Perched on a hill overlooking the Ohio countryside, this rambling lodge offers a lovely backdrop for Executive Chef Brandt Evans' hearty American fare. While entrées like short ribs and mac 'n' cheese may sound homey, count on Evans to update them with luxury ingredients and season them with culinary magic.
It's easy to imagine a gaggle of heavy-set, cigar-chomping underworld figures hunkered over dry martinis and enormous steaks at this downtown Akron institution, but even today's suburbanite will enjoy the juicy steaks, chops, and seafood that make up Diamond Grille's simple, timeless menu.
Operated by chef Shawn Monday (One Red Door), Flip Side builds its gourmet burgers from all-natural, grass-fed Ohio beef, a welcome change from the corn-fed versions everywhere else. Nearly a dozen different models are available, plus the expected crunchy sides like onion rings, french fries, and housemade potato chips. Great milkshakes and craft beers round out this urban saloon-style eatery.
The plastic and neon of the Montrose shopping district are two miles and several decades removed from this little roadhouse. But while the Alley's big menu of sandwiches, pizza and salads seems soothingly unfashionable, execution is above average, the car-themed decor is charming, and the attitude is hip.
This old-fashioned soda fountain and lunch counter not only provides casual fare in a family-friendly setting, but also serves as sheltered employment for clients of the Hattie Larlham agency. The vintage fixtures were salvaged from the former Saywell's Drug Store, a Main Street mainstay for almost seven decades.
Comfy, cozy, and family-friendly, Hudson's is a classic neighborhood restaurant, serving reasonably priced breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare, as well as libations from the full bar. While the owners' culinary chops are apparent in creations like Jamaican-spiced pork loin or bourbon-glazed salmon, the menu is far more homey than haute, with enough burgers, chicken, and meatloaf to satisfy even the least adventurous eater.
While the atmosphere at this Hyde Park location may be a smidgen less elegant than at its Cleveland-area counterparts, the Prime dry-aged steaks here are second to none. For unforgettable flavor, pick the thick Kansas City bone-in strip. At 20 ounces, this juicy hunk of beef will almost certainly require a doggy bag, but it's one of the best steaks around.
Launched by Wooster chef-restaurateur Mike Mariola, the Rail is one of the most attractive adaptations of the gourmet burger bar to hit Northeast Ohio. Mariola's meat methodology consists of using local, grain-fed beef for his meaty half-pounders. Pair them with crunchy starters and sides, great craft beers, creamy hand-dipped milkshakes, and a trio of salads.
An Akron tradition since 1934, this old-fashioned drive-in (now with seven Northeast Ohio locations) is home to the beloved Galley Boy double cheeseburger, along with a substantial array of sandwiches, soups, salads, and thick shakes and malts. Hint: Try an order of deep-fried mushrooms for a juicy change of pace.
Established in 1953 as a rural roadhouse, Whitey's present-day specialties are booze, burgers, and superlative chili. The cozy atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, although on weekends, long waits for a table are to be expected.
The Hudson YT offers the same big menu of freshly ground sirloin burgers, cheese-covered fried potatoes, specialty sandwiches, and "anytime" breakfasts as the other Northeast Ohio locations, in the same casual Victorian atmosphere. The wide selection makes it great for family meals with the kids.
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