I’m a bit behind in posting this but over the Fourth of July weekend D and I went to Cleveland for the day specifically to see the Tall Ships (Cleveland was the first tour stop). You can see my photo essay of them by clicking here. It seemed the perfect opportunity to eat at the Great Lakes Brewing Company Brewpub. We had planned to eat there on our last visit to Cleveland but discovered they are closed on Christmas Eve.
The brewpub is located on the city’s West Side about a block from the famous Westside Market. It opens at 11:30 AM for lunch and as were were driving by the front of it, we noticed a long line of people. I had us leave early to eat lunch first, thinking it wouldn’t be crowded. We ultimately queued up and got a table without any issues (when we left the restaurant about 90 minutes later there was still a queue). I’m never one to be nit picky about table selection but we were given one in a dark corner, almost on top of another larger table. At first I thought they were reserving booths for parties of more than two people, but when I saw a couple seated after us in one of the booths, I was slightly disappointed. Our waitress was nice but it did take a while for orders to be taken, nor did it help that she eventually took the order of the table next to us first, which had seven diners.
The menu features everything from soup to appetizers, salads, pub pizzas (a kale and prosciutto pizza is one of the options), burgers, sandwiches, and entrees. We started off by splitting an order of the Artichoke Crock ($9), which consisted of spicy artichoke and Parmesan cheese dip, hot pepper rings, and your choice of either fried or baked pita chips. We went with the baked pita chips as that’s what the waitress recommended. The dip was delicious but we ran out of it long before the pita chips, always annoying in a first world kind of problem-it would behoove them to offer a more equally proportioned ratio of dip to chips.
I did make a mistake with my entree selection. When one goes to a brewpub to eat, one should order typical brewpub food. I love butternut squash anything, so when I saw an option for Butternut Squash Ravioli ($12) on the menu I decided to get it. The raviolis were sauteed with brown butter, Swiss chard, and walnuts. It wasn’t bad but nor did it overly impress me. The raviolis seemed tasteless in the butter they had been sauteed in. Someone nearby had ordered BBQ Ribs (half slab of St. Louis style Dee Jay’s ribs); now they looked awesome.
D went with the Old World Burger ($13)-smoked cheddar, bacon, fried onion straws, house-made Edmund Fitzgerald Porter barbecue sauce on a pretzel bun. Looking and having a bite of his course is what made me wish I had gone the more traditional pub fare route by ordering either another burger selection or a sandwich. Sometimes you can’t go wrong with the tried and true favorites.
As we were anxious to make our way to the ships we didn’t have any dessert. It wasn’t a great meal for my first time dining at the Great Lakes Brewpub. I’d like to return sometime, only I will order differently the second time around.