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San Diego foodie moving to Bowling Green, Ohio

Hi chowhounds,

I'm making a work related move from San Diego to Bowling Green, Ohio and I'm looking for some recs for delicious places to eat- from hole in the wall on up. I'm an omnivore who eats fairly veggie-centric. I love ethnic food, seafood, and local farm to table, but am open to everything. Also I'm looking for a grocery store or food co-op that sells and prioritizes local organic produce. I've tried to look on google for some recs.

Will drive for food.

Thank you!

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  1. Unfortunately, I think you'll have to drive to get much of anything. BG is a pretty small town, and really doesn't have much in the way of restaurants, much less ethnic or seafood. Toledo is slightly bigger, and you can find some ethnic grocery options there. But most likely, you'll be driving to Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, or Columbus for anything above mediocre.

    Detroit is probably closest, about an hour from BG. A fair amount of ethnic restaurants and markets, local farm-to-table, greengrocers. Even for something like a Whole Foods, I think you'll have to drive to metro Detroit and/or Ann Arbor.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jjspw

      Thanks, jjspw, this is what I figured. I think that the plan might be to try out Bowling Green for a few months and then perhaps move to Ann Arbor where there will be food and a doable commute (I am moving from Southern California after all)

      I did find out about the Toledo Farmer's Market which I'm excited to check out once I arrive. I'm just starting to feel nervous about fresh produce in the winter...

      Thanks again!

      1. re: ilovetoeatgoodfood

        As someone who once lived with my then-fiancee in Toledo, and commuted to Ann Arbor, I would recommend against moving to Ann Arbor. Toledo is ~35 minutes to Ann Arbor; BG about ~55-65 minutes. Traffic on US23 isn't normally that bad, but there is ALWAYS construction on US23, every April-October, without fail. Driving in the snow is also an issue, especially if you don't have much experience with it.

        Ann Arbor is also very expensive (I suppose you're accustomed to that in SoCal), but you can find very reasonable housing in Toledo. You'd have a shorter commute, and it wouldn't be far to go to A^2 for dinners or weekend day trips. You could probably manage with the Toledo/BG dining and shopping scene during most weekdays, but take every Saturday and dine/shop in A^2 or metro Detroit. Honestly, the ethnic dining options in metro Detroit FAR EXCEED those in A^2.

        You also mention fresh produce in winter. Fresh LOCAL produce in winter is scarce, indeed. But if you're not opposed to buying at grocery stores, their produce aisles certainly don't sit empty November-March. Also, this conversation has some good chit chat about shopping at Detroit's Eastern Market in the winter:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831924

        1. re: ilovetoeatgoodfood

          At the risk of stating the obvious:

          In addition to AA:BG being a lengthy commute, you have the added [cough] pleasure of
          completing tax forms for both Ohio & Michigan.

      2. I have enjoyed several very good meals at Revolver, in Findlay. It is ~40 mins south.

        When visiting friends in Toledo, we always end up at Mancy's Blue Water Grill. Toledo has a large Muslim population, so I expect that you will have a selection of middle eastern and med cuisines.

        I expect that the choices in in BG will be mostly franchised, and target the BGSU student body and those traveling I-75.

        If you happen to find yourself in Lima, consider visiting Kewpee burger ...

        Spend a bit of time with Google, looking for sites the specialize in roadside stands for fruits, berries and veggies. I expect you may find a few pick-your-own farms. Perhaps your new co-workers can provide tips.

        Otherwise, driving will be your new hobby. New username? ilovetodriveforfood

        1 Reply
        1. re: rainsux

          lol, rainsuz. "ilovetodriveforfood" priceless!

          I really appreciate your insights and suggestions. Based on my own research and the responses from you and jjspw, I may have to become "ilovetodrivetowork" and move to a more food-friendly location.

          The tip for roadside stands is such a great idea. I'll be moving mid-summer which is right at the harvest beginning--seems like I'll definitely be able to make many delicious meals from the fall harvest. I'm just nervous about winter produce and dining out options in a close radius.

          Thanks again!

        2. I recommend the Happy Badger in BG. It carries Zingerman's Bread (Ann Arbor) and Calder Dairy products. In Toledo, the closest thing to Whole Foods is the Fresh Market (much much smaller but equally as pricey). A new and wonderful Vietnamese restaurant just openened in Toledo. Its name is Amango and is located on Monroe St. Beirut is my favorite Lebonese restaurant. For very fresh Indian food, I recommend Deepam in Central Ave. Welcome to the area!

          1 Reply
          1. re: J in Toledo

            thanks, J in Toledo! These all sound like yummy recommendations that are definitely on my "to eat" and "to shop" list. I'm assuming Happy Badger is a grocery store/market?

            I love Vietnamese, Lebanese and Indian food so cannot wait to try your recs.

            Thanks again!

