WTGW 5/2/18: REVISIT – The Twisted Olive, Green

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When Northeast Ohio graces you with a summerlike evening in early May – bonus points for it being on a Wednesday – you go in search of the best patio you can think of first and ask questions later.

Well, I mean, OK, yes – we did ask one question, which was, of course, “which one should we go to.” As cool as it would be, we all didn’t just look at each other and telepathically infer one particular patio we should visit. Although I think that approach might’ve been easier than us attempting to remember the best area patios in the ten minutes before we walked out the door. Crazy how we can visit so many restaurants, but ask us for a recommendation for a specific type of place – because, I mean, you would think a group of people who go out every week to different places would be good folks to know these types of things – but instead suddenly our memories empty and we become deer in headlights.

Try it the next time you see us.

In any case, Ted finally stepped up to the plate and decided on a revisit to The Twisted Olive – which we all agree does have one of the best patios in the area, albeit a little fancier fare than our usual WTGW options. And it’s been a hot minute – or I guess really about two years worth of hot minutes – since our last visit so it was definitely worth another try.

We requested patio seating when we arrived (duh), and ended up on the downstairs patio this time round, as the hostesses mentioned that the upstairs one “wasn’t full,” but that the server was “a bit overwhelmed.” Um, OK. I’m not sure what that means exactly, but if it means we’ll get better service on a different patio then I’m all for it.

By the end of the night I think we all agreed that hadn’t exactly been the case, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Also, side note – does a place really need three hostesses for a Wednesday night? I mean, I get a weekend. And sure, it was probably a bit busier than usual with the summery weather. But three? Seems maybe the extra person might’ve been better served assisting the overwhelmed server on the upstairs patio, but what do we know.

Anyway.

Turns out that the downstairs patio doesn’t have quite the view of its upstairs sibling. I mean, for one, it’s not elevated at all – so instead of being able to overlook the water and nature area that are behind the restaurant, you kind of just get a lateral view of it. And, spoiler alert, it’s not all that enticing. It’s kind of like having dinner at that friend’s house who has a really nice backyard.

And then also because, well, its literally beneath the upper patio. So instead of truly dining outside, it was more like we just kind of ended up hanging out in an Italian garage. Awesome.

Although mental note to keep this option in mind for those evenings when the temperature is decent and you’d really love to sit outside, but are deterred thanks to the threat of a random passing rain shower.

So there’s that.

We remembered The Twisted Olive being on the fancier end of things from the last time we visited – which we all know equates to lesser amounts of food arriving on your plate in a fancifully arranged way. So as we were looking over the menu I pulled up the post from our 2016 visit to take a look at what we’d ordered last time around.

Shane, moments before I read to him what he ordered at that visit: Oh, scallops, those look delicious.
Me, reading from the 2016 post: “… and then was instantly disappointed as soon as his plate was set in front of him. His comment after the server left was that he was waiting for someone else to walk up and bring him his main course instead of the appetizer portion.”
Shane: So maybe pizza then.

This blog clearly exists if for nothing else than to remind us of our previous dining mistakes.

While we waited on the jury to reconvene in the matter of our main meals, we of course opted for appetizers. Because, well, us. I mean, really. Like any explanation is needed.

Ted got the hummus. He said it was just OK. Probably because it came with salsa mixed in – which some might consider a bonus, but Ted clearly did not. I didn’t try it, but I agreed that it did seem to be a strange pairing. Also, a little warning next time maybe? But the veggies and chips were tasty.

Why is the hummus hiding behind salsa?

Cassi went with the calamari, which Shane had of course ordered on our last visit (surprise!) and seemed to be OK with. However, after careful consideration this time around we all agreed that the dish now seemed to have a special ingredient not mentioned on the menu … pine needles. Sounds weird, I know, but go ahead and order it, take one bite, and tell us we’re wrong about this. I dare you.

Maybe someone just rubbed an air freshener over it

Maybe we shouldn’t have said last time that it “there was really nothing special or different about the dish to distinguish it from any other place we’ve had it before.” I feel like the chef took that as a personal challenge to come up with something we definitely would remember. Too far, chef guy. Too far.

Shane and I won the app lottery with the loaded chips, though. No hidden pine needles or salsa in this dish. Just the right amount of delicious toppings.

There are chips under there, we swear

We also remembered from our last visit that the basket of complimentary rolls set on the table with the appetizers were one of our favorite things about The Twisted Olive. Too bad this time they rolled them in chicken wing grease and coasted them in finely diced onions before serving them.

