Danny Boy’s Pizza

IMAG2849
Veggie Tortilla Pizza appetizer

I have a new favorite pizza place. I have been hearing about Danny Boy’s Pizza since I lived on the West Side of Cleveland. It opened in Rocky River in 1991. I used to confuse it with Danny Boy Farmer’s Market in North Olmsted, which I used to drive by all the time on my way to work from Olmsted Falls to the Baker’s Square on Lorain Road in North Olmsted. I have been meaning to try the place forever and simply never got around to it.

Dinner salad

Well, I heard they opened a new location in Broadview Heights, and my best friend and I finally went there to check it out last night. My friend M. is a total mac-n-cheese freak, so when I told her about their mac-n-cheese pizza I knew she would be up for driving there with me. The location in Broadview Heights opened in mid-August in the longtime home of Pipers III, which closed its doors earlier this year after nearly 40 years in business. I’ve eaten at Pipers III, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear a restaurant closed. We used to have the annual meeting of our local translators group there, and I found the place really stodgy. They’ve done a nice job renovating the place. It barely resembles Pipers III – and that’s a good thing. The atmosphere inside the restaurant is casual. Lots of tile and booths and tables. A wood bar divides the more ‘formal’ dining area from the bar area. The walls are are covered in posters, fake road signs, etc. all featuring Rat Pack memorabilia. The voices of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble croon over the speakers. I immediately felt comfortable.

Downtown Mac-n-Cheese Pasta Pie

The place was packed for a Tuesday night, but we were shown to a table immediately. The parking lot was still packed when we left an hour and a half later. Danny Boy’s is definitely thriving at the location, and their take-out business is also quite healthy.

The Clevelander Pie

The menu is enormous and features 150 items. I jokingly asked the waitress how long it took her to learn all the items on the menu, and she half-jokingly replied that she was still learning them. I had a hard time deciding on just one item, so I opted to order two small pizzas and bring them both home with me. Also, it should be mentioned that the servings are enormous. You’ll be bringing food home with you even if all you ordered was one of their subs. The plates were groaning with food. The menu features salads, subs, calzones, pizza and pasta as well as some really unique appetizers and even appetizer pizzas. Not to mention ribs and burgers…

Chicken Foldover

I ordered a glass of Chianti, and M. ordered a glass of white wine to go with our meals. I started off with a side salad – and gave M. one of the enormous breadsticks so I wouldn’t fill up too quickly. The breadstick was light and airy and had a nice garlicky/parmesan taste to it. I quickly regretted the decision to give the second one up, but only for a brief second when the table next to us got their subs.

IMAG2850
Vegas Veggie Melt Woogie

M. ordered the mac-n-cheese pizza and added onions and mushrooms to it. The mac-n-cheese pizza comes out topped with crispy kettle potato chips. The Downtown Mac-n-Cheese features macaroni covered with a Danny Boy’s three cheese blend topped with “kettle chips for a creamy and crunchy delight!” The pizza was amazing. The mac and cheese on its own would have pleased M., but putting it on a pizza crust and topping it with potato chips really elevated it to something special. Carbs on top of more carbs, but what a meal! It was delicious flavorful, and I was happy that M. shared a slice with me. She was THRILLED and can’t wait to come back and get it again.

IMAG2853
Summer Wind Shrimp with spaghetti instead of angel hair pasta

I in turn gave her several slices of my pizzas to take home to her boyfriend, who was working that night. I decided to order The Clevelander, which is a mixture of a Chicago-style deep dish and a thin New York-style pizza. If I had been in the mood for a more traditional Italian pizza with red sauce I would have been more than happy with this pizza, which is one of their award-winning pizzas.

As it was, I was in the mood for something lighter, so I also ordered the Chicken Fold Over. When I was a young girl my family would occasionally order a chicken fold over from the local pizza joint in town. The Danny Boy’s chicken foldover was just as good, if not even better, than Uncle Al’s in Olmsted Falls. The fold over features cubes of breaded chicken breast and pizza cheese baked golden brown and topped with crisp lettuce, tomatoes and cool mayo. I was in heaven, and had several slices of it this morning for breakfast.

With the salad and one slice each of the pizzas I went home full and happy. I can’t wait to go back and try some of the other choices – including the Spin Dip Pie, which features spinach and artichoke dip topped with kettle chips, and the Polish Pierogi Pasta Pie, which features a buttered crust with onions, green peppers, pizza cheese, Polish kielbasa and potato & cheese pierogi. How very Cleveland of them…

Danny Boy’s has been so successful that it has locations in Boardman, Broadview Heights, Canton, Chesterland, and Sandusky in addition to the flagship restaurant in Rocky River.

Hot Sauce Williams

in-memoriam-graphic

Edit: All Hot Sauce Williams locations are now closed.

