July 2016

During my early years, Manners Big Boy and Tasty Burger were the “biggies” in our town’s fast food business. Tasty Burger was my favorite for several reasons; the burger, fries and rings were good, the price was right (coffee was 5 cents), and owners, Carl, Ed and Mike Napoli were Italians whose family came from Cosenza, Calabria.

They must have been doing something right. They owned 13 counter-service spots, mostly downtown on Euclid Ave. but, they had one on the west side on Clifton (that was across the river for us east siders). The brothers worked day and night managing and grilling.  Sadly, the family lost Carl in a traffic accident during a storm when he was transporting a waitress to a downtown location.

Tasty Burgers were small shops and had bar stools great for spinning while waiting for your order. The Napoli’s had so much business they opened drive-ins/car hops which they named El Dorado. They had full service dining rooms and every night they offered nightly specials like chicken, shrimp and steak. But, the signature deal was always the burger, fries and rings.

Of course, when one had some extra bucks there were plenty of extra places to go like Quagliata’s White House, Tre Scalini, Spaghetti House, Frankie & Johnnies on the Hill, Rondini’s in East Cleveland, Cavoli’s on the west side, and Caminati’s at Shaker Square.