WTGW 7/23/14: JoJo’s Sports Bar & Grille, Medina

So this week’s pick was a bit out of our immediate area – about a 30-35 minute drive to the west of us – but, hey, after a year of doing this let’s just say we’re running out of decent local options. *ahem* Maybe it’s time for someone to jump on that and open new places. *ahem* I’m just saying. I mean, when Shane is already eagerly awaiting the opening of the new Paninis at Steels Corners and Rt. 8 – and has already called dibs for his pick after it opens – that should really tell you something.

In any case, it was a lovely rainy night for a drive, so off we went to Medina, just off the main square at the center of town. JoJo’s Sports Bar actually shares a building with Dominic’s Italian Restaurant – which I have to admit threw us off a little since the Google Map woman was insisting we had arrived at our destination but yet we didn’t see any sign for the place. Hmmm. Because I guess placing said sign at the back of the building facing only a parking lot is the best way to let people know where you’re located. Must be a new “Reverse Marketing” approach.

However, JoJo’s quickly redeemed themselves with the large sign just inside the lobby reading “SUMMER SHANDY ON TAP.” And all is well with the world.

The other sign in the lobby, however, was a bit less welcoming.

That doesn't really seem that special, now does it?

That doesn’t really seem that special, now does it?

So we did as we were told, and found a booth in the restaurant area (the bar was full, booo). Despite a good number of waitresses and other staff members walking past us, we definitely waited more than a hot minute before some random kid walked past and asked if we’d been helped yet. While he was carrying a pizza box, we actually weren’t sure at first if he really worked there or was just on his way out the door with a to-go order and felt bad for us because we looked thirsty. Regardless, we were grateful for the menus he brought us, and the fact that he also sent over a waitress to help us.

Although I will admit that I wish he’d picked a different person to tell about us, because I think we got the least attentive waitress ever. Yay us!

We started out with drinks, and I’m glad the sign in the lobby had already told me what I wanted because the waitress really wasn’t much help in the “what do you have on tap” department. Because that’s awesome. Shane went with the usual Miller Lite, and Ted ordered whatever IPA that was on draft – which may officially be the lightest colored beer I’ve ever seen him a) drink willingly, and b) for more than one round.

The best part about JoJo’s is the extensive menu. They seriously seem to serve everything there. Burgers, wings and bar food? Check. Salads? You got it. Paninis and subs? Sure. Pasta, pizza and calzones? Why not? I think we all sat at the table in almost complete silence for the better part of our first 20 minutes there, just flipping the menu back and forth as we took in all the options. I guess the one good thing I can say about the slow service was that it gave us plenty of time to make our decision. Although, side note – when we asked the waitress what she recommended, or what the place was known for, she gave us a deer-in-headlights stare and replied “it’s all good.” Wow, thanks Captain Specific, we’re sure glad we asked. Because that was super helpful.

For appetizers we finally settled on the sausage stuffed peppers, the loaded jojos (because you can’t go to a place called JoJos and NOT order them, right?) and fried zucchini. If you can’t tell, it looks like we’re back on the “let’s order enough food for an entire small country and just hoard it at our table of 4″ meal plan for WTGW. Because clear arteries and low cholesterol are highly overrated.

If you fry a vegetable it still counts as a vegetable, right?

If you fry a vegetable it still counts as a vegetable, right?

Anyway, all of the appetizers were OK, but nothing great. The chili on the loaded jojos was clearly out of a can, as was the cheese sauce. I had high hopes for better. The stuffed peppers were OK, good portion size – but they really had no flavor, and definitely no spice. I was expecting something more like the ones at Bricco with the spicy chorizo sausage, and this was the complete opposite end of the spectrum.

Nothing says appetizers like cheese out of a can and non-spicy sausage.

Nothing says appetizers like cheese out of a can and non-spicy sausage.

For our dinners, Amanda had the Cuban Panini, which she definitely enjoyed. She took half of it home – whether that was from the portion size of the sandwich and chips, or because of the 8,000 calories worth of appetizers we consumed minutes before, I’m not really sure.

There really were more than four chips on the plate when it arrived.

There really were more than four chips on the plate when it arrived.

I had the Stromboli – because, as I stated to the table, “I’m a sucker for a good Stromboli” (cue “that’s what she said” jokes). And I was not disappointed (ba dum bum). The homemade dough was excellent, and you can tell it was made fresh. My only gripe was that I do wish you could choose the ingredients. The menu only gave one option – which they claimed to be “a local Medina favorite” – but apparently all the local have a penchant for onions and peppers, because the stromboli included a bit too much of that department for my tastes. I’d have gone simpler, with just sausage, mushrooms and cheese. But, hey, I guess maybe that’s why I don’t live in Medina.

You can't see the onions and peppers. They're sneaky like that

You can’t see the onions and peppers. They’re sneaky like that

Shane and Ted both ended up with pizza. Ted got the spicy chicken jalepeno, which was indeed spicy, but not so much that he couldn’t eat it. After a lengthy internal debate over pizza vs. ribs – and of course no help from our non-talkative waitress – Shane got the meat lovers pizza. Both really liked their choices. They also did the infamous trade deal, so they could try a slice of each other’s pies.