          2. I believe Revolver closed. The chef/owner took a position at Inverness, a private club in Toledo. I would recommend Beirut on Monroe St. in Toledo for great Lebanese. We love Indian Jewel of Toledo on Airport Highway near the expressway, so easy from B.G. They have some terrific vegetarian dishes. Also, Seva in Ann Arbor is a wonderful vegetarian spot.

            3 Replies
            1. re: sammyo

              Squeakers, In BG (imagine that), is a decent vegetarian/vegan option on the North side of downtown. You should check that out, iltegf.

              Bowling Green actually has plenty of non-franchise restaurants, especially on Main St. (State Route 25.) It's a small town, but a college town with the bit of variety that goes wth college towns. You may want to check out Call of the Canyon, also "downtown." Easystreet Cafe and Sam B's are also worth trying. For pizza, Pagliai's (pronunced polly eyes) and Myles's are the go-to places.

              1. re: Fibber McGee

                Thanks Fibber for the local BG recs, I will definitely have to check them out, especially Squeakers, that might be my first BG restaurant destination!

                1. re: ilovetoeatgoodfood

                  Squeakers is more of a grocer with a decent-sized menu. Not mucn seating that could see, but I only carried out. Lots of organic groceries.

            2. Warning: Do not set foot in any Mexican restaurant in Ohio. You will be sorely disappointed. I spent 12 years in Arizona/California and I've only found one 'taco truck' in Ohio that knows how to cook Mexican food.

              5 Replies
              1. re: J in Toledo

                J, Have you tried San Marco, the grocery/restaurant on Summit by the high level bridge? I'm no expert but lots of folks think it's pretty authentic. Also, my wife and I had dinner at the new Vietnamese place on Monroe Street. I beieve it used to be called Charlie's. The food was quite good we thought..

                1. re: sammyo

                  I should add that the grocery store still stocks some great items.

                2. re: J in Toledo

                  Ohio is a big state. Where have you gone? Here, in Dayton, we have at least four places that do a great job doing more than your typical gringo Mexican.

                  As for as BG/Toledo/Perrysburg, I would agree, though.

                  1. re: Fibber McGee

                    You are correct, I should have said avoid all Mexican restaurants in northwest Ohio. I'm intrigued by the new Imperial restaurant in Ferndale , MI. It is described as serving LA-style street food.

                    1. re: J in Toledo

                      I actually grew up in the Detroit area and lived in San Francisco for awhile before I moved to SD, all to say that I never really liked Mexican food until I moved to SD. I love the Socal style Mexican food that predominates in SD and LA. Sadly, I'm always disappointed with Mexican, not just in the midwest, but in NorCal, in NYC, and pretty much everywhere else. I would actually really like to try Chicago Mexican food at some point.

                3. wow interesting. i lived in bg for years. lived briefly in toledo and worked and commuted bg>toledo and bg>findlay too. in addition i have spent a decent amount of time in san diego. if you can handle the often ruthless winters you can do this -- ha!

                  first, you will love the local pizza in bg. myles is the best, even since mr. myles passed away i have stopped by a few times in passing through and it remains good stuff. get a tomato pie and ask for them to put oregano in before they cook it up. solid! yeah try paglia's and pizanellos too if its still there. remarkable pizza even for a small college town. sam b's always has good sit down lunch options if nothing out of the ordinary and there is an old school diner right downtown you might get a kick out of.

                  explore toledo. you have to start with tony packos hungarian and a mudhens game, although you should try to get to the original tony packos over the new one next to the ballpark. an eternal ohio classic. yes beirut is a toledo classic as well. speaking of that, whole the region between detroit to cleveland is the hub of america's middle eastern population, particularly dearborn -- so explore that kind of food. to drive that point home -- you can't miss the huge mosque in the cornfield between bg-toledo - ha again! lets see, what else? mancys is another old timer to try up there if you like old steakhouses. i am sorry to report rustys jazz club has closed, rusty was a character and it was very well known in jazz circles.

                  so please do report back often -- i would be interested in what you find and we can help you along. more importantly, overall bg is a nice place and a great learning environment -- a real out of the way small college town among the farms --- with all the good and isolation that comes along with that.

                  1. One other really good place in Toledo hasn't been mentioned yet: Bangkok Kitchen. It's a terrific Thai restaurant, and I mean terrific for anywhere, not just for Toledo. It's on Dussel Drive (technically it's in Maumee) down the street from Mancy's Bluewater Grill. It's in a strip mall and it's not easy to spot as you're driving by; it's next door to, and just east of, a Wendy's.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      Totally agree (as usual) with nxstasy. One my 2 or3 favorite places in town.

                    2. Hi! Good luck on your move. It's kinda sad that you haven't gotten a lot of good suggestions yet. There are gems in Toledo, though we're obviously not going to have the selection you had in San Diego.

