Hudson's Second Visit
 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit:  02/20/15 
Been a long time since our first trip to Hudsonís. Things havenít changed much. I still hear good things about the Hudson location but it seems like Fairlawn is still being run by folks split off from the home location with a culinary school education and not enough experience. The menu always sounds attractive but most of the dishes donít get there.

Our server was nice and efficient and the place has held up well. We ordered a couple of appetizers and three dishes. Buffalo chicken pierogies had a fair buffalo filling and were served with a nice thick ranch but the frying left the noodley exterior leathery and shard inducing at the same timeÖless than successful. The duck poutine was well flavoredÖnice beefy duck confitÖbut the fries didnít have enough bubble time and had no chance at texture. So close, but again misses too distracting to suppress.


  The entrees came with salads, and here Hudsonís has it worked out from soup to nuts (so to speak). The Caesar is cold, crisp and well seasoned. The chop salad is loaded with veggies and gorgonzolaÖall topped with a gorgeous orange mimosa vinaigrette. That dressing is awesome and stands up to the stinky cheese very well.
  We also tried the meatloaf, the old world bake and lemon basil chicken. The chicken was really tasty with the spinach, artichoke hearts, lemon butter, chevre, easily the best of the lot. But it came with the same horribly oily and flavorless taters I remembered after checking what we had tried the first time. Still nasty.

Things went downhill from there. The meatloaf is made from a not very beefy or anything else tasting paste and doused in an overly sweet sauce and served with more nasty taters. The onion straws werenít saving that. The old world bake held promise. Pasta, bacon, spiced fontina, mozz, and parm cream, all topped with bread crumbs. What I got was pasta set atop a shallow pool of over creamy and under cheesy sauce and flashed under the salamander til the top half of the pasta turned hard and crunchy. Trying to scoop up the sauce couldnít rehydrate the noodle making the whole Old World Bake seem more due to the passage of years than a style.

The Salads Were The Best Plates All Day


Especially The Orange Mimiosa Dressing On The Chop

Nice Start; Really Soggy Finish


Buffalo Chicken Pierogies Are Nice Idea

But You Could Use Noodle Cover To Carry A Gun


The Chicken Tasted Great But The Taters Haven't Changed

The Meatloaf Didn't Impress Anyone

  The menu always sounds delicious at Hudsonís but I have not yet found it realized in the actual restaurant. Some good stuff here and there but always soundly beaten down by the simple mistakes. Shoulda just gotten soup this time, forgot the soups were pretty good.

And I Like Al Dente But Comeone!

  Change in Ranking        
  Original Score Which Way? New Score Why For?  
  C+ D+ Was Hoping First Trip Was Due To Growing Pains But
They've Grown Into Pain
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 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit:  12/23/10 

Finishing up some shopping and catching a flick (True GritÖSorry Cohenís, the Original was better but Jeff Bridges was something) we were in Fairlawn and planned to grab lunch at a place recommended by my in-laws. Residing in the plaza where the now defunct Lone Star Steak House used to be sits Hudsonís. What we had heard was a thumbs up on the soup (particularly the lobster bisque) and the burger. The layout of the space is similar to the old steak house but the walls have a fresh coat and are adorned with family pictures. It turns out the place is family owned. The patriarch has owned Hudsonís in Hudson for the past four years and this satellite is being run by his sons, both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America. Our server shared a good bit of information about the family although the way it was told it wasnít clear if the boys had made their bones or if they just wanted a restaurant like Daddy. It turns out they have some experience under some well regarded names (Paul Prudhomme/Melissa Kelly), but I am not certain entirely how much time they put in. Iím not one to begrudge people a leg up in the world, itís just that some who havenít built it are often prone to squander itÖI guess the proof is in the pudding.



The Chips...not too Shabby

The server was attentive and on the ball, although she teetered on over the top here and there. 
The kitchen stalled a bit with a big top coming out, but seemed to have recovered pretty well. We ordered a couple different soups and an appetizer of the House Chips. These are spiral cut chips topped with bacon, tomatoes, Gorgonzola cheese and scallions and are finished with balsamic glaze. The chips were dark and crispy and the other elements came together nicely including the balsamic glaze. If I were nitpicking I would mention that not all of the bacon bits were done to a crisp and the chips donít stand up long underneath the liquid but all in all, it was pretty tasty.

There was no bisque on the menu today so we went with cups of the broccoli cheese and the white pork chili. My mother-in-law was right, the soups are top notch. One thing about these two, they are not afraid to season, in a good way. Nice consistency, forward flavors, better than most. The chili had a warm spice and was full of interesting textures. The cheese soup had a nice balance between the stock and cheese. We were off to a really good start.

Thick and Rich Broccoli Cheese


Unique and Delicious White Pork Chili

Less than Impressive Steak Salad

For lunch we ordered a steak salad and a burger. The salad was one real disappointment for the day. Uninspired and underdressed, Steph essentially picked out all of the steak and left the rest. The steak was done as ordered but here the aforementioned seasoning fell short. The dressing ďHudsonís Brandy BalsamicĒ must cost them a great deal to make as it was non-existent on the greens.

I ordered the burger with home fries. Get the burger, skip the home fries. Seriously, get the chips or the fries instead. The home fries were flaccid, greasy, and underwhelming in any flavor outside of the grease. I left them on the plate. Sad, as the fries on the salad and the chips from earlier were a dark developed brown. The burger was another story. It oozes. Mine came with Gorgonzola and bacon, Yeaa Pig, and the patty brought back that sense of seasoning that had been sorely missing in the past couple of bites. You have to eat it over the table because juices run like a good cheese steak from Pats.  All in all, Iíd say it was a good lunch with a couple of misses. Could be growing pains, might be endemic, only time will tell.

Burger was Great, the Tater Things Were Awful




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  B B B A D C+  
        Soup and Burger Salad and Home Fries    
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