That sounded so much dirtier than it really should’ve.

And for the first time in WTGW history, the girls weren’t the only ones leaving the restaurant with to-go containers, as the boys each only finished half of their respective pizzas. What, what?

Meat.

Meat.

Ted so wants to be Vanna White

Ted so wants to be Vanna White

So I think our general consensus was that if this place was closer it would be a great go-to for to-go orders – that all purpose place that has a little of something no matter what you’re in the mood for. Shane and I had a place like that down the street from our old house in Howland, and we just haven’t found anything yet that compares. But we aren’t driving a half hour out of the way for a to-go order, and I doubt they deliver that far. Boo.

Also, while the food was good and there are other items on the menu that I would love to try – the service really put a black mark on our experience there. When you have to flag down the waitress to get another beer, or seem to be bothering her by asking her option on menu items, that’s not a very welcoming atmosphere that you want to return to. And it’s not even as if they were off the hook busy, either. By the time we left there were several open tables, and yet the service never got better. Maybe we just got the lady having a bad day, or the one that really should be cutting up potatoes for jojos in the back kitchen as opposed to serving customers – but in any case, I’m not sure our experience this time around equates to making another half hour+ return drive.

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Steph
Drinks: Summer Shandy. I realize the days are numbered that we’ll still be able to find this, so it still excites me. 
Food: 
Good. Very large and diverse menu for a sports bar. And I’m not just saying that because we were all really, really hungry.
Service: Here’s where things fall apart. Our server seemed flustered, rushed and not overly attentive. When you walk past and ignore empty glasses, that’s not a good sign. Nor is ignoring the hands of three people waving at you to get your attention.
Overall: If it were closer, I could definitely see us going back just to try other items on the menu – or at least snagging a menu for to-go orders.

Next Pick: Amanda

 

WTGW 7/9/14: One Red Door, Hudson

Hey, did you miss us? Yes, it’s been a month since the last WTGW adventure. We’ve been busy, yo. And by busy, I really mean we’ve been on trips to Vegas, Chicago and a Jimmy Buffett concert … but whatevs. Don’t hate. Hello, summer!

Anyway.

So we’re back – and back in style, apparently, as this week’s adventure takes us to One Red Door in Hudson.

Honestly, full disclosure here, ORD was a second choice for us, after yet another failed attempt to visit it’s neighboring restaurant, FlipSide. Because Ted really, really wants to go there – you might remember we tried this before, a few months back, and ended up at the pizza place across the street – and is bound and determined that one of these days we will find the magical less-than-one-hour wait time at that establishment.

However, sadly this was not that day. Boooo.

So here we are.

One Red Door is a bit more upscale than we usually do for WTGW. And it’s definitely a far cry from our last adventure at Legends. I mean, not only were there no drink specials, but the place was suspiciously free of mullets and tie dyed clothing as well. What the hell happened in our month away? Ridiculous.

Also the prices were a bit more than we usually look for on a WTGW place – $17 or $19 for a burger? Granted it’s gourmet, but still. I mean, we couldn’t help but notice that they share part of the service area with the coveted FlipSide staff next door – and those burgers are considerably cheaper. Can’t they just pass some of the supplies over? I mean, really.

Speaking of prices, the beer list was a bit of a shocker as well. We’re talking Summer Shandy in a bottle for $5. What, are we back in Vegas? But of course you know we ordered it anyway. Because, well, we’re suckers I guess.

Shane got a hard cider that was served in a can, and was very dry. He only had one, but I think it was $8 so I guess that’s really a blessing in disguise. Ted had the Kentucky Bourbon Ale, which he tried to get all of us to taste and we promptly refused. I’m not sure how much that was, but with something as fancy as “Bourbon” in the title – plus the fact that they actually had to pour it and not just open the can/bottle – I’m going to to out on a limb and guess we’re talking double digits.

Probably because we messed up our usual 3:1 ratio with drinks, we (unintentionally, I swear) ended up keeping that tradition with our food orders instead. Ted had the salmon, while the rest of the table ordered the pizza. I decided to take the Wild Mushroom Pizza and add Italian Sausage to it – and the idea caught on like wildfire, as the rest of the table followed suit. And I have to admit it was pretty tasty. The waitress even complimented my idea to add the sausage – which I was kind of surprised she hadn’t had anyone do before – or maybe she had and was just trying to bump up her tip with the compliment – but whatever. I ate about half my pizza (3 slices), then donated the rest to Shane, who you know was not full after an entire 6-slice pie.

It's like looking into a mirror

It’s like looking into a mirror

Someone was too hungry to wait for pictures

Someone was too hungry to wait for pictures

Ted devoured his salmon in half the time it took me to eat half my pizza, but that was probably partially because this was one of those places that cares more about arrangement of the food on the plate and less about actual quantity of said food. Ted’s comment on his meal was something to the effect of  “there’s a lot of things together on this plate that I wouldn’t normally think would go together, but it seems to work.” So, score.

