Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

Monsterburger!

March 18, 2012

Sue’s Diner
886 Canton Rd.
330-733-9477

Akron is known for it’s burgers, as  you can tell from the many previous posts on this site. You can try the NiteMare, the SkyHi, or the Galley Boy. Is there possibly a contender? Please consider the gargantuan Monsterburger served at Sue’s Diner.

This one pound beef behemoth is so big that the restaurant bakes their own buns because they can’t purchase them in the appropriate size. The massive patty sits on a bed of lettuce and onion and is adorned with several slices of cheese, sweet ham, and “Monster Sauce.”

This blogger couldn’t finish it on his own and, considering its size, it’s a good deal at $8.99.

The menu doesn’t end there. You can also tackle the Hot Italian Monster, loaded with salami, pepperoni, bologna, ham, lettuce, onion, and Italian dressing.

Looking for a taste of old Akron? Sue’s has the Thacker Burger, based off of the recipe from Thacker’s Restaurant, which existed from the 1920s to the 1980s on East Market near Goodyear’s headquarters. It has loads of onions, dill pickle, and mustard, but, like Hamburger Station, they hold the catsup.

If you’re hungry for a little more and still have some Lipitor left, get a Mini Monster for the ride home.

Please call for hours.

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Akron’s Favorite Slider

September 26, 2011


Hamburger Station
2685 Manchester Road
(330) 753-4100

3275 State Road
(330) 920-1036

710 Canton Road
(330) 733-7303

Akron has its fair share of burger joints. Dilly’s, Skyway and Swensons have made their mark with sweet sauces and stacks of caramelized beef. Hamburger Station takes burgers in a different direction. Their tiny slider-like sandwiches are big on the bun and heavy(!) on the raw Spanish onions. Oh, and don’t even think about adding ketchup. The restaurant’s founder, Jim Lowe, wouldn’t stand for it.

Lowe was only 14 when he ran away from his Nashville home in 1938 and hitched a ride with a rubber salesman.
Little did he know that his car ride would end here in Akron, where he quickly found a job slinging burgers at Thacker’s, a restaurant in close proximity to Goodyear. After several years in front of the griddle, Lowe decided to strike out on his own and take Marvin Thacker’s recipe with him. The result was Hamburger Station, which in a few years had over sixteen locations.

The tiny chain was purchased by Akronites John and Art Michaels, who entertained the idea of expanding to Cleveland and beyond. Unfortunately their dream didn’t come to fruition, but luckily the little sandwiches are still around.

Hamburger Station prides itself on fresh food, even stating in the past that they do not have freezers in their restaurants, only fridges. In fact, most locations have large sacks of onions and potatoes on display and you can watch as employees use potato cutters for their french fries. Back in the old days the restaurants had more of a country-western theme, complete with saddles at some tables instead of chairs.

Film Sandwiches

August 29, 2011

Mr. Zub’s
812 W Market St.
330-252-0272
www.mrzubs.com

Mr. Zub’s chef Micah Townsend loves movies. In fact, every dish in his restaurant is named after a film or film character. Now his newest creation, The Akron Film Burger, is available to the public. The sandwich is in honor of the 2011 Akron Film+Pixel Festival (formerly the Akron Film Festival), which will take place at the Akron Art Museum (1 South High St., Akron, OH) October 6-9, 2011.

“We try to use our vast knowledge of modern and independent films to create a memorable experience to go with our fresh food,” said Townsend. “This is a great sandwich and we want customers to associate it with our local film festival.”

The Akron Film Burger is a vegan spicy black bean burger, made to order with a wide variety of different toppings. It will join the Mr. Zub’s menu for a limited time among the ranks of The Kid (Film: Bad Santa; deep fried jalapeno cheese ravioli stacker), The Thurgood Jenkins (Film: Half Baked; tater tots, sour cream, chives, nacho cheese and bacon) and The Dirk Diggler (Film: Boogie Nights; a giant hot dog with onions, slaw, mustard and chili).

The Akron Film Burger is $6.99 and will only be available through October 10, 2011. The full list of Akron Film+Pixel Festival films, panels and parties will be available on September 3, 2011 at www.akronfilm.com. Festival passes are on sale now.

