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Corned Beef, Hungarian Food and Polish Boys in Cleveland

Corned Beef, Hungarian Food and Polish Boys in Cleveland
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  • Corned Beef, Hungarian Food and Polish Boys in Cleveland

    Post #1 - March 10th, 2008, 2:17 am
    Post #1 - March 10th, 2008, 2:17 am Post #1 - March 10th, 2008, 2:17 am
    I recently accompanied Josephine part way on her trip east, spending a couple days in Cleveland. The city has been getting a lot attention recently for its newer spots such as Lola and Velvet Tango Room but I suspect it's been a good place to eat for a long time. I'd love to dine at Lola one day (reservations are impossible on short notice) but I was more than happy eating at some Cleveland classics. Our eating focused on three of Cleveland's strong areas: corned beef, Hungarian specialties and Polish Boys.

    Corned Beef

    Cleveland is a surprisingly good city for corned beef. Getting off the highway, we unexpectedly passed Corky & Lenny's, an old Cleveland deli, so of course we had to visit. As soon as you walk in you know these guys are serious. Smoked fish, knishes, pickles etc fill the long deli case by the door.

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    Beef and latkas (see this discussion of the Heebarito) was on the menu so there was no question about ordering it. Good corned beef, good potato pancakes but I'm afraid I don't find it an inspired combination.

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    Corky & Lenny's Reuben is a pleasing version, well balanced, with a nice grilled crust.

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    This single visit suggests that Corky & Lenny's is carrying on deli traditions more faithfully than anywhere in Chicago.

    When talking about corned beef in Cleveland, the name Slyman's always comes up. The place is wildly popular and sells sandwiches as fast as they can make them. It's quite a scene, certainly not the place for a quiet relaxing lunch.

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    Slyman's is more of a sandwich shop than a full-scale deli like Corky & Lenny's but the menu has plenty to choose from. The portions are enormous, bordering on ridiculous but prices are low and quality high so I'm not complaining. The proportions of the Reuben (in foreground) are completely out of whack though. Corned beef completely dominates the bit of sauerkraut and slice of cheese. I'd just stick with a basic corned beef.

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    My third taste of corned beef came from Mister Brisket. It's a meat market not a restaurant but they sell very good sandwiches to take away. What more needs to be said about a butcher that inspires young girls to send valentines?

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    This was yet another high quality corned beef sandwich. From this brief visit, I'd say Cleveland outclasses Chicago in this category.

    Hungarian Food

    The West Side Market is without question the premier culinary destination in Cleveland, and near the top in the US. It's a fantastic place, a intriguing blend of gritty working market and friendly gourmet shops. An absolutely essential stop.

    There are about a hundred vendors at the market but I'll focus on a single one. Dohar Meats sells Hungarian sausage and smoked meat in maybe a dozen varieties.

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    One of their specialties is szalonna, a bacon traditionally served after cooking over an open fire.

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    Hurka is a traditional rice-based sausage, a cousin of kishka. To the left of the hurka is fris paprikash kolbász, uncured Hungarian sausage seasoned with paprika. A gentleman I sat next to at Great Lakes Brewpub told me how his mother would take her great iron skillet and coil this sausage around the hurka.

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    We had hurka for breakfast, served with scrambled eggs and some apple pastries from Farkas. A real feast.

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    Two blocks from the market is Farkas Pastry. Mike G has written lovingly of the place and I can only enthusiastically second all he said. Even though I'm not a huge pastry fan, I found these Hungarian specialties to be truly special and Mr Farkas a pleasure to chat with.

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    Also very close to the market is Great Lakes Brewing, a fine spot to sample their topnotch beers. At least on the Saturday afternoon I was there it held an excellent mix of drinkers—from suburbanites fresh from their weekly shopping to butchers relaxing after a long day at the market—unlike the homogeneous crowds at many brewpubs. Sampling all their seasonal beers rarely seen Chicago was a pleasure.

    Friday night we headed to St Margaret of Hungary, an old Cleveland parish from the old Hungarian neighborhood of Buckeye Avenue but now in the suburbs, for their Lenten fish fry.

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    I enjoyed the fish's spicy coating fragrant with paprika and the side of noodles and cabbage. Live music, played on a century-old cimbalom, was an unexpected pleasure.

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    Polish Boys

    The Polish Boy is a Cleveland treat that's been getting a lot of attention recently (No Reservations, Esquire, Plain Dealer). This barbecue-house specialty consists of a kielbasa in a hot dog bun, dressed with a pile of cole slaw, a handful of fries, then smothered in barbecue sauce. Minutes after leaving Slyman's we stopped at Freddie's to sample their version.