Overall, One Red Door has a nice atmosphere and our food was definitely tasty – although I think we all agreed it was a bit pricey and more for a nice evening out than a WTGW pick. The service was good, we didn’t feel like the loudest people in the place – which is good, considering the wide array of topics we tend to cover during our dinner discussions. We were seated on the restaurant side – back near the kitchen, so I guess we already had that look of “problem table” about us maybe? – so not sure if the atmosphere would’ve been a bit different on the bar side or not.

Being a “fancier” WTGW pick, we didn’t think we’d get anything to take our weekly funny picture of … until Ted noticed the frame o’ skeleton keys on the wall on the way out. Nice call. I’d have given him more props if he’d actually taken one of the keys with him after we took the picture – but I’m guessing he might actually want to return to that establishment again at some point, and the disapproving look the hostess gave us from across the way while we were taking the picture was probably warning enough that we were already taking things a step too far. Oh well.

Ted chooses the keys to Door #4

Ted chooses the keys to Door #4

So, since it was all of 8:15 when we left, we decided to head around the block for a repeat visit to Kepner’s Tavern for drinks. This is another place we last visited on the first failed FlipSide trip – and, as Ted joked on the drive over, it was difficult to find this time around without the caravan with the open side door parked out front like last time. Guess in the summer they button things back down a little. Anyway, our visit to Kepner’s was much better this time around than the last – maybe due to the younger crowd (probably attributed to summer vacation and kids being back in town from all the expensive colleges far away), and maybe due to the more pleasant bartender that actually spoke to us instead of watching TV the whole time. It’s the little things that impress us, apparently.

We each had a couple beers and the guys tried the wings (because, surprise, a few beers and a few hours later, they were hungry again). If we can take away one thing from the evening, it’s that the biggest difference between a regular Cajun seasoning and a Louisiana Cajun seasoning is … well … a whole hell of a lot of spice. I hope the bartender wrote down that note, because when the guys asked her she wasn’t sure. And I think they regretted ordering the “Louisiana” the moment the first wing touched their lips. I mean, Shane only had three out of the order of 12, if that tells you anything (I know, right?!?) Let that be our public service announcement. You’re welcome.

 

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Ted. And he’s been told Flipside is officially off the list.
Drinks: Extensive wine list, decent beer list. Not impressed by the prices. 
Food: 
The pizza was very tasty, and one of the most economical things on the menu at $12.50. I think we got both of our pizzas for the price of Ted’s salmon, but his meal was devoured in half the time.
Service: Good. Nothing special, but our drinks were kept full and the meals arrived promptly, so there’s that.
Overall: OK. Again, probably better for a special occasion or night out than a WTGW visit, but I would definitely go back if nothing else for the pizza.

Next Pick: Shane

One Red Door on Urbanspoon

WTGW 6/4/14: Legend’s Sports Bar, Greene

Our WTGW crew was a man down this week, as Ted was off in the Big Apple for work. Nevertheless, Shane, Amanda and I were still up for the challenge. Full disclosure, Legends lured us in with the pictures of the patio on their website. Because, as we’ve mentioned already, a good patio is high on the list of WTGW priorities this time of year. And this one looked looked particularly enticing, with an abundance of tables, fake palm trees, an outdoor bar and very tiki-bar-esque feel.

However, it looks like we’ll have to come back another time to visit this mystical land of patio awesomeness. Because, unfortunately for us, Wednesday evening was a complete downpour. Yay summer!

(By the way, if any of you questioned my name calling of Mother Nature in the last post, I think you’re getting the idea why I feel that way.)

In any case, we were already there, so we figured we may as well see if the food and drinks were worth making the trip back just to enjoy again in an outdoor setting. The verdict? Maybe.

WAIT FOR IT ...

Let’s start off with the pros:

Legend’s is a sports bar, so their beer list was pretty decent. They had Summer Shandy, so you know Amanda and I were happy. Shane went with the Wednesday $2.99 Long Island special – but only had one since he said it was a little too sweet for his tastes. He then switched to Miller Lite instead. Which I’m sure tasted exactly as it was supposed to.

I'm a little confused on the marketing genius at work here.

I’m a little confused on the marketing genius at work here.

We ordered pretzel bites as an appetizer. Maybe it was just because they were so good we didn’t want to see them end, but it seemed like you didn’t really get a lot of them in the order. Bummer. For our meals, Amanda has the French Dip and I had the Italian Hoagie, both of which were tasty. They were also huge, so we both ended up taking half our sandwiches home with us. Not such a bad deal. I particularly liked the bread my sandwich was served on – I’m fairly certain they don’t bake it fresh there (I mean, it’s not Subway after all. Ha), but it tasted like they did.

There's a salad under all that cheese in the background.

There’s a salad under all that cheese in the background.

Is that ketchup to go?

