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Thanksgiving 2014 - light lunch

I'm staying in the Upper West Side, but I'm entertaining options throughout NYC. If I can wake up at 9am and be back from lunch by 1pm, then I'll take it under consideration.

Ess-A-Bagel sounds like a good option. I'll definitely keep it in mind. Thank you.

Nov 17, 2014
stuart in Manhattan

Thanksgiving 2014 - light lunch

Like every tourist in New York, I want to squeeze in as much delicious food as I can on every trip that I take. This time, that means finding something to eat before the family Thanksgiving feast. I've been able to finalize plans for all of my dinners and I've got more than enough leads for all of my other lunches, but this one is worrisome. There are a lot of moving parts. I'm looking for a good restaurant, one that is open on Thanksgiving. Also, I still want to enjoy Thanksgiving, which will be gluttonous of course, but more importantly, it will be early. I'd like something light and refreshing.

Pizza and dumplings, for example, would be nice under other circumstances, but I'm ruling them out as too heavy. Smoked fish with some vegetables, on the other hand, would be absolutely perfect. I'm sure I'd be okay with having said fish on a delicious bagel.

It doesn't have to be smoked fish. Maybe vegetables, fish or chicken considering that I want something crisp and bright? Maybe cold? Spicy is definitely ok.

Anyway, if it's delicious and it's open on Thanksgiving, I'd welcome your suggestions. Thank you.

Nov 16, 2014
stuart in Manhattan

Suggestions- 40th birthday dinner in Cleveland

I tried to upload a few more pictures of food from Spice. Chowhound seems to be having a hard time with a post that includes more than a couple pictures. I hit post and I've been watching that little animated "please wait" .gif for a few minutes, so I'm not sure that it's going to work. I didn't want to link to my own pictures, but I tried uploading a couple times already and chowhound is making this much harder than it should be.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart_s...

Aug 06, 2013
stuart in Great Lakes

Suggestions- 40th birthday dinner in Cleveland

Chowhound wouldn't let me add more than one picture when I was browsing with chrome. The picture in my other post is of food from Spice and so are these others.

Aug 06, 2013
stuart in Great Lakes

Suggestions- 40th birthday dinner in Cleveland

Chowhound wouldn't let me add more than one picture when I was browsing with chrome. The picture in my other post is of food from Spice and so are these others.

Aug 06, 2013
stuart in Great Lakes

Suggestions- 40th birthday dinner in Cleveland

Spice is the best restaurant in Cleveland. They use the best ingredients available, they combine them thoughtfully but without getting weird and they execute flawlessly. Nothing is on the plate to look good or sound good. Everything has a good flavor. Seriously, it's a shame that you have to mention that when you're talking about Cleveland's elite restaurants, but nobody is as consistent as Spice. I knew they were legit from my first visit over a year ago and since then I've taken several people. No one just likes it; everyone loves it.

I can't even recommend something from the menu. They offer so many nightly specials that I've hardly touched the menu even though I eat there at least a couple times a month.

Doug Katz and his restaurant, fire food and drink, are as conscientious as Spice about their ingredients. It's a beautiful restaurant and the food is well presented, too. It's considerably more expensive than Spice.

I've had a couple really good meals at The Willeyville. It's off the beaten track, hidden away in the ruins of The Flats.They are also very ambitious in terms of doing as much as possible in house. I've only eaten there a small fraction of the times that I've eaten at Spice or fire, but if you're looking to earn points for finding something before everyone is already talking about it, then I think this might be a good bet. I have high expectations for them.

Aug 06, 2013
stuart in Great Lakes

Cleveland-Beachwood

If you're not familiar with Cleveland, may I offer that everything in Cleveland is 25 minutes from everything else. Fire food and drink at Shaker Square is actually only 13 minutes from that big pile of hotels in Beachwood.

Spice is the restaurant that I'm currently recommending, where by "currently" I mean since they opened a little over a year ago. It's only 26 minutes away. It's also a fun to be in a neighborhood like Gordon Square. You could see a movie, a play or some live music or go to a bar, coffee shop or ice cream parlor as part of your evening. And you could walk.

