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Corner Cafe 

Tastemakers

The venerable Cleveland Street Deli is long since dead and gone, and now so are its jukebox, pinball machines and canned beer.

All have been replaced by The Corner Café, a new restaurant that owner Harold McClenic — most recently, the general manager of Barracuda's — describes in a letter as an "ambitious project" that "continues the recent rehabilitation of the area just west of the Boulevard."

I don't know if you can call five booths, three tables and 10 bar stools ambitious, but the Corner Café is not a bad place to stop off for a very casual lunch or dinner. McClenic has added some microbrews on tap, put some jazz on the PA and filled up a large wine list, all to give the place a more relaxed atmosphere. The menu is filled with standard Fan café food: sandwiches, steaks, seafood and pasta. It's on the corner of Cleveland and Franklin. Open for brunch on Sundays. 355-1954.

Folks in the South Side also have a new restaurant to celebrate. The Caribbean Chef on Ninth and Hull streets is a cheap place to grab a plate of spicy food. They offer curry beef, goat, chicken and shrimp, plus more "American" (less spicy) versions of these same dishes, and a large menu of sandwiches, soups and not one, but three fish 'n' chips entrées. None of these items exceeds $8. For an authentic experience, try the Jamaican champagne cola with your meal. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
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