I kid. They were exactly the same as the last visit. Thank god they didn’t go the “calamari challenge” route on those, or else I think Ted, Shane and I would’ve legit cried when we tried them. I think we all had like four each.

We may or may not have had two more baskets of these. Don’t judge.

For his meal, Ted got the Apple and Fig side salad to go with his crab cake sliders. He had the salad come out ahead of the sandwich. Or at least we think that’s what happened. We saw the server set it down, but then before I could pick up my camera to get a photo of it, it seemed to mysteriously disappear.

Perhaps they should’ve called it the “so good you’ll devour it in two minutes flat” salad

Clearly he hated it.

About two seconds after this photo he also used a piece of bread to clean all of the dressing remnants off the plate, which left it looking like it went through the dishwasher. I think the server was slightly surprised when he came around to collect plates and found a shiny clean one sitting in front of Ted.

Ted commented that he could order the full sized salad and have it be a filling meal. He also said he wasn’t exactly sure what all was in the dish, but it was good. So good, in fact, that he didn’t even take a sip of beer until the salad was gone. Which we all know is not how things operate in our group.

Shane: Something wrong with your beer there, buddy?

And then by the time his crab cake sliders arrived – which Ted had passed up on our last visit because they sounded like they would be too small and not filling enough – he said he was almost too full from his hummus salsa and salad to eat them. Seriously, what is happening here? What parallel universe are we living in where Ted leaves most of the fries on his plate and barely manages to eat two mini-sandwiches?

That wouldn’t be enough food without the other two courses already consumed

It’s like we hardly know this new person.

Cassi meanwhile also got the crab cake sliders, but because her app tasted like a Christmas tree and she skipped the invisible salad course, she was able to enjoy her entire meal. She got the mac and cheese as a side, and declared it delicious after just one bite. That’s high praise.

Shane said the sliders looked like baby sandwiches. I think that’s the idea, but good call.

Over on mine and Shane’s side of the table we had a little pizza party going, as we both went with that for our meals. Truth be told the two of us most definitely could’ve just shared one pie, but we all know by now how Shane feels about the notion of sharing food, so I didn’t even broach that topic.

Instead we each got one of the two pizzas on the menu with the word “Spicy!” next to them: the Twisted for me (pepperoni and banana peppers), and the Sicilian for Shane (sausage).

And when they arrived I suddenly had flashbacks of the great sheet pizza debacle of Belleria a few years back.

It actually looks bigger in person

They picked those banana peppers off the spicy tree for sure

Needless to say we each ended up taking several slices home. Well, I took several home. Shane took a few.

Something else Shane would’ve taken a few of were beverages, while we were still sitting at the table eating of course. But our server – you know, the one who was NOT supposed to be “a bit overwhelmed” – kind of seemed to forget about the world underneath the main patio, and was pretty much non-existent outside of dropping off plates at our table. Or miraculously whenever Ted’s drink was empty – which, as we’ve already established after the salad incident, wasn’t all that often.

I will say, though, that we were highly entertained by one of the other two tables seated in the underworld with us … three teacher-slash-moms who openly discussed their dating lives at a volume that might have been less obtrusive had there not been more than a few empty cocktail glasses on their table. The 35+ minute conversation about the merit of baths and showers was especially stimulating. We were all a bit sad to see them leave, although giggling quietly to ourselves was becoming increasingly difficult.

Cassi

Steph

Shane, whose rating is indicative of his lack of beer throughout the evening

Ted, who probably should’ve given a higher rating since his beer was full more often than anyone’s

 

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WTGW 1/31/18: Menches Brothers, Green

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When I first heard about Menches Brothers and their claim of being the ones to have invented the hamburger, I was like

I mean, OK, suuuurrrre you did. If that’s the case then I’m going to start calling my witty remarks the first insurgence of sarcasm.

But then I googled “who invented the hamburger” … and sure enough, there are their names. Color me surprised. Well, I mean, it’s not cut and dried, there’s some dispute … but at least their story is listed. And we all know that if something is on the internet it must be true, right?

As if all this fame business wasn’t enough to make us curious about the place, let’s add another marketing ploy to the list: Wednesday is burger day, which means $3 off all burgers. Perfection. Also $4 Long Islands. Which normally Shane would be all over, but he’s being all healthy these days and five different alcohols in one glass just screams calories.

I know, I’m not sure how to take that either.

Anyway,

So back to the burgers. They have 50 different kinds on their menu. Fifty. Who knew there were so many possibilities for two pieces of bread and some grilled meat? But I guess when you invent the dish, you can also take some liberties at the creativity.