Is that ketchup to go?

Shane ordered 10 wings, split into five each of the Spicy Bleu Cheese and the Buttery Garlic. Amanda and I were in awe that the guy who usually orders two full meals at these types of places actually expected to be full after 10 wings … but then we discovered it was really  just strategy on his part to basically taste test the two flavors and decide which one he wanted more of. Because asking for a sample is apparently too complicated, but whatevs.

There are wings under that sauce. But no spice.

There are wings under that sauce. But no spice.

In any case, the Buttery Garlic won hands down, and he ordered another 10 just of those. His main complaint about the Spicy Bleu Cheese ones was that while he could clearly pick out the bleu cheese flavor, they seemed to forget the “spice” that makes up the rest of the name. Kind of an important detail. Now I tried one of his Buttery Garlic wings and they didn’t seem to have much taste to me – but Shane thought they were the bomb diggity, so take that as you will.

The servers at Legends are great. The place is one of those where no one seems to have complete ownership over any of the tables, and while one person in particular takes your initial order, other waitresses will refill your drinks if they see you’re low or ask if you need anything else, etc.

Now for the cons:

Let’s just say that this place didn’t have quite the crowd we were expecting for the area and the type of bar the photos seemed to promise online. Maybe it was due to the weather, but the crowd inside the bar that evening seemed more “can’t wait for the annual tractor pull” than “let’s go hang out at the tiki bar.” We were easily some of the youngest people in the bar (other than the servers of course), and we were definitely on the opposite end of the redneck scale, if you know what I mean. Among our favorites in the people watching fun for the evening was the guy with a mullet who also believed that nothing says classy like sporting a Spiderman leather coat, and the long haired, tie-dyed t-shirt wearing guy who we were fairly certain wasn’t aware that his (male) co-worker didn’t share his opinion on “going out for drinks after work” being classified as a date.

Deep thoughts by Legends Bar ...

Deep thoughts by Legends Bar …

I think the concensus was that we need to come back on a weekend evening, when the weather is good, and see if not only this magical patio oasis exists, but also if the crowd is different beyond those open doors. Not that we don’t enjoy some good people watching, but this was a little much for even our tastes. We really, really wanted to like this place – and the food was good, they had decent drink specials, etc – but at least on this visit anyway the atmosphere was more than a little blah.

I think he's in pain

I think he’s in pain

Look less at pirate eye, and more at the mullet guy eating a burger in the background

Look less at pirate eye, and more at the mullet guy eating a burger in the background

I seriously don't know what's wrong with him,

I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with him,

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Amanda
Drinks: Decent list of regular and craft beers, as well as other drinks. Shane was not a fan of the long islands that were on special, though.
Food:
Keeping in mind this was a sports bar, the menu was pretty diverse. Other than the ommission of the spice on the spicy bleu cheese wings, we didn’t have any complaints.
Service: Excellent. More than once we had multiple inquieres about whether or not we needed refills or if the table could be cleared around us.
Overall: While the people watching was pretty good and the food decent, I think the prospect of this hidden fabulous patio is what will bring us back.

Next Pick: Ted

WTGW 5/28/14: Pancho & Lefty’s, Stow

Now that it’s summer, one of our big requirements for WTGW spots becomes patio space. Because after all this is Ohio, and you know we only get about 4.25 days of real summer weather … so we have to make the most of them.

However, it seems that Mother Nature is going to make damn sure that none of those days fall on a Wednesday. Because she’s a whore.

So this means that a couple of places I was thinking about for this week’s WTGW got pushed back to later weeks this summer, since it was threatening rain this week and I didn’t want to chance us getting soaked. Pancho & Lefty’s actually has a decent – albeit small – patio space that we could’ve sat on had the weather cleared up. But since the skies were still iffy when we arrived, we decided to play it safe and sit inside. Let it be noted that it didn’t rain during our meal – but I’m certain that if we’d sat outside there would’ve been a downpour as soon as our meals arrived. Because – you guessed it – Mother Nature is a whore.

Anyway.

Pancho & Lefty's, Stow

The place is tiny inside, but it never felt cramped or overly loud. It was more homey than anything else. Maybe that’s because it wasn’t ever super crazy busy, but still. The server was very pleasant and always quick with drinks and chip refills.

Pancho & Lefty’s menu features traditional Mexican fare but also more “American” things like burgers, steaks, salads, wraps, etc. It’s nice to have options. Part of why I picked this place was because I thought that would help Ted – you know, with his dislike of cheese and all. But he ordered a burrito covered in cheese anyway, then proceeded to try and scrape it all off. You’re welcome, Ted.

We asked about drink specials – since Mexican places always seem to have them – and were told they ended at 6. What working person can enjoy a happy hour that ends at 6:00? Hmmm.

Regardless, we were intrigued by the long list of flavored margaritas – many of which we’d never heard of (pineapple? grape? cherry?) – so of course we made it our mission to try as many as possible. We even convinced Ted to break his “I have to be different” rule after his first beer and come to the dark side with us.

