The Valley Café
 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit  08/10/14

It’s a beautiful day for a bike ride and breakfast seems like a good destination. Steph found a place in the valley which also afforded us a ride through Sand Run Metro Park to splash some sharp smelling water beneath our two tires. Happy Wife; Happy Life. The Valley Café looks like it’s in an old bank building and the website tells us it’s run by a couple of Southerner’s who turned in professional 9-5er’s for the hospitality grind. They’re also Florida State fans. I suppose we all have our demons. There are a few seats outside and there aren’t many more inside. The place is yellow and quaint inside and seats don’t stay empty for more than seconds. The staff, from the woman who sat us, to our server, to the servers at other tables all seem sweet as pie and nice as a relaxing day at the lake.



Spicy Cabbage Soup


They are also one of the most disorganized and inefficient teams I think I’ve ever witnessed. The flurry of activity was amazing both in intensity and futility, as they whirled and swirled, full of sound and fury, accomplishing nothing. That makes it a tough one to call.

Like the Honeymoon Café, The Valley is strictly a breakfast/lunch joint and we split our order between the two. I was excited to see they feature a cabbage soup everyday. I had hopes of it being similar to the odd concoction I love from Kravitz’s Deli in Youngstown. It wasn’t the same but its still a pretty tasty cup. In what’s gotta be a great profit margin for both places (you have to make it tasty to sell a lot of cabbage soup) some beef broth and diced cabbage, some seasoning, that’s about it. Kravitz’s has a nice balance of heat and sweet, the sweet I think comes from raisins. The Valley’s is loaded with much more heat. I got a smack of sweet initially but it was quickly overtaken by a bright and warming spice. I enjoyed it but still longed for Kravitz’s. Probably because its been sooooo long.


I ordered the same thing I did at the Honeymoon Grille, the country fried steak, hey they’re Southerners. Served with eggs, home fries and toast, it was a Southern classic. Rye, over-easy (done well) and fluffy seasoned taters were set alongside a pounded chunk of beef, breaded, deep-fried and sauced. What set the Valley’s apart were the breading and gravy. The sausage gravy wasn’t the white sawmill version you see most often but a brown sludge made from drippings. It had a dark and husky meatiness that worked well with the rest of the plate. The breading had a uniqueness I have seen on fried chicken before. It is über-crisp but almost disintegrates into a powder after the first chew. It’s a little odd but it does hold the crisp under the weight of the heavy gravy.


Southern Breakfast

Eggs Were On The Money

Taters Were Crispy & Fluffy

And Brown Gravy Atop Crispy Steak

Steph’s Reuben arrived in a basket with thick cut fries which had been tossed in a salt/pepper/and some spice/herb combination I couldn’t quite peg. Nice fries, interesting seasoning. The Reuben had little in the way of sauerkraut and the corned beef had been very lightly corned but it was lean, thin and tasty. A nice smear of dressing and toasted rye put the final touches on a pretty good sandwich.

If you have some time…a good bit of time (the kitchen was actually fast which may be a byproduct of the speed in which orders flow from the floor) you can find some homey and tasty dishes at the Valley Café and then go splash around through Sand Run.


Good But Not Great Reuben, Still Good

And Interestingly Seasoned Fries



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