My usual Friday night date cancelled on me. My husband works most Fridays and our friend Jeff and I usually grab dinner and wait for him to get out of work. Don’t feel bad though, he had a real date. And he took me out for lunch Saturday to make it up to me.
Searching for something different, and realizing that all of our Groupons etc were only good for Dinner places we decided to try the new restaurant on the river in Cuyahoga Falls. They’re not that new, one of those places you spend a few minutes trying to remember the name of the restaurant that was there before. The place was empty when we arrived. After making a joke or two with the hostess about how long the wait for a table would be the server popped by and quipped similarly while bringing iced tea.
The menu offers a jumble of standard American fare with a few oddball options. Burgers, Chicken, Salad, Potato Soup – wait is that Falafel? What is a Shrimp and Fried Green Tomato Po-boy doing in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio? The headings are all abbreviated in slightly different ways. ‘tizers, s’lads, ‘za, ‘trees, ‘wiches. The cocktail menu is similarly odd. It feels as though there was a planning meeting where three of the owners were writing the menu one night. One person wanted drinks named for where they were, calling the cosmo after the fact that they were on a dam in the river – “Our Dam Cosmo”. One person wanted raunchy themed drinks, one wanted traditional. It’s a jumble that we are giggling over as the server approaches for our order.
Jeff has a go to order for his first time at a new restaurant – his bar that this place will be measured by – a burger. I order the po-boy. What the hell, why not? We choose the default side offering of homemade chips and check out the scenery as we wait.
I’ll admit the atmosphere is beautiful. We are hanging over the river, the sun is winning the battle over the April rain for now, and while the tables are covered in white cloth the ceiling has been left open showing the rustic millworks left over from this building’s previous life (real or staged).
Jeff’s ordered his burger with crispy bacon. Mission accomplished! The bacon was actually baked. This give you a good crisp without the grease. The chipotle dressing was suspiciously mustardy though. My po-boy came on a toasty bun, piled high with the fried green tomatoes and shrimp topped with a slaw, the dressing also very mustardy. The mustard dressing overpowered any seasoning that might have been on the tomatoes or shrimp. All I tasted was the mustard dressing. That’s all Jeff tasted either. The burger also was very plain letting the dressing hog the spotlight.
Hoping to find refuge from the mustard bomb we went for the chips. Also under seasoned, these chips were unevenly cooked. Some were dry and crumbly and some where gummy and oily. At one point Jeff picks up a cluster of chips cuddled together, holding on for dear life and says “Look, they’re like those people they found in the ashes in Pompeii”.
There was no saving this lunch, but as usual, with Jeff I was still having a great time!
Ok so lunch wasn’t great but the sun had declared victory over the rain and we decided to walk the Riverfront shops. There is a collection of antique shops, a coffee shop or two as well as the odd professional office. One small shop draws me in. The hours are short but they do online orders if you have cravings.
Metropolis Popcorn www.metropolispopcorn.com
Yep, they only sell popcorn but they do it in about 60 flavors. Choose between seasoned corn or candied in savory or sweet flavors. You can try one or two before you decide if you’re torn. I went with the butter pecan but the iced cinnamon roll is good too. Jeff chose a sweet and spicy mix and there are new flavors weekly as the owner experiments. We chatted about flavor options, chocolate drizzle and ways to infuse the oil before popping with flavor to permeate the corn.
I will be back and I will taste my way through the menu.
Until we eat again,