                      Korea Na on Reynolds in Toledo is very authentic Korean Food & tastes like my Halmonee (Korean Grandma) makes (except for the mandoo guk, don't get that. everything else is excellent). Also, the owner is quite the craftsman. He made the wooden archway that surrounds the entrance, the tables in the restaurant, the psuedo-pavillion inside, etc. He also painted the decorations on the table. Mr. Kim and his son are often the servers & Mrs. Kim is in the kitchen cooking.

                      In BG, my favorite place is Reverends Bar & Grill on Wooster. They are a higher-end burger bar (I'm not a huge burger fan, but I love theirs. Love the ones mixed with chorizo), with some Latin items on the menu (NOT Mexican). I'd be really interested to hear what you think of the fish tacos and how they compare with what you're used to. They also have good sweet potato fries. Their spiciest salsa is called "diablo" and I personally don't find it spicy but my tolerance is very high & apparently the chefs always know when I'm in the restaurant because I'm one of the only people who can take it.

                      Naslada on South Main in BG is authentic Bulgarian food. Not great, but pretty good.

                      As mentioned Squeakers on Main in BG has some locally grown and specialty items as well as a small vegetarian menu.

                      Happy Badger on Main in BG I've only been to once or twice but was pretty happy with the desserts I got.

                      As mentioned before Bangkok Kitchen has pretty good Thai food. (located on Dussel in Toledo)

                      Tandoor is often voted Toledo's best Indian restaurant (on Reynolds). I like it but haven't checked out many others, so I can't really give a "this one is the best" recommendation.

                      Masala is another Indian restaurant on Reynolds. I've only been there once. They were okay, but I was excited that there was goat in the buffet.

                      The Indian Jewel was mentioned in a previous post. I've heard it's excellent but I've also heard that the wait times and service are horrendous.

                      Ferdos (on Bancroft I think?) has pretty decent Middle Eastern Food, as does Sahara on Dussell, and The Grape Leaf on McCord, I think. Please, note, the Grape Leaf does not have a liquor license.

                      I have to disagree with the post recommending Myles. I personally think they're a greasier, lower-quality version of a Chicago deep dish. I've had some deep dish in Chicago I've actually liked. I'll eat Myles occasionally with friends, but it always upsets my stomach. I prefer California-style pizza but haven't found anything good enough around here (People have recommended Pizzapalis in DT Toledo to me, but I thought it was over-priced for the quality).

                      Though it's not great pizza, the places I think have the best pizza in Toledo are Capers, on Bryne, and Calvinos (on Central, I think?). What I like about Calvinos is they sell wine by the actual bottle price and only charge a corking fee, so your alcohol bill isn't outrageous.

                      New Empire in Spring Meadows (off exit 8 on 475, Airport HWY exit) is the only place I know of in town for Dim Sum.

                      Nearest Ethiopian restaurant I know of is Blue Nile in Ann Arbor.

                      Pho Vietnam on Upton in Toledo is a hidden gem. The only place I go to in town when I'm craving Pho. They also have soul food.

                      For fancier evenings out, I suggest Treo in Sylvania or DeGage in Maumee. Mancy's is often touted as the best steak place but I found them to be trading more on their long reputation than on actual food quality. I was appalled that I paid high-end restaurant prices for a salad that was made of iceberg lettuce and looked like it had just been emptied out of a Dole salad bag.

                      For Italian, my Italian coworker suggests Ciao! in Sylvania or Zia's (on The Docks in Toledo). He also suggested Calvinos (mentioned above). I think he's suggested the Margarita pizza at all three of these places.

                      Our local claim to fame is Tony Packos. I think it's okay. I'd eat at the original one on Front Street at least once, if I were you, just to say you've done it.

                      Bar 145 is my favorite burger joint (on Monroe). They have a very customizable burger and you can select the temperature you want it cooked. Last time I got a turkey burger with some Detroit Brick cheese (heavenly!) from Zimmerman's (excellent shop in Ann Arbor), arugula, wild mushrooms, roasted red pepper, and some other toppings, I'm sorry I forget. The side of truffle oil and rosemary fries were fantastic.

                      Regarding the burger places I've listed, Reverends and Bar 145 -- My boyfriend prefers Reverends and I prefer Bar 145. He feels Bar 145 has more pretentious food (i.e. arugula and anything with truffle oil, selecting your bread type) and prefers Reverends. I prefer Bar 145 precisely because of the reasons he finds it pretentious.

                      I'm currently trying to decide which sushi place I think is best, so I don't have a recommendation on that front yet.

                      For ice cream/frozen yogurt, I suggest either Handel's (seasonal ice cream stand, eat outside at tables) or Toppers (on Monroe) for frozen Greek yogurt. Toppers has also just added a crepe station. Haven't had any yet, but I'm excited!

