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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Valley Cafe - Akron

Also known as V-Caf the Valley Cafe is located in the Merriman Valley in front of all the bars.  As soon as you walk in you feel like you are in your mothers kitchen.  Flowery wall paper and table cloths overwhelm, but are clean.  There is a coffee bar on the side that offers different kinds of coffee.  The staff was very friendly and timely.  The menu was average breakfast offerings and the prices were about the same.  I definately did not mind paying the prices but I would not say it was cheap.  The breakfast sandwich was good, you pick your cheese, bread, and meat.  The country fried steak was tender but tasted frozen, and the gravy was definitely not homemade.  The hash browns were good, would order crispy next time.  The eggs benedict was a last minute decision for us.  It was good but not the best.  The hollandaise was thin and needed more flavor.  The eggs were poached nicely though.

Service____ 8 Chipps
Food____6 Chipps
Atmosphere____7 Chipps
Beer List____0 Chipps
Wine List____0 Chipps
Value____7 Chipps

Valley Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tremont Tap House - Tremont

There are so many good resturants in Tremont and the Tap House is one of them.  It looks like a normal house on the outside but has a huge bar in the inside.  There is also an outside patio but it was too hot the day we were there to even think about it.  They live up to their name by having more beer on tap then I have seen in awhile.  There are not many tables so be prepared to sit at the bar or stand if they are busy.  We were actually not that hungry when we came in this day so we thought we would start by splitting a pizza.  There was a few that sounded good but we decided on one that had quail eggs, prosciutto, and fresh mozz.  It was great.  Each slice had it's own tiny fried egg and the prosciutto was thick sliced but still crispy.  The pic did not come out the best but there was plenty of creamy fresh mozzarella.  The crust was perfect, not too thin for all the great toppings, but not so thick as to take away from the taste of the quality ingredients.  The pizza wasn't actually all that big.  It was a good size to split as a starter, but not a meal.  It would have been too big for me to eat alone, but I would have eaten most of it if I was hungry.  Since we weren't done with our beers we decided to order one more thing.  We got the German Pretzel.  It was average but came with a delicious beer cheese sauce.  The prices were not bad.  The pretzel was a little much, but I thought the pizza was cheap for the quality of ingredients.  The beers were average to high priced, but you are paying for the selection and that is definatly worth it.  The service was good.  We got there a little before the dinner crowd came in so at first our server was not busy, but she still kept coming back and getting us things even after she was busy.  

Service____ 7 Chipps
Food____7 Chipps
Atmosphere____8 Chipps
Beer List____10 Chipps
Wine List____5 Chipps
Value____7 Chipps

Tremont Tap House on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 9, 2011

Market Garden Brewery & Distillery - Ohio City

I had low expectations and high standards for a new brewery in Ohio City since we love going to the Great Lakes Brewing Company.  On this trip we wanted to see what the buzz was about and see who had the gall to open a brewery a block away from this Cleveland icon.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised.  We started with the 6 beer sampler.  While the beers weren't bad I really only liked one and TBG wasn't impressed with the IPAs.  I think they just need time to figure out what works and what doesn't.  The stout was boring and over roasted.  The bourbon ale was good, not complex but good enough to drink on a hot day with lots of food.  We were both impressed they offered beers other than house made ones, good beers too.  The wine list was OK, but who goes to a brewery for wine anyway?  The menu is small but has a lot of impact.  TBG chose the Cuban and I chose pork tacos.  The Cuban looked small but had tons of meat and slices of fresh pickles.  TBG enjoyed.  The fresh fries were really good.  Just enough salt and thin enough to be crispy.  My tacos were also very good.  The tortillas were homemade and moist.  The pork was moist and tender on both dishes.  I thought the fresh salsa verde really made the dish, but TBG loved the house made queso.  I liked the atmosphere, it is a pretty big place with a nice, heated outside patio.  You can chose to drink your beer out of a mason jar.  The prices for beer were a little high, but you are getting a micobrew so that can be ignored.  The food prices were good.  The food was so fresh with quality ingredients (being next to the West Side Market there is no excuse not too) but still affordable.  The service was decent.  Our waiter was able to answer any questions we had and came over to us at appropriate times.

Service____ 7 Chipps
Food____7 Chipps
Atmosphere____8 Chipps
Beer List____8 Chipps
Wine List____5 Chipps
Value____8 Chipps

The Market Garden Brewery & Distillery on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 3, 2011

National Hamburger Fest - Akron

I know this post is a little late but better late then never right?  This year TBG and I decided to go to the National Hamburger Fest in Akron, even though it threatened to rain.  After a short drive to Akron we found a decent place to park for $2.  The entrance to the Fest was $10 for the 2 of us.  We had to buy food tickets as soon as we walked in the gate.  I hate trying to judge how many we need so we bought $20 worth.  That was a good amount for the two of us although we definately could have used more if we had stayed longer.  The first thing we came to was the Hodge Podge food truck from Cleveland that has been on Food Network.  Of course I wanted to try that.  The wait was actually pretty fast, but the line wasn't long to begin with.  We ordered a burger with pickled jalapenos, mixed greens, brisket, and BBQ sauce.  It was really good with quality ingredients.  I do wish it had a little bit better quality bun.  After that burger we took a walk around the whole place, which didn't take that long.  There were a lot less stands than I was expecting.  The only "National" things I could see were White Castle and Max & Erma's, neither of which I was interested in.  The nice thing about WC was the burgers were only 1 ticket, so if you had one left over that is all you could get.  We did that since I had never had one, but I can say I will never have another!  Next we went to Inferno and got 2 sample sized burgers.  Sample size was just a half a burger for more than half the tickets.  We ordered the Memphis which was pulled pork on a burger and the New Orleans which was grilled shrimp, cheese, and creole seasoning on a burger.  Both were good.  Not great, but good.  The New Orleans was unique and I liked that.  The buns were a little heavier so they did not get soggy.  After that there wasn't much else to do so we kinda stood around wondering if our night was now over after an hour, then we left.  In recap we got 2 burgers (1 whole + 2 halves) 1 beer and 1 WC slider for $32, didn't really seem like a good deal.  I would rather have sat down at a restaurant like Louies, got good burgers and spent less.  There wasn't a burger there made with a meat other than beef.  Nothing extreamly original except the fried buckeye which didn't even sound good.