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    Freddie's is an old-school barbecue house with a cool-looking ancient pit behind the counter.

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    In addition to many barbecue standards, the menu includes pigs feet (they were out) and house made Delta-style tamales. The tamales, with their cornmeal shell and highly spiced filling, were excellent specimens.

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    The Polish Boy is a horrifying mess but it's quite tasty. The terrific freshly made fries helped a lot. Even immediately after a Slyman's sandwich the Polish Boy was surprisingly good but I think one of these masterpieces would be best appreciated after the bars close.

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    The next day we stopped at Hot Sauce Williams for another take on this delicacy.

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    They used a pre-boiled Polish and old fries, both from the steam table, nondescript slaw and overly sweet sauce. It tasted exactly like the sum of its parts: not very good. I never watched Bourdain's No Reservations but I understand he went to Hot Sauce Williams for a Polish Boy. It's a shame he didn't get to Freddie's.

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    I'd like to give Hot Sauce Williams another try for pork shoulder, their specialty. We saw it being cooked out back and it looks like they take it seriously.

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    Many thanks to Diana and Mike for their wonderful hospitality.

    Corky & Lenny's
    27091 Chagrin Blvd
    Woodmere Village OH
    216-464-3838
    http://www.corkyandlennys.com/

    Slyman's
    3106 St Clair Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-621-3760
    http://www.slymans.com/
    Mon-Fri 6am-2:30pm

    Mister Brisket
    2156 S Taylor St
    Cleveland Heights OH
    216-932-8620
    http://www.misterbrisket.com/
    Tue-Fri 9am-5pm, Mon & Sat 9am-3pm

    West Side Market
    W 25th & Lorain
    Cleveland OH
    http://westsidemarket.com/
    Mon & Wed 7am-4pm, Fri & Sat 7am-6pm

    Farkas Pastry Shoppe
    2700 Lorain Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-281-6200
    http://www.farkaspastries.com/
    Wed-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat 9am-2pm

    Great Lakes Brewing Company
    2516 Market Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-771-4404
    http://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/
    Bar hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11:30am-1am

    St Margaret of Hungary Church
    4680 Lander Rd
    Chagrin Falls OH
    440-248-2618
    Fish fry: Fri 5pm-7pm

    Hot Sauce Williams
    7815 Carnegie Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-391-2230
    Mon-Thu 6am-11pm, Fri-Sat 6am-3:30am

    Freddie's Rib House
    1430 St Clair Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-575-1750
  • Post #2 - March 10th, 2008, 9:40 am
    Post #2 - March 10th, 2008, 9:40 am Post #2 - March 10th, 2008, 9:40 am
    Thanks for the great post. Cleveland is a wonderful city whose charms were only starting to become apparent to me when I left my high-school home of Akron for the confines of Chicago. Still, I go back often, and I can't wait to hit a few of these places soon!

    Postscript: One thing I always notice when I return to Northeastern Ohio and that I didn't see in your pictures (and which I guess might exist elsewhere, though I've never seen it), is the venerable Sauerkraut Ball--basically just what it sounds like, a ball of sauerkraut breaded and fried. They taste just like you'd expect, but the people do love them there (They even make appearances at fine restaurants, as a side item.)
    "Who says I despair?...I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?"--Walker Percy
  • Post #3 - March 10th, 2008, 9:56 am
    Post #3 - March 10th, 2008, 9:56 am Post #3 - March 10th, 2008, 9:56 am
    ParkerS wrote:is the venerable Sauerkraut Ball--basically just what it sounds like, a ball of sauerkraut breaded and fried.

    Parker,

    Sounds.....interesting, yep, that's it, interesting. Wondering though, how do they get the sauerkraut to stick together for breading and frying?

    Speaking of interesting, but in a completely different way than fried sauerkraut, Rene G's picture of a Polish Boy at Freddie's is calling my name. Nice looking BBQ pits at both Hot Sauce Williams and Freddie's, thanks for posting the pics.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - March 10th, 2008, 10:18 am
    Post #4 - March 10th, 2008, 10:18 am Post #4 - March 10th, 2008, 10:18 am
    Hi,

    It is less than six hour drive to Cleveland, which is very approachable for a long weekend.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - March 10th, 2008, 12:00 pm
    Post #5 - March 10th, 2008, 12:00 pm Post #5 - March 10th, 2008, 12:00 pm
    G Wiv,
    Basically just with egg and flour and all the things that you would normally associate with a croquette type deal. Most people just eat them as is. I think they'd be much better with some sort of sauce. They're a classic, but, as with a lot of regional food borne of abundance, not very interesting to the tongue.
    Here's a recipe I found, which involves much more than anything I've found to be found in NE Ohio, though its soul is the same:
    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sauerkraut-Balls-2/