                      For the Mexican food you should probably avoid because you know what it's supposed to taste like, I'd say try El Salto on the Anthony Wayne Trail in Maumee, El Vaquero in Perrysburg, and Abuelos in Maumee. All three are very different in their style of Mexican food offered, so maybe, just maybe you'll find one that's passable? And, for the love of all things holy, stay away from Loma Lindas. So many people say that's the best Mexican food in town and I have no idea why. It tastes like over-priced Taco Bell. I'm pretty sure the "queso dip" I ordered was, in fact, Cheese Whiz or something similar.

                      Okay, that's all I'm going to list for now. I need to get off the computer. If you want more recommendations or want a food tour of Toledo, just let me know. :)

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: JenBak

                        JenBak, you are my hero.

                        I was raised in Perrysburg (Anthony Wayne '99) but haven't lived there in years. We're home for a baby shower this weekend and I was casting about for lunch ideas -- I've been spoiled by the food scene in Madison, Wis., of all places.

                        Anyway, THANK YOU for a wonderfully comprehensive, up-to-date list!

                        1. re: SLOLindsay

                          Glad to be of service! :)

                          Perrysburg? Do you like burgers? Perrysburgers in DT Perrysburg is pretty good. They have endless fries, which is dangerous. Also, I haven't tried this place yet, but Swig makes their own hot dogs, sausages, and stuff, apparently. Off their website, "Swig's in-house charcuterie illustrates the care and effort that goes into every one of our sausages. All of our sausages and hot dogs are hand crafted -that is, ground, seasoned, stuffed and smoked - daily. From classics like the Coney and Chicago dog, to unique items like the Gyro Sausage, Swig appeals to a wide variety of tastes, from those looking for comfort food, to those hoping for a little adventure. "

                          Post back and let us know where you end up going. :)

                        2. re: JenBak

                          Oh! and for really solid, Midwest comfort food, from a real family restaurant, I suggest Glendale Gardens Cafe at the corner of Glendale and Detroit. It's a GOOD family restaurant that's been their forever and hasn't let the quality suffer over the years like a lot of other family restaurants. It's also one of those places that has a 5 or 8 page menu, so you can be slightly overwhelmed with the possibilities. Appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, some Middle Eastern food (the family that owns it is Turkish), breakfast all day, massive onion rings, and lots more.

                          I just realized I suggested a lot of burger places, which is odd because I actually don't eat a lot of meat. My honey is looking for the perfect burger and hot dog, so we've tried a lot of burger places in town. Side note, don't go to Burger Bar 419. They tout themselves as a gourmet burger place with locally sourced stuff, but from what I understand, the meat is just butchered locally, not grown locally. Also, the meat isn't seasoned that great, you take away the toppings and it's just a slab of ground beef. Plus they have very little else other than really heavy, greasy stuff. You pretty much can just get fries or onion petals and a burger there with a few unimpressive salad offerings. And the fries are terrible. Greasy and limp, yet somehow still burnt.

                          Plate 21 in South Toledo is my favorite coffee shop to eat lunch at. When you get a grilled cheese there, it's not just a grilled cheese, it's a lovely blend of cheeses and bread that come together to form a high-end, artisianal grilled cheese. And they have great smoothies and soups. The atmosphere there seems fresh and open to me, with a hint of regular coffee shop vibe/modern hippie/hipster, but less pretentious.

                          Oh! And check out the menu for Balance in Maumee. It's Chinese, but it's build-your-own-dish-with-or-without-meat. Best Crab Rangoon I've had. The intererior is very clean and modern. Probably not as modern as you can get out in California, but for the Midwest, it's a pleasant alternative.

                          1. re: JenBak

                            And Fifi's restaurant on Airport Highway. Complete surprise. The outside is a very unassuming stripmall but inside, very nice. Besides Treo, it's my favorite place for a fancy meal out. Actually, I like Fifi's better but it's more expensive and more high-end foodie, so I love it but my honey finds feels like he out of place.

                            And Cake in a Cup! They won the cupcake wars on the Food Network.

                            1. re: JenBak

                              Excellent post. I drive thru Toledo several times per month ... and am looking forward to
                              working my way thru your list.

                              1. re: JenBak

                                No mention of Mancy's Bluewater Grille? Best seafood in Toledo! (And if you're looking for great seafood, avoid Real Seafood in Toledo - the food is dreadful, although the location on the river is pleasant, with a nice outdoor dining area.)

                                >> Tandoor is often voted Toledo's best Indian restaurant (on Reynolds). I like it but haven't checked out many others, so I can't really give a "this one is the best" recommendation.

                                I've been there several times and liked it. Like you, I haven't checked out many others (ANY others, actually) but it's worth checking out if you like Indian food. Oh, and FWIW it's been there a long time (30 years).

                                >> Mancy's is often touted as the best steak place but I found them to be trading more on their long reputation than on actual food quality.

