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Recommendations for group dinner in Canton, OH?

wizzy99 Sep 10, 2008 06:27 PM

I'm looking for a place to have a dinner on a Saturday night in Canton, OH. The group size will be 12-15, and several of our group are decidedly non-adventurous eaters.

Any suggestions? I live in Chicago so don't know the area at all. One of our relatives has suggested a place called Papa Bear, but I'll admit the name scares me a bit!

  1. k
    Kelli2006 Sep 11, 2008 08:13 AM

    Caton has a multitude of chain restaurants but there are a few establishments that are chow worthy, so I will need more information about your likes and your price range to narrow down the possibilities.

    Do you want steaks and chops or are you seeking ethnic foods? Is this party entirely adults? Is this a casual affair, or a more formal function?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kelli2006
      wizzy99 Sep 12, 2008 06:21 PM

      The group will be all adults, not in the steaks-and-chops price range. Not overly formal, everyone will be related via a few degrees of separation. Ethnic would work, as long as there were a few "normal" options for those who fear change.

    2. madgreek Sep 13, 2008 06:47 AM

      For a decent place without spending a lot of money, considering "mixed" company, I recommend either John's Bar (Ceveland Ave. just South of Rt. 62), or Old Carolina Barbecue Company in Belden Village (http://www.oldcarolina.com/menu.shtml). As the name suggests, John's Bar is a bit of an old fashioned bar/grille type of place, with solid American Midwestern food, and a nice environment/service. They will have no problem seating a party of your size. Old Carolina has great bbq. Real Carolina BBQ, smoke ring and all. Need I say more? I can't vouch for the location and seating other than the fact that the Belden location is only about a year old. I've never eaten at the restaurant, so I'm not sure what kind of seating is available. Actually, the website states that the Belden location has 95 seats, so I would think that you could find accomodations. I've only had their food via either carry out, catering, or at the many outdoor summer festivals that the city organizes. Their pulled pork is good enough to bring a a grown man to tears. I'm exaggerating of course, but not by much.

      If you're feeling like more heavily ethnic food (even the most picky eaters can usually still find something "normal" at the following, if they just ask the staff for recs), Sukho Thai has very tasty Thai, Bombay Sitar is really great for Indian cuisine (mostly have had experience with their lunch buffet), and Sahara Grille has a nice selection of Middle-Eastern food with prices that are reasonable. I would avoid Papa Bears. Their Italian food is mediocre at best (unless you go for their Pizza Oven Pizza, which is a thick crust masterpiece, with a very tangy and slightly sweet sauce, yeasty dough, and good quality cheese. It's arguably the best pizza in town. Coming from Chicago though, the pizza might not be your cup o' tea. If you feel like good Italian, there is really nothing spectacular in the area, unless you are willing to go to Carrabba's which, despite being a chain (and a bit pricey), is well managed and staffed at their location at "The Strip" in North Canton, and is strong in the areas of service and quality of food.

      I know that there are other hounds in the area, they just don't post as often as Kelli and I. Hopefully, others will give their input as well, but I find that there just aren't enough of us to give you a ton of recommendations with only a few days notice. Oh well, as nice as it would be to provide you with a lot of different perspectives, at least I've given you some good options to consider.

      With a party the size of yours, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that you should call ahead or make reservations. Whatever you decide on, I hope you have a nice meal with your family!

      4 Replies
      1. re: madgreek
        wizzy99 Sep 14, 2008 03:41 PM

        Thanks for the suggestions. The dinner actually isn't til November, so I have plenty of time to wait for others to reply. I like the looks of the Old Carolina menu. If I can't convince the group to go there for dinner, I may have to hit there for a separate meal!

        1. re: wizzy99
          madgreek Sep 15, 2008 09:17 AM

          Sorry, I read your post wrong. I thought you were hoping for recommendations on the upcoming Saturday (obviously). You should get a few more suggestions by that time. There are actually a lot of good restaurants in the area, and I feel as if the more moderately priced places are the real gems. There are a good number of places in the area where you can spend a fortune on dinner, but the food rarely justifies the cost. Cleveland, on the other hand...

          1. re: madgreek
            Kelli2006 Oct 11, 2008 03:37 PM

            Madgreek, I went to the carolina BBQ in Massilon and I'm quite impressed with their offerings We ordered 1 qt of pulled pork and sauce and 2 brisket sandichs , plus puppies and a small order of the Brunswick stew. Their meat needs a bit of smoke to be truly authentic, but it is very good for a BBQ joint in Ohio.

            I had hoped for more spice in their hush puppies but their Brinswick stew is AMAZING.

            1. re: Kelli2006
              madgreek Oct 28, 2008 07:15 AM

              I'm surprised to hear that you think there wasn't any smoke in the meat. I've always seen (and tasted) a sizeable smoke ring in their meat, but have never eaten the food from the Massillon location. Hopefully, this doesn't mean that they are cutting corners for profit.

              Agree about the Brunswick stew. Yum.

      2. c
        CurryLover Oct 26, 2008 07:51 AM


        Has anyone suggested the 35th Bomber Group Restaurant by the Akron/Canton Airport? We took my elderly parents (dad was a WWII veteran) there one time for a Sunday brunch - it was a buffet -and it was very nice and able to accomodate a large group of people. As far as food there seemed to be something for everyone. Check out their website. They often have ads in the Akron Beacon Journal for special holiday buffets. Just a thought. Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: CurryLover
          madgreek Oct 28, 2008 07:37 AM

          IDK. I never really found anything too special about this place's food, though the decor and location (nearly on airport property) are interesting.

        2. JohnE O Oct 29, 2008 03:03 PM

          Okay, it's been about 14 years since I lived in the area, but my absolute favorite place to go in N. Canton is the Giesenhaus, right off of I-77. Great schnitzel and wedding soup, but also has a ton of pub grub. There was also a fantastic Irish pub near the mall called Mulligan's. The only down side was the wait.

          Both are great places to eat, though Geisenhaus would be easier to accomodate a larger group. Again the caveat: I haven't eaten at either place in over a decade, but have great memories of the food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JohnE O
            madgreek Nov 1, 2008 05:20 AM

            The Geisenhaus isn't bad, but it isn't the place it used to be. Timing is a big issue too, as it is with any Pub style place. It's better to go when it's busy, to ensure good food. It's definitely good for the atmosphere, but I can't comment heavily on the food, b/c my experiences with German food is pretty limited. Beer on the other hand...

            Mulligan's is fine. Pricey for a big group, but I doubt it would be a big disappointment. Their ribs used to be good, but as it goes in this city (because of the football hall of fame ribs burnoff in the summer), good ribs one year could mean crappy ribs the next. Winning the burnoff competition (pretty sure Mulligan's did) is often more about profit than actually producing good ribs.

          2. madgreek Dec 2, 2008 03:54 AM

            Wizzy, what did you decide on?

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