Took a short trip to B’s mom’s house in Akron last week. Mercifully, we didn’t encounter any RNC craziness (had I seen Trump in the street, I would have been tempted to do something very foolish). It was nice to see all the Cavs pride. Nothing great food-wise on this visit, but we had some decent experiences. Arrived Wed around lunchtime. Knowing that there wouldn’t be any food for us at the house, we stopped by Earth Fare and stocked up on wild salmon (on sale for $10/lb!), very sweet corn, other veggies, some prepared foods (a quite good vegan chicken salad was a stand-out). At the house, I made a salad of couscous, grape tomato, arugula, and corn cut off the cob, very lightly dressed to go with the prepared foods. Dinner was salmon was roasted in butter (a Mark Bittman recipe) since there was no working grill with leftover couscous salad.
Thursday we took chowpup to the Great Lakes Science Center. Lunch first, at the Great Lakes Brewing Company. We were amazed at how many restaurants have popped up in Ohio City since we were there last (a few years ago). B loved his pulled pork sandwich. I went with “pub bites” (fried-up cod nuggets) and the big Bavarian pretzels. Dinner was left over salmon lying atop of pasta with a quick tomato sauce (Marcella Hazan’s). Arugula salad on the side.
Friday we meandered around while chowpup slept in the car. We ended up in Peninsula since B wanted to show chowpup the old-fashioned passenger train, which he loved. The Winking Lizard was right there at the depot and we have enjoyed the Akron location in the past. A bit worn around the edges, but the service was young and earnest and the little game area was perfect for letting chowpup explore, giving mom and dad a chance to eat together and not wolf our food down. My veggie burger was surprisingly flavorful and B liked his meal as well (cannot remember what he had). Good beers on tap. Late lunch, so we picked on stuff for dinner.
Saturday was our last day and we wanted to hit the aquarium (which was awesome). B showed me around the Flats area and we stumbled upon the new-looking restaurants/apartment complex. We decided on Coastal for lunch since we were in the mood for tacos. It looked really quiet from the outside, but inside and out back was a different story. Again, another great place for chowpup to run around, playing cornhole and jenga with some older bros, who loved him. B got 3 tacos (didn’t get a chance to ask him which he liked), salsa sampler (even chowpup dug them – they weren’t too spicy). Taro chips were a nice alternative. My black bean soup was huge – it needed a vinegar hit, so a few shakes of hot sauce brightened it up. The crispy shrimp bowl was probably the best dish of the bunch – fried shrimp on top of brown rice. It, too, was huge. Service was a little weird – I got the feeling that there is a lot of pressure on the wait staff. I can’t quite explain it – the whole scene all felt a little too forced. But everyone doted on chowpup and again, we got to relax a bit and chowpup chowed down on everything.
Until next time Cleveland/Akron!