                                I've enjoyed Mancy's a lot, and my experience has been quite the opposite of yours. I've found that the food quality (steaks AND seafood) has been excellent, consistent with its reputation. The neighborhood isn't the most upscale, but I'm guessing it was nicer when the restaurant opened in 1921. They have a nice big parking lot though, no worries. :)

                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                  I agree with nsxtasy about Real Seafood. I had a terrible experience there. I love, love, love seafood and was so disappointed by my food. When I asked the sever for recommendations, everything she suggested was breaded and fried. I had trouble explaining to her that I like the taste of fish, not the taste of breading and grease. :P

                                  Thanks for the Bluewater Grille recommendation, I'll have to check them out. :)

                                  I've also hear the Mango Tree has great seafood.

                                  I find it sad that, out of my friends, family, and my honey, I'm the only one who really loves seafood, so I normally don't get a chance to check out the good seafood restaurants in town -- unless it's my birthday and then I can drag them to wherever I want to go. ;)

                                  1. re: JenBak

                                    > I had trouble explaining to her that I like the taste of fish, not the taste of
                                    > breading and grease.

                                    Yes!

                                2. re: JenBak

                                  JenBak-

                                  Thank you so much for such an extensive list of places and ideas! I can't wait to check them out. It definitely seems like I will have to head to Toledo, Ann Arbor, and Detroit on the weekends for some good eats and cook a lot at home in BG. Good thing I love to cook.

                                  I'm still in SD wrapping up stuff and plan to land in BG mid-August at which time I would love a food tour of Toledo if you are up for it! Perhaps we could meet up at a location and do a little sampling in the neighborhood.

                                  Also, I was wondering, what do you think about the Toledo Farmer's Market? From the website it looks pretty good, although again, I'm moving from a city with over 50 really great Farmer's Market per week.

                                  And is there a Toledo Slow Foods movement/group?

                                  Thanks so much, looking forward to tasting my way through Toledo!

                                  1. re: ilovetoeatgoodfood

                                    Sure, mid-August sounds good. :)

                                    Oh, & I forgot Sam B.'s on South Main. It's the nicest restaurant in BG. Fairly standard faire, but tasty steaks and pasta and such. Not outstanding, but a nice, solid option. They do have a good French Onion soup. My dad says it reminds him of the French Onion soup he had while stationed in France in the 60s, at a sidewalk cafe run by an old French couple. :)

                                    Uraku in BG is Japanese. It's run by Koreans, so they had some Korean items on the menu the last time I was there.

                                    I'm sorry, I haven't actually made it to any farmer's market yet. It's on my list of things to do this summer.

                                    I haven't been to any of their get togethers, but there is a Slow Food Maumee Valley.

                                    There is also Phoenix Earth Food Co-Op. I haven't joined the co-op yet, but they do have natural foods.

                                    I also know of various Asian and Middle Eastern markets in the area. They're little, but you can get most of what you need. Oh, & there's a good Italian market place with so many kinds of cheese, olive oils, olives, etc.

                                    Let me know if you have any other questions! :)

                                    1. re: ilovetoeatgoodfood

                                      Hey, ILTEGF, here's an article from the Toledo Blade on Ann Arbor food shops that might be useful to you!

                                      http://www.toledoblade.com/Food/2012/...

                                      If you get to missing good seafood, Monahan's has a small lunch menu that can be very tasty. For a truly local dish, try the smelt when they have them (usually in spring).

                                    2. re: JenBak

                                      jenbak! look at you. niccce bringing it all up to date - bravo!

                                      all i will add is myles is in no way chicago style pizza. it stands out, or stood out, because of the two cheeses mix and how it was cooked. im sorry to hear if its gone downhill, but not surprised. never would have happened when mr. myles was alive that is for sure.

                                      one more thing is just that sam b's is what it is because even tho its moved around its a landmark bg restaurant, which you would know, but the op may not.

                                      great to hear about all this chowy tastiness in good old beegee and nw ohio. sounds much improved, i will look forward to my next stop thru town sometime.

                                    3. Hey Hounds!

                                      I've been in BG for about 2 weeks now and I have some eating reports to share. So to be fair I've been to Detroit-area and Ann Arbor to do some eating and shopping, but otherwise I have some Bowling Green updates:

                                      -BG Farmer's Market on Wednesdays 4-8pm. While it is a small market, I've found some really great produce. Definitely a go to for fresh and delicious food.

                                      - Kroger, I've been pleasantly surprised by Kroger's selection of organic produce and food products. While I couldn't find millet in the store, they have a wide selection of items that I use with frequency.

                                      -South Side 6: takeout MIddle Eastern. While not as good as offerings in the Detroit-area very solid and good food. I've had their food twice and enjoyed it very much.

                                      -Naslada Bistro: Eastern European. The food was very flavorful and menu options look very good, definitely will be back to try more on the menu.

                                      -Myles Baker Street Cafe: stopped in for lunch, average cafe fare, but very delicious pastries.

