National Hamburger Festival - Akron, OH

Downtown Akron, Lock 3

August 20-21, 2011

National Hamburger Festival

The National Hamburger Festival is being held at Lock 3 in downtown Akron on August 20th and 21st of 2011.  The organizers of the event were kind enough to send me some free tickets, and I have some extras.  I'll send a set of two tickets to the first two people to contact me.  This is not a contest or sweepstakes- I would just like to get the extras to someone who might use them.  I just ask that you only take one set, and email me no later than the 17th in order to give me time to get them in the mail to you.   


Cadillac Culinary Challenge - This Weekend!

 Legacy Village, August 13 & 14, 2011

Cadillac Challenge

The Cadillac Culinary Challenge is being held this weekend at Legacy Village.  Come by and watch the competition between Chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto and local Chef Marlin Kaplan of Dragonfly as they cook against each other to see who can come up with the best creation after being given a set of ingredients.  I've been asked to participate as one of the judges at one of the event times.  

The event is free, and you can register at the website listed above- just choose 'Cleveland' from the event list.  If you'd like to learn more, check out their Facebook page at

Marlin Kaplan is the local Chef that is taking part in the competition- you can watch a video profile of him at and watch him cook up a great looking pork dish at

Hope to see you at Legacy Village this weekend!

Cadillac Culinary Challenge Coming To Legacy Village

Cadillac Culinary Challenge

The Cadillac Culinary Challenge is going to be hosted at Legacy Village next weekend, August 13-14, 2011.  The event is free, and the public is invited to view the vehicles which will be on display and to view a culinary competition between Chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto and local Chef Marlin Kaplan of Dragonfly.

You can visit the Cadillac Challenge website for more information, and visit the event Facebook Page to see videos of past events and view a bio of Chef Marlin Kaplan.

The Original Steak & Hoagies - Twinsburg

 The Original Steak & Hoagies

10735 Ravenna Road

Twinsburg, OH 44087

(330) 998-6586

Original SteaK & Hoagies

A friend told me that his friend from Philadelphia had gone to a place in Twinsburg that had the closest thing to a true Philly Cheese Steak that he'd had around here.  A day later, I was eating at The Original Cheese Steak & Hoagies on Ravenna Road in Twinsburg.  Although I'd checked the menu on their website before I visited, I still wasn't sure what I wanted to order.  You'd think that years of watching Cheese Steak episodes on the Food Network and The Travel Channel would have prepared me.  I wanted a cheese steak, and I knew that I wanted Cheez Whiz on it (you can also get American and Provolone)- that's how I'd heard they do it in Philly.  I should have ordered onions on it, but the only other thing I got was hot peppers.  I also ordered a small cheese fry.

Original SteaK & Hoagies

The cheese steak that you see in the picture is the small one- 7", and it's still pretty big.  The roll was nice and soft and was filled to the top with chopped steak.  The Cheez Whiz seemed to be saturated into much of the steak making every bite a Cheezy bite of heaven.  The hot peppers were mixed throughout and gave just a little heat without being too much.  Again, I don't know why I didn't order onions- I'm still kicking myself.  The fries were nice and crispy, and looked like they were the type that are battered.  As you can see in the pic, the Cheez Whiz is served on the side, and didn't make the fries all soggy.

One other thing about this place- everyone was really friendly.  It looked to me like it's a family business, and I must have had 5 different people ask me how my food was.  One of the guys, Bill, chatted with me for a minute and told me a little bit about the place and the food.  He told me that their hoagies are really popular, and I believe that he told me that they slice the meat fresh for each one.  That just means that I have to make a trip back really soon to try one.  I also noticed too late that they have Bay Fries, which are french fries served with Old Bay Seasoning- I'm going to try some of those too.  All in all, a great place for a great sandwich that I'd highly recommend.  

 Note: check their website for updated hours, but as of now, they are closed on Sundays.  Also, check the website for coupons.

The Original Steaks & Hoagies on Urbanspoon

Hartville Kitchen - Flea Market

 The Hartville Kitchen

1015 Edison St.

Hartville, OH

Hartville Kitchen

Well, my girlfriend wanted to go to the Hartville Flea Market to look for sour cream glasses.  There's no way I'm going to Hartville without visiting the Hartville Kitchen, so here it is.  It might be an hour south of Cleveland, but's good 'home cookin'.  I remember going to the Hartville Kitchen when it was well, a little different.  I mean, it's been pretty much 'tourist-ized'.  Is that a word? Don't get me wrong- the food is still great, but they've evolved to deal with the crowds.  There is usually a line, but it goes really fast, and it seems to be due to the system that they've developed so I really can't complain.  Like I said, they menu consists of 'good home cooking' Amish food.  I had a half order of the roast beef sandwich- roast beef on two slices of bread with home made mashed potatoes and gravy.  My girlfriend had a half order of the creamed chicken and vegetables- served over a biscuit and mashed potatoes.  Again, both of the dishes in the picture are the half orders- the full orders looked huge!  We wanted to save room for some of the home made pie.  

 Hartville Flea Market; Groves Coffee

 After we ate lunch, we hit the flea market.  In addition to all of the odds and ends that you'll find at a flea market, there is plenty of food.  Outside, there were several fruit and vegetable vendors, and we ran into a really nice guy by the name of Adam Groves who roasts his own coffee.  I tried a sample of the Rwanda Bourbon roast, and it was excellent.  We bought a whole bean sample pack of his coffees, and I would really recommend that you give him a try.  He's based out of Mogadore, and his website is

Hartville Flea Market

There's plenty of food inside too- from Duma Meats to a booth that specialized in Asian foods and sauces.  There are also several places that sold all kinds of cheeses, lunch meats, and jerky/beef sticks.  Oh- and there's also the Pierogi Lady!  We'd actually bought a Groupon deal earlier in the week for some pierogis from her.  The woman that was at the booth (I'm assuming that she was 'the' pierogi lady...) was really friendly.  We picked up some of the potato cheddar and some of the cheese, spinach, and mushroom pirogies.  Out of respect to my Polish grandmother, I'm a pretty tough judge of pierogis, but I'll let you know how these are just as soon as we get a chance to try them (they're pre-boiled and frozen when you buy them).  In the meantime, her Facebook page is: .