Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Restaurant Reviews

Bill of Fare: Recently reviewed area restaurants

Summaries of recently reviewed area restaurants, in the order in which they were reviewed, with the most recent at the top.

House of Eats, 5333 Monroe St. (inside Bier Stube). The custom eatery, located inside Bier Stube, boasts a menu full of American staples, but with many twists, such as a bacon cheeseburger with peanut butter and a deep-fried coney dog. The menu also features a number of build-your-own creations, including sandwiches and salads. If nothing on the men suits you, per the menu, "tell us what you want us to build and if we can, we will feed your face with it." $ 3 stars.

● Dorr Street Cafe, 5243 Dorr St., is a friendly place that welcomes lingering over a cup of coffee to catch up with old friends. We highly recommend the lasagna and southern fried chicken, but the prime rib and chicken alfredo came up short, both in terms of quality and the temperature of the food. $$ 3 stars.

● Registry Bistro, 144 N. Superior St., owned by Chef Erika Rapp and her mother, Vickie Rapp, produces artistic, modern food in the beautifully renovated 1908 Secor Building. Outliers such as sturgeon, duck, venison, and roasted chestnuts join mainstream (a meatloaf burger and a tender steak with whiskey bacon butter and a parsnip gratin) for one of the area's most intriguing menus. Dessert for two (enough for four to each enjoy a nibble) is a sample of five unique sweets. $$$ 5 stars.

● Cousino's Frog Leg Inn, 2103 Manhattan St., Erie, specializes in French cooking and has a great selection of wines. Favorite dishes include chicken dijonnaise, pork Normandy, and New York Strip Steak. Reservations are suggested on Friday and Saturday evenings. $$$ 3 stars.

● Coney Island Hot Dog, 430 N. Superior St. It's easy to see how the place became an old Toledo favorite. The restaurant has been in its downtown location for 93 years, near corporate offices, businesses, bus stops, and schools. Friendly wait staff, a menu that boasts classic American staples, and a full bar, make the place likable, but the food is lackluster and bland. $ 2 stars.

● Jefferson Express. 1220 Jefferson Ave. The grill-based diner serves breakfast and lunch and boasts a menu of traditional American foods. Everything is sold a la carte, but prices are still reasonable. The modest exterior and dated interior may not catch your eye, but the friendly service and even better food is more than enough to warm up the place. $ 3 stars.

● Shawn's Irish Tavern on West Bancroft Street at King Road is a familiar name on the area food and bar circuit, a reliable bellwether for friendly service, solid menu choices, and comfortable settings. With a large beer selection, dozens of TVs for watching sports, and a friendly staff, Shawn's is a go-to neighborhood bar and a nice place to grab a good meal. $$ 3 stars.

● Final Cut Steak & Seafood at Hollywood Casino, 1968 Miami St., will serve you top-notch (prime) meats and (wild-caught) fish, garnished, perhaps, with pea tendrils and tomato jam. Three different homemade breads will arrive with two types of butters. And before and after dinner, little tantalizers, gifts of the chef, will grace your table. This round room (and gorgeous little bar) is elegant; an excellent choice for a special occasion. $$$$ 5 stars.

● Sauce Italian Grill & Pub, 149 Main St., Adrian, 45 minutes northwest of Toledo is worth the drive for stone-oven pizzas and pasta made in-house. The Pisano pizza is a favorite, with plenty of fresh basil to freshen up the spicy Italian-meat toppings. Other dishes that impressed include the cheese ravioli, lasagna, veal marsala, and chicken pesto and portabella sandwiches. $$ 4 stars.

● My House Diner, 5042 Lewis Ave. The small restaurant in West Toledo skips all the frills and opts for simple decor, and a menu that's just as simple. With options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it boasts many American favorites and house made items, including chicken noodle soup ($1.99) and fettucini alfredo ($7.59). Some of the highlights from our two visits included the Philly steak ($7.59) macaroni and cheese bites ($4.29), and sweet potato fries with carmel dip ($2.99). $ 3 stars.

● The Brownstone Tavern, 847 W. Alexis Rd. specializes in home-style cooking with a menu that is deep with American-style choices. We recommend the vegetable soup, which was top-notch, and the sirloin steak. The down-side of the Brownstone is a reliance on pre-packed foods such as the mashed potatoes and gravy and desserts and while the service is top-notch, some of the offerings are bland. $$ 2 stars.

● Dale's Diner, 34 N. Third St., Waterville, has small-town charm, contemporary design, and so many scrumptious breakfast and lunch items you'll wish there was one down the street from you. Loved the homemade chicken noodle soup and pie, malted/buttermilk waffle, burger, and marinated/grilled chicken sandwich. $ 4 stars.

