Grab A Hot Italian And Go To The Solstice Steps

Bottom of the Solstice Steps

Now that the last snow has dropped its last snowflake (we hope), it's time to grab the suntan lotion and head to the lake. The boss is in an all-day meeting, the kids are still in school, and the dog's taking a nap, almost heaven. You've been waiting for this moment all week; solitude, nature, and a Hot Italian. 

You head on over to a Lakewood tradition, family-owned for thirty-eight years, T.J.'s Butcher Block. Alas, you walk in, march right up to the counter and say "oh mio Dio." You did have your heart set on a Hot Italian, but there's so many choices with bright colored pictures and descriptions on the wall, now you're torn.

The Philadelphian sounds interesting, hot corned beef, melted cheese, and cole slaw on Jewish rye, or the King of the Sea, shrimp & crab salad, muenster, lettuce & tomato on a jumbo croissant, (I do love croissants). You waver and decide to take the Neptunian God and order the King of the Sea. What? You're out of croissants, then the Hot Italian (capicola hard salami, pepperoni, & mozzarella cheese on a he-man roll) it is. You ask the lady behind the counter if she could add a little Italian dressing to that, you grab a couple ginger beers, a bag of chips and order the Big Bird (turkey breast, baby swiss, lettuce, tomato, & mayo) for later. 

You head to Lakewood Park with your "Hot Italian" and sit yourself down on the newly added Solstice steps, opened in October of 2015. It's a balmy April day, overcast but the temperature is in the 60s, in Cleveland in April, you'll take it. The steps offer a serene connection to Lake Erie, which for more than a century, most of the shoreline had only been privy to a few residents who owned Lakefront properties. If you look really hard you can see the five-mile crib. You enjoy the parts of blue in the sky, the rippling of the waves and feast on your Hot Italian, life is good.

T.J.'s Butcher Block offers an extensive selection of piled high deli-sandwiches, all the fixings. T.J.'s also has a complete line of menu options available to fulfill all of your catering needs. Graduation anyone? T.J.'s is located at 14415 Detroit Avenue, 216-521-3303. Hours: Monday–Friday: 8am-6:30pm Saturday: 8am-6pm Sunday: Closed Find them at

Lakewood Park offers views of the Cleveland Skyline, a walking path along the shoreline, volleyball and a bandstand for summer concerts, a just a few of the amenities. Next time your Soul is longing for some solitude, picturesque nature scenes and a Hot Italian, head to T.J.'s.

Eva Starr

     Eva Starr recently moved back to her heartland state of Ohio, after the transition of her mother. Starr spent the last ten years in San Diego digesting the alluring buffet of wisdom the West Coast had to offer. While there she attended the San Diego Culinary Institute, and worked as a chef in San Diego.
     Starr also published her book Quit ‘Should-ing’ on Yourself, while in San Diego featured at the 2016 LA Times Book Festival, and Oprah Winfrey’s Reading Room.
     She continues to follow her metaphysical path, teaching Astrology, hosting her television show Reach for the Moon, and exploring the diversified culinary delights Lakewood has to offer.

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Volume 15, Issue 8, Posted 12:14 PM, 04.17.2019