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Issue Date: June 2012

Roar Score

Jim Vickers

Lion on Lorain // Don't confuse this West Park spot with a biker bar. Yes, owner Jason Wagner's father used to run the joint as the Lion's Pub for years, and the "motorcycle friendly" message on the side of the building makes it clear the place's heart is still wrapped in a weathered leather jacket. But one look at the menu — a huge list that spans sandwiches, tacos and burgers before finishing with a deep-fried ice cream sandwich ($4) — and one can see there's much more here than beer and bikes. While paying homage to his father's legacy, Wagner is also working to create one of his own, with souped-up takes on bar-food staples. Sure, it's a popular approach, but Lion on Lorain kicks the idea into high gear with creations such as the The Fat Boy ($8): bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise served between two grilled cheese sandwiches. It's not all gut-busting shock and awe though. Take, for example, The Ex ($8), a "hot chick(en)" sandwich that merges the cajun-fried bird, lettuce, tomato and pepperjack cheese with the perfectly matched forces of jalapeno bacon jam and cool avocado sour cream. Like all burgers and sandwiches here, a stack of either house-made chips or sweet potato tots rides sidecar. The only thing missing is a beer. Don't worry, the Lion on Lorain has that covered, too.

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