Rockin on the River
 Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio        Date of Visit  06/28/13 

Iíve been hearing about this little festival for years. I have driven past it every summer on my way down Route 8 out of the Falls. Its finals week, class is ending early, the place is just a few blocks away, and here we are at Rockiní on the River. I think itís also the first time I have been at the Riverfront Center which has some definite upside. First the opening band was actually spectacular. From the walkway you canít really see the stage and I initially thought they were just playing a recorded playlist.



Once I started to pay attention I realized it was the cover band, Jukebox Heros. They played non-stop the entire time we were there, played everything from Zepplin to Loverboy to disco and sounded pretty darn good. If a good cover band can play everything in a jukebox, these boys sounded like they could play just about anything in an internet jukebox. The music was good, the people watching is extraordinary, and we tried a number of the food options. Maybe weíll start top to bottom since we can get the good stuff out of the way quick.

Pierogies of Cleveland. Easily the best thing we had in five stops, P.O.C. was offering three of a multitude of stuffed pasta pillows. We tried one of each potato & cheddar, potato bacon and cheddar and chicken paprikash all delivered in the same boat with grilled onions and sour cream. We also ordered the Reuben balls. Served with a horseradish cream the Reuben balls werenít bad, corned beef and kraut and cheese were rolled, breaded and fried to a dark brown. They were perfectly average. The pierogies were much better for the most part. The less successful was the most familiar, potato and cheddar. Medium-thin roll of pasta, grilled brown on the surface with a ho-hum tattery filling. The bacon not only added needed depth to the second nugget but it really brought out the cheddar to boot. The chicken paprikash was different and tasty which made me wish they were offering more of the varieties listed on the sign. We may have to get a few bags, you can find them at . Unfortunately, after the pierogies everything went downhill fast.

Singular Salvation

Passable Reuben Balls

Much Better Pierogi

Including An Interesting Chicken Paprikash

Our last stop on the way out was for a stapleÖthe funnel cake. It tasted alright, it was cold, it was a do it yourself dusting station, it could have been better. As far a funnel cakes experienced, this was near the bottom of the barrel but it was still fried batter.


Festival Classic

Just A Lousy Version Of One

There was an Italian stall which had a little sign in the back which said they were from MJís Place. Iím not familiar with the place but their festival offering put them in the middle of a sorry pack. We tried a meatball sub and a sausage sandwich. The sausage kept them from falling further. Fair snap and spice made for an average sandwich which was a stunning improvement over what is to follow. We also tried a meatball sub which featured bagged meatballs and a tragically insipid tomato sauce which tasted suspiciously like a #10 can. The place would have beat out the funnel cake by far if we had just stuck with the sausage.

Yes, It's Gotta Be...Have Any Idea Where I Can Get Some?!?

Cause Frozen "Meat"balls & Can Sauce Ain't It

Why Did They Land In The Middle?

Cause The Bought Decent Sausage...Sticking Out At End

Surprisingly second to last was the Philly cheese steak and fries, not because we were expecting greatness but that it got beat to the bottom. The fries were better than expected with a spray of vinegar and ketchup, again, if we had just gotten the fries we would have been okay. Sadly we tried the cheesesteak which was completely devoid of natural flavor and any seasoning outside of the bright yellow cheese squeeze. Iíve had better from gas stations.

Delicious! Grounds For A Lawsuit Right On The Sign

The "Delicious" Combo

Fries Didn't Quite Suck...

...But This Mess Did. Hot Garbage.

Alarmingly worse was the gyro. Grossly gray strips of boring, half fresh veggies, and a mountain of white plop all in a wet diaper of a pita. Yummo. Thinking about it now I canít remember if the plop was sour cream or yogurt. Tradition would suggest yogurt but tradition would also suggest garlic, cucumber, salt, ANYTHING!!! Anything at all. There was nothing redeeming about this. Skip at all costs.

Greek My....

I've Seen More Nutritious Baby Diapers

Overall the vibe of the place was nice. The food was atrocious with one exception. It is prohibitively expensive. I expect to be gouged at a festival or stadium or concert, anywhere there is a captive audience. If you are going to hose me at least pretend to give a @#%*. [I could have used the worst words known to man instead of the symbols and still had more taste than most of this &*^#$]. Outside of the pierogies, no one even pretended to and it showed in every dish. Why there arenít food trucks lining the river walk I donít know. I do know I wonít be back to eat until there are. If I had been scary hungry and we didnít have the option to try something else, we would have ended up throwing away as much as we did. If that statement angers you, stop on down and have a gyro. I want to watch you choke it down.  I might go back for some music but I will be hitting a drive thru on the way. Definitely more reasonable and sadly much more delicious and less likely to leave you nauseous for hours.




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