TRG's Favorite Cleveland Eats

At TRG Reality, we love to eat, but we’re pretty particular when it comes to where we dine. Whether it’s catering lunches for our clients, celebrating a special occasion, or just ordering in lunch, we always like to hit up our favorite local fare. As a Cleveland-based company, we feel it is our duty to patronize our fellow neighborhood businesses, which isn’t hard to do when there are so many outstanding restaurants all around us. Here are all of our preferred picks to eat a meal, grab a snack, sip a coffee, indulge our sweet tooth, and knock back a few cold ones.

Nate’s Deli – Ohio City

This family-owned Mediterranean deli and restaurant is a big crowd pleaser. Not only do we love it, but our clients do as well. Every time we shoot the Things Remembered Catalog, this is their favorite. If you ask Craig in Digital, both the chicken shish tawook and the gyro are the best.

Italian Creations – Lakewood

Not only do we love Italian Creations at the studio, but they also catered Karen’s (from our Finance department) wedding reception and Lexi’s birthday party. Yes, we love them so much, we are patrons outside of work. Their 4-cheese ravioli with red pepper sauce is outstanding, but according to Adam – our resident Italian – it’s all about the green beans. That’s right: the Italian guy loves the green beans.

Townhall – Ohio City

Townhall is all about what’s fresh, healthy, and hip. Our Digital Department loves the burgers (Craig says it’s the best burger he’s ever eaten in his entire life), but they also have lots of gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan-friendly options. The prosciutto-wrapped dates are very popular with the team, as well as the truffle fries.

We asked David in Digital, who is perhaps the best at describing food, to share with just how he feels about Townhall’s delicious offerings. “You have your favorites, you know? Burgers are everywhere. Then you go to Townhall and you get the grass-fed Kobe beef. It’s a beautiful flavor. They do it up with the toppings, but not too much. Oh, and the truffle fries. They compliment each other perfectly. Burger, fries, burger, fries: that’s the way I do it. I went to another place that had truffle fries, and what a disappointment! Townhall does it right. Oh, and the beers. They have a fantastic beer selection!” What else is there to say?

La Bodega – Tremont and Midtown

This seemingly simple sandwich shop packs one heck of a punch with its ginormous sandwiches. They’re so big, the shop cuts your sandwich into thirds just so you can handle it. Everyone’s favorite is the roast beef with Havarti and horseradish mayo. They also serve a wide variety of vegetarian options for everyone to enjoy.

Superior Pho – Midtown

Obviously it’s all about the star attraction: the Pho, but their Banh mi sandwiches with roasted pork and mayonnaise sauce are a TRG favorite as well.

T.J.s Butcher Block – Lakewood

This local butchery has it all. In addition to their array of delicious meats, they also serve sandwiches, deli salads, and a variety of cheeses. Additionally, they have a catering service. What’s our favorite dish? Hands down it’s the chili. 

Tastebuds – Midtown on East 30th

Tastebuds is a frequent TRG haunt. They have super fresh salads and wraps, as well as hot sandwiches and soups.

Artefino – Midtown (Superior)

This café/local art gallery is within walking distance of the studio, so several of us take advantage of that when the weather is particularly nice. The cappuccinos along with their peanut butter bars are absolutely scrumptious. They also serve a variety of breakfast items, salads, and sandwiches, our favorite being the Cubano. A fun feature of this restaurant is that most of the food items are named after famous artists.

Elements – Cleveland State University

Located right on the Cleveland State University campus on Euclid Avenue, Elements features an “Ohio City Pasta of the Day” as well as a unique make your own burger bar.

Angelo’s Pizza – Lakewood

Arguably some of the best pizza in Northeastern Ohio, Angelo’s is a TRG staple. We love their Baked Potato Pizza as well as their Seafood Pizza, and you can’t forget the hot wings. Another awesome aspect about Angelo’s: one evening in 2013, they donated 100% of their pizza sales to freed kidnap victims Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Ohio City Burrito – Ohio City

Chipotle who? This local burrito joint is so good, you’ll forget all about that chain burrito place. Just ask Anthony from Digital. Last week, he ate one every day of the week, except for Friday. On Friday, he ate two. And we are all about the traditional Mexican drink Horchata, made with rice milk and cinnamon. The best way we can describe it is that it tastes like the milk after you’re done eating a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. ¡Delicioso! 

