The Fifth Floor
 Youngstown, Ohio        Date of Visit  03/04/16      
  http://thefifthfloorrestaurant.com

Following a short and snowy stroll through Mill Creek, and no quilts, we headed to the historic Commerce Building in downtown Y-town for some lunch. The place takes up the entire 5th floor and is apparently the old Youngstown Club and it is exactly that. Itís beautiful example of old world craftsmanship and feel, all thatís missing are wrinkly, rich, white dudes oozing cigar smoke and condescension. Add the view of the frozen valley and itís the best without the worst.
 



 


 
 


A Nice View Of The Valley
 


And Just As Nice Inside...Fancy Dancy
 

 
 

At first we thought the they had a no-call/no-show on the floor. There were two wild-eyed servers dashing through the crowded dining room like a homicidal Usain Bolt was chasing them. Turns out, it was just Friday lunch. The haste made for a much less successful service, you almost had to trip someone to get a cup of coffee. Fortunately, much of lunch was more in line with the lush environs.

We started with Edamame, which were stupendous. I would go back just for a bowl of soybeans. The bowl is enormous and loaded with a serious pile of pods, each with a visible coating of seasoning and tuxedo sesame seeds. A good start. Then you scoop a spoon out and you find the pile is more of an island of beans rising out of a sea of deeply salty and pungent Asian inspired sauce. It was pretty addictive; I think another table might have been watching me strip the beans from one pod after another with enough relish to be either entertaining or terrifying. Didnít have time to careÖso many delicious beans.
 

 
 


Huge Pile Of Beans...
 


Luxuriating In Glory
 

 

Steph was going to order the Kielbosa Burger, but they were out, so she ended up with the pasta with meatball lunch special. It was the only real disappointment of the day. The tubes of pasta were long overdone, the sauce was dreary, lifeless and included a pool of red water underneath the starch, nothing to recommend. The meatball was soft and seemed to be all protein and little binder but it wasnít going to rescue the pasta.

I detest bologna but took a shot on the Italian version with their fried Mortadella sandwich. Not greasy at all, clear flavor of pistachio, a full burger set (lettuce/tom/etc.) on just toasted bread. So much better than our American version.

Mom had the Reuben, which had a nice mix of lean and fatty slices of cured cow. The beef had enough depth to be interesting and tasty. Add kraut, dressing and well grilled rye and you have a nice lunch. I enjoyed both sandwiches much more than the pasta and both came with what my Mom calls ďfairĒ fries. Thin, skin-on sticks fried to a dark brown and well salted. French fries, a little darker, a little more culture to it too, mmmmmmm, tell ya what.
 


I'd Pass On The Pasta
 

Nutty Italian Fried Bologna Is Much Better Than Our Standards
 

All Layers Of Reuben Worked
 

Come With Ketchup; Don't Need None
 

Mother dear and I rolled our eyes when Steph asked about dessert. Our server wasnít sure what they had in stock so she checked and came back with some options.

Steph ordered the almond cream cake, was told it was a good choice and even though we said we werenít having any, we were lucky she brought us three forks. Firm but moist cake, a thick layer of lush almond cream and a roof of sweetened toasted nuts. Swirl a butterscotchy caramel sauce all over the top and you have another reason to take the elevator to the 5th floor of the Commerce Building.

It might take a bit, not everything will be extraordinary but there are some real gems in a beautiful and historical place.
 


Just Too Good To Limit To One Bite; I Tried
 
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        Cake, Fries, etc. Pasta    
 
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