Barley House
 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit  09/01/12

The Barley House has been on the list for a while now. I had never been and Steph couldn’t really specify a reason for reticence but she didn’t seem all that excited it was in the cross hairs for the day. We headed into downtown Akron from separate directions and met on W. State Street just off the entrance to the Tavern. There was a good bit of parking available which likely isn’t true during the week. Forgot it was the first day of college ball and was pleased to find tv's tuned the Bucks opener.



Best Things At Barley Come From Bottles; I Was Driving

The place is dark and cavernous. It seems to stretch back into the void and it certainly majors in bar and minors in restaurant. We were led to a small round two top which is apparently a VIP table as there is a spotlight shining directly onto the middle of the table.

Our server was not bad, she didn’t seem to be enjoying her day much but managed to do a respectable job. The menu is lengthy and after some study we decided to hop around the appetizer section and skip the burgers, entrees, etc.

Some of the apps looked interesting and we thought we would go with a number of smaller options. It’s probably a good thing we ended up ordering 3 appetizers and two soups…by the time I had decided there was only one thing worth eating I was already full enough to be done so I could avoid picking at what was left.

Sesame Wings Were Poorly Done With A Middling Sauce

Poor, Poor and Poor Parm Wings

We ordered chicken wings, Reuben egg rolls, Irish nachos and two soups, beer cheese and lobster bisque…obviously leaning towards the light end of the spectrum. We split the wing sauces between Asian Sesame and Hot Garlic Parmesan. First the chicken was dangerously close to undercooked which left the wing overall sort of flabby and unappealing. The sesame sauce wasn’t bad but certainly nothing special. The not hot, not garlicky, little parm wings had the same unfortunate texture and the sauce was abrupt and clunky. The wings would have been better sans sauce and even better if we had ordered something else. Well, we did order something else…not necessarily all that much better.

The Reuben egg rolls had corned beef, Swiss Cheese, sauerkraut and potatoes fried in egg roll wrappers and were served with a little cup of thousand island dressing. These were as close to awful as you might get without sinking into the mire and smelling of it all day. The wonton skins were the opposite of crispy the result of a too-short fry which left a gooey wrapper holding greasy, soaked in grease greasy, meat and cabbage and whatever else was swimming inside there. Inedible.

Reuben Egg Rolls

Greasy Embarrassment To Asia and Ireland

The Irish Pita Bread Nachos were Toasted pita chips topped with Alfredo sauce, tomatoes, black olives, onions, scallions and mozzarella, parmesan, provolone cheeses with chicken. I tried a blank roasted pita chip first. Light crisp crust and nice warm pitaey dough. I would have been happy with that. Then I tried one loaded with the cheeses and veggies and I was wanting the plain chip back. The only thing the toppings managed to do was ruin the crispy texture of the chip. Again a cheese sauce and three cheeses are magically combined to taste like no cheese at all. Soggy chip with olive, tomato and onion. Sounded more appealing on the menu.

Looked So Good!

Never Panned Out. Game, Set, Match, Mexico!

The soups were where something finally went right, at least for one of them. The beer cheese soup arrived in a sourdough bread bowl surrounded by their house made potato chips. The chips weren’t great, a little thick and cold, but comparatively they were a pleasant surprise. The soup and bread were the sole dish which wasn’t an utter disappointment.

When I saw the Irish Tavern made their beer cheese soup with Budweiser I was suspicious but the ricey, hoppity lager stood up to the cheese blend which for a switch tasted of cheese. The chips were improved with a dip in the soup and the sourdough worked much better with the cheesy mix.

The lobster bisque was a return to disaster. A cream and onion soup with a hint of shell fish. Not worth the calories. Actually wouldn’t eat it if it was calorie free.

Stupendously Inferior

Sole Redemption

Finally, Some Cheese





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