Istocki's Shish Kebob
 Akron, Ohio         Date of Visit  10/20/12        
No Known Website

We drove past Istockiís looking for a parking place to breakfast at The Eye Opener. After hanging out with folks supporting the United Mitochondial Disease Foundation at Lock 3 in downtown Akron we shot down Market Street on the way home to see what the Shish Kebob House is all about. Iím still not sure I completely understand what they are all about but know more than I did before. From the outside the place looks like a standard low rent, strip plaza restaurant but it is instantly much nicer inside. It is also empty. Completely empty, at least the entire time we were there. They almost appeared surprised someone had come in.



A Delicious Start Of Fried Pita And Excellent Hummus

The service was pitted with doníts.

If you are in the kitchen and in charge donít continuously and loudly holler instructions at your server about what she should be doing for us. If you are going to handle an irate former customer donít talk to them on the phone in front of your current customers (only customers). Donít then continually talk about the irate customer poorly where said customers can hear.

Oh, and donít talk about the owner of the restaurant as though they are some nefarious crime boss who would snuff out an unhappy customer who threatened to sue them. It only makes the desolate place seem more like a front to launder money which will never depend on actual restaurant stuff to be successful. And if your boss is going to hit a customerÖdonít let them find out you told the rest of the restaurant. Just bad form. Outside of that the service was ho-hum.



Pita chips might be one of my favorite food items to emerge from bubbling grease ever since we ate at Pub Bricco. While there was not spicy marinara/goat cheese dip the hummus is good enough to prove that Istockiís is at least interested in getting some things right. Take a good hummus and add a nice citrus punch and little chunks of, I think, red pepper which held a light bite of being pickled. We ordered a second basket to replace the empty freebie.

Perfectly Average Gyro

Perfectly Average...Inside and Out

Sadly Funny

Thank Goats For Salty Feta

There were two specials on the sign, a gyro and a cheesy pita. Given the dearth of other options we went with one of each and a side of chicken souvlaki. Both plates were served with fries which held promise but both arrived cold and lifeless. The cheesy pita was sadly funny to me. I would have been embarrassed to deliver it to a table but I suppose it is what it is. Pita, couple of cheeses, thankfully one was feta so it almost tasted of something. The gyro was functional, nothing to get excited about. At one point we heard the door to the microwave slam shut and the tell tale beep, beep, beep of impending nukage. I couldnít tell if it was the lamb or the cheese that was caressed by waves of molecular agitation which isnít a good sign.


A Little Chicken Side Dish

Wasn't Much Of It But What There Was, Was Wonderfully Marinated And Delicious

The chicken was actually deliciously seasoned and served with a little veg and cucumber sauce. Oh. Yeah. Cucumber sauce because they didnít have any tzatziki sauce. Much like the last time I went to a pizza shop that was out of marinara and mozzarella.?! It tasted lovely but there wasnít much of it.

Finally, we ordered a single piece of baklava. The menu says homemade. Steph is a freakazoid about the stuff when it is good. It wasnít. The only thing that kept it from the dregs we had tasted at Kiflis was this piece wasnít swimming in wet slop. Outside of that they were very similar. Soggy, some odd, off-putting flavor, unappetizing top to sweaty bottom. Such a classic missing almost everything that makes it so.

There were a couple of really tasty treats at Istockiís. There was also enough downside to keep me from being interested in returning.





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