Stone Oven – The Galleria

First of all, one of the raddest things about Stone Oven is they will do same-day catering. When we have clients coming in to spend the day in the studio, Stone Oven is a definite go-to for us. Their Chicken Tarragon Salad sandwich is delightful, but what we’re addicted to are their homemade potato chips. Yum!

Barroco – Lakewood

This Columbian jewel is another hugely popular lunch spot for the TRG team. Fried plantains, pulled pork, homemade sauces, and the Arepas: we could easily eat here every day.

Banana Blossom – Hingetown

Jumping over to the other side of the globe, Banana Blossom serves our favorite Thai food. The Pad Thai is outstanding, and the spring rolls are crisp and flavorful.

Southside – Tremont

This fun Tremont hangout has quite the eclectic menu, but you can forget all of that once you’ve had their Chicken and Waffles. Get your tissues ready, because once you get a forkful of that fluffy Belgian waffle along with the crispy battered chicken, dip it in the maple syrup, and shake on a dash of hot sauce, you will weep with joy. You’re welcome. 

Cater to You – Mentor

Buffalo. Chicken. Spring rolls. That’s right; I said it. Cater to You has combined two of our favorite foods into one! They also make some outstanding scalloped potatoes that whenever we have them in the studio, are gone within minutes. Not only have we used them to cater lunches for our clients, but we also ordered a variety of appetizers from them when we threw our going away party for former TRG employee Kathryn. Really, it was just an excuse to get more of those spring rolls. Sorry, Kathryn. 

DESSERTS

Honey Hut – Sutton’s Hardware Store on Prospect

Yes, we know, this is completely random, but hear us out. Sutton’s has this (magical?) ice-chest that hold Honey Hut’s deliciously huge drumsticks and ice cream bars. We decided to pull David back in to get his take on these tasty treats. “The first thing that strikes you is the size. You think ‘This is as big as my head!’ You actually struggle to keep it upright. The chocolate, the salted nuts, the crunch of the chocolate shell, and the ice cream! Did I mention the size! These are adult drumsticks. The taste is wonderful, but the real surprise is the cone. The cone is lined with the chocolate that’s also on the outside of the ice cream. It’s such a unique taste and flavor, and when you get to the end, the tip of the cone is filled with solid dark chocolate, about one inch. It’s the dessert of the dessert! The ice cream bars are also huge, and that really strikes you. I really like that they are local and family owned.” Our clients also really like Honey Hut. In fact, Wendy from Things Remembered requests it. We feel you, Wendy. 

George’s Doughnuts – Twinsburg

There is perhaps no one on this good earth who could give a better review of George’s Doughnuts than David. Take it away! “These are the best you could put in your face, particularly your mouth. It starts with the doughnut itself. It’s so light and airy, yet it has this beautiful flavor. I think it’s the oil. It’s like peanut angel grease! It preserves the natural flavors and textures throughout the entire day. You bite into it when you first get it, then have one in the afternoon- still soft, even at the end of the day. You eat one after it’s been sitting there all day, and you’re like ‘My God! It’s like I just brought them in!’” David’s favorite flavor is the chocolate cream filled. “I put it in my mouth, and all of a sudden, like right away, I have to put another in my face. I have to pound two right away, but with the third, then I can savor it, and they’re a good size in your hand. You just reach for the second one and don’t even realize it. Some don’t have to eat the third, but I do. You have to go to three to savor the flavor. It’s about building the base and then filling it in.” And there you have it.

Checker Bar Ice Cream and Dry Ice – Midtown

When is the last time you had an orange sherbet push-pop or a soft, rectangular-shaped ice cream sandwich? Forever, right? Well, this is the place to go to taste all of those childhood frozen treat dreams.

Gallucci’s – East. 66th and Euclid

Though Gallucci’s sells more than just desserts, we especially love their cakes. In fact, whenever we’re celebrating a client birthday or TRG staff birthday, we like to get one of their huge cassata or chocolate cakes. Mangia!

The Mandy Bakery/The Lexi Bakery – TRG!

Our very own Mandy and Lexi make some of our favorite baked goods. Most recently, Mandy made a raspberry coffee cake that everyone is still talking about. Well, mostly Digital, because they ate all of it and didn’t share. And Lexi is downright famous for her banana bread bars. But let’s hear what David has to say about them. “It melts your mind.” That pretty much says it all.

So, if you’re ever visiting the studio for a shoot or if you happen to find yourself driving around the CLE, make sure to check out some of these fantastic foodie paradises. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.