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Brunch at Sweet Pea Cafe, Akron OH

  • digga Feb 23, 2011 03:43 PM
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Boston 'hound visiting my MIL in Akron this past weekend. We always struggle to find good food. We went to Sweet Pea Cafe in Fairlawn this past Saturday for brunch. A very modest looking place, we were pleasantly surprised! B had the Hotta frittata (jalepeno, chorizo, tomato and cheese), MIL had veggie frittata, and I had a bunch of sides (delicious sourdough toast - HUGE slices), pan-fried potatoes, and surprisingly, veggie sausage! In fact, there were MANY veggie options, which was great! B and MIL loved their dishes and I was quite happy making mini veggie sausage sandwiches. Sweet and attentive service. We'll back next time we're in Akron. They now serve dinner with beer and wine, which we might check out.

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  1. Where in Akron is it located? You mention it being in Akron, but your link is to Illinois

    5 Replies
    1. re: Cherveny

      Sorry, bad link. Like many restaurants in Akron, it's in a non-descript strip mall.

      Sweet Pea Cafe
      117 Merz Blvd
      Fairlawn, OH 44333

      1. re: digga

        Thanks! I'll check it out. Always looking for new places to try. :)

        1. re: Cherveny

          Do you eat out often in the area? Other places we've enjoyed when visiting family are Gasoline Alley, Moe's in Cuyahoga Falls, Vegiterranean, and Angel Falls Coffee.

          -----
          Vegiterranean
          21 Furnace St Ste 402, Akron, OH 44308

          1. re: digga

            Yep, I do. Haven't heard of Gasoline Alley or Moes. Both Vegiterranean and Angel Falls are good. Others I eat at include Eye Opener (on West Market street, across from West Point Market, great breakfasts), Chowder House (in C. Falls, on Chester, amazing lobster bisque), Al's Corner Restaurant (downtown Barberton, best Eastern European food around), Tip Top (Stow, on 91, pretty good comfort food), Metroburger (West Market, in highland square), Seoul Garden (C Falls, State Street near portage path, amazing authentic Korean food), Russos (Penninsula, old route 8, Italian and Cajun) to just name a few in the Akron area I enjoy :)

            -----
            West Point Market
            1711 W Market St, Akron, OH 44313

            Seoul Garden
            3125 Boardwalk St, Ann Arbor, MI 48108

            Tip Top Restaurant
            814 W Maumee St, Adrian, MI 49221

            Al's Corner Restaurant
            545 W Tuscarawas Ave, Barberton, OH 44203

            Vegiterranean
            21 Furnace St Ste 402, Akron, OH 44308

            Metroburger
            845 W Market St, Akron, OH 44303

            1. re: Cherveny

              Tried gasoline alley. Good food!

    2. I'm a former Brookline resident who relocated to the Akron area - it has been a real struggle finding good food in Akron. I second Sweet Pea Cafe - real culinary gem for Akron. The owner, Josh, has a facebook page where he posts his specials. There are some other good places - Chowder House Cafe on Chestnut St. in Cuyahoga Falls. Chef Prpich posts his specials, too, on CHC's facebook page. He just opened a new Italian Bistro called Sugo down the road from CHC but I have not been there yet. Another good place for lunch is Cafe Bricco in the Doubletree Hotel across from Summit Mall. Their food is very good & their menu is online for viewing.

      14 Replies
      1. re: CurryLover

        Hi currylover! Thanks for the new tips! I haven't been to any of the restaurants you recommend. For sure, we will try at least a couple of these on our next trip to Rubber City.

        But, Chowder House in Akron?! Either it's very good, or you are desperate! LOL!

        1. re: digga

          Chowder House Cafe is VERY good & YES we are desperate for good seafood in Rubber City...their Lobster Bisque, Lobster Rolls & Fish Tacos (lobster & shrimp) are the next best thing to what you can find in New England as far as lobster as well as fish tacos in Southern California.

          1. re: CurryLover

            Chowder House is the best restaurant in the Akron area right now. Their seared tuna app w/ asian noodles is spectacular, as is their bisque.

