Category: "Restaurants"

Walnut Wednesdays in Cleveland

 Walnut Wednesdays

Gourmet food trucks are gaining in popularity, in part to some of the recent competition shows on TV.  Cleveland has a growing food truck scene, with trucks showing up everywhere.  This summer, various trucks have been gathering Wednesdays downtown on Walnut Ave at E. 9th Street.  It's a great opportunity to be able to check the offerings of a number of trucks without having to drive all around town.  The Downtown Cleveland Alliance web site has information on which trucks may be showing as well dates and times.  Make sure you check their site, Facebook page, or Twitter since they have had to move the location due to the filming of the Avengers movie.

Asian Chicken Sandwich - Motor Mouth

Due to my schedule, I wasn't able to make it up there until last week.  As I mentioned earlier, they'd had to move the location because of the movie, so the trucks were parked on Rockwell Ave at E. 12th Street.  I arrived near the end (1pm), and there was still a pretty good crowd.  There was live music, and probably 6 or 7 trucks.  Some of the items were sold out (I wish I'd been able to get there sooner), but there was still a good selection.  I ordered an Asian Chicken Sandwich (above) from the Motor Mouth Food Truck which consisted of soy and ginger braised chicken with a spicy red cabbage slaw.  The chicken was moist and tasty, the slaw was crunchy, the bread was fresh, and it had just enough sauce on it that had a hint of sesame oil.  

Chicken Panini - Nosh Box

My companion had a grilled chicken panini from the The Nosh Box food truck (which was also at the Hamburger Festival- see other posts).  She really enjoyed it- moist and tender pieces of dark chicken meat grilled with cheddar cheese and bacon on a cibatta roll.  

The sandwiches that we tried cost around $7-$8.  Most of the items being sold seemed to be in this price range- well worth the price, especially considering the uniqueness and quality of the food.  The food trucks will continue to gather downtown on Wednesdays through September 7th.  Check with the Downtown Alliance for more information.  And if you find a truck that you like, check their Facebook pages and Twitter posts to see where they'll be throughout the week. 

The Original Steak & Hoagies - Twinsburg

 The Original Steak & Hoagies

10735 Ravenna Road

Twinsburg, OH 44087

(330) 998-6586

www.steaksandhoagies.com/

Original SteaK & Hoagies

A friend told me that his friend from Philadelphia had gone to a place in Twinsburg that had the closest thing to a true Philly Cheese Steak that he'd had around here.  A day later, I was eating at The Original Cheese Steak & Hoagies on Ravenna Road in Twinsburg.  Although I'd checked the menu on their website before I visited, I still wasn't sure what I wanted to order.  You'd think that years of watching Cheese Steak episodes on the Food Network and The Travel Channel would have prepared me.  I wanted a cheese steak, and I knew that I wanted Cheez Whiz on it (you can also get American and Provolone)- that's how I'd heard they do it in Philly.  I should have ordered onions on it, but the only other thing I got was hot peppers.  I also ordered a small cheese fry.

Original SteaK & Hoagies

The cheese steak that you see in the picture is the small one- 7", and it's still pretty big.  The roll was nice and soft and was filled to the top with chopped steak.  The Cheez Whiz seemed to be saturated into much of the steak making every bite a Cheezy bite of heaven.  The hot peppers were mixed throughout and gave just a little heat without being too much.  Again, I don't know why I didn't order onions- I'm still kicking myself.  The fries were nice and crispy, and looked like they were the type that are battered.  As you can see in the pic, the Cheez Whiz is served on the side, and didn't make the fries all soggy.

One other thing about this place- everyone was really friendly.  It looked to me like it's a family business, and I must have had 5 different people ask me how my food was.  One of the guys, Bill, chatted with me for a minute and told me a little bit about the place and the food.  He told me that their hoagies are really popular, and I believe that he told me that they slice the meat fresh for each one.  That just means that I have to make a trip back really soon to try one.  I also noticed too late that they have Bay Fries, which are french fries served with Old Bay Seasoning- I'm going to try some of those too.  All in all, a great place for a great sandwich that I'd highly recommend.  

 Note: check their website for updated hours, but as of now, they are closed on Sundays.  Also, check the website for coupons.

The Original Steaks & Hoagies on Urbanspoon

Happy Dog

 5801 Detroit Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44102

(216) 651-9474 

happydogcleveland.com

 

Happy Dog Cleveland
 
I was pleasantly surprised the first time that I visited Happy Dog.  I'm not sure of the history of their building, but I assume that it's always been a bar.  The interior looks like an 'old Cleveland bar' that my dad or grandfather would have hung out in- wood paneled walls, wood bar, old-fashioned bar stools. Pretty cool.
Hot dog, tots, and fries.
 
