At Palookaville Chili, healthy, piping-hot gourmet chili warms bellies with whole, dried chilies plunked into recipes culled from southwestern traditions and the creative mind of head chef, Ian P.E. Local ingredients including succulent cuts of Ohio-raised beef and Amish pork from the Westside Market fill up bowls or mingle with chili dogs, burritos, or plates of macaroni. The chili contains no ground beef, only cubed meats, or vegetarian morsels that create spicy veggie chili and creamy paneer concoctions inspired by Indian flavors and Bollywood musicals about chili cook-offs. Displays of artwork add vital views to café walls, and classic rock tunes fill the air with a catchy chili-chomping soundtrack.
Be Bright at Night is stationed at various locations throughout Cleveland on unannounced days in an effort to seek out bikers riding in the dark. Walk+Roll volunteers surprise riders with free sets of headlights and blinking taillights, and install them on the spot. Through a combination of free safety equipment and media outreach, the program aims to encourage both cyclists and motorists to be more aware of each other and take the necessary care when traveling after dark.
At BRGR 9, seasoned cooks whip up meaty, appetizing burgers from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Guests belly up to the bar for a craft beer, pairing their beverages with hearty handheld feasts of grass-fed Ohio beef topped with fried eggs, house-cured bacon, and homemade pickles.
Zdara's menu features a bounty of modern Mediterranean dishes for passport-less, travel- hungry tongues. Roll out your mouth's red carpet for starters such as crispy cracked-wheat kibbie, stuffed with spiced ground beef and pine nuts ($7.50), before moving onto heartier dishes accompanied by a treatise on Hannibal's use of war-elephants to teach Romans the fear of circuses. Try the wild mushroom ravioli with asparagus in a goat-cheese cream sauce ($18.50 dinner/$11.50 lunch), or a Boursin chicken sandwich punched up with roasted red pepper and mushrooms on ciabatta bread ($9.50). Line lunchtime stomachs with the chevre omelette, a medley of chicken, sundried tomatoes, and fresh basil with goat cheese ($8.50), or opt for tender lamb shish kebabs with pine nuts and basmati rice ($22.50 dinner/$12.50 lunch).
At Mallorca, crews of attentive servers refill glasses of wine or house-made sangria as guests enjoy a long, leisurely meal of Spanish and Portuguese fare. Rotating menu specials incorporate fresh seafood as well as ostrich, venison, and other exotic meats, helping Mallorca to earn Best Spanish/Portuguese Restaurant accolades from Cleveland Magazine in 2011. At the end of the meal, servers return to romantically lamp-lit tables with trays of dessert pastries, cakes, and custards or a cappella renditions of "Kiss the Girl."
Servers constantly scan Brasa Grill’s dining room for empty plates, approaching tables with skewers of chicken, lamb, or beef and carving tender pieces tableside. The selection includes 16 different types of savory, grilled meats and a salad bar with more than 40 side dishes, garnering Brasa Grill Cleveland Scene magazine’s award for Best All You Can Eat for Gourmets. The constant parade of hearty fare only relents when diners flip their color-coded token to red, allowing them to sit for a while and stretch their fourth stomachs. Alternatively, the menu also features a small selection of sushi for a lighter version of a high-protein meal.
A painted mural dominates one wall of Brasa Grill’s dining room and depicts a group of Brazilian gauchos as they sear rotisserie meats over open flames, a practice which would later inspire Brazilian-style, churrascaria eateries. The rest of the room embraces a more urban ambiance with its soft lighting, crisp white tablecloths, and stoplight chandeliers.