Unable to resist the temptation any longer, I recently popped into Smoke, the new burger joint in town, located directly across the street from my place of employment. Then a few days later, I went back. Located in the former Jojutlas location (don’t worry, Jojutlas fans, they just moved across the street), Smoke has hit the food scene boasting creative smoked burgers, seasoned fries, hot dogs, and a host of other indulgent calorie cows, like shakes made with real ice cream. (They also have salads, but who really cares.) For Canton natives, Smoke is owned by the same restaurant group responsible for Old Carolina (yummy BBQ joint) and Baja Pizzafish (California themed Mex-Amer-Italian fusion place in North Canton).
In an age when everything must be done first, faster, immediately even, it’s so refreshing when a restaurant opens that has actually taken the time to do it all right. This means having a cohesive menu, an obvious niche, and ideally, fills a “hole” in the local cuisine that defines its new home. Add interior design that is clean and modern (a welcome departure from the majority in this town), a cool location, and young, hip owners that (bonus) know how to make really GOOD FOOD, and you have a clear recipe for success. Enter Deli Ohio, a trendy sandwich establishment in the heart of downtown Canton, a stone’s throw away from another favorite, Muggwigz. This place is way cool.
Seemingly out of nowhere sprung a bustling little breakfast/lunch cafe and bakery that is sure to blow your mind. The Blue Door in Cuyahoga Falls, our new fave weekend destination restaurant, is now so familiar that I can barely remember life before it opened. Since it is slightly out of the way for us, we end up stopping in late on a Sunday morning, after developing a laundry list of (mostly imaginary) things we MUST accomplish in Akron. And of course, they are PACKED. Fortunately with only two of us (we opt to roll kid-free on this excursion) there is rarely a wait. This level of culinary intensity is so unique for this area, it’s a miracle we can even get a table. Since I’ve waited so inexcusably long to share with you, I have accumulated far too many food fotos. But before getting to the eye candy, might I share a few reasons why Blue Door is a real success here in Northeast Ohio.
I’ve always tried to take extra good care of my parents – after all, I owe them. There is nothing they wouldn’t give (or give up) for me; they’ve lovingly supported me in every possible way over the years. After losing my dad to cancer last September, suddenly I feel compelled to spoil my mom. Holidays are still particularly difficult for us both; I find it helps to completely distract myself with new experiences. So when I saw (in an email blast) that DBA (Dante Boccuzzi Akron) was hosting a Mothers Day Celebration, I jumped at the opportunity and made a reservation. My mom hadn’t been to the spot since Vegeteranian had closed. DZ and I had enjoyed one phenomenal meal there soon after DBA debuted. It was an experience that just had to be shared with my mom.
If you thought my recent lack of blog activity is because the list of notable Canton restaurants is dwindling, you are mistaken. Fortunately, the list continues to grow, even when my blog doesn’t. In North Canton, our *local* options are limited. But we are incredibly lucky to have an amazing french bakery, that only true foodies and locals are privy to. Hazel Artisan Bakery is tucked into a plaza on South Main Street, near the intersection of Everhard in North Canton. It is a true diamond in the rough. The selection of breads, pastries, cookies, canoli, biscotti, scones, macaroons, baklava…….(I could go on)…..is unmatched in this area. Continue reading
We decided to ring in the new year in a new city. DC is a short 45-minute flight from CAK, making it a perfect weekend getaway. Several weeks prior, after finding a centrally located hotel called Sofitel, (one block from White House, highly recommend) I was off to finding the perfect restaurant for new year’s eve. After some quick research and blog-perusal, I made reservations at Jaleo, a recently remodeled Spanish tapas bar, owned by Chef Jose Andres.
Italian food options are abundant in our little city. So when I first heard the news last year that another Italian restaurant was opening in the former location of Iris (previously one of our favorite spots, but sadly another downtown Canton culinary casualty), I’ll admit I was skeptical. But then I started noticing a certain buzz about Lucca, specifically that they are focusing on sustainability by using local meats and ingredients, a definite first for Canton. After hearing of a slew of positive experiences, reading a fantastic review by Tom Noe of Exploring Food My Way, and later, learning that Lucca had been featured on a special “farm-to-table” Canton Food Tour, it was obvious I had been missing out. Then, a few months ago, while celebrating a friend’s birthday downtown , I found myself in Lucca’s bar, sipping on the most delicious cocktail: the Dirty Mary martini, when who should strike up a conversation with me but Josh Schory, Lucca’s owner and executive chef. While chatting, I learned (among other things) that he was a bit….miffed, shall we say, (jokingly of course) that I hadn’t been in for meal yet. I agreed I was overdue for a visit. So, a couple weeks ago, as promised, I finally discovered what all the hype was about.