Shane: I wonder how the pizza is here?

I have to be honest, though, fifty burgers with descriptions makes the menu a tad overwhelming. Not Cheesecake Factory short novel overwhelming … more like “I’ve been asked to read through my 10-year-old niece’s book report on a book I don’t know or care a thing about” kind of overwhelming. Exactly. It was enough that I was so engrossed with the burger descriptions that I completely forgot to look at the drink menu and draft beer list before the first time the server came over to take our drink orders. Fail.

Healthy Shane passed on the Long Island special, and instead ordered a tequila and soda. This is new.

He then proceeded to order breaded mushrooms as an app. Seriously, who is this guy?

Meanwhile, Cassi got pretzels. In the rock/paper/scissors game of app choices, she’s the perpetual winner of our group, as this is what appeared in front of us:

Appetizer win

And failure

Once again we chose poorly. Our mushrooms – normally little bombs of oil that take off the roof of your mouth with the first bite – were lukewarm with very little flavor. They also came out with cocktail sauce, leading the server to believe that maybe the cook got confused and thought they were actually sourkraut balls. Because that’s a logical mistake.

Meanwhile the pretzels were cooked perfectly with a slightly spicy cheese sauce for dipping.

I give up.

Ted ordered six Cajun hot wings, and told the server that he didn’t care if they came out with his meal or with the other apps. She brought them halfway in between. That works.

Wings: the perfect in-between meal

After actually asking about the pizza and getting a nonchalant response from the server, Shane opted for the Babbalouie burger. It was the biggest one on the menu, with double patties, bacon, two kinds of cheese, onions and mushrooms.

There’s a lot going on there

Good thing he’s drinking that low cal mixed drink.

He thought it was good. And as it should be – they tout it as the winner of awards at the National Hamburger Festival. The only fault he could really find was that it could’ve used more of the signature Menches sauce on it.

Ted, who at one point stated that it seemed like perhaps getting two burgers with wings might be too much, opted for the Pepper Spice burger.

Things just look lonelier without cheese

He said it was very spicy. Like he knew the name implied that and all, but so often that doesn’t really account for much so he was pretty shocked that it was actually true. Plus Ted’s taste buds are somewhat more inclined to taste fires than normal people’s, so when Ted says things are “very spicy” the rest of us might want to read that as “order only if you want to have an inferno in your mouth for about the next three days.”

Although that doesn’t really explain why he seemed to need a nipple on his beer. Props to our server for stopping over repeatedly to harass him about that after Shane made a comment when Ted passed on the second round. We always enjoy a server who doesn’t mind jumping onto our sarcasm bandwagons.

Speaking of the server, I deferred to her opinion for my meal, as I was torn between the Bacon Mushroom burger, the Chili Cheese burger and the Chipotle Ranch burger. I suck at decision making, I know. But our server offered no hesitation before choosing the Chipotle Ranch. Perfect. Sounds trustworthy.

Chip seasoning for the win

I’m happy to report that she wasn’t wrong. The chipotle ranch sauce was tasty and the toppings weren’t overpowering. Also I was glad I went with the chips as a side, because the seasoning on them – a sort of mix between a bbq and Lowry’s seasoned salt – was delicious.

Cassi also asked for the server’s option, between the Bacon Egg and Cheese burger and the Pizza burger. That one stumped the server, though, so Cassi was somewhat on her own there. She must’ve used up all of her decision-making skills with mine and Shane’s indecisiveness. Sorry about that one. In any case, Cassi went with the Bacon Egg and Cheese.

The bun with the olive looks like a little hat

And she wasn’t disappointed. She said that even though it was more well done than what she usually prefers for a burger, it wasn’t dry. And the toppings, again, were just enough to add to the burger without taking over.

Menches definitely earned thumbs up all around from us. While it’s a little bit bright inside – it definitely can’t be mistaken for a dive bar with drinking regulars who hate the light of day – the drinks were well made, the food was very tasty, and the service was top notch. I feel like it’s the type of place you could go back to several times just to try different burgers – I mean, there are 50 total, even with four of us at least 12 visits just to try all of the different options on the menu (hey, I can do math). Not to mention they also have other items, as well as specials on other nights of the week – $3 off pizzas on Tuesdays, and an Italian night on Saturdays with a choice of pasta entrees for $9.99, and 50 cent wing night on Thursdays … which is also the same night as the “kids eat for $1” special, which seems like it could make for quite the adverse crowd. I think we’ll skip that one, thanks. We knew we picked Wednesdays for a reason.

