WTGW 9/16/15: Pucker’s Sports Pub & Grille, North Canton

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This week’s episode of WTGW brought to you by the phenomenon known as deja vu … and an overwhelming feeling we’re on some sort of quest to visit every single sports bar contained in a strip plaza in the Akron/Canton area.

We had all taken mental note of Pucker’s Pub on a recent visit to yet another North Canton sports bar, TD’S Tailgate Grille, located just down the street … ironically enough, in another strip plaza. Shocker. But as soon as we pulled into the parking lot of Pucker’s Shane started having flashbacks to yet another of his illustrious sports bar picks from a few months back, Sassy’s in Twinsburg.

The rest of us all did a collective “ooooh” as soon as he said it,  as we couldn’t deny it either. Great. We’re now conjuring up similar restaurants in different towns. Because that’s a skill to be proud of for sure.

Although once we got inside I have to say we were far more impressed with the decor than we were with Sassy’s. Maybe it was the absence of anything Miami-Vice-esque-neon-purple? Hard to say. The layout was somewhat similar but definitely brighter and more definitive of a sports bar (read: lots of TVs). So there’s that.

It took a hot minute for us to get seated, so much so that we almost just went about seating ourselves before someone strolled out leisurely from the back and asked if we needed a table. No, thanks, we just like to stand awkwardly in the tiny entryway of restaurants we’ve never eaten at before. No biggie. And it’s not like we were the first ones there, either. Plus there’s that thing about it being dinner time. But whatevs.

But standing in the entryway also gave us time to notice all the signs around the place for McKenzies pumpkin cider – which of course piqued our interest, since we are already huge fans of McKenzies seasonal reserve cider. So as soon as the server came over we all gushed about how we couldn’t wait to try it … and were basically told that we’ll still have to continue waiting, since they just ran out. Great. So now we’re even striking out with the fall beers, and so early in the season, too? *sigh*

The beer gods apparently hate us.

But it actually ended up OK, because our server suggested we try Leininkugel’s Harvest Patch Shandy instead – and that turned out to be absolutely freaking delicious. It’s seriously like pumpkin pie in a beer glass. I was the guinea pig to order it first … but then after everyone sampled mine 3/4 of our table ended up trading in their drinks on the second round to join my bandwagon.

The only hold out was Shane, who is apparently sticking to his guns on this whole sissy drink thing. I’ll refrain from further comment.

Our appetizers on this visit were courtesy of the deep fryer – fried pickles and fried jalepenos. You know, because we’re the poster children for good health choices. Both were good, although I was the only one to prefer the fried pickles to the jalepenos. So, more for me. Yay.

Pickle chips should really be more of a thing than they are

Pickle chips should really be more of a thing than they are

Seriously, the world would be a sad place without deep fryers

Seriously, the world would be a sad place without deep fryers

Everyone in our group opted for burgers for dinner – except me. I went with the Chipotle BBQ wings and a side order of chips. The wings were good, but very spicy – at least to me. I had seven of my 12 and was super full, so Shane and Ted had to step up and help me out. Because, well, that’s what boys are for, right? Exactly.

A well balanced bar meal

A well balanced bar meal

Shane and Amanda both ordered the Black Jack Guacamole burger. Which they almost sent back even before biting into, because, well, first they couldn’t find the guacamole on it (only the main ingredient that factored into their decision to order that particular burger – and, well, you know, part of the name), and also because Amanda didn’t remember seeing jalepenos in the description for the burger, either. Turns out, the guac is hiding under the burger patty. And the jalepenos are, in fact, part of the ingredient listing. Crisis averted. They both said the burger was good, but definitely spicy – both from the jalepenos (weird, right?) and also the guac itself was a bit zesty as well.

So basically, if you order this burger, do so with a side of water. And gum.

Shane also got six of the zesty ranch wings. Because, well, Shane. He wasn’t all that impressed with them – or, really, the extra wings that he ate off my plate, too. Boo.

This looks familiar

This looks familiar

Ted had the Aloha burger and six of the Louisiana Cajun wings – which are supposedly at the top of the “holy crap I’ll never be able to use my tastebuds again” scale, but Ted said they weren’t that bad. Now I didn’t try them – because honestly I cant’t imagine eating anything hotter than the ones that I had (which weren’t even close to the top of the scale) – but Ted has definitely had his fair share of wings at various establishments, so I’ll take his word for it. He definitely liked them, saying that even though they lacked the hotness he was expecting, they still definitely had good flavor.

Twinsies

Twinsies

Once again the boys shared some of their meals, since Ted forgot to ask the server to not put cheese on his burger and Shane wasn’t about to let that go to waste. It’s a good thing they have each other.

Although the Fried Apple Rings sounded delicious, the group opted out of dessert this week. Maybe we were still scarred by the giant slice of carrot cake that graced our table last week? I feel like that thing will haunt us for a while.

Our server was wonderful.  Although we were teasing her, because at least three different times she managed to somehow drop one of those little plastic cups of ketchup somewhere in our vicinity. It’s like we had some kind of ketchup force field that caused it to fly out of her hands every time she came near us with it and splatter all over the floor. But she had a great sense of humor about it, kept apologizing profusely every time it happened … and even climbed under the table to clean some of the spatter off of my shoe. Now that’s service.

Oh look, that ketchup is still on the plate

Oh look, that ketchup is still on the plate

Because this was a sports bar, naturally we asked about any sports team groups that watch games there regularly, and if the place gets pretty packed for games, etc. She had us on the line to come check out a Browns game there … until she mentioned there’s a big Steelers backers group that also watches there. And no. Sorry, that’s a deal breaker for us. But, hey, until they put football games on Wednesday nights, it’s still fair territory – so at least we had fun while we were there.

Shane

Shane

Ted

Ted

Amanda

Amanda

Steph

Steph

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Shane

Drinks:  Notice to beer reps: if you’re going to drop off signage for your new seasonal product, you might also want to make sure you drop off enough of the actual product to serve to patrons. Just a thought. But no worries, what they did have in stock was just as good. 
Food:
Good burgers and wings. I mean, really, what more do you need?
Service: Great. I mean, what else can you say about someone who has a sense of humor while cleaning ketchup off your shoe under the table? But beware you might wait a hot minute to get seated. Server, good; Hostess, bad.
Overall: Decent place but really nothing overly special. Especially once she said the words “Steelers Backers.” Enough said.

Next Pick:  Steph

Pucker's Sports Bar & Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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