WTGW 7/24/19: El Tren Mexican Restaurant, Tallmadge


This week’s adventure begs the question: if there’s a national holiday for a beverage but yet the place you’re eating at doesn’t offer a special on it, is it really a holiday?

Technically El Tren is a revisit for 3/5 of this group, but let’s take a moment to break down the numbers: two of us have never been here before at all, three of us have been before but it was when the place was called Nuevo Acapulco (we think? there was some issue on that visit discerning exactly what website was used to find this magical place that supposedly had towers of margaritas but then no one knew what the hell we were talking about when we inquired about them), and out of those three, two have been back since it changed over to El Tren.

Confused yet?

Admittedly the two of us who had returned after the name change didn’t have the best luck, but we pretty much just crossed our fingers and hoped for the best this time around.

Because … National Tequila Day. And it was nice enough to sit on the patio.

So in the broad spectrum I guess we can consider this a win? I mean, even though … well … I’ll let you decide.

The What (we ordered)

So as I mentioned, it’s National Tequila Day, which means it’s just a tad sacrilegious to choose anything other than Mexican food, no? I mean even Ted gets a margarita on this holy day.

We’ll take all the tequila, please

Meanwhile Shane gets a rum and coke. OK.

For meals, we can break this down again into fractions, as 3/5 of the table chose the fajita quesadilla. Shane and Jason opted for steak, while Cassi chose chicken.

There seems to be a lot of math so far this week. Sorry about that. I’ll just leave you with one more little equation: 0% of those who ordered this dish got what they were expecting once the meals came out.

Like, what is that? Did they hear “appetizer quesadilla” and not “fajita quesadilla”? That looks like something you order at Applebee’s. I mean, being married to Shane for as long as I have been now, I can attest that this dish is his go-to order at any Mexican restaurant. And never once has it looked like this.

Except, well, the last time we came here. Oops. Shane said he forgot about that until the plate arrived in front of him. Like “hey what was that place that serves the child-sized portion of fajita quesadilla? Oh, right, this place.”

I got the chicken fajitas. Not the fajita quesadilla, just the regular fajitas. Otherwise known as that dish that gets delivered to the table basically still cooking on the plate so pretty much the entire restaurant can hear, see and smell it arriving at the correct table.

FYI, that didn’t happen here. But, you know, by the end of the evening that wasn’t exactly a shocker to us, since we were kind of just impressed that we got food of some kind brought out.

More on that later.

The chicken fajitas were ok – there was a lot of chicken with the onions and peppers – but it was a touch on the dry side. I eventually got some extra salsa to help with that, but let’s just say I was too hungry to wait as long as I would’ve needed to if I wanted it for the whole meal.

And then there Ted, getting some type of burrito.  I missed the name of the dish because I was paying too much attention to the special inquisition he was involved in with the server regarding the type of sauce inside the burrito and the possibility of it being cheese-based. Here the server was trying to educate Ted on the level of spiciness involved with the sauce, when really all he truly cared about was “is it made of cheese?”

That’s right, around Ted things can be spicy to the 1000th degree (habenero peppers, anyone?), just for the love of God don’t let it be made with or include any sort of cheese products.

Ted said his burrito was also really dry. And the sauce definitely had cheese in it. So that worked out well for him.

He also thought his meal should’ve come with rice and beans on the side. Because doesn’t pretty much every meal at a Mexican restaurant? Frankly I think we were shorted like three plates of rice and beans, but, again, at some point we just all agreed I think to be happy we were served anything with the rate at which we both saw our server and had things we ordered or asked for brought out to us.

Shane and I also ordered the tableside guacamole, because we remembered that being like the one thing that went well on any of our previous visits to this place. And I will say that once again, that was the best part of the meal. I mean, on one hand, for $9.95 it better be. But who can really complain when it’s made fresh next to your table and it comes in one of these awesome and much heavier than you think it would be bowls?

Cassi and Jason got the churry queso. I think in part to taunt Ted after the great cheese inquisition of 2019 during our orders. Because we all know that the one thing Ted loves more than asking to not have it placed anywhere near his meal is to sit at a table next to a vat of gooey, melted cheese, right?

