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“I really wanted to like it but….”

Frank Sterle's Slovenian Country House
Ranked #870 of 1,846 Restaurants in Cleveland
Price range: $0 - $12
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Gates Mills, OH
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“I really wanted to like it but….”
Reviewed April 21, 2014

We took a small group to Sterle's for Easter dinner. It was my first time there and although I heard the quality of the food had declined since the new owner took over, I decided to give it a try. I really wanted to like it because I love German and Czech food -- it's a huge part of my heritage.

I made reservations 3 weeks in advance. I asked if there was going to be a special menu and the man on the phone said they would have all their usual favorites there and possibly something special for the occasion. When we arrived I was very disappointed to be presented with a half page piece of paper with five entrees listed on it, a family style special and one lowly dessert offering.

Still wanting to love the place, I ordered roast pork. It was only offered with mashed potatoes or roasted redskins (no dumplings!) and no vegetable. I asked for a side order of sauerkraut and was told they didn't have any that day. The others in my party ordered schnitzel.

A side salad came with the entree, with a choice of one of three dressings. It was a very small basic salad with a huge cup of dressing. Fresh bread was served with butter. My husband's beer was fabulous -- Black Bavarian. My mother's wine wasn't very good.

The pork was nicely cooked, but not seasoned. There were three large slices of meat, a generous scoop of mashed potatoes and gravy. The mashed potatoes were less than ordinary. They tasted like they either came out of a box or were mashed without butter, milk, salt or pepper. WIth the absence of a vegetable like sauerkraut, the meal was heavy but horribly bland.

The schnitzel was a bit dry. No gravy was served with it.

This was a poor excuse for an ethnic meal! It wouldn't take much to make this place good, yet the local reviews have been consistently critical of the food and service for well over a year. I found these criticisms to be fair and accurate.

Our waitress was slow, unfamiliar with the special menu, and not very attentive. The restaurant wasn't very busy -- one large table of ten and three other tables of four. At least three waitresses and one busier worked the room.

The meal wasn't cheap, especially given the mediocre quality of food. It was not good value.

We thought about coffee, but out waitress dropped off our check and then disappeared so we decided to leave.

As much as I want this old landmark to succeed, I don't plan to return until local reviews indicate the food and service has improved.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Sharon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    36
    20
    13
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great Food, Service and Atmosphere”
Reviewed April 9, 2014

Very filling and tasty food. Had clam & corn chowder and wienerschnitzel with dumplings. Service was great. Would definitely come back. Neighborhood is not the greatest; don't know if I would come back for an evening meal.

  • Visited April 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank jeffshoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, New York
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Ethnic Food”
Reviewed March 30, 2014

A great place to eat some wholesome ethnic comfort food. Quality of food is very good, the service very good.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medina, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
99 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Old world comfort foods and polka!”
Reviewed February 9, 2014

We were here for a birthday dinner and enjoyed the old world flavor. The chicken noodle soup is a must, and the wienerschnitzel was a common request for half our group. The chicken paprikash was a different style than we are accustomed, more of a brothy stew than a cream base. The service was attentive, however the server preferred to try to make everything family style for ease of serving and stood at one end of the table and passed everything, including drinks to the other end. If you like polka music, this is the place to be for Saturday dinner.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank VacationReady330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Dinner With a Party atmosphere.”
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We arrived at 5:30 on a Saturday night and we were told the reservations would fill every seat and the desk attendant stated that he really couldn't say for sure how long it would take. (I appreciated his honesty) My husband having been there for lunch on many occasions asked if we could sit at the bar and eat. Absolutely was the answer -Yay (not usually my preference but I am told it will be worth it!) My husband had his favorite wiener schnitzel with hash browns and gravy on the side and I ordered the chicken paprikash. There were several unfamiliar beer names and the bartender Jimmy although busy, was more than willing to share his knowledge regarding each and their name as it related to local history. The band began to play it's happy polka music as we received our delicious food. Pat served us another drink at the bar, everyone seemed to work together. My husbands dinner was "great as usual" according to him. But my paprikash was fabulous. There was so much tender, juicy, flavorful chicken, absent of bones or fat! Way too much for me to eat so I took half home ( after it was cold, there still was no fat-Yay!) The bread served with dinner was also delicious. The room was filled with happy people eating delicious food and the band played on :)

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank carolynjb330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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