Chowder House Cafe
 Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio    Date of Visit:  10/03/14

It’s been a while. I am coming from watching a successful dissertation defense and we are going to celebrate for Randy on our own. Sorry, Dr. Randy. The place is still funky and the staff still friendly. We ordered both soups again to see if they had changed at all, Steph will probably never get anything but the twisted noodles and I got something marked new.



The lobster bisque is still pointedly disappointing. Thin, way more cream & sherry than shellfish and distractingly horribly muddy lumps of roux still floating around in the bisque. No better, no thanks. The chowder remained the same as well, much better consistency, loads of tender clams, loads of cracked black pepper (almost too much) and no weird floury lumps.


The Bisque Is Still A Non Starter

The Chowder Is Better

Steph ordered the noodles with extra tuna, probably a good thing since the portions seem to be shrinking at the chowder house. It remains every bit as delicious, rare fish, sesame noodles, yakatori sauce with wasabi and pickled ginger. Classically delish.

The Twisted Noodles Are Still Super Tasty

If Sparse...This Is The Double Portion

I ordered Savannas Best. It was supposed to feature shrimp, scallops and oysters over pepper/bacon grits. They were out of lobster (no option for the lobster roll) and turned out to be out of oysters. The second notification of the missing oysters came with the news of today being truck day. Hmmmmm. How long have the shrimp and scallops been hanging out? They didn’t taste off, fortunately, but with double the scallops in the dish there ended up being two (split into four) and a shrimp. Meh. The grits were so soupy they required a spoon and didn’t manage any noticeable flavor support. For me the Chowder House doesn’t match the hype that seems to surround it.

Having Dined Down South

I Can Assure You This Is Not Savanna's Best
  Change in Ranking        
  Original Score Which Way? New Score Why For?  
  B C+ Everything's Essentially The Same But Smaller  
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Chowder House Cafe
 Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio    Date of Visit  02/15&21/12

The best thing about this whole adventure continues to be connecting with people about what we find delicious and special and while I’m always a little embarrassed when people find out about the site it almost invariably leads to new places to try. This is how we find ourselves at The Chowder House Café in Cuyahoga Falls. This actually covers two stops, one for lunch and one for dinner. This place is wackadoodle in both good and not so good ways. First off the décor is what the Beatles were seeing when they were recording the White Album.



A Small Sample of the Interior

The best way I can describe it is a mix of everything from two episodes of American Pickers applied by a lightly buzzed voodoo fortune teller. That’s the fun bit of the space, the down side is first, parking is an absolute nightmare of Kruegeran proportions. The interior is also small and causes some confusion in working out the seating when things are busy.

A quick lunch resulted in a split decision. Two soups a lobster bisque and the house chowder resulted in mixed reviews. The bisque, while studded with perfectly tender lobster chunks also had clods of roux and an odd sourness. We tried the same for dinner and found a better tasting, clodless, and less lobstery brew. My guess is they need to check how they are holding the stuff overnight, the sour could well have come from the fridge if it wasn’t tightly wrapped and they need to crush it with a whisk or the boat motor while reheating to keep the starch from separating out and clotting.

First Round of Lobster Bisque was Disappointing

Chowdah Was Better

Probably What Boston Lobster Rolls Taste Like...I'll Stick to Maine

The Twisted Noodles Guaranteed We Were Returning

The chowder was a definite improvement, super thick and well seasoned. I am one to reach for the black pepper almost before tasting clam chowder and it was unnecessary at the café. The chowder is studded right to the limit with the stuff which was strong but just right.

Our lunch dishes were split down the middle just like the soups. I tried the lobster roll which the menu said was a house favorite and there would be no need to drive to Boston for one. I was entirely unimpressed with everything but the potato chips and if I wanted a real lobster roll I certainly wouldn’t stop in Boston on the way to the Maine coast, but maybe I’m not in on the joke. Steph went with the twisted noodles…ohhhh the twisted noodles. Easily the best Asian ingredient profile I have had in the Akron area. Nothing new, rare seared ahi tuna served chilled on cold sesame noodles, with wasabi, pickled ginger and yakitori sauce. Perfectly balanced sweet, salty, tangy, etc. Flavorful and interesting it was everything the lobster roll failed to be. Plus if it is a shrimp and lobster roll, as I discovered reading after I ordered it, I might add "shrimp" to the name of the dish, although I don’t think it mattered since it really didn’t taste much of either.


Good Looking French Onion Appeared with Improved Bisque

Earthy, Crispy Strudel

Salads are Big and Steaky

Or Chickeny

With birthday celebrants at dinner, we added French onion soup and it appeared to go over very well. We also tried the Portobello strudel with red wine braised shrooms and provolone wrapped in phyllo dough and topped with a demi-glace. It was served with a pile of greens that were more plate filling garnish than part of the dish but the crunchy pocket of mushrooms was tasty in and of itself.

For dinner we ordered two salads the poppy seed chicken and the steak, the Kobe burger and on the inside info of the person who recommended the place I ordered the three little pigs. The salads were huge and appeared fresh. The chicken came with dried cranberries, candied pecans, goat cheese, roasted tomato and poppy seed dressing. Next to the big chunks of strip steaks and greens were more roasted tomatoes, cheddar, bacon and egg all topped with white French dressing. By report both were good and too big to finish. The burger was solid, large (over ½ lb.) and topped with gorgonzola, but I did way better. Both the burger and the three little pigs were accompanied by roasted garlic mashers which were well seasoned, rich, potatoey goodness. In a case of "it’s not what you know”… thanks to Matt I ended up eating way too much, cause it was hard to stop.

Solid Burger and Nice Mash

It Pays to Have an Insider...Dripping Down the Hair of My Chinny-Chin-Chin

He recommended the three little pigs which consists of a ten ounce loin chop, wrapped in bacon and buoyed by a handful of roasted pork shoulder. The shoulder was tender and packed with porky flavor. The chop was a little overdone but that is essentially standard practice as historical worries about pork continue. A rasher of bacon bordered the chop and added just the right smoky note. All of the pork taken together was sort of like the end of great concert when three talented but separate acts combine for a couple tunes and combined they are way better than apart. An apple cider demi and the same tasty mashers thrown into the mix had me chewing past the point of surrender. It may not be Lola’s chop but it was definitely worth the travel from the parking lot of the restaurant down the street. I hope they get that parking thing worked out, there are some other interesting things on the menu like the lasagna with both Bolognese and a mascarpone gorