Ontario Street Cafe

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The Ontario Street Cafe at 2053 Ontario Street is near my place of employment. There you can find Carl and others behind the counter, serving sandwiches and other things. Their prices are reasonable, there's always plenty of sandwich and the folks are friendly to this regular (I usually get take-out and eat back at my desk).

Ontario Street Cafe takeout

So it would only be natural for me to include this establishment on the trek through Cleveland's Best Corned Beef. To be fair, in writing, they only claim to serve "Old Downtown Style". Talk to them, though and you'll quickly get a strong sense that they would lay claim to the title.

What did I get for my $6-and-change? A coke, deli pickle, chips, my choice of condiments, napkin, knife and a reported ½-pound of corned beef with some melted swiss between two pieces of rye bread.

How was it? Back at my desk (pictured), I unwrapped a delicious-looking bundle of corned beef and swiss on rye. Without squishing it down, fluffing things up or taking an average height, this sandwich appears to be in the 2½" range. (Note to self: not only do you need a non-reflective ruler, but you also need some repeatable measuring mechanisms.)

But how was it really? Besides being pleasing to the eye, it was delicious. A little dry for my taste, but delicious. I'm not sure I want to have corned beef juice running down my hand, but a little moister would have been good. It was tender, the flavor was just right and the swiss seemed just the right touch. The swiss was their idea, as was the mustard on the side. The horseradish, also on the side, packed a powerful punch and seemed to overpower the sandwich when I ventured to spread some on a portion.

While it can't (yet) be said that The Ontario Street Cafe serves the Best Corned Beef in Cleveland, it can be said that they serve quite a good one. If you're in the neighborhood (Public Square), drop by and tell Carl that we sent you.

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Jeffrey, I can agree with you about the Ontario St. Cafe's Corned Beef Sandwich. I have one at least three times a week, and without question, they are very very good. Maybe someday, we could meet there together and I could buy you one. I get a discount at this place and the staff is really kind, considerate, and very good to me.

Richard Giamori

PS Someone told me about this article recently, so that is why I am writing to thank you now.....take care...

Beer for 2 bucks, and the best corned beef sandwich I've ever had. Friendly folks, too. The Ontario is where I'll go the next time I'm in Cleveland.

Carl serves an excellent Corned Beef sandwich there at Ontario Street Cafe. I need to get down there soon and have another one. Or a Pastrami.

I'm glad you were able to find the best Corned Beef sandwich you've ever had! Come on back to Cleveland any time!

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