        2. re: CurryLover

          Hoping to try sugo soon too, as been hearing good things about it. It's about time we had an italian restaurant like this, rather than the typical "red sauce" place. Also, since your name is curry lover, raj mahal on state road in cuyahoga falls isn't bad (although their lunch buffets are usually with no heat, for more mass appeal, but normal orders are much better). Saffron patch on weathervane lane in Akron (off merriman) is also good local Indian food, but, again, tend towards the milder side.

          1. re: Cherveny

            We eat at Saffron Patch at least once a month for their lunch buffet & it is always very good. I prefer Saffron Patch over Raj Mahal. Raj Mahal used to have a second location in Montrose & they suddenly closed a few years ago. Now, Bombay Grill is in that location. We've had their lunch buffet a few times & ended up disappointed. We still like Saffron Patch better. I saw an ad that Bombay Grill now has a dinner buffet...it's on my list to try since no other Indian restaurant in northeast Ohio has a dinner buffet that I am aware of. When I do try Sugo, I will be comparing to Tomato Bistro which is located in Hammonds Corners in Bath Twp. They have great Italian food but the ambiance there leaves a lot to be desired - the tables are so close together that you don't feel you can have a private conversation. I do like that Tomato Bistro has outside seating in season but it is next to a busy road & that kind of ruins the setting - nothing like the intimate outdoor cafes in pedestrian areas in Europe & larger cities in the US which spoils me! Cafe Bricco does have outside seating (also next to busy West Market St) but the last time I was there in season, they did not have a permit to serve alcohol outside. The server said they were working on it & had lost business b/c people could not sit outside & have drinks.

            1. re: CurryLover

              Didn't know about Tomato Bistro, will check it out. Hoping to go to Sugo tomorrow.

              I did notice the name change in Montrose. Didn't know they had a dinner buffet. May try it, as might be interesting. The one thing I dont like about many Indian buffets though is they tend to make things so much blander, in case someone doesn't like spice.

              I do agree Saffron Patch, in general often has a higher quality than Raj Mahal, but find Raj Mahal is still fun to visit sometimes, as they have some specials and buffet items that Saffron Patch doesn't offer (Egg Curry and Goat Curry to name a couple). I do find Raj Mahal' does beat Saffron Patch in their biryanis (did I spell that right?) though, with Raj's being more flavorful.

              Went to Bricco downtown a couple times, and found it not bad, but kind of rude waiters. (Dont think I did anything to provoke it either, as I tend to go out of my way to be nice and tip well)

              -----
              Bricco
              1 W Exchange St Ste A, Akron, OH 44308

              Raj Mahal
              2033 State Rd, Cuyahoga Fls, OH 44223

              1. re: Cherveny

                There was a new ad in today's West Side Leader for Bombay Grill...mentions Wednesday night dinner buffet 5:30-9:15pm. Sounds like they only have the dinner buffet on Wed nights. I think you are right about buffets being a little on the bland side.

              2. re: CurryLover

                Also, if you like Bricco, but don't like the busy street traffic in downtown, they've now opened one on Merriman, in the valley, in the little strip mall closest to Smith road. Much less traffic, MUCH MUCH more green space. I hear they have a slightly different menu at this location though, but haven't yet been there yet.

                -----
                Bricco
                1 W Exchange St Ste A, Akron, OH 44308

                1. re: Cherveny

                  Good to know about Pub Bricco in the valley - will have to try them out sometime, too.

                2. re: CurryLover

                  If you like the Bistro in Hammond's Corners, they have another branch that opened recently, in the former Jasper's space on White Pond near I-77. It's called D'Agnese's but is basically the same as Bistro with most of the same menu items, including that fabulous gnocchi, with the addition of pizza (I just finished a few leftover slices of their chicken and arugula pizza for lunch). They have an outdoor seating area though it hasn't been nice enough yet to sit out there. Like the old Jasper's, there's a bar side and a restaurant side but menu is the same for both. We actually find the bar side a bit quieter, but neither is as crowded-feeling as the Bistro.

                  http://dagneseswhitepond.com/

                  1. re: barefootgirl

                    Glad to hear that D'Agnese's food is good...I was going to let them be open for a while before I tried them out. Tried out the new Aladdin's in Montrose last week - they've only been open a couple of weeks & they are in the old Baja Fresh location. By 12:15pm there were no tables left & people were waiting. Their food isn't quite up to par yet with the other Aladdin's locations (falafel & stuffed grape leaves were overcooked & too dry) so I think I'll let them work out their bugs & improve their food before I go back again.

