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What to eat in Bowling Green, Ohio

My wife and I just moved to Bowling Green, Ohio for her to take a job at the university. We moved from Bloomington, IN where we both fell in love with the farmers' market and many grocery stores. In that way moving to Bowling Green has been a bit of a shock. We've been to Beckett's (a C-), Reverend's (B) and Naslada Bistro (B+), but we're looking for more to eat, and we don't know the area.

We tend to like a little of everything. She is a vegetarian who also eats fish and shell fish. I am mostly a vegetarian but will also eat all types of meat if it looks good. We would love to find somewhere to get good fruits and vegetables. We've been to Toledo to three different markets (Claudia's, Fresh market and one other) but all of them were very, very disappointing compared to what we are used to from Bloomington.

We would like to find the good food here and in the area. Ideally, I would like to find good sushi (or is is better to just go to Akihana in Columbus), Vietnamese, Korean and middle eastern food. We did find the Tiger bakery in Toledo, which seems to be a diamond in the rough. Those were the best grape leaves I have ever had and the fatayer were amazing as well.

Also if there are any good regional specialties please let me know.

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Naslada Bistro
182 S Main St, Bowling Green, OH 43402

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  1. There's a vegetarian restaurant called Squeaker's in BG. The Easystreet Cafe and SamB's "downtown" have pretty good menus. Myles and Pagliai's (or Campus Pollyeyes, depending on where you are) are the places for pizza.

    Uraku isn't bad for sushi. They also have some Korean dishes on the menu. There are a couple of Japanese restaurants 20+ miles South of you in Findlay, but I haven't tried any of them.

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    Campus Pollyeyes
    440 E Court St, Bowling Green, OH 43402

    2 Replies
    1. re: Fibber McGee

      I haven't eaten at Squeaker's yet, but I have been in there. The menu looked pretty unimpressive. Is that the wrong impression? Can you recommend anything?
      I also tried Myles Pizza and wasn't very impressed. I prefer thin, crispy pizza and myles was the exact opposite. It was very chewy and doughy. They don't skimp on ingredients though, which is nice.

      1. re: BearChair

        I have not been to Squeaker's yet, so I can't really give you a solid recommendation.
        Thin, crispy pizza? Sounds like you need to head down here to Dayton when you get a chance. That is a Dayton specialty. I drive from Dayton to the Detroit area and back once a month, which is why I have any familiarity with Bowling Green at all.
        Findlay also has Cedar Valley, which is Lebanese and is pretty good. And in the same strip as Bangkok Kitchen in Maumee is Sam's Diner, which has quite a few Greek specialties.

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        Sam's Diner
        578 W Dussel Dr, Maumee, OH 43537

        Bangkok Kitchen
        582 West Dussel Dr, Maumee, OH 43537

    2. The best restaurant by far in the area is Revolver, in Findley imo. In/near Toledo, great middle eastern at the Beirut, good seafood at Bluewater Grill on Dussel in Maumee, good Indian at Jewel Of Toledo on Airport Highway, and a Korean place called Koreana on Reynolds Road which is great. Sushi, try Sori Sushi or Koto Buki, both on Monroe Street or Nagoya in Levis Commons. I can't opine on Bowling Green, although a friend who teaches at BGSU told us about an Italian place with no sign and a plain awning if anyone knows what or where it is. The farmer's market in downtown Toledo is terrific when the home grown stuff appears. You might also like San Marco, which has expanded there taqueria inside a Mexican grocery on Broadway at the high level bridge. Very authentic and tasty. Based on my short time in Bloomington on my son's college trip, you might be disappointed at first, but there are places around, just need to search them out.

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      Koreana
      536 S Reynolds Rd, Toledo, OH 43615

      Sori Sushi
      5236 Monroe St, Toledo, OH 43623

      1. As you know, you're not all that far from Toledo. There are two places in Toledo I recommend, and both are conveniently on the south side of town (Maumee, actually) on Dussel Drive just east of the Salisbury Road / Dussel Drive exit from I-475. One is Mancy's Bluewater Grille, which specializes in seafood. ( www.mancys.com ). The other is Bangkok Kitchen, which is an excellent Thai restaurant, about which I posted a detailed report in the Toledo topic at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/397505

        Mancy's is rather upscale, sort of like a nice steakhouse in atmosphere (not surprising, since Mancy's first restaurant, on the north side of Toledo, is a steakhouse); Bangkok Kitchen is more casual, although it's still pretty nice as ethnic restaurants go. Mancy's Bluewater Grille is easy to spot on the north side of the street, since it's a standalone restaurant facing Dussel. Bangkok Kitchen is not very visible; it's in a strip mall just east of a Wendy's on the south side of Dussel.

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        Bangkok Kitchen
        582 West Dussel Dr, Maumee, OH 43537

        Mancy's Bluewater Grille
        461 W. Dussel Drive, Maumee, OH 43537

        1. There isn't much in Bowling Green to get excited about. I've lived here for almost a decade and many of the local places suffer from a lack of competition. My wife and I are always surprised at the mediocrity of the food and service and many local places.

          That said, we like Naslada a lot. The food is really good and it's a pretty family friendly place--it's the one place in BG where we can comfortably eat a nice meal with our young children and not get withering stares from staff and customers alike.

          Toledo is pretty much lousy with decent Lebanese places. Byblos and Beirut are owned by the same people: http://www.byblostoledo.com/ and http://www.beirutrestaurant.com/ I've had good food at Rumors as well: http://rumorstoledo.com/

          A lot of BG locals get excited about South Side 6, which is a beer/cigarette carryout that also sells Gyros, Shwarma, and Fatayer. The hummus is really good, but we always find the falafel to taste of burnt oil.

