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Issue Date: August 2013

Game Changer

Kim Schneider

Brickstone // Just like its neighbor, Progressive Field, this spot at Bolivar Road and East Ninth Street has seen a rotating lineup of players in recent years (remember Alice Cooper'stown, Local Heroes and GoodFellers?). In the batter's box since April, Brickstone has joined the league of eateries looking to score hungry fans for pregame dining in the Gateway District. But the restaurant's strategy is more about mixing fine dining — think grilled vegetable lasagana — with bar snacks such as wings and burgers than dollar drafts. It hits a home run with the addition of a large, brick oven that churns out wood-fired pizzas. Try the inventive short rib option ($14), topped with braised short rib, caramelized onions, cremini mushrooms, pesto, roasted tomatoes and blue cheese. Throw your taste buds a curveball and order the flight of four Smokehouse Sliders ($15). The color-coded toothpick in each bun identifies what you're about to eat: red for barbecue beef brisket with onion straws, green for barbecue pulled pork with apple coleslaw, orange for barbecue pulled chicken and blue (our personal favorite) for smoked turkey with cranberry chutney and Gruyere. And don't worry, there are still plenty of TVs so you can enjoy your meal and cheer on the Tribe without leaving your seat.

Brickstone, 2217 E. Ninth St, Cleveland, 216-861-8000,

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