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.
You may have noticed that the frequency of new blog posts has diminished a bit over the last few months. More astute readers may already know the reason for this, but for the rest of you, please know that there are many more great posts in the works, but there’s been a little personal “distraction” that’s prevented me from blogging to my full potential. That distraction started last fall when Dave proposed to me at Falling Water. In a matter of weeks, I went from being an abnormal female who didn’t like weddings, to the girl who’s borderline obsessed with planning a perfect one. Funny how that works! So lately we’ve been spending a lot of our free time planning, researching, saving, meeting, shopping, and spending….all the things that go along with preparing for the big day. Continue reading
For the first ever Downtown Akron Restaurant Week, we decided to hit Bricco, one of our favorite spots. Akron’s Restaurant Week was structured much like San Diego restaurant week, whereby participating restaurants offer a “fixed price” menu with three to four selections for each course – typically, appetizer, entree, and dessert. (BTW, this seems like such an ideal way to attract new business – I wish Canton would do this to encourage people to dine downtown!) In any event, we started with cocktails:
For as long as I can remember, my dad has been recognized by somebody almost everywhere he goes. People always just walk up and start talking to him; you’d think he knows everyone. He’s been telling me about this Italian place in Brimfield (on Rt. 18, east of 43) for a while. Apparently his friend’s son is running it, and using family recipes straight from Italy. So when my dad and I stopped into Rico’s recently, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see my dad’s still schmoozing like always, even now that he’s in his eighties. The owner stopped at our table, greeted my dad as “Mr. Otterman” and was more than hospitable to both of us. (Even told me he went to visit my dad in California with his father when he was 21- which he decided must have been 30 years ago. No doubt I could hear some stories about my dad from this guy.)
Not surprisingly, there are few things that excite me more than 1) the prospect of a new (original) restaurant, and 2) a great burger. Thanks to one of my readers (never thought I’d be saying that), I heard about a cool new burger bar in Akron. The Rail at Summit Mall is creating some buzz and has the potential to carve out a niche for itself in the Akron food scene.
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?!
A long-standing South Akron tradition is Ido on South Main Street. Sitting in an inconspicuous little building just down the block from Bridgestone America’s brand new (nearly complete) Akron Technical Center, Ido has been serving burgers in Firestone Park since 1943. Today, this neighborhood burger joint’s menu has expanded to salads, sandwiches, steaks, prime rib, a variety of “comfort food” favorites, and seafood.
For the love of food and all things BBQ and ribs, we headed down to Rib White & Blue, Akron’s annual 4-day fourth of July Rib Festival. Boasting ten vendors from around the country this year, the rib festival shuts down Main Street around Lock 3, making for an enjoyable evening of BBQ favorites and live music. I was a bit surprised by the number of vendors. Only ten? Shouldn’t this be a local thing with hundreds of participants? I was envisioning an event more like Taste of Canton, with lots of local stands set up, charging a few dollars for a rib or two. That way you can hop from stand to stand and try them all! Instead, we have the rib “kings” from across the country, with their full-size traveling displays and practically commercial kitchen set-ups. Not exactly what I expected.