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.
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.
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.
There's nothing even slightly metaphorical about the name of Beau's on the River. With a glassed-in dining room jutting out over the rapids on pillars, it's about as literally on the water as a place can get without being a boat.
This sister restaurant to Beau's Grille opened only in May 2013, and while the views may be all new, the cooking has been a long time coming. Akron native and executive chef Billy Thurman started working in the restaurant business at age 14, and by age 25, he attained his first position as executive chef at The Twilight Cafe in Florida. Eventually, he moved back home to be closer to his mother and sisters, and he brought his wife, children, and 18 years of experience along with him.
Chef Thurman puts that experience to work in the kitchen at Beau's on the River, where he helps craft an expansive menu of inventive fine dining. He coats ahi tuna with coconut sticky rice and pairs grilled chicken with lime cream and corn salsa. And of course, as guests dine, floor-to-ceiling windows frame the majesty of the tumbling falls and the hungry phalanx of fish fighting against the currents for fallen crumbs.
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.