sokolowski’s by way of reader comment

This might be a first. A recent comment by rockandroller regarding Elaine Cicora’s nod to Sokolowski’s in her recent Q & A, has sparked Elaine to revisit everyone’s favorite cafeteria (well, almost everyone) and post about it today in C-Notes, Cleveland Scene’s blog.

While I personally haven’t been to Sokolowski’s University Inn in years, I still remember how tasty and perfect the pierogies were and appreciating the legacy of this place. It is a place we are lucky to have and a history we should cherish.

Whether you’re a fan or not, I think Elaine summed it up beautifully:

“After all, it’s spots like this that give Cleveland its distinctive flavor, making us different from New York, or Wheeling, or Albuquerque. And whether it’s a Southern barbecue shack, a Navajo taco joint, or a Florida fish camp, preserving a region’s local culinary heritage is important stuff. It’s one of the reasons that foodies support local restaurants over national chains. And it’s the real reason Sokolowski’s deserves its seat at the gourmet’s table.”


  1. rockandroller
    Posted November 21, 2007 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m flattered my comment prompted a return. I agree with Ms. Cicora that the place is charming, has a certain ambiance that is uniquely “Cleveland” and for that, it is indeed worth a visit, if you’re only interest is to look around and have a beer. It’s just not a place I would take people who are looking specifically for good food. “Charming” unfortunately doesn’t equal “tasty.” A cheap taco stand or BBQ shack also tends to have really good food, and that’s why they got their reputation.

    In fact, on my recent visits, I was excited to go again as I haven’t been in years, and was hoping to discover, with the friends I brought who were also newbies, the deliciousness that so many others seem to find here. I went with open eyes and hungry stomach, and while I was excited in line, my disappointment grew as I went through the line, with everything floating in margarine grease and the rather rude way we were hurried through the line (“That’s enough for you, you don’t want that!” one of the servers said to my dining companion – perhaps this is part of the charm?) None of us found it delicious, and all of us had stomach troubles later in the day, and everyone sampled different dishes. Same thing on my 2nd return visit with another dining companion. I’m glad people are supporting a local establishment, but I maintain that it’s just not a place I’d go if I were looking for good tasting food. Thanks to Ms. Cicora for responding to the challenge.

  2. Michael Walsh
    Posted November 22, 2007 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    R&R it’s all that high class organic stuff your used to that creats these stomach problems when your intestines turn head on into a pound of modified hydrated lipids!!! Some people find enough quality calories in that fat to wake up in the morning and return to their piece of crap jobs than keep this city afloat.

    Like i said before in a comment about food critiques. Judging a restaurant should be done along the lines of, “do they accomplish what they set out to do” and surely we all can agree that Sokolowskis does this with great success, thus they are a great restaurant.

  3. rockandroller
    Posted November 23, 2007 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Definitely true, perhaps 10 years ago when my taste buds were different, I would have liked it. I can’t even eat fast food anymore, it just doesn’t taste good to me and I used to LOVE it. It’s true that my taste buds have changed, so maybe that’s why I don’t get it. Interesting!

  4. Dave
    Posted November 23, 2007 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Geez Elaine … get ahold of yourself (and your tastebuds)!

  5. Jen
    Posted November 26, 2007 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m so pleased to see Sokolowski’s getting some love. It’s a great place! I definately agree it’s places like this that create and define Cleveland’s ambiance and character.

    Not only does University Inn provide incredible meals, a strange bathroom, and a comfy warm fireplace, it’s “customer service” is also top notch. (Although it is more like genuine hospitality) Me and my dad would frequent this place till I went off to college. A year later when we returned the woman behind the register remembered us, not only our faces but where I was going to school and about my dad’s job. She greeted us with so much exuberance, that I felt honored, like family returning home. No corporates or trendy locales can compare to this Cleveland gem!

    I’m sad to see some of you had a bad experience…