Firehouse Grille & Pub
 Akron, Ohio    Date of Visit  02/01/14      
http://thefirehousegrilleandpub.com/ 

Grill and Pub or Pub and Grille weekend continues with a journey to the Firehouse Grille and Pub in Akron. We have been trying to get to Fiesta Pizza, which was recommended to me by a student, but we have yet to find one with seats. So after striking out at the Newton location following graduation, we looked for nearby options and headed to the Firehouse.
 



 


 
 


So Much Better Than Last Night. Righted The Craving Ship, So To Speak
 

Our server had the feel of experience and handled our table, a couple of others and the folks at the bar with ease. What the Firehouse lacks in interior finish compared to David Bís from last night it definitely surpassed them on the plates. Worn traditional bar inside we were past the lunch rush and found a couple of folks in a booth and another couple at the bar. We ordered a cup of two-alarm chili, their buffalo chicken dip, chicken and biscuits and their fish dinner.

The buffalo chicken dip held up much, much better than the version we had the night before. A still homogenous binding held chunks of chicken and enough heat that ďBuffaloĒ makes sense, more tri-colored chips than we could eat and it satisfied a craving we get around our place every once and a while. The chili was also a high point. Start with what you would expect, beef, beans, tomato, standard spice profile, itís all there. Where theirs took a step past was on the initial bite plus the follow through.

 

 
 
Salad Was Unremarkable
 

But The Chili Stood Out For Overall Flavor And Kick
 
 
  The chili has a distinctive sweetness battling the acidic broth and spices, not so much it distracts you but enough to make it balanced and interesting. After a chew or two the alarms start ringing, slowly building the perception of heat, enough heat that you might start to worry how far it would rise, but it does stop around the two-alarm klaxon. Average chili, plus the heat and sweet combo in transition makes for a much better than average cup.

Both of the dinners came from the specials board. The chicken and biscuits were probably pretty average overall but better than I had expected from a pub, almost. Thick yellow gravy was well seasoned and studded with aromatic veggies. The biscuits werenít bad in any way shape or form. There was a good bit of chicken in chunks which was actually where the problem resided. Iím not sure how the chicken was cooked before being added to the mix but it had some vicious textural issues. I find it hard to believe it was undercooked, plus I looked inside, but if youíve ever had slightly underdone chicken you know that stringy, hard to bite through consistency. I found it distracting. Steph found it inedible, the chicken itself at least. It was served with a whopping mound of mash, which certainly seemed to be instant but they had added substantial chives and sour cream, which improved the overall flavor if not the texture.
 

 

A Good Start But Something Was Off With The Chicken
 

Yeah, They're Instant, But There Is A Little Lipstick On This Pig
 

I think I may have ordered the fish in hopes of rectifying the nasty sandwich I had ordered the night before. Right after ordering it, I started to rethink my decision as they have a fish fry on Friday nights and I was obviously going to be getting the remainders. I neednít have worried. The fish both smelled and tasted fresh and was coated with a crunchy and salty batter, I actually left the tartar sauce alone, it didnít need any help at all. Served with another mound (they arenít stingy with the starches) of brew city style fries, I had satisfied another craving, thanks to them. The only thing I had trouble with was the coleslaw. I have never had anything this sharp, ever, that I can remember. It literally hurt in the corners of my jaw and made my eyes water. I donít know if that is their regular thing but you could corrode paint off of your car with it. Just like our other two Pub/Grill weekend visits, The Firehouse is mostly a bar, but their food clearly surpassed the typical bar fare.
 


Another Righting...In Both Fries & Fish
 

I Favor Aggressive Flavor. This Stuff Blew My Head Apart!?!?!?!
 
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