Photo from the Cleveland Scene

Hot Sauce Williams is a Cleveland institution. I drive past it all the time and had heard so many good things about it that I finally decided I needed to try it. If you love fried food that is slathered in hot sauce, then this is your place. We went to the main restaurant on Carnegie, but they have additional locations on Lee Road and Superior Avenue. The restaurant has a “divey” feel to it, which I always enjoy (I still miss the old Suds Maguire in Olmsted Township). The tables are covered in plastic and the place looks somewhat run-down. Just don’t come here expecting fast or friendly service.¬† In fact, the major negative about our visit to Hot Sauce Williams was that the service was slower than molasses and was not particularly friendly, but we quickly forgot about that after digging into the food. But if you go in knowing it’s a bit of a dive and that the food makes it worth the trip you’ll be ok. One thing I can say is that you get a massive amount of food for a great price. It just took an hour to get it. If you don’t want to wait that long, order whatever is in the warmers behind the counter.

Hot Sauce Williams’ fried chicken was highly recommended as being amazingly good, so I went there intent on fried chicken. I ordered the 2 piece fried chicken breast dinner and received two massive bone-in chicken breasts. They needed to make it in the back and took their good old sweet time doing so. It came out so hot it melted the styrofoam. I could barely finish one breast and took the rest home. It came with cole slaw and French fries and slices of white or wheat bread and cost a whopping $5.99.

The wing dinner was $5.00 and also came with French fries and coleslaw, white or wheat bread. My friend upgraded and ordered three different sides, which she absolutely raved about – mac and cheese, collard greens and candied yams. True Southern comfort food!

Another friend ordered a full slab rib dinner for $19.50 (it also comes with French fries, cole slaw and white or wheat bread). He let me try a couple bones while I waited for my food and watched everyone eat. They don’t fall off the bone, but they are nicely smoked and slathered in an absolutely delicious sauce. After all, Hot Sauce Williams is known for the BBQ sauce.

They gave our group a mess of French fries for free to compensate for our wait. We got an industrial restaurant aluminum pan brimming full of fries (you can see it at the top of the photo in the center of the table). The fries are actually store-bought Ore-Ida brand fries, but they were good – especially drenched in the hot sauce, which wasn’t all that hot (as in spicy).

We weren’t all that impressed with the desserts though (I was so unimpressed that I didn’t even take photos of it), so unless something really tickles your fancy just keep gorging yourself on the dinners. No one walked out of here hungry. In fact, we all left with lots of leftovers.

Hot Sauce Williams has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and Man vs. Food. The menu item that was featured on Man vs. Food was the Polish Boy IMG_20170625_193149sandwich. It is a whopping $3.50. According to Man vs. Food, the Polish Boy is Cleveland’s signature menu item. I must not be a true Clevelander (although I was born in Parma and grew up in Olmsted Falls), because I have never had a Polish Boy. Pierogis? Yes. Kielbasa? Yes. But a Polish Boy? I had never heard of one until a few years ago. The Polish Boy at Hot Sauce Williams is made up of an all beef kielbasa, French fries, cole slaw, bbq pork shoulder, and hot sauce on a bun. I’ll be sure to get one next time.

Contact info:

Hot Sauce Williams
3770 Lee Road
Cleveland, OH 44128
(216) 921-4704

12310 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216)249-0710

Chop It Salad Co.

in-memoriam-graphic

Since it is summer I had a hankerin’ for a chopped salad. Like any good technophile I turned to Google to find a good one near me, which is how I discovered Chop It Salad Co. It is located in the atrium of Eton Center in Woodmere. In fact, you can watch the folks at B Spot eat their burgers and drink those delicious milkshakes while knowing you are eating somewhat healthy.¬†Chop It Salad Co. allows you to order off the pre-designed Signature Menu (which is what I did since I was craving a good Cobb salad) or create your own salad or wrap with “Unlimited Toppings”! If you choose the latter option, you first choose your lettuce mixture between romaine, iceberg, spring mix or spinach and then choose from their over 50 toppings of meats, cheeses, shrimp, eggs, and veggies.

I wanted a Cobb salad, but I asked for Honey Mustard dressing instead of the default Bleu Cheese or Ranch dressing. My Cobb salad was made of iceberg and romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, crumbled blue cheese, avocado, hard boiled egg, tomatoes and black olives. It was accompanied by a thin slice of pita bread. I ordered a fountain drink to go with it and was told I could get a free refill at any time by bringing my glass back up to the register.

My salad was made quickly by the helpful chopper, and after I paid for it at the register (the total was around $11 for the salad and large beverage) I found a cozy upholstered chair in the center of the atrium where I enjoyed my salad and did some people watching. So if you are in the Woodmere area and want to enjoy a refreshing chopped salad or wrap give Chop It Salad a try. They also have locations in Southpark Center (500 Southpark Ctr, Strongsville, OH 44136) and the food courts at Great Northern Mall and Belden Village Mall.

Contact info:

Chop It Salad Co.
28699 Chagrin Boulevard
Beachwood, OH 44122
(216) 378-9122