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Hornblowers
Reviewed by our Secret Senior

Hornblowers
1151 N Marginal Rd.
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 363-1151
Click for a Mapquest Map

We visited at lunchtime (11:45) in late June.

Hornblowers is a restaurant on an actual boat. It's docked by the SS Cod, right next to Burke Airport.

Besides the fun of being on a boat and all the nautical items, dining on the top deck is the best part. There is no reserved seating on top. First come, first served and you seat yourself. Just walk up the steps and grab a table if you can.

Special Senior Tip: If you want to eat on the top deck and have the great view (and you will) use the steps inside rather than the outside steps. The inside steps are less steep and are wider. The outside steps seemed steeper and more difficult to climb.

On this visit, the restaurant was extremely crowded - probably due to the Grand Prix racing crews working next door at Burke and a couple of busloads of tourists. The inside is nice and air conditioned but we like the spectacular view from the open air top deck.

You can see Browns Stadium and downtown all around to Burke Airport. You can't see straight out to Lake Erie because the boat blocks that view. Out of town visitors will like it.

Unfortunately, about half of the 12 or so tables on top had nonfunctioning umbrellas. The noon heat made it very uncomfortable and many diners were seen holding the menus over their heads for protection.

The menu offers a variety of salads, pastas, fish and sandwiches as well as some rather expensive ($6-$10) appetizers.

The waiters were hustling but the large crowd prevented them from taking our order for almost 20 minutes. The server recommended the Shrimp and Crab salad and I tried that while my guest sampled the Black Russian.

The Black Russian is only served at lunch. It consists of beef tenderloin tips in demiglase sauce with mushrooms onions and Swiss cheese. It costs $7.95 and comes with galley potatoes. The beef was on a piece of rye pumpernickel and was tasty.

The Shrimp and Crab salad was disappointing. It consisted of lettuce with cucumber and tomato slices in what tasted like Wishbone Italian dressing. There were 7 or 8 small shrimp that had a Cajun flavoring.

As for the crab? We finally realized that the few small crumbs that looked like rice kernels were actually the promised "lump crab." For $7.95 we should have been able to detect a piece of crabmeat without a magnifying glass.

But you don't go to Hornblowers for the food. You go for the atmosphere and the view.

It took us almost 2 hours for the meal after waiting for the check and the ice tea and cokes were left empty for too long.

Special Senior Tip 2: When you pull into the lot, there is a special Hornblowers area that is free for customers (you may be asked for a receipt on busy days.) The other lots all have a fee so be sure you use the freebie lot.

Hornblowers is fun to visit and to bring out-of-towners. Don't expect the best food or service, but enjoy the nautical atmosphere.


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