Picked by: Cassi

Cassi

Ted

Shane

Steph

 
Menches Brothers Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

WTGW 6/22/16: The Twisted Olive, Green

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Wait, what’s this? A new post? Don’t lie, I know you missed us. And trust me, we’ve missed you. But unfortunately work commitments, travel, and some unexpected health complications kept us from our usual Wednesday night shenanigans these past – wait, WTF, has it really been three straight months now? Holy crap. OK, we’re officially slackers. 

Honestly, we have gotten together on a few Wednesdays these past months – because, you know, we like to eat and drink, and that’s a long time to not leave our houses. But for whatever reason we ended up forsaking new places for the comfort and ease of old favorites like Panini’s or Moe’s. Because sometimes you just need to go someplace close to home where you know you can get cold drinks and good food, and not drive an hour out of your way to take chances.

So basically we just spent three months completely negating the entire premise of this blog. Our bad.

That also means that the wheel has been stuck on Ted’s pick this entire time. And he’s had it in his head that he wanted to choose The Twisted Olive in Green as his next pick. Which is like 30 minutes from our house. And some of those Wednesdays that was just too far to drive after part of the group got out of work late, or weren’t feeling the greatest. As it was we had to go just as a threesome tonight – no Amanda or Jared – because, well, basically in the forseeable future unless the place is close to Amanda’s workplace of Hudson, she probably won’t make it out to meet us with the way her new work schedule is. Boo.

Being an adult is crap, kids. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

So anyway, back to tonight, as the three of us were contemplating driving over to Kent to visit a former pick with a nice patio, I commented that if we were going to go all the way over there, why not drive the same distance and get back to our original plan of trying new places – especially when one of the reasons Ted wanted to visit this one was for the patio?

Point taken.

So that’s the long-winded story of how Shane, Ted and I ended up here tonight. And I have to be honest, the patio was definitely worth the wait.

Although waiting was exactly what we had to do for a patio seat once we got there – but judging from the number of cars we saw in the parking lot on our way in, we actually weren’t overly surprised. I think we were more surprised that the wait was only like 15 minutes. So we sat in the lobby for a few minutes, which gave us time to look around and notice that the place is really huge. And everything decorating it is huge. Huge fireplace. Huge lighting fixtures in the main dining room. Huge patio outside the doors. It’s like the place was decorated by the design firm Giants ‘R Us.

And when we got bored sitting in the lobby (which, let’s be honest, took all of about 2.5 seconds), we followed the huge “BAR” sign with an arrow down the huge curved staircase to get a few drinks to pass the time. Side note, the bar area really could’ve been included on that whole “huge” memo, as it’s a little crowded and difficult to order from when there’s people sitting at most of the seats. Also, the bartender didn’t seem especially helpful or friendly, which is always super fun. But whatevs.

Impressed with the various Bloody Marys on the menu, Shane decided to try the Citrus version. I went with a Mojito – which Ted ordered for me because he just thought the word was fun – and Ted got a beer called Siberian Night, which – surprise, surprise – was the color of, well, complete darkness.

Ted: Yep, I can’t see through it, that’s a good thing.

At least we haven’t changed much these past three months.

We were still working on those drinks when we got a text a few minutes later that our table was ready. And also to close out our bar tabs before returning to the hostess stand. Nice touch.

(And on a side note, thank you to this place for doing away with the annoying buzz-and-light-contraptions that most restaurants use. They always reminded me of that stupid Simon Says light-up memory game from the 80s.)

Anyway, we headed to our table on the patio – which, as I already mentioned, was spectacular. It’s a great atmosphere, and the view is amazing. According to the little story on the menu, the restaurant is situated on a 10-acre nature preserve, and is actually affiliated with Gervasi Vineyards in Canton.

See, I pay attention sometimes.

So, being that we’re predictable folks and haven’t changed our ways in the last three months, care to take a guess at what Shane ordered off the appetizer menu?

If you guessed calamari, you’re correct! Ding, ding, ding!

Perhaps because there were no mussels on the app menu, Ted went way off the predictable path and ordered the Italian flatbread. He requested no olives on it, and the server mentioned that everyone seemed to be requesting it that way this evening.

Ted: Seems odd at a place called The Twisted Olive, no?

Touche.

