Cleveland-Area Free Giveaways and Reviews

Submitted by tchaves on Mon, 08/10/2009 - 15:09.

My sister-in-law is studying ESL this summer in Parma, and we happened upon Sittoo's, a "faster food" branch of the Aladdin's Eatery chain, only more affordable.  We've been going there weekly (or more) all summer long and haven't been disappointed!  Full Article.  ---------> more

I'm also hosting a few local giveaways on my site.  To enter, simply check out the featured independent business (usually their menu or website), and complete a short form.  Your information won't be shared, and you'll only hear from me agan if you subscribe or win a prize...

Dinner for 2 from Salmon Dave's in Rocky River

Handmade Handbag from Mushy Kitty by Dani Marie of Brunswick

Swirl Cupcakes in Westlake

And these, while not local, are some other great independent business owners/handmade artists' giveaways:

Natasha Summer Designs (designer aprons)

Botanical Roots (Organic skin and body products)

New giveaways are announced every Friday, and a special multi-site Food Fest! giveaway event is planned for September 7-13.  If you'd like to check out some of the independent artists you might have missed, visit my handmade directory.

{Disclaimer about advertising for Jeff Buster & Co.} A portion of my meal at Salmon Dave's was comped when I visted the restaurant and the 3 items I reviewed from Botanical Roots were sent to me gratis.  A big thank you to Hospitality Restaurant Group & Ashlee of Botanical Roots for helping off-set the expenses necessary to create this valuable content about these wonderful independent businesses!  If you would like your business featured as a giveaway sponsor, please contact me at tricialynnchaves [at] gmail [dot] com or sign up via my advertising page.  Currently, I am taking limited appointments for reviews as I prepare for my move to Brazil :)





  Stay in touch Tricia--I would love to visit Brazil and I am sure JeffB would, too :)

Still tchaves spam on

I have been to Brazil a few times.  Carnival! Woohw! 

Here is the total copy of the tchaves spam, so you Realneo readers won't have to link to


I'm pleased to report my latest discovery in Parma called Sittoo's, and if you're a fan of Aladdin's you'll want to check it out. In fact, has both common ownership and a similar menu to the popular Mideast food chain.

You'll notice a couple of differences from Aladdin's menu, for example, meat in the lamb sandwich is sliced instead of cubed. Sometimes there is a small variance in portion size (the vegetarian combo has two pieces of falafel instead of four) but the biggest, and most noticeable difference is in the price.
Several of the appetizers can be ordered in both small and large portions.  My favorite item, the vegetarian combo is just $5.99 and can suffice for a nice meal too! All of the salads and sandwiches are under $5.00. The most expensive entree, Sittoo's Combo at $7.99, is bargain priced to $5.99 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m weekdays. It comes with shish kabob, kafta, grilled chicken, falafel, rice, a side salad, and pita bread. There are three meals on the kids menu and they're all $2.50.
When you arrive at the restaurant, you can see a menu displayed on the counter which is where you'll place your order and pay. Fountain drinks are self-serve, and your meals will be brought out to the table on a tray that you'll clear and stow near a trash area (think Panera Bread) before you leave. Carry out and catering is also available.
Of course the menu alone would be enough to get me there, so the adorable atmosphere is an added bonus! Although I'd consider it a fast food restaurant by definition, they certainly put a lot of thought into the decor. The ceramic tile flooring is of a noticeably high quality, and homey touches like framed photographs and pieces of furniture really do make you feel like you're at a grandma's house that comes from "the old country."
I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said this is my new favorite place, I've been there five times in the last two weeks! For the price of McDonald's, I can have a meal out that I don't feel guilty about--neither for my wallet or my waistline!

Tricia's Dish Tested Tips:
They put cinnamon on the rice, so ask for it without if you don't like it.
If you enjoy a larger portion of pita, you might want to request a double order with items like the combo plate or hummos.

The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.



  Jeff B: I would love to have a Sittoo's in my neighborhood.  I get no investment.  The Rubin/Coral Company sits on their plaza property and charges exorbitant monthly rates.  How is it that they would rather have storefronts sit empty?  Meanwhile, we have docs, nurses, hospital workers that would provide a steady flow of customers if we had the kind of restaurant choice available in Tremont. 

I have worked on Mike and Jeff over at Bodega.  I would still like to see an eatery/tea house in the old greenhouse space at 3775 Pearl.  You would also have office workers from the wonderfully renovated building next door. 

Brooklyn Centre has McDonalds, Subway, Wendy's, China Express, Sal's Diner.  Believe me, these folks make some money.  But, as Tremont choice helps everyone.  And, we are on a major thoroughfare with families visiting the zoo every day.

Meanwhile, Huntington Bank shuttered their office at Brooklyn Plaza and Third Federal is pulling out of Cleveland location on Brookpark Rd.  Planned abandonment brought to you intentionally by developers waiting for the low, low, lowest price...

And a blank slate--demo those corner commercial lots at taxpayers expense!

lmcshane While good


While good restaurants are a plus and help build a community, in Tremont most of the high-priced restaurants - residents cannot afford to go in much less afford a meal and if you have a family you can't even dream of eating at these places - even special occasions are out of the question. 

The only really good place to take a family out for a good meal is Applebee's in Steelyard Commons.  They offer the 2 for 20 deal and even that most low-income people cannot afford - if you are a family of six, it is still more than $70 dollars for a meal - (you have to buy drings and that does not include the tip)  and people on fixed incomes or low-incomes, $70 for one meal is outrageous. 



