Balance Pan-Asian Grille is a grassroots Asian-American restaurant. Their staff believes that every restaurant should be like theirs?one that serves from-scratch, healthy food made from fresh ingredients, noting that if customers wanted a microwaved meal, they wouldn?t go out to eat. The name Balance is a reference to restaurant's flavorful bowls, which contain a balance of proteins, carbs, and vegetables.
In the kitchen, Head Chef Jang, who worked for years at his parents' traditional Chinese restaurant, heats up the wok to create fusion recipes such as sweet butternut squash soup and vegan potstickers. He also cooks vegetarian and vegan dishes built on brown rice, salad greens, and tofu. Jang and his staffers often design their seasonal menus using fresh, farm-to-table ingredients, and they eschew any produce or proteins that are classified as genetically modified organisms or that have been handled by robots at any point during the harvesting process.
Say it's 1 a.m., you've got some friends over, and everyone is hungry. As if the late hour doesn't complicate the situation enough, you've got one friend who wants tacos, another who's championing gyros, and you're craving pizza. Enter The Oasis Restaurant & Delivery: a small family of eateries that delivers late night and packs all of the aforementioned dishes onto one menu.
The menu's custom New York–style pizzas can be topped with anything from meatballs to sauerkraut, and its quesadillas and tacos overflow with fillings such as pulled pork and battered cod. There's plenty of Italian eats as well—including oven-baked pasta and stromboli—alongside a thoroughly American lineup of burgers, all-beef hot dogs, and fried chicken shaped like the 50 states. Recent additions to the menu include wings in one of 13 sauces and Oasis melts—grilled cheeses stuffed with corned beef, bacon, or barbecued pulled pork.
Seasoned staffers wheel a small cart directly up to dining room tables, where they smash avocados into a palatable paste of fresh guacamole right before guests' eyes. This appetizer fuels treks through Cinco de Mayo Amigos Cantina's lengthy menu, which spotlights Mexican favorites infused with authentic ingredients such as pork carnitas, carne asada, and spicy mole sauce. The restaurant's exposed brick walls house weeknight karaoke, as well as other weekly events including Salsa Night on Saturday, Ladies' Night on Thursday, and Day Planner Appreciation Night on Tuesday. On the outdoor patio, guests can get their fill of fresh air and sunshine as they sample 20 varieties of margaritas.
Schmucker's has cooked up traditional American comfort food in a casual setting ever since Grandpa Schmucker opened the doors more than 60 years ago. Served all day long, age-old breakfast and dinner classics, such as the steak and eggs ($6.99) and the hot meatloaf platter ($5.99), allow for tummy time travel, and sandwiches such as the grilled ham and cheese ($3.59) muffle midday munchies anytime by stuffing human breadbaskets.
The all-ages, daylong festival rocks to the rhythms of more than 50 northwestern-Ohio bands, solo artists, and DJs spanning three stages. Every genre of popular tunes gets its showcase, from hip-hop to law rock to swing metal. Hobo Stew, an indie pop-punk band from Liberty Center, powers through three-chord head-nodders like “This Will Bite You.” For a heavier sound, check out Archibold metalheads Dethrats, who keep things black with propulsive kickdrums, growling vocals, and sacrificial muppets on “End of Days.” Toledo hip-hop artist Raine Wilder carries the torch of Ohio rap with “I Came for You” and other bursts of percussive rhyme. Headliners can lubricate cheering tubes with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages or fuel crowd-surfing muscles with hamburgers, hot dogs, and other BBQ fare.
bd's Mongolian Grill combines do-it-yourself dining with the communal experience of collaboratively yanking out a giant radish that’s blocking the town's water supply. Guests can create their own stir-fry meal in one bowl for lunch ($6.49 for vegetarian, $8.49 for meat and seafood, $9.99 for stir-fry with soup and salad, and $12.99 for unlimited stir-fry with soup and salad) or dinner ($10.99 for vegetarian, $12.99 for meat and seafood, and $14.99 for unlimited stir-fry; all stir-fry dinners include complimentary access to the soup and salad bar). Choose from myriad meats, a variety of vegetables, a smorgasbord of sauces, and a slew of spices. Pair chicken with bean sprouts and pineapple in a stir-fry you'll deem the "Chicken with Bean Sprouts and Pineapple," or combine calamari with egg, peppers, peanut sauce, and chili powder for a meal you'll name after yourself—the "Peter Fonda."