Healthy Eating thoughts

As might be guessed, having a food-related blog, I’m not a small guy. I do like my food (well, I like what I like, though I’m more experimental than I used to be) but from time to time I become aware of the importance of eating good, healthy food.

I’d like to get some suggestions about good places to eat out, that actually have healthy menus available, but are still filling and satisfying.

About a year and a half ago, I was really trying hard to lose some weight. I found that Chili’s had some pretty decent options for healthy food, and I wasn’t completely depressed eating there.

Where else works for you? Do you stick with 6″ subs from Subway or have you discovered a place that lets you eat well, eat often and eat lots? Cleveland Eats would like to hear from you…

 

Sullivan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, Lakewood, Ohio

A couple of weeks ago, myself and John N. went to Sullivan’s Irish Pub & Restaurant for Sunday Lunch. I was surprised by how quiet it was, fully expecting to be barely able to get a seat. I can only imagine the place is hectic later in the day. It certainly should be – the food was excellent. Sullivan’s had been recommended by Sue Henderson, one of the owners of Gaelic Imports (aka, “The Irish Store”, the source of most of my imported British food and chocolate). I’d been hoping to check the place out for a while, so I was glad to finally have the opportunity.

The place itself was really quite nice. It reminded me a little of a bar/restaurant I recently visited between Portush and Portstewart when I was back over the New Year, so I suppose that’s a thumbs up from me. It might be a nice place to hang out during the day, actually.

I tried the shepherd’s pie, and John had the corned beef sandwich – we had the boxty with cheese dip for an appetizer.

The pie was huge, filling and tasty. There was a nice rich beef gravy with quality steak and a good mix of vegetables. I had a side of parsnip and carrot mash, for old time’s sake. That was pretty good too, and not something you’d find in every Irish pub. The boxty was decent and the cheese dip was excellent. John spoke highly of the corned beef sandwich, but I didn’t like the look of the fries provided – I’m usually disappointed in pub fries though.

It wasn’t cheap – $12 for the pie was probably about three dollars too much, though it was pretty much a dinner entree rather than a lunch snack.

Overall, I was impressed with Sullivan’s and intend to go back soon.
Also, they do a good pint of Guinness.

Note: I’m going to try not giving scores for a while – I’m not entirely sure they are really helpful in all cases.

 

Romeo’s Pizza, Medina

Later the same day that I had the rather disappointing lunch at Sully’s, I also had dinner with Matt and Jamie at Romeo’s Pizza in Medina. Specifically, we ate at their “sit in” pizzeria section, which serves the same food as their delivery pizza operation.

I’ve been hearing a lot about Romeo’s recently, as I’m a regular listener to “The Maxwell Show” here in Cleveland. I thought I’d give it a go, since Maxwell honestly seems to be drooling when he talks about the pizza.

As the guys are on a health kick right now (good for them!) we split a medium “Butcher’s Shop” and ordered healthier entrees. I ordered penne pasta.

Well, the pizza was amazing. I honestly think it might be nicest I’ve ever had. Really. It was their base sauce and crust, though they do other sauces and crusts, and the meats were just great – meatball, sausage, bacon and pepperoni. I couldn’t get enough, and regretted not ordering a pizza to myself.

The pasta couldn’t compete, and I only finished half of it, if that.

The next day, on my way back from an afternoon of writing in the Brecksville Panera, I picked up a couple of pizza’s for Sara and myself, and truly got my teeth into a decent serving size of their “Butcher’s Shop”. It’s very rich and not for the squeamish, but wow.

So, 5/5 for their Butcher’s Shop Pizza. I will be trying their other fare ongoing, including their subs and some of their other toppings and saunces, including a garlic sauce which I’m sure really goes well with their hawaiian pizza. Yum.

 

 

Sully’s Irish Pub, Medina

Normally, I stay the heck out of Irish pubs. Not because I’m a self-hating Northern Irishman (I might be one of those, that’s not why I don’t go to Irish pubs) but because the food is usually just typical bar fare with some “oirish” stuff thrown in. Thusly, it’s almost always a disappointment.

My trip to Sully’s in Medina was no different. It’s a nice place on a Saturday lunchtime, and I’ll admit that it looks like home. The music was of the touristy-rebel variety. I’m not quite sure what that would be like if you were an American in a touristy Yank Eatery in Ireland – probably 30’s prohibition bar music playing all the time, only more annoying.

I ordered a 1/3 pound burger with fries, and got what I ordered. It was fairly tasteless – but do consider my previous entries around burgers, and the fact that I’m aware that I may not actually know what a good one tastes like.

I was disappointed with the food, and the price – it was at least a couple of bucks more than I thought it was worth.

I will end up going back and trying something else, and as such, I won’t be scoring Sully’s today. But I always feel vaguely uncomfortable in this kind of Irishy place, not least because it’s touristy, and for about a dozen other reasons too.

I hear good things about Sullivan’s in Cleveland though….

 

Cogan’s – Bad Food, Lousy Service, Burton, Ohio

First of all, “Bad Food, Lousy Service” is Cogan’s motto, and it elicited a chuckle from me when we pulled up on Thursday for lunch. I knew how it would look when I wrote my review here, so it amused me more than one level, that’s for sure.

Since starting my new job, about 20 miles north-east of Solon, I’ve tried out a few new eateries – but this is really Cleveland Eats, not “almost-Pennsylvania-Eats.” That said, I’ll have a few reviews coming from the Middlefield/Burton direction over the next couple of weeks, since I’ve eaten at some really nice places that are almost worth the drive out.

So – Cogan’s. My colleague Frank (hey, Frank!) is a fan of the place, and I can see why. It’s at first glance a pretty standard American food place (burgers, wings, wraps) but the place has a history, and it’s all over the walls (photos of the owner and his friends in the sixties and updated, the same friends in the same pose thirty years on, along with other items of interest that probably mean something to someone working there, past or present), in the quality of the service and the attitude of the people working there. It’s also in the menus, which have been written with a great deal of humor and tongue firmly in cheek. Frank pointed out the owner, Tom, who was in his apparently ubiquitous beanie cap, making the time to talk to everyone, staff and visitor.

I ordered a cheeseburger (my standard “first time” order at a new place) with fries, and waited to see what would come out. I wasn’t disappointed, though the portion size was a little on the small size when it came to the fries. I was pretty hungry though. The burger was tasty and above average for a restaurant like this, and there were a variety of toppings available when I ordered, including whipped cream. Really. I ordered two different cheeses and onions.

The fries were good, and with vinegar on the table (a plus in my book) I wasn’t disappointed (except by the portion size).

Frank told me a story about the house hot sauces, and though I didn’t partake, I was impressed with the uniqueness of the place, something I’m always searching for.

So, Cogan’s in Burton is something a little bit special from what I’ve seen. I’ll be back there, and though I’m not sure how long we’ll be based in Middlefield (looks like a month or two) I think I’ll suggest to Frank that we schedule a weekly “lunch meeting” here to discuss work in what is honestly a one-of-a-kind atmosphere with food that I’m looking forward to exploring further.

Atmosphere: 4/5 (Relaxing, unique) Service: 3/5 (I’m sure Frank would give it a 5, but I’m just getting to know them) Food: 3/5 (Decent, portion size a bit small. I need to explore the food further).