Best Choice in Cleveland for appetizers and drinks

One of the most relaxing vacations we ever took was a seven-day cruise through the Caribbean on a tall ship. Everywhere we went, we were never far from the amazing tastes and smells of the islands. Leaving was hard to do.

Royal Clipper setting sail from St. Kitts in the Caribbean

All those memories came back last night when we were invited to Bahama Breeze’s only Ohio location on the east side of Cleveland. Conveniently located off I-271 in Orange Village, this island grill brought back the best of those memories in plate after plate of appetizers and refreshing drinks. Colleen and Cameron kept them coming and explained the island story behind each.  Victoria Bechtel’s crew in the kitchen couldn’t have prepared them any better.


There’s a bevy of new legendary island cocktails on the menu on top of their previous wide selection.  If it comes from the islands and it’s made with rum, chances are pretty good you’re going to find it here. We tried three and couldn’t agree on which we liked best:

  • Barbados Rum Punch
  • Painkiller – from the British Virgin Islands
  • Goombay Smash – from the Bahamas (my favorite)


We planned an evening of sampling, so instead of ordering off their regular menu (which is fabulous in its own right) we took a couple hours to try as many of the small plates and appetizers as possible.  We knew going in that we couldn’t do them all. They’ve got 18 appetizers to choose from and then on the separate Snacks and Small Plates section of the menu, there are another 10. We managed to try nine.

Nine for nine is pretty good and there wasn’t a loser in the bunch.  Everyone enjoyed them so much that it was hard to come up with favorites; but, we forced ourselves to make the hard decisions and come up with some recommendations.

  • Sweet Peruvian Corn Cakes with the yummiest pineapple/mango salsa (top left)
  • Conch Fritters with a fabulous dipping sauce (top right)
  • Classic Cheeseburger Sliders – don’t know how Caribbean these are, but some of the tastiest beef I ever had (lower right)
  • Mojo–Marinated Pulled Pork served over sweet plantains with a smoky BBQ sauce (lower left)

Click on the gallery images below to see everything we tried.

Top the evening off with one of their island delight desserts or a piece of their signature Key Lime Pie. You’ll go home happy, satisfied and ready to show up at your travel agent’s office in the morning. Caribbean, here I come.