    -parker
    "Who says I despair?...I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?"--Walker Percy
  • Post #6 - March 10th, 2008, 5:35 pm
    Post #6 - March 10th, 2008, 5:35 pm Post #6 - March 10th, 2008, 5:35 pm
    ParkerS wrote:Postscript: One thing I always notice when I return to Northeastern Ohio and that I didn't see in your pictures (and which I guess might exist elsewhere, though I've never seen it), is the venerable Sauerkraut Ball--basically just what it sounds like, a ball of sauerkraut breaded and fried. They taste just like you'd expect, but the people do love them there (They even make appearances at fine restaurants, as a side item.)

    Thanks for mentioning that. I first encountered sauerkraut balls at Mader's in Milwaukee so had assumed it was a Wisconsin thing. But it quickly became apparent that sauerkraut balls are an even bigger deal in Cleveland. They were one of the first things we noticed at Corky & Lenny's, our very first stop. The next day we saw several vendors at the West Side Market selling them. The picture below was taken at Meister's in the Market. At Slyman's they sell corned beef shavings at a steep discount. I have little doubt that much of it ends up in sauerkraut balls. I'm disappointed that I didn't try any. I'll definitely have some next trip, maybe with a fried bologna sandwich.

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  • Post #7 - March 11th, 2008, 1:02 pm
    Post #7 - March 11th, 2008, 1:02 pm Post #7 - March 11th, 2008, 1:02 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    ParkerS wrote:is the venerable Sauerkraut Ball
    Sounds.....interesting, yep, that's it, interesting.

    Not so much different than
    the tasty kraut-filled pierogi.
  • Post #8 - March 11th, 2008, 8:05 pm
    Post #8 - March 11th, 2008, 8:05 pm Post #8 - March 11th, 2008, 8:05 pm
    As usual, Rene G, you have done a fine job of covering the highlights of Cleveland. I particularly like the photograph of the pit at Freddies-- it has such a painterly quality, doesn't it? I'm not exaggerating when I say that I have been smelling smoke in my mind's nose since seeing this picture.

    Perhaps your keen aesthetic judgment prevented you from posting the pics of the magenta pickled eggs from the Market, but these were also a visual treat, if not quite as shockingly pink as the Hot Sauce Williams building.

    Just to weigh in on the corned beef, although I didn't taste the corned beef at Mr. Brisket, I'd have to say that Corky and Lenny's was the best I have had in some time, being fatty enough and moist enough to satisfy. I also found the half-sour pickles at Corky and Lenny's to be very much to my taste: crisp, not too large, and with a perfect level of garlic.

    The Cleveland Market proved to be manageable in size, but I would definitely recommend allowing enough time to do it well. Peter was wise to go back there a second day. Apparently it can be jammed in the summer, but it was not too crowded when we visited on a Friday in mid-winter. The standout items in the market were definitely at the butchers' counters. But there were also good pastries which we sampled. An Amish baker offered pies for $8.00, and excellent sour cream walnut coffee cake. One thing I found incongruous at the Amish baker was sugar free pie made with Splenda.

    Mr. Farkas proved as gregarious as Mike G had suggested. (Of course, as I have noted in the past, it helps when you have two really, really cute kids in tow.) Nevertheless, he seemed eager to have us try all his offerings. The only one we were not able to try was the Dobostorte (sp?)
    because it is not offered by the slice. The subtlety of Mr. Farkas' work was notable in that none of the pastries was overly sweet. This highlighted the taste of cream in the Napoleon filling, and hazelnuts and raspberry in the linzertorte.

    We were lucky to be accompanied on our tour by my old friend, Diana, who grew up half-Hungarian in Cleveland. She remembered her grandfather's friends gathering every Sunday around a fire, skewering the bacon, and dripping the bacon grease on rye bread to eat along with the bacon. She also remembered that hurka was usually served with apple sauce. Perhaps Peter can remember what the dominant spice in the hurka was-- was it nutmeg? In any case, though hurka looks like a great gloomy grey mess suitable for and English boarding school dining hall, the flavor is quite peppy and exciting, and mysteriously Middle European.

    Although there were many memorable moments on our trip, the gustatory high point for me came with the Polish Boy at Freddie's. An unexpected choice perhaps, but unforgettable, because it was utterly outrageous. The combination of smoky sausage with the sweet, almost fruity BBQ sauce and runny coleslaw elicited a gleeful chuckle from Rene G. Those of you who know him will know that this is a high compliment indeed!

