My husband and I had an apartment downtown for a few years before we decided it was time to own something of our own and ultimately made the decision to build a house on the east side. In doing this, we made it a priority to get downtown at least once a week, which realistically became once every two weeks. While we have been pretty consistent in our pact, it’s usually Ohio City or Tremont that draws us in.
I know there have been a lot of new bars and restaurants popping up around downtown. I’ve been reading the positive reviews in the blogs and print, as well as friends’ reviews. We decided to start checking out a few for ourselves and met up with good friends of ours in the process who suggested a casual dinner at Bar One.
I’ve had a few people tell me they’ve tried Bar One, which sits on Superior Avenue across from the library, for lunch and enjoyed what they had – especially the burger. Since it was a good burger I was actually in the mood for, I was eager to check this place out.
On the menu, which has a good mix of wraps, salads, sandwiches plus larger items like steaks and pastas, were a few burger options. I went with the burger you create and just added cheddar, onions, lettuce and tomato – not adventurous, I know, but really all I was craving. It came with a choice of a side and I opted for the sweet potato fries. The burger was cooked perfectly; very juicy and flavorful. I’m not a big meat person in general, but do love a good burger. And this did not disappoint. If it wasn’t so big, I would have finished the whole thing. It was exactly what I was craving and better than I anticipated. And the fries were equally as good. All fried should be sweet potato. The rosemary fries at Lolita/Lola has my vote as the best fries in Cleveland, but I would say these are up there. I also had two glasses of cabernet, which of course I don’t remember the specifics because I never write this down, but do recall the cab was full-bodied with a bit of spice, so I was content.
My husband had the steak and blue press with caramelized onions and also opted for the sweet potato fries. He enjoyed every last bite, and the few I managed to sneak in, I did as well. You just know it’s going to be good when you see melted blue cheese.
The place itself is small, but has a good neighborhood vibe to it. Everyone seemed to know each other and was eager to welcome patrons in. The chef, Steve Balon (apparently a favorite of the PD’s Joe Crea and formerly the head chef at Palmer’s) even came out from the partially open kitchen to say hello and check on the food. Upstairs is the perfect nook for live music, which we caught part of as we got there. Overall, I liked it. I can see this place doing very well before and after games, for lunch (ideal spot if you work downtown) and mostly because the food is good. We had a great night with our friends, enjoyed the food and can definitely see us heading back to try the other dishes that caught our eye.