So, last Monday, Alex and I ventured down to Parma to continue our Parma Dive Bar series. Well, we went to Characters on Brookpark Road and lo’ and behold: they wouldn’t accept Alex’s passport as a valid form of ID. You know, because there are so many fake passports floating around and because Alex must have gone through the extra effort of getting his fake passport stamped by various fake European countries, etc. Whatever! Xenophobes. They wouldn’t let me drink because I was with him and I really wanted a cranberry-vodka so we left. We went down to Union House because it was on the list and discovered it was a cash only establishment (thankfully, they post that on the door so you don’t have to embarrass yourself inside). So we said “oh well” to Parma and headed up into the great Cleveland neighborhood of Old Brooklyn because Alex had heard about the famous 99 cent steak special at Pearl Road Tavern.
Pearl Road Tavern has some stringent dress code rules posted right on the door, including no “wave caps,” “do rags,” or backward/sideways “ball caps.” Luckily we left all of this stuff at home so we were welcomed at Pearl Road.
Alex described the bar as having a “rustic, road-house feel” with “rough-hewn wood paneling.” They didn’t ID us so we didn’t have to go through the passport ordeal, thank heavens.
Here is the Monday night special. Prepare for your mind to be blown!
You can get a 99 cent steak (or two) with the purchase of a drink and a side. You can buy a soda for $1.75 if you don’t want alcohol. The sides are between $4 and $5 each. My preference (because I’ve actually been there twice now) is the 6-piece friend butterfly shrimp for $3.99. That’s a steak and shrimp for $5. How the heck?!??! OK, I don’t really want to know the origin of that meat. BUT, it tastes really good. I don’t eat much meat. I had a part of a steak from Fahrenheit once and it was the best thing I’ve ever eaten. This 99 cent steak is pretty much just as good as that $36 steak.
Other sides include: salad for $4, fries for $4, fries with gravy for $5, “loaded” fries for $7, mashed potatoes for $4, with gravy $5, and onion rings for $4.75
Vegetarians who happen to be there can get a pierogi dinner.
Other descriptions: in spite of the dress code which might raise some eyebrows, the Tavern’s crowd was very diverse and a nice reflection of Cleveland. The TVs are too loud – who cares about the Notre Dame vs. Syracuse basketball game? Attentive, chipper service from a possibly Moldovan (Romanian? Ukrainian?) server even though we were ordering food items that would literally earn her a 27 cent tip if we’d tipped at a generous 30% rate. Also a Slim Jim wrapper in the wastebasket next to the ladies toilet – good times?!
Other amenities include: foosball, pool, darts, keno (I want to play keno), and a loud crowd. $3 tall domestic drafts.
Alex’s final thoughts: “The only bad thing about the Pearl Road Tavern is that it made me feel like I was stealing.”
Pearl Road Tavern: 5 stars!