    The most unexpected aspect of our adventure was that we seem to have made converts to food tourism of our hosts, Mike and Diana, who are champion dieters, and current South Beach devotees. Once we got ahold of them, they behaved like true LTH-ers! Bravo.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #9 - March 17th, 2008, 1:49 am
    Post #9 - March 17th, 2008, 1:49 am Post #9 - March 17th, 2008, 1:49 am
    Josephine wrote:Perhaps your keen aesthetic judgment prevented you from posting the pics of the magenta pickled eggs from the Market, but these were also a visual treat, if not quite as shockingly pink as the Hot Sauce Williams building.

    There was simply too much to choose from and, like the sauerkraut balls, the pickled eggs didn't fit easily into any of the three categories. I agree, though, that they were a (minor) highlight of the trip. I like pickled eggs and the ones from Meister's were among the best I've had. If you look closely at the sauerkraut ball picture above, you can see the eggs in the back row. Here's a much better photo of them, appropriate for Easter.

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    Meister's isn't the only source for pickled eggs at the West Side Market. These orange beauties were at Rita's.

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    There was another stand at the Market featuring three different colors of pickled eggs.

    That got me thinking, I wouldn't be surprised if there are still some old-school taverns in Cleveland with a jar of eggs on the back bar. From what I can tell the pickled egg is nearly extinct in Chicago bars (any recent sightings other than Will's Northwoods Inn?). Next visit to Cleveland I'll be looking.

    Still on the topic of pickled things in Cleveland, a jar of pickled sausages sat on the counter at Freddie's Rib House. I almost ordered one but didn't think it was needed with the Polish Boy and tamale.

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  • Post #10 - May 6th, 2009, 10:41 am
    Post #10 - May 6th, 2009, 10:41 am Post #10 - May 6th, 2009, 10:41 am
    In a recent visit to Corky and Lenny's I picked up some sauerkraut balls, mini-knishes, and, as a concession to my arteries, some spinach salad. The corned beef on this visit was a bit leaner than I recall, and somewhat more thinly sliced, but perhaps the counterman misjudged me and gave me the "extra lean." Do I look like the no-fat latte sort of gal? No matter, the pickles at Corky and Lenny's continue to be my favorites -at least in recent memory.

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    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #11 - May 6th, 2009, 5:32 pm
    Post #11 - May 6th, 2009, 5:32 pm Post #11 - May 6th, 2009, 5:32 pm
    It's time for a Polish Boy update. I posted about Steve's Lunch over in the Fried Bologna, Hot Dogs and Jibaritos in Cleveland thread but recently made a return visit. We hadn't planned to stop but the hand-lettered pink "Polish Boys" sign on the door was impossible to resist.

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    I didn't remember the menu being so extensive and I certainly didn't remember the police officers' specials.

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    Officer Dooley must be proud indeed, having three namesake sandwiches: The Dooley, The Dooley Triple Cheeseburger and The Super Dooley (2 eggs, 3 sausage, 6 bacon, 2 cheese on 3 toast; $6.35).

    Somehow we remained focused and ordered only a Polish Boy (plus a chili dog—it was small).

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    Not Cleveland's best but not a bad effort. Neither the split and griddled sausage nor the fries were particularly special but I appreciated the toasted bun and restraint with the sauce. What really made the sandwich work was Steve's excellent slaw. If you want to experience this signature Cleveland sandwich in all its fearful glory, I'd still recommend Freddie's (see above).

    Steve's Lunch
    5004 Lorain Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-961-1460
    24 hours
  • Post #12 - May 6th, 2009, 9:17 pm
    Post #12 - May 6th, 2009, 9:17 pm Post #12 - May 6th, 2009, 9:17 pm
    I wonder if the police officers' specials at Steve's rather offset any lingering suspense generated by the Velvet Tango patron who asked you and PIGMON, "Would you rather get shot or knifed?". What such people do not understand is that anyone who can face down a Polish Boy without blinking is not to be trifled with.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #13 - May 6th, 2009, 10:14 pm
    Post #13 - May 6th, 2009, 10:14 pm Post #13 - May 6th, 2009, 10:14 pm
    The standard Polish Boy is all well and good, of course. But until you've had the Polish Boy Deluxe at Mt. Pleasant Bar-B-Q, you got nuthin' to talk about. The Deluxe has all of the above stated ingredients plus a layer of their brilliant pulled pork! If you think the regular Polish Boy is tough to get your chompers around, you'll need a hinged jaw like a snake to get the Deluxe in your mug. I ended up taking the fries off and eating them on the side.

