Inspired by the sugar-cane-surrounded Mexican municipality of Jojutlas and its culinary traditions, Jojutlas Mexican Grill re-creates recipes from the region and across Mexico. Housemade tortillas envelop locally sourced ingredients in dishes such as fish tacos with jicama-radish slaw, beef taquitos, and chimichangas prepared with conventional or organic chicken. The kitchen also whips up some entrees in a traditional adobo oven, whose composition of organic clay, earth, and straw imbues dishes with a uniquely authentic flavor. To sate sweet teeth, guests can indulge in sopapillas and strawberry-stuffed churros for dessert. Jojutlas invites frequent patrons to join the Mi Amigo Club, which bestows members with birthday and anniversary treats, as well as a promise to always be picked first for kickball.
A nonprofit, java-centric venture, Urbean Café brews and serves steaming cups of locally roasted coffee in order to support Urban Connection, a community-outreach program designed to provide employment training to disadvantaged members of the community. The café menu stars fresh, Akron-roasted beans in a stimulating selection of coffee concoctions ($1–$4), alongside a tasty supporting ensemble of seasonal sandwiches ($3.50), soups ($2), muffins ($1), and more. The eco-friendly café building boasts solar-power panels, geothermal heating and cooling, and a noticeable absence of stove-burning stoves. The mobile Urbun Cart makes it easier than ever to guzzle a tummy-warming drink while enjoying the all-over warmth that comes with helping others.
Family Massage Therapy helps clients unwind with the stress-vanquishing strokes of Swedish, therapeutic, and relaxation massages. Treatments take place in Family Massage’s private room, which has blue and green hues that evoke an astronaut’s view of the planet Earth hiding in a blueberry patch. Alternatively, the Family Massage team travels to homes and offices, offering 10- to 15-minute chair massages for staff-appreciation days and other events.
Named Akron’s Best Coffee Shop by CityVoters in 2010, Nervous Dog percolates palates with locally roasted beans, soothing smells, and a small menu irrigated with pastries and tasty sandwiches. To prepare for a busy workday filled with consolidating files with a flaming broadsword, grab a small coffee ($1.75), or opt for a more complex tongue massaging with a small latte ($2.95), cappuccino ($2.95), or mocha ($3.55). The various tasty pastries are baked daily, ensuring that they’re fresher than a cryogenically frozen bouquet of daisies ($2.35 each, on average). For heartier appetites and edible-strata enthusiasts, the Stow location serves up sandwiches, buckling under the weight of a quarter pound of Boar's Head deli meat and snuggled between slices of french, italian, or ciabatta bread, or a New York bagel ($6.85). Customers on the run and method actors doing research for a Boo Radley portrayal can stock up on invigorating coffee with a one-pound bag of beans ($12.85).
The scent of freshly ground coffee coaxes customers through the wooden doors of Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, whose painted ivory and red trim evokes of the aesthetic of an old Victorian. Since Cathy and Patrick Wyatt opened the shop in 2003, baristas have been pulling shots of espresso to concoct lattes and cappuccinos and pairing them with pastries, sandwiches, and salads crafted from local ingredients. Customers can lounge in padded wrought-iron chairs and overstuffed couches as they jump onto the free wireless Internet, or direct eyes to a pair of televisions regularly airing the news or the Chipmunks’ remake of Dead Poets Society. Coffee-related and handcrafted items—such as cards, candles, and mugs—line wooden shelves and make especially sweet gifts when packaged with chocolate-covered beans.
Margaret and Phillip Nabors were ahead of the curve in championing natural and organic foods when they opened Mustard Seed Market & Café in 1981. To ensure the integrity of every item stocked on their shelves, the Nabors developed a list of golden standards—nine guidelines that range from a ban on high-fructose corn syrup to selling only cruelty-free cosmetics. This combination of rigor and passion has propelled Mustard Seed for more than 30 years, filling two locations with locally grown produce, fresh-baked vegan cookies, and naturally lean-but-tender beef from certified Piedmontese cattle, which are raised on an all-vegetarian diet free of steroids and antibiotics.
Today, the Nabors' children, Abraham and Gabe, have joined their parents in leading Mustard Seed's team of natural-foods experts—who include everyone from the customer-service associates to the stockers, ensuring that shoppers can find answers to their questions around every corner. The store also educates customers through classes and free lectures on topics such as California wines and what’s going to happen when they run out of letters to name the vitamins.
Stationed across from Kent Free Library, Wild Goats Café tramples hunger with its selection of homemade comfort food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Inside the dining room, wood trim runs along the top of sand- and pistachio-shaded walls, creating a warm atmosphere often filled with the smell of fresh-roasted coffee. Friendly servers pirouette between booths and tables delivering omelets in the morning and sandwiches in the afternoon, such as The Goat—an open-faced fusion of melted cheddar, tangy hummus, and veggies stacked atop pita bread. For dinner, the cooks craft a handful of entrees featuring a variety of enticing ingredients, such as organic chicken breast, house roasted sirloin, and homemade tomato cream sauce. Throughout the week, specials reward diners for their visit, including Buck Buck Brinner Wednesday, when eight menu items cost just a dollar apiece, making it the ideal night to finally take your pet elephant out for dinner.