Hi Friends! It’s time for Dreaming of the Next Bite‘s first ever giveaway! The Sixth Annual Taste of Canton is coming, May 21st and 22nd, to be held once again in the beautiful Market Square green space downtown. This year’s event promises to be crazy delicious, with a ton of new restaurants joining the party. Vendors will include The Canton Club, 91, Baja Pizzafish, Papa Gyros, Deli Ohio, Carpe Diem Coffee, Danny Boys, Two Fat Guy’s BBQ, George’s Lounge, Tapas 218, Bender’s Tavern, Almost Heaven, and Bombshell Cupcakes, just to name a few. Plus, they are adding craft beer, wine, and cocktails from Cleveland Whiskey. Continue reading
Late last year, a new restaurant opened in my hood. We didn’t go right away; I must be getting cynical. All I kept thinking is meh, can’t be that great, its a crappy plaza location on Whipple, with a temporary sign and no website – must be another rush job to get open, once again ignoring the finer details. Okay, so maybe that was a little harsh.
Fast forward to now, as I sit on my deck on the first sunny Saturday this year, planning my next lunch at Table Six Kitchen + Bar, which will happen soon if my lunch date ever shows up. Table Six has become the North Canton foodie’s answer to the age old question: where can I go for a great cocktail and a bite to eat, that does not involve bar food, a chain, and the same-old-same-old menu. Yes, there’s Gervasi, which paves the way for a fancy night out. But I wouldn’t exactly classify it as a “neighborhood” spot – it’s really more destination, expensive…fussy even. And there’s newly-expanded Main Street Grille, but I’ve never totally loved the atmosphere and the food has its definite highs and lows. So that’s where Table Six swooped in and took their place in the North Canton food scene.
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.
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
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
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.
Sometimes it takes a while to discover a perfectly great restaurant that’s right under your nose. Such was the case with Grinders Above and Beyond, a local chain of six family restaurants in Stark County and surrounding areas. While the term “family restaurant” often conjures unpleasant imagery of tired menu offerings, old people, and a general lack of culinary creativity or “scene”, Grinders goes above and beyond all that (ha) and manages to stay pretty cool. This post is centered around the North Canton location, which I find to have a comfortable and visually-interesting dining room, a better-than-average patio, excellent servers, and a bustling crowd pretty much every time I visit. But it wasn’t until last summer at a company luncheon, catered by Grinder’s, when I finally became a fan of their cuisine. It was the Key West salad that sucked me in.
Who said wraps have to be healthy, anyway?