    Buddy

    Mt. Pleasant Bar-B-Q
    12725 Kinsman Rd
    Cleveland, OH 44120
    (216) 561-8722‎
  • Post #14 - May 8th, 2009, 9:28 am
    Post #14 - May 8th, 2009, 9:28 am Post #14 - May 8th, 2009, 9:28 am
    I was in Cleveland for the first time last summer and was blown away by the corned beef. We spent just two days there and went to an Indians game our first evening. We were staying at a Days Inn near the stadium and asked the desk clerk where to get breakfast, she pointed us next door to Johnnies''s. We walked in to find a great diner with counter only seating, sat down and observed the cook chopping a pile of corned beef brisket for hash. We quickly asked if they always made their own and they proudly said yes and then confided they even sometimes added potatoes to the hash. :shock: We not only had their wonderful hash, but great eggs, crispy hash browns and went back the next morning for pancakes and corned beef sandwiches for the road. They were very friendly, and clearly had a regular clientele because the banter was quick and easy. I should note Johnnie's is open 5:00am -2:30pm so get there early. As we walked around Cleveland I was amazed at the number of old school delis that were around and promised myself I'd go back and do a corned beef tour, thank you for giving me a great road map to start with.

    Johnnie's Deli & Restaurant
    1840 Euclid Avenue
    Cleveland, OH
    216-241-1818
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #15 - May 8th, 2009, 10:14 am
    Post #15 - May 8th, 2009, 10:14 am Post #15 - May 8th, 2009, 10:14 am
    Karl's Inn of the Barristers also has a pretty good corned beef sandwich. It used to be my favorite when I spent days of jury duty in Cuyahoga Country.

    Karl's Inn of the Barrister's
    1264 West Third Street
    Cleveland, OH 44113
    (216) 241-4141 phone
  • Post #16 - May 9th, 2009, 1:08 pm
    Post #16 - May 9th, 2009, 1:08 pm Post #16 - May 9th, 2009, 1:08 pm
    Rene,
    i wish I had known you were in town. Some more culinary adventures await:
    A tongue sandwich at Jack's deli... ...a Polish Boy throwdown with Freddies. -I'm a big fan of Seti's Polish Boys. It (Seti's) is just a truck with a sign in a parking lot on e30/woodland. (I did a review on Yelp about it) Steak tartar at the Greenhouse Tavern... Some Matjes herring at the schvitz.... then a short ride up w25 to The Sausage Shop, a genuine smokehouse and sausage maker. Family run. German. Old school. Anthony Bourdain called it a "national treasure", and "if it were in NY or Seattle, the line would be around the block." Yup. It is that good.
    For a city of this size/tier, the cleve has a LOT of great food, great chefs, and great cooks as well. There is a heavy focus on local produce here, in both restaurants and local farmers markets featuring local organic meats, dairy, and veggies. Another good thing is it's all pretty accesible. Cleveland's ethnic roots are still pretty strong when it comes to the local flavors.
  • Post #17 - May 13th, 2009, 5:28 pm
    Post #17 - May 13th, 2009, 5:28 pm Post #17 - May 13th, 2009, 5:28 pm
    bolognium wrote:Rene,
    i wish I had known you were in town. Some more culinary adventures await:
    A tongue sandwich at Jack's deli... ...a Polish Boy throwdown with Freddies. -I'm a big fan of Seti's Polish Boys. It (Seti's) is just a truck with a sign in a parking lot on e30/woodland. (I did a review on Yelp about it)

    We stopped in Cleveland only very briefly. Not even time for a cocktail. Never heard of Jack's but I had the feeling we'd only scratched the surface of the deli scene. I wonder if Seti's is the place someone at the West Side Market recommended for Polish Boys during a previous visit. The more directions she gave, the less clear it became. We tried to find it without success.

    Steak tartar at the Greenhouse Tavern... Some Matjes herring at the schvitz.... then a short ride up w25 to The Sausage Shop, a genuine smokehouse and sausage maker. Family run. German. Old school. Anthony Bourdain called it a "national treasure", and "if it were in NY or Seattle, the line would be around the block." Yup. It is that good.

    I looked up the places you mention and they all sound very worhtwhile. Thanks for the leads to some of Cleveland's less-known attractions. We weren't familiar with The Sausage Shoppe (next visit!) but we made a couple of sausage discoveries on our own. While looking for the address of Mount Pleasant Bar-B-Q, I found an entry in the GPS that sounded intriguing: "Market of Meat" was the only information. Turned out to be Zagreb Quality Meats. Unfortunately it was closed (they're only open Thu-Sat) but the interior looked very promising, decorated with garlands of hanging sausages.