● Revolution Grille, 5333 Monroe St., gives Toledo a welcome new contemporary American restaurant in which to dine. The menu is updated with some regularity, but standout dishes include chicken a la Holstein, goat cheese ravioli, Wagyu flat-iron steak, and salmon Provencale. The restaurant's setting is modern but not pompous. $$$ 5 stars.

● J. Patrick's Pub & Restaurant. 10630 Fremont Pike inside the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg. We found unusually good (hotel) food, reasonable prices and phenomenal service. The menu boasts a variety of homemade goods and traditional favorites from New York strip steak and filet mignon to bourbon mustard glazed porkchops. The restaurant is kid friendly and draws crowds with weekend buffets and Sunday brunch. $$ 3 stars.

● Loma Linda's, 10400 Airport Hwy., is a Toledo area tradition and for more than 50 years has been a place to gather for inexpensive Americanized Mexican food in a friendly atmosphere. The place is usually crowded and features live music many nights. Unfortunately, we were generally unimpressed with the food, which lacked much spicy kick and featured uninspired combinations of flavors. $$ 2 stars.

● LaScola Italian Grill, 5375 Airport Hwy, produced great dinners from the menu (whitefish, eggplant parmigiana, and saltimbocca), but two entrees from the "specials" menu were sub-par. Recommendable are the wild mushroom risotto, white balsamic dressing, and chocolate tiramisu. Interior is beautiful and softly lit. Sunday and Monday, pasta dinners for two are $30. $$$ 3 stars.

● Chandler Cafe, 5648 Main St., Sylvania, is an upscale lunch stop, serving high-quality sandwiches, soups, salads, and coffee in a cozy, yet swank, dining room. $ 3 stars.

● Yum Yummy, 10677 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg, serves healthy, delicious Northern Chinese food and great, soft-serve frozen yogurt. It's homey, friendly, and by-and-large a one-woman operation (her name is Ping). Especially good are sauces, and Mongolian beef, curry chicken, and spicy Ma Po Tofu. Veggies are fresh and meat isn't deep fried. Call ahead for sushi (five types). Douse your food with soy sauce and Ping's likely to frown. $ 3 stars.

● Roman's Deli, 526 Jackson Ave., is located in a tiny building in downtown Toledo at the corner of Jackson Avenue and Huron Street. It serves exceptional hot corned beef, pastrami, and a variety of other sandwiches in a no-frills atmosphere. Everything is to-go, the sandwiches are mountainous, and for downtown denizens this is a can't-miss destination for a quick, filling lunch. $ 3 stars.

● Chowders 'N Moor, 312 South St., Waterville, is a great neighborhood hangout where it's OK to be Key West kitschy. Its white chicken chili is a can't-miss-delight. Customers also can't go wrong with fried perch, beer-battered cod, and an assortment of burgers and sandwiches. $$ 3 stars.

● Susie's Skillet, aka The Skillet, 101 S. Main St., has been an institution in Walbridge for decades, and recently reopened under new ownership. That's good news because Susie's Skillet also happens to be an especially good diner with a breakfast selection worth the drive. Try the made-for-scratch "Hillbilly" biscuits and gravy, or the dainty and cinnamon-y sweet French toast or plate-size fluffy pancakes. The "Skillet's Famous: Grill Cleaner," a monster four-egg omelet crammed with veggies, ham, and cheese, is an a.m. highlight. Lunch, though, was disappointingly average with a smothered chicken pita served on a large, homemade pita the exception. $$ 3 stars.

● The Whitehouse Inn, 10835 Waterville St., five miles north of Waterville in Whitehouse, does a good job with fine prime rib, steaks, some seafood, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Trendy it's not, but rustic/charming, famly-owned, and willing to accommodate off-menu requests it is. $$ 4 stars.

● Doc Watson's, 1515 S. Byrne Rd., features an expansive menu that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees. There are nearly 50 sandwiches and while we were underwhelmed with some of the selections -- a little too heavy on the bar food vibe -- we'll be making some return visits to explore the offerings more and enjoy the excellent local music that Doc Watson's supports. $$ 2 stars.

● Quimby's Food & Spirits, 3536 Sterns Rd., is a family-friendly atmosphere that rivals a lot of chains. Standard fare of hamburgers, steaks, sandwiches, and pizzas are made mostly to satisfaction. $$ 2 stars.

● Our Brothers Place, 233 N. Huron St., has delivered everything the owners promised -- a social gathering place featuring live music with an emphasis on rhythm and blues and jazz and menu offerings similar to sports bar food. The restaurant's menu doesn't offer much of a variety, just a few things that would make good snacks while enjoying live entertainment at the venue. It's been only a year since the restaurant opened, so there are still a few kinks to work out, but it's worth a consideration, especially if you want to hear good music in a mature atmosphere. $$ 3 stars.