(Editor’s note: I’m the dude to the left in the photo and am co-director of the Akron Film+Pixel Festival)

The Akron Blimp Burger

July 17, 2011


Pints
426 East Exchange Street
Akron, OH 44304-1864
(330) 535-2276
http://www.pintsakron.com

Pints is your pretty average college hangout located across the street from the University of Akron, but they do have several Akron-themed items on their menu that aren’t listed on their Web site. The Akron Blimp Burger (pictured above) consists of two half-pound patties with a mound of lettuce, onions, pickles, your choice of condiments and served with a half-pound of fries.

They also have “The Akronator,” a pizza totally crammed with pepperoni, salami, capicola (a cold cut made from pork shoulder or neck), provolone, mozzarella, jalapenos, onions, green peppers, and a garlic sauce.

Pass the Pepto, please.

Homemade Rootbeer on the Go

May 16, 2011

For years I thought that the B&K Root Beer Drive-In on Wilbeth Road was the only one around, but it turns out that B&K used to be an Indianapolis-based chain that started popping up in the mid-west during the 1950s. Since then the numbers have dwindled and the franchisees eventually became independent owners. There are still three B&K locations in the Akron area, with a few variations on their names and menus. Although each drive-in has a slightly different design and bill of fare, they all share the distinction of brewing their own root beer, which can be purchased in mugs, quarts, half gallons, and full gallons. All three locations only take cash.

B+K Drive-In
725 East Wilbeth Rd.
Akron, OH 44306
(330) 724-6101
On Wilbeth you won’t find a hamburger in sight. It’s a hot dog-centric location best known for its Tuesday-Wednesday special: the 99-cent Spanish hot dog (it has a fun meaty taco sauce). They also have the kraut dog, the bean dog, foot long pizza dog, and a “cheese joe.” Oh, and they also have Akron’s signature food: the sauerkraut ball.

B-K Root Beer Drive-In
3946 State Rd.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
(330) 928-5973
The State Rd. location offers many items not available on other Akron-area B&K location menus. Their signature sandwich, the 2000 Burger, is very similar to what you would find on a Big Mac: two patties, special sauce, cheese, lettuce, pickles. They also serve a grilled bologna sandwich (for you salt hounds out there), a German sausage sandwich, mac ’n cheese (both fried and not), and a wide variety of other side items.

B&K Root Beer
737 Munroe Falls Ave.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221
(330) 922-3355
Travel a few miles down the road to the Munroe Falls location where they are known for their homemade Coney sauce. These six inch wieners are on special on Sunday for 99 cents. They do have burgers, but only on Tuesdays.

It’s Dilly’s, Yo!

May 8, 2011

Dilly’s Drive-in Restaurant
1921 Triplett Blvd.
Akron, OH 44312
(330) 798-0170

Triplett Boulevard is one of those special streets that can provide a true “Akron experience.” You can see the Goodyear Blimp hanger, the Rubber Bowl, Derby Downs, and watch planes land Akron Fulton International Airport all from your car at Dilly’s Drive-in. In the years since it opened in 1986 this independently owned eatery has made its name known for their tasty Dilly Burgers and Dilly Dogs.

The Dilly Burger follows the classic Akron recipe that you will find at Swensons: tarter and barbecue sauce. Both drive-ins have a similar taste, but are not identical. You should definitely test them both. The Dilly Dog is a quarter pound wiener with Coney sauce and coleslaw. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a California soda or a Dilly’s Twist. Other menu favorites include their popular chili, the Sea-Dog Fish Sandwich (it’s a footlong as well), and the veggie sandwich.

Dilly’s is only open from around mid-March to late-September, so make sure not to miss it this season. They have recently expanded hours to stay open on Sunday and are now accepting credit cards.

Akron Drive-Ins: The Season Begins

April 1, 2011

B-K Root Beer Stand
2184 Manchester Road
Akron, OH 44314-1765
(330) 753-3674

I was actually about to start my coverage of Akron’s local drive-in restaurants, theaters, and more, but it looks like the Beacon Journal kicked it off first. Enjoy this piece about the B-K Root Beer Stand!

