Gus's Chalet Restaurant 
 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit  10/29/10             No Known Website

Iím not entirely certain what happened in the movie Hot Tub Time Machine, but I am pretty sure I know what happened at Gusís Chalet Time Machine. Inside the confines of the doors of this structure time has been halted by the magical innards of a lava lamp being accidentally poured into an electric fondue pot. Since that time the structure, the menu, the glasses, the lights have not aged a day. The employees and diners who leave the walls each night have not been so lucky. Itís a little like being in Dirty Dancing without the dancing or young folks or Patrick Swayze. This place sweats the 50ís, 60ís, and 70ís. The servers have been sweating all the way through their 70ís in their penguin styled half tuxes. Now donít get me wrong there are some things about this place that are fantastic but you need to prepare yourself for the nostalgia cannon that goes off when you walk through the door.



Part of the Smorgasbord

While the servers may have served more meals than I have taken breaths, they know what they are doing. Patient but efficient they have a stride that certainly pleases the inordinate amount of blue radiating from the coifs in the booths. Now you may not care for a little show with your meal, but we could hardly stop cackling listening to the conversations in the two booths flanking us. To my right we have a four person panel discussing the state of personal and national healthcare with surprisingly vivid detail. The ladies to our right were much more muted but the snippets of conversation that kept coursing across our table were fascinating. Our server appeared at the table with a spread of free appetizers. Sauerkraut Balls, toast with a garlicky cheesy topping, veggies served across from a bean and mayo salad, all part of your meal. The bean salad was simple and tasty and worked well against the basket of bread with toasty sesame seeds baked into the crust. The cheese on the toast smelled fabulous and tasted almost as good as it smelled. The sauerkraut balls were pretty standard. I have to say this spread seemed like a real treat, nothing we likely would have ordered, which made it much more interesting and fun.

Cheesy Toast

Bread with Well Toasted Sesame Seeds


Steph ordered the chicken parmesan and I ordered the Souvlaki, the menu has a special page dedicated to Greek offerings so I had to give it a try. The Greek page also had a soup I had never heard of before so it was inevitable. The soup was the first thing to the table and it was very interesting. Lemon, Egg and Orzo soup, itís very yellow. It has an odd mixture of light taste with a richer mouth-feel as the pasta gives it some texture. Salads arrived next and they somehow appeared aged themselves. Nothing was wilted or brown but they just werenít as crisp as so many previous salads. Their bleu cheese dressing is long on dressing (terrifyingly thick and dense) but lacks all but the smallest notes of pungent cheese.

The entrees ended up being a disappointment. The chicken underneath the sauce and cheese of the parmesan was stringy and tough. The sauce itself screamed BASIL!!! and nothing else. The souvlaki had a number of off-putting textures and burned veggies, plus I have yet to find a place that makes a worthwhile rice since the risotto at Craft Steak. The meal did go downhill the longer we chewed but there were some real notes of pretty good, some things I hadnít tried in a long time if ever, and a really interesting night out. Dig out the bell-bottom tux and hang out at the Chalet. It likely wonít be good enough to return but you should try it at least once.

Stringy Super Basil Chicken

Interesting Lemon, Egg, Orzo Soup




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