Ironically, after these appetizers arrived, and after we asked twice, it still took a hot minute to get a few more baskets of chips. Because there’s only five of us at the table and two apps that require chips to be consumed. But sure.

The Who (we saw)

We have to admit we were shocked to arrive and find the patio surprisingly empty. Especially considering it was a beautiful night. And they do have a pretty great space outside. And, did we mention tequila holiday?

I’m going to attribute this to everyone else hearing of a tequila special we didn’t and going there instead. Dammit. Next time shoot us an invitation. I mean, why else do you think we joined social media after all these years?

(shameless plug, find us on Instagram @wheretogowednesdays and on Twitter @where_wednesday)

But at least it made for a nice quiet evening on the patio for us. Oh wait, until the gang of children started running around the patio full tilt. So it doubles as a playground, I guess? Good to know.

Because children running uncontrolled in places where adults are consuming alcohol seems like a splendid plan. I can’t imagine any possible scenario where that might be an issue.

For those of us who have visited El Tren before, our main complaint in the past has been the service. Hey, guess what? That hasn’t changed. Hats off to management for keeping stability in the lousiest of arenas. Kudos.

Drinks take approximately six hours each to arrive, so I can only assume they charter a plane and make a quick trip to Mexico to grab that tequila fresh each time someone orders something from the bar.

And then there was this fun little sitcom that took place with my order … so when meals arrived I was served a plate of chicken and peppers/onions, with no rice, beans or fajitas. Not really what I was expecting, but sure I’m trying to be a bit healthier here so thanks for reading my mind, not trusting me on my own and just removing the carbs from my field of vision.

But then about 10 minutes later some guy who wasn’t our server arrived with a package of fajitas to hand to me. Not wanting to be wasteful, I said thanks anyway but actually I’ll skip the fajitas, and can you just bring over some more salsa instead? He said sure … and then disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle of the restaurant, never to be seen again. Maybe he got called oto that Mexico charter for more tequila? Who knows.

So like 15 minutes later when our server finally made her way over to ask how things were, I asked again about some extra salsa. And that ask put me on the receiving end of not one, but two extra bowls of salsa … and another attempt at being delivered a package of fajitas.

Perhaps what we have is a lapse in communication. And they really, really wanted me to have those damn fajitas after all.

But the worst of it happened even later, when the server committed the epic fail for our group: trying to bring us our bills without asking if we needed anything else and just assuming we were ready to go. Because nothing says “I’ve loved taking care of you, please tip me kindly” like shoving customers out the door.

So we ordered another round just because. And the server was clearly annoyed. But the joke was on her because it took about 20 minutes to get that last round (fill up the plane, boys, we’ve got another round of drinks to get!), during which time all we did was calculate the ways her tip was getting smaller, while she still had to keep coming out to check on us.

Good times.

Ted thinks it all went downhill when we forgot to tip the guacamole guy. I think that may be solid logic.

The How (much we paid)

So, yeah, this was an expensive one, kids. Almost $90 for two people. Hey $5 burger specials from a week ago, we really, really miss you. Now granted about $40 of this week’s tab was alcohol … so, um, what was I saying about no tequila specials?

Also our server, in all her helpfulness to get us our bills promptly before we’d asked for them and essentially shove us out the door, of course got the bills all messed up. Seems the queen of assumptions, in her haste to be rid of us, thought she should split split the guacamole amongst the table, when it was clearly Shane and I who had ordered it and wasn’t about to subject the cost to the rest of the group. So we had her change that, but then when we got the bill back after that we also had Cassi and Jason’s meals instead of our own, plus their app. So they paid for one fajita quesadilla and my chicken fajitas instead of two fajita quesadillas, but we got two fajita quesadillas and both apps.

But our alcohol was right, so I guess that counts for something? I mean, usually that’s the part where people get confused, just because of the sheer amount that gets ordered.

What was I saying about the math portion of this post being finished? Oops.

The Why (they probably won’t see us again)

Well, I mean, unless we’re desperate. Or once again forget our past experiences. This one pretty much got an “eh” all around from our group. Well, except Jason, whose thumbs up makes me think perhaps he either wandered off to join another group for a while or maybe his drinks were made with the extra special tequila shipment.