3:1. Guess which is Ted's?

3:1. Guess which is Ted’s?

 

Overall among the group we tried the orange dreamsicle, cherry, strawberry banana, watermelon, peach, mango, pineapple and – after a lengthy debate of what it could actually be – blue moon (FYI, it’s blue raspberry, not blue moon beer flavored. I lost that bet.). The orange one had the majority vote until Ted got the pineapple on the last round, and we were all sorry then that we didn’t get that one. Chalk one up for the guy who usually only drinks beer.

Post Memorial Day patriotism ... at a Mexican restaurant

Post Memorial Day patriotism … at a Mexican restaurant

The food at Panchos was good and portions were large. I had the taco salad with shredded chicken, which was mixed with refried beans and spread onto the outer edge of the bowl instead of just dropped by dallop in the middle. I liked that better. But it was frigging huge, so I couldn’t finish it.

Filed under: "trying to be healthy at a Mexican restaurant"

Filed under: “trying to be healthy at a Mexican restaurant”

Amanda had the shredded beef chimichanga, which was good but also way too much food for her to finish. Ted had the aforementioned cheese covered chicken grande burrito. Shane was disappointed that his usual fajita quesidilla wasn’t on the menu, so he asked the server what he would get the most food by ordering … and ended up with a steak grande burrito. I think there was an actual whole steak on the inside. He obviously wasn’t disappointed.

Action shot of Shane digging in

Action shot of Shane digging in

And this was after he scraped the cheese off.

And this was after he scraped the cheese off.

Chips and salsa were plentiful and quickly refilled. Although word of warning, the chips here are covered in some seasoning, which inspired a lengthy discussion among our group as to what exactly it was. The best we could come up with was that it was “like Doritos but different.” Because I’m sure those are professional culinary terms. In any case, the concensus at the table was that the guys liked them, but the girls didn’t. That’s OK, we saved our calories for margaritas.

If tortilla chips and Doritos had a baby, it would be these chips

If tortilla chips and Doritos had a baby, it would be these chips

While it’s a little further of a drive than some of the other Mexican places we’ve been to, I’m sure we’ll visit Pancho & Lefty’s again (which, side note,  Shane kept trying to call the place Lefty Ponchos. I’m not really sure what to do with that.). If nothing else than for the impressive flavored margarita list, and the excellent service. Case in point, you know you’re in a good place when the server 1) agrees to serve as your group photographer, and 2) even has the good sense to take additional photos when she realized Shane was being stupid. I think she got an extra tip just for that.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag ..."

“I pledge allegiance to the flag …”

Really, Shane?

Really, Shane?

Ted kind of looks like he fits into the mural

Ted kind of looks like he fits into the mural

Oh, those weren't non-alcoholic margaritas? Weird.

Oh, those weren’t non-alcoholic margaritas? Weird.

Since it was 8:30 when we left the Mexican place, we decided to stop in at Chelsea’s down the road for one drink on the way back home … where it became evident very quickly that we were clearly not part of the “regular” crowd. Amanda and I also made fools of ourselves waiting for the restroom when there’s more than one stall. That might’ve pointed us out on the non-regular list. We also tried the charging stations at the tables, which would’ve been a nice gesture if they worked. Oh well.

Hello, is this thing working?

Hello, is this thing working?

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Steph
Drinks: The list of margarita flavors is impressive. And you know that because we even got Ted to give up his beer and try one. Go with the pineapple. Trust us. 
Food: 
Good.Large portions are par for the course at a Mexican restaurant, and Pancho’s didn’t disappoint. My only disappointment was the chips, although the guys raved about them, so I guess you have to try for yourself and give us the verdict in your house.
Service: As I mentioned, any server willing to take extra photos of the group because she realized one of us was being stupid is OK in my book.
Overall: I’m sure we’ll be back – if nothing else to sit on the patio and drink margaritas. Can I bring my own chips?

Next Pick: Amanda

Pancho & Lefty's on Urbanspoon

WTGW 5/21/14: Treichel’s Grille, Cuyahoga Falls

Well, hello there! Did you miss us?

After a 2 week hiatus – due to a busy week/weekend out to celebrate the NFL Draft (otherwise known as “Christmas” to my husband) immediately followed by my week-long work trip to NYC – we’re back! I know, I’m sure you’ve been on the edge of your seat with anticipation.

This was Shane’s pick, and you’d think it would be someplace really great being that be had an extra two weeks to think about it. However, every time we asked what places he was contemplating all he gave us was a vague answer like “we’ll see” or “just wait, it’s a surprise!” … which I recall enough from my childhood to know both of those are really just creative ways of saying “I have absolutely no idea and I don’t want to deal with you right now.”

So when I arrived home from work Wednesday evening I still had no idea where we were headed. And then even after Shane said the name, I still didn’t know. I’m not sure where he heard of Treichel’s Grille, but I certainly hadn’t seen the name or been past the location before. Apparently it used to be a Rockne’s at one time, and just recently reopened as Treichel’s – which previously was located in Aurora. It’s six degrees of restaurant musical chairs.

