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Oberlin, OH

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  • george osner May 5, 2000 11:02 PM
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A good time was had by all on our recent visit to Ohio to hear daughter Miriam's Junior Recital at Oberlin Conservatory (she sang like an angel). As a bonus, I found that little 'ol Oberlin (pop. under 10K) has several very good places to satisfy the chow urge.

We hit town about 8pm (5pm stomach-time) and Mim directed us to The Feve, a typical college-town spot. I had the burger, Elise was very happy to find vegan items on the menu as she is milk-allergic (not lactose-intolerant, she can't eat anything with any trace of cow's milk, butter, etc--although, interestingly she has found that she CAN eat sheep's cheese). The fries with my burger had various options, I chose the Buffalo fries (drenched in the hot sauce used for Buffalo wings). Tasty but way too damp & slimy for my taste. We had several meals at The Feve & they were all tasty.

The next morning we visited the Black River Cafe for breakfast. The pancakes were absolutely perfect--thick, light, golden--I had mine with raspberries cooked in. Served with maple syrup, heaven. The sausage links, on the other hand, appear to be supermarket breakfast links, very boring. btw, Elise had the vegan version of the pancakes, & I was really impressed with them--also light and golden, perfectly raised.

In the evening we headed to Weia Teia for dinner. This is the local upscale spot--trendy decor, which worried me a bit (needlessly). The menu is Asian. I had seared salmon with a ginger curry sauce and the flavors were nicely balanced. The fish was a bit overdone for my taste--I like seared salmon to be not-quite-cooked in the very center. For all the decor and the beautiful presentation, the prices were quite reasonable, the 4 of us were out the door for about $70 (no wine).

Location note: Oberlin is really a small town, all of the above are within a hundred yards of each other, in the little, basically one-black downtown.

Link: http://www.oberlin.edu/con/

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  1. Just a little addendum to my dad's posting. If you happen to be a vegan/vegitarian visiting the Cleveland area (with a little extra time on your hands), I reccommend trying out one of Oberlin's restaurants. We are about 30min from the airport (to the southwest), so not too far if you happen to be in North Olmstead or North Ridgeville. EVERY restaurant offers multiple vegan/veggie options, many of them excellent. Lorenzo's (a pizzaria) offers the only vegan pizza I've ever both eaten and enjoyed. If you're a meat eater, I reccommend either the chicken pesto or buffalo moe's (where buffalo sauce subs for tomato). Both are great!
    As a carnivore, it takes a really great vegan meal to win me over, yet, I often find myself ordering off the vegan choices. And as far as I've experienced, in other restaurants in the area (suburbs of Cleveland) veggie choices are pretty much non-existant with the exception of salad.
    And, while you're in Oberlin feel free to drop in to one of the Conservatories free recitals - over 400 a year. You'll meet some nice people, and it will make the trip worthwhile.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Miriam

      As a former Cleveland resident & Oberlin grad, I have to take issue with the idea that there aren't many vegetarian options in Cleveland. Oberlin does offer a good resource if you're nearby, but as a vegetarian/off-and-on vegan I can tell you that there are a lot of good things to be had in the city: Cafe Tandoor, Clay Oven, Tommy's, Nate's Deli, The Pyramid, Soul Vegetarian, Flying Fig, Hi & Dry Inn, Johnny Mango's, lots of excellent Asian places like Seoul Hot Pot, Bo Loong, and the Peking Gourmet in Cleveland Heights, Empress Taytu Ethiopian...that's just off the top of my head. In my opinion, Cleveland is a chowhound's dream - so much remains undiscovered. Miriam, if you want directions/information/recs/whatever, feel free to email me!

      1. re: Lauren

        FYI Lauren, Soul Vegetarian and the Hi & Dry have closed. The Hi & Dry re-opened as a place called Southside but the 1 time I went there (on a slow Tuesday night with very few customers) the bartender was too busy talking to his friends at the end of the bar to give us good service so we ended up leaving after only having a drink. But there are lots of good vegetarian options in cleveland, I agree.

      2. re: Miriam

        ahh yes the feve rules forever.

        an addendum to your addendum. i think you need more than a little more exerience with the region. for example, in one of the very cleveburbs you mention, north olmsted (no 'a') you'll find WILD MANGO, which used to be the original WEIA TEIA until they upped their game and went a bit more upscale with it. they will make veg only versions of almost any dish you like, just ask.

        http://www.wildmangorestaurant.com/in...

        a quick googling gets more regional veg only choices:
        http://www.clevescene.com/search/rest...

        http://www.happycow.net/north_america...

        of the bunch i think CAFE LIMBO on larchmere (near shaker square) gets the most attention as being a nice sit down kind of vegan restaurant. i have never eaten there myself. looks good tho via their very nicely done website:

        http://www.cafelimbo.com/#

        if you want something else or specific fell free to use this not only this forum, but also the more popular local food&wine forum at cleveland.com. you will come to find a very robust food scene in the greater cleveland region.

        lastly, besides the popular recitals at oberlin, you may be interested in checking out cleveland's orchestra. they are halfway decent (kidding).

      3. Good info. My (vegetarian) niece is enrolled in Oberlin in the fall so we'll check them out. But, uh, I know it's small and "midwest" and all, but did you really mean to call Oberlin a one-BLACK downtown?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Amelia Carr

          I workdes in nearby Elyria for five years and spent many evenings in Oberlin.

          I believe that she meant that Oberlin is a one BLOCK downtown. There is a husge public square (thing quadrangle) of which there are businesses on one side and the Oberlin Inn on another. The rest are college buildings.

          Oberlin is one of the most integrated towns in Northern Ohio and Oberlin and Wellington, OH were storied stops on the Underground Railroad in 1840-60.

          I have had some pretty good meals at the Oberlin Inn over the years although it has been a while.

        2. Is it just me or has Weia Teia's cooking gone downhill? The last few times I ate there the fish was either overdone or old (so old it gives off that gross fishy smell/taste even when cooked.)