Gettin Saucy @ Cafe Sausalito

8 06 2010

A few weeks ago, I was giving my friend, Kinga, a walking tour of downtown Cleveland. She hadn’t been there in a while so I was keeping her updated on what things had changed and what had things had stayed the same.

As we’re walking by Mall B, I see a familiar face in the distance. It was my friend, Jessica- drink in hand- on her way home from work. Last I saw her, she was working in the Playhouse District, so I figured she wasn’t coming from there. “I’m working at Cafe Sausalito now, you should come up some time.”  I thought about how I had heard of the place- knew it was in the Galleria, but had never actually found it. I kept thinking it was the now defunct, Key West Cafe (one of the few places in the Galleria I actually HAVE been inside).

So one day a couple of weeks ago, I get hit with that age old question by my buddy Jesse. “Where do you wanna go eat for lunch?” I mention to Jesse about running into Jessica, how she was working at Cafe Sausalito,  and he had never been there to eat either. Problem solved!

If you’re not familiar where Cafe Sausalito is, walk into the Galleria from the E. 9th st entrance, go up the escalators and stay to your left, X marks the spot.  There’s this whole network of trellis’, so I was confused if that was something to keep the Germans at bay, or have some semblance of being inside, when in fact you were kind of in the walkway for the mall, lol. Standing outside, checking out the menu, immediately there were things that caught my eye. Seafood bisque, Jerk chicken skewers served with a rice cake and pineapple salsa, Ricotta cheese stuffed pasta shells with your choice of sauce, Black and Blue burger, Boneless buffalo chicken philly, and an incredible array of salads. Let me just run down a couple highlights for you real quick…. there’s the beef tenderloin cobb, Sausalito chicken and spinach w/ poppy seed raspberry vinaigrette, Mediterranean salad w/ lemon feta dressing, and the signature Sweetwater salad featuring field greens with baby shrimp, crumbled bleu cheese and chopped egg with Italian vinaigrette. Wow!

The place has plenty of seating on bamboo chairs, so you pick up on the Asian feel. Also there’s plenty of foilage, so that coupled with the wide open wall leading to the Berlin wall outside gives it this inside/outside feel deep in an Asian forest. I was kinda diggin it, and after salivating over the menu and the PRICES- which were more than reasonable- I had definitely worked up an appetite.

We asked to sit in our friend Jessica’s section for some good conversation, as well as knowing we would get our food quickfast. When Jesse and I were members at the Cleveland Athletic Club (The best private club in the world, as far as I was concerned, R.I.P.), the lobster bisque would always be my reward at the end of a long workout, or some intense pick up basketball… so I immediately go for the seafood bisque; Jesse also agrees. I order the boneless buffalo chicken philly, Jesse goes for the day’s special which happened to be trout.

The soup was excellent! Light bodied, flavorful, and you could taste the crab, shrimp, lobster(?) mix that was inside… I’m glad there was no clam in there… I’m not too keen on chewing soup, so you can pick up on the fact that I probably don’t like clam chowda! I almost finished the bowl by the time Jessica came back with the napkins, it was so good. On to the main course…. My sandwich looked great. Boneless buffalo chicken, topped with cheese, onions, fresh lettuce and tomato, and bleu cheese dressing all nestled in a hoagie bun. The fresh ingredients made for a very colorful display. Check out the picture below and you’ll see what I’m talkin about.

Jesse and I were also in awe at the tower of trout that was on his plate, in between slices of grilled tomatoes. As you can see, he was just as excited to take on his challenge as I was mine, though I was gonna eat with my hands… He was just planning on eating with his face, lol.

Look ma, no hands!

Of course he didn’t eat his meal this way, but I wouldn’t have been mad at him if he did. We decided to skip desert and take the check.  Surprise surprise, our bill was around $28 for 2 orders of great seafood bisque and 2 entrees. We were both pleased with the value/taste ratios. Jessica was great as well as expected, and if you go see her on Wednesdays, she’s bartending… So you can hear her tell all kinds of stories in between serving up cocktails and these mouth watering plates. What are you waiting for? Head over there right now!


Atmosphere: B+ (I really liked the decor. The place has been there for a while, so it didn’t look brand new, but it adds character to the joint)

Service: A+ (Jessica was very helpful, offered info on specials, and pre-empted us asking for refills, clearing plates, etc)

Food: A- (Tasted better than I had expected)

Cleanliness: A

Price: A (Prices were EXTREMELY in line for the quality of food that they offer. They aren’t trying to be Morton’s. Great food at a great price)

Overall grade: A (It’s a must try, I can’t believe I’ve lived here for 6 years and have never been there!)




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