A once stagnant corner full of traffic and potential is a bit livelier these days. New (to CLE) food hall restaurant concept Ohio City Galley has recently opened up in the space previously occupied by Massimo da Milano giving Clevelander’s a new and exciting place to hang out, meet up, eat, and drink.
Based in Pittsburgh, the Galley Group brought its third food hall concept to Cleveland this October providing four local chefs the ability to experience a brick and mortar type restaurant while giving Clevelander’s the opportunity to try out four unique food concepts. Living nearby, we were very excited about this restaurant concept to open. The building is gorgeous and unfortunately, the restaurant that existed there for years was only offering a lunch buffet and wedding service leaving the corner feeling abandoned most of the time. With the opening of the new Quarter apartments, The Grocery and other small businesses across the street and the opening of the Beauty Shop co-working space and coffee shop next to the OCG it was inevitable for a change to happen.
Following along to learn about the restaurants and see sneak peeks of the concept we were very excited to give it a try. As the menus began to pop up on social media our excitement started to wane a bit. We weren’t seeing very much that we’d be interested in trying and everything felt like a bit much. Instead of fries, there were onions, the Mexican place didn’t have tacos but some fancier fare. In our minds, we were expecting this to be a more chill place and the food didn’t seem to match the idea. When we visited, however, it seems as if some of the menus have been updated. Perhaps it was a learning curve, perhaps they always intended to change and update it, but we were happy they did.
What to expect
We visited on a Saturday around 7 pm and the place was packed. As we checked everything out we noticed that all of the seating in the main area was communal which can be a little stressful when you’ve ordered food and are trying to figure out where to sit. We ended up sitting at the end of a table that seats 10, the other party having 8 guests.
You come into a beautiful entrance that is part of the historic building and make your way into the food hall. Think upscale mall food court. The four concepts are against the wall and there are several communal tables set up. There are a few open doorways that lead into the bar area where there are more seating options available if you are lucky and there are empty seats you could get a more private table.
Once you make your order you will receive a stand with a number and restaurant name on it for you to place on your table. There are small stations around the food hall with silverware, napkins and other essentials. Your table has water carafes and glasses. We ordered from two spots this trip and our orders were ready within 10 minutes or less of sitting down.
Tip: If you are with more than one person I suggest ordering at different restaurants at the same time if you want your food to come out around the same time.
In addition to the staff working in the restaurants Rice Bowl, Tinman, Poca, and Sauce the City, there is OCG staff walking around cleaning tables when guests leave, removing finished dishes, and checking on guests. In general, the staff works for all four restaurant concepts so feel free to ask them any questions. One asked us if we wanted more chips with our guacamole, I wasn’t expecting that as I thought they were just cleaning tables so it was good to know they can help.
What’s fun about this type of concept is that you can try a few things from different restaurants all in one place. It’s great for socializing, large groups (if you can get a table together) and just a fun place overall. Simple and clean decor compliment the history of the building. We can’t wait to visit again and try more!
Here’s what we ordered
We ordered from two of the concepts: Tinman and POCA. We had a hard time deciding because we also wanted to try stuff from Sauce the City. We’re a bit iffy on Rice Bowl, mostly because we’re not really into that kind of food. We may give it a try someday, though.
We ordered Mac & Cheese and Crispy Potato from Tinman. While they are known for their burgers we really wanted to try these two items out. The Mac & Cheese was delicious with a rich and flavorful sauce. It came with a side of applesauce that was a bit too chunky and cinnamon flavored for me and what I think was a small paper cup of hot sauce. Neither of us tried it.
The crispy potato is their version of a french fry as the only other option are curly onions. These are crispy slices of potato cooked perfectly so the potato is soft while the outside has a crisp. It’s covered in an aioli and hot sauce which was a bit hot but not unbearable.
Tip: Consider researching the menu before you visit as it may be overwhelming on your first visit to read all of the menus while people are standing around waiting to order. I struggled with some of the menus as they were full of type and it took some time to read through.
We were happy to see street tacos on POCA’s menu. We put in for an order of street tacos and an order of guacamole. The street tacos were delicious. It’s shredded beef, onions, and cilantro with a side of a Verde style sauce.
The guacamole was better than I expected as the original description had some stuff I didn’t like in it like pumpkin seeds. I didn’t notice any so they must have changed the recipe or it was seasonal. The chips, they call them tostadas, are comparable to a wafer in texture and feel. While sturdy enough to scoop guacamole out of the bowl they were easy to chew up and not hard like tortilla chips are.
Oooh, also they do BRUNCH. Super excited to try out their brunch menus! We also can’t wait to try out Sauce the City’s street corn!!
All in all, we’re so glad we gave this place a shot and we can’t wait to try more and see how it evolves!
Know before you go:
Ohio City Galley is at1400 West 25th Street on the corner of West 25th & Detroit
As of this post, the parking is still being worked on. I believe there is space across the street and there is an open, free lot on the corner of West 25th and Church Avenue across from the West 25th Street Lofts. (you can’t miss it there’s a giant awesome mural!) Consider taking a Lyft in the meantime, unless you live nearby then consider walking there.
Most of the seating is communal style, there is more seating near the bar area that is more traditional seating style.