I’m not sure when the official grand opening was, but I’m guessing recently. Like as we were driving up we weren’t sure it was even open because we couldn’t see the signage and there were very few cars in the parking lot. Apparently in some small towns word doesn’t spread as quick as you’d like in some ways.

However, we used this to our advantage, as we had excellent service during our visit. We walked into the restaurant side and started to take a seat there, until we noticed the bar side and thought that to be more our scene (insert joke about being alcoholics here). Over the course of the time we were there we saw about two other tables turn over, so definitely not a huge crowd by any means – although the place is very small on the inside so I will admit it was nice not to fend off a crowd. Our server – who also doubled as the bartender – was excellent. Very attentive, and I like to think that even if the place had been slammed she would still have taken good care of us.

Treichel’s immediately scored points with Amanda and I for having Summer Shandy on draft. Yes, we’re that easy to please. Throwing all rules of “always being the different one” aside, Ted decided to go out on a limb and try a Summer Shandy – although Shane picked up his challenge and went with an Angry Orchard, so we were still at our usual 3:1 ratio on drinks.  And then Ted went and changed it all up by ordering a Vanilla Porter for his second drink, since the Summer Shandy was too citrus-y for his tastes. I’m not sure how that transition makes sense, but, hey, more Summer Shandy for me and Amanda then. Score.

The 3:1 ratio remains in effect

The 3:1 ratio remains in effect

Anyway, in sticking with the “one of these things is not like the other” rule, Amanda, Shane and Ted all got burgers, and I had the Philly steak. My sandwich was dry, and eventually I only ate the meat out of it and left the bread to the side. Even then, it wasn’t something I would order again. Treichel’s also features a car/motorcycle theme, so all of the burgers on the menu are named for cars.  I say that only so you aren’t confused when I mention that Amanda had the Twin Turbo Cobra (basically a mushroom swiss burger – her usual), Ted had the 63 Split (without cheese of course) and Shane – always the show off – ordered the Bobs Fatboy (basically two burgers in one). Shane and Amanda both said as we were leaving that the burgers could’ve used more flavor.

Looks like bar food.

Looks like bar food.

I love that Ted holds his plates up for me Vanna White style

I love that Ted holds his plates up for me Vanna White style

We also ordered the appetizer specials, which were the mac’n’cheese bites and also fried mushrooms. Those were probably the most enjoyable items on our table, even if we did lose a layer of skin by hungrily reaching for the mac’n’cheese bites as soon as they hit the table.

While we really, really wanted to like this place – since the atmosphere was very cool,the staff was excellent, and we definitely liked the space itself – the “eh” food will probably greatly influence our decision to put Treichel’s in the “Flashback Friday” revisit basket (which, side note, when the hell was the last time we did one of those anyway? We’re slacking.) I might be willing to give them another chance after they’re open for a few months, just to see if anything has improved or if new items were added. They also had tons of different drink specials and specialty drinks (like $5 martinis on Mondays, with a fairly impressive looking  flavor list  – and also different flavored sangrias, etc), so that’s an intriguing reason to stop back, especially once Summer Shandy season is over. It’s just too bad they don’t have a patio, or I could definitely see this being a summer drinks-only destination.

Wall 'o' Drink Specials

Wall ‘o’ Drink Specials

For this week’s “fun thing to pose with” photo, we had a bit of a debate as to what to choose, since the decor was interesting and lent itself to a few different options. Ted voted for the motorcycle under one of the tables, but was a bit disheartened when he realized it was encased in glass. So we ended up with a pay phone. And, no, Shane isn’t exceptionally tiny – it’s just placed perfectly on the wall for every seven foot tall person who might stumble into the place.

Hello, 1987? Are you there?

Hello, 1987? Are you there?

Someone get the man a stepstool

Someone get the man a stepstool

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Shane
Drinks: As always, you can win over me and Amanda with the words “summer shandy.” We’ve been on a streak lately. Lots of other drink specials looked intriguing as well. 
Food:
Eh. Bar food without much flavor. My sandwich was dry and the burgers didn’t have much taste.
Service: Awesome. Granted we were only one of a small handful of tables for the whole night, but we definitely had the server’s attention.
Overall: It’s too bad the food wasn’t better, or that the place didn’t have a patio – because either of those things probably would get us back in the door. The atmosphere was great, and we would go back just for drinks … except that once summer hits we want to be outside, not in a place with few windows.

Next Pick: Steph

Treichels Bar N Grille on Urbanspoon

WTGW 4/30/14: Beef O’Brady’s, Stow

Poor Ted. He can’t catch a break. His last pick goes down as the worst in WTGW history, so this week he tried to go to the exact opposite end of the spectrum and chose Dante for his pick. But after browsing the website, Shane vetoed that pick since he couldn’t find anything on the menu under $25. High rollers we are not, at least not for WTGW.

