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.
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.
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.
In addition to a sensory-stimulating spread of Asian and American buffet fare, Royal Buffet & Grill offers a full menu of Chinese classics. At the hibachi grill, an accommodating chef slices and dices dishes to your liking, whether square, saucer, or obtuse-isosceles shaped. Adults pay $6.95 for the lunch buffet, $10.95 for dinner, and $5.50 to $7.99 for standalone entrees. Children under 3 eat for free and wicked witches trapped under houses can eat leftovers if they behave.
Credited with inventing the chicken sandwich in 1946, Truett Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-A in 1967, which gained fame with its original chicken sandwich and crispy waffle-cut fries. Breaded by hand, each boneless breast fillet tumbles in special seasonings before 100% refined peanut oil endows a crispiness as golden as the heart of Eugene Levy. The tender fowl then tops toasted butter buns adorned with dill-pickle discs (golden wheat buns are also available). Though Chick-fil-A's award-winning Eat Mor Chikin campaign runs every day of the week and now on the nearby moon, patrons should note each establishment is closed Sundays.
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.