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Cleveland Solo

I'll be in downtown Cleveland for 6 days (staying at Prospect and 6th) and looking for some places to go that would be OK to do solo. Bar seating preferred. Might have a companion for a night or two, so tell me if I must do something at a place that would be awkward alone. No car, but think nothing of walking 45 minutes for some good food - public transport (with no transfers) is fine.

Looking for the best Cleveland has to offer and/or uniquely Cleveland. Dives are fine. Ethnic is fine, but no Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese (live on the West Coast) unless you have the best Sichuan/Hunan in America.

After browsing this board I have come up with some possibilities:

Greenhouse Tavern
Bier Markt (love beer!)
Sokolowskis (I have not had a good pirogi since my grandmother passed away...)

Yea or nay?

1835 Fulton Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113

The Greenhouse Tavern
2038 E 4th Street, Cleveland, OH 44115

Sep 07, 2010
NickZ in Great Lakes

Preserved Vegetables for Hunan Cooking (SEA)

HT on Aurora and 100th has lots 'o preserved veggies.

May 23, 2008
NickZ in Greater Seattle

Taco Trucks in Seattle

Just thought I'd mention that I had some pork tamales at the Taco Truck in the Bitter Lake Home Depot parking lot, El Camion. They were rockin'. Going for the tacos this weekend....

Apr 01, 2008
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

SEA: Shi'an Restaurant

Went here last night. Worth a visit for the ambiance alone - cheesy American diner decor with a few pieces of Chinese flair. Where else in Seattle can you have a Chinese meal on a stool at a lunch counter? I'm sure some would be turned off by this, but it gets points in my book. If you are into funky, slip on your skin tight jeans and Chuck Taylors and get down there now.

As for the food - it was good. I traveled through Shaanxi/Northwest China a few times and found the food to be...ummm...a little "rough." This ain't no Imperial cuisine, but rather hearty, peasant food. On that note, the dumplings in hot and sour soup were good, as was the noodle dish we had (sorry - can't remember the name). It has pine nuts in it - don't remember this in Shaanxi, but maybe I just missed it. The noodles were pull noodles - thick and chewy. The Cumin Beef was way over-cumined. I think this place should start doing lamb and beef kabobs with the cumin stuff over a grill like they do in street stalls - that stuff rocks and would bring me back again and again.

Very nice people that worked there. If I lived in Lake City it would be on my regular rotation. I wouldn't say this place will knock your socks off, but it will give you a taste of some things that you just can't get elsewhere.

Jan 18, 2008
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Best Seattle Indian Buffet?

Not Seattle, but Udupi Palace in the Crossroads Mall in Bellevue has a fine buffet. It is vegetarian and South Indian, so it may not have the usual stuff people are used to.

Jan 15, 2008
NickZ in Greater Seattle

Gourmet Burger

I agree with nseattlefoodie - Olive You's service has been declining steadily since it opened. I would argue that the food quality isn't what it once was, either.

Dec 19, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Gastropubs in Seattle

74th St. Alehouse is in my neighborhood, so I go quite a bit. IMO, their food has gone downhill somewhat over the past couple of years - an inverse relationship with their prices. The last time we went, my SO ordered the fish tacos. They were tacos, all right, but filled with shrimp. No mention of this when she ordered. Ummm....I think it is kind of a stretch to consider shrimp "fish." We rarely go there for food anymore - just beer.

Dec 17, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Cavatelli Question

I want to try a recipe for pasta with crab and chillies. The recipe calls for dried or fresh cavatelli. I figured I would try to make it by hand, so my searches ended up finding some recipes with ricotta, eggs, flour and water and some with just flour and water. Does anyone know if "real" cavatelli has ricotta in it? I would assume from the "dried or fresh" tag in the recipe, the author was referring to non-cheese pasta, since you wouldn't want to dry pasta with so much cheese in it - right?

Any thoughts appreciated. Normally, I would just try the cheese one, but I am afraid that cheese pasta might not go so well with crab. I don't want to spend the $$ and time getting a crab and shelling it only to have an inedible mess on my hands....

Dec 15, 2007
NickZ in Home Cooking

Seattle Wine Stores

The Vineyard on Greenlake and 83rd. It's a small store and focused on "Old World" wine, but he has CA/OR/WA wines, as well. I once asked Patrick if a particular wine was any good, he responded "All the wines here are good - if I don't like them, I don't sell them." Can't argue with that - especially coming from someone with good taste.

Nov 26, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Dim Sum Layover

You guys are awesome! Millbrae it shall be. Thanks.

Oct 03, 2007
NickZ in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim Sum Layover

Thanks for the quick and numerous responses. The Hong Kong Flower Lounge sounds great and would allow us to have a leisurely meal as opposed to watching the clock on a trek to the City.

Oct 01, 2007
NickZ in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim Sum Layover

We have a 5 hour layover for an international flight at SFO (probably more like 3 1/2 after check-in). Would someone be so kind as to suggest were we might be able to get some great dim sum on a Friday late-morning that we could reach by public transit from SFO? We are willing to head into the City on BART, if need be, but I also remember having great dim sum in San Bruno a few years back. Suggestions much appreciated!