The calamari was OK. The sauce that came with it – which I’m going to guess from the color involved some portioning of wasabi – had a nice little kick to it. But other than that there was really nothing special or different about the dish to distinguish it from any other place we’ve had it before. And it certainly didn’t appear to be a very generous helping when the plate arrived at the table. I think this was Shane’s first reminder that we were at one of the “fancier” WTGW picks on our list, and presentation would trump portion sizes.

That's like an appetizer for Shane's usual appetizer

That’s like an appetizer for Shane’s usual appetizer

The flatbread was really crispy and really good. I said it was like eating one layer of a mexican pizza. Ted made a comment about the sausage on it that I won’t repeat, nor will I repeat Shane’s comment back – but I’m sure if you’ve read any of our reviews before you can figure out where that’s all headed. Yes, we’re still 15.

This isn't Taco Bell

This isn’t Taco Bell

Perhaps that’s why for the next round of drinks Shane and Ted decided to switch things up and both ordered the “Manly Mary” Bloody Mary – which involved horseradish, tobasco and a bunch of other ingredients that only hinted at how hot it probably was. They were surprised to see it also included a slice of bacon as a garnish as well. Not upset, just surprised. And since Shane was still hungry following the tiny portion of calamari, I can assume he was probably also grateful.

Ted and I both flipped on our original dinner orders and got the Ahi tuna steak that was on special that night. We were both wavering on our decision – we were both intrigued when the server mentioned she had tried it and it was delicious – but Ted’s turning point came when he gave the server his original order of the crab cake sliders, and the server mentioned that you only get two sliders and they were kind of small. You could see Ted’s face fall at that statement. And he quickly changed his mind and went with the Ahi tuna.

Now I had the opposite problem, as I was going to get a pizza, but saw one delivered to the table next to us and that then basically three people ended up sharing it … and realized that would be way too much food for me.

We’re like the Goldilocks of food ordering.

I will say, though, that neither one of us was disappointed in the Ahi tuna. It was tasty, as were the potatoes and bok choi/carrots that came with it. The server had mentioned that it’s always prepared rare, which was delicious. And while it didn’t look like a lot of food on the plate, I was definitely full. Ted said he wasn’t completely full, but he definitely wasn’t hungry either. I’ll leave that for you to figure out.

WTGW gets fancy

WTGW gets fancy

Shane, on the other hand … well, let’s just say that out of any of us at the table, he should’ve ordered the pizza. He actually had thought about it, but then talked himself out of it, as he’d already eaten pizza for dinner two of the last three nights. But if you’ve kept up on this blog you’ll know that really shouldn’t have stopped him, as pizza is one of his favorite foods. I mean, anyone recall the half sheet pizza incident? Right.

But he also loves scallops, and since we don’t often go out on WTGW to places that serve those, he opted for that as his meal. And then was instantly disappointed as soon as his plate was set in front of him. His comment after the server left was that he was waiting for someone else to walk up and bring him his main course instead of the appetizer portion.

We obviously don’t go to fancy places much, folks. Grease and heart attacks on plates are more our style.

Now, he did say that the scallops were good. But just not at all filling. Because you only get like five. He also said they went a little crazy with all the “stuff” on top of the scallops – I don’t know what that “stuff” was, that’s just what he called it. “Stuff.” So basically overall everything was very good, there just wasn’t enough of it. I have to believe he would’ve traded all the “fancy” in exchange for just more basic scallops.

Why is there so much white space on this plate?

Why is there so much white space on this plate?

So I guess the tip is, someone order the pizza. Chances are someone at the table will still be hungry enough to finish it if you can’t. If I would’ve then I probably could’ve given my leftovers to Shane. And he would’ve been happier.

Although the server did mention that if you come for lunch the pizza is cheaper and more sized for one person, so that’s also something to keep in mind. Same pizza, just more manageable for one person (whose name isn’t Shane anyway). Not sure what exactly cheaper means, but the dinner portions are $14-$17, just to give you an idea.

Another tip, eat the bread and butter they bring to the table. Delicious.

Little pockets of heaven

Little pockets of heaven

This was definitely one of our pricier WTGW adventures – but then again this was far from a dive bar with food that comes from a fryer. They do have reasonably priced sandwiches on the menu ($11-$14) and also bottled domestic beers for $3-$5 each – but of course we went all out with mixed drinks, apps, and actual meal choices. I mean, it has been three months, y’all. Come on.

But by comparison, for the price of one of our meals at The Twisted Olive we could’ve gone to The Windsor Pub and gotten three giant burgers, fries and pretty much an entire bottle of rum contained within three mixed drinks. But we also would’ve been sitting in a booth with ripped plastic seats and no windows to look out of. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. Just giving it some perspective.

