Crop Rocks Cleveland, The Flats
We love Crop Bistro and Bar – it’s in an unbelievable space, the food is exceptional, and it’s conveniently located in Ohio City (Cleveland). What’s not to love?
With the success of the OC location, they’ve been expanding in new culinary directions with the branches, especially forming more casual, everyday restaurants. Among the branches, there is Crop Kitchen (which is a more affordable version of the Bistro and Bar taking from their lunch menu) Crop Sticks (Asian Fusion), and then there is Crop Rocks. We recently visited the latter.
Crop Rocks was really good, and the atmosphere was delightful. What makes it even more appealing is its location in the newly revived Flats. There’s fabulous outdoor seating and retractable garage doors (for warmer weather, obviously), a great view, and it’s so close to everything fun, like Punch Bowl Social Club, Beer Heads, Jacob’s Pavilion, East 4th is a quick Uber ride away, and if the Cleveland Browns aren’t on your shit list, you can walk to their stadium from here. Not that you’ll need to again this year…
We went last week for a casual dinner for New Year’s Eve, and each one of us had a terrific experience.
Our food was delicious. It’s casual food in a retro, music bar setting. Options are seemingly humble, like Phish and chips, fried chicken and waffles, sammies, classic salads and fries. The menu is anything but pretentious, but Chef Schimoler worked in components to step it up from near-homely roots; biscuits and “brat gravy”, chicken with waffles and a spicy maple demi, and hemp seed aioli on the Haight Ashbury (turkey wrap).
The average Joe can figure out what everything else is on the menu, it’s easy. But it’s still good. We ordered off the snacks and handhelds menu and loved every bite.
The We Built this city Chicken (you see the music theme here, right?) was DELICIOUS. I could have actually thrown in the towel after eating my portion… it-is-heavy. Hard to stop eating, too. Chicken, poutine, pan gravy, cheese and fries, lots of them.
Next up, we all went for the handhelds. Backpack burrito with chicken, Tangled up in Blue, Haight Ashbury and Smoke on the water. We chowed down for $13-14 a piece for our sandwiches and fries (I subbed an Al Green salad which was meh…turned out to only be lettuce.. for $2 extra). Everyone was full and happy.
The drink menu was totally perfect for this place. They run a seasonal cocktail list, a list of house specialties, a super affordable wine by the glass menu, bottles/cans/draughts and… house shots. Normally, I’d shudder that shots are on a restaurant menu, but it felt okay given the surroundings.
Super happy with their beer selection. Crop Rocks has the Bud/Coors/Whatever-other-water-flavored-beer options for those in your group who aren’t into the crafts but also had everything from Platform (CLE), Desthl, Elevator, 21st Amendment + more. There aren’t any exclusive brews, but it’s still a nice list.
In light of the festive occasion, I tried the Sofia Blanc de Blanc Can which is sparkling wine – in a can. It was good, I’m actually going to look for a pack of these to drink at Indy. #CokeLotClass (You have to go to Indy to get that… so maybe you should go.)
The cocktails are named to go with the theme, and pretty good. Those tried included the Rockaway Beach, which is basically a long island – can’t really mess that one up, and the Stormy Monday, which was full of black spied rum, ginger beer and bitters, good stuff. Only complaint is that they are a little pricey, so watch out. Each of the house cocktails is $10 as-mixed, without liquor upgrades.
The atmosphere is retro/vintage and oh-so-Cleveland. If you sit and look around, you’ll pick up on the old diner chairs + tables, old-school, from your grandma’s house wooden salad bowls and plastic water cups. It’s a dive-bar created from a non dive-bar budget, but still remains pretty of charming.
WMMS swag and memorabilia speckle the walls, murals of famous musicians, tie-dye light fixtures, 15,000 vinyl records encompass the DJ booth. Yep, a DJ booth. When we were there, we meet this fellow, who says the 30+ year old collection is his. He’s got quite the spirit… and based on his song selections while we were there, good taste in music too.
Bonus: You can browse through the vinyl library, and choose your own favorites to play through the jukebox.
It’s not the place to go if you’re celebrating a big milestone, and it’s not really fancy, but that’s what the bistro and bar is for. It’s casual, quick enough and in the center of a lot of action, definitely worth checking out.
Monday – Wednesday 5pm – 10pm
Thursday- Saturday 11:30am – 11PM
Sunday 12pm – 9pm
1075 Old River Road
Cleveland, OH 44113