I will admit that the patio atmosphere was perhaps worth the price of admission … or maybe at least the price of the guac and a couple of rounds of drinks. But then factor in the great invasion of the children and the amazingly awful service, and, well, let’s just say it would need to be a perfect storm of being on that side of town, not being very hungry and just wanting to sit on a patio that may or not be peaceful for us to actually consider going back there.

Picked by: Cassi
Next pick:  Steph






WTGW 1/24/18: REVISIT – Sammie’s, Tallmadge


Ever invited your new neighbors over for dinner as a friendly gesture … and then five minutes into the evening you realize you have zero in common with them, but no matter what you do or say they just won’t get the hint and leave?

That pretty much sums up this week’s revisit to Sammie’s. Hint: we’ll be playing the part of the new neighbors.

Sounds fun, right?

We were a party of three tonight, as Ted was on a work trip in Vegas … that he didn’t remember was actually this week until we were discussing it last week. Oops. Who forgets about a trip to Vegas, of all places, even if it is a work thing? Perhaps we need to get him a better calendar.

So since we were man down this week we decided to make this a revisit week. And gave Cassi a WTGW initiation with the responsibility to choose a place from all of the places we’ve been. Oh, the pressure.

Now, if you read our original post on Sammie’s from 2014, you’ll see why she thought this would be a good pick for the evening. Great service. Wednesday burger specials. And, most of all, $1.00 bottled beers. Seriously, how could you go wrong? I’m surprised we ever went anywhere else after we discovered this find back then.

Except that it seems all of those things have disappeared since that first visit. Or at least no one is talking about them anyway. There was no $1 beer special. And no mention of a burger special. And definitely no great service.


To be honest, we’ve been to Sammie’s on a few other non-Wednesday occasions since our original visit of almost four years ago, and every time I think we leave pretty much scratching our heads at how we liked it so much the first time we visited. It was like we hit some sort of oasis of WTGW amazingness that first time.

This week we were seated at a high top in the bar area, which is usually our perfect spot. In fact, when the hostess asked us if that table would work for us, all three of us answered “yes” in unison. However, if we’d known that we would soon be playing a game of Jenga with our dinner dishes we probably would’ve rethought our eagerness to accept that seating. More on that later.

Also, the decor in the bar could use some updating. To quote Cassi, “Are there always Christmas ornaments hanging from the ceiling, or are we just still celebrating the holidays here?”

Good question.

For drinks, Shane ordered a rum and diet while I got a tequila and soda. Or at least that’s what we thought we ordered. Apparently what the server heard was “just bring over half a bottle of rum and half a bottle of tequila in small rocks glasses with a tiny splash of mixer for coloring.” Awesome. Either that, or the bartender from Windsor Pub has a new job over here at Sammie’s these days.

Needless to say, we couldn’t flag down the server fast enough to order a few waters along with our appetizers, primarily so that we could dilute our 15 shots of alcohol in one glass. Mmmmm.

Shane was super hungry when we arrived, which translated to him wanting to order ALL THE APPS as soon as he opened the menu. We eventually agreed that just the mozzarella triangles would be sufficient. Cassi got the fried zucchini.

Little pillows of cheese heaven

Fried vegetables are still healthy, right?

It didn’t take long for our apps to come out, which is always a plus, especially when one member of your party keeps drooling over food that keeps getting delivered to neighboring tables. But we soon learned that having Speedy Gonzales as master chef back there isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

So being that bringing the apps over was the first time we had seen our server since she took that order, naturally we figured putting in our meal orders at that time was advised. And thus begins an interesting study in time management versus square footage of a table. Because it was only a few minutes later that the side salads we ordered arrived … while the apps were still on the table. OK, a touch cramped, but we got this.

Ok, I guess this might be healthier

But then literally five minutes after that, our meals showed up. Um, yeah, a little help here please? For real.

Also, for the record, the “help” I’m referring to isn’t a to-go box. Which is what the server showed up with when I was LITERALLY three bites into my dinner. Remember what I said earlier about feeling like someone no longer enjoyed your company? Like seriously, I get that maybe your shift ends in five minutes and you want to get the hell out the door (it didn’t, just FYI, because she was still waiting on just-seated tables as we were leaving a bit later), but maybe rushing us into taking our meals to-go isn’t the best way to increase your tipping percentage, or encourage patrons to revisit. Just saying.

