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.
In the blink of an eye, the building that once held Brown Bag Burgers was magically transformed into Baja Pizzafish. Mind you, this restaurant is on my route to work – it’s right next to Danny Boys and Quaker Steak – so I pass it 2-4 times per day…but I hardly noticed the transition. Literally, the switch happened that fast. Opened by the same owners as Old Carolina BBQ, the apparent concept was to bring some West Coast style and healthy cuisine to the midwest. Continue reading
On our second day of honeymooning in San Juan, we decided to walk from Old San Juan to the beach, which turned out to be quite a journey. Midway there, we stopped to rest along the road under some palm trees. We saw a couple approaching us, wearing bathing suits, so as they got closer, we inquired how much farther to the beach. They told us we were close and asked where we were from. Turns out the guy was from Wisconsin and his wife was from Youngstown, Ohio! They had retired five years ago, and now live six months of the year in Puerto Rico; the other six months are spent touring the states in an RV. They went on to tell us their favorite restaurants, one of them having “the best mofongo in San Juan.” At this point, we still didn’t know what mofongo was, but they explained it, and that evening we were heading to the recommended spot: Punto De Vista.
In an attempt to transport myself back in time a few weeks to my fabulous honeymoon, I will be writing a short series of blog posts about our favorite eateries in San Juan, Puerto Rico. All of them were in Old San Juan, since we opted to rent an apartment in the city for the week instead of going the resort route. Our apartment, Caleta 64, was just across the street from El Convento, and within walking distance of the two Spanish forts (dating as far back as the 1500′s), as well as shopping galore, and a plethora of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Our first Puerto Rican obsession was coffee. Enter Caficultura, recommended to us by our host at Caleta 64 and Old San Juan aficionado, Betsy.
Checking out a new restaurant on your birthday could be considered a risky endeavor. Some might call it foolish, especially when that restaurant is not only new, but practically “off the grid” when it comes to an online presence of any kind, (although they have since established a website). Such was the case with the new talk-of-the-town downtown Canton restaurant, Basil Asian Bistro. Despite maintaining quite a mystique in the first few weeks, every food lover in Canton was facebooking and tweeting about it. It was practically a race to see who could get there and talk about it first.