Cleveland Convention and Visitors — 2010_2011 Fall_Winter
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Find Comfort in Pierogi


If you’re in search of pierogi in Northeast Ohio, you’ll most likely run out of appetite before you run out of great places to chow down on the hearty, stuffed-dough belly-fillers that are favorites with the locals.

The Pierogi Palace in the West Side Market (www.westsidemarket.org) offers more than 100 flavors to suit every taste, including horseradish potato, barbecue bean, Italian sausage and bourbon mushroom.Or, if you have a sweettooth, try the apple cinnamon, blueberry rum cheesecake or plum varieties.

Not far off, in the heart of Tremont, you’ll find old-school pierogi on a modern-day-variety menu at Prosperity Social Club (www.prosperitysocialclub.com). It’s the sort of place you want to take friends and make sure everyone orders something different. While Prosperity offers its traditional dry ricotta cheese pierogi with sauteed onions and sour cream, the globe-trotting menu also runs the gamut from sausage tortilla nachos to ginger-glazed salmon.

Traditionalists swear by the potato-and-cheese pierogi at the familyowned Sokolowski’s University Inn. Cleveland’s own Food Network star, Michael Symon, talked up these butter-soaked gems on an episode of “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” Served alongside comfort food staples like corned beef and Salisbury steak in Sokolowski’s down-to-earth cafeteriastyle surroundings, the pierogi here make a meal that truly feels like it came out of a home kitchen.

The traditional Lenten Fish Fry season is short, but fortunately for pierogi fans, Cleveland Plus boasts several year-round fish fries with pierogi on the menu: Kirtland City Tavern in Kirtland is one and the American Slovak Club in Lorain is another. Both are known as local gems.

Of course, one of the best things about pierogi is its versatility. Feeling still more adventurous? Put down the silverware and grab a pierogi-stuffed meal with both hands.

Melt Bar & Grilled (www.meltbarandgrilled.com) adds not one, but two, potato-and-cheese pierogi to a grilled cheddar sandwich that’s also piled high with Napa vodka sauerkraut and grilled onions. And the reputation of “The Parmageddon” - like the sandwich itself – stands tall, having landed this beast on Esquire magazine’s Best Sandwiches in America list in 2008.

If you find that stack-the-pierogi approach appealing but want a little meat with your dairy, the expansive burger menu at Lakewood’s BEER ENGINE (www.buckeyebeerengine.com) includes the West Side burger, topping the patty with caramelized onions, sour cream, cheddar cheese and a cheddar potato pierogi. (Also available with a bean burger instead)

This fantastic food is also a great way to explore the area and soak in the hospitality. Go ahead: While you’re visiting, just ask someone: “So, where should we go for pierogi?”

No matter the answer, you’re in for a treat.
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