Big Egg

 The Big Egg re-opened and stopped in the other day. great affordable food. its owned by a greek family now, so they also have a few greek dishes. 

you do have to watch what you order though - some of it is processed. i ordered a chicken paprikash and it was orange, obviously a package mix, so I couldn't eat it. but their eggs and stuff are fab.

More Big Egg

Very reasonable breakfasts, plenty of coffee refills, lots of seating so no one is rushed for those who care to linger.  I love it.  Met the owner  and I could swear he told me he was Lebonese, not Greek.  We have quite a few Lebonese business owners, Joe Dee's Pizza on Fulton, now into second generation.  Kate

oh - you're probably right!

 they probably are Lebanese!

I know we can't wait to take the boys!

Food and ambiance

  Hi Jerleen--I know that restaurants can seem like the enemy, when you and your neighbors are feeling down and out, but they are not the enemy.  We all need the occasion to leave the solitude of our homes and share food with others.  Restaurants afford us the chance to bring people together.  You don't always have to "pay" for the high end experience.  These days, you can share an appetizer or a glass of wine for around  $10.00 at most "high end" restaurants.  And, you are really paying for the ambiance more than the food sometimes.  Sokoloski's in Tremont is a $$ reasonable mainstay.  Good food, friends and AMBIANCE!

Believe me, it's always the same complaint...the grass is greener.   But, the reality--you and I both have it good.  We have friends and neighbors that live nearby and help when we need it.  We can walk most anywhere.  We have breezes off the lake and kids playing in the street.  I will take our life any day over life in suburbia :)

Sokoloski's is one of

Sokoloski's is one of Tremont's best.  It has been in this community for many many years and has served this community well. 

I do have neighbors and if you're saying that I am not thankful for the good in my life, you are surely mistaken but there are many poverty stricken people in this area that are thankful if they just get to share a $1 burger from one of the fast food places with either family or friends.  That's their occasion to leave the solitude of their home and  share food with others. 

I have no problem with saying that eating on one of these expensive places is not in my budget - and I most definitly cannot afford to pay for ambiance - we (low income folks) have to worry about keeping gas, electricity, the up keep on an old beat up vehicle.  I don't think anybody has ever said these business owners are enemies nor do they consider them to be.

jerleen1, I know what you


I know what you are saying.  I am in a similar situation but I do not live in the Tremont area.  I am on the cusp of the Brooklyn Centre area.  Used to be in Ward 15 until the redistricting, now it is again Ward 14.  (used to be Ward 14 before it became Ward 15)  

I admire your courage to speak up for the poor and advocate for their needs.



not quite

 I don't think thats quite what Jerleen is saying. Restaurants are great - but 20 of them? crammed into a small island of a residential neighborhood? 

It doesn't matter if you can afford to wander over to a nearby restaurant for a $10 glass of wine and appetizer - thats not the issue. The issue (of growing concern to those who have to try to live in Tremont) is the growing concentration of restaurants in a limited area.

Its like a flock of 5 or 6 chickens is great. A flock of 20- 30 chickens is going to poop all over your yard, turn it into a bio-hazard, and eat your garden.

common sense. and actually its sort of rude to insinuate that Jerleen is inappreciative because she is aware of the noise, traffic, litter and disturbing the peace that tourists bring.

Soon Can Pat Mahoney say would you like a Mc Chicken?

Does anyone have a update with Bodnar-Mahoney ?

Heard a rumor that Mc Donalds has some real nice detailed site plans and potentially wants to Demo the building.

I hope the farm next door will lock up the chickens at night so they don't turn in Mc Chickens. Debra you can donte the chicken poop to them?

soon can pat mahoney say

 We have had the McD's rumor for almost 2 years. As far as I know, they approached City Planning earlier this year. The last that I heard was that McD's have withdrawn interest due to traffic issues (the one way on 41st) but that could be jsut a rumor. How recent and reliable is your info? Do  we need to gear up again?

I am sure that residents of OC would be opposed. Don't know where Abe Bruckman would be on this; he was solidly in the corner with Pat on the crematory issue. Seems to me that as the real estate developer for OCNW he would actually get out there and try to find a business that would be good for the area and suitable for that location.


I'm not giving up

 my chicken poop....

food and ambiance

 Jerleen has done a good job telling us here the misery of the noise, traffic and parking of the entertainement industry in Tremont. I see her point too that a lot of the oldtimers can't afford to eat in the places that are taking up their spaces.

Amen, McShane

Wholeheartedly agree.  With all it's flaws, I LOVE Cleveland and in particular, the West Side.  The economy has left me with practically zip discretionary income and yet I still find reasonalble restaurants by taking advantage of happy hours, etc.  Nick's on Lorain still has a $2.99 breakfast which is a good place to meet friends, share the Sunday paper, again with plenty of coffee refills.  El Taino on Scranton, not much ambience, has surprisingly good food really cheap.

Spent some time in Bay Village and hated it.  Neighbor lobbied us for a year, trying to get us to mow lawn on diagonal so all front yards would look the same.  Of course, we then purposefully mowed in figure eights.  Couldn't wait to get out of there. 

We lived on the poorer side in a little box.  Residents always asked if you lived north or south of Wolf Rd.  so as to determine wealth.  Needless to say, none of our (ex) Bay friends visit here because they are admitedly afraid.  Suburbia is vanilla pudding.  Residents are insulated, uninvolved unless it pertains to their tiny bit of expensive turf.  Am I prejudiced?  You bet!  kd