Gus’ Chalet Restaurant

March 29, 2011

Gus’ Chalet
938 E. Tallmadge Ave.
Akron, OH, 44310
(330) 633-2322

Gus’ Chalet is one of those places that your grandparents would drag you to as a kid, but you would later gravitate to as an adult. It’s a true meat ‘n taters place that has more on the menu than just American fair. It’s the place where Akron’s heavyweights and politicos used to and still meet and has a Greek side of the menu that truly needs to be explored.

This atmosphere hasn’t changed since the 1970s, whether it’s the menu or the decor. It’s dark and mysterious with tiny gold-speckled mirrors on the walls and a mystique all to its own.

Greek native Gus Kanarios opened the restaurant in 1974 after several years of working at the Anthes restaurants. He later brought other members of his family on board, including son-in-law Kosta Galapoulas.

Their entrees are storied, but the appetizers are even more legendary. When you sit down you will be presented with a tasty kidney bean salad, peppers, classic Akron-style sauerkraut balls, and their legendary Gus Puffs! For a long time they were a local secret, but in 1988 Gus reveled his secret recipe in the Akron Beacon Journal:

NOTE: I had previously posted the recipe for Gus Puffs, but have been kindly asked to remove it, and rightly so. If you wish to look it up, the recipe was printed in the ABJ on June 8, 1988 as part of Jane Snow’s column.

Clam Chowda’

January 29, 2011

The Chowder House Cafe

The Chowder House Café
2028 Chestnut Blvd (near State Rd)
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
330-794-7102
www.chowderhousecafe.com

Like many Akronites, I love local eats, but I’m far from being a professional critic or even a seasoned foodie. So you can imagine that I was a little surprised and (at first) somewhat apprehensive when I was invited with a group of other regional bloggers to share a nine course meal at the Chowder House Café. I was flattered and excited, but Interesting Akron isn’t about food quite as much as it is about local flavor, which is exactly what this post is going to concentrate on. So, as a quick disclosure, our meal was free, but I chose to write about it not out of obligation, but because I do find it to be one of the more unique and under appreciated restaurants in the area.

Chef Louis Prpich has been an mainstay in the Akron restaurant business for over twenty years. He has a storied past, serving as chef for The Grotto in Merriman Valley (which is now Bricco Pub), The Office Bistro, and at Greystone Hall. What makes the Chowder House distinctive is not only its diverse menu and fresh food, but that so many of the ingredients are grown here in Akron. Chef Prpich picks tomatoes from his own garden behind the restaurant and preserves them so they can be served all year round. He also purchases fruits and vegetables from local farms, including corn from Szlays which was used in the creamed corn that served as a bed for our crab cakes.

The menu is perpetually changing, in fact, the entrees are different almost everyday. To find out what Chef Perpich’s has mind each week you can subscribe to a their email list. Out of the nine courses we tried the one that surprised me the most was a cassoulet, which I new to my palate. From what I’m told the Chowder House is the only place in the Akron area that serves this rich and tasty dish.

If you want to read more about the food and see photos of our meal I highly recommend checking out the blogs from my new food friends:

Carano’s Cucina
Fun Playing with Food
The Chubby Cook
Exploring Food My Way
Eating Around Town

The Stew Pot Kitchen

December 20, 2010

The Stew Pot Kitchen

The Stew Pot Kitchen
30 North High St.
Akron, Ohio 44308
330-376-7839

First-time restaurateur Scott Malensek had several goals when he opened the Stew Pot Kitchen: he wanted to provide hot meals to those who work and live in downtown Akron, he wanted the food to be healthy and he wanted it to be affordable so that Akronites who may not usually have the funds to dine out will have the opportunity. Every weekday he serves up several different stews and soups, all of his own creation. There are always vegan and vegetarian selections and each cup is only $2.50. Scott even includes vegetables that he grows in his own garden and from local farmers markets so he knows exactly what he’s putting in the pot.

Unfortunately the Stew Pot is only open on weekdays until 5:30 p.m., so those of you who don’t work near downtown might have to ask a friend to grab something to-go.


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