The Valley Café
 Wadsworth, Ohio        Date of Visit  03/05/16

We had been to the Valley Café in Akron and had found it to be pretty good. When they opened a second spot here in Wadsworth we decided to see the new digs somewhere around their first anniversary. They are killing it. There have been a rotating mix of restaurants in and out of the downtown corner spot, nothing that seemed like a real local go-to, nothing that lasted all that long, nothing you could get in and out for lunch if you were on the clock. Today…it seems all of Wadsworth is pouring in both doors and many are waiting for a table to open.



Service is informal, but today it is also pretty darn quick…greet & seat/beverages/order/chow/check all happened at a relaxed but efficient pace. They are working hard to turn tables so the standing crowd can stop drooling and start chewing. The menu is manageably small and southern. Our orders were simple, the shrimp and grit cakes and Dan’s Barnyard. Steph has been seeking grits since our journey to NOLA and she found a nice spot to enjoy some right down the street. Cheese grits pressed into discs and grilled to a light crisp and set into a lightly spicy garlic butter sauce. Steph didn’t care much for the spice combo in the sauce, but I couldn’t find any reason not to like it at all. Just a smidge of warm heat and, well, lotsa butter. The shrimp were nice but a fair bit over done giving them a bit of chew. Everything is garnished with a little green onion and a slice of very garlicky and wonderfully griddled toast. Brown buttery crisp with a bright bite of garlic. Even better dipped in the way lo-cal butter sauce.


Caffeine & Chocolate Are Delivered Quickly

Rich, Rich, Rich, And Warmly Spiced Shrimp & Grit Cakes

The barnyard starts with a bed of home fries, two buttermilk biscuits, top those with sausage patties, top those with two eggs over easy and then bury the entire thing under a wave of sausage gravy. Woof. What really sets this landslide of breakfast apart is the sausage gravy. They seem to warn everyone, it’s really spicy…we have a southern chef and he makes it spicy. Apparently, they have had a lot of complaints re: the heat level. Weak. It’s really not that spicy, what it is, is alive. There are visible flakes of red pepper in the sausage, giving the rich sauce some balance and keeping it interesting instead of lulling your palate to sleep with nothing but serious richness. Biscuits seem fine when you get to them, eggs run, taters are tender, patties add more sausage, what’s not to like, although I barely got through half of it. Almost everything is made in house and it seems like we might have a local go-to; and most of the town seems to agree.


Barnyard Monstrosity

With Runny Eggs & Spice Gravy

Stop the presses!

They are apparently open three days a week for dinner now. Menu includes braised short rib, scallops with wild mushroom risotto…and get this. Shrimp and grits AND made to order beignets with Café du Monde chicory coffee! It won’t be long, we’ll be back.  




What's Best

What's Worst

  B B B N/A N/A B  
All Restaurants By Ranking Restaurants By Date These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things Steph's Favorite Things
Home List of Restaurants by City The Ratings What's Rated Random Thoughts