WTGW 11/13/13: Ripper’s Rock House, Akron

Standard

When we heard that one of the former members of the band Judas Priest owns a restaurant in Akron, naturally we were intrigued … as much by the restaurant as the band, because we’ll be the first to admit we could name, um, zero songs that Judas Priest is famous for. OK, maybe Ted might’ve known a few. He’s kind of a wild card like that. Honestly, reading the Wikipedia page just now gave me a “huh” moment when I realized that I think I might actually recognize two songs. Or three. From like 1982.  But apparently the owner of this restaurant wasn’t with the band when they were recorded. Look at that – I learned something today.

Anyway.

Ripper’s Rock House is apparently in a new(er) location, having moved from the building that housed last week’s WTGW adventure, The Grille on Waterloo. And ironically we didn’t realize that until after both choices had been made. It’s like a game of Six Degrees Of Where To Go Wednesdays. When that becomes popular, you can say you heard it here first, kids.

So right away one of the first things I noticed was that I was insanely overdressed for this establishment. “Business casual” are probably two words never uttered by 85% of the regulars in this place. And none of us remembered to wear our chains connecting our wallets to our belt loops. Or anything leather. Dammit!

That’s OK, the place was so dimly lit that maybe no one saw us anyway. Oh, wait, no – scratch that – there was a time when we wished we could hide but couldn’t. More on that in a minute.

So remember last week when we said we were going to stop ordering appetizers because we got so full we couldn’t finish our dinners? Clearly we stuck to that rule.

What, there's only three appetizers there. For four people.

What, there’s only three appetizers there. For four people.

But we justified it by only ordering wings afterwards. Well, and onion rings. Stop laughing.

The boys had to openly discuss their wing choices, as they needed to make sure they both ordered three different flavors each so that they could trade between them. Or try to pawn off the ones they didn’t like in favor of ones that the other seemed to be enjoying. I wasn’t sure at times if they were talking about fantasy football or their meals.

The fine art of wing trading in action

The fine art of wing trading in action

So here’s the deal with the wings – I guess Ole “Rip,” having traveled the world, wanted to bring the best flavors from his adventures back home and into his restaurant – and therefore named each of the wings after a place and type of dish there. Interesting concept. I have to say I wasn’t particularly impressed with mine, which were of the “taco” variety. I know, sounds intriguing, right? Eh. They were edible, but just *meh*. Shane ordered the ones that were about 4th from the top in terms of heat factor, but said they didn’t compare to wings of the same name/spiciness at chain places like BW3. Hmm.

Another interesting thing: the menu. More specifically, the prices. They were all something weird, like a grilled chicken sandwich for $8.16. Or BLT for $8.27. Or 12 wings for $9.36. Huh? Did he just feel like prices that end in the number 5 or 9 get way too much play in menus and wanted to spread the love to 4’s and 2’s and 6’s? Do those numbers actually mean something? If you’re going to take an inside joke outside, you might want to provide some explanation. Just sayin’.

We even asked the waitress, and got this answer: “Yeah, I thought that was weird too. But it’s only my second day, so I haven’t had a chance to ask about it yet.” BTW, this news about it being her second day on the job came after she told Ted that the type of wings he ordered were he absolute favorite and she orders them all the time. Kind of lost some credibility there, honey. Oh, and speaking of lost … we actually lost the waitress later on in the night – as in, she just disappeared, and some other girl started waiting on us instead. So, um, guess your shift is over, have a nice night then? OK.

Regardless, by far the best part of our evening at the Rock House was when we realized Wednesdays are …

KARAOKE NIGHTS.

Because you have not lived until you hear a grown woman with a voice like Lisa Simpson sing heavy metal. It’s like the listening to “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” as performed by Alvin and the Chipmunks. I will never be able to un-hear that. Oh – and sidebar for a moment on that one person: when she wasn’t singing, she was pacing. And headbanging. Or asking random tables of strangers if they want to share an order of fries. Or using our table’s accidental eye contact as a reason to come over and tell a 15 minute story none of us could really hear but we think had something to do with a cheating boyfriend and her current underwear – complete with visual aids. Remember that part I mentioned earlier about wanting to hide from certain people in the dim lighting? Yeah.

Of course she wasn’t the only singer – there was a table of people who were clearly regulars / friends of the DJ, and they covered the karaoke standards like Bon Jovi and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” Although props to the guy who stole MeatLoaf’s look and voice, and performed some eerily similar renditions of his songs. Like close your eyes and think it’s the same thing on the stage similar. Wow. And of course our own table made a contribution, as “Shane Newton” came out of his almost-year-long hiatus to serenade me as always with his ever popular “At a Medium Pace” by Adam Sandler. Yes, I’m serious. Props to my husband for pointing me out before he started singing. I would’ve taken pictures if I hadn’t been so busy intercepting quizzical glances from just about every patron in the bar. Good thing I’m used to that, having heard him sing this well over 50 times in the past five years. It’s hard being married to a celebrity.

This was as close as Amanda was getting to karaoke. Love the action shot of the singer behind her though.

This was as close as Amanda was getting to karaoke. Love the action shot of the singer behind her though.

CAPSULE
Picked by: Amanda
Drink options: Interesting variety of craft beers, although we struck out with more than one that we Ted asked for that they didn’t have in stock. 20 oz Miller Lites were the drink of choice for 3/4 of the table.
Food:  The appetizers definitely upstaged the wings.
Service: Good. Even though our waitress left without telling us, at least she told someone – so we weren’t forgotten entirely.
Overall: The appetizers, idea of trying something on the menu other than wings, and of course the entertainment value of karaoke night may just get us back there again.

Next Pick: The WTGW crew will be on hiatus next week, as Shane and I celebrate our anniversary that evening. However, if we end up out somewhere new, it may just make it to a review here. We’ll return to regularly scheduled programming on 11/27 with Ted’s pick.

Rippers Rock House on Urbanspoon

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3 thoughts on “WTGW 11/13/13: Ripper’s Rock House, Akron

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