Loading…
Friday, April 18, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: 12/11/2008

Dining Guide

Summaries of recently reviewed area restaurants.

•AJ's Doolittles, 8525 Secor Rd., Lambertville, offers eclectic fare such as burgers, steaks, chicken dinners, fish, pizza, and Mexican dishes in an informal sports bar atmosphere. $$; 3 stars.

•Al Smith's Place, 3550 Executive Pkwy., is a modest restaurant that's a favorite stop for people interested in reasonably priced home-cooked food such as meat loaf, roast beef and mashed potatoes, chicken dinners, all-day breakfasts, homemade pies, and bread pudding. $; 3 stars.

w Chuck's, 4477 Monroe St., serves sports-bar food with a difference. The usual burgers, wings, fries, and chicken chunks are available, but so are exceptionally good crab cakes, salads, and tilapia sandwiches stuffed with two tasty, outsized fillets. $$; 3 stars.

•Fifi's Reprise, 1423 Bernath Pkwy., is all about elegance, with fine food prepared exquisitely, including the signature boeuf au fromage ($29), veal marsala ($25.50), New Zealand rack of lamb ($29.50), and various seafoods at market price. The service is sometimes bewildering, ranging from overly paternalistic one night to surprisingly mediocre on a night we dropped in without a reservation. $$$$; 4 stars.

•Hot Peppers at the Boody House, 152 North Summit St., serves fairly plain Tex-Mex food in a glamorous setting. The service was poor, and while the deep-fried ground beef gordita and the meatball soup were tasty, several other dishes suffered variously from too much salt or not enough sauce. $; 1 star.

•J. Alexander's, 4315 Talmadge Rd., is a chain unlike most chains, in that most of the food is made from scratch each day - such memorable fare as juicy steaks, grilled salmon, big salads, chicken pasta soup, and bubbly casseroles of macaroni and cheese. $$$; 5 stars.

• Mancino's Pizza & Grinders, 6650 Centers Dr., Holland, one of five area outlets, serves up pizza, salads, spaghetti and meatballs, and two dozen terrific sub sandwiches, including the signature Italian sub that bulges with goodness. $$; 3 stars.

•Maumee Chop House, 1430 Holland Rd., Maumee, is an upscale eatery that favors classic over trendy, both in dcor and food. The accent is on prime steak, pork and veal chops, and seafood ranging from lobster and king crab to swordfish and sea bass. $$$$; 5 stars.

•The Melting Pot, 5839 Monroe St., Sylvania, brings back the fondue style of eating. Patrons of the national chain do their own cooking and dipping of the food, which ranges from steak and chicken to shrimp, lobster, cheese, and veggies, along with fruits and brownies dunked in warm chocolate for dessert. $$$$; 2 stars.

•Mon Ami, 3845 East Wine Cellar Rd. on Catawba Island in Port Clinton, has built its reputation on fine, locally produced wines, but it also draws diners far and wide for the likes of Kansas City steak, king crab legs, delectable lake perch, pork chops, weekend buffets, and live entertainment. $$$; 4 stars.

•Monroe Street Diner, 4514 Monroe St., is a typical breakfast and lunch eatery with a delightfully off-kilter nature. Fifty-seven clocks clutter the walls, and the food ranges from bacon, sausage gravy, and monster omelets for breakfast to grilled sandwiches and hot platters for lunch. $; 3 stars.

•Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi, 6190 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg, is an architecturally elegant restaurant that serves such familiar Asian fare as hibachi-grill meals, sushi, teriyaki, lettuce wraps, chicken, lamb, and seafood. But it also prepares excellent steaks, including incomparable Wagyu beef, a very expensive variation of Kobe beef from Japan. $$$; 4 stars.

•The Seafood, 5504 Alexis Rd., Sylvania, serves a wide array of food in an unpretentious setting. The accent naturally is on seafood - perch, grouper, redfish, crab, shrimp, lobster tails, frog legs, and other seagoing creatures. Landlubbers can choose among steaks, burgers, chicken, pasta, and salads. $$; 3 stars.

•Stingy Lulu's American Grille, 1406 Reynolds Rd., Maumee, is stingy in name only. Portions are generous, from a cup of bacon-cheddar-potato soup as big as a bowl to jumbo shrimp po'boys, thick Italian subs, and great char-grilled Kobe and angus beef burgers. $$; 4 stars.

•Shorty's True American Roadhouse, 5111 Monroe St., revels in barbecue - tender ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, glazed pork chops, and chicken. But it also serves tasty lake perch, salmon, steaks, and chopped salad. $$; 4 stars.

•Coney Island Hot Dog, 430 North Superior St., has been serving hungry Toledoans for nearly 90 years at the same location. The food ranges from breakfast fare to burgers and other sandwiches, but most people go there for the chili dogs, served with lots of meat sauce on a steamed bun. $; 3 stars.

