Blogs > Eating It Up Locally!

Who wants to cook? Let’s go out to eat. See where News-Herald staff members dined and where they go to unwind in our area. You might just find a new treasure in your own neighborhood.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zócalo Mexican Grill & Tequileria

Friday night I went to Zócalo Mexican Grill & Tequileria in the East 4th neighborhood downtown. It's Tuesday night and I am still thinking about the Blackberry Lime Margarita I had (well, both of the Blackberry Lime Margaritas I had).

The dining menu includes several especiales de casa (house specialties) that feature various sauces, rubs and spices. I actually wish I was more of a fish person because all of the seafood dishes sound fantastic. I had (and loved) the Enchilada Tinga Poblano, which is "Braised pork wrapped in corn tortillas then baked with spicy chipotle sauce, enchilada sauce and our specialty cheese blend. Garnished with crema fresca, chives and cotija cheese." Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. It might be a little difficult for me to order anything else the next time I go there.

Don't leave Zócalo without perusing the drink menu, where you'll find tequila, tequila and more tequila (or, if you're like me, too many margaritas to choose from). Your server should be able to recommend the perfect drink if you can't decide.

If you have this year's Our Town and All-Around Dining Directory, you'll find a buy-one-get-one coupon to Zócalo inside.

-- Cheryl Sadler

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Little Italy

I've lived in Cleveland for more than three years, but I've only eaten in Little Italy twice -- and the first time I made it there was last month.

My first trip was a wedding rehearsal dinner at Angelo's Nido Italia Ristorante & Catering, where we were served endless family-style appetizers and entrees. The food was so good that I wish I had known how much was ahead so I could have better paced myself; I was nearly full by the time the main course (Chicken Parmigian) came around. There was a not a single thing served that I didn't like and want more of, and I surely will be making my way back to sample more of the great food (and white wine).

My second trip was over the weekend, when I met some college friends at Trattoria Roman Garden. The free valet parking was quite attractive to someone who hates driving in crowded places, and I liked the homey atmosphere of the dining room. I ordered (and loved) the Eggplant Parmigiano and house red wine. And I found the prices really reasonable, especially given the fact that my entree served as dinner for two additional nights.

After dinner, my friends and I walked across the street to Corbo's Bakery and Cafe. This twentysomething in a bakery felt like a kid in a candy store. I had a lot of trouble deciding but settled on a white chocolate and raspberry torte, which was both sweet and filling. I also bought a chocolate-dipped canoli to take home to my boyfriend, which they filled fresh when I ordered it. (His reaction: "This canoli is ridiculous." In a good way, of course.)

I love the atmosphere of the neighborhood and everything I have consumed in it. It seems like such the perfect place to go on a summer night -- to have dinner on a patio and stroll around while listening to Italian music wafting from the different eateries. I only wish that traffic and parking and driving wasn't a pain; yhat is one thing that will keep me away from frequenting a store of any kind. Although when the weather gets cooler, maybe it will be easier to get around down there (but I'll miss out on the patio dining).

Where's your favorite place to eat in Little Italy?

-- Cheryl Sadler

Labels: ,