Michael Symon’s Top 5 Places to Eat in Cleveland

by in Food Network Chef, Food Network Magazine, May 15th, 2012

michael symon
Iron Chef Michael Symon — the unofficial mayor of Cleveland — tells Food Network Magazine what to eat in his hometown.

roasted pig headRoasted Pig Head from The Greenhouse Tavern
Michael is known for his love of unusual cuts of meat, so it’s no surprise that he digs into half a pig’s head at least once a week. “It’s a lot of pig face,” he admits. The pig is seasoned with a spicy Southeast Asian style barbecue sauce and served with lettuce cups. Michael often stops at this spot after work: It’s next to his restaurant Lola, and the chef, Jonathon Sawyer, is an old friend. $31; 2038 East 4th St.; thegreenhousetavern.com

ribe-eye steakRib-Eye Steak from Red, the Steakhouse
For Michael, a guys’ night out means a rib-eye steak at Red. About once a month, he and his buddies gather at this clubby steakhouse and Michael always orders the same thing. “It’s just a perfect, delicious, prime, dry-aged piece of meat.” He orders his medium rare, with potatoes au gratin and a big glass of red wine. $37; 3355 Richmond Rd., Beachwood, OH; redthesteakhouse.com

beef summer rollBeef Summer Roll from Fahrenheit
Michael’s go-to after-hours snack is Fahrenheit’s beef summer roll with ginger-ponzu dipping sauce. “It’s great late at night because it has a fattiness, but it’s also very light,” he says. The place serves other late-night fare, too, like pizza and nachos — and it’s just a short walk from Michael’s restaurant Lolita. $10; 2417 Professor Ave.; fahrenheittremont.com

guacamole samplerGuacamole Sampler from Momocho
Here’s a recipe for a happy chef: a table on Momocho’s outdoor patio, a “killer” margarita and the guacamole sampler. Momocho keeps at least six different guacamoles on the menu at any given time (three come in the sampler), and Michael likes them all, especially the smoked trout bacon and the goat cheese poblano. $20; 1835 Fulton Rd.; momocho.com

phoPho from Superior Pho
If you see a bald guy carrying 15 banh mi sandwiches out the door here, it’s probably Michael picking up lunch for his Lola crew. “The best [sandwich] is stuffed with pâté, Vietnamese ham, jalapeños, cilantro and pickled carrots,” he says. But his favorite is the pho, an aromatic beef and rice-noodle soup. He spikes it with Thai basil, lime juice and jalapeños. “It’s the perfect lunch,” he says. $7 to $8; 3030 Superior Ave. East; superiorpho.com

(Photographs by Michael F. McElroy)

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Comments (23)

  1. Jennifer says:

    Superior Pho is soooo good. I would check out Bac in tremont as well

  2. Duke says:

    All good choices, Michael, but we Clevelanders are really blessed with incredible restaurant options. If you are coming to Cleveland, don't miss (in no particular order) Sokolowski's (for the total Cleveland experience); Lola (of course) but also Lolita, Lola's little sister; Bruno's for great Italian; Tommy's on Coventry; Crostata for excellent pizza; Johnny's Little Bar (Johnny's food at half the price); l'Albatros is phenomenal; Table 45 for a wide-world dining experience; Blue Point Grille for seafood; Pier W for the bouillabaisse and view; Fratello's in Avon Lake for the best calamari in town; Melt for innovative sandwich crafting; Crop for fresh ingredients and ideas; I could go on an on. Bon appetit.

  3. Ellie Vassey says:

    Into YouTube video embed script you can also specify parameters in accordance to your hope like width, height or even border colors.

  4. laurie Daniels says:

    I am looking for a receipe that Michael Symon made with his parent on July 12, 2012, childhood receipe, it was for spagitti and meatball with pork it is very similar to a dish my mother made for us when we were kids, my mother never wrote the receipe and is not longer with us please let me know where to find it.

    thank, Laurie Daniels


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