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At Home... at the Winking Lizard

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July 30, 2014 / Pub Food / By
Katie Schenk

Whenever I’m tucked safely into the arms of my Cleveland home, there are a few places I must go.  And by must, I don’t mean that it’s tradition; I mean that I might spend the next several months regretting how I mismanaged my time in CLE.

One of those places is the Winking Lizard.  Fortunately, there’s a few of them about and yes, each one has a lizard which occassionally winks. 

There’s one on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights; there’s one near my parent house in Mentor.  And there’s one in the Gateway district almost across from The Q (the basketball and hockey arena) and the baseball stadium.  Actually, there’s a lot more than that, but these are the ones I normally hit when I’m home.  And, although this brand is growing – and adding franchise branches – it’s a homegrown Cleveland restaurant.  And, it’s something of a legend.

The Winking Lizard downtown has a lot of special memories for me, like the time I took my dad before a Stevie Nicks concert, or the time I took my children before a Cavs game.  As you can see, I spent a lot of time at the Q while I’m in Cleveland.  And then there’s the time that I was waiting to meet my sister for a baseball game, and I ended up chatting to the owner of the Winking Lizard chain who politely watched as I devoured my wings in a rather undignified manner.  He was polite enough to enquire whether and what South African beer I would add to his incredible list.  (I didn’t have an answer then, but I know now it should be Jack Black, a microbrew out of Cape Town.)  And before I officially disgraced myself, he picked up the check for me as I marched off to meet another sibling.

Now, the Winking Lizard downtown is a bit more of a bar than a restaurant, though the farther out of the city you go, the more each one becomes like a restaurant.  You’ll get the standard Midwest pub fare here like chicken wings (some of the best), burgers and fried pickles.  (Yes, you read that right.)  But, you do come for the beer because their supply is incredible. 

Whether you opt for a bottle or draught, there’s always something unique; like the mead I tried at Christmas.  Most beers go well with the chicken wings that are always served to perfection, and something I crave intensely whenever I’m not home in CLE.

And, if you happen you be spending some serious time in Cleveland, sign up to participate in the World Tour of Beer that Winking Lizard hosts every year.  Actually, if you happen to be spending some serious time in Cleveland, won’t you take me with you?


Winking Lizard

Country: United States

Province/State: Ohio

City: Gateway District, Cleveland

Address: 811 Huron Rd E

Zip/Post Code: 44115-1120

Location Tips: Almost across from the Q and the baseball stadium

Phone: N/A

Website:www.winkinglizard.com...

Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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