What sets the Hungry Howie’s menu apart from other pizza parlors, other than its complete lack of profanity, is the eight flavored-crust options that inject life into the formerly discarded pizza part. If you’re allergic to life, inject butter, onion, butter cheese, ranch, Cajun spices, garlic herb, or sesame instead. Keep thinking outside the pizza box by loading your flavorful crust with specialty pizza innards, such as the Philly cheese and steak ($12.99 for a medium), the Howie Maui (ham, smoked bacon, and pineapple, $12.99 for medium), and the bacon-cheddar cheeseburger ($12.99 for medium). DIY diners, on the other hand, can opt for a medium 12-inch pizza for $8.49 and add their own toppings for an additional $1.50 each. Howie's also serves up tasty wings (10 for $6.99), salads (try a small Greek for $4.99), calzone-style subs ($6.99), and Howie bread, which comes in original ($3.49), three-cheeser ($4.99), Cajun ($3.49), and sticky-sweet cinnamon ($3.49). Prices vary from location to location, so there might be some small variation from what is listed above.
Between the cherry-red walls of Near East Caffe, guests recline in leather lounge chairs or patterned couches, passing between them spooling hoses connected to ornate hookahs. From the metal and glass towers arrives delectable smoke, pulled from a selection of 100-plus flavors of shisha the lounge offers. Crackling coals burn flavors such as double apple, peach, strawberry, and ocean breeze, along with a variety of flavors from the Starbuzz brand. Customers can also pick and choose flavors to blend, creating concoctions such as lemon-mint or quadruple apple—named after the number of apples that fit in the average human mouth. As they sip on smoke, they can revel in conversation, take in sights from a couple of flat-screen televisions, or simply sit and enjoy the music-filled atmosphere.
Named Akron’s Best Coffee Shop by CityVoters, Nervous Dog percolates palates with locally roasted beans, soothing smells, and a small menu irrigated with pastries and tasty sandwiches (sandwiches coming soon—will be available at Stow location only). 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 they’re fresher than a cryogenically frozen bouquet of daisies ($2.35 each, on average). 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).
Owner and executive chef Aaron L. Ruggles char-grills flank steak and tops it with pickled sweet summer peppers and smokes fresh Atlantic salmon on a cedar plank. Succulent wild-caught scallops come pan-roasted with avocado-roasted corn orzo pasta salad and smoked red chili sauce. Moody, romantic lighting surrounds diners as servers ferry plates of pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas to four-top tables alongside house-baked focaccia bread, widely considered to be more delicious than bread baked from dismantled houses. On Wednesday nights, the original Cheap Date Night menu proffer plenty of options for every type of occasion, as do a series of daily specials, such as Monday's $5 burger-and-fries special and Tuesday's retail-wine night. A kids menu is always available.
Metropolis Popcorn fills cups and bags with batches of popcorn cooked in cholesterol free coconut oil and mixed with a creative potpourri of candies and other tasty ingredients. Traditional mixes, such as super 3 cheese, sit side by side with a loaded baked potato-flavored batch. Big League Grape candied popcorn harkens back to gum-chewing childhoods, and nostalgia and taste further intertwine in overflowing bags of Girl Scout Cookies, which promise melted fudged cookies layered over every crispy mouthful.
Situated on a scenic stretch of the Cuyahoga River, Piatto Novo offers an upscale dining experience with a refined, plentifully stocked dinner menu. Tantalizing meals are prepared by executive chef Roger Thomas, who has been working at restaurants since the ripe age of 16, crafting delectable dishes that make diners feel like freshly squeezed lemonade. Lasso tongues with tasty pastas such as the fettuccini Barese ($11 half, $20 full) with sausage, broccoli, caramelized onions, and asiago, or opt for a rib-sticking main course such as the pork-rib chop ($25) or chicken arrosto with lemon confit, fingerling potatoes, and olive sauce ($21). Top off body fuel tanks with the soft sweetness of crème brûlée ($8), or finish the evening with a perfectly prepared martini that’ll make dining feel as pleasantly vaporous and fuzzy as a dream of a hot-air-balloon ride with a sentient puff of cotton candy.