Tucked away in Tremont, caddy-corner to A Christmas Story House, is a hidden gem of a restaurant: The Rowley Inn. This place has so many things I love in a Cleveland restaurant: friendly and fun, with plenty of kitsch, but also really amazing food and drink.
We started our evening with A Pink Nightmare, a tasty cocktail with 1800 Silver, Campari, lime juice, housemade simple syrup, grapefruit juice, and a splash of Sprite.
The cocktails at The Rowley Inn are named from “A Christmas Story” and are as yummy as they are creatively named. I couldn’t pass up the Be Sure to Drink Your Ovaltine, with whipped cream vodka, Kahlua, half n half, and Ovaltine (of course).
We also got to sample the Red Ryder, with Bulleit bourbon, lemon juice, maple, and cranberry. It’s possible that I don’t actually hate bourbon, because I thought this was delicious!
The Rowley Inn offers more than just great cocktails, though. The food is billed as Cleveland-style comfort food and that is the perfect categorization. Pierogi are featured prominently throughout the menu, so you know how I felt about that!
We started with two gloriously deep-fried starters: The Rowley Inn shrimp cocktail and the fried pickles.
These appetizers started a recurring theme for the night of LOVING the sauces and toppings that came with our food. Yes, the food itself was great, but the sauces elevated the dishes and showed an attention to detail and understanding of flavors that was truly impressive.
Next up was the Southwest chicken salad, with Cajun-rubbed chicken, avocado, black beans, corn, tortilla strips, and more.
Yum! This salad was packed with fresh flavors and was a nice balance to all the heavy, comfort food we were eating.
One of our favorites of the evening was the chicken club, with avocado, bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, spicy mayo, and a walnut pesto that was to die for!
I want to eat this all the time.
We also tried the Cleveland’s Best Grilled Cheese, with smoked gouda, a mozzarella/provolone blend, and a touch of mayo.
OMG. I’m on grilled cheese overload because Jeffrey eats it all the time, but this was truly amazing.
Next up was the Cleveland burger, with pierogi, kielbasa, kraut, beer cheese, and stadium mustard.
This burger still cheers for the Browns, wears shorts as soon as the temperature is above 60 degrees, and loves Drew Carey. It’s THAT Cleveland. And I love it THAT much.
You think we’re done? This is a Cleveland bar, my friend. We kept eating.
The Rowley Inn says their mac ‘n cheese is so good it’ll make you wanna slap your momma. Um, apologies to my lovely mother, but yes. Yes, it does.
We also tried one of The Rowley Inn’s most original offerings: Loco Moski. This is their take on a traditional Hawaiian dish. Sauteed pierogi are topped with hamburger patty, fried egg, gravy, and caramelized onions.
It’s like poutine. With pierogi. On crack.
We rounded out the savories (and our expanding bellies) with a sample of a brunch item: chicken and waffles with gravy and perfectly spicy hot sauce.
The cinnamon waffles gave the dish the perfect balance of sweet and savory and makes me want to spend my Sunday Funday at The Rowley Inn for sure (with some more of that Ovaltine concoction too).
For dessert, it was more pierogi…
These are candied apple pierogi, filled with cooked apples and topped with candied apple pieces and caramel candies. So original!
I was flat-out blown away by the dishes at The Rowley Inn. Comfort food can incorporate elements that excite and challenge your palate. I love all the Cleveland memories wrapped into The Rowley Inn and I love the quality and imagination of the dishes.
The bar is open every day at 5:30am (for real) and the kitchen is open daily at 11am on weekdays and 8am on weekends. And if you stop in after a visit to A Christmas Story House, you can save 10% on your food bill! Make The Rowley Inn part of your holidays and beyond!
***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a complimentary tasting dinner at The Rowley Inn with a guest. I also received a gift card to use on a future visit (which I will be making oh so soon). As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***