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I had to drop Regina off at the airport last week so we figured we’d try someplace on the west side for lunch. We had driven past Caffe Roma a few times and weren’t quite sure what it was all about.
If it’s one of those places that is a bit of a mystery due to just opening, to lack of grapevine info, or not having a website, we’ll generally test drive it at lunch. The strategy has seemed to have worked pretty well because the time and money investment is lower than dinner.
Located at the intersection of West 130th and Lorain, Caffe Roma occupies the end unit of an old shopping strip. There is parking around the back and on the two side streets that straddle the block wide shopping strip.
As you walk inside you notice that the décor is fairly spartan. Sicilian and Italian National football team photos and Italian artwork adorn the walls. The acoustics aren’t particularly inviting nor is the draftiness of the space, but the regulars who were eating there didn’t seem to mind much.
Looking at the menu one thing really stands out – lack of lighter options. There is no antipast0, fresh veggies, or grilled anything. The lion’s share of the menu is either deep fried, pasta, Italian Sausage, or Sicilian style pizza. When asked if there were any veggies, our very accommodating server told us that she could give us a side of the peppers and onions that they use for the Italian Sausage.
I like pizza, but Sicilian is my least favorite kind. I just don’t like the doughy heaviness of that particular crust. It seems like 80% of a single piece is bread.
If Caffe Roma does anything well, it’s Sicilian Pizza. With the ability to order by the slice, which is cool, I ordered a slice of pepperoni and one with sausage.
Fresh out of the oven, the crust had the hallmark thick Sicilian crust. I thought to myself, “Oh boy, here’s another heavy piece of pizza.” But when I bit into it, the crust was actually really crispy and airy. If you come here I would try the pizza. It’s actually pretty good.
Desserts consist of gelato from La Gelateria, assorted Bindi offerings, as well as house made tiramisu. Since it was lunch we decided to skip the dessert.
They don't have a liquor license, so needless to say - no vino. One thing that does suck is Ohio's lack of a BYO law that legally permits you to bring your own wine. Perhaps you might call ahead and see if they'll let you bring some on the sly.
I can’t say that it’s anything that really reminded me of Rome, per se (maybe Caffe Palermo). I do think the very reasonable prices and down-to-earth service fill a niche in the surrounding West Park neighborhood.
13000 Lorain Ave
Cleveland, OH 44111