WTGW 2/5/14: The Office Bistro, Cuyahoga Falls

Standard

We almost had to call an audible for this week’s pick, as Ted found out on Monday that he may have to be in another portion of the state on Wednesday afternoon for a meeting and wasn’t sure what time he would be returning. Add to that the fact that another Snowpocalypse was headed our way (Because, no, Mother Nature, we won’t formally invite you to WTGW so just step off and stop trying to invite yourself. Seriously.), and we had to put Shane on standby with a go-to pick in the event that the perfect storm ensued and we would be one man down for this week’s adventure. Fortunately all crises were averted – well, except for the whole snow thing, because, well, as I’ve said before, Mother Nature is a damn whore who just doesn’t get the hint.

Anyway.

With Ted safely back in the home area on Wednesday, we decided to go forward with his pick for this week, which was The Office Bistro in Cuyahoga Falls. This is one of those places that I think all of us have kind of kept in the back of our minds as a choice for some point in our adventures, as it’s close to home, we see the sign on many occasions in our travels down Rt 8, and I think we’ve all known people who have mentioned going there at one point or another. Props to Ted for stepping up and finally being the one to get us through the doors.

This week’s visit also featured a special guest appearance by Ted’s cousin Kyle, who – if he hadn’t told us they were related, would’ve given it away just by his “I don’t want anything with cheese” ordering process. What is it with this family?

We sat in the dining room area of The Office, which was nice and actually probably would’ve been a lot fuller if not for the aforementioned eight-billionth winter storm of the season. Although I guess we should be glad that there weren’t many other tables sharing the space with us, since we all know the initiation of new people to the group means a few rounds of “Who’s in your Top 5.” Complete with pictures, and louder-than-we-intended comments that families probably don’t appreciate their children overhearing while they try to enjoy their chicken tenders. But whatevs. At least we opted out of the strip club visit this time around.

No, I’m not explaining that.

Moving on.

Another reason to be glad the place wasn’t busier – parking was a bit of a challenge, even on this “stay off the roads, there’s frozen water falling from the sky!” kind of evening. And especially since the city of Cuyahoga Falls apparently needs re-introduced to the likes of a snowplow. I’m not sure where you’re supposed to park normally for this place, as there was no lot in the forseeable landscape and not really all that much street parking to speak of. I mean, I guess on a nice evening people don’t mind walking a few blocks to get to the front door, but on a night like tonight I was just glad I didn’t opt for my usual 4-inch heels. And while they do offer valet, that really didn’t help things much in the “not having to wade through snow” department, for reasons already mentioned.  Props – and apologies – to the poor woman who nearly bit it trying to get into her valeted car and probably wasn’t aware she was being judged by our entire table. Our bad. 

Our waitress was very kind and patient with us, even as Kyle told a story while she was still repeatedly trying to figure out if he wanted fries with his meal. Maybe that’s why she forgot his second beer and failed to offer him a box? Either that or he pulled a Joey from “Friends” and picked up her roommate but never called the next day. Hmmm.

As par for the course with us, the bar promptly ran out of whatever it was we were drinking when we were only two rounds into the evening. Seriously, how do we always pick the one beverage they have like two left of in the whole place? In this case, it was Strongbow, and with no other ciders on list we resorted to the craft beers which made up the draft list. A few words of caution here: “hints of citrus” actually means “here’s a glass of grapefruit juice we somehow managed to make alcoholic and call a beer,” and a beer shake at The Office is NOT AT ALL the same as a beer shake at The Hoppin’ Frog. Learn from our mistakes.

Our sandwiches were quite large, so much so that Amanda and I each only ate half of ours (the Cuban and the turkey mozzarella). Shane had a burger, and announced about halfway through that he thought it had no flavor. Kyle chimed in shortly afterward that his chicken on a pretzel bun was also lacking in the flavor department. Ted had salmon, which he seemed happy with. Again with the fancy.

Fancy glasses. Pinkies up, boys.

Fancy glasses. Pinkies up, boys.

Shane did, however, enjoy the pretzel rods as an appetizer. He claimed they were the “best ever.” Personally, this appetizer has started to become as standard as the “build your own burger” feature on a lot of menus, and they all seem to taste the same to me. But if you’re one that takes Shane’s word for gospel in the food department, I wanted to do my due diligence and pass that along.

After our meal we decided to venture across the side street and into a place called Hunt’s Tavern for a few last drinks of the evening (hey, the snow had stopped by that point, may as well celebrate!), and promptly felt like we had entered a different universe. Or that we discovered a time machine that enables us to change decades simply by walking across the street. I think this place is pretty much the exact polar opposite of the place we had just left. I mean, why have paper or laminated menus that you give to people, when instead you can just yell out “are y’all eating dinner tonight?” when patrons walk in the door? And, further keeping it classy, the “beer list” is in the form of bottles lined up on the ledge above the tiny bar, and includes only things like Miller Lite and Bud Select (but then Smithwick’s and Guiness on tap? Huh?). But our group did double the size of the crowd in the place simply by walking in the door, so maybe they were as overwhelmed as we were.

CAPSULE

Picked by: Ted
Drinks: Not a very extensive beer list, especially on draft. Even the craft beers weren’t ones we really ever heard of or were impressed by. To be fair, they do bill themselves as more of a martini bar, so I guess we need to go back on a Monday when they’re on special for $5 so we can try those. 
Food:
Portions were large, even for sandwiches, although a few at our table complained their selections lacked flavor.
Service: Good. Waitress was attentive, but not overly so. At least to four of the five of us anyway.
Overall: It would be interesting to check out the bar area, or the patio when the weather isn’t freeze-our-eyelashes-off cold out anymore. I think we would go back, but maybe more for drinks and light apps than an actual meal.

Next Pick: Shane

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