Summaries of recently reviewed area restaurants, in the order in which they were reviewed, with the most recent at the top. To see previous Bill of Fare reviews on the Web, go to toledoblade.com and type "Bill of Fare" into the search box and click enter.
● Campus Pollyeyes, 440 E. Court St, Bowling Green, serves very good pizza, subs, salads, nachos, and more, but it’s the “world’s best stuffed breadsticks” that makes this eatery near Bowling Green State University stand out. $$, 4 stars.
● Hot Pot & Asian Grill, 4038 Talmadge Rd. brings the communal concept of do-it-yourself cooking, popular in China, to Toledo. Friends can join in cooking raw meats, fish, and vegetables in a spiced broth or on the grill. Newcomers may have difficulty learning the hot-pot method as staff do not clearly communicate the concept or cooking times. For those who do not want to work for their meal, a variety of prepared Chinese and Korean dishes are available. $$$, 2 stars.
● Pam‘s Corner, 116 10th St., Pam’s brings something different to downtown, which is largely populated by pubs. The place has a simplicity about it that creates a welcoming atmosphere, with good vibes and even better food. The menu boasts mainly salads and sandwiches, and the restaurant serves up two homemade soups and chili daily. $-$$, 3 stars.
● For generations, Mancy’s Steak House, 953 Phillips Ave., has been the destination restaurant for fine dining in Toledo. Although the competition has increased over the years, Mancy’s still has a prominent spot at the front of the line thanks to well prepared, aged steaks and impeccable table service. Pick the house New York strip, a Delmonico, a filet, or any other steak — you can’t go wrong at Mancy’s. $$$$, 5 stars.
● Backyard BBQ & Booze, 2600 W Sylvania Ave #1, Toledo, excels at a meat-centric menu that includes Texas-style ribs, country fried steak, and glazed, smoked pork chops. Most portions are geared for Texas-size appetites. The cavernous eatery sports a country chic decor with plenty of elbow room for diners (it seats 250). It has a full bar, but few options for vegetarian diners. Still, it falls short on the generic sides (baked beans, coleslaw, muffins etc.), something to work on in its second three months. $$, 3 stars.
● River’s Edge at Carrington, 911 St. James Park Ave., Monroe, Mich. and River’s Edge Pizza, Pub & Grille, 135 Riley St., Dundee, both have good cooking, bars, and nearly identical menus (ribs, pizza & Italian, burgers, wraps, sandwiches, fish, salads). One backs up to the River Raisin’s dam in downtown Dundee, the other has a patio and dining room views of long greens at Carrington Golf Club in Monroe. And both are uniformly good with several homemade items, including soups, desserts, pasta sauces, and fine pizzas. $$, 4 stars.
● Lazeez Mediterranean Cuisine, 337 N. St. Clair St., has consistently good food, consistently good service. The restaurant holds its own among a plethora of Middle Eastern cuisine eateries in Toledo. Its most popular item, the chicken schawarma wrap lives up to its name. The baba ghanoush is flavorful and lemony - a must-try. It would be great to see the restaurant expand its hours into the evening and offer a dinner menu. $, 3 stars.
● Sakura Express, 1385 Conant St., Maumee, is the fast-food version of the popular Sakura Japanese Steakhouse on Monroe. Express offers teriyaki dishes and made-to-order sushi at reasonable prices. The wait is a bit longer than at a typical fast-food establishment, but the quality is worth every extra minute. $, 4 stars.
● Naslada Bistro, 182 S. Main St., Bowling Green, takes patrons on a journey throughout Europe with Bulgarian, Greek, and Italian dishes, including grass fed beef served in a traditional clay pot, stuffed grape leaves, mousaka, and panini. The chef goes to great lengths to offer gluten free and vegan options, for soups, bread, and pasta-based dishes. Leave Toledo behind and enter a world filled with spices, herbs, and belly-filling stews. A bonus, it also offers a kid's menu. $$, 3 stars.
● Father John’s Brewing Co., 301 W. Butler St., Bryan. While stone walls, themed rooms, stained-glass windows, and religious icons certainly are eye-catching, it's the top-notch beers and food that steal the show, and rightfully so. There are 16 different brews to choose from and the prime rib and rison strip loin are not to be missed. The menu changes with the seasons, and on the chefs' whims, so there are many reasons to make the hour-plus trip to Williams County. $$$-$$$$, 5 stars.