Also, I realize I’m quite liberally using the word “literally” in this post – but trust me, it’s justified.

Anyway, let’s discuss this copious amount of food we had in front of us.

Shane was having a hard time deciding between ordering the spaghetti and meatballs, or the cod dinner. Which are, like, the two things on the menu that if you’d asked me I never in a million years would think he would even be considering, much less caught in a hot debate over. Who is this person?

He eventually ended up with the cod. I would pretend to be surprised, but, well, whatever at this point.

There’s fish under there somewhere

He said it was OK. He particularly liked the tarter sauce, which seemed to be homemade and was very tasty.

I ordered the meatball sub.

The anti-Ted meal. Also, note the leftover app chilling out on the edge of my plate.

I thought it was really good. Some people might disagree with me on this, since the sandwich was really just three large meatballs, giant sheets of cheese, and about a tablespoon of sauce on a roll. But for me, that was perfect. I will gladly choose cheese over sauce any day, especially since soggy bread pretty much skeeves me out.

Yeah, I know, it’s weird. Get over it.

Cassi got the portabella wrap. She really liked it, said it was very flavorful.

Points for presentation

So yeah, the food definitely wasn’t the issue here. If you’re looking for a decent meal, Sammie’s is still a solid choice. And if you’re the type who likes to feel like you’re being rushed through your meal, likes to see if you can finish an appetizer in two minutes flat, or likes to drink your weight in alcohol in just one drink, then I guess this is the place for you, too. But us, not so much. Sorry Sammie’s – let us know when the $1 beer specials return and our particular server isn’t racing through her shift, and maybe we’ll see each other again then. Until then, there are probably better places to spend our Wednesday evenings.





WTGW 9/17/14: Nuevo Acapulco, Tallmadge


No, your calendars aren’t fooling you – we did skip a week of WTGW. With Ted out of town for work the week of his pick and a crazy tornado outbreak in our area, we decided it might be best to hunker down at home instead of venturing out. Call us rational, I guess.

(PS – for the record, tornadoes are pretty much the exact opposite of patio weather, Mother Nature. Stop effing with us on Wednesdays. Seriously.)

So, fast forward to this week, when I get a text from Ted debating between two destinations for this week’s pick. When I clicked on the link he sent me for Nuevo Acapulco via my phone, it took me to a landing page touting that “the tower of beer or margaritas is back!” I immediately told him that’s not a nice thing to send to someone at 5:30 pm on a Tuesday. And that I didn’t care what the other option was because this place wins, hands down.

So here we are.

Only it turns out he didn’t send me a link to the right website. The waiter’s blank stare when we asked about it gave that away pretty quickly. And honestly, I’d like to link to the page here … but we still aren’t really sure what the correct website is for this location. Google it, you’ll see what I mean.

On another note, Amanda also thought from the name of the place that we were going to some new Mexican restaurant downtown with a rooftop patio. So clearly we were all confused.

In any case, this place is just off the circle in Tallmadge, in the former Erie Station Grille – and still has the old sign on the side of the building and the train cars on the former tracks outside. Because nothing says “Mexican restaurant” like a portion of a railroad train positioned just off the patio.

Hey, if it's already on the property, why move it right?

Hey, if it’s already on the property, why move it right?

Oddest Mexican restaurant patio ever.

Oddest Mexican restaurant patio ever.

The place is pretty large inside, and it wasn’t by any means full or overly busy. But we still had to wait a hot minute for a table to be bused for us. Hmm. We’ll call that strike #1.

Our waiter was clearly new. Shane thought he recognized him from another Mexican place in town – which if that was the case then we’ll probably be seeing him at another one in the near future because based on our experience I’m not guessing he left the last place by choice. Because we’ll call him strikes #2 – approximately 57. And really our biggest complaint about the place.