● Byblos Fine Lebanese & Italian Dining, 1050 S. Reynolds Rd., has long thrived in the shadow of its more popular sister restaurant, The Beirut. But we find Byblos' high quality food and richly-appointed dining area to be every bit as good as its sibling. Don't shy away from the Italian offerings -- the brachioli is superb -- and the pizza also is excellent. $$ 4 stars.

● La Fiesta, 1406 S. Reynolds Rd., Maumee. Despite an increasingly crowded Tex-Mex restaurant scene in northwest Ohio, La Fiesta stands out with some minor twists to the staples. The standout was the alambre fajitas, which included generous strips of bacon. Other favorites were the delicately battered chile rellenos, and shredded beef and chicken flautas. $$ 3 stars.

● Nick & Jimmy's Bar & Grill, 4956 Monroe St., is a West Toledo institution known just as much for its good times as for its food. It has many lunch and dinner favorites, including pizzas, chicken chunks, and wings. Nick & Jimmy's breakfast menu also is tantalyzing with can't-miss items such as the breakfast pizza and breakfast burrito. $$ 3 stars.

● Rockwell's International, 27 Broadway, specializes in exceptional steaks cooked in a 1,800-degree double broiler and served on a plate heated to 500 degrees. The restaurant in the historic Oliver House building also features tremendous salads and desserts along with seafood and chicken prepared in near perfect dishes. $$$$ 4 stars.

● Avenue Bistro, 6710 W. Central Ave. in Sylvania Township, is a small gem, serving standard American dishes on white tablecloths. The specials were terrific and the pot roast mouth watering. It has a dozen booths and tables in the contemporary dining room, high-tops in the bar, a well-landscaped patio, and live music on weekends. $$$ 4 stars.

● Ruby's Kitchen, 4933 Dorr St., is one of the few places in town serving up southern soul food -- everything from barbecue ribs, macaroni and cheese, catfish, smothered pork chops, hush puppies and fried corn to neckbones, pigs' feet, and "Cha-Cha" sauce. The food tastes fresh and isn't greasy. Ruby's from scratch cooking, along with the family style dinning tables and friendly staff, make guests feel right at home. $$$ 4 stars.

● Rose & Thistle Pub & Restaurant, 203 Louisiana Ave., in Perrysburg is a long way from a typical pub. The upscale restaurant serves exceptional dishes such as braised shortribs, rack of lamb, and beef Wellington. It specializes in creative takes on dishes that combine fresh ingredients with smart preparation for a truly special dining experience. $$$$ 5 stars.

● Tony Packo's at the Park, 7. S. Superior St., has been serving up Hungarian and American classics for 80 years. From hot dogs and beer to chicken paprikas and stuffed cabbage, Packo's downtown location is a perfect spot to dine before the big game, or any time. $ 3 stars.

● Pho Viet Nam and Wishbone Fried Chicken, 3636 Upton Ave., combines two odd bedfellows pretty well. Pho means soup, and the humble little place offers huge bowls of rice noodles and 10 combinations of chicken, beef, and seafood. They aren't spicy but you can dress them up with hot and savory sauces, fresh Thai basil leaves, mung bean sprouts, and slices of lime and jalapenos. Try the jack fruit milkshake or for a sweet dessert, share a warmed serving of sticky green rice (jello-like) and taro (a root veggie). There's also a good-sized soul menu, with fried chicken, fish, burgers, meatloaf, and all the expected side dishes. $ 3 stars.

● Ciao! has served upscale Italian for two decades in Sylvania, at 6064 Monroe St. Its atmosphere is cozy, service is friendly and knowledgeable, and food is mostly excellent. The pollo suprema and code di scampi tirena are highlights. For more casual fare, try the trio of brick-oven thin-crust pizzas. A cup of zippy tomato soup is a standout, as are appetizers ravioli fritti and lightly fried calamari. $$$ 4 stars.

● Open since November, Star Bar and Grille, 5212 Monroe St., is at the far back of the Beverly Hills Plaza. Featured are a crisp contemporary decor, pretty young servers in little uniforms, a big outdoor patio surrounded by parking lot, and TVs tuned to sports. Several of the house specialties, though pricier than other items such as quesadillas and sandwiches, were good. Forego appetizers, but indulge in a bowl of brown chips. $$$ 3 stars.

● Degage Jazz Cafe, 301 River Rd., in Maumee puts a major emphasis on fresh ingredients, creative flavor combinations, and a menu that evolves on a monthly basis. The atmosphere is upscale and friendly and the food is tremendous. Be sure to check out the specialty pizzas. $$$ 4 stars.