Even if you're only interested in dinner, Spice is the best restaurant in Cleveland right now and it's only an extra 15 minutes of driving.

May 25, 2013
stuart in Great Lakes

avoiding hydrogenated oil. specifically french fries, fried chicken and tacos

On my last trip to Chicago, I enjoyed a decent hot dog at Superdawg, but really loved the fries. Later I went to Uncle John's and enjoyed my meal, but especially the french fries. I don't know whether they actually use partially hydrogenated frankenoil, but it's so common that I usually just assume every place is using it unless they're specifically advertising that they don't

I'm actually not particularly interested in french fries, however. I would just like to be able to have some ribs or a nice hot dog while not worrying about the fries they came with.

I just read a mouthwatering round-up of fried chicken in the Chicago area. Certainly, some of those places must eschew HO, right?

I prefer corn tortillas, which usually don't have HO to begin with as many of the flour tortillas do. But I worry about the fat taquerias use to cook the meat. Lard is frequently hydrogenated.

I can't be the only person who is happy to eat moderate amounts of natural, fried foods, but would prefer to completely avoid partially hydrogenated foods. Chicago has so much depth, especially in these areas, that there must be restaurants which don't use HO but are still as delicious as any other.

Please point me to them. Thank you.

It's not much, but I can start. I can't remember where I read it, but I believe that Harold's doesn't use HO.

Apr 17, 2013
stuart in Chicago Area

Ohio Vist, One Dinner, One Breakfast, Cleveland or Columbus?

The cafe and the restaurant are both projects of Chef Doug Katz. He is the owner and chef of fire, which is one of Cleveland's best restaurants. I haven't been to the Art Museum since Provenance opened, but I'm not surprised that Chef Katz did a great job.

Dec 01, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

Ohio Vist, One Dinner, One Breakfast, Cleveland or Columbus?

I had that sweet potato pizza again recently, except I didn't really describe it very well. Like, for instance, that it wasn't a sweet potato pizza at all. It was a squash pizza. Er.... oops.

It's very sweet as pizzas go, which is why I was thinking about taking something else from the Cento menu and piling it on top. I ended up just eating it as they normally prepare it and it was delicious, but as I said, it is fairly sweet. Also, it has delicious house made merguez sausage on it.

Nov 07, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

Ohio Vist, One Dinner, One Breakfast, Cleveland or Columbus?

What day of the week is it? Are you looking for food to eat at breakfast time or are you specifically interested in American-style breakfast food?

For your dinner you should go to either Bar Cento or Spice in Cleveland. I think I've posted about each of them enough so that I don't really need to add much.

Each time I have the charcuterie board at Bar Cento, I think they've perfected it. But, they manage to impress me again the next time. They make sausages, dried salamis, rillettes, pates, mouses and more. All in house from animals that were humanely raised. I recommend the sunnyside (egg) pizza to first timers, but they have a pretty strong menu. Salads are very simple. They highlight the quality of the ingredients.

They added a new sweet potato pizza that I liked. I hardly ever customize my pizzas at Bar Cento, but I'm looking forward to trying something with this one. I think it's a good pizza, but would make an even better foundation.

The chicken is good, but they take the thighs, do something magical to them and serve them wrapped in prosciutto. Those are the best bites of chicken you'll find in Cleveland, by far. They do well with beef. They have a good (mostly traditional) hamburger. The duck lasagne is very good, but it's not super filling. It's almost like a big appetizer. The fries are very good, too. And the fingerling potato side.

Most of the stuff I can remember from recent visits to Spice has been a nightly special, so I can't be much help in choosing from their menu. Desserts are reliable. Some of the best desserts in the city, actually. The dessert menu is small. Three items, and one features some chocolates that they don't make. I stick to the stuff they make, mostly because I can't get that anywhere else.

Nov 04, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

Downtown Cleveland/ Westside Anniversary recs needed...

Spice is excellent. It has a casual, laid-back atmosphere, but it still feels conscientiously designed. It's comfortable, but still attractive. I only peeked into The Black Pig, but my first impression was that you could say very much the same thing about it. Service at Spice is warm.

