Darby's on 59  (Second Visit)
Akron, Ohio          Date of Visit:  03/24/16          

 Click Here for Original Visit

Needed a quick lunch in the Falls, been a while since we were recommended Darby’s and Bob’s you
r uncle. Same place, half bar/half tables. The service hasn’t really improved. It’s trendier but no better. Way too slow if you are on an hour lunch and that was with a burger, soup that’s done, cold chicken and just seared tuna in an empty restaurant. The music mirrored the service imagine a music channel labeled “Sad and Empty Hipster” (Tiny Vessels, Hannah Hunt, King’s Crossing) and you’re home.


  The food split half and half. Chef LOVES pepper. I had three bites of the mushroom bisque, I mean pepper soup. There were mushrooms in it. You could tell by the texture which was interestingly lumpy and grainy. Instead of slices or a complete puree they stopped somewhere in the middle, strange but forgivable. Until you can’t taste any of them past the pepper. Fail. The same strange thing happened with the tuna appetizer, which is actually described as pepper crusted, but who puts this much pepper on tuna? We’ve had a lot of substandard seared tuna, this was not the case…fish was beautiful, you just couldn’t taste any of it once the pepper crust punched your tongue to sleep. Sad. The plate was really something too. Fried noodle cage, decorative cucumber, spicy crab, pickled ginger, wasabi, a couple of sauces. Super, but we ordered tuna and it was as inedible as the soup. Play some more Sad Empty Hipster.

Mealy Black Pepper Soup

Impressive Plate


Quality Tuna

Return Of The Pepper Phantom

  On the plus side were a tequila-lime chicken wrap with avocado, greens, tomato, cheddar jack cheese and spicy ranch, nothing wrong with that at all. Served with uber thin and crispy house chips. The burger was also nicely done, loads of beef and little if any filler, hard caramelized exterior and juicy interior soaking into a soft bun. I think there was some pepper in the mix, but I could still taste other things…much better. I added sautéed onions and bleu cheese, it came with a complete burger set/drag through the garden and above average fries. Stick to the basics, you’ll probably be okay, stray and you may well be hungry again soon.

Wrap Looked Pretty Good

And Was An Improvement

The Burger Was Even Better

But Not Enough For Redemption

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Darby's on 59
 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit  08/31/12      
No Known Website

Okay, there are two outs and it is the bottom of the ninth, we have taken two strikes looking and the pitcher is raring back to deliver the final blow. Twice the doors have been locked at Darby’s on 59 but a recommendation from Kristin led us to mixed adventures at Retro Dog and Kiflis Restaurant without satisfying our specific need. This day we find a couple of cars in the lot and the door open. This is Darby’s, finally. We were recommended the place with the information it may not be spectacular but there are treats to be found.



Buffalo Chicken Pot Stickers Got Better With Each Bite

The interior is surprisingly swank with varying brown tones, an interestingly shaped triangular bar and televisions set to tennis and golf over the bar and a marathon of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives over the small dining area. Our server Hillary did a fair job through the evening but some things were definitely amiss. There appeared to be a bevy of friends and family in for the night as the conversations at the tables around us would suggest, but you should take some notice of your paying customers as well.

Hillary did pretty well until the end of the night when we spent time sitting as everyone was glad-handing their VIP’s. You should celebrate your start but never forget how it might appear to those who work less than a ¼ mile away with about a hundred other people. Friends and family won’t keep your place in the black. Hillary seemed to care…the rest, not so much. Sad and possibly telling the future? I hope they learn…there were some tasty things. The bar should keep them going for a bit at least.

Looks Phenomenal...

...Lacks Cheesiness. Hard To Believe But True

We started by ordering three appetizers, it’s how we roll. We chose the Buffalo Chicken Pot Stickers, the Molten Mac & Cheese Fritter with Bacon and the Kansas City Pork Wings. When we ordered the “pork wings…which we chose because I was curious…Pigs don’t have wings…Hillary said, “Hey you get two extra wings." She was sort of lying, what she must have meant to say was you don't get any. When the other two apps were delivered she said “We are all out of wings…do you want something else?” This is the only place I have been where they apparently don’t know they are out of something in the kitchen when it is ordered. I’ve run the night line at a four diamond kitchen…when the squirrel barks out an order and you ain’t got the goods, that’s when you send the server back to the table…not after everything else has been prepared…still some learning curve to tend to.

The two apps we did get were mixed. The mac and cheese suffered from the now pandemic  lack of salty cheese. The crusty exterior was alright, the pasta wasn’t overdone…but what is was; was undercheesed. Undersalted and a big ball of greasy pasty. We cut a couple of pieces out and sent it to the garbage, where it really belonged. The cheese sauce over the top was nice but wasn’t near the ball park if expected to flavor the immense fried mess. The Buffalo chicken pot stickers started out as lackluster as the mac and cheese disappointment. We both agreed though, as you worked your way through each piece it went from ehhhhh to ooohhhhh. A nice twist of two classics.

Passable Po' Boy

Big Juicy Shrimp, Yes! American Cheese?

For the entrée we tried the 2 slider dinner with Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Lamb with fries and the Fried Shrimp Po’ Boy. First off, the mac app might have been improved with salt, to make up for the lack of salty cheesiness. I was worried about the fries since there is no salt of the table. There is some arrogance in not providing salt and pepper which proclaims “I season everything perfectly, you don’t need shakers.” While they failed miserably on the appetizer, the potatoes were deliciously fried and well seasoned with more than salt and pepper. They also appear to be trying to save on ketchup consumption as well as the little tin was barely ¼ full. If the fries weren’t well seasoned the skimpy pour of condiment would be irritating if not provoking.

The Po’ Boy had the fried shrimp, a pseudo spicy remoulade (the menu said it would be spicy), tomatoes (not certain they were heirloom as the menu suggested), spring greens and shallots, all on a butter toasted French bread. Now, the bread won’t compete with the Blue Door’s version, Lord knows the bread would get a vicious beat down from the Cuban version from The Columbia in the far South,  the greens were fine, the shrimp were large and well fried..far from a rubbery overcooked mess. Not bad, not what I imagine Domilises’s to be from the motherland of Po’ boys. The shrimp were enough to make it a nice local variant regardless.

Speaking of skimpy, the sliders Steph ordered were small by slider comparison. I don’t expect a quarter pound but definitely expect more than quarter sized…okay that’s exaggerated…they were the size of three quarters. The chicken was moist but lacked anything memorable flavor wise to make up for the canapé size. The lamb was certainly better with a slice of cucumber, lightly gamey lamb and a curried tzatziki sauce. Tasty, not enough to share, the nibble I took off the end to make sure Steph had a bite or two was nice, Steph didn’t like the curry as much as I did but it did well over all.

Juicy But Boring Chicken Slider

Better Lamb Version

Still short an app and pretty full, we decided to try one of the two desserts on the menu. After the less than stellar bread pudding at The Columbia in FLA, we tried the other option, the fried cheesecake….It was far more disappointing than the extinct appetizer, it came to the table but failed to deliver. Under sweetened, grainy, oily, with less berry compote and sliced strawberry then could possibly save it, the dessert would have been better unordered and tasted.

Turns out Kristin was right, they may not be pro’s, they may not completely understand the business, but they have some tasty options, if they are lucky they will figure it out before the harsh overlord that is restaurant statistics come calling. Some tuning would make this an attractive option in a small area that could use one.

Thanks for the heads up Kristin...looking forward to more.

Quarter Pound vs. Quarter Sized

Again Looks Aren't An Issue

Once You Get Inside The Flaws Materialize





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