If you hate stopping to ask for directions, you may want to avoid Latitude 41 n. in the Gordon Square Arts District, where the décor is a tribute to Rand McNally with street maps shellacked to tabletops and atlases at arm’s length.
But if you’re looking for a casual spot with original comfort food, you’ve found your mark. Latitude 41 n. serves up the usual salad and sandwich favorites for less than $10, plus a variety of pizzas for a few bucks more. The flavors, which include lots of spinach, barbecue sauce and balsamic, have a Mediterranean-meets-American feel.
I diverted toward the Greasy Steak ($8.95), one of nine Latitude Attitudes, filled with beef brisket, mozzarella and onions inside a baked pizza dough pocket seasoned with rosemary. Onions sautéed in balsamic made the dish more juicy than greasy. And a side of freshly cut sweet potato and russet fries convinced me that more restaurants should serve these varieties together. The sweet and starchy duo, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, was a hit.
The Atokos pasta bake ($11.95) offered a hearty portion of penne smothered in a buttermilk white cheese and mixed with spinach, feta, mushrooms and kalamata olives. An extra layer of cheese sprinkled on top and browned in the pizza oven gave the bake a crispy edge. It was steaming hot and hearty.
5712 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, (216) 961-0000, eatatlatitude41n.com