Anyway, I could definitely see us coming back here for a bottle of wine and apps on the patio, as it’s a great atmosphere for that and we definitely had a wonderful summer night to be out there. Service was great, the food was delicious (if only there was more of it) and the patio is most certainly a huge selling point. We’re definitely glad to be back to WTGW adventures, though, and this was a great way to start … even if we did miss our two other partners in crime …

Ted

Ted

Shane

Shane

Steph

Steph

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Ted

Drinks: Mixed drinks were good, and the guys were of course wowed by the various Bloody Mary options. Saw several folks with martinis but I opted not to go down that road.
Food: This is a “fancy” food place – so be prepared for smaller portions that are more about presentation than volume.
Service: Personable, funny and quick – three of our favorite things.
Overall: This is one of those places I could see us going back to for a special occasion dinner, or just to have a glass of wine on the patio on a summer night. As long as we feed Shane elsewhere beforehand.

Next Pick: Shane

The Twisted Olive Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

WTGW 9/2/15: Jerzees Sports Grille, Green

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Did you miss us?

So, yeah, basically we celebrated our two-year WTGW anniversary by taking most of the month of August off. I wish I could say it was some big food-and-drink-holiday collectively sponsored by all of the restaurants we’ve given favorable reviews to (*ahem* hint, hint) – but, alas, no, it was just bad timing of everything in our lives seeming to fall on Wednesday nights for a few weeks. Stupid jobs and responsibilities.

Especially since while we were away it seems summer ended. But, wait, you say … it’s only September, how is that possible? Well, let me tell you: you know summer is over when the fall beers come out on tap at area restaurants. Yep, we’re not even to Labor Day yet, and already the Summer Shandy has stopped flowing.

Let’s take a brief moment of silence for the death of all things citrus and lemony for another year. **sigh**

OK.

The irony here is that while we couldn’t order a summer drink to save our lives, we actually had to sit inside on our visit to Jerzees because it was about 85 degrees with 1397% humidity outside. So, yeah, glad to see all those fall beers on tap now, thanks. We all agreed that the patio looked nice from afar, though. There were lots of TVs over the full bar out there, which of course means it would likely be a great place to check out a game. Or several at once. Whatever.

Wednesdays are steak nights at Jerzees, which equates to spending $8.99 for a steak, side and salad. So needless to say the place was pretty busy. We ended up sitting at a high top just on the other side of the bar area.

Due to the lack of summer beers, Amanda went with the next closest thing, a Blue Moon. I decided to embrace fall (because apparently early September in Ohio now means PUMPKIN EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME) and go with the Southern Tier Pumking. Ted – the man who can pretty much find anything on a beer list that he likes regardless of season – went with the 2x IPA. And last but not least, Shane went for the illusive title of “least manly drink possible” with something called the Jerzee cooler.

Real men drink from straws and large punch bowl glasses

Real men drink from straws and large punch bowl glasses

Shane tried to defend himself by claiming that he “had to be the one different thing at our table.” Ted was just glad that title didn’t belong to him this time around. Although then he went and ruined it a few rounds later by trading in his beer for something similar to what Shane was drinking … after Shane spilled his nearly full drink and had to order another one. So either he was just trying to make Shane feel better, or he’d actually been insanely jealous the entire time. 

Ted didn't get a fancy glass. Or anyone to stir up his drink, apparently.

Ted didn’t get a fancy glass. Or anyone to stir up his drink, apparently.

Another sign that summer is over: mine and Ted’s beers were actually about the same color. And potency … a fact that crept up on me somewhere into the second tall glass. And I think hit Amanda when she tried to chug a beer like Ted did on his last beer round, and failed miserably.

Maybe the orange got in the way of the chug?

Maybe the orange got in the way of the chug?

So long 4.2% alcohol content beers. It’s been a fun summer.

Anyway.

We must’ve been delirious from either the humidity outside or the higher potency beers – or both – because we actually didn’t order an appetizer this week. What? Who are we? Those weeks off have changed us. For shame.

Ted and Shane both right down to business with the steak special, and also split the 25 wing platter. I think Shane’s exact words to the server were “we’ll want to START with the 25 wing platter.” She laughed. And then realized he was serious.