Let’s start with drinks. We all ordered margaritas – well, except Shane, who was trying to be “healthier” and went with a Miller Lite. For real? I mean, who a) does that at a Mexican place, and b) really touts Miller Lite for exceptional health benefits? Seriously. At least margaritas are fruit flavored. Anyway, our lovely waiter didn’t ask us what size margaritas we wanted, so we ended up with what I think must’ve been the largest ones on the menu. I mean, I know we asked about the Tower of Margaritas and all, but just because you didn’t have it didn’t mean we all wanted our own individual one.

Peach and mango flavored margaritas

Peach and mango flavored margaritas … well kind of anyway

Tequila flavored margarita

Tequila flavored margarita

One of these things is not like the other. And for once Ted isn't the one holding it.

One of these things is not like the other. And for once Ted isn’t the one holding it.

And another fun trick: when we got the bill at the end of the night, the price for said huge drinks didn’t match anything on the menu. Huh? We finally kind of put the pieces together and deduced that  the Tower of Margaritas conversation had kind of led to talk about the different kinds of margaritas they DO offer, then Ted had asked the server about top shelf tequila in drinks … then the server just pretty much assumed top shelf was the kind we wanted. Um, no. First of all, we shouldn’t have to be CSI detectives to figure out our bills. And second of all, the joke was kind of on him, since the margaritas were so strong that we only ended up ordering one each. And barely finishing them. I had mango (which probably would’ve been good if made with less tequile), Amanda had peach (which she said just tasted like tequila) and Ted had original (which I guess is supposed to taste like tequila, so score for him?).

But don't pay attention to the prices, because they won't match anything you see on your final bill.

But don’t pay attention to the prices, because they won’t match anything you see on your final bill.

So there’s that. Let’s move on to appetizers.

We asked for the tableside-prepared guac as our appetizer, since we had seen others rave about it on reviews for the place. And then we never got it. And never even saw our server to ask about it. It wasn’t until we were getting our meals that we finally were able to remind him about the guac – which clearly he just forgot about – and to which he replied “Well, do you still want it?” Um. no, I thought I’d ask about it just for fun. Actually, it’s a little game we play where we order an appetizer and then take bets about whether or not we think it will really get delivered to us, or if we’ll starve waiting for it! Super fun, right? Tell your friends!


Sidenote – the guac actually is really good. Although we all agreed we were glad it was mixed tableside, because if he had to make it fresh in the backroom I’m sure we all would’ve probably been a little nervous about what extra “flavor” he might’ve added to it in the process.

I know, it looks disgusting. But it tastes delicious, trust us.

I know, it looks disgusting. But it tastes delicious, trust us.

Ted and his new friend

Ted and his new friend

At least the bowl was entertainment for us. It was like our new pet.

I think what it kind of boiled down to was that we clearly weren’t as interesting as the table of two single ladies near us, who our server kept stopping to chat with. And then had the staff come sing happy birthday to – after we overheard the conversation where one of them admitted to an upcoming birthday, and he asked “Well don’t you want today to be your birthday, since you’re here?”

(Just for the record, when you’re in a Mexican restaurant, the answer to that question is always NO. Always.)

Just after this he also told the couple at the table behind us that he “wasn’t that busy tonight, was kind of bored” – but throughout the evening he barely stopped to check on us, forgot our guac, forgot the water Shane asked for at the beginning of the meal (and when he finally was reminded and brought it later, he brought two glasses and tried to give it to another table).

And so it goes …

Other than the service things were good. We all got some sort of burrito – I had chicken chipotle (spicier than I thought it would be but still very good), Amanda and Shane both had the steak burrito, and Ted had the macha burrito. Everything was delicious, and of course we ate way more than we should’ve. Chips and salsa were replenished several times (not by our waiter, of course, but another server – thankfully, or else we’d probably still be scraping up crumbs to fight over while waiting on a second basket) and were very good.

Spicy burrito and not so spicy burrito

Spicy burrito and not so spicy burrito

And of course, there’s this:

Creepy shadowy engineer Ted

Creepy shadowy engineer Ted

I may have nightmares about this photo

I may have nightmares about this photo


Picked by:  Ted
Drinks: They lose a few points for reeling us in with the Tower of Margaritas, then not actually having it. But they clearly have tequila – or at least they did, before they made our drinks. I think most of what they had ended up in there. 
 Typical Mexican, and as usual good portions for a good price.
Service: Hopefully the guy we had will be on to the next local Mexican place by the time you visit, because he was the big thumbs down of the evening.
Overall: Good food, not good service.

