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Anything good not terribly far off of the Ohio Turnpike-Maumee to Pennsylvania border?

another long drive- any suggestions, especially for halfway across Ohio & closer to PA?

possibilities in Toledo are: Pho Viet Nam , Amango & Bangkok Kitchen in Maumee, but we usually are in Toledo area too early or late.
Is the rest of the drive a wasteland?

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  1. I'd love to hear the replies, too. We've driven the width of Ohio many times traveling from WIsconsin to Erie, PA. The best we've ever done is that rest area west of Cleveland before 80 and 90 split off. Kinda sad when the best option close to the interstate is a Panera Bread.

    4 Replies
    1. re: shaja

      there are some CH posts about Perch dinners, perhaps some of these places aren't too far from the turnpike
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/856886
      & I saw a Cuban restaurant a few years ago in Marblehead, there has to be something decent along the way!

      1. re: Michigan Mishuganer

        >> there are some CH posts about Perch dinners, perhaps some of these places aren't too far from the turnpike

        Here's a link to my post all about Jolly Roger in Port Clinton:

        www.chow.com/topics/863280#7553888

        As noted there, the detour will add maybe 15 minutes to your trip.

        I frequently drive that route. Personally, I avoid food that is especially heavy (or especially spicy) while on a long drive, so Jolly Roger's fried fish (and Bangkok Kitchen's Thai food) are not the best choices for me. But maybe that is not a factor for you. One other choice in Toledo without those downsides is Mancy's Bluewater Grill, an excellent seafood restaurant just down the street from Bangkok Kitchen and right off the Turnpike's Reynolds Road exit.

        Speaking of which, I went through there two weeks ago, and the fuel prices on Reynolds Road near the exit (Exit 59) make it worth exiting there; they were a better bargain than anywhere else. See gasbuddy.com for more details on gas prices. This trip we just ate at the Steak & Shake on Reynolds just north of the interchange. Not unusual, won't rock your world, but reasonably quick and decent.

        East of there, I've had dinner several times at Chez Francois in Vermilion, which has always been superb. It's very upscale, which may or may not be what you want on a trip. www.chezfrancois.com

        And Panera Bread isn't a bad option, especially since you don't have to leave the turnpike. You can see a list of the restaurants at the various service plazas at www.ohioturnpike.org/travelers/servic...

        The problem with anything else is that the Turnpike doesn't go through the more populated areas of the other cities (Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown), so you're stuck with the kind of places that spring up near highway interchanges - chains and greasy spoons - unless you want to take the extra time/distance to go into those populated areas. That's the trade-off. I'm sure you can find recommendations here for those cities if you're willing to drive a ways off the Turnpike.

        Maybe others know of additional places just off the Turnpike and can help with suggestions. That's what I've got.

        1. re: Michigan Mishuganer

          There is a local mom & pop place that serves a better perch sandwich than Jolly Roger. The tourists haven't discovered it yet. It is Terry's Tavern, 1101 E. Bayview Drive, Bayview, OH. It is off RT 2 west of Sandusky. Terry is a huge Michigan fan & there are a lot of Michigan memorabilia displayed - which is rare for being in Ohio. Terry can be found in the back doing the cooking wearing his Michigan cap. His breading is a lot lighter than Jolly Roger's & the perch is fresh as can be. This place is a no frills mom & pop place with views of the Sandusky Bay. There were maybe thirty diners for lunch, all locals when we were there this past week. I wouldn't got to Terry's for anything other than the perch & yes, it is worth making the little detour if you have time and don't mind a fabulous perch sandwich.

          1. re: CurryLover

            Another of our favorite places in the Port Clinton area is Pattaya at 1634 East Perry Street, Port Clinton, OH. It is tucked away in a strip mall east of town not far from LakeView Park. On Monday & Tuesday nights they have sushi specials, $1.50 sushi rolls. They also a wide variety of Thai dishes including curries. (My one friend who lived in San Francisco 22 years says the food is as good as what you would find at the best Thai restaurants in SF...) I think Pattaya is a culinary gem for the Port Clinton area & we dine there often when in town. The tourists go to Nagoya - we've only been to Nagoya once & have no desire to go again - overpriced & touristy.

      2. We make that drive often, and would also love to hear some good suggestions. The best I've got for you that hasn't been mentioned already is Star of India in Toledo, but it sounds like you're not looking so much for Toledo recs.

        1. Exit 161-Interstate 71 southwest of Cleveland:
          The Brew Kettle
          8377 Pearl Rd
          Strongsville OH 44136
          Directions would be a bit convoluted. GPS or a map program might come in handy.
          Decent BBQ (for Ohio) and some really good beers..... Although that might not be a good plan if you're traveling.....

          Exit 173-Interstate 77/route 21 south of Cleveland:
          Whitey's Booze 'n Burgers
          3600 Brecksville Rd (route 21)
          Richfield OH 44286
          Outstanding burgers 'n chili

          A bit south on route 21 is
          Gasoline Alley
          870 North Cleveland Massillon Road (Yes, it's still route 21)
          Akron, OH 44333
          "Where you can sit between a millionaire and the guy that cuts his lawn...."

          I'll let others living closer to the other exits chime in from here.

          1 Reply
          1. re: zippypinhead

            +1 on the Brew Kettle. I enjoy their food, and love their beer selection!

          2. I like Lucky's Cafe in Tremont, OH.

            1. we had dinner at the Oh Boy Restaurant in Elyria. The staff very helpful & friendly, the food was OK, basic coney style food.

              1. We stopped in Ashtabula, OH and ate at Brickettes Smokehouse. It was delicious and plan to stop there the next time we drive that way.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JKDLady

                  Beware, Ashtabula is nowhere near the Ohio Turnpike; it's on Lake Erie, most of the way to Erie PA from Cleveland. Going there if you're driving the Ohio Turnpike is going to add 64 miles (per Google Maps) and well over an hour of extra driving to your trip.

                  1. re: JKDLady

                    Thanks, JKDLady. As a non-fish eater, I'm glad to have a BBQ recommendation! The website looks tasty!

                  2. I've been investigating options for a similar journey, and I will in fact post this information to another thread along the same lines:

                    The NPR Roadfood people have a website that recommends one Italian-American-and-more place quite close to the turnpike in Warren, Ohio,: the Sunrise Inn:

                    http://sunriseinnofwarren.com/

                    They also mention a barbecue joint a little further off the turnpike, in Canton, Ohio: Kennedy's BBQ:

                    http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Ov...

                    1. When I travel from Detroit to Pittsburgh I like to stop halfway in Strongsville where there a number of interesting restaurants, e.g. Brew Kettle (American), Sweet Mango (Thai), La Kabob (Lebanese) on Pearl Road. In addition there is very nice upscale mall Southpark Center with a Vietnamese eatery (Pholicious) in the center court and a Thai eatery (Ruby Thai) in the food court. All of this is within a 5-10 minute drive off Ohio turnpike exit 161, so little time is lost.

                      1. just to add to this old list. on the lorain side of the lorain-elyria border, just north off the turnpike exit, are two stellar old school destinations worth stopping for.

                        one is dog and suds, one of the few left, where they have hotdogs, fries and icy rootbeer and they used to roller skate to your car window (sadly i dont think they do that anymore though ha!).

                        another is hanko's gin mill. this place is awesome, it was a former speakeasy. they have lake erie perch and walleye served with haluska (noodles), among other things. its excellent.