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    I followed my nose down the alley to find their smokehouse in back of the store. Clearly these guys are serious.

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    Not far away, we stumbled on Azman & Sons, a Slovenian market where they make their own sausage and smoke it out back over cherry wood. The stock is small but from what I tasted, it's topflight stuff. I brought home some thin dry sausages, like Slovenian Slim Jims. Dipped into some spicy horseradish mustard they were the most perfect accompaniment to a glass of beer.

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    The owner is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

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    For a city of this size/tier, the cleve has a LOT of great food, great chefs, and great cooks as well. There is a heavy focus on local produce here, in both restaurants and local farmers markets featuring local organic meats, dairy, and veggies. Another good thing is it's all pretty accesible. Cleveland's ethnic roots are still pretty strong when it comes to the local flavors.

    You won't get any argument from me.


    Jack's Deli
    14490 Cedar Rd
    University Heights OH
    216-382-5350
    http://www.jacksdeliandrestaurant.com/

    Seti's
    3400 Woodland Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-240-0745
    http://www.thegourmetchilidog.com/vendo ... ys_01.html

    Greenhouse Tavern
    2038 E 4th St
    Cleveland OH
    http://www.thegreenhousetavern.com/

    The Schvitz
    E 116th St & Luke Av
    Cleveland OH

    The Sausage Shoppe
    4501 Memphis Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-351-5213
    http://www.sausageshoppe.com/

    Zagreb Quality Meats
    6706 Saint Clair Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-361-4515

    Azman & Sons Market
    6501 Saint Clair Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-361-0347
  • Post #18 - May 13th, 2009, 10:35 pm
    Post #18 - May 13th, 2009, 10:35 pm Post #18 - May 13th, 2009, 10:35 pm
    It also bears mentioning that Azman stocks some home-made (not house-made) potica, which is kept frozen. On our visit, the walnut and raisin variety was available. This was a somewhat heftier loaf than the Hungarian one made by Mr. Farkas, who also makes a poppy-seed filled version. Rene G will likely remember the Hungarian name for potica, though I can't remember.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #19 - May 15th, 2009, 6:03 am
    Post #19 - May 15th, 2009, 6:03 am Post #19 - May 15th, 2009, 6:03 am
    Love the string of info and particularly the great photos......mmmmmm....I'm starving!
    Does anyone have a photo of the Potica? I have found the best Potica at Rocky Mountain Potica (http://www.rockymountainpotica.com) It's moist and not at all doughy (nothing worse than a dry, doughy and skimped on filling Potica) and truly decadent. Even better than what my friend's mom ussed to make. And, you gotta see and try the Blagojevich Totally Nuts Potica.....it's 'bleepin' golden. Yea, golden raisins!
    Can't wait to take a deli discovery trip to Cleveland. Thanks for all the research you've done.
  • Post #20 - May 15th, 2009, 12:56 pm
    Post #20 - May 15th, 2009, 12:56 pm Post #20 - May 15th, 2009, 12:56 pm
    Not to hijack the thread, but as long as the talk has turned to Povitica, the best I've had comes from Kansas City's Strawberry Hill Povitica Co. It is dense, rich, moist as can be, with a generous amount of filling in any of their seven varieties. Most popular is the English Walnut variety.

    Buddy

    Strawberry Hill Povitica Company
    8609 Quivira Road
    Lenexa, KS. 66215
    (800) 634-1002
    http://www.povitica.com/
  • Post #21 - June 1st, 2009, 3:12 pm
    Post #21 - June 1st, 2009, 3:12 pm Post #21 - June 1st, 2009, 3:12 pm
    ReneG – thanks for putting these on the map for me. I had occasion to spend a few days in Cleveland recently, with not much time to wander as I would have liked to, but I created enough opportunity for at least one great evening

    <<Started off with a fine early dinner of Khao Suey at friends'>>
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    A few beers, some scotch.

    Then back to 'work' but in freetime mode - I thought I'd show some youngsters a thing or two about Cleveland. We stopped at the Velvet Tango Room.
    It has been a while since I've asked for one to be made, and I couldn't keep from asking at VTR for a sazerac. To be honest, there was something not right about it (it was made with Old Overholt) and when we talked a bit later learned that there was E&J Brandy in it which I found a touch surprising. We weren't sitting at the bar as there few of us – otherwise I would have specified as it was being made. At any rate, I found it a bit too smooth, too well rounded, perhaps simply (and this is the consensus I reached with the lady who made my drink) not enough alcohol. My second drink – a rye whiskey sour was most excellent.

