Lembo’s | Akron, Ohio

In my old stomping grounds, a part of East Akron called Ellet, you’re definitely limited on worthwhile restaurants.  But Ellet happens to be a great meeting place between Canton and Akron, wherein lies Lembo’s.  Lembo’s is primarily an Italian restaurant that’s been around for years.  Apart from the Italian dishes, another draw is their salad bar, which is much more than salad.  I mean, who even has a salad bar anymore?  Well if this is your bag, Lembo’s is worth checking out, because after all, who can make a better salad for you than you?!

And their Italian food is delicious too, including the lasagna above.  I recommend going at lunch – it’s an awesome meal for a great price.  But come hungry, because for $8.99 you get: all-you-can-eat pizza bar (with 8 varieties at a time) and all-you-can-eat salad bar (which includes several soups, all things salad, prepared salads, such as macaroni salad, cucumbers and sour cream, carrot raisin salad, etc., homemade fresh bread (one savory and one sweet), and a dessert bar (mostly fruit, pudding, ambrosia and other jello-whipped cream sweet salads).  Or, if you’re not in the mood for pizza, you can also order (freshly made) lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, or baked rigatoni with the all-you-can-eat salad bar for the same cost. Plus the $8.99 includes your beverage, so it’s a pretty stellar deal.

Now a few comments on the salad bar.  First, it’s fairly comprehensive, but don’t come expecting a Souplantation or Sweet Tomatoes level of selection.  (Ahhh Souplantation, yet another food memory from San Diego – it’s basically an empire of salad bar, pasta bar, soup/chili bar, baked potato bar, desserts (sundae bar), and so many delicious homemade cookies, breads, muffins, and butters.  Just checked the location map and they are creeping closer to my part of the world – they’re as far east as Illinois and as far north as North Carolina.  Fingers crossed, they’ll make it to Ohio eventually.)  Anyway, I digress, Lembo’s does a pretty good job with their salad bar, stocking spinach and romaine, in addition to iceberg, which I appreciate.  They also have a dozen or so veggies, hard-boiled egg, ham, raisins, and your other salad staples (as pictured above).

Now I would be lying if I told you the ambiance at Lembo’s is anything but boring.  Some days you might feel like you’ve stepped into an old folks home.  Although lately its been packed with business people on their lunch breaks – just depends on when you go I guess.  The dining room pretty much has a midwest family restaurant kind of feel.  Nothing memorable in the interior design department, but I will say that it’s impeccably clean, which is a great thing when you’re getting most of your meal from a salad bar.  Also my mom loves the old Italian photos on the walls, presumably of the Lembo and Vaccaro families back in Italy.  All in all, Lembo’s is a satisfying Italian meal and an excellent value; perfect if you’re meeting family, your grandma, or anybody that’s downright hungry for a good Italian meal.  Just skip it if you’re looking for the scene.

Lembo's Italian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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