The South Side Cafe
2207 W. 11th St.
Cleveland, OH 44133
This week my wife's aunt came in from Fall River, Mass to visit for a couple weeks. My mother-in-law (her sister) handed down the criteria for a place to eat: Cheap, Relatively Quiet, and West Side. Entrusting my brother-in-law Mike to make the call he chose The South Side in Tremont.
I had been there once before and remember not really having a favorable opinion of the food. In his defense it was a decent choice considering the criteria. I wasn't sure how quiet it was going to be since I remembering it being a little on the loud side. However, noise was not a problem. So kudos on meeting the criteria.
We had gotten there a little late and they were ordering appetizers. I really didn't care what they ordered. So the consensus was Sesame Crusted Yellowfin Tuna, Hummus Dip, Calamari, and *gulp* Chicken and Waffles (not Chicken.........and waffles; Chicken with a Belgian Waffle).
Quite the mixed bag I'd say. The Hummus was Hummus, nothing special. The Yellowfin Tuna I didn't eat, because I don't eat tuna. The tuna of the world have enough problems without me eating them, too. Calamari was a little too greasy for my taste. As far as the Chicken and Waffles go, I manned up and tried them last time. It didn't do a whole lot for me, so I was taking a pass this time around. Sorry.
For dinner I got the Asiago Chicken Sandwich. It was described as a cheese crusted breast of bird with pickled red onions, basil pesto, red leaf, and tomato. I was intrigued by the notion of how the "crusted" part was going to work. I had never seen asiago used a crusted type cheese. I just seems to get soft, but not actually crust. If it did crust, was it going to overcook the chicken? I had to find out.
So the sandwich comes and there is no crust. It's more like a coating. Crust is probably the wrong word. In their defense the chicken was cooked properly (which I much prefer over crusty dried out chicken). I was disappointed but not surprised. I ate the sandwich. It was decent. Nothing I'd make a special trip back for.
I think this falls under the "you get what you pay for" categorey. It is dirt cheap, independent, and has a nice patio. I would drink here, but I'd eat across the street at Parallax (or any of the other numerous places in Tremont).
In the end, cheap prices aren't a motivating factor for me. I would consider this an independent version of Cheesecake Factory Cleveland style.