As Shane and Ted decided on flavors for their wing feast, I have to admit to slight flashbacks to a place called Cleats that we used to be regulars at back in Howland, where Shane and I lived long before WTGW was even a glimmer in our eyes. They also had a 25-wing platter, which Shane was well known for ordering and finishing all on his own. Shocker, I know. And surprising that he’ll now share it with Ted, but whatevs. In any case, they had an Erie Island dry rub seasoning that was to die for, and pretty much all Shane would eat there. And rave about whenever we went anywhere else. And dream about once we moved away. You get the idea.

So when we saw it on the menu again here, I thought for sure it would be hand’s down Shane’s favorite once again. They did order it as one of the five selections, along with the hot garlic parm, pineapple habenero, six pepper and Kentucky bourbon. Ironically, it didn’t win out. That title went to the Kentucky bourbon, although not overwhelmingly. In fact, Shane proclaimed the wings in general to be “just average.”

He rated the steak a bit higher, saying it was good and actually cooked exactly as asked. Which if you follow this blog you know he practically pulls out a rare-vs-medium-rare cooking chart every time he orders any type of meat, so that’s a compliment. His only complaint was that the steak was small, even for a special.

There's a steak under there somewhere

There’s a steak under there somewhere

Ted said wings good, steak good. That may be an exact quote.

If you just looked at that plate, it would seem so healthy

If you just looked at that plate, it would seem so healthy

But instead there's this

But instead there’s this

Amanda and I both went the burger route for this visit. I had the Chophouse burger with sweet potato fries, while she ordered the MVP burger with waffle fries and a side of cheese – another throwback to our old days at Cleats back in Warren. One that made me instantly jealous when her food arrived that I hadn’t thought to order the same thing. Seriously, why don’t more places offer a good cheese sauce for waffle fries? It’s just a natural fit, people. And if you’ve never tried it before, well, do yourself a favor and look for it on every menu until you can finally order it. Trust me.

Oh fake cheese, how we love you

Oh fake cheese, how we love you

Sweet potatoes are kind of vegetables, right?

Sweet potatoes are kind of vegetables, right?

We ended our evening with another thing you should always, always eat when it’s on the menu – our new favorite thing, and pretty much the only reason we actually even look at the dessert portion of the menu at all, funnel cake fries. Because now we just have to try them everywhere on principle. I say that like it’s a bad thing.

Oh hello there, lover

Oh hello there, lover

When the fries arrived, Amanda and Shane tried them first, and immediately tried to save Ted and I from the trouble by proclaiming them no good. They’re so kind. Unfortunately for them Ted and I aren’t so gullible. Let’s just say that I think those fries disappeared from the table in less time than it took Ted and Shane to decide on what wing flavors to order.

All in all Jerzees was a win in our book – service was good, food was decent and lots of TVs for games and other sports. It’s pretty much your typical cookie cutter sports bar/grill, where families and kid’s sports teams come for dinner after games but serious football watchers also get plenty of space for yelling and beer guzzling. If it were closer to us I could see it being more of a regular hangout for us, but there wasn’t much on the menu that made us say we really had to make the 25 minute drive again.

Amanda

Amanda

Steph

Steph

Shane

Shane

Ted gives it two saucy thumbs up

Ted gives it two saucy thumbs up

 

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Amanda

Drinks:  Not a huge draft selection. Or maybe it just seemed that way now that all of the lighter summer beers have been replaced by porters and pumpkin ales. The “girly” drinks were a tasty alternative for some of the group. 
Food:
Typical sports bar menu – burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc. The steak night deal is a decent price, but if you’re anything like the guys in this group you’ll need an appetizer (or 25-wing platter, whatever) to supplement the meal.
Service: Good. Our drinks were full, she gave good recommendations and was quick to bring extra napkins when Shane’s drink took a turn toward the floor.
Overall: Nothing bad, but nothing overly impressive either. A good neighborhood bar – if you live in the neighborhood, that is. Which we don’t. But we can always visit if we happen to be in the area.

Next Pick:  Ted

 

Jerzee's Sports Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

WTGW 6/4/14: Legend’s Sports Bar, Green

Standard

Our WTGW crew was a man down this week, as Ted was off in the Big Apple for work. Nevertheless, Shane, Amanda and I were still up for the challenge. Full disclosure, Legends lured us in with the pictures of the patio on their website. Because, as we’ve mentioned already, a good patio is high on the list of WTGW priorities this time of year. And this one looked looked particularly enticing, with an abundance of tables, fake palm trees, an outdoor bar and very tiki-bar-esque feel.

However, it looks like we’ll have to come back another time to visit this mystical land of patio awesomeness. Because, unfortunately for us, Wednesday evening was a complete downpour. Yay summer!

