Deep down, owner Leslie Butler always wanted a job naming nail polish and lipstick shades. But her love of working with people, as well as her great affection for cake, led her to instead apply her naming skills to more than 100 cupcake flavors at The Lofty Cafe. Monikers like “The Devil Wears Raspberry” might need a bit of elaboration (chocolate cupcake with raspberry filling, topped with chocolate frosting and a raspberry candy speckled with brimstone), but others are deliciously self-explanatory: vanilla chai spice, maple bacon, and Boston cream. Many flavors are themed by season or occasion. A daily menu determines a few flavors that will be at hand, but customers can score any flavor if they order ahead.
Though it’s hard to imagine so many flavors fitting in Butler’s kitchen, that’s exactly where Butler and her daughter began their business. Unsurprisingly, they eventually expanded their space to offer a dining room and a full kitchen to suit their baking needs. Now they have the capacity to create many cupcake flavors that can be filled or topped with an array of sweets.
La Mexicana Cantina and Grill’s chefs create a diverse menu of Mexican cuisine. From fajitas and burritos to loaded monterrey baked potatoes and chimichangas, the menu caters to any number of cravings as well as vegetarian lifestyles.
Akron Wing House satiates starved sports fans with an array of wings, pizzas, burgers, and more, all served beneath the blaze of big-screen TVs. Knock back 1 of 20 beers on tap before directing your taste buds' attention to a bowl of the six pepper chili ($3.95) or the appetizer combo, which enlists the combined efforts of onion rings, poppers, mozzarella moons, and potato skins to wage war on apathetic forks ($6.75). Next, solicit sauces to transcendent acts of slathering by biting into an order of wings, which can be draped in diverse made-daily dressings including garlic hot, kung fu, arizona ranch, and the health-conscious barbecue Bandage (12 for $8.59; 18 for $12.59). Five half-pound burger varieties are scrupulously served with fries ($6.99 each), while customizable pizza pies are shrewdly made with real cheese (two-topping eight-cut, $10.75).
At age 14, Michael Kidd and Cristopher Malita worked side-by-side at a local pizzeria and dreamed about what they might do differently if they owned one themselves. Today, more than 10 years later, they put their ideas into practice at Pudgies Eatery. The pair builds each pizza on a handmade crust rendered more flavorful by a special blend of rosemary and spices. Their roster of specialty pies includes the Pulled Pudgie pizza with barbecue sauce, pulled pork, cheddar, and onion, as well as the chicken bacon ranch pizza with white sauce and tomatoes. Instead of pitching them into a catcher's glove, the cooks toss chicken wings into housemade sauces ranging in flavor from Mississippi mustard and garlic parmesan to hot teriyaki. The kitchen team rounds out the menu with sub sandwiches stuffed with philly steak or meatballs and soft, fresh baked cinnamon rolls.
At Fred's Diner, breakfast is king. Kneel at the feet of the most important meal of the day with a selection from the diner's menu. The three pancakes ($5.99)—with choice of sausage, ham, or bacon—forge a feast from flattened flour, while a three-egg cheese omelette ($4.99, with additional ingredients $0.85 each) sidekicks its stuffed sustenance with home fries and toast. Enjoy bread-bookended breakfast bites with a two-egg sandwich ($4.29), topped with choice of ham, bacon, or sausage, or simply feast on an uncomplicated half-pound of bacon ($2.50) with coffee ($1) or cranberry-orange juice ($2). Lunch-lovers are also in luck at Fred's Diner, with a fallout shelter's worth of soups, salads, sandwiches, and more on tap. Spoon-survey a bowl of Fred's famous chicken dumpling soup ($3.29), tenderly embrace the tenders of the grilled chicken salad ($7.49), or digestively dissect a 6-ounce rib-eye steak ($7.99). Specialty sandwiches include the Cuy-a-Hoagy ($6.39), topped with hot roast beef, and the triple-tiered tastiness of the Diner's Club ($6.99).
Crowned the Best Irish Pub of 2010 by CityVoters, Brubaker's serves up an extensive menu of pub edibles alongside a lively atmosphere and TVs sporting the latest in athletic endeavors. Quiet nagging hunger mufflers with appetizers such as barbecue-chicken potato skins ($5.75) and the super pretzel with mustard, salsa, or nacho cheese ($2), or tongue-dive into a specialty dish, such as the chicken cordon "bru" ($6.75), the buffalo-chicken wrap ($5.50), or the mega dog ($4). Brubaker's burritos wrap various fillings in the fresh-baked arms of nine-inch tortillas and come in varietals such as the Popeye ($5.50), a hulkifying combination of spinach-artichoke dip, tomatoes, onions, shredded cheddar, and ranch dressing. Brubaker's also offers a wide-ranging beer selection to indulge the fermented fantasies of Prohibition-era taste buds.