Craft Beer Bar
 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit  01/07/15   

Finally forced to leave the house to cover a class I know little about and we decide to swing through the new little craft bar place, which recently opened next to The Office in the Falls. It was very quiet given the blowing snow and the hour. It’s pretty swanky inside and reeks of hipster. Our server is pleasant while she is at the table but as more folks turn up for their dinner shifts they mostly congregate in the corner “doing” side work. I’ve said a lot of mean things about front of the house staff in my day…never really considered how many of them it takes to roll silver for a 40 seat restaurant.



Okay, here goes. How many wait staff does it take to roll silver for a 40 seat restaurant? 5. Ha ha ha. Well, I thought it was funny. We did have dragging periods of downtime while the group effort took place, granted it could have been the kitchen, but when I can see you on the floor cackling away for long periods you're probably going to catch the heat.

Middling service gave way to less than middling food. Unlike Nano Brew, I didn’t really notice anything too interesting on their beer menu…I hope there is something because the majority of the food isn’t worth negotiating the parking maze.

We started with the Poutine. The beloved Canadian dish of fries, cheese, and gravy. Their’s comes with a poached egg and bacon, both nice touches but couldn’t do anything to salvage a tasteless dish. Tasteless I scream. French fries, Cheese, Gravy, tastes like nothing; how do you even do that? I don't want to completely shortcut the did So There was that. What the poutine needed more than anything was salt, and when cheese, fries and bacon don’t carry any salt through something’s wrong, like chili without at least a splash of heat. If you haven't had something like the versions at The Public House, Bacchi Burger, or even Bar 145, etc. you might think all poutine tastes like nothing.




Looked Great

But Completely Devoid Of Flavor. Mystery.


At first I thought we would be okay, we had a bowl of beer cheese soup, we could just dip the fries. Very little cheese going on in the soup, much more beer, much more. Sort of the same failing, warm beer and little else going on in the bowl, especially in the flavor department. How do they do it on the Price is Right?


Steph ordered the Bolognese with fresh pasta (likely a pappardelle) some parm and grilled focaccia. The noodles were actually nice and well done but the pasta sauce was fresher than the pasta, sharp and bitey, which I would never equate with a Bolognese. Fresh tomato garlic sauce with some bits of meat…yes. Bolognese, rich, full of meat and aromatics, cooked down with a hint of sweet from a few carrots…nope. I know a number of folks who would despise this near raw and chunky veg concoction and leave feeling misled.

Beer Bland Beer Soup

The Acid Trip Was An Improvement...

...With It's Sharp & Tangy Additions

I tried the beef and bacon meatloaf, served on white cheddar mash and a slice of Italian bread, then topped with gravy and fried onions.  Better than the pasta sauce but really nothing that’s going to pass average on its best day. The loaf is a very fine grind with hints of spice here and there. Yay! There isn't much mash but the grilled bread base adds something significant. The gravy was familiar. Our recent trip to Nano Brew is looking better and better. The fancy building on Front Street in the Falls houses a couple of great looking restaurants. I just have little desire to eat at either. Pretty ≠ tasty.

There’s a reason Beer is in the name at Craft Beer Bar as opposed to the food. To call it a gastropub is a stretch. Pretty plates that underperform are one of the things I don’t care for at hipstery places and the smell emanating from the door on our arrival was confirmed in all of its hipster fury. Drop by for a pint, hit Swenson’s to curb your other appetite…you’ll be much happier. I’ll just start at Swenson’s.

Blue Ribbon Of The Eve Wins For Average

With More Wet Gravy



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