•Bolles Harbor Caf, 13986 LaPlaisance Rd., Monroe, is a little jewel of a place that serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes such as fried scallops and shrimp, veal ala tosca, lamb chops, burgers, and salads. Among the tastier choices are a plump fisherman's omelet and mostaciolli casserole in red sauce. $; 3 stars.

•Ranya's Mediterranean & American Restaurant, 608 Adams St., is a modest downtown spot that draws customers with a goodly variety of Lebanese food, from ground kafta to lemon chicken oregano, plus kabobs, gyros, burgers, and wonderful Egyptian lentil soup by the cup or bowl. $; 3 stars.

•Del Taco, 3348 Secor Rd., is a national fast-food chain that turns out fair to middling Tex-Mex burritos, tacos, and nachos, along with cheeseburgers, fries, and Mexican-accented breakfast fare. $; 2 stars.

•Chowders 'N Moor, 312 South St., Waterville, recently expanded. With another outlet in Holland, it has something for everyone, including breakfasts, clam chowder, white chicken chili, steaks, seafood, and more than 60 plump sandwiches. $$; 3 stars.

•Georgio's Cafe International, 426 North Superior St., continues its 22-year tradition of fine dining in the heart of downtown Toledo. The sauces are delicious, complimenting the perfectly prepared entrees. The menu is limited but covers the meat-fish-vegetarian gamut. Save the need for speed for somewhere else; this is a place where meals are to be savored. $$$; 5 stars.

•Gourmet Garden, 5817 Monroe St., Sylvania, serves excellent food in a setting of understated colors and potted greenery. The expansive menu ranges from crispy duck, hearty boneless chicken, and lamb to pepper beef, jumbo shrimp, and lobster. $$; 4 stars.

•Erie Restaurant, 9788 South Dixie Hwy., in Erie, Mich., offers typical roadhouse food such as meat loaf, baked chicken, kielbasa, and lake perch, but its specialties for the last 27 years have been buffalo burgers and steaks, which are said to be leaner and with fewer calories than ground beef. $; 3 stars.

•Mezzmerize Mediterranean Grille, 1500 Holland Rd., Maumee, is an upscale restaurant with excellent foods from the three rims of the Mediterranean Sea, including Lebanese, Italian, and North African. Prices range from $60 for a 16-ounce prime chateaubriand filet to $3.99 for a bowl of delicious lamb vegetable soup. $$$$; 4 stars.

•Generations, 1917 West Alexis Rd., is a family-friendly restaurant serving comfort food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner - everything from pot roast and meat loaf to southern-fried chicken, cod sandwiches, and homemade bread pudding for dessert. $; 3 stars.

•El Tipico, 1444 South Ave., has been dishing up Tex-Mex food for 40 years - such staples as tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and tamales, but also specialties like cheese crispys, chicken mole, huevos rancheros, and puff tacos. $; 3 stars.

•Skeeters Bar & Grill, 10075 Waterville-Swanton Rd., Whitehouse, serves steaks, tilapia, burgers, soup, and sandwiches in a unique setting - Black Swamp Customs, a combination motorcycle shop and tattoo parlor that attracts bikers and nonbikers alike. $; 2 stars.

•Nick & Jimmy's Original Bar & Grill, 4956 Monroe St., has been serving stick-to-the-ribs food since 1979, from Greek omelets for breakfast to pizza, burgers, crawfish Po' Boys, and barbecue for lunch and dinner. $; 3 stars.

•Scrambler Marie's Breakfast Bistro, a Toledo-based chain with several area outlets, specializes in hearty breakfast and lunch fare - omelets, eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles, stacked sandwiches, crepes, and so on - delivered by friendly, efficient servers. $; 3 stars.

•Granite City Food & Brewery, 2300 Village Dr. West in Maumee's Shops at Fallen Timbers, is part of a small chain that serves everything from meat loaf and steaks to salmon Oscar. The restaurant also promotes several fresh beers from its on-site brewery. $$$; 2 stars.

•Carl's Hide-A-Way, 2838 Lewis Ave., Ida, Mich., serves both Mexican and American fare, but Tex-Mex is its forte. The specialty is the soft taco, a burrito-sized meal with tasty sauce. Other dishes include enchiladas, tostadas, tamales, taco soup, chimichangas, and American tavern food such as burgers and walleye dinners. $; 3 stars.

•The Neighbor's, 7541 Dutch Rd., Waterville, is a family-friendly eatery that serves above-average food. Choices include excellent crab cakes, Italian-sausage chili, meatloaf, blackened salmon, crispy country fried chicken, and eggs benedict on weekends. $$; 4 stars.

•Al Saher Diner, 1150 South McCord Rd., Holland, attracts local workers and shoppers with its Mediterranean and American fare, including burgers, huge gyro sandwiches, a variety of salads, and entrees ranging from kabobs to shwarma to pizza, all reasonably priced. The ambience is very casual, akin to the Ma and Pa places of days gone by. $$; 3 stars.