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    Following that – some of the youngsters were feeling peckish so we headed to Freddie's rib house. Nearly midnight, it was empty save for the two guys who were chatting outside. They showed us in and took our order. I had already had dinner but my Polish boy (small) was a magnificent end to the evening. I was too full but half-wished I had ordered the large polish boy.

    They mentioned they also had pulled pork so of course I ordered a pulled pork sandwich – just so that you really don't have to; it tasted somewhat bland and a touch 'steamed'.
    Pulled pork sandwich
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    Freddie's menu (it looked perfectly non-blurry when I took it)
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    The kids (hungrier than I, I suppose) ordered wings, were rather surprised at how large they were (each was a whole wing), but didn't seem to have any trouble finishing them (I didn't get a taste).
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    Polish boy; polish boys – large and small
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    This was just delightful – a little spiciness melding so very well with the sweetness of the BBQ sauce. A perfect end to an excellent evening.
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    -----

    Managed to make it to Lola for lunch as it was within walking distance.
    I felt like such a dunderhead for eating right across it the day before – in a hurry trying to figure out a quick bite and picking the Vietnamese place over house of blues and other such places, and having an enh lunch.
    The fried bologna sandwich was quite good though like the other dish we ordered it was a touch high on the salt (for our tastes).

    Lola Fried Bologna sandwich
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    A2Fay shared her mac and (goat) cheese with little miss Feinschmeker.
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    As any little over two-and-half-yr old LTHer kid can tell, it's "Rigatoni, papa" - a remark that obviated my need for dessert.
    Regardless, the small taste I was allowed was very good.

    ----


    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=20726
    Velvet Tango Room
    2095 Colombus Rd
    Cleveland OH
    216-241-8869

    Freddie's Rib House
    1430 St Clair Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-575-1750

    Fried Bologna, Hot Dogs and Jibaritos in Cleveland
    Lola
    2058 E 4th St
    Cleveland OH
    216-621-5652
  • Post #22 - August 11th, 2009, 8:35 pm
    Post #22 - August 11th, 2009, 8:35 pm Post #22 - August 11th, 2009, 8:35 pm
    Had a family wedding to attend in Akron this past Saturday but stayed with relatives in Brecksville (Cleveland suburb,) Fri, Sat, and Sunday night. We had a superb dinner at Lola on Friday night, typical wedding food on Saturday, and stayed in with family on Sunday. Before heading out, the in-laws accompanied Jonathan and I for our first visit to Cleveland's West Side Market. I'll let the photos speak for themselves:

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    Sigh... I hope Cleveland knows how lucky she is! If only in Chicago....

    Followed this up with a hearty lunch at Great Lakes Brew Pub. A most excellent day in Cleveland!

    Lola Restaurant
    http://www.lolabistro.com/

    West Side Market
    http://www.westsidemarket.org/

    Great Lakes Brewing Co.
    http://www.greatlakesbrewing.com/
  • Post #23 - November 23rd, 2009, 2:04 pm
    Post #23 - November 23rd, 2009, 2:04 pm Post #23 - November 23rd, 2009, 2:04 pm
    Corned Beef Update

    We arrived Corky and Lenny's with only minutes to spare (note to restaurant owners: if you post hours on your website, you should keep the information up to date). They were clearly in the process of closing but seemed happy to serve us. Unfortunately the food didn't live up to my memories from an earlier visit. I wonder if they hadn't already put the corned beef and pastrami to bed for the night. It tasted tired.

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    Slyman's, on the other hand, was precisely as I remember it.

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    This place is a corned beef machine, cranking out sandwiches at a remarkable pace. It may not be the very best corned beef sandwich I've had but at $8.75 I reckon it's the best value.

    Slovenian Sausage Update

    Rene G wrote:Not far away, we stumbled on Azman & Sons, a Slovenian market where they make their own sausage and smoke it out back over cherry wood. The stock is small but from what I tasted, it's topflight stuff.

    This shop is a real treasure, one of the Cleveland destinations I was most looking forward to revisiting. As you can tell from the old photograph the Azman family has a long tradition of sausage making. They were nearly out of their thin smoked sausages that I'm so fond of. The last few are in the plastic bag next to the photograph.

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    Luckily they had plenty of the thicker sausages made from the same recipe. That's Mr Azman standing at his ancient butcher block removing freshly smoked sausages from the bacon hooks.

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    I can't think of any better snack than an Azman sausage, some rye bread and a glass of beer. That's a dollop of Weber's mustard (the pride of Buffalo; thanks Seth!) and some horseradish from Rita's in Cleveland's West Side Market (some of the most potent I can remember).