(By the way, if any of you questioned my name calling of Mother Nature in the last post, I think you’re getting the idea why I feel that way.)

In any case, we were already there, so we figured we may as well see if the food and drinks were worth making the trip back just to enjoy again in an outdoor setting. The verdict? Maybe.

WAIT FOR IT ...

Let’s start off with the pros:

Legend’s is a sports bar, so their beer list was pretty decent. They had Summer Shandy, so you know Amanda and I were happy. Shane went with the Wednesday $2.99 Long Island special – but only had one since he said it was a little too sweet for his tastes. He then switched to Miller Lite instead. Which I’m sure tasted exactly as it was supposed to.

I'm a little confused on the marketing genius at work here.

I’m a little confused on the marketing genius at work here.

We ordered pretzel bites as an appetizer. Maybe it was just because they were so good we didn’t want to see them end, but it seemed like you didn’t really get a lot of them in the order. Bummer. For our meals, Amanda has the French Dip and I had the Italian Hoagie, both of which were tasty. They were also huge, so we both ended up taking half our sandwiches home with us. Not such a bad deal. I particularly liked the bread my sandwich was served on – I’m fairly certain they don’t bake it fresh there (I mean, it’s not Subway after all. Ha), but it tasted like they did.

There's a salad under all that cheese in the background.

There’s a salad under all that cheese in the background.

Is that ketchup to go?

Is that ketchup to go?

Shane ordered 10 wings, split into five each of the Spicy Bleu Cheese and the Buttery Garlic. Amanda and I were in awe that the guy who usually orders two full meals at these types of places actually expected to be full after 10 wings … but then we discovered it was really  just strategy on his part to basically taste test the two flavors and decide which one he wanted more of. Because asking for a sample is apparently too complicated, but whatevs.

There are wings under that sauce. But no spice.

There are wings under that sauce. But no spice.

In any case, the Buttery Garlic won hands down, and he ordered another 10 just of those. His main complaint about the Spicy Bleu Cheese ones was that while he could clearly pick out the bleu cheese flavor, they seemed to forget the “spice” that makes up the rest of the name. Kind of an important detail. Now I tried one of his Buttery Garlic wings and they didn’t seem to have much taste to me – but Shane thought they were the bomb diggity, so take that as you will.

The servers at Legends are great. The place is one of those where no one seems to have complete ownership over any of the tables, and while one person in particular takes your initial order, other waitresses will refill your drinks if they see you’re low or ask if you need anything else, etc.

Now for the cons:

Let’s just say that this place didn’t have quite the crowd we were expecting for the area and the type of bar the photos seemed to promise online. Maybe it was due to the weather, but the crowd inside the bar that evening seemed more “can’t wait for the annual tractor pull” than “let’s go hang out at the tiki bar.” We were easily some of the youngest people in the bar (other than the servers of course), and we were definitely on the opposite end of the redneck scale, if you know what I mean. Among our favorites in the people watching fun for the evening was the guy with a mullet who also believed that nothing says classy like sporting a Spiderman leather coat, and the long haired, tie-dyed t-shirt wearing guy who we were fairly certain wasn’t aware that his (male) co-worker didn’t share his opinion on “going out for drinks after work” being classified as a date.

Deep thoughts by Legends Bar ...

Deep thoughts by Legends Bar …

I think the concensus was that we need to come back on a weekend evening, when the weather is good, and see if not only this magical patio oasis exists, but also if the crowd is different beyond those open doors. Not that we don’t enjoy some good people watching, but this was a little much for even our tastes. We really, really wanted to like this place – and the food was good, they had decent drink specials, etc – but at least on this visit anyway the atmosphere was more than a little blah.

I think he's in pain

I think he’s in pain

Look less at pirate eye, and more at the mullet guy eating a burger in the background

Look less at pirate eye, and more at the mullet guy eating a burger in the background

I seriously don't know what's wrong with him,

I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with him,

CAPSULE

Picked by:  Amanda
Drinks: Decent list of regular and craft beers, as well as other drinks. Shane was not a fan of the long islands that were on special, though.
Food:
Keeping in mind this was a sports bar, the menu was pretty diverse. Other than the ommission of the spice on the spicy bleu cheese wings, we didn’t have any complaints.
Service: Excellent. More than once we had multiple inquieres about whether or not we needed refills or if the table could be cleared around us.
Overall: While the people watching was pretty good and the food decent, I think the prospect of this hidden fabulous patio is what will bring us back.

Next Pick: Ted