                    1. re: CurryLover

                      I love Aladdin's hummus -- well balanced flavors and not too pasty. Got a craving now...

                      Pub Bricco's menu is different from the other locations, very heavy on burgers and other sandwiches. The house-made potato chips with cheese dip are a guilty pleasure. My husband likes the Pub because they have draft beer, which the downtown location doesn't.

                      http://www.pubbricco.com/menu

                      1. re: barefootgirl

                        This is great! Lots of places that are new to us.

                        Another place that we have enjoyed is Great Lakes brewpub in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland. I don't suppose there's anything similar around Akron? Pub Bricco does sound like something we'd like.

                        -----
                        Bricco
                        1 W Exchange St Ste A, Akron, OH 44308

                3. re: Cherveny

                  We ate dinner at Sugo Bistro last night on State Rd in Cuyahoga Falls. Sadly, we were very disappointed & will not go back again. The food was nothing to write home about. My husband had the lasagna & it was served in a bowl & very soupy. He said Spaghetti Warehouse & I make a better lasagna. I had the Flat Iron Steak Expresso. While it was very tender, it was cooked well done and I asked for medium. I can do a better marinated flat iron steak on the grill at home. I did observe that other diners had the cioppino which didn't look like much of anything for $26. We have found that we really like the Saturday night seafood buffet at Mon Ami Winery in Catawba Island, OH. It is $30/pp but where else in NE or NW Ohio can you get all you can eat crab legs, shrimp, prime rib, mussels, and various types of fish as part of a buffet? We're not big buffet fans, but this seafood buffet is really nice & unique for Ohio. Not only that, but the ambiance is really nice at the winery.

              3. Their food is OK, but their service is glacially slow. We don't make it a point to go there after 2-3 visits.

                1. Back in Akron this weekend. Situation has changed a bit - there is now a naughty 3 year old (not mine!) in addition to MIL and SIL. Interesting recs all over this thread but are any particularly noisy in a good way so that the kid doesn't drive the other diners batty? Also the food has to be MIL safe (nothing spicy, otherwise we'd check out the Korean or Mexican places mentioned here). We might hit the Lock 3 holiday/farmers market today. Maybe we can get a bite to eat there? Sure would be nice to get a drink or two, though. ;)

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: digga

                    If you are going to Lock 3, I would suggest the Barley House or the Spaghetti Warehouse both on Main Street, especially with a three year old in tow. Both are popular with families. You can check their menus online at their respective websites.

                    1. re: digga

                      Go to Lockview right across the street from Lock 3 -- a dozen different kinds of grilled cheese (including a basic one that'd be fine for the little one) and some other retro/comfort food dishes, more than 100 interesting beers, surprisingly good wine list.

                      1. re: barefootgirl

                        Thanks to you both! We'll try Lockview now for lunch, maybe Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner. Will report back after we thaw out!

                        1. re: digga

                          Lockview doesn't open until 4 pm on Saturdays, and Barley House was a little too pub-like for MIL so Spaghetti Warehouse it was. Atmosphere was just right for a cranky child, but the food left a lot to be desired. Pastas were all way past al dente, B's chili was ok he said, calamari was soggy, but it's only lunch. A beer and wine, 4 adult meals and one kiddie pizza came only to $70. We were amazed at the check! So it served the purpose - thanks for the help today!

