It’s happened to all of us. You’ve heard so much about an amazing restaurant but when you give it a try the magic just isn’t there. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just not good. But so many people like it and rave about it you think it must have been an “off” night. How many times do you go back?
Frank’s Place on Market www.franksplaceonmarket.com
It all started with a coupon. Jeff always has a coupon. As you’ve noticed we eat out at least once a week but we don’t like spending a fortune so we both have entertainment books and groupon subscriptions. Jeff found $20 certificates for $10 to Franks. He bought a couple and used them with our friend Monica one night. They agreed that it was a great deal with excellent food so Jeff purchased $100 more of the certificates so he now has $200 to spend there.
When Jeff and I went back our experience was a little different.
The bar is on one of the main streets in Akron heading out to the burbs. It’s that weird area where if you are in downtown you say it is out of the city but if you are in the suburbs you would call it the city. The small parking lot has warnings about tow trucks if you venture into the wrong spot during the wrong hours. Waking in the front door you see a couple of small wobbly tables, Christmas lights running around the ceiling, T-shirts from other local places stapled to the wall and at the end of the narrow room is a bar with stools. There is so much stuff everywhere it is hard to focus. At this point you realize this will either be a fantastic unpolished diamond or a crappy hole in the wall. I decide to wait until the experience is over before chosing one of those options.
We plop down at a table near the bar. A server comes over to take our orders. The only drafts are budwiser variations and the bottles aren’t much better. I went with the rum and coke. We asked for menus and the server looked confused for a minute then scanned the other tables. There are 5 menus in the whole place that just move from one table to another. She pulled two and brought them over.
There are two burger options – either the Kobe special of the week where they choose a style to serve or “the big burger” where you pick from a list of toppings. There is a chicken sandwich, a salmon option and a few others. Pick from fries or onion rings on the side. The first night Jeff and I were there he chose a burger and I got the chicken sandwich. We opted to share the chorizo cheese fries. The fries were good with lots of toppings. Good and soggy with cheese and grease they were perfect!. The burger and chicken we very forgettable. Nothing wrong but absolutely nothing special. I asked Jeff what was so amazing about the first time he went and he explained that there was a chef special that night. After more research this apparently happens only on Wednesdays.
A few months later we went back and again earlier this week. The same thing happened, I was super jazzed to go because of all the buzz but when I got there I remembered that there is nothing to drink (even their regular soda tastes a little “off”) and nothing exciting about the food. Jeff’s brother Tom was in town this week from Arizona. He came with us and was underwhelmed by the lack luster jalapenos on his burger.
It’s not bad, it’s just not amazing. I do want to try to get back on a Wednesday to try some of the chef specials but I’m in no big hurry. The other possibility is that I am suffering from a food rut and that I need inspiration. There are some very opinionated people reading this blog. I will be in Akron for most of the summer with trips to Chicago, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Austin in the next few months. Please leave your suggestions as to where I should eat or what foods to try. Either share one of your favorites or let me be your guinea pig.
Until we eat again,