Note: I didn’t cook the food – but I did take the photos and eat the food! (It was my first day out with my new DSLR camera!) If this is your first time visiting – I’ll be sharing all things ‘YUM’ and once in a while that includes a meal I eat out. But 99.99% of the time my posts are about meals I cook myself!
Last week, the husband and I took a short little trip down to Cleveland, OH just to have a little fun after graduating with my Master’s degree. We ended up staying at a hotel just outside of Cleveland in a town called Macedonia, and that is where we found the Winking Lizard.
The first thing I noticed upon arrival was the outdoor patio. If the temperatures were not topped out at 95 degrees the patio would have been much more inviting that being stuck indoors. Indoors was not bad. The atmosphere was very sporty and open. The restaurant seemed to of had a lot of room and gone on for miles. This was a case that the outside did not showcase how large the establishment was inside.
After noticing the space and patio I noticed a fair amount of games suitable for all ages, not just adults. Games included a claw, some video games and ski ball. The Winking Lizard also had fresh popcorn popping. In the corner was a fairly large space devoted to the resident lizard.
I spent quite a bit of time checking out the placemat because the front showcased all of the specials and events for the month while the back bragged about the 400 plus beers the establishment carried. I was pretty impressed with this oversized placement, not to mention the beer menu. Another thing that caught my attention was the Winking Lizard carried every soft drink and flavored soft drinks known to man. Never in my life have I been to a place in the north which carried both diet Dr. Pepper and diet Mello Yellow. It is very hard to find Dr. Pepper in the north much less its diet counterpart.
Lunch for us was at 2 p.m. At the time there were maybe 4-5 other tables eating. Our waitress was very friendly, but the service was extremely slow for the amount of people eating at the same time. She must have noticed our slight impatience as she apologized profusely for the delay. She politely explained that there were only two waitresses on the floor and they were still trying to clean up from the lunch rush.
We ordered a 5-pack of chicken wings in the ‘hot’ flavor. While they were definitely warm, they still held good flavor which is a huge plus for me. Often wing joints are too busy trying to make them as hot as possible and they forget about the flavor. The only complaint was that they were a little overcooked. It made the meat a little dry.
The BBQ Chicken dinner, as shown in the photo, was 3 small chicken breasts covered in a very tangy homemade (award winning according to the menu) BBQ sauce. Most BBQ sauces I find are too sweet. Winking Lizard has a perfect blend of tangy and sweet while still having that smoky taste. The meal came with my choice of coleslaw, grilled vegetables and I ordered an extra side of their shells and cheese to share. The coleslaw was not like the coleslaw I am used to in the south. It wasn’t bad, just different. It seemed to be very watered down as the sauce was thin and left me wanting a bit more flavor. The grilled vegetables were awesome. Cooked just right with a bit of crunch. I give bonus points to the Winking Lizard because they put those vegetables in a bowl of their own as to not touch the other food. The shells and cheese used real cheddar cheese y’all!
The other meal we had was the 12 oz. strip steak dinner with a salad and grilled vegetables. The steak was cooked to perfection and had a very flavorful rub. Whoever was on the grill at the time definitely knew how to cook a steak. Both meals came with garlic cheese bread. Soda refills were free.
One thing I wanted to order but did not because I was stuffed was the July special dessert for adults. It was a Guinness beer float.
The waitress, despite the slow service, tried very hard to be attentive. She gave us samples of the wing sauces, gave us an upgrade to the house blue cheese after we discussed not really liking the packaged stuff she gave us and some good conversation on the area.
All in all the food was wonderful and the service was slightly above and beyond despite the slowness. You can view the menu on the website.