Next Pick: Shane

WTGW 4/9/14: Sammie’s Bar & Grille, Tallmadge


So basically this week Shane got kind of an easy pass – I mean, how can you screw up following the absolute worst place we’ve ever visited? He could’ve taken us to an Arby’s … or even a former Arby’s transformed into a bar, complete with a stack of booster seats in the corner … and we would’ve been far happier than we were last week.

P.S. – we’ve actually been to the booster seat bar. Seriously.

In other words, I’m hoping it wasn’t just the leftover taste of tartar toast in our mouths from last week that made us think Sammie’s Bar & Grille was more toward the top of our favorites list than the bottom.

If anything, maybe it was the $1.00 beers.

Yeah, you read that right. In another “do they know we come out on Wednesdays and make these specials just for us” moment, we thought we were in our own form of alcoholic heaven when we read that on the specials board. We even asked the server, just to be certain that $1.00 truly was the price for bottled beers, and it wasn’t “take $1.00 OFF.” Because that would be a mean trick when the bill came at the end of the night.

And, yes, it was true – Sammie’s has $1.00 bottled domestic beers on Wednesday nights. If you take away nothing else from this post, at least remember that. I know we will.

Best way to spend $1.00

Best way to spend $1.00

(Although, sidenote, we kind of had to question the limitations on “domestic” beer. How can that list include Labatt – which is brewed in Canada – but not Yuelingling, which is brewed one state away in PA? Interesting.)


Sammie’s is a relatively new restaurant, in a building that has seen various name and food changes over the years. Amanda said she thought it was last a Mexican restaurant, which I have to admit I could still kind of make out the decor from. We sat in the bar area (on some of the tallest chairs I’ve ever seen – maybe not the best plan on $1 beer night) and the atmosphere was great. It was quiet enough that the four of us could have conversations easily, but yet not so quiet that when we got to our embarrassing topics (because you know that’s how we roll) we had to feel like we were on display to the rest of the establishment.

Shane ordered the pretzel sticks as an appetizer – because you know he gravitates to those on any menu – and they were delicious. There were five in the order and they were huge (that’s what she said – ba dum bum). Although we agreed that there needed to be some other sort of dipping sauce than just the melted Velveeta with some chives in it.

Although looking over the menu it seems that Velveeta is a staple on many of the dishes – I feel like this is some sort of inside joke with the owners that we aren’t privy to. Hmmm.

Because there’s apparently no fun in variety, both Shane and Ted got twelve of the Sammie’s Sweet Pepper Supreme wings. And they both agreed that the wings could use a bit more flavor. Maybe Velveeta would’ve helped that one. No, honestly they said that just judging on the name, they expected the wings to be spicier, and were somewhat disappointed about that. So the moral of the story there is don’t judge based on name alone. Or ask the waitress first. Something like that.

The boys also decided to order a whole second meal for themselves – because, well, they’re boys, and I guess want to tempt death by heart attack at a young age. Whatever. So Ted got the Pizza Supreme burger, and Shane ordered the Quarter Pound Hot Dog. I guess since the beer was so cheap, we can’t just have a bill less than $50 for two people. Good call, honey. In any case, I think they both enjoyed these more than the wings, so I guess it was worth it. Even though it seemed the amount of grease that dripped off Ted’s burger was sufficient enough to actual fry his wings in – but, hey, that’s where the flavor is, right?

There's a hot dog under all that

There’s a hot dog under all that

Because double fisting the food wasn't good enough

Because double fisting the food wasn’t good enough

On the opposite end of the eating spectrum, Amanda ordered the Build Your Own Burger, and while she said it was delicious, she couldn’t finish all of it. And she even had the smaller of the two options – the 9oz. They also offer a 12oz size … but hey, come on, we’re not trying to be champions here. Well, at least us girls aren’t.

