The James Beard Foundation has announced five recipients of its 2014 America's Classics Award and one of them is from Cleveland. And no, it's not Michael Symon.
Here's what their press release said.:
Sokolowski’s University Inn (1201 University Rd, Cleveland, OH, Owners: Bernard Sokolowski, Mary Balbier, and Michael Sokolowski)
In 1923 Victoria and Michael Sokolowski founded a Polish restaurant on a bank of the Cuyahoga in Cleveland. Today, Sokolowski's University Inn serves edible homages to the city’s immigrant-driven industrial past, dishing sturdy comfort foods like cabbage rolls that once fueled the city’s growth.
Pierogis, stuffed with whipped potatoes, bathed in butter, and drenched in caramelized onions, are everyday specials. The Sokolowski family does right by Midwestern dishes, too. They beer-batter and fry Lake Erie perch. They craft their own bratwurst and smoked kielbasa.
What began as a tavern when the Tremont neighborhood was flush with blue-collar steelworkers, expanded to cafeteria-style service in the 50s, and has evolved, more recently into a touchstone restaurant for Polish families in search of their culinary roots.