Cleveland, Ohio is a city on the rise. It has been listed in many travel sites as a “must visit” city in America and was chosen to be the home of the Republican National Convention this July. Cleveland has great suburbs that are an easy drive to downtown Cleveland. Men’s Cuts is proud to be located in Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb just west of Cleveland. Recently Lakewood has been listed as a best suburb on Thrillist. The criteria for the “best suburb” distinction is based on a suburb with a close commute to the larger city, a respectable food and drink scene with enough places located in the suburb so that residents don’t always have to leave to find places to eat and city with a history of its own with many unique quality. That fits Lakewood to a Tee! Cleveland.com even gives nine reasons they think that Lakewood is the best suburb including entertainment, bars, mixture of types of food, Lakewood Park and close proximity to downtown Cleveland, Tremont, University Circle and Ohio City.
A Taste of Lakewood
Lakewood is the home to a diverse community which is reflected in the variety of type and style of restaurants in the city including Mexican, Asian Fusion, Indian, Latin American, Italian and the traditional gastropub. The restaurants are aplenty and Lakewood has become a culinary destination for local residents and visitors from around the country. Lakewood is the home to restaurants such as Pier W, which has been one of the best seafood places in the region for decades to new BBQ joints such as The Proper Pig, which just opened in the past few weeks. The popular grilled cheese restaurant, Melt, started in Lakewood in 2006 and now has four other restaurants around the state and another one opening in Akron. There are many great foodie destinations in Lakewood that everyone can enjoy!
Since the stylist at Men’s Cuts talk to their customers about places to eat in Lakewood, we thought that we would shine the spotlight on a few different restaurants in the city. This month we are focusing on three: The Proper Pig, Chow Chow and Sarita.
The Proper Pig
The Proper Pig is the newest restaurant in Lakewood. It just opened a few weeks ago at 17100 Detroit Road. The business started as a food truck two years ago. The food was so popular, the owners decided they needed to add a brick and mortar location. They found one in the former Cleveland Pickle location. With the grand opening, the lines have already been out of the door during the dinner hours.
The restaurant serves Texas BBQ style, where the meat is rubbed with seasonings and then smoked for hours (sometimes days). There is barbeque sauce is at the tables for patrons to add as they see fit. The Proper Pig offers brisket, pork, Texas hot link sausages, pork ribs and turkey. They also have side dishes including potato salad, baked beans and coleslaw. The barbeque is sold in sandwiches or as a part of a combo platter featuring one, two, three or with every type of meat that is available on the menu.
At The Proper Pig, customers order at a counter and the food is served up on a tray. There is seating for 30-50 guests to eat “in” depending on the occasion. Customers can also order for takeout. There are 15 different local beers offered and an 80’s era video game retrofitted into an old bourbon barrel set on free play.
The hours are 4pm to 9pm Tuesday to Thursday, 11am to 10pm Friday and Saturday and 11am to 7pm Sunday. Once the restaurant is out of food, they are out and the restaurant closes. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates on closures.
Chow Chow is a homey southern style barbeque restaurant offering carryout, delivery and special catering events. It is located at 14201 Madison Ave at the corner of Madison and Brown Avenues. Chow Chow is a southern term meaning a mixture of pickled veggies. This is comfort food at its best.
The menu includes barbeque and southern inspired plates from smoked meats, fish, and tofu, Nashville style “hot” fried chicken, mac and cheese, crispy catfish and chips. Small plates including popcorn cheese curds, fried pierogies with onion hash dip and creamy coleslaw. The restaurant also makes desserts, soups, sweet teas, pickled veggies and relishes.
Chow Chow is open Monday through Thursday 3pm to 9pm, Friday and Saturday, 11am to 11pm and closed on Sundays.
Lakewood has a lot more than just takeout and barbeque restaurants. There are many great establishments that are known for serving a variety of foods in the suburb. Sarita opened in October 2015 at 14523 Madison Ave in the space that was Players for nearly three decades. Players longtime executive chef, Anthony Romano and his business partner, Sandy Smith purchased the space to create their own culinary destination focusing on new American cuisine. The owners wanted to focus on a restaurant offering simple food and targeting 35-60 years old, which is slightly different than the other restaurants and gastropubs in Lakewood. The restaurant brings an upscale neighborhood vibe to the space. The owner opened up and lightened the décor of the former Players for a welcoming dining experience.
Sarita offers a variety of specialty dishes from small plates to regular meals. Their small plates and salads including calamari, crab spring rolls, fried green tomatoes and caprese salad. Dinner includes gourmet pizzas, baby back ribs, salmon, crab cakes and more. There is a full bar and a happy hour from 5pm to 7pm nightly at the bar only.
The hours are 5pm to 10pm Sunday to Thursday and 5pm to 11pm Friday and Saturdays. A reservation is recommended, but not always needed.
These are just three of the great tastes in Lakewood. There are many more restaurants to explore in the city! Share your favorites with your stylist at Men’s Cuts. Maybe it will be mentioned in a future blog post!