Movin’ On Up, To The East Side!
September 11, 2013
Two Bucks Food & Spirit has been a favorite dining spot on the West Side since its first restaurant opened in Avon in 2009. Locations were soon added in Middleburg Heights and North Olmsted. The chain is also opening a restaurant in Parma soon, and also has a spot MUCH farther to the west -- in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Now, Cleveland's East Side will get a taste. Two Bucks opened its fourth restaurant in mid-August in Mayfield Heights.
Bryan McNeff is the creative chef who oversees the menus at each location. Owners are Cory Rowland, Eric Nugent and Sean Nugent. The catchy name has to do primarily with the many beer and liquor offerings selling for around $2.
Two Bucks offers excellent bar cuisine in a setting with a long bar, high-top tables and plenty of wide, flat-screen TVs. There is plenty of parking in front of the eatery.
Appetizers are come in portions large enough to share with several people.
We fell in love with their plump, three- to four-inch vodka-battered onion rings ($5). The five onion rings were piping hot, tasty and sweet. The cilantro ranch dipping sauce was an excellent side.
Our server Crystal, who is also a general manager, steered us to mac & cheese ($3), which is another popular appetizer. It features cooked ziti that has been bathed in smoked gouda and mozzarella cheeses vertically in a timbale-like ring for an unique presentation.
In addition to tw-buck drinks, there are some two-buck foods, beginning with Two Buck Fries ($2) which are hand cut and fried with sage and garlic and served in small wire baskets.
Sliders are $2, too, but plated in three's for ($6). There are 10 varieties. We decided to mix and match for ($1) more.
Our selection included fish fry, black-and-blue burger and cheese steak. But, there is a veggie burger, too. All were tasty and good. Our least favorite was the fish fry, which was skimpy with the breaded and fried pollock. It was served on a rectangular, slightly sweet, bun with Two Bucks slaw. We enjoyed the black-and-blue burger, which was topped with blue cheese and on a warmed bun. The best slider was the chef's version of Philadelphia cheese steak with thin slices of roast beef, cheese and onions with peppercorn aioli on a warm bun.
Two Bucks wedge salad ($5) is one of the best salad bargains in town. The iceberg wedge is topped with chopped hard-cooked egg, bacon crumbles, tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese and onion. It's served with balsamic vinaigrette.
Another popular choice is Asian chicken salad ($6) made up of a bed of romaine lettuce, carrots, shredded red cabbage, green onion and grilled chicken with toasted sesame vinaigrette.
Flatbreads are gaining in popularity and Two Bucks offers four choices. This time of year is a good time to consider the caprese ($6) with fresh mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes topped with fresh basil. Meat lovers will love the Americana ($5), a combo of crisp bacon, sausage and pulled pork and provolone over marinara.
The Buffalo chicken wrap ($6) is filled with breaded and fried chicken, tomato and blue cheese cream dressing. Wraps are served on 12-inches pitas.
New to this Fall menu are a half dozen selections priced from $7 to $10. For $7, you are served nut-free pesto and provolone cheese grilled on sourdough bread and served with a cup (really a bowl) of housemade creamy tomato soup. The melted cheese sandwich is terrific and the soup is light and delicious with light sprinkling of cheese.
We also thoroughly enjoyed the grilled steak quesadilla ($9) with sliced sirloin along with roasted corn salsa, jalapenos, sour cream and pepperjack cheese. It's mildly spicy.
The bruschetta chicken burger ($10) is a good departure from the beef burger. The ground chicken is sauteed, topped with fresh mozzarella and tomato with nut-free pesto on toasted bruschetta. Served with Two Bucks fries.
Besides the classic burger slider, there's Bucker Burger ($9). Three beef sliders are topped with sharp cheddar, an onion ring and fried egg on a toasted bun. Served with hand-cut fries.
Boneless chicken wings are popular, half order with 4-5 wings ($5), full order with 8-10 wings ($8). Choice of eight basting sauces. One that is particularly popular is hot shiracha glaze. Served with celery and ranch.
Also new to the Fall menu is creme brulee ($3) with a choice of vanilla bean or pumpkin creme. A nice, light dessert choice.
Two Bucks is at 1637 Golden Gate Plaza Drive (off Mayfield Rd.), Mayfield Heights. 440-683-1126. Open daily from 11 a.m to 2 a.m.
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