As a child in Lima, Peru, Cesar Augusto Mugaburu Garcia spent most days watching his mother cook traditional dishes. He learned the bountiful flavors native to the country, some of which are still rarely used in the United States. The food-loving teen immigrated to the United States at 16 and took a job as a pantry cook in an Italian restaurant. His love of worldly cuisine took him to Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal for professional training, before returning to Cleveland to open his own restaurant that pays homage to his Peruvian roots.
Chef Cesar stuffs olives, eggs, peppers, and chicken inside tamales, and marinates pork chops in a Peruvian adobo sauce. The Peruvian flavors he discovered as a child are used in many of the dishes, including the hangar steak kebabs and the Muscovy duck breast. The Latin-infused eatery even offers salsa on Friday and Saturday nights, when a DJ fills the room with heart-pounding Latin tunes and guests can spin and bear-walk their way across the dance floor.
The recipient of taste-based honors such as Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoon Award and the Plain Dealer’s Best Fried Chicken Spot, Phil the Fire transports traditionally Southern comfort fare into the heart of the Midwest. The restaurant’s chicken and waffles, made with fluffy belgian waffles and hot-sauce-ready meat, anchor a wide-ranging menu, packed with hearty Southern victuals. Owner Phil Davis works closely with his daughter Machiah Imani and a dedicated staff to establish a family-friendly vibe and to forge comfort fare staples, including casseroles, meatloaf, and mac ‘n’ cheese, from fresh, wholesome ingredients. A casual, brick-and-wood-laden interior and low-lit dining room keeps meals less intense than those eaten inside saunas, and a fully stocked bar sates thirsty crowds during daily happy hours.
There's no shortage of options at Tres Potrillos. The restaurant serves up a vast selection of Mexican eats, including favorites such as burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, and tacos. Indecisive carnivores can order the bacon-wrapped shrimp served with rib-eye steak, and there are several vegetarian dishes as well, including burritos stuffed with saut?ed veggies. At the bar, patrons will find traditional margaritas, as well as the intriguingly named Octopus margarita, which also includes sangria. Chairs at the bar are made from repurposed tequila barrels, each painted with an original scene.