Summaries of recently reviewed area restaurants, in the order in which they were reviewed, with the most recent at the top.
● Balance Pan-Asian Grille, 5860 W. Central Ave., features inexpensive, high-quality Asian food served fast and with a minimum of fuss. The menu is relatively simple, but it’s flexible with a range of protein, starch, and sauce choices along with a variety of specials, including Ramen noodles, shrimp tacos, and a vegan taco. The BangBang Balls are highly recommended. $ 4 stars.
● Element 112, 5735 Main St., Sylvania, instantly became one of the finest fine-dining destinations in town, and the only one even attempting truly modern cuisine. The small and ever-changing menu features the freshest ingredients cooked in reimagined ways. Expect clever amuse bouches, magnificent appetizers, exceptional bread pudding, impeccable service, and entrees that routinely achieve perfection. $$$$ 5 stars.
● Scrubs Pub and Grub, 3312 Glendale Ave., is suffering from some sort of identity crisis. With options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a somewhat extensive kids’ menu, Scrubs takes on the feel of a family-friendly neighborhood diner. Its location makes it convenient for a quick lunch, but the full bar, televisions, weeknight and happy-hour specials give it a sports bar feel. The food is well above average. The gyro, Scrubs Hamwich ($6.99 each), and fries were all standouts during our visits. While Scrubs has the food side of the business all figured out, service is subpar. $-$$ 3 stars.
● Ye Olde Cock n’ Bull, 9 N. Huron St., doesn’t have any deep-fried ‘bar food’, but it does have a pizza for every palate, vegetarian options, daily specials, wraps, and appetizer dips. A baseball-themed interior and ideal patio are great for its location: directly across the street from the home plate entrance of Fifth Third Field. Oh, and there are 34 beers on tap, most of them craft, and lots of entertainment. $$ 3 stars.
● Bayshore Supper Club, 5307 Bayshore Rd., Oregon, is a 1970s throwback in decor and menu. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it features lake catches, seafood, and steaks, mostly unremarkable. There is a little view of an inlet on the bay at the end of a long gravel parking lot. $$ 2 stars.
● Papa G’s Pizza ‘n Grill, 5127 S. Main St., in Sylvania features homemade Greek and Italian dishes, along with an array of pizzas. It’s a family-friendly place with an emphasis on quality over showmanship and we recommend the lasagna, spinach pie, and lemon chicken soup. Desserts such as loukoumathes and apple cake are superb. $$ 3 stars.
● Great Lakes Eatery and Pub in Dundee, Mich. does a nice job of showcasing some of the state’s greatest assets. Everything from the Mackinac Bridge to the state’s connection to the Great Lakes and dozens of lighthouses across the state, gets a shout-out at the restaurant. The menu boasts a variety of traditional staples with few twists and a sandwich menu with five picks named after all of the five Great Lakes. Drawbacks include a non-existing dessert menu and limited side dishes, which include potatoes, potatoes, and more potatoes. $$ 2 stars.
● Barr’s Public House, 3355 Briarfield Blvd., Maumee, is an upscale gathering place with an almost-unmatched array of beers, wines, and liquors, as well as some above-average pub grub. The house chili ($5/$7), bruschetta ($5), and Nuremberger ($10) are highly recommended. $$ 3 stars.
● La Cachanilla, 222 S. Summit St., is a sparkling little family-operated diner near the High Level Bridge with a broad variety of home-cooked Mexican fare, including soups and delicious desserts of tres leches cake and flan. Opened in 2012, it’s worthy of a visit. $ 3 stars.
● Green Lantern, 509 Broadway St. near the Amtrak station, is a trip in the way-back machine, one of a handful of remaining hole-in-the-wall diners where breakfast and lunch is cooked quickly on the grill and served piping hot. Burgers are hand-patted and delish and milkshakes are made with ice cream in tall steel cups. Highest priced menu item is a $9 all-meat omelette. $ 3 stars.
● Ya Halla Restaurant, 2124 W. Alexis Rd, is an excellent entry into Toledo’s Mediterranean restaurant market. Owned by Karam Abdo and open for three years, Ya Halla specializes in fresh, homemade food. We loved the hummus with sauteed veggies, the meat grape leaves, and the entrees and were impressed with the service and overall quality of the experience. $$ 4 stars.
● BGump’s 101 Restaurant and Lounge, 5147 S. Main St., Sylvania, has an exotic, exciting menu full of steakhouse classics and spicy dishes with a modern twist. Many of the dishes are borderline top-notch, but fall short via lackluster sides or hit-and-miss preparation. Here you will find elegant decor, great service, and decent prices. $$ 3 stars.
● Amango Restaurant, 5528 Monroe St., creates a wide variety of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Asian meals ranging from giant bowls of noodle soup (pho), to rice dishes with beef, chicken, tofu, from hot pots to Saigon sandwiches on baguettes. $$ 4 stars.
● The Mango Tree, 217 S. Reynolds Rd., is a South Toledo steak and seafood restaurant that should get a second look. The porterhouse steak and filet mignon are cooked to order and compare favorably to other pricier joints in town. We also can recommend the French-cut pork chops and clam chowder. $$-$$$ 3 stars.
● House of Eats, 5333 Monroe St. 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, “tell us what you want us to build and if we can, we will feed your face with it.” $ 3 stars.
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