● Memphis Pearl, 5147 Main St., Sylvania, has moved in and redecorated the former B Gump’s/SouthBriar restaurants, with soft lighting, a pale turquoise palette, and photos of Memphis landmarks. It’s respectable steaks, seafood, pasta, sandwiches, and salads; a menu similar to its sister, the Black Pearl in South Toledo. 10 craft beers on tap. $$-$$$, 3 stars.
● West Side Bistro, 3324 Secor Rd., Suite 10, offers good food and music in an atmosphere that's both upscale and laid back. The menu boasts a number of salads, flatbread pizzas, chicken and fish entrees, steak, jambalaya, lobster roll, and many other items. We enjoyed the southwestern chicken pasta ($17), a colorful blend of peppers and onions, with roasted chicken and fettuccine, tossed in a zesty cream sauce. It's only been open a few months, but from the looks of things, this place has staying power. $$-$$$, 3 stars.
● Spicy Tuna Bar & Grill, 7130 Airport Highway, Holland, is an Asian-fusion restaurant offering scores of menu options. Sushi is clearly the focus, featuring all the standards and plenty of unique twists. The Mexican, featuring spicy crab, avocado, jalapenos, and cream cheese, is definitely worth a look. Several Chinese dinners and a wide-ranging drink menu are also featured. $$$, 3 stars.
● Domo Sushi, 6725 W. Central Ave., is one of the better sushi houses in Toledo. It offers an elegant dining atmosphere, while keeping prices wallet-friendly. The traditional sushi favorites are all here, but the chef offers some twists with Sashimi Ceviche, Spicy Tuna Cocktail, and list of cleverly named specialty rolls — Hot Love is a whole lot of somethin' somethin'. For fresh sashimi trust the chef's choice. Great for a date or business meal. $$-$$$, 3 stars.
● City Hall Grille & Drinks, 315 S Reynolds Rd., has a large selection of sandwiches, that includes stacks from the deli, thick cheeseburgers, and specialty sandwiches. The reuben is a favorite and the gyro takes up half the plate. The South Toledo diner is akin to the popular television show Cheers, in which the bar is lined with customers who keep coming back, and a wait staff who knows your name. $$, 3 stars.
● ZaZa Wood-Fired Pizza and Mediterranean Cuisine, 3550 Executive Pkwy., has 23 varieties of tasty thin-crust pizza as well as lasagna, falafel, chicken Shawarma, gyro, and grape leaves, among other dishes. $$, 3 stars.
● The Stones Throw, 176 E. Wooster St. in Bowling Green is an attractive spot to try interesting brews and enjoy a bite. Meat is served in mighty portions and the big sandwiches are great as are the homemade chips. It’s subdued during dining hours, but unless you want a rip-snortin’ good time, skedaddle before the student crowd infiltrates. There’s a large patio. Open daily for dinner; lunch is limited to Fri.-Sun. $$, 3 stars.
● Mama's Kitchen, 3243 W. Sylvania Ava., is a cozy spot in West Toledo that serves up some serious home-style cooking. The country omelet is a favorite of ours, and there are plenty of of other breakfast and lunch items that will garner your attention on the large menu. $, 3 stars.
● Nautica Coffee, 5645 Mayberry Sq. E., Sylvania, is a fair-sized clubhouse where you can hunker down down with a favorite book, a warm cup of coffee, some ice cream, or a bagel sandwich and stay out of the snow. $, 3 stars.
● Black Pearl, 4360 Heatherdowns Blvd., offers quality meals at wallet-friendly prices. The menu boasts a number of steak and seafood options, along with pasta and chicken dishes and a lunch menu. Some of the dishes lacked flavor and needed to be spiced up with seasonings and sauces. $$-$$$, 3 stars.
● Mama Mary’s Pizza, 7130 Airport, Hwy., Holland, is a great alternative to chain pizzerias. It has a huge menu with many specialty pizzas, subs, salads, and wings. There a few small tables at the store, but takeout or delivery is recommended. $-$$, 3 stars.
● Little Acapulco Taqueria, 3333 Airport Hwy., has a wide range of Mexican favorites, including breakfast, as well as the capacity to tailor seasonings and ingredients to your taste. Dinner portions, with rice and beans, are large. It’s primarily takeout but there are a few tables and a counter for eating in. $, 3 stars.