I guess that's how I like restaurants, but mostly I don't really care about that nearly as much as the food. The food at Spice is conscientiously sourced, perfectly prepared, not fussy, consistent and delicious. And they offer a lot of specials, which is nice when you end up eating there several times a month. I think they offer different specials most nights.

Oct 13, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

Goya products in/near Cleveland?!?!

There's an excellent taqueria in Painesville. Great buche, lengua tacos. The taqueria is in the corner of a grocery store. I don't pay much attention to the grocery store. I'm not much of a cook. But I have seen Goya products. I'm also pretty sure I've heard that it's one of the largest Mexican grocery stores in the region, so they will have much more than just that: butcher, fresh baked goods...

It's called La Mexicana.

Oct 11, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

36 hours near Oberlin

I like the nachos at Agave.

The pancakes at Black River Cafe are also good.

Both restaurants are very conscientious about sourcing fresh, local ingredients and cooking from scratch. If you're into that sort of thing...

Oct 04, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

What is the best Middle Eastern eatery in Cleveland?

I also like Maha's, but once you've had the falafel, there isn't much else to eat there. I've only eaten at their stand in the market. I assume their cafe has a larger menu.

I've had some good food at a few places on Lorain. Arabian Village Market is one. Also, Assad's Bakery. Try the soujuk. Kabab-G had excellent (really fantastic) beef kabob, but when they re-opened after a brief remodeling job, it was left off their smaller menu. The owner said that he would bring it back. I really hope he does.

I've had some good food at a Turkish place in Tremont called Istanbul Grill. Certainly, their donner is fantastic.

Jul 02, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

Best Cleveland Italian?

I like the pizza at Dominic Santos. It's a pan style pizza and the best that I've had around here.

I also like the pizza at Bar Cento. I think it's most accurate to say that it's inspired by Neapolitan style pizza, but not really authentic. It's thinner and crisper, almost like a cracker. But it's tasty and they do a good job with the toppings. I think the one's to try are the sunnyside (with an egg and pancetta) or the potato (more pancetta).

Feb 18, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

Good eats around Kent St Univ (OH)?

I had the burger and some chili cheese fries at Ray's. The chili cheese fries were bland and the fries weren't crisp. I tried someone else's fried mushrooms and those weren't good either.

I've never been, but I've read about Taco Tanto's and I would try it if I ever had any reason to go back to Kent.

Feb 13, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

hubby is traveling to Independence Ohio, good dining options please

If he likes Aladdin's, he should try Kabab-G and Assad's Bakery. Kabab-G has great beef kababs. Try the soujouk (sp?) and falafel at Assad's.

Feb 02, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

A first time visitor to Cleveland

In my experience, the best corned beef in Cleveland is from the Vienna Meat store. It's a wholesale meat distributor, but they sell to the public and that includes their corned beef. You can buy it warm by the pound with a quarter loaf of bread and a bottle of mustard and have a perfect sandwich in the comfort of your car. It may be a branch of a Chicago company, but some of the guys have been working there forever. It feels like a part of Cleveland to me. It wouldn't spring to mind as a DDD type spot, but the subject was raised in some of the other responses.

Lion on Lorain is a perfect DDD spot. I had a scallop po' boy special on my last visit and it was delicious. They could have served the sandwich with only the cauliflower condiment and it would have been an excellent vegetarian option. I also really like the soup special. On other visits, I had some delicious chili, a delicious creme brulee special, some good tacos. They cook from scratch, they have lots of interesting specials, and the food tastes good. They serve affordable comfort food in a casual atmosphere. That's what I look for when I'm thinking about good DDD spots.

Assad's is just across the street and another good DDD candidate. It's a Lebanese market and I've never seen anyone eat at the two lonely tables they have in the window, but I've eaten there several times. The felafel has been my favorite, but the soudjouk (soujouk? sujouk?) is also delicious.

Kabab G is another Lebanese spot in the same neighborhood. I've had several good meals there, but the best thing I've had there is the beef kababs. In fact, they're easily the best kababs I've had anywhere. They're cooked over charcoal.

