For this issue’s food review, the PressureLife crew visited Literary Tavern. The old Literary Cafe spot in Tremont reopened under its new name this summer after a complete renovation. While the bar was ready for business in June, it took a few more months for the kitchen to be ready for hungry patrons. Were the dishes worth the wait? Find out what our reviewers thought of the new Literary Tavern.
If I were to live in Tremont, this would probably be my home bar. Newly renovated just enough to be not so “Tremont.” Tremont has a vibe to it, I don’t know what it is, but it does. Regardless, food was off the charts for the price. I don’t think any of us were disappointed at all. On the top of my list was the burger; Big Mac inspired, yet they somehow managed to make it taste better than a Big Mac. The two veggie dishes were phenomenal; brussel sprouts and mushrooms with goat cheese. Another notable dish was the muffuletta. You have to be really ballsy to drop a muffaletta on your main menu. I will tell you, it’s worth the drive and worth the time. Thank you Literary Tavern, you win. 4.5/5
I wish young Alex understood that Brussels sprouts were not an object to fear or despise. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to love some well-prepared tiny cabbages – a Literary Tavern has some damn good sprouts. These fried, green buds are served with garlic, lemon zest, and sea salt, and I could destroy a bucket full of them. While the Brussel sprouts were a big highlight, they weren’t the only standout dish. From the burger to the muffuletta sandwich, Literary Tavern has got plenty of flavor packed on its menu. However, I do have to knock the establishment for its take on carbonara, one of my favorite dishes. Their iteration of carbonara highlighted corn, but the salty, meaty notes that I usually expect from the dish were nonexistent. I guess I should have gone with the lasagna, but at least everything else ranged from good to great. 4/5
Man. It’s been at least 4 or 5 issues since I haven’t complained about literally almost everything. Literary Tavern has officially broken my streak. From the moment we drove up, I knew I was going to want to come back. We were lucky enough to find four bar seats in the tiny, yet perfectly cozy place. As everyone perused the menu, (and after Jim and I bet rounds of shots on what Alex would order) I quickly realized it was taco Tuesday – and also only three bucks per taco… so I ordered all of them. Now, this might sound like a complaint, but I swear its not. I took one bite of the chorizo taco during the flurry of all of the rest of the food coming out, and the only reason why I went back for another bite was because I felt bad for it. With all the other out-of-this-world food flying around, I quickly abandoned my “okay” tacos to reach for the mushrooms, sprouts, burger, and muffuletta. So, eat tacos at Taco Bell. Eat literally everything else at Literary Tavern. With their outstanding service, atmosphere, and menu, they’re sure to quickly become a Cleveland staple. 4.5/5
As soon as I walked into Literary Tavern, alone and fresh off a 12-hour work day, the bartender instantly made me think, “I would come here all the time if I lived in Tremont.” I ordered a Sazerac and an Aviation, neither of which were made according to classic standards, but who cares. The little tweaks to the recipes did not detract from the taste and balance of the drinks. The smashburger, which sounds like something Brett Kavanaugh would say at a job interview, was amazing. Perfect execution of a popular menu item all over the city. Jim’s mussels were another great representation of a common menu item. The side dishes of mushrooms and brussels sprouts would be a perfect late night snack for winter – tons of garlic, char, and butter. Muffuletta isn’t something you see everyday and Literary has a great sandwich. It’s kind of small, but you’re not breaking the bank here either. Literary gets high marks on all levels; service was memorable and comfortable, everything was fairly reasonable, and there were zero hiccups. It’s a great spot, so get there before Tremont gets so expensive that only rocket surgeons can afford to live there! 4/5