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Oct 11, 2009 03:30 AM

Thanksgiving in Akron/Cleveland

Spending Wednesday through Saturday at Thanksgiving in Akron with a Friday trip to the Rock and Roll Hall. Love the local food experience. Places that have been around forever and the locals still love. Places when you traveled there and tried, you wouldnt miss when you went back.
Thanks for the help.

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    1. re: paul balbin

      I assume you have Thanksgiving itself covered? Lately, I've been recommending Moxie, El Tango, Buckeye Beer Engine,Pacific East and Hot Sauce Williams. That's contemporary American, Mexican, burgers, sushi/Malaysian food and ribs respectively. I'm sure I've discussed Moxie a couple times in previous posts. I'm pretty sure I've covered Pacific East, too.

      Sapore is another possibility. Their chef just moved on to a bigger and better opportunity and they're currently in transition. During his tenure, it was head and shoulders above the other contemporary American restaurants around here. They're still dedicated to fresh, from scratch cooking. Based on just two experiences, they seem to have maintained the same level for overall quality but I'm a very cautious person. I'm looking forward to seeing them settle down as an excellent, though slightly different, restaurant. They're moving towards Italian cuisine. They've been offering a four course dinner with two or three choices for each course. I believe they're also planning to change to a la carte style.

      Their menu changes frequently. In fact, I'm not even able to keep up with it. I glanced at it while composing this post and noticed that it was completely new compared to just a couple weeks ago. They've always said they change it about every three weeks but it really seems to change even more frequently than that. The new menu looks fantastic. I'm planning to go three weeks in a row to try and get to all of it.

      1. re: stuart

        I've been back to Sapore and I'm growing more confident with each visit that they're still producing the same quality. In the mean time, they've made some changes to the style of service. They used to offer only a tasting menu with a small number of options. They now offer a regular menu. They still offer a tasting menu. And the transition to a largely Italian selection seems complete. I'm pretty happy with the changes. I haven't been able to find a good local Italian restaurant that I like so it's nice to finally have one. Certainly, there's no Italian restaurant in the area that uses such high quality ingredients.

    2. Consider the New Era in Akron. This isn't light cooking though, so if you are still stuffed from Thanksgiving you might want to save it for another trip. It is Eastern European food and though the building is new, the food is the same from when it was a shot and beer bar next to General Tire. The pigs in a blanket is good, the paprikash and dumplings is good, the stuffed porkchop is good too.

      New Era Restaurant
      10 Massillon Rd, Akron, OH 44312

      1. In Cleveland you would enjoy the West Side Market - old school all the way.

        1. I've lived here for the last 10 years. I would miss the Mustard Seed's Brunch. I'm sure they'll have some specials during your time frame, too. They have the freshest foods in the area. They offer a lot of healthy alternatives, but will also serve a great bison burger, too. You might not be able to get a Diet Coke (they serve only natural items) but you can get an awesome smoothie or for something stronger they have local Great Lakes beer on tap. You can try many unique dishes, but their creme brulee french toast is one of my favorites. Don't let the fact that they are above a grocery store stop you.

          Another place that actually has good Italian food (hard to find in this area) is Dontino's. In business since the 30's, they offer homemade noodles and great fresh & simple dishes. Menu is limited. Portions are "normal" and not the oversized American versions. My boyfriend will actually order two dinners (he's a marathon runner and Italian so he can eat a lot). But, food is very inexpensive so you fill up but spend little money.

          A local favorite that we make many trips to weekly are the Winking Lizards. Great for beer lovers. They have dozens on tap. Food is a step above bar food with fresh spinach salads, grilled chicken dishes, and homemade pizzas. They also have the norm: wings, ribs, burgers, etc. They also have a couple of fish and vegetarian dishes. Plus, each location has a lizard and it is kid-friendly (but not like a Chuckie Cheese experience). They are in Akron and Cleveland.

          But, my #1 that I can't live without and it is a Cleveland institution is Tommy's on Coventry. It is the best! You should spend a few hours to also shop on the nearby stores. There are lots of fun places to keep you busy for a little while.