When you sit down at Happy Dog, you notice a pad of order slips on your table.  You check off what you want and give it to your server- sort of like at a sushi place.  The hot dogs are big, all beef dogs, not some sort wimpy little things.  Even better, they're only $5 each, with as many toppings as you like.  And, even better than that, the list of toppings is huge.  Most of them are made in house, and most are very unique.  When I visited, I had one dog with chorizo chili, yellow mustard, and a dill pickle spear.  I had blue cheese coleslaw on my second dog.  Both were awesome.  We also had sides of tater tots and french fries with chipotle and creole remoulade for dipping. 
Hot dog with chorizo chili, yellow mustard, dill pickle spear.
 
Even considering that it is a bar, Happy Dog seemed to have a pretty big selection of craft beers on tap and in the bottle.  All in all, I'd say that Happy Dog is a great place.  I've been there twice, and if you're looking for a cool place to hang out for the evening, or a good place for lunch, I'd recommend giving it a try!

 

Happy Dog on Urbanspoon

Superior Pho

3030 Superior Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44114

(216) 781-7462

www.superiorpho.com/

Superior Pho Menu - PDF

Pho

 I'm not sure if Superior Pho is so-named because they are located off of Superior Avenue, or because they have self-proclaimed themselves to be the most superior pho in town.  I'm willing to believe the later, because their pho is about he best I've had.  Pho is a Vietnamese soup consisting of a tangy broth and long rice noodles.  When I visited Superior Pho, I ordered 'meal 10'' from their menu.  This was a 'combo' of a large pho of my choice, a Vietnamese sandwich (Bánh mi), and a drink.  My choice of soup was Pho Chay, which was described as 'noodle soup with bean sprouts and vegetables'.  The soup itself is served with green onions in it.  The bean sprouts are served on the side with some lemon wedges, slices of jalapenos, and some type of leafy herbs.  When I've ordered pho at other restaurants, it was served with basil leafs.  I have to admit, I don't know what type of herbs were served at Superior Pho, but they were slightly bitter, and good in the soup.  I'll have to ask next time.

 

 

Banh mi  The Bánh mì is a sandwich made of French bread, roast pork, homemade pate, cucumbers, jalapeno slices, shredded carrot, and mayonnaise.  The bread was very fresh, soft on the inside, and crusty on the outside.  If you haven't tried it before, it's very unique, and absolutely delicious.  

On previous visits to Superior Pho, I had ordered a 'meal' that included a summer roll instead of the sandwich.  On this visit, we ordered Thit nuong cuon, which were rice paper rolls filled with fresh herbs, vermicelli noodles and grilled marinated pork.  They were excellent.  The pork was tender and tasty and almost melted in your mouth.  

If you're not familiar with Vietnamese food, I would definitely recommend Superior Pho.  The atmosphere is nothing special, but nice enough, and it certainly doesn't detract from the great food.  As for the value, it is definitely worth it.  The meal #10 that I ordered was $11.95 for a huge bowl of soup, a decent sized sandwich, and a soda.  All in all, a great place!

 Rice Paper Rolls

 

Superior Pho on Urbanspoon

Michael Symon's B Spot Hamburgers

28699 Chagrin Boulevard, Woodmere, OH 44122

http://www.bspotburgers.com

You might be able to find bigger or cheaper burgers at other places, but the burgers at B Spot are worth every penny based on taste alone.  The fries are great too- probably some of the best that I've ever had- thin and crispy, with a dusting of sea salt and rosemary.  For my burger, I ordered the bacon cheeseburger- two thick slices of bacon with cheddar cheese.  Two thumbs up!  Because I like a lot of variety, I think my two favorite things about B Spot were the pickle bar and the sauces.  There are 6 bottles of sauce on the table, and they all appear to be made on the premises.  They include a BBQ sauce, a steak sauce, and Lola ketchup, and they're all really good- I didn't have enough burger to put each one one.  As for the pickle bar- it's located in the middle of the room, and you just help yourself.  Selections on the pickle bar included dill, pickled green tomatoes, and Tony Packo's sweet pickles.  The atmosphere at B Spot is pretty casual- a sort of upscale sports bar vibe, and they don't take reservations.  All in all it's a good place to visit to get a great burger in a nice atmosphere at a fairly decent price for what you get.

B Spot Burgers on Urbanspoon