Sloopy's Sport Cafe
 Lakeside, Ohio         Date of Visit  06/24/12  

Again, in a partial effort at transparency, you should know that any place associated with Lakeside or the Sandusky area will be mired in nostalgia. Every trip to the lake stirs rumblings of dozens of summer childhood trips to a place that will forever remain stained in my mind in a way that defies reality. I am still surprised every time I see familiar sights, as I remember them larger, freer and more magical. The sense of magic has not been extinguished in the area but some of it has been diminished in me. Some things remain, some are different, some are gone, some are new…time marches on, even at Lakeside. I will do my best to be aware of and control my emotional and irrational connection to the past.



Not Just Bucs Stuff And Impressive Peel Trophies On Wall From Competitions

Sloopy’s took over space that to the best of my memory was a sort of general store down in the tiny business district in Lakeside. I had been there once or twice and don’t really remember what I might have had. We recently discovered that one of Steph’s fellow doc students has a Lakeside connection and she is apparently a fan of Sloopy’s Burger so it was definitely going on the list. After craft sign up we strolled down and given the off hour found a seat right off the bat. We were attended to by a dude with two complete sleeves of tats (very different for Lakeside) but was as good natured and attentive as the day is long. Sing it with me…”the times, they are a changin’” even at Lakeside.

We ordered a small sweet potato fries which made me nervous considering the tragic version we had at Save the Fish. We also ordered their two award winning pizzas and the aforementioned burger. The fries arrived first. What an improvement. Not greasy at all and with a nice mix of those starchy and sweet fundamental tones. Much better. They were also served with a cinnamon/butter combo which I expected to be really sweet but was actually much more savory and supple adding a nice layer of richness.

Superior Sweet Tater Fries...As Good As Ray's Place in Kent

Cinnamon Butter Sauce Is Great Addition

Solid Burger

The Bun Took It Past Just Solid

The burger arrived quickly after and it is the best I have had at the lake as far as I can remember. Outside of a tomato that wasn’t quite at its prime everything was well put together. The patty was nice and beefy but what really made the combo for me was the bread. I don’t know if they use a ciabatta roll or their pizza crust for the bun but the seriously chewy outer layer of the dough makes for a unique and interesting sandwich with passable fries.

The pizzas took us far from the standard and traditional fare that had been endemic of Lakeside during my lifetime. The first is listed simply as a meatball supreme. It consists of their signature Perfetto red sauce, meatballs, mild sweet Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, basil, mozzarella, and is all topped with a gorgonzola cheese drizzle. I’m not certain why the meatball is the namesake as the sausage is really the dominant flavor in the protein department. The veggies are subtle but lend their earthy taste to the pie and the green veined awesome cheese boosts the simple saltiness of the mozzarella with it’s pungent kick. Interesting touches on a classic, then there is the alien invader.


The Meatball Champ

Up Close It Seems More Sausage

Aptly named The Hibachi it is the same chewy crust with a Japanese White Sauce (they refer to as Yum-Yum Sauce) (which I later found out is a real thing), chicken, shrimp, sautéed broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, fried rice, and an Oyster/Soy Sauce combination, and finally finished with sesame seeds. This was wild. Japanese/Chinese takeout on a pizza crust. But not a safe version like you would get from most local Pacific Rim based eateries. Underlaying bite of fermented things like soy and fish sauces, the light crunch of fried then baked rice intermingled with a myriad of vegetabley textures, briny shrimp and bits of chicken, just crazy. It really took the entire little slice for me to decide if I liked it, a brain puzzle of the culinary order. In all honesty, it is delicious; it was my favorite option of the meal. There are pizza peels on the wall, trophies of serious competition with world class pizzaiolos. To steal from the olde Virginia Slims slogan “You’ve come a long way baby.” Both Sloopy’s and Lakeside.

Wackily Wonderful Hibachi

Gourmet and Scrumptious

In case you missed pictures from the Lake on the page at the Patio.





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