Giant burger on a pretzel bun

Giant burger on a pretzel bun

I had six of the garlic parmesean wings (which also could’ve used more flavor, just like the boys’ wings) and a side order of the “small potatoes,” which are mini potatoes baked in olive oil, rosemary and sea salt. That was a nice alternative to French fries, and much appreciated for those of us who have to wear a bathing suit in public in just a few short months.

Wings in a newspaper.

Wings in a newspaper. Fancy.

By far one of the best things about our visit – other than the $1 beers, but that’s just implied – was our server. She was fantastic, despite it being a pretty busy dinner crowd and what seemed to be only her and one other person manning the entire floor. Her attitude was great, she joked around despite being I’m sure just ready to sit for five minutes, and we never felt rushed. She reminded us of the 9PM cutoff for the $1 beers in case we wanted to get another round in – which I’m sure she already knew the answer to just based on how we’d been pacing throughout the hours leading up to that time (smart girl). She also didn’t blink an eye when we saw that she was a bit overwhelmed and just doubled up our doubled up our rounds instead of having to wait for her to bring more. Thanks for not wagging a finger at our blatant alcoholism, Ms. Server – you’re awesome.

The one deterrent I can see to Sammie’s is that despite the hours on the door saying they’re open well past midnight, we were literally the last people in the place … at 9:30 PM. And it looked like the staff was cleaning up to go home as soon as the door closed behind us. Like not only the wiping down the bar and shutting down the dining room side of the place kind of cleaning … but also the busy work kind of cleaning that screams “we can’t send you home yet but there’s really absolutely nothing left for you to do.” I scared one teenage boy out of the women’s restroom who was on a ladder cleaning lightbulbs. Because that’s essential? Come on, I don’t even do that in my own house before company comes over.

(Which, sidenote on the restrooms, you have to go in there and look at the ratio of the door sizes to a normal human being. It’s like Alice in Wonderland up in that place. For real. And I know you’re intrigued now.)

In any case, not sure how the weekend crowd is, but just be forewarned that it definitely dies out after the dinner rush during the week. Or at least after the $1 beer special ends.

It's dark and we're the last ones in the place. That's how we roll.

It’s dark and we’re the last ones in the place. That’s how we roll.

Peace out

Peace out


Picked by:  Shane
Drinks: If I haven’t driven home the point about $1 beers yet, then you obviously didn’t read this post. 
Good portions, just could use a bit more flavor on everything overall. And seriously, what is it with the Velveeta?
Service: Excellent. Even the guy I scared out of the ladies restroom was at least pleasant about it.
Overall: Oh, I’m sure we’ll be back. Especially on Wednesdays. Do I not sound like enough of an alcoholic yet, or what?

Next Pick: Steph

WTGW 2/19/14: Delanie’s Grille, Tallmadge


Move over Musketeers, I think we have a new top spot on the list.

Located in the Tallmadge area (which BTW is apparently Ted’s own personal Bermuda Triangle of undiscovered dining establishments, so chances are you’ll see us back in that area in the near future), Delanie’s Grille is definitely a hidden gem. It’s a true neighborhood bar, one of those places where you half expect the place to erupt in a chorus of “Norm!” whenever one of the regulars walks in … but yet they don’t all stare you down from over the tops of their beer mugs and let the jukebox screech to a halt as soon as someone new walks in.

Our waitress was actually the owner’s wife – a fact she didn’t tell us, but we deduced from her name and several mentions within the menu, because, well, we’re pretty smart like that – and mentioned after she overheard us say we were newbies that she thought we “didn’t look familiar.” For someone who took our whole not-exactly-easy order without writing anything down and didn’t mess anything up, I don’t doubt she really does remember faces and names of frequent flyers to the establishment.

So, Wednesday nights are half off “grogs” – which, when we asked what those were, all we heard was basically “contains so many liquors that we can only serve you two of them max.” So of course we all had to try them. Especially for $4.00 each. I’m still not sure exactly what was in them, but it was a large mug of very sweet deliciousness that didn’t taste like alcohol at all, so really I don’t see how that can be bad, ever. Shane was the only one of the group to hit the two drink limit – which, you know, is good since he was our driver. But honestly I don’t think any of us felt the effects any more than we would after a few regular mixed drinks. I’m not really sure what that says about our tolerance levels.

