Roadtrip Toronto to Columbus, OH - recs on scenic drive
Doing a 3-day trip to Columbus where I've taken note of the following must-do places (thanks to this board): Kihachi, North Market, Black Creek Bistro, Skillet, and several taco trucks (still debating about Indochine, Poong Mei, Darbo, Lalibela). Planning a stop at the Five Points Country Market in Mansfield/Ashland. Would love some suggestions for the drive back which will be along the waterfront (to go thru Mentor, Geneva-on-the-Lake). Also, for those in Columbus, any recent reviews of Poong Mei? I am interested by the menu which contains handmade noodles with black bean sauce (jajangmyung) and steamed buns which are not often found in many Chinese/Korean restaurants. Anything else you would recommend to a Torontonian?
Thyme is in the process of moving to Medina Square -- check with them first if you're thinking of stopping there.
If you want to go the long way and pass through Vermilion, there's the utterly fabulous Chez Francois, which is right on the water.
There's a place called Hil-Mak's in the industrial waterfront area of Ashtabula, which brings in an astonishing array of seafood. It doesn't look like much and the preparations are very basic, but it's the freshest fish you'll get in the Midwest.
I grew up in Mentor, and family still lives there, so I've got some idea of what's around...maybe not the most up to date information though.
Unfortunately, chain restaurants dominate, but we enjoy the Beach Club (http://www.bcbistro.com/) in Concord and Pickle Bill's in Grand River (http://www.picklebills.com/). There's also Molinari's (http://www.molinaris.com/) and Rider's Inn (http://www.ridersinn.com/) but I haven't been to either in a while. There's Hellreigel's, (http://www.hellriegelsinn.com/) but we go there mainly for nostalgia.
Don't go out of your way to go to Five Points. I just ate there last week. It is someplace to eat at if you are in the area, not to travel out of your way for. There just isn't that much amazing food in the Ashland/Mansfield area. South Market Bistro in Wooster is good. Thyme the Restaurant in Medina is good. If you just want to drive off 71 and get a quick bite we have an old time drive in called the Ashland Wooster Drive in http://www.yelp.com/biz/ashland-wooster-drive-in-ashland or right next door is Casa Fiesta for Mexican (just a good mexican, not outstanding. I like the Chicken crema I think #67 or close by.)
IF you are going by Cleveland try West Side Market or some place else there.
Another idea if you are willing to go to Holmes County is try Amish food. I like a restaurant in Charm, OH http://www.grandmashomestead.com/ Pleasant drive as well but probably out of your way to get to Columbus.