● BJ’s Hide-A-Way Steakhouse, 506 S. Lallendorf Rd., Oregon, is an inviting step up from a family restaurant. With old-school dark paneling and maroon and white accents, its lunch menu can be ordered from all day and it has a bar. Dinner entrees include steak (our New York strip was fair), balsamic-glazed chicken breasts, and heavily breaded, deep-fried perch. Sandwiches, in the $8 to $9.50 range, were tasty and mostly without sides. Visited in late December, we were told the place was between chefs. We hope a new hand in the kitchen will strengthen the place. $$ lunch; $$$ dinner, 3 stars.
● Social, 25818 Dixie Hwy., offers a laid-back atmosphere with wallet-friendly prices, not to mention some of the best food in Perrysburg. The menu changes often, but if you happen to see the bacon-wrapped meatloaf or short rib beef stroganoff on it, don't pass them up. Craft beers and sipping bourbons are also a specialty. $$-$$$, 4 stars.
● Zingo's Mediterranean, 106 Louisiana Ave., Perrysburg, adds a trendy touch to traditional Lebanese food and it works extremely well. The shish kebab is exceptional, along with the Mediterranean junk salad and don't hesitate to start your meal with an appetizer sampler or the homemade chicken rice soup with lemon. $$-$$$ 3 stars.
● The Briarfield Cafe, 3220 Briarfield Blvd., Maumee, serves comfort food in a comfy environment and with excellent service. Business is steady most days, with breakfast and all-you-can-eat specials drawing large crowds. We enjoyed the cinnamon swirl french toast and fish dinner. $-$$, 3 stars.
● Bloudan Mediterranean Cuisine, 7430 W. Central Ave., Sylvania Twp., with its airy, contemporary decor and full bar, has a menu with many of the Middle Eastern dishes Americans have come to enjoy. Marinated, grilled, and skewered lamb, chicken, beef tenderloin, and ground beef, are mainstays, along with salads, several nice sauces, grape leaves, and thin and thick pita bread. The simple lentil soup (vegan) is great and there’s a ton of feta cheese on the Greek salad. $$, 3 stars.
● Ye Olde Durty Bird, 2 S. St. Clair St., has some of the best "bar food" in Toledo's Warehouse District. The gastroopub has plenty of burgers, sandwiches, and wraps to choose from, but you can't go wrong with the Durty Burger with the house-made sauce or the Cuban sandwich with pulled pork. Calamari fries and onions rings are other can't-miss selections. The bar has a roomy, fun atmosphere and a free parking lot. $$, 3 stars.
● Restaurant Pacific, 7629 Sylvania Ave., has been under new ownership for about a year. Gone is the emphasis on Pan-Asian food and in its place is a more traditional Chinese food menu that focuses on standards such as cashew chicken, Szechuan beef, and various seafood dishes. $$, 2 stars.
● Saba’s Bistro 1705 at 1705 Tollgate Dr., Maumee, is a hidden gem with lots of standouts. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of food and service offered at the restaurant, which doubles as room service for the Holiday Inn hotel in Maumee. $-$$$, 3 stars.
● PerrysBurgers, 220 Louisiana Ave., is burger shop in downtown Perrysburg that has a friendly atmosphere with plenty of toppings to choose from for your burger, plus "never-ending" fries. $$, 2 stars.
● American Table Family Restaurant, 580 Craig Dr., Perrysburg (and Fostoria are operated by the original owners) and three other attractive locations run by family and friends, sets a standard in its category. Soups and many other dishes and sauces are homemade and nicely prepared. Breakfast is served all day, and there’s a smattering of Greek and Italian foods. Open seven days. $, 4 stars.
● Cocina de Carlos, 27072 Carronade Dr., Perrysburg, touts the fact that all its ingredients are fresh — no frozen meat, nothing from cans — and all its recipes are homemade. This commitment pays off in a restaurant that custom-makes meals to account for your tolerance of spiciness and in fantastic dishes like the Don Charly (a half of a pineapple filled with meat, fruit, and cheese), and the mijas burrito. $$, 4 stars.
● Glendale Garden Cafe, 2521 Glendale Ave. The small cafe with big business serves decent food at decent prices. The lengthy menu boasts over a dozen breakfast omelets, along with lunch and dinner options. The house specialties are worth a try. We enjoyed the smothered fire chicken ($9.95) and the bacon and cheese omelet ($6.50). $-$$, 3 stars.
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