Dating has historically been difficult for sandwiches, whose hard, crunchy shell often hides their soft, complex interior. Get to know these forlorn foodstacks with today's Groupon: for $10 you get $20 worth of arepas, burgers, and sandwiches at Barroco Grill in Lakewood.
The handheld cuisine experts at Barroco Grill fill empty palms with Latin-inspired sandwiches, burgers, and stuffed tortilla pockets known as arepas, which have earned the restaurant a nod from Cleveland Magazine's Best of 2011 list. Like the kitchen of an amateur pizza thrower, each arepa's ($6) white-corn walls are splattered with mozzarella cheese and fillings such as chorizo, steak, and veggies flesh out each brimming pouch. The Barroco burger ($7) surprises mouths with the textural contrast between tender patty and crunchy potato chips and lands tableside toting a bouquet of seasoned fries. The Cubano sandwich ($8) fuses ham slices and pork morsels in a steaming mozzarella forge, and the hawaiian ham sandwich ($8) dons a dulcet lei of pineapple sauce. Diners at the BYOB-friendly establishment can daub extra flavor onto their meal or tablemate by drawing on an armory of sauces in flavors such as garlic and ranchero, and sated guests gaze dreamily at the colorful paintings by local artists that festoon the brick walls.
Chefs at Barroco Grill craft Colombian street fare from scratch, nabbing glowing reviews from Cleveland Scene, a mention on Food Network's 50 States 50 Sandwiches feature, and a nod from Cleveland Magazine’s Best of 2011 list. But don't let the "street food" moniker fool you: Barroco Grill's presentation features elegantly-plated fusion cuisine creatively presented on white plates. The signature arepas—which Cleveland Scene lauds as “hot, corny, and crisp”—hug melted mozzarella and succulent meats inside a pocket of all-white corn batter. Chefs also drizzle plates with creative flourishes such as Colombian ceviche and their five hand-crafted sauces. Beneath the dining room’s exposed wooden beams, snippets of brick walls peek out from behind artwork by owner Juan Vergara. If the weather is nice, sit outside on their newly opened patio and enjoy brunch service.