Not every night can be date night for parents. And just because junior and his kid sister are tagging along, doesn’t mean mom and dad’s night out should be reduced to clowns, balloons, and arcade games.
The Hungry I in Sylvania Township is modern and chic, but casual enough to bring along the kids.
The dull exterior doesn’t allude to the swank interior of The Hungry I. Low-lighting, dark hardwood floors matched with wood tables, leather chairs, and modern decor give the restaurant an upscale feel, not to be diminished by a few TVs near the bar.
You’ll need time on your side when visiting The Hungry I. There were only a few patrons during both our lunch and dinner visits, but service was a bit slow.
For lunch, we ordered crab cakes ($12.99) and were pleasantly surprised by the elegant display. The pan-seared cakes were full but light, with a nice spicy kick. The three cakes were served on a bed of mixed greens and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette.
The cajun chicken fettuccini ($14.99) was disappointing. Presentation and texture were on point, but the so-called spicy Cajun sauce wasn’t spicy and the dish lacked seasoning.
The Texas BBQ pork sandwich ($7.99) was loaded with thick pieces of pork and slathered in a savory sauce. Minus a few pieces of fatty meat, the sandwich served on a Kaiser bun with a side of coleslaw and fries, was of good quality and filling.
At dinner time, the restaurant was almost empty. While the hostess lacked enthusiasm, the waitress was friendly, but service was still slow.
The kid’s menu was upsetting, with just four items from which to choose — a burger, chicken tenders, grilled cheese, and macaroni and cheese — all served with fries. However, the house was more than accommodating when I wanted to swap fries for salads.
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Side items are limited to salads, coleslaw, mac and cheese, smashed red skin potatoes and a seasonal vegetable mix. Noticeably missing were items like rice and bread.
At six ounces, the children’s burger ($5.99) was more than a child could handle. I commend the restaurant for not skimping on quality. The burger was made from prime beef.
We also opted for the rib basket appetizer ($11.59). The succulent ribs were cooked evenly and were almost falling off the bone. The ribs were glazed with the same sweet and spicy sauce used on the pulled pork sandwich. Barbecue is something the Hungry I does right.
The lemon-peppered tilapia ($13.99) wasn’t so good. The fish was covered in a lemon pepper sauce that was beyond overwhelming. The lemon flavor overpowered everything on the plate and the fish was slightly under-cooked, while the zucchini and squash were overcooked. Serving as a bed for the wet fish, the vegetables were like mush swimming in lemon juice.
The dessert menu featured cheesecake, carrot cake, molten chocolate cake, and creme brulee.
We finished with a slice of cheesecake with caramel sauce. The cheesecake was thick with a nice creamy texture, but tasted more like sour cream than cream cheese. The caramel topping was rich and sweet.
THE HUNGRY I
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Address: 6060 Renaissance Pl., Sylvania Township
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 12 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are accepted.
Wheelchair access: Yes.
Average Price: $$
Credit Cards: AE, Dis, MC, V.
Web site: hungryitoledo.com.
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