In 1981, Luchita Galindo and her son Jorge began Luchita's, a humble family endeavor that focuses on fresh, authentic dishes. Over the course of 30 years, the Galindo family has continued to grow along with their restaurant, which began as a 24-seat eatery and currently occupies three locations throughout the Cleveland area.
Luchita's chefs work to maintain the family's vision while constantly seeking out new flavors to add to the menu. Their specialties include authentically prepared meats and seafood, such as shredded chicken simmered in a smoky sauce (tinga de pollo), tender strips of marinated steak (carne asada), and shrimp sautéed with potatoes, cactus, and poblano peppers (camarones borrachos). Chef Galindo also concocts vegetarian-friendly entrees, such as cheesy chiles rellenos, and tinkers with new recipes until—like a klutz unleashed on the stage of an awards show—he stumbles on a winner.
Maui Wowi Hawaiian's aloha spirit pervades every corner of its menu of island-inspired fare. Thirst-slaking smoothies perform a mash-up of up to 90% pure fruit and hip-hop beats, and they travel up straws in flavors such as mango orange, black raspberry-strawberry banana, and passion papaya. Energize afternoons with cups of authentic Kona coffee or specialty espresso drinks including the Pele's Cup, a simmering volcano of espresso, chocolate, cinnamon, and milk. Garlic herb, white, or wheat tortillas corral chicken or steak in Maui Wowi's wraps, and baja-chicken-enchilada soup and tomato bisque warm up jaws for crunching into salads without performing 15 minutes of hamstring stretches.
Crowned the Best Irish Pub of 2010 by CityVoters, Brubaker's serves up an extensive menu of pub edibles alongside a lively atmosphere and TVs sporting the latest in athletic endeavors. Quiet nagging hunger mufflers with appetizers such as barbecue-chicken potato skins ($5.75) and the super pretzel with mustard, salsa, or nacho cheese ($2), or tongue-dive into a specialty dish, such as the chicken cordon "bru" ($6.75), the buffalo-chicken wrap ($5.50), or the mega dog ($4). Brubaker's burritos wrap various fillings in the fresh-baked arms of nine-inch tortillas and come in varietals such as the Popeye ($5.50), a hulkifying combination of spinach-artichoke dip, tomatoes, onions, shredded cheddar, and ranch dressing. Brubaker's also offers a wide-ranging beer selection to indulge the fermented fantasies of Prohibition-era taste buds.
Behind Bluekiwi's sunny blue door, servers sprinkle dollops of nonfat frozen yogurt with fresh fruit and candy toppings. The owner draws from a degree in hospitality with an emphasis on nutrition to craft wholesome icy treats and answer customer questions and concerns, while counseling them against common nutritional errors such as trying to eat plastic fruit. The rotating selection of fresh yogurt flavors, such as classic California tart, cupcake, and cherry amaretto, teem with calcium, potassium, and live active cultures. Containers of freshly hewed fruit line countertops alongside dry cereal and candy toppings, while a stock of miniature cupcakes can deluge taste buds with mouthfuls of peanut-butter cup, cinnamon, and red-velvet flavors. Blue tabletops and Frank Gehry–style stools allow customers to linger over treats and chitchat, while whiteboard walls allow them to draw out detailed map reminders of where they parked their cars.
The sumptuous aromas of cheese and rich tomato sauce fill Zeppe’s Pizzeria & Italian Bistro, where Old World Italian specialties and thin-crust pizzas line tables in the elegant dining room or on the sunny outdoor patio. The bistro menu serenades the senses with savory medleys of pastas, salads, and seafood plucked from Italy’s creamy alfredo coastlines. Chefs fling golden-baked frisbees into take-out boxes as passing caravans consult the pizzeria menu, which carries a delicious cargo of thin- and stuffed-crust pies, chicken wings, and baked subs. Sauce-soaked penne dishes and cheesy calzones exude a royalty befitting of the restaurant’s columned arches and red drapery, and a covered patio supplies the shrubbery necessary to fashion makeshift crowns of laurel.
CiCi’s Pizza combines the variety of a family-friendly buffet with the thrill of bottomless pizza. Each pie is crafted with dough made from scratch daily and then slathered with homemade marinara and showered with toppings ranging from traditional pepperoni and Italian-style sausage to creative combinations including buffalo chicken and mac 'n' cheese, resulting in more than 28 signature pizzas. The buffet is stocked with a plethora of fresh pastas, such as cavatappi noodles with classic marinara or alfredo sauce, as well as fully customizable signature salads. After they've feasted on savory options, diners can revisit the buffet for dessert including freshly baked brownies, slices of apple pizza, and cinnamon rolls drizzled with icing—or they can eat dessert first, thereby tearing an irreparable hole in the space-time continuum.