A round of grogs. That's just fun to say.

A round of grogs. That’s just fun to say.

And truthfully I might’ve ordered another smaller drink, or a beer or something like that, but if I have one complaint about Delanie’s it’s the lack of any sort of a drink menu to choose something like that from. I mean, while our sever did a wonderful job of explaining to us what a grog was, when we asked about what beers were available the best she could do was point us in the direction of the bar and let us know that the 100+ varieties of bottles were in the cooler behind the bar if we wanted to look. Which Ted did … and we lost him for about 20 minutes as he got sucked into a conversation at the bar with two of the regulars. I guess he was fresh meat.

Speaking of meat, our table was full of it when our dinners arrived. I ordered the cheeseburger wrap – something I’m fond of in pretty much any restaurant, but once I saw the “National Hamburger Festival Award Winning” distinction next to it then I knew I had to try it. I was not disappointed. Although the rest of the table might have been upset that I stole all the napkins, since my dish definitely required a few in order to keep me from wearing any of it home.

Amanda had the steak sandwich, and was impressed to find that it was made of chunks of actual steak, not shaved slices or imitation Steak’ums like what you’ d find at some places. It was so filling that she ended up taking half of it home. Shane had the Delanie burger and of course a 6-er of wings, because, well, why wouldn’t he.

Ted is apparently on some sort of strike from bar food, and had the orange roughy. I’m noticing a pattern over these past few weeks. Either a fryer has wronged him in some way recently or he’s just trying to make a name for himself as the one person in the group who orders off the “entree” side of the menu. Whatever the reason, at least he was happy with his decision.

Another thing that really impressed me about Delanie’s is that everything came out to the table steaming hot. From appetizers to entrees – everything was at the “so warm you need to wait a minute before eating it” level. And as someone who puts soup in the microwave until it’s practically a boiling volcano, I appreciate that. I’d rather things be too hot and I have to decide between practically drooling as I stare at it waiting to eat or risk losing a layer of skin on the roof of my mouth by jumping the gun.

I chose the latter option with the homemade chips and dip that we ordered as an appetizer, and even though my mouth is a bit unforgiving of that at the moment, I can’t say I regret it. I had never had a hot potato chip before, and it was amazing. I would go back to Delanie’s for the chips alone. Seriously. Although we all agreed that we would’ve preferred some sort of french onion dip to go with the chips, instead of the two options of ranch and, well, something- that-wasn’t-ranch-or-french-onion-but-was-still-tasty-even-though-we-weren’t-really-sure-what-it-was that came with the order. I just ate them plain, but I’m kind of weird like that.

So, yes, all in all, this place is definitely at the top of our favorites list. From the atmosphere, to the food, to the prices – everything was amazing, and we’re already talking about how soon would be too soon for us to plan a return visit. And don’t think we didn’t take notice of the what-looks-to-be-amazing-when-not-covered-in-snow-and-its-20-degrees-out patio outside the bar area. I’m already predicting we’ll spend many an evening there once the weather changes and we can actually be outside without the air hurting our skin. Thumbs up.

OMG are his eyes actually open? Must've been the two grog limit.

OMG are his eyes actually open? Must’ve been the two grog limit.

Who is Shane laughing at?

Who is Shane laughing at?

(ps – we would’ve taken more pictures, but it was really, really dark in there. Like hold the menu to your face to read it dark. Which is fine overall, but not when you’re trying to be awesome reviewers. Ha. And it also probably doesn’t help that the phone on my camera kind of sucks. But whateves.)


Picked by: Steph
Drinks: While a menu or actual printed list of some kind would’ve been helpful, at least the staff doesn’t get put out at having to rattle names or descriptions off at you. And you can meet friendly people at the bar when going to look at the beer cooler.
Delicious. Great selection of bar food, specialty dishes, apps and salads. Get the chips. For real.
Service: Fabulous. And I’m not sure saying that because we had the privilege of being waited on by one of the owners.
Overall: I think our previous top placeholder has been dethroned. Especially once patio season hits.

Next Pick: Amanda

Delanie's Grille on Urbanspoon