Saturday, August 20, 2011
You don't need a passport, but a reservation is recommended.
- RESTAURANT REVIEWS
- Paige Boyer
Saturday, August 20, 2011
My trip to Viva Fernando got off to a rocky start. We had selected the Westlake restaurant after it was featured on a list of Cleveland’s best patios, but the weather had other plans. A downpour drove us inside. I arrived at the restaurant a few minutes before my friend and quickly learned that I should have made a reservation. Fortunately, since there were only two of us, they were able to seat us. Our biggest frustration was that we waited more than 20 minutes for a server to stop at our table. When someone finally came to take our drink orders, I selected their very strong sangria and my friend had a beer. When we ordered dinner, I learned that many of the dishes come with a side of saffron rice, steamed vegetables, homemade chips and a…
Friday, July 29, 2011
With locations in Rocky River and downtown Cleveland, local coffee shop offers smooth coffees and delicious food.
To get to Erie Island Coffee at 19300 Detroit Ave. in Rocky River, I drove past at least one Starbucks and Caribou Coffee. I couldn’t help it. Sometimes the smooth seasonal coffee blend is the only thing that will satisfy my caffeine craving. Located in Beachcliff Market Square, Erie Island is locally owned. It was started by a few friends on Kelley’s Island looking to create coffee like you’d find In Seattle and Rome. Luckily for us, they’ve been successful and brought this passion to Northeast Ohio. During my visit, I came to Erie Island to work— something I’ve done a few times before— and enjoyed the free Wi-Fi, quiet weekday atmosphere, an Ivory Mocha Frappe and a French Toast Crush sandwich. The sandwich was a favorite I discovered …
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Former Browns player Al "Bubba" Baker makes tasty barbecue
With so much football and barbecue, walking into Bubba's Q at 820 Center Road in Avon made me feel like I’d been transported to Texas. We were quickly seated on the open section of the patio. The restaurant’s large patio with outside bar wasn’t open on the chilly evening, but their covered patio – a screened in porch with large picnic tables – was a perfect place to enjoy the southern fare. In case you’re wondering about all the football stuff, Bubba’s Q was opened by former Cleveland Brown Al “Bubba” Baker and his wife, Sabrina, after he retired from professional football. We started with the southern fries, which are topped with barbecue sauce, pulled pork or beef brisket, topped with cheese and bacon. The cheese sauce tasted as good on …
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Iron Chef Michael Symon scores with his Crocker Park eatery
Like many Westsiders, I was thrilled to learn that Cleveland celebrity chef Michael Symon was bringing his burger joint B Spot to Crocker Park. The restaurant at 20 Main Street in Westlake joins locations in Woodmere and Strongsville that serve gourmet burgers, bratwurst and a wide assortment of beers. We went on a Monday night and waited about a half an hour— less than the 45 minute wait we expected. B Spot opened last week, so I was not surprised that we had to wait. The décor is cool and casual, with a large patio and plenty of seating. A large bar fills the middle of the restaurant, and if you have a small party or don’t want to wait, you can grab a seat there if one is available. While we were waiting, we heard the staff mention that …
Friday, July 1, 2011
A great outdoor patio complements a menu of great food.
Over the years, I became a fan of Lakewood's "Rush Inn" since my friends and I--all on a budget--always left with a full belly and change still in our pockets. Whether it was one of their award-winning burgers, or the jumbo wings, not only did they satisfy the palate, but also the pricing on both food and beverages from the bar were very reasonable. Then there was the staff, especially the bartenders, who really knew how to make a drink and went out of the way to make you feel comfortable. So when I made to the trek with four companions to the Avon location after hearing about what Lakewood calls the "The other joint" I was curious. Could the atmosphere, food, and staff who made everyone at the Lakewood location feel like Norm from Cheers…
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Friendly service and comfortable patio make Moosehead Saloon a great stop for warm summer nights.
With warm weather finally upon us, I was thrilled to visit one of Westlake’s great patios at the Moosehead Saloon at 694 Dover Center Rd. After a brief wait, my friend and I were seated on outside, right next to a great fireplace. The fireplace was part of their outdoor heating system with two heaters and blowers to keep the outside dining area warm when nights get chilly. We were struck by the number of unusual dishes the restaurant had on their menu – my eye was immediately drawn to a turkey burger with warmed cherries, vegetable cream cheese and cranberry mayo, which I eventually enjoyed as my meal. As usual, my friend and I started with some potato skins – but these weren’t any ordinary skins. Called “munch skins” on the menu, we …
This small Avon Lake restaurant serves Thai food the way it's meant to be served.
My first visit to Thai Chilli (the restaurant also goes by "Thai Chili") was during the winter months. Two words best described the atmosphere: cozy and romantic. I started my meal with Tom Yam soup, while my companion decided on the traditional Wonton soup. Not sure what to expect, the Tom Yam hit the spot on a cold snowy day. Loaded with chicken, it was creamy but also had a citrus taste to it, as there was a hint of lime to it. A sample of her Wonton soup was also unexpected. Unlike the kind you get in many Asian restaurants, the chef at Thai Chilli used wontons stuffed with shrimp. Recently I have become a fan of Pad Thai, and of the numerous places I have had it at, Thai Chilli's was perhaps the best. Many of these other Thai places …