                          1. re: digga

                            Time for one last meal in Akron. Brunch/lunch today at Mustard Seed Market. B, SIL , and I LOVED the whole scene (MIL and 3 y.o. stayed home but would be perfect for a kid). We lucked out and got a table (apparently, it really fills up for brunch). As soon as I saw a guy with a banjo on the little stage, I knew we were in a place right up our alley. Comfortable setting - BIG full bar, which pleasantly surprised us. SIL and I got the salmon on top of greens - too many greens, but my salmon (ordered medium-rare) was cooked perfectly. I shared the greens with B and SIL barely made a dent in hers. B got the salmon wrap, which he said was good (didn't taste) but a small portion compared to our gigantic salads. The one weird thing - 22 oz drafts are advertised as $4.25 or something ridiculously low like that. The Great Lakes seasonal rang up as ~ $6.75 - big difference! Now, we don't care one lick about a couple of bucks, but that's a pretty big discrepancy, so B brought it up with the wait staff. She found out that the seasonal is at a premium and apologized. Guess most places out east would've comped us the beer, but we're ok with just knowing what happened. $74 for three of us with one beer and one glass of wine. The buffet seemed very popular, but that's not our thang. Wanna try the tofu lo mein next time. Thanks to the Akron 'hounds - you are truly fighting the good fight in terms of food. It's way easier being a 'hound in the "big" city. Kudos to you all.

                            1. re: digga

                              Glad the Spaghetti Warehouse worked out even though it wasn't the best chow meal - but I was trying to help with the 3 year old & MIL in tow. My 17 year old daughter has a December birthday & we always take a group of her friends downtown Akron for dinner & ice skating at Lock 3 afterwards. She always asks for Spaghetti Warehouse b/c the menu seems to be diverse enough for the pickiest eaters among her friends. Last year, we couldn't get a reservation at Spaghetti Warehouse b/c of all the corporate holiday parties so we settled on Barley House which is practically next door to Lock 3. Well, turned out not only did our birthday daughter & her friends join us, but so did our college age son & HIS friends, too, who had just finished final exams. Amazing how many "friends" you have when you are buying especially the beer for those who are now 21. We treated a party of 12 kids to dinner, beer (for those over 21) and and ice skating (skate rentals $3) and even coffee & hot chocolate at Lock 3.... The college age kids loved Barley House but our daughter was not too impressed & thought it was too pub-like just like your MIL thought. And, yes, it is way easier being a chowhound in the BIG city!!! Haven't been to Mustard Seed in a couple of years - glad the food sounds good even though it is less than 2 miles from my house.

                              1. re: digga

                                Everything always tastes fresh at Mustard Seed. I don't think they freeze their chicken, because it comes out really juicy.

                                Sorry Lockview wasn't open in time for you to try it... did not realize they didn't serve lunch on weekends. It's a favorite spot for work lunches since I'm only a couple of blocks away, and we have taken young visiting kids there with no problem. Maybe next time!

                                1. re: barefootgirl

                                  You two are great....no worries about SW! It served its purpose, exactly as you stated, and we were all satisfied. Barley House (and Lockview) would've been right up my and B's alley, so there's always next time.

                                  One sidenote: I was dismayed that Vegiterranean closed, but honestly, not surprised. Prices were high (although I thought food quality was high and we had no problem with them) and I wasn't sure that was going to fly in Akron, especially since times are tough and "wha?...these prices and no meat?!" B, though not a pescetarian like I, was equally sad. He grew up right behind the Hyndes, whom he said were the kindest people - Mr Hynde took him under his wing, teaching him how to fish, etc. We both loved that Chrissie was trying to stay true to her roots and sad that the experiment failed. She's the coolest rock chick ever.

                                  1. re: digga

                                    Sadly, we hear that it wasn't quality or lack of business that led to the shutdown, but rather "financial misdealings," as our food writer delicately put it, on the part of Hynde's partners. But I am looking forward to seeing what Dante Boccuzzi does with the spot... he's a well-regarded Cleveland chef making his first foray into Akron.

                                    1. re: barefootgirl

                                      Grrl...thanks for that candid response. I'm going to look that article up and read about it tonight. In the meantime, I am sorry I discredited the Akron economic downturn for the restaurant's demise. Akron def has its pockets of cool!!