The word is on the street. Lion on Lorain, a motorcycle-themed bar at 12703 Lorain Ave., is roaring for the attention of Cleveland foodies by cranking out some creatively delicious cuisine. Its owner and chef, Jason Wagner, has gained a nod from some of the city’s most notable chefs, who are posting praise online for his culinary achievements. Wagner has kick-started the summer menu by adding slow-smoked, dry-rubbed pork ribs, served with a sidecar of house barbecue, Buffalo, spicy mustard, hot barbecue or teriyaki sauce ($6 appetizer, $12 dinner).
House-made chips are topped with chili, cheese sauce, bacon, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos and barbecue sauce ($12). Add chicken, pork or shredded beef ($4). Other appetizers are the weekly chef’s choice bruschetta ($5), soft pretzels served with mustard and cheese sauce ($3) and yummy sweet potato tots ($3). Soups are Lion stew or chili ($4).
Burgers and dogs are perfect summer fare. The Lion’s Sturgis burger is topped with slow-smoked barbecued pork, cheese sauce, bacon and onion rings ($8.50). The Irishman is garnished with smoked corned beef, crisp potatoes, coleslaw and Swiss cheese ($8.50). The Sheen is served with chili, cheese sauce, sauteed onions and Fritos ($8.50). The Lion’s version of a chili dog is smoked beef sausage covered in homemade chili and cheese sauce ($5). The Coney is beef sausage with tomatoes, cheese, onions and pickles ($5).
Other sandwiches include The Ex, a hot Cajun-spiced chicken sandwich with jalapeno bacon jam, Pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato and avocado sour cream ($8). The West Park is corned beef paired with crisp potatoes, jalapeno slaw, Swiss cheese and a fried egg ($8). Chocolate Charlie’s chicken salad is homemade chicken salad with fried salami, house mustard, provolone cheese, chocolate chips, lettuce and tomato ($8). The Fatboy is bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo between two grilled cheese sandwiches ($8). All sandwiches are served with house-made chips or sweet potato tots.
Tacos are always on the menu (two soft shells for $6.50), but Taco Tuesday is a special experience. Recently, the Lion featured raw foods chef Anna Harouvis and a secret chef from Dinner in the Dark in a celeb chef taco throwdown. Featured tacos included spicy vegetarian black beans with house-made salsa, colby Jack cheese, lettuce and sour cream, and shredded tequila chicken with jalapeno slaw and fresh lime. Barbecued pork was paired with macaroni and cheese and slaw, and the breakfast taco is made with fried egg, hash browns, scallions, colby Jack and Cajun mayonnaise. Slow-braised pork is paired with spicy kimchi and slaw. Tacos are $2 on Taco Tuesday, after 3 p.m., for as long as they last.
Dessert is deep-fried ice cream in a sweet-battered graham cracker crust drizzled with homemade chocolate sauce ($4).
Lion on Lorain serves lunch and dinner. The kitchen opens at 3 p.m. and closes at 10 p.m. on weekdays, and is open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. The bar is open later.
Major credit cards are accepted. Phone 216-252-6483.