Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brothers Lounge

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Lately, Monday nights have been my Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives explorations with brother-in-law Mike (a.k.a. Cheesecake). Since I had picked 56 West last week, it was his turn to pick this week. Initially he had wanted to take me to Big Guys Pizza in Tremont (next to Hotz Café), but they aren’t open on Mondays. Instead he chose Reddstone nestled in the Battery Park neighborhood (that has seemingly hit a housing bubble snag), near Detroit. Everything was going fine until we tried to walk in and it was closed. C’mon, man. What do you have to do to get some dinner around here? Since it was still his choice, he decided to go to Brothers Lounge near the corner of Detroit and West 117th.

Admittedly, I was a little skeptical of the three headed monster that is Brothers. If you’re not into pub food, there’s the wine bar. If you’re not into wine bars, there’s the music hall/patio. I’m not talking about three separate places. All of this stuff is, yes, under one roof. I suppose the skepticism comes from having the confidence that they could do all three things, and do them well.

The first thing you notice when you walk in the door, is that a small *scratch that* a large fortune was spent on woodwork. From the floors, to the trim, to the bars, everything in this place is the real deal. No laminate floors, cheap trim, cheap-o light fixtures, or plain concrete; the interior materials are old school craftsmanship.

As we sat down, the band that was playing that night was starting to trickle in. We were eating on the pub side of the restaurant. With the happy hour menu extending until seven o’clock, I wanted to try the sliders off of the happy hour menu. Cheesecake went with the wings. The Chicken Fresco sandwich had caught my eye, so I decided to get that as well.

The sliders (four mini burgers seasoned with Cajun spices, topped with Danish blue cheese, and onion straws and served with herb aioli), arrived first. They were essentially a burger patty cut into quarters, served on mini buns like you’d find at White Castle. I thought they were pretty good. The blue cheese and the onion straws really made the slider.

The wings and the Chicken Fresco sandwich came next and looked very promising. First, I can only assume that the wings were good because the only thing left at the end was a pile of bones. The chicken sandwich was also quite good. Consisting of chicken, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, basil, and herb aioli on a baguette, the first bite was the perfect mouthful of peppers, cheese, and chicken on a nice soft baguette. Served with fries, I thought the sandwich was also a winner.

All told, the menu is pretty affordable. Most of the appetizers are in the $7-9 range, sandwiches (served with choice of fries or pasta salad) are either $8 or $9, with entrees coming in at $12-$17. I can’t really speak for the Wine Bar, but the selection of beers is okay – maybe a click down from Tremont Taphouse. Speaking of which, if I had to compare Brothers’ (pub side) menu to anything, it would be Tremont Taphouse. I’m not much of a wine bar or live music kind of person, but I have to say that if the line is ever too long at Melt, this would be a great nearby alternative.

Brothers Lounge
11609 Detroit Ave
Cleveland, OH 44102
(216) 226-2767

Brothers Lounge on Urbanspoon

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