So instead we ended up at Beef O’Brady’s – the pick Ted thought about choosing when he audibled and choose Gus’s a few weeks back. How things come full circle. Especially too when we look up Beef O’Brady’s website and it touts “90% of our menu is under $10.” Yeah, that’s more our style.

Anyway, as I think was mentioned on Ted’s last pick, Ted was the only one who hadn’t ever set foot in this place before. Shane and I were there once, right after we moved to the area, and I don’t recall being that impressed. But luckily it seems they’ve revamped the menu a bit since then.

The first thing to get our attention was “Happy Hour til 7:00″ – which meant that all drafts were $1.00 off. Horraay! Supposedly the waitress put two rounds in at the happy hour price, but when we got our bill (many hours later) we discovered that wasn’t the case. We weren’t going to come to blows over $1.00, but it was still something to be noted.

When we asked what was on draft, the server handed us her handwritten beer list. Interesting. Amanda and I were happy to find Summer Shandy on the list. You’ll notice this to be a theme for the rest of the summer … or at least until we get sick of it and start craving fall hard ciders, ha. Anyway, I stopped reading once my eyes found that option, so I really can’t speak for what else was on the list. Shane went with Angry Orchard, and Ted ordered something that they ran out of as they were pouring (usually that only happens to me and Amanda), so he got a free something else since they were too busy to change the keg right at that moment.

The real star of this picture is the Summer Shandy

The real star of this picture is the Summer Shandy

(Side note, I obviously need to start writing down the names of the beers he drinks. For the love, Ted, just once pick something normal.)

Anyway.

We ordered the loaded pub chips as an appetizer, and it was quite a large portion. Enough that we didn’t finish all of it, especially once the entrees came. Honestly it could’ve been warmer, as the melted cheese basically congealed as soon as it got to the table. And as much as I love cheese, that’s kind of on the turn-off list.

Bar food, how I missed you

Bar food, how I missed you

Wings were on special – 10 for $4.99. I think they heard Shane when he looked at the menu and complained that the prices were a bit high (it worked out to about $1/wing). So of course both guys got the wing special AND a full additional meal. I see we’re back on the plan of dying before we hit middle age. Awesome.

A burger and wings. Guess who these plates belong to?

A burger and wings. Guess who these plates belong to?

Ted had the steak burrito, Shane ordered the OMG burger, I had the Roast Beef Garlic Melt and Amanda went with the Philly Cheese Steak. I was not overly impressed with my sandwich – again, the cheese just wasn’t good since it was cold within two seconds of hitting the table, and the Cuban bread wasn’t all that great. We didn’t talk much about everyone else’s food, which I take to mean it was neither awful or fantastic – just your basic bar food. The guys did agree that Ted’s wing flavor – the sweet jalenpeno – was better than the garlic that Shane ordered. This was also obvious in that they were supposed to be sharing, but Ted ate more of the kind he ordered, so clearly he didn’t want Shane’s. At lwast I think that’s how the guy code works anyway?

The broccoli cancels out the melted cheese, right?

The broccoli cancels out the melted cheese, right?

Deliciousness

Deliciousness

This is also how our kitchen looks every time Shane cooks. That boy has a thing with napkins.

This is also how our kitchen looks every time Shane cooks. That boy has a thing with napkins.

It's tough to leave food behind. It'll be OK, Ted.

It’s tough to leave food behind. It’ll be OK, Ted.

The atmosphere was OK – the place was never super packed busy, but stayed steady. It seemed like it would be a good place to catch a game, as – unlike last week – there were plenty of TVs. Noted for next year’s football schedule announcement, Shane.  The specials board also said that Thursdays are $1.00 12oz domestic drafts. Noted.

Also noted – Shane needs to stop trying to “recreate” the turtle picture from the Aeros game last summer. Seriously. Give it up.

Ummm ....

Ummm ….

Well ...

Well …

Maybe we should stop this for tonight ...

Maybe we should stop this for tonight …

In the ongoing new challenge of finding the most interesting thing in the bar and taking pictures with it, Ted walked away from the table at one point and came back with a balloon duck. Um … OK? But needless to say, it definitely spawned some interesting photos. And that he later buckled into the seat of his SUV after he dropped us off and nicknamed it Paddles. We may have a 5th member of our dinner group.

Ted and his new "friend," Paddles.

Ted and his new “friend,” Paddles.

I still don't know where Ted found this thing.

I still don’t know where Ted found this thing.

Just sharing a drink with a balloon duck. Nothing to see here.

Just sharing a drink with a balloon duck. Nothing to see here.

This picture really says so much about our entire night.

This picture really says so much about our entire night.

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Technically Ted. After we all vetoed his first choice, though, so kind of a group decision.
Drinks: Points for having Summer Shandy on the draft list. Points taken away for making us read said list basically off a bar napkin. 
Food:
Eh. Nothing special, but also nothing we sent back to the kitchen. Personally I would order something else next time – and at least the menu is extensive enough to allow for that.
Service: We were super impressed when the server told us that our second round was put in under the time frame of happy hour specials, but not delivered until later since she didn’t want them to get warm. And then we got the bill and were very much not impressed when that wasn’t the case.
Overall: OK. We will probably end up back here at some point, but it’s not high on the list.

