The gateway to Cleveland's eastern neighbors, Cleveland Heights is rich in culture, history and food. You can connect them all and fill up for less than $10. Our choices:
The Inn on Coventry
Breakfast your thing? (Of course it is.) Well if you have lived, worked or dined in Cleveland Heights in the past 30 years, then you've been to The Inn on Coventry. For the unfortunate few who have not had the luxury of chowing down on The Inn's breakfast menu, you are in luck -- ten dollars goes a long way here. My suggestion, for a modest $7.99, is huevos pan de mais. Think a south-of-the-border Eggs Benedict. The dish starts off with house-made cornbread and is topped with a nicely seasoned Andouille sausage. Poached eggs sit atop the meat, and some spicy chipotle sauce covers the Southwestern creation. Served with house-cut home fries, this dish will have you doing the Macarena down Coventry Road, if you can still move after the abundant serving.
Tandoori style of cooking and, in particular, the Tandori oven, has been a part of Indian culture for more than 12 centuries. You don't have to travel to New Delhi in order to witness this jar-shaped oven made from special clay. Just grab your $10 and hop over to Cafe Tandoor in Cleveland Heights. For $10 or under, go for the bhindi masala. For $9.50, this is a celebration of an under-appreciated veggie — okra. Sautéed with onion, tomatoes and a delicious sauce, the balance doesn't allow the okra to become mushy. This delicate and soft-textured dish will raise the eyebrows of the most dedicated carnivore.
Lopez on Lee
There is a deficiency of authentic Southwest/Mexican-themed restaurants on the east side of Cleveland. Thankfully, there has been an institution that has carried the Southwest flag for the east siders for more than 28 years at Lopez on Lee. This place is just cool. They do many things right including the décor and margaritas the dynamite food. And while you might not think that $10 would get you far in this place, it does and then some. The appetizer menu is littered with choices under that price point. You can't go wrong with the goat cheese fundido. Fresh goat cheese is combined with house-made chorizo, then simmered and quickly baked. This bubbling masterpiece is topped with pico and served with freshly fried flour chips. The portion is large enough to serve as a full meal.
If there is a heaven, it probably combines fries and ice cream. Sweetie Fry, located just off Lee Road, does just that. Even better: for $10, you can enjoy both fries and ice cream. The gorgonzola and Tabasco fries will set you back just $6.50. The Italian-style blue cheese works perfectly with the heat of the Tabasco on the Idaho potato fries. The regular portion size is perfect in order to save room for homemade ice cream, and the ice cream is the perfect antidote to cool off the palate. Even though all 15 flavors are incredible, the maple bacon is the way to go. This $3.50 treat refreshes you with creaminess, while creating a battle royal of flavor with the opposing maple and bacon flavors.
Grum's Sub Shop
Grum's Sub Shop is a Coventry landmark. This quaint storefront has been dishing out freshly made grinders for more than 30 years and will dish out a kingly meal for less than a ten-spot. For me, it's all about The Grum. This 7-inch masterpiece is loaded with smoked ham, capicola, Genoa salami, oil, lettuce, tomato, onion, hot banana pepper rings, provolone cheese and Grum's special blend of spices. Add a bag of chips and a dill pickle and you are still seriously south of $10.