A Panda Buffet is a neighborhood dining spot serving east Cleveland, and sort of a discount place to get Chinese food. The buffet has a heavy emphasis on seafood and chicken dishes but you’ll find a lot of different things there, some of which are Chinese food favorites and a few others seem to be pretty unique to this buffet. All told, the place seems to be supported by the surrounding neighborhoods but I can’t find anything here that makes it worth a special visit.
Iconic Fat Head’s Brewery in Cleveland’s west site is the kind of bar you never forget. Its expansive, oversized interior gives way to some big food and, more importantly, big brews. With several dozen of its own creations on tap and partnerships with several other breweries that has allowed it to expand to Pittsburgh and Portland, this is the kind of brewery you go to for a who new kind of drinking experience. Grab a massive burger, some huge wings or a pizza, but make sure you leave plenty of room. Lots. Of. Good. Beer.
A downtown Pittsburgh coffee stand that brings a pleasant coffee experience to the crowded Strip District, La Prima Espresso Co. is a very old-fashioned coffee shop. Drop into this standing room-only spot along the one of the strip’s side avenues, and you’ll be treated to locally brewed and hand-made coffee creations. So take a cup and grab a table with a friend, you won’t regret it.
A popular weekend morning destination in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, Pamela’s Diner serves up breakfast favorites like nobody’s business. Frequently crowded and always on the game with a good breakfast dish, this downtown destination serves up great food at record speed, so take a seat in the dining room, jumbled with photos of many memories over the years, and prepare to be amazed at what you’re about to taste. Whether it’s a pancake or sausage or a breakfast sandwich. Breakfast food is serious business in Pittsburgh, so don’t take it lightly when I say that this place is one of the best. Now, there are five locations across Pittsburgh.
A much-beloved staple of the Pittsburgh dining scene, Deluca’s Restaurant prides itself simply as “the best breakfast in town.” You’ve probably seen this place on television, its popular Strip District location regularly sees a line out the door serving up fantastic breakfast foods like pancakes with sweet cream, eggs, spicy sausage and coffee. They recently opened a new location in Robinson Township, as well, to serve the city’s west suburbs. There is always, always a line out the door and for good reason; Deluca’s blows away the competition with its creativity and its simply delightful cuisine.
Cincinnati chain of about 20 pizza places, Dewey’s Pizza is much beloved locally as a “neighborhood pizza place” where folks go to hang out and enjoy some pizza. With a presence in most major Ohio cities as well as the St. Louis area, Dewey’s has a neat concept. The original Oakley shop lets you watch chefs throw dough into the air, then slowly transform the flat pie into a delicious confection. Pick one of the favorite combinations or pick your own toppings, but either way you’ll find something that you like.
A watering hole that serves eastern Cincinnati, Ohio, The Oak Tavern is right along the Madison Road stretch of Oakley. Popular as a neighborhood spot to watch good football and a little grub to go along with it. Visit on game day or later at night, and you’re likely to find a crowd of Reds fans, Bengals fans or general sports junkies. The bar fare is so often so good, but the other things, the little things, whittle away at the experience.
One of the first local breweries to sprout up at the beginning of the micro brew boom, Columbus Brewing Co. is one of the first locally-owned brewing companies to spring up in the Columbus, Ohio area. Aggressively marketing itself across the state, you’ll be able to recognize this place with its distinctive green-labeled beers that are sold in packs across the state, produced out of a brew house in downtown Columbus. Columbus Brewing Co. is something I first tried in the city, and I’ve been pleased to see them selling more and more of their specialties around the state.
sushi bar serving north Dayton, Akashi Sushi Bar along Harshman Rd. serves lunch and nicer cuisine to the population of nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base as well as the Huber Heights community nearby. The menu is much more distinctly ethnic than many of the other sushi bars in town, with much of the food it offers being fish and vegetable or noodle dishes, like bulgogi and bokkeum. The kinds of things you won’t try anywhere else in town. Myself, I like the place most for its sushi, which is the most popular option. There’s a definite cultural barrier with the staff, and in some ways I fear that barrier extends to the cuisine, too. But new cuisine can sometimes be hard to break in.