Sep 30, 2007
NickZ in San Francisco Bay Area

Knife sharpening in Seattle?

I'll second Kramer Knives sharpening. I sent several knives there over two years ago, never "touched them up" with a sharpener and they are just now at the point of needing re-sharpening (with daily use). It may be more expensive than the local Tue Value, but the edge he puts on is amazing - I spent the first several weeks oogling the blade....

Sep 12, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

In Search of Great Chinese Food in Seattle area

Not just in America - it's pretty rare to find good Hunan food outside of Hunan in China (unlike Sichuanese food).

Jul 24, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

In Search of Great Chinese Food in Seattle area

No Hunan in Seattle. Someone needs to fill that void!

Jul 23, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Mexican in Seattle

Ate lunch here yesterday. Vegetarians need not apply. At the recommendation of the staff, I had the house special - the "Barrigona." Fried, breaded steak. Pork leg. Chorizo. "Sausage" (more like a hot dog). Onions. Avacodo. Cheese. All this put on white bread roll and toasted like a panini. Yes - this would make Homer Simpson drool (all that is missing is a fried egg).

Even though I am a carnivore of the highest order, this did seems like a little much. I was, however, surprised. Each bite came with a different taste of meat. The meat itself seemed like pretty good quality - even the "sausage." The salsa they give you makes the sandwich, IMHO - it is a smoky salsa made with dried chilis - almost like an enchilada sauce.

I wouldn't go too far out of my way to visit this place - it is, after all, a sandwich place. I will go 15+ miles out of my way to try a taco, but I couldn't see myself doing that for a torta. If you are into sandwiches, though, try this. I will go again and try some of the other choices - some with slightly less meat than what I initially chose. A very welcome addition to the neighborhood - unique, tasty, and friendly.

On a final note, if this place doesn't do well, the owners could have a second career in "branding" - the logo and menus are extremely well done.

Jul 18, 2007
NickZ in Greater Seattle

Good eats near Green Lake Park (SEA)

I really like Eva - good food, casual atmosphere, reasonably priced, and a decent wine list.

I would second Nell's - but I would say it is probably one of the least adventurous places around.

Eva Restaurant & Wine Bar
2227 N 56th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Jul 16, 2007
NickZ in Greater Seattle

Taco Trucks in Seattle

They did raise their prices - it is now $1.75 for a taco. A little steep. Their carnitas is pretty good, though....

Jul 09, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest


Chiang's Gourmet
Sichuan Cuisine (Redmond location)

Jun 12, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Marwa Somali

Thanks for the report - I'd love to see more people post on places like these.

May 07, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Brasa or Restaurant Zoe?


Brasa has a hip/swanky vibe, but the food at Zoe is way better, IMHO.

Apr 23, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Middle Eastern or Arabic Market Cafe, Seattle

There is a market that sells Hallal meat on Aurora between 78th and 79th. No prepared foods, but they have a lot of canned/botled/frozen middle eastern products. I don't go there much - except to get cheap tahini and pita.

Apr 20, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

SEA: Wines from Alsace

I would give Patrick at the Vineyard wineshop on 8218 Greenwood Ave N a call. The phone # is (206) 706-7349. I'm into reds, so I don't know how many wines he carries from Alsace, but I am sure he has some. His focus is "old world" style wines - very knowledgeable.

Mar 30, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Help with real Thai in Seattle

I second the Noodle Boat rec - best Thai food I have had in the area, hands down. Call before you go, though - IIRC, they kind of have unusual hours.

Mar 26, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

pagliacci's pizza newbie

Request the pie "well done" if you like a crispy crust. Still can't fold it like a NYC slice, but it comes close. They won't look at you funny is you ask - I do it all the time....

Mar 21, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Good Wok

Not sure about Portland, but I bought a good one at the Bed, Bath, and Beyond Seattle store. Unless you have an obscene amount of BTUs on your range, cast iron is really the way to go for a wok, IMHO....

Mar 07, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Has anybody tried this month's 25 for $25 in Seattle?

We did Eva last year and were really pleased. It doesn't seem that far out of line with their normal prices, so I don't think they "cut corners." Then again, I'm an "amateur," so I haven't been there for the normal menu ;-)

Mar 07, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Most seattlest restuarant?!

Matt's in the Market - although I have yet to visit the remodeled location...

Feb 27, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Bread Pudding in Seattle

Agreed - the Eva savory bread pudding rocks!

Feb 20, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest

Indian in Seattle? Vietnamese? Gyros?

Mr. Gyro's in Greenwwod (8411 Greenwood Ave N ) makes a good gyro. It's a pretty small take-out place, but it does have a few tables.

India Bistro in Ballard is good. If you are willing to make the trip over to the Eastside, then I would recommend Udupi Palace - be warned, though - it's vegetarian.

Feb 13, 2007
NickZ in Pacific Northwest