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Issue Date: November 2009

Cheap Eats: Deals in Reverse

It happens to the best of us — that after-work happy hour drink stretches into a happy evening far surpassing the $1 draft and $5 cocktail deals. But just like everything in life, happy hour now also comes full circle in the form of late-night specials during the final hours before last call.
Edited by Beth Stallings; by Chuck Bowen, Jennifer Bowen, Katie Dragga, Christina Ipavec, Jason Lloyd, Brittany Moffat, Andy Netzel, Kim Schneider, Colleen Smitek, Beth Stallings, Erick Trickey, Michelle Venorsky and Jim Vickers
Sergio’s Sarava
Fri & Sat, 9:30 p.m. - close
13225 Shaker Square, Cleveland, (216) 295-1200,

MUST TRY: Make sure the tamale cakes (reguarly priced $6.95) are one of your choices among the three street plates for $12 special. They combine the cool taste of guacamole and sour cream with a cornmeal cake and a punch of ancho chile. OTHER FARE: For a good variety, pair the tamale cakes with the mini angel hair pasta quiche ($5.50 off special) and the rainbow smelt tempura with chile dipping sauce ($6.95 off special). FREE ADVICE: These little guys come in bite-sized portions to share, so no need to bust out the knife and fork to split them up.

Tue-Thu 9:30 p.m. - close, Fri & Sat, 10:30 p.m. - close
900 Literary Road, Cleveland, (216) 771-5652,

MUST TRY: A half-order of Michael Symon’s legendary mac and cheese ($5) smothered in goat cheese and accented with sweet rosemary. You can add chicken at no extra cost. Don’t be turned off by the fact it’s a half-order. This is a rich dish. OTHER FARE:All for $5, you can try steamed mussels spiced with chorizo and garlic, rotating flatbreads, fried Brussels sprouts and the Lolita burger with fried egg and bacon. FREE ADVICE: Get there at least 30 minutes early to snag a table in the small bar, or you’ll be out of luck.

Blake’s Seafood Restaurant & Bar
Mon-Fri, 8 p.m. - close
9 Main St., Crocker Park, Westlake, (440) 892-3474,

MUST TRY: Every happy hour menu has a slider, but not like these two Philly cheese steak sliders ($3.95) piled with roast beef and a block of melted cheddar cheese. It’s worth ordering if only for the fried onion sticks on the side. OTHER FARE: Half-pound hamburger with fries ($1.95), Mexican pizza with refried beans and barbecue chicken ($1.95), 10 spicy Asian chicken wings ($1.95) and spicy ahi tuna bites ($3.95). FREE ADVICE: With four options for $1.95 and five more for $3.95, it’s hard not to shrug and say, “We’ll try one of everything,” especially because the variety of dishes is as crazy as the deal. When you get that feeling, we say go for it.

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