                                      -Grounds for Thought: fantastic locally owned coffee shop and roaster.

                                      -SamB's: completely unimpressed and found prices very high for the area.

                                      -The Cookie Jar: local favorite homemade cookies served warm to order. They were tasty and I love that they have a "cookie of the day" special.

                                      -Happy Badger: organic, local food cafe. Enjoyed my meal here, but wish the menu had more options and would come back more often.

                                      As you might imagine, I've been cooking at home A LOT (which is why I'm so thankful for the Farmer's Market). I'm planning to make it up to Toledo this weekend (where should I eat??) I'm dying for Indian or Japanese so I may try Tandoor per some Hound's suggestions. I'm kind of bummed Revolver closed as I would be interested in trying a restaurant that focuses on local products with an updated twist.

                                      Will keep you posted on my eating adventures. Thanks for all your suggestions so far!

                                      14 Replies
                                      1. re: ilovetoeatgoodfood

                                        Welcome to the neighborhood! I want to recommend Indian Jewel of Toledo on Airport Highway (it's not on Alexis anymore contrary to what yp.com says). If you want beer or wine with your meal, it's BYOB. Had takeout yesterday and it was terrific. My two favorites are mateer paneer and vegetable kofta (fried balls of potatoes / green beans + more deliciousness in a creamy sauce with raisins and cachews). I was happy to see that the dining room has been spruced up. Those awful low rider chairs on wheels are gone! Our next meal will be dine-in. Please keep posting your finds.

                                        1. re: ilovetoeatgoodfood

                                          Ilovetoeatgoodfood, great to hear back from you! Good to know you're settling in and trying the food.

                                          For Indian, I've also recently tried Star Diner, which was fun because it was in an old, 50s style diner. There was this odd and fun mix of 50s decor (booths, colors, counter, etc), with Indian posters on the wall, Bollywood on the TVs, and Indian food served in very American metal trays.

                                          If you want to do that food tour of Toledo, or want company on one of your farmer's market or dining jaunts, feel free to friend or message me on Facebook or reply to this thread with a time & place & I'll see if I can make it. On FB, you should be able to find me by facebook.com/jenbak

                                          Welcome to the area! :)

                                          1. re: JenBak

                                            nom, nom, nom! You Toledo Hounds are making me hungry! Thanks everyone for all the good suggestions.

                                            JenBak, I'd love to take you up on your offer of meeting up for a meal and/or a Toledo food tour. Based on other hounds recommendations I'm going to check out either Indian Jewel or Bangkok Thai this Saturday if you're free and feel like meeting up for a late lunch or dinner. If not we could try another restaurant another time.

                                            1. re: ilovetoeatgoodfood

                                              hey there - i would definately rec tony packos over those if its your first visit. that is not only toledo, but an ohio institution. and hungarian is something you never had out west thats for certain, so try it. ok as im hungarian i am biased, but i still say go there first lol!

                                              speaking of touristy or common places, do not totally give up on loma linda. although its totally mediocre and always has been, you are honor bound to go or be dragged there at least once. do it at least just so you can relate with the locals. we have a place near me in the west village called bennys burritos, its awful in the same mediocre way, but i still go on occasion, even with much better nearby. you'll come to understand - ha!

                                              1. re: ilovetoeatgoodfood

                                                Sounds good! I would have to leave by 5:30, is that ok for your schedule? I have to be somewhere at 6. I love Bangkok Kitchen and I've never been to Indian Jewel, so both sound great. FYI so you can recognize me, I have long brown hair and wear glasses, approx. 5' 5" tall, 1/2 caucasian, 1/2 Korean, and my purse has my photography studio name on it and some photos of my clients.

                                                mrnyc, though Tony Packos is a Toledo institution, if you're not in the mood for hot dogs and are craving Indian or Thai, I think it would do the restaurant a disservice to go there. I find when I'm craving something, I should eat that thing because if I get something else, I end up disappointed with my food, no matter how well made it actually is. :)

                                                1. re: JenBak

                                                  mrnyc: Thanks for your input, however I'm eating primarily vegetarian plus seafood these days so Tony Packos would be best suited for another time. Definitely have to check it out at least once, will wait until I'm having a craving or a friend visiting who would fully appreciate.

                                                  JenBak: Are you available for meeting for a late lunch, at 1:30pm? (I have a prior commitment in BG until just before 1pm) I'm leaning towards Indian Jewel in terms of craving, however I'm nervous about the bad service/buffet replenishment that I've read online. I would be perfectly happy with a Maasuman Curry and some Tom Yum soup as well. Would you prefer something new or old favorite?

                                                  The addresses I'm showing for both are:
                                                  The Indian Jewel of Toledo
                                                  6711 Airport Highway, Holland, OH

                                                  Bangkok Kitchen
                                                  582 West Dussel Drive, Maumee, OH

                                                  Looking forward to meeting you and can't wait to get my grub on!

