Crawford's Dairy Isle
 Rittman, Ohio        Date of Visit  10/19/12         No Known Website

The search for the Friday fish fry continues. The sign in front of Crawford’s says they have fish. I’ve gotta tell you right up front, this was the least promising option we have tried to this point, at least in my own mind. Housed in a defunct Hardee’s in Rittman, Crawford’s just sort of crept up on us on a trip to try the fish at The Depot. When we pulled in and the sign out front listed both fish and a Reuben as specials, I was less confident in our adventure as the sandwich was spelled Rubin. Oh dear.



Something Just Not Right Going On Here

Still structurally a Hardees inside but they have tried to erase it’s quick service feel. Mildly troubling, they have decorated with all sorts of things hanging from the ceiling like crepe paper streamers and other dorm roomy stuff. It appears a family affair with two disaffected kids serving and busing. The young lady serving was nice in a distant gothy sort of way. We did have an visit from the cook who came full tilt running out of the kitchen to tell the server she did have cauliflower and not to tell us she didn’t. Of course she was standing right in front of us when she did so. Interesting. The cauliflower was part of a fried veggie basket as an appetizer along with chili cheese fries. Feeling healthy today I guess. We would be feeling less so soon.

The veggies weren’t bad, they just weren’t very good. A nice variety of zucchini, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions and cheese stuffed jalapeños; I don’t know if they are frying in something weird or the grease is dirty but there was something not quite right about the overall flavor of all of the brown nuggets, it had to be the grease or the batter.

Is It Just Me Or Does This Look Extraordinarily Weird?

Tasted Weird And Maybe A Little Gross. Best Thing We Had. Boo!

The chili cheese fries were frightening. The way the “cheese” maintained a tubular shape after being squeezed atop the bowl was disconcerting but the cheese wasn’t what really shook my world. It was the “chili”. I’m using a lot of quotation marks for a reason. The "chili" looked like "chili" but tasted nothing like you would expect. There was tomato and meat but the collection of spices which defines “chili” was absent. It tasted vaguely familiar and I think I have gotten close to a description. It tasted more like a strongly sweetened dose of Manwich had been added to the meat. Way sweetened. Way Weird. The fries almost didn’t enter into the equation as the light salt of the neon "cheese" and the sweet "whatever" contentiously faced off with the sweetened meat overpowering even the mound of cheesesqe goop. Here’s the thing. I wanted to hate it. I wouldn’t get it again but I didn’t hate it. I might be saying this out of simple comparison, but the fries were the best thing during the whole adventure.

Special Fish Dinner; Less Than Special

Crust = Problem On Okay Fish. Tiny Nuggets In Between...Don't Know What To Say

I went with the fish dinner and Steph ordered parmesan chicken…not chicken parm…but parm chicken. Oh yeah, the Reuben was misspelled in a whole new way on the specials list in the menu than it was on the sign out front. The devil is in the details. Back to the chicken. She said it when she saw it. This was going to be a really bad idea. Parmesan chicken at Crawford’s? It was literally a recipe for disaster, the fish wasn’t much better. She got a perfectly average little salad and the entrees soon arrived.

The fish itself wasn’t bad. The quarter-inch-thick cornmeal breading that obliterated the fish was. Serve it with cold fries, without the promised cole slaw and some hideous excuse for hush puppies and it turned out to be as bad as expected. Seriously what the hell was in those hush puppies? Never seen anything like em. Hope I won’t ever again.

You Have To Dislike People To Make This Sauce

Toast Wasn't Bad

The parmesan chicken was so much worse. I was worried after having the “chili” what the tomato sauce would taste like. I was certain it would be sweet. It was…north of Boy-R-Dee sweet. I wish they would have left it alone at that but devious hands of destruction were at work here. There was so much herbage in the sauce, all I could imagine was they had melted some Ricola cough drops into the pot and maybe a strong pour of green NyQuil.

If someone is looking to market a mace for just your mouth instead of your eyes…this is it. We expected very little from Crawford’s and got even less. We didn’t fell well enough or trust them enough for an ice cream cone on the way out the door. I love the family feel of the place….I do wish them well…but won’t be doing any more than wishing. I feel mean, but that happens after I end up feeling sick.


Neither Was Salad. Hey, That's Three Edible Things



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