          If you want Indian we have always had good experiences with Tandoor on Reynolds. The location is depressing, the decor is dusty, but the food is good and satisfying and the staff is very friendly (again, I'm biased as a parent). I've also had good experiences with Deepam Indian in Sylvania.

          For groceries, you might try The Anderson's in Maumee--it's basically around the corner from Bangkok Kitchen (well, maybe one half mile away). It's a local chain that's a mixture of groceries, housewares, and gardening supplies. They have a very interesting deli section, with plenty of Mediterranean foods. A nice-enough produce section. And, if you like alcohol, they have a very good wine and beer section. Churchills, just across I-475 from Bangkok Kitchen, has a fancy selection of imported goods and cheeses but is a bit pricier (and feels much more suburban).

          The BG Farmer's Market is on Wednesdays downtown--it's right across the street from Naslada. It's small but there's two or three very good stands and it's a nice atmosphere. The Perrysburg farmer's market on Thursdays is a bit bigger and busier.

          A lot of folks I know got to Yoko in Maumee for Sushi. There are also other sushi options in Sylvania, I believe.

          For Vietnamese, really high-end Sushi, etc, you might be best served by taking a day trip to Ann Arbor. I grew up in Northern Virginia and badly, madly crave Pho and it pains me that I have to drive far away to get some.

          Lastly, I'm a very unfaithful vegetarian (I eat meat about once every two months, mostly because I can't resist the temptation of Bacon). If you or your wife are ever up for it, Tony Packo's and Rudy's are pretty awesome for chili dogs. And, the pickled peppers are fantastic.

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          Bangkok Kitchen
          582 West Dussel Dr, Maumee, OH 43537

          Tony Packo's Cafe
          7 S Superior St, Toledo, OH 43604

          Tandoor Restaurant
          1117 S 108th St, Milwaukee, WI 53214

          3 Replies
          1. re: mbarbee

            I forgot: Zingo's in Perrysburg serves some nice mediterranean food and is vegetarian friendly. I ate at Stella's once a few years ago and it was good by BG/Toledo standards but overpriced by Columbus/Ann Arbor standards.

            And, when I said Toledo is lousy with Lebanese restaurants I meant that there's a ton of them. Sorry if that was confusing.

            1. re: mbarbee

              @Mbarbee Thank you very much for your long, kind reply. This will be our sixth week in Bowling Green, and we've discovered many of the places that you've mentioned. Regardless, thank you for taking the time to reply. We have really enjoyed both Walt Churchill's and the Anderson's. They are both great markets. Naslada was quite good when we went there a few weeks ago. Although, we were quite dissatisfied with the Bowling Green farmer's market. It was very small and didn't have many fresh fruits or vegetables. Do you know of a good source for local, fresh eggs? After trying them both, I think I prefer Campus Pollyeyes pizza to Myles pizza, but we haven't tries Pisanello's yet. What do you think of them? I've been to grounds for thought a few times now, and I always find their coffee a little watery. I know they roast their own beans, but it just never seems fresh to me. Am I deluded? Is there better coffee or a better place to get roast beans in town? Finally, do you have any opinion about the Thai place that is next to Uraku. It's very close to where we live, and I've been curious to try it. I know it is owned by the same person as Uraku, and the reviews for Uraku that I've read have been less than positive. This has made me loathe to try their Thai restaurant. Can you share any experiences? Are their prices reasonable?

              Thank you again for taking the time to respond to my earlier post.

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              Campus Pollyeyes
              440 E Court St, Bowling Green, OH 43402

              1. re: BearChair

                No problem--my wife and I love eating and both come from interesting food towns and struggle with BG. I'm happy to help new folks.

                We've not eaten Thai in BG. We eat at Uraku occasionally, but mostly because it's pretty family friendly. We've heard mixed things about the food and the some bad things about the service. The prices are probably okay, the food is probably okay, the service might be goofy. Honestly, you're best bet is to try Bangkok Kitchen--it's close enough and the food is pretty good.

                The BG farmer's market will pick up as the summer progresses. As I understand it the cold, rainy May has delayed the growing season. In July and August there will be more selection.

                The Perrysburg Market and Toledo Market are much bigger and have much more variety. I know that at least one vendor at the Perrysburg farmer's market sells eggs. There's also at least a stand or two that sells cheese.

                So, as luck would have it, I have a friend who's just started raising goats and chickens. On Friday I bought some of his goat milk and some eggs. We ate the eggs this morning and they were fantastic. He lives in the Toledo suburbs but his wife works at BGSU. I'd be happy to put you in touch with him. You can e-mail me at matthew.m.barbee@gmail.com

                If you're up for a drive, you could try this place for cheese and eggs: http://www.cjgrassfed.com/ I used to work in Defiance and occasionally made the trip out to get dairy products. Really good stuff. It's about an hour from BG but it's a pretty, pleasant drive.

                Grounds for Thought: I got there pretty regularly, often daily (again, it's a very family-friendly place) and I make their coffee at home. I tend to like my coffee extremely strong and usually order a red-eye when I'm in the shop. Apart from Starbucks it's your best bet for coffee in town.

                I've never actually had Polleyes. I've had Myles once or twice and I've always been amazed at the girth of the pizza and it seemed okay. I've never been very impressed with Pisanellos, but Mancino's is tasty enough--it's what we order if we order pizza.

                BG is a nice, quiet, slow town and a great place to get work done. If you're here for the long haul you'll probably get very familiar with Toledo and Ann Arbor, though; there's just not much in BG.

          2. Mom and Pop's, in Findlay, now serves Filipino cuisine, including breakfast, along with their standard fare.