                                                  1. re: ilovetoeatgoodfood

                                                    1:30 sounds perfect. I'm also leaning toward Indian Jewel since I've never been there, despite my worries about service.

                                                    See you tomorrow! :)

                                                    1. re: JenBak

                                                      yeah! looking forward to having lunch with you tomorrow, jenbak!

                                              2. re: JenBak

                                                Crap. I just reread this post and realized I put Star Diner instead of Star of India. Two VERY different restaurants. Star Diner is basically a breakfast version of a Hooters, from what I've been told. Star of India is an Indian restaurant. Sorry if I confused anyone! :)

                                                1. re: JenBak

                                                  You heard wrong. VERY wrong, IMO.

                                                  Yes, the front of the house staff is all female. Yes, they're mostly all attractive young females. Yes, they wear shorts and may show some cleavage. But that is where the comparison ends, IMO, and the fact they do a great business of families, after church crowd, and clientele of all ages I think the rest of Toledo does as well. These girls aren't sitting on anybody's lap flirting with the guys for a bigger tip. They're serving food and turning over tables as quickly/friendly as possible.

                                                  Star Diner is a breakfast/lunch diner in the classic sense. Huge portions of greasy goodness. Nearly everything appears to be made in house...fries, onion rings, salads, etc. This isn't frozen GFS stuff they deep fry and send out to you...

                                                  If you want a sandwich, diner breakfast, or even a salad, I think Star Diner is a great option for breakfast or lunch. Probably my favorite for that type of food in the Toledo, BG area.

                                                  1. re: hammb

                                                    So does the Star Diner differ from Star Bar then? They're the same franchise/owner, aren't they?

                                                    I have to admit, part of my opinion on Star Diner had been formed by what I heard from my male coworkers (who let the women in the office know that we probably wouldn't like it there and why), combined with my experience at Star Bar. I went with a group of two other women and the waitress (who was clad in a similar manner to Hooters) all but ignored us and gave us terrible service when she did pay attention to us, but was very friendly and competent with the tables of men all around us. She even when so far as to take my plate of food away when I was still eating. I literally was taking a bite of my food and chewing when she took the plate.

                                                    1. re: JenBak

                                                      Star Bar was opened by the same group/person (not sure really, same ownership though) as Star Diner. But not until AFTER the Star Diners were a hit around town.

                                                      My lone experience at Star Bar was very similar to yours...terrible service by scantily clad waitress. I'm a guy in my early 30s so I enjoy scantily clad waitresses, but I don't like crap service and I REALLY don't like crap food.

                                                      At Star Diner the girls are dressed a little more scantily than you would expect at a diner, and they are generally young attractive girls... However, I think it's a lot less provocative than Hooters, and the food is way better. On top of that the service, in my experience, has been superb at MOST locations. The East side in Oregon (Rt. 2) is the lone exception where the service tends to be awful (IMO).

                                                      My fiancee is pretty conservative, has no desire to go to hooters, forbids strip clubs and the like, but has no problem having breakfast together at Star Diner. And I always see plenty of older women, families, etc there. Like I said, it's just very good diner food, and the service is typically very good because they want to turn the tables over as quickly as possible. They're run like a small diner should be, IMO.

                                                      As much as I do enjoy the view I kind of wish they'd put more clothing on the girls just because I don't like to see the stigma it has gained around town. FWIW, they definitely HAVE added more clothing now than when the place first opened, so I have a feeling the owners saw that as well. If you want casual diner breakfast lunch (the basic club sandwiches, chef salads, pancakes, etc) I really think you're hardpressed to find better food/service than what I have seen at Star Diner.

                                                      Of course saying this you'll probably try it and end up making me look like a fool by getting a lousy waitress....

                                                      1. re: hammb

                                                        Cool, thanks for the info. I'll give it a try sometime. :)

                                                        1. re: JenBak

                                                          Hope you enjoy it.

                                                          Keep this thread updated as you try new places in the area...I'm always interested in hearing about good local eats.

                                                          Oh I guess I should note as well: San Marco's. Toledo is a city of about 2 Mexican Restaurants per person, but San Marco's really shines as the one truly authentic option.

                                            2. As a seasonal resident of Port Clinton, OH, I have been following this thread with great interest...Port Clinton is about an hour north east of BG. One culinary gem as far as seafood is concerned, we like the Saturday night seafood buffet at Mon Ami Winery. It is expensive at $30 a person but worth every penny. We tend to go once or twice in the winter - sure beats the mid winter blahs. They have all you can eat crab legs, walleye and/or perch, prime rib, shrimp, smoked salmon, etc. One time we were there they had frog legs. Mon Ami is a nice place to go for a special occasion. I am not a fan of buffet food but Mon Ami does a great job with their Saturday night Seafood Buffet. We tend to go before 5pm b/c it can get real busy.

