Summaries of recently reviewed area restaurants, in the order in which they were reviewed, with the most recent at the top.
w Michael's Cafe & Bakery, 101 Main St., makes some of the best sandwiches in Toledo. Their Rocky Mountain hoagie, portobello sub and Santa Fe chicken wrap are exceptional. Toss in a dizzying assortment of pastries and desserts and this is one of the downtown area's top lunch spots. $$ 3 stars.
w Yoko Japanese Restaurant, 465 West Dussel Drive, Maumee, is a low-key kind of place that serves excellent tempura. Some of the sauces seemed too sweet for the entrees and there's only one salad, but the seafood and steak were perfectly prepared. $$ 3 stars.
w Bad Bob's BBQ, 27250 Crossroads Pkwy., Rossford, isn't all bad, but some of its takes on southern classics were bland and uninspired. The pulled pork featured on the big hawg sandwich and the barbecue plate was meaty, moist, and flavorful. The Brunswick stew and rack of ribs, however, missed the mark. $ 2 stars.
w Sports Venue Bar and Grill, 7625 Sylvania Ave., is a top-notch sports bar with a variety of entrees, chicken wings, onion rings, burgers, and beer specials that make it the perfect place to watch a game or hang out with friends. Toss in a first-rate New York strip steak and this place is a winner. $$ 3 stars.
w El Nuevo Vallarta, 3330 West Central Ave., offers the sloppy, cheesy style of Mexican cuisine that is so popular with Toledoans. What the menu lacks in creativity, it usually makes up for with some sort of special sauce, more-then-generous servings, and the eye-popping, fluorescent decor that fills the restaurant. $$ 2 stars
w Bangkok Kitchen, 582 West Dussel Dr., Maumee, is a small Thai jewel that features big flavor and friendly service. A consistent emphasis on freshness is typified by the homemade soups and refreshing salads. Beautifully executed sauces are featured in the sublime curries and noodles. $$$ 5 stars.
w The Water's Edge, in the lodge at Maumee Bay State Park, 1750 State Park Rd. No. 2, Oregon, will serve you a decent meal in a lovely setting. Steaks, chicken, fish, pasta, and salads are cooked well but sans delightful flourishes. Melted cheese on many items adds nothing, and sauteed foods swim in too much oil. $$$ 3 stars.
•The Real Seafood Co., 22 Main St. at the Docks, continues to be a class act, serving broiled, sauteed, and grilled seafood with creative sauces in one of Toledo's loveliest settings. The restaurant also does a fine job with steak. $$$; 5 stars.
•Fat Fish Blue, 6140 Levis Commons Blvd., Perrysburg. A party atmosphere makes Fat Fish Blue a fun and festive place to enjoy Cajun-American food. The seafood is top-notch, but the restaurant specializes in good steaks, tasty appetizers, and a wide variety of drinks. $$$ 3 stars.
•The Briarfield Cafe, 3220 Briarfield Blvd., in Monclova Township, offers comfort food in a comfy atmosphere. With breakfast offered all day and a variety of salads, sandwiches, and homemade dinner entrees such as meatloaf, all that's missing is a more robust flavor. $$ 2 stars.
•Grape Leaf Diner, 909 South McCord Rd., is a Lebanese/American diner that serves up heaping plates of Middle Eastern comfort food. The portions are huge and the dishes are uniformly consistent, whether it's the grilled kabobs or the veggie-heavy beef ghalaba. The hummus is perfect for dipping the complimentary pita chips. $$ 3 stars.
•Restaurant Pacific, 7629 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania, is the Asian-fusion choice that is safe for those wary of a walk on the wild side. First-rate sushi, particularly the red dragon roll, and distinctive entrees such as the pineapple chicken are served in a comfortable atmosphere. $$$ 4 stars.
•Glendale Garden Cafe, 2521 Glendale Ave., serves decent food at a decent price in a casual environment. The 12-page menu is overwhelming, but the broiled perch, bourbon tenderloin beef, and chicken salad croissant are winners. $ 3 stars.
•Pam's Corner, 116 10th St., provides splashes of color, a seasoned staff, and solid lunch fare with delicious homemade soups, sandwiches, and fine salads. A bit hard to find, tucked behind a downtown parking lot, but worth the search. $ 4 stars.
•Jo-Jo's Original Pizzeria, 4336 Monroe St., is a simple neighborhood hangout where pizza is king. The thin-sliced stuff here is some of the best in town. The menu offers a surprisingly wide variety, including a smorgasbord of bar-style appetizers and standout stromboli. $$ 3 stars.
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