Next Pick: Shane

Beef O Bradys on Urbanspoon

WTGW 4/23/14: Cilantro Thai and Sushi, Akron

So, as happened to us a few months back, we had had our fill of burgers, wings and typical bar foods, and felt the need to branch out to something a little different. And now that Shane is addicted to sushi, we knew Cilantro would be a perfect choice.

The place is much bigger on the inside that I anticipated. Being that it’s a storefront in a downtown area, I wasn’t expecting much past the seating area you can see from the large front windows. This was where we sat – and while we never got up and wandered around (because, well, I think they tend to frown on that in restaurant settings), we could see the large bar from our seats, as well as a back room area that looked even larger than where we were seated.  I think there’s a patio, too, so this place may possibly end up as a contender come summer patio season.

A quick side note for those who have sports obsessed husbands like mine – Cilantro does not have televisions. So when dining on a night when, say, the Browns are announcing their upcoming schedule, be forewarned that you’ll hear a lot of grumbling that he can’t watch ESPN. And that of course this would be the week we don’t go to a sports bar. Because apparently its important to hear live commentary as the opposing teams are announced? Whatever. Let’s just say that Shane’s phone spent a large portion of the evening in my purse after he spent a large portion of the meal looking at Twitter.

BTW, those of us not watching Twitter spent a good portion of our time there trying to determine if the table behind us was on a first date or not. And that’s just good fun. See what you miss out on when you’re on your phone, Shane?

Anyway, onto the food. Amanda had the pad Thai and a Philly roll, Shane had the chicken teriayki and a California roll, I had the pepper garlic with beef and a cucumber roll, and Ted had the Dragon roll. All this of course accompanied by the usual three Miller Lites, and a beer I can’t pronounce for Ted.

Anyone know where I can find a glass?

Anyone know where I can find a glass?

The food was excellent. I don’t think any of us had a bad word to say about it. And the portions are very generous – both Amanda and I left with doggy bags. Honestly, we probably could’ve just ordered a few different kinds of sushi and shared that among the group of us – but with the prices so cheap (about $4 – $5 for each of the rolls, and then $10 or so for the entrees) it was easy to order both. Plus you know how we like to challenge the size of the table to contain all of our food.

Oh, hello there not bar food

Oh, hello there not bar food

Oodles of noodles

Oodles of noodles

Ted always gets something interesting looking at Asian places

Ted always gets something interesting looking at Asian places

Ted's new "pet"

Ted’s new “pet”

Cilantro has an early closing time – 9:30 on Wednesdays – which meant of course that we went elsewhere for drinks after dinner, because, well, we like to pretend we all don’t have to get up early the next day. We headed back over to 69 Taps – a place we seem to end up often for drinks whenever we’re downtown, but none of us are quite brave enough to eat at.  Well, except Ted … so that means they must not put cheese on anything.

 

Anyway, Amanda and I were thrilled to find out that Summer Shandy was back on tap. Ted ordered the darkest, heaviest beer on the menu. And Shane twice ordered something that smelled like grapefruit without meaning to or particularly liking it. Go figure.

Oh, and while we were there we were witness to yet another first date, which led us to believe that apparently Wednesdays are becoming the new Fridays. But then again we’ve known that for a while. Just call us trendsetters.

Because we’re all about checking out new places – and also because we’d had several beers – we made a quick stop at the new GetGo on the way home to check out their made to order menu. We didn’t order anything, so I can’t rule on the quality – but just judging on the menu as well as the location in proximity to our house. it looks like Sheetz may have some competition for our post-drinking snacking. Plus, they have a milkshake machine!?! I don’t see how you can possibly go wrong with that. They also have indoor and outdoor seating, so looks like we may have a new place on the WTGW list … Ha.

Oh, and because I decided we don’t take nearly enough interesting and/or fun (read: stupid) pictures as we used to when we first started out on WTGW, this week we debuted a new challenge: taking a picture with something interesting in the restaurant. Because this was the first week, we didn’t really go all out (see pictures below of Shane trying to hide in a plant) … but you can see how this could get fun, right? Stay tuned …

Um, I can still see you

Um, I can still see you

That's a little better

That’s a little better

Outside the restaurant and Shane is still working on his hiding abilities

Outside the restaurant and Shane is still working on his hiding abilities

I think he finally nailed it

I think he finally nailed it

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Amanda
Drinks: Nice to see they had the old staples on tap, as well as traditional drinks like sake and craft beers. 
Food:
Generous portions of great tasting food. Nothing to complain about there.
Service: Good. I think the waiter may have been slightly frightened of our table, but we’re pretty much used to that by now.
Overall: I’d like to think we’ll be back, especially once patio season hits.

Next Pick: Ted

Cilantro Thai & Sushi Restaurant on Urbanspoon