Sunday, July 10, 2011

Best Eats

So, lately I've been thinking about all the great (and mostly undiscovered) great restaurants in the area. I love discovering new places with great food, sharing them with other people, and exploring different part of the city

Big Al's -- Big Al's is a small, unassuming diner in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Again, it doesn't look like much, but their food is fantastic. They've been featured on the Food Network, as has their corned beef hash, which is amazing.  Fresh peppers, onions, and potatoes with a light, surprisingly-non-greasy corned beef, topped with light fluffy eggs. Mmmm.

Corned Beef Hash, anyone?

Aladdin's Bakery -- Often mistaken for the well-known Aladdin's Eateries, Aladdin's Bakery is a gem. I love their chicken shwarma wrap and their spinach pita pie is delicious.

B Spot --  Admittedly, this isn't exactly a hole-in-the-wall. Michael Symon's burger joint The B Spot has great burgers, drinks, and atmosphere.  He's got a burger for every taste. There's even a vegetarian burger and -in Symon's typical pork-loving way- it's called the "Why???" and they will add bacon to it free of charge.  Things to try: The Lola Burger (burger, fried egg, pickled red onion, bacon, cheddar and mayo), Lola Fries (shoestring fries with rosemary and sea salt), and the Stadium Style Brat (bratwurst, carmelized onions, stadium mustard).

Lola Burgers and Lola Fries

Presti's -- Opened in 1903 in Little Italy, this place is a Cleveland classic. I love coming down to Little Italy for a late weekend breakfast. Muffin and mochas anyone? They've got incredible pastries, delicious gelato, and a fantastic lunch counter. The artichoke pizza is to die for.

Mocha and Mocha Muffin. Photo Credit goes to my sister, Gina
North Union Farmers' Market at Shaker Square -- One of my favorite Saturday morning traditions is heading over to the farmers' market, picking up some fresh, local veggies and getting a crepe. Crepes are only $4 and the proceeds go to support the farmers' market.  You get your choice of fruit (usually bananas or some seasonal fruit) and spread (jam or Nutella) and all cooked to perfection.

Blueberries and raspberry jam. Photo credit goes to my sister, Ellie.
Last, but not least: The Happy Dog.  Talk about a niche market. They serve only hot dogs and tater tots. For $5 you get your choice of a quarter pound hot dog or a vegan italian sausage and you can add an unlimited amount of toppings. I highly suggest the combo of chipotle ketchup, brazilian chimichurri, a fried egg, fresh tomatoes, carmelized onions, a pickle spear, and a slice of brie.

Bon apetit!
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