Review By: Stefanie Parks –
I was in Cleveland for work and had an extremely long day. I had been working since early in the morning, pretty much hadn’t been outside all day, and had meetings until 9pm (yes, I’m venting). I had an hour break between 6 and 7, so wanted to make the most of it and try to find a good place for dinner. We were staying downtown, and as we started walking around, it seemed as though the few restaurants around our hotel were all closed. After about 5 blocks, we finally found a strip of bars, and figured that was probably our best (slash only) bet.
We decided on The Clevelander because they had a cute outdoor area and went inside to see if we could get a table (well, we figured we could because there was no one else sitting outside). The bartender told us that he was the only one working and that yes, we could grab a table outside, but we had to order at the bar. Hm, ok… how do you tip when your waiter doesn’t even come to take your order or fill up your water?
The first thing on the menu that caught my eye was the Spicy Pastrami Melt with hot cherry pepper kraut, pepper jack cheese, and their spicy horsey 1000 island sauce. So basically, a spicy reuben with pastrami instead of corned beef. I love reubens, so figured that this was a good bet for me, and when I asked the bartender, he said it was “the best thing on the whole menu!!!” Ok, sold. My brother Jason ordered The Clevelander Wrap which is grilled chicken breast, honey cured ham, lettuce, tomato, and crumbled blue cheese, served with southwest sauce. He got House Kettle Chips on the side, I got a side salad, and we both got a pickle.
I started with my side salad. It was a pretty typical side salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onions, and cheese. I got balsamic vinaigrette, and it was just not good. Not good at all. I had one bite and that was enough for me. Then I took a bite of the pastrami melt, and it was good… for a couple of bites, but it was just too much for me. It was very greasy, the bread was soggy, and the flavor was a little overwhelming. I took a bite of Jason’s and I actually liked his much better. Probably not something I ever would have ordered myself, but I was glad I got to have a bite. Surprisingly, the best thing that we tried at The Clevelander was the kettle chips. They were delicious, and I could have eaten a whole plate of them (I didn’t though, don’t worry!!).
So, I guess the spicy pastrami melt wasn’t the best thing on the menu, or not according to me anyway, but my meal at The Clevelander was still probably the highlight of my whole day (though that’s not really saying very much).