough, but we were a larger table and the plates may have been sitting while the kitchen completed the order. I'm sure that expediting will improve over time.

Overall, I liked the burrito, and really enjoyed the addition of fresh avocado. It needed a little moisture and flavor from the salsa and sour cream, but the ratio of ingredients was good and I liked the preparation. My only complaint? The salsa could be kicked up a notch in quality. House-made salsa, or a better quality brand would improve this dish.

Their lunch menu includes salads, burgers, many sandwiches, and a few "hot spots" or entrees. They will also be making two soups a day.

The kitchen is run by CIA-trained chef William Davis, one of the brother-partners who ran Appetite in Lyndhurst before it closed last year.

Again, the small issues that we saw with expediting and service should work themselves out over time. I think this restaurant will cater well to the Downtown crowd during the week. They will be open Monday through Saturday from 7am - 3pm.

HotSpot Café
1332 Carnegie Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115

Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary breakfast at the restaurant during their soft opening. All opinions stated are 100% my own.