                                              Also, if you ever get over to Put in Bay on South Bass Island, I would recommend the perch tacos at the Goat Soup & Whiskey. The Goat also has wonderful freshly made soups on a daily basis. They have a garden in the back of the restaurant & use the produce grown in the garden like fresh tomatoes, green beans, peppers & herbs. With September rapidly approaching, I imagine they will be closing down for the season in a couple of weeks. Many of the island's restaurants are only open weekends starting right after Labor Day till the end of October.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: CurryLover

                                                nice to hear mon ami is still going strong.

                                                speaking of port clinton, dont forget the jolly roger for the best family style lake erie seafood!

                                              2. Great thread, glad to hear you've been exploring. I'm similar, lived here, then SoCal (Ventura) then had to relearn the area. I travel for wine business, so, I've been to most of the best restaurants around Ohio and Michigan.

                                                In addition to some of the other comments-Indian Jewel is incredible, Bangkok Kitchen on Dussel in Maumee is the best in the area. Looove Swig in Perrysburg. For great PIzza-Village Idiot in Maumee-great bar, great beer, great music. El Salto is very SoCal Mex and quite good. all Mancy's restaurants do a great job, I like The Italian on Monroe in Sylvania. 2 new restaurants that are very hot and as good as anything around-Registry Bistro, Downtown. As good as Revolver was, and top tier of restaurants throughout Ohio. Revolution Grille in Sylvania is pretty rocking too. Most Farmers markets are connected, but the Perrysburg on Thursdays has the best crowd. For great local pantry items, go to walt Churchill's on Briarfield in Maumee Good luck and continued success in your explorations!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: ampelography

                                                  I'll second the recommendation for Bangkok Kitchen. It's really outstanding for Thai food. It's not easy to spot; it's in a strip mall on the south side of Dussel, just east of Wendy's.

                                                2. Thanks, everyone, for this nice resource. I'm a DCer headed to Perrysburg for a week of work. Looking forward to checking out some of the local chow.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                    Since my initial posts, I've been a few more places.

                                                    I HIGHLY recommend Registry Bistro (When I ate there, I couldn't believe I could get food that awesome in Toledo, I've just had that level of cuisine in NYC and Chicago).

                                                    I also really loved the pizza at 5th Street Pub in Perrysburg (wood fired pizza, they imported the oven from Italy), but they were a bit noisy (they're aware of the issue and are working on the acoustics)

                                                    Gradkowski's has a surprising upscale menu, but a slightly relaxed atmosphere, considering it's right off of UT's campus, but they're marketing more towards the business and professor crowd, not students.

                                                    Oh, and like recommended by someone else above, I finally made it to Bluewater Grille. It was excellent and had things for seafood lovers and non-seafood lovers alike. :)

                                                    And Korea Na (my personal fav, though I am biased since I'm Korean) recently moved to the old Fifi's restaurant location, so now it's the same great food, but in a fancier space, with an awesome sushi bar and other Japanese items added to the menu. The decor is now an interesting mix of Korean, Rococo, and antiques.

                                                    1. re: JenBak

                                                      I haven't gotten to Registry yet, but the chef went to HS with a few friends of mine so we're hoping to get over there sometime this summer.

                                                      Revolution Grille is pretty good over on Monroe St.

                                                      Reverend's in BG is still my favorite place to get a burger in the Toledo/BG area. It's also the best bar in the area, IMO. Good craft beer selection, and great hand crafted cocktails. A little disappointing that they don't have hand cut fries or hand made onion rings, but it's very good bar food, IMO.

                                                      I want to get to the 5th street pub for pizza, looks real good.

                                                      In BG you're going to find more the american pizzeria style than a fancy wood fired gourmet pie like you get at 5th street. But if you're looking for that sort of thing Pagliai's is awesome for thin crust, and Myle's is awesome in it's spicy/greasy/food overload style. And the garlic cheese bread at Myle's is a huge hit as well. Another favorite of mine for pizzeria/bar pizza is Village Idiot in Maumee.

                                                      I haven't taken the time to read through/respond to this entire post but I've lived in the BG area most of my life, and have eaten pretty much every where in BG, and a lot of the Toledo spots as well.

                                                      1. re: hammb

                                                        Have you tried Perrysburgers? I really enjoyed my Greek burger when I stopped there a couple of weeks ago. Not too many palces will do olives on a burger. I've only tried the fish tacos at Reverend's, but they were good.

                                                        1. re: Fibber McGee

                                                          I have not yet hit Perrysburgers, but I have heard good things about their food. My problem is their business model. Personally, if I want a burger & fries, I want a beer to go with it. About the only exception to that would be if it were a lunch break during work, but I work downtown so couldn't really make it out there.

                                                          Not to mention I freaking LOVE Swig, so I have a real hard time trying something new when it's right across the road, and DOES have a great beer selection.