Dining Away from the Desk: Cleo’s

Monday, August 30, 2010

I’ve been a patron of  Cleo’s on Armitage for a few years. I used to live really close and would walk past everyday on my way home from work. Besides the friendly staff and good beer selection, Cleo’s has awesome food. I’ve tried a lot of items on their menu and I’ve never been disappointed- it’s just solidly good food. But there is one standout in particular – the Gyros Calzone.

I met up with a few of my friends on Friday night to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It’s been awhile since I’ve been back to Cleo’s, and I was excited when my friend mentioned that he’d like to go for the Friday night Fish and Chips special ($5.99). All week I’d been dreaming of the Gyros Calzone ($9), and all week I was bugging my friends via Gchat to split it with me. It’s the perfect amount of food to split, and I was able to talk a friend into it. When I placed my order, the waitress gave me the equivalent of a verbal high-five, telling me it was an awesome choice. I told her it was my favorite despite the fact that I don’t really like gyros, and she said, “How could you not like a gyro wrapped in a pizza?”  Ok…thanks for making me feel fat, but I agree. It’s really tasty lamb wrapped in an awesome dough with tons of cheese in the middle. It comes with tatziki sauce, tomatoes and onions. You can get fries or mac and cheese with it, and I’d go with the mac and cheese. Their fries are fine, but that mac and cheese is sooo good – all curly noodles and oozing with cheese sauce.

Now comes the point in time where I pulled a shady maneuver… I kind of gave my friend the end parts of the calzone, which have a meat < bread ratio. Sorry about that; truly bad form on my part. If we ever split a gyros calzone again, I promise to take the two end pieces, and if we ever split a gyros calzone after that, I promise we’ll just divide it evenly with 1 end piece and 1 middle piece for each of us.

If you’re in the area and are looking for a good place to eat and drink, I definitely recommend Cleo’s. Their patio is finally open (get there before parka weather), so grab a drink and split a gyros calzone with a friend. If you’re more of a night owl with a streak of cheap, hit up Cleo’s on a Saturday night between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. for a free appetizer buffet. Pizza, potato skins and quesadillas – all free with purchase of a drink. Don’t ask me how many times I scarfed down that buffet like it was the last food I’d ever eat :)

If you’re still thirsty, pop across the street to the Map Room for one of the most extensive beer selections I’ve ever seen.

Cleo’s is located at: 2048 W Armitage Ave | Chicago, IL 60647 | (773) 227.6700 | Menu (they also have an additional location at: 1935 West Chicago Ave in Chicago)

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