•Central Hot Dog, 626 Front St., is a greasy spoon that caters to customers with a hankering for chili dogs, chili mac, round-the-clock breakfasts, meat loaf swimming in gravy, and crusty home fries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. $; 3 stars.

•Bangkok Kitchen, 582 West Dussel Dr., Maumee, is an inviting restaurant specializing in the often spicy foods of Thailand, including Pad Thai noodles, chicken satay, stir-fried entrees, crispy duck, and curries with sweet coconut milk. $; 3 stars.

•Joe's French-Italian Inn, 2896 North Dixie Hwy., Monroe, is a 78-year-old Michigan landmark that serves a good variety of typical Italian and American fare, from veal, pasta, and Italian sausage to steaks, seafood, and sandwiches, but no French food to speak of. Don't pass up the Lake Erie perch, which rivals the best in the region. $$; 4 stars.

•Max & Erma's, 7050 West Central Ave., is the kind of chain that treats its customers like grownups, with service more courteous than pestering. The food includes great burgers and soups, along with steaks, pasta, seafood, and banana cream pie made fresh daily. $$; 3 stars.

•Jenna's Mediterranean Restaurant, 5629 North Main St., Sylvania, draws customers with a menu combining Lebanese and American fare, from divine fava bean-and-garlic foul mudammas, lamb kafta, and gyros to chili, steaks, and jumbo hot dogs. $$; 3 stars.

• Sakura Japanese Steakhouse, 5294 Monroe St., offers everything from classic Japanese meals in the tranquil Tatami Room to high-flying, flame-throwing entertainment around the grills in the Hibachi Room. Along with a good variety of sushi, customers can order beef, chicken, and seafood in the tempura, teriyaki, and other Japanese styles. $$$; 4 stars.

•Europa Delicatessen, 148 East South Boundary St., Perrysburg, serves a Hungarian rhapsody of food - such dishes as stuffed cabbages, Hungarian goulash and other soups, marvelous deviled eggs, meatloaf, panini sandwiches, and on Tuesdays, chicken paprikas and noodles. $; 3 stars.

•Cedar Plank Grille, 7250 State Rt. 795, Walbridge, offers a menu bulging with American and Mediterranean fare - burgers, broasted chicken, spaghetti, salmon, and big portions of chili mac, along with grape leaves, chicken tawook, shawarma, kafta, and a variety of kabobs. $$; 3 stars.

•LaScola Italian Grill, 5375 Airport Hwy., is a stunning addition to the local dining scene. Surrounded by hundreds of photos depicting several generations of Toledoans as well as visiting politicians and celebrities, patrons can feast on Italian antipasti, appetizers, steaks, seafood, and a variety of worthy pasta entrees. $$$; 4 stars.

•The Chaparral BBQ Steakhouse & Saloon, 8505 Secor Rd., Lambertville, serves a variety of American fare but specializes in barbecue - slabs of meaty ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, chargrilled steaks and chicken, and good burgers. But seafood, pasta, gyros, spaghetti, and Tex-Mex are also on the menu. $$; 3 stars.

•P.F. Chang's China Bistro, 2300 Village Drive West, Maumee, in the Shops at Fallen Timbers, belongs to a national chain that excels in such American Chinese food as spicy chicken lettuce wraps, huge grilled prawns over garlic noodles, wok charred beef, stir-fry, modern twists on traditional Chinese dishes, and an aptly named, six-layer Great Wall of Chocolate cake. $$$; 4 stars.

•Ventura's, 7742 West Bancroft St., is a longtime Mexican restaurant that consistently draws big crowds with Tex-Mex enchiladas, burritos, tacos, tostadas, fajitas, guacamole, and great margaritas, along with the likes of steaks, grilled shrimp, and burgers. $$; 3 stars.

•Gyro & Kabob Express, 7130 Airport Hwy., Holland, is a mainly carryout restaurant that serves big helpings of Greek and Lebanese food, including tender chicken oregano, lentil and vegetable soup, Mediterranean salads, fat gyros, chicken and beef kabobs, and luscious lamb shanks. $; 3 stars.

•Bev's Kold Keg, 13013 Airport Hwy., Swanton, has been serving juicy broasted food for at least 50 years. It's a nondescript bar and restaurant that also dishes up soups, sandwiches, and dinners, but broasted chicken rules the roost. $; 2 stars.

•Erie Street Chowder House, 237 South Erie in the Erie Street Market, offers a potpourri of good food, including beer-battered cod, crab cakes, steak, red beans & rice, Caribbean-accented dishes, all-you-can-eat prime rib and yellow perch on Fridays, and of course, New England clam chowder. $; 3 stars.

•Ahmed's Family Caf, 535 West Alexis Rd., rests its reputation on thick soups, crispy salads, sandwiches, and marinated steaks prepared with 12 secret herbs and spices. $$; 3 stars.

•Nick's Caf, 2516 South Reynolds Rd., serves enormous portions of American and Mediterranean comfort food morning, noon, and night, from hefty gyros to BLTs containing a full pound of bacon. $; 3 stars.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Points of Interest