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    Polish Boy Update

    BuddyRoadhouse wrote:The standard Polish Boy is all well and good, of course. But until you've had the Polish Boy Deluxe at Mt. Pleasant Bar-B-Q, you got nuthin' to talk about. The Deluxe has all of the above stated ingredients plus a layer of their brilliant pulled pork!

    We drove past Mt Pleasant Bar-B-Q quite by accident but couldn't stop for a Polish Boy. I hope to visit next trip. We did stop at Freddie's (only for a tamale but none were to be had) and noticed there's a Polish Girl on the menu. It sounds like their version of Mt Pleasant's Polish Boy Deluxe.

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    bolognium wrote:...a Polish Boy throwdown with Freddies. -I'm a big fan of Seti's Polish Boys. It (Seti's) is just a truck with a sign in a parking lot on e30/woodland.

    Seti's truck can be found six days a week in the parking lot of Dean Supply, a pretty good restaurant supply store.

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    The elegant presentation leaves little doubt that it will be a superior Polish Boy.

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    It's a good one, but not my favorite Polish Boy.

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    There's nothing wrong with it (except maybe the over-sweet sauce) but Freddie's sausage, fries and sauce are all superior and in the all-important sloppiness category Freddie's is unbeatable. Still, it's tough to eat a Seti's Polish Boy without making a serious mess.

    Equally messy and maybe even more enjoyable is Seti's chili dog.

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    In their rest room Dean Supply thoughtfully provides a scrub brush so that eaters at Seti's can clean up properly afterwards.

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    Corky & Lenny's
    27091 Chagrin Blvd
    Woodmere Village OH
    216-464-3838

    Slyman's
    3106 St Clair Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-621-3760

    Azman & Sons Market
    6501 Saint Clair Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-361-0347

    Mt Pleasant Bar-B-Q
    12725 Kinsman Rd
    Cleveland OH
    216-561-8722‎

    Freddie's Rib House
    1430 St Clair Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-575-1750

    Seti's Polish Boys (truck)
    Dean Supply's parking lot: corner of E 34th & Woodland
    (very near Exit 162A off I-77 northbound)
    Cleveland OH
    216-240-0745
    Mon-Sat 10-4
    http://www.setispolishboys.com

    Edited to fix photo links.
    Last edited by Rene G on February 17th, 2014, 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #24 - October 13th, 2010, 10:39 pm
    Post #24 - October 13th, 2010, 10:39 pm Post #24 - October 13th, 2010, 10:39 pm
    An essential stop in Cleveland is Azman's for some Slovenian smoked sausage and maybe a hock or two (see above posts).

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    We asked Mr Azman where we should eat and without hesitation he told us to go to Sterle's, a mere half mile away. Excellent recommendation.

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    Frank Sterle's Slovenian Country House has been an East Side fixture for years. I was happy to see it doing a brisk lunchtime business in the middle of the week. I guess the fact that the food is good, cheap and abundant has a lot to do with their success. Most of the lunch specials are around $8 and include a large bowl of homemade soup (barley soup was good, chicken not so much). Slovenia shares a border with Hungary so it's not surprising that they share some foods too. We tried two dishes often thought of as Hungarian—chicken paprikash and Segedin goulash.

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    Both were exemplary versions. I especially enjoyed the pork goulash with its rich sauerkraut, paprika and sour cream gravy. Those freshly made dumplings would be awfully good with the goulash too. No room for homemade strudel.

    Azman & Sons Market
    6501 Saint Clair Av
    Cleveland OH
    216-361-0347

    Frank Sterle's Slovenian Country House
    1401 E 55th St
    Cleveland OH
    216-881-4181

    Edited to fix photo links.
  • Post #25 - February 17th, 2014, 2:12 am
    Post #25 - February 17th, 2014, 2:12 am Post #25 - February 17th, 2014, 2:12 am
    Rene G wrote:Polish Boys

    The Polish Boy is a Cleveland treat that's been getting a lot of attention recently (No Reservations, Esquire, Plain Dealer). This barbecue-house specialty consists of a kielbasa in a hot dog bun, dressed with a pile of cole slaw, a handful of fries, then smothered in barbecue sauce.

    Polish Boy Update — Chicago

    Chicago eats a lot of Polish sausage but just try to find a Polish Boy around here! So I was excited to pass Capo's Steaks, a new place on 79th near Morgan that prominently advertises Cleveland's proud specialty.

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    Sadly, it seems Chicago has not embraced the Polish Boy. Only a few customers ordered one in the shop's several months of existence and it has already been discontinued. Nice people running the place and I hope to return for a steak when I'm a little hungrier.

    Capo's Steaks
    938 W 79th St
    Chicago
    773-690-5723

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