Ala Mode Cafe
 Akron, Ohio        Date of Visit  11/19/10              No Known Website

I sort of lucked into this place. It sits right behind the Waterloo restaurant, and if someone hadn’t suggested we meet there I never would have known it existed. A block down a backstreet The Ala Mode Café is in the corner of a building where you might not expect a restaurant. Inside it obviously wasn’t intended to be a restaurant. A corner store was quickly transformed with some display cases, kitchen equipment and refrigerators and viola; ala mode café. The offerings are slim, and odd. Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Hershey’s Ice Cream, and some Greek food. Greek Food? Could that mean gyros? I have been looking for a really good gyro since Bill’s on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Sure enough, right on the front of the menu, gyros. There is always hope.



The Gyro Platter

Overall we tried the gyro platter, the steak sandwich, fries and a trio of desserts. Before we get to the food, I have to say the service here is a stand out. From both the counter and the kitchen window folks working at ala mode are über-friendly and work really hard to make you comfortable in a building that might not suggest the same. The gyro is not quite Bill’s but is easily one of the very best I have ever tried in the area. The lamb/beef mixture is tender and succulent and full of Mediterranean spices. Warm pita, bright onion and tomato, and a remarkable Tzatziki sauce make for a really tasty sandwich. Sandwich might be a misnomer in this case as they are so packed with goodies that the plastic fork is nearly a necessity. When I ordered the platter I found that the amount of goodness was dramatically increased. The platter includes dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), Kalamata olives, several additional triangle of pita, and big blocks of feta cheese. The grape leaves are seriously flavorful, the olives, cheese, sauce, etc., allow you to have a different bite every time. Super delicious. The only thing that keeps Bill’s on top is the cheese.

The Steak Sandwich, Check Out the Chunks of Steak

Good Fries

The Dolmades on the Gyro Platter

At Bill’s it is expensive, likely because I think they use Dodoni’s Feta which is a whole new world of flavor and texture. The steak sandwich has yummy chunks of steak and is set up exactly like the gyro in every other regard. Someday I will have to try the chicken. The fries are dusted with some herbs and spices and there is a little extra what-what in the ketchup that comes alongside.

The desserts are traditional Greek fare with nutty/goopy/sweet/crunchy combinations. We had a nut roll, the nut cookie and essentially a baklava wrapped with shredded phyllo dough. We were going to try a bite of each but ended up finishing them at the table before waddling out the door. The ala mode café is hard to find, but if the number of people cycling through the door are any indication, once you find it, you will get to know it well. Good people, good food, exceptionally reasonable.

Mediterranean Desserts




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