Istanbul Grill is a Turkish restaurant in a different neighborhood. They make their own doner (think gyro/shawarma) and it's delicious.

Jan 23, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

hubby is traveling to Independence Ohio, good dining options please

I also like Istanbul Grill. It's my favorite restaurant in Tremont. Definitely get the doner. It's available in different configurations. It's house made.

I'm the guy that's usually piping up to recommend fire and Bar Cento. I think they're the best restaurants in the city and certainly worth the drive. Please refer to earlier posts of mine for specific recommendations.

Jan 09, 2012
stuart in Great Lakes

Thanksgiving Day on I-90 (Indiana or Ohio)

I90 goes right through Cleveland. If you're planning to hit the Cleveland area at a convenient meal time, then there should be some good choices.

Bar Cento is my favorite restaurant in Cleveland. They'll be open at 8pm. There's a rabbit pasta dish that's quite good. The hanger steak is great. French fries. The fingerling potato side dish. Salads are all good. The meat and cheese boards are good. The sunnyside pizza is great.

I just confirmed that Buckeye Beer Engine will be open from 11am until 2:30am. Try the adobo beef roll appetizer.

Otherwise, your options will mostly be Asian food. Siam Cafe is the best Chinese restaurant in that area. I'm sure they'll be open. I've posted about Siam Cafe frequently. You can find more specific recommendations in previous threads.

There are Vietnamese and Korean options if you're interested. I would recommend calling any of these other places to confirm their hours.

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Bar Cento
1948 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113

Buckeye Beer Engine
15315 Madison Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107

Nov 23, 2011
stuart in Great Lakes

Cleveland: Recommendation needed off I-271

Flour is great. It's quickly become one of my favorite restaurants in entire city. I've never been for lunch, but I saw a picture of a pork tenderloin sandwich. It looked terrific.

I've had several pizzas. They ranged from good to excellent. I think my favorite may have been the sausage. Some of the pizza specials have been topping-heavy. And I've had pasta, chicken, sausage and meatballs, veal ribs, wedding soup and more. Almost everything has been very good and the rest has been good.

Nov 20, 2011
stuart in Great Lakes

Cleveland: Recommendation needed off I-271

Corky uses Vienna brand corned beef, pastrami and salami. (They may have more than one brand of salami. Be careful.) They use a decent local rye bread. They use a decent local bagel. They use Acme brand smoked and pickled fish products. I usually get my corned beef from the Vienna wholesale shop, so it's been years since I've had a corned beef sandwich here, but my vague recollection is that they're appropriately fresh and fatty. If you stick to this stuff, I can't really understand what there is to criticize.

I also vaguely remember enjoying challah french toast, kishke, a salami omelette ( I ask for large cubes) and house roasted turkey. I also had a puzzling stuffed veal breast. It had lots of great flavor, but it was ruined by one strong, off flavor. I think it may have been canned mushrooms and I think it was just the luck of the draw.

I know I've had some clunkers, too. My grandmother would always want me to go there with her and I would always push to go someplace else. But, I think it's a lot better than is being reflected by the general tenor of posts in this thread.

Nov 20, 2011
stuart in Great Lakes

Cleveland recs

My recommendation is that you call Bar Cento when you're ready to leave and if they can't accommodate you, go to Siam Cafe. But, if you go to Ohio City and Bar Cento is full, you're in the right neighborhood to find an alternative. Within a block or so, there are a lot of restaurants: Crop, Touch Supper Club, West Side Market Cafe, Flying Fig, Great Lakes Brewing, Bar Cento, Nate's, Ohio City Burrito, Market Garden Brewery, Phnom Penh, Orale, Garage Bar, Around the Corner, Dragonfly, Kan Zaman, Alaturka, Light Bistro and ABC the Tavern.

After Cento, I'd head to ABC. It's a bar with good food. I like the hot dog and the lamb quesadilla. On Sunday's they have good chili during football games. They frequently have interesting specials.

Then, I'd probably move on to some of the places that I haven't been to yet. Orale just opened. I've always been impressed with the stuff that the owner sells at his stand in the West Side Market.