● Evans Street Station, 110 S. Evans St., Tecumseh, Mich., is a is a destination restaurant 40 miles northwest of Toledo and worth every minute it takes to get there. It is housed in the town's former fire station and has plenty of ambiance to go with its top-notch dinner meals: bacon-wrapped chicken breast, roasted duck breast, Dijon-crusted pork tenderloin, and more. Several lunch items stand out as well, including the mac & cheese, and the BBQ pulled pork and smoked turkey and brie sandwiches. $$$ 4 stars.

● The Hungry I, 6060 Renaissance Place, is modern and chic, but casual enough to bring along the kids. While the the restaurant manages to serve quality products, some dishes lack seasoning and others are over seasoned. The Hungry I does barbecue really well. We recommend the Texas BBQ pork sandwich and the rib basket appetizer. The crab cakes are worthy of a nod, but the kid's menu is a disappointment, with just four items from which to choose -- a burger, chicken tenders, grilled cheese, and macaroni and cheese -- all served with fries. $$ 3 stars.

● Star of India, 415 S. Reynolds Rd., is the third and newest Indian restaurant on South Reynolds Road. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, it's in the chrome-dome formerly known as Dudley's Diner, and curiously, still lists seven flavors of milk shakes on an otherwise subcontinental menu. An especially good value is lunch, served on large stainless trays (as in cafes in India) that hold an entree and five side dishes. For dinner, choose from vegetarian, chicken, lamb, and seafood. $$ 4 stars.

● Village Pizzeria & Pub, 714 W. Temperance Rd., this mom-and-pop pizzeria doesn't offer much in ambiance but it does make a great thin, buttery crust pizza covered with plenty of mozzarella and fresh toppings. The deep fried mushrooms are delicious and for the diner looking for a unique fish entree, don't miss the smelt dinner. $ 3 stars.

● Fine Things Bistro, 38 S. St. Clair St., boasts an intimate setting in Toledo's Warehouse District. The specialty pizzas -- twice baked potato and pulled pork BBQ -- on Saturday nights, along with an entirely made-from-scratch menu and personal touches provided by the wait staff make it stand out above the norm. $$ 4 stars.

● Myles' Pizza Pub and Sub Shop, 516 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green, near Bowling Green State University, brick-oven pizzas with spicy sauce are delicious and filling. The pub is dark and dingy, yet cozy and offers a full bar. Plan to wait a while for a seat and/or pizza. It's worth it. $3 stars.

● Cousino's Steakhouse, 1842 Woodville Rd., Oregon, means class, comfort, and delicious food. Established in 1945 and operated by the second generation, it's five minutes from the High Level Bridge. The menu offers the gamut of expected lunch and dinner items, and daily specials are often interesting and good value. There's a large outdoor patio. $$ 4 stars.

● City Diner, 4202 Monroe St., is a longtime greasy spoon that's worth a visit. The half-pound cheeseburgers and patty melts are outstanding. Try either with a side of greasy but tasty onion rings. Other standard diner fare, the Philly cheese-steak and the reuben were nearly as delicious. For breakfast options, consider the omelets; the Mexican and traditional were equally good. $ 3 stars.

● Ferdos Mediterranean Restaurant, 3065 W. Bancroft St., sits on the border of the University of Toledo campus and the Old Orchard neighborhood, making it an oasis in a bustling, heavily trafficked area. It specializes in good-to-excellent Middle Eastern food -- shish tawook, gyros, galaba, hummus, fresh pita bread -- and it's worth a visit for the meals and the chance to settle into a warm, comfortable, family-owned restaurant. $$ 3 stars.

● Trotters Tavern, 119 N. Main St., Bowling Green, boasts a cozy saloon setting and one of the most unusual and delicious dishes in northwest Ohio: the Brown Jug Steak Dinner. Make sure you go early Thursday through Saturday or you won't get seated. $$ 3 stars.

● The Seafood Restaurant, 5504 W. Alexis Rd., Sylvania, has been owned by one family for 50 years. It's a bustling, old-school roadhouse that capably serves more than a dozen different types of fish and shellfish, along with a smattering of beef, chicken, fettucini, and salads. The lunch menu includes standard sandwiches. $$$ 3 stars.

● Luckies Barn & Grill, 3310 Navarre Ave., offers a great sports bar atmosphere that is also a nice place for families. Don't miss the jumbo chicken wings and boneless "chicken bombs," plus the bacon-wrapped mini filets. A magician for the kids comes every Thursday from 6 - 8 p.m. $$ 3 stars.

● Fetoosh Deli, 6725 W. Central Ave., offers up big taste at a value price, with a full array of Mediterranean food. Side dishes such as lubia and mjadara pair well with the shish kefta and chicken taouk. Fetoosh also specializes in catering. $ 3 stars

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