One great thing about Cleveland and it's surrounding suburbs would be the wide variety of small businesses and restaurants. Lakewood would have to be the epitome of this statement. Driving (or going for a nice run) up and down Madison and Detroit Avenues, one cannot help but be distracted by the large number of storefronts ranging from boutiques to bakeries to bars to restaurants. When most people think of restaurants in Lakewood, two more then likely come to mind Melt and Three Birds. However, Lakewood is filled with hidden gems and I was lucky to finally try one this past weekend, that being 56 West.
Located on the corner of Detroit and Westlake Ave, 56 West is one of those places you may pass by unless you are specifically looking for it. I have heard nothing but good things about it and was very excited to finally try it. The menu is fairly simple, mostly being entree salads, sandwiches, and burgers but their is an option for everyone including vegetarians. Also, the names of all the dishes are quite fun (i.e.: "The Italian Lover", "Pure Pleasure", and "One Hot Chick"). Since I was feeling creative, adventurous, and a bit indecisive, I went with the Build your Own Burger option. This ended up being a veggie patty on a whole wheat bun, with chipotle honey glaze, wildgreens, tomato, Vermont Cheddar, bacon (yes, I love bacon on veggie burgers), and avocado. I have had my fair share of veggie burgers/back bean burgers, and I am going to say this particular one is one of my favorites. Upon asking our server (who was very friendly and helpful), I found out it was a puree of veggies, with black beans and quinoa. Quinoa is a something I have been hearing more and more about. It is a grain with a higher protein and fiber content in comparison to rice and wheat. I have been finding it to be a good alternative to using rice in recipes too. Maybe a future blog will be 101 fun delicious ways to enjoy quinoa. (Ok, maybe 10. This one will take some research). Anyways, the veggie burger was excellent and it would be safe to say it is my new standard for comparison. The portion size also was great. I like a sandwich/burger where the main ingredient is not hidden under the bread. The veggie burger and other toppings were overflowing from the just right size whole grain bun I chose. Instead of getting fries with the sandwich, my boyfriend and I shared the bucket of fries which included housemade ketchup infused with cinnamon (fabulous) and roasted garlic aioli.
I also must note, 56 West has a nice selection of craft beers to enjoy with your meal. I personally opted for the seasonal favorite being Great Lakes Christmas Ale. Another point to mention, the dinner was very reasonably priced. I would highly recommend checking out 56 West especially if you are not sure what you have a taste for. The variety and high quality of the food along with wonderful service and very reasonable prices truly makes this one of Lakewood's hidden gems.
Question of the Week: What are some other neighborhood favorites you cannot get enough of?
Until next time...follow your heart, fulfill your hunger.