Oct 28, 2011
stuart in Great Lakes

Cleveland recs

None of the restaurants recommended in this thread will be reliably able to accommodate your party on such short notice. You might want to consider Siam Cafe. It's a big restaurant and they run a smooth operation. It would require a bus trip, but it's only 1.5mi and the service is door-to-door. You might think that Chinese in Cleveland is a lot like Indian in Seattle, but I think you may need to give a little on something or you'll loose control of the process and you might end up eating Indian food in Cleveland, too. At least Siam Cafe is tasty.

If you end up at Siam, consider these dishes:
Chinese: fried tofu, braised tofu, ham hock (good for a large group), salt baked shrimp, chicken noodle soup, beef noodle soup with shrimp dumplings, fried chicken, boiled chicken, braised beef brisket, steamed bread, potstickers

Also, they have live fish. Pick a fish and match it with a preparation: fried, steamed, black bean sauce, etc...

Vietnamese: char broiled beef, hot and sour soup, banh cuan cha lua

Thai: Hot and sour soup

Honestly, just steer clear of General Tso's chicken and all the other Americanized Chinese classics and you'll be fine. Not that the Tso's is bad. It's just not the reason to go to this restaurant.

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Siam Cafe
3951 Saint Clair Ave NE, Cleveland, OH 44114

Oct 28, 2011
stuart in Great Lakes

Cleveland recs

Bar Cento is my favorite restaurant in Cleveland. There's a new brisket dish on the menu. If you have a high tolerance for fatty food, this is great. Their hanger steak is some of the best beef around. Salads are great. The "big board" has house made charcuterie and pickles. I highly recommend it. The fries with the aioli assortment are some of the best fries around here. The pizzas are nice, but two in particular are tremendous: the potato pizza and the "sunnyside" (runny egg) pizza. The chef mentioned that duck will be coming back to the menu in the appetizer section. They have an amazing source for duck. It's the best that I've ever had. With any luck, it will be back in time for your visit.

I can't speak to the overall quality of our public transport, but Bar Cento is easily accessible from downtown. It's across 25th from the West Side Market and across Market St from The Flying Fig. It's one rapid stop from Tower City, which is a short walk from your hotel.

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Bar Cento
1948 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113

Oct 27, 2011
stuart in Great Lakes

Cleveland-Great value meals near the Renaissance hotel

Didn't Greg MacLaren take over at Luxe? I thought Kaplan's been out for a long time.

oh... I like Bar Cento. fries, potato pizza, sunnyside pizza, meat board...

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Bar Cento
1948 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113

Oct 10, 2011
stuart in Great Lakes

Cleveland - DTN/Lakewood recs

Bar Cento is open for lunch on Saturdays.

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Bar Cento
1948 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113

Oct 09, 2011
stuart in Great Lakes

Cleveland - DTN/Lakewood recs

Bar Cento is great. Get French fries, potato pizza, sunnyside pizza, meat board, a salad...

For ethnic, may I recommend Lebanese? Kabab G is great. Get a salad, some hummus and the beef kabobs. Assad's has awesome sandwiches, but it's not really a restaurant. It's a market with one sad little table.

Siam Cafe is a very good option for Chinese. Many of the noodle soups are particularly good: beef noodle with shrimp dumplings or chicken, for instance. If you've got a large group, then the ham hock is great. Salt baked shrimp. Braised tofu or fried tofu.

And if you're determined to go with Vietnamese, then Siam Cafe is still a great option. Char broiled beef, chicken chop, pork chop. The rice is better at other Vietnamese restaurants, but the chicken and pork are better at Siam. It's a shame.

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Bar Cento
1948 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113

Oct 08, 2011
stuart in Great Lakes

Cleveland: xiao long bao (Soup Dumplings)

I've had soup dumplings at Siam Cafe. They were good. It was always as a part of a multi course prix fixe meal. They aren't on the regular menu. Someone else arranged the meals. I don't know what the restaurant's policy is. I'm sure it would at least require a call in advance, but that may be enough. I've never seen them anywhere else.

Siam cafe also has a nice beef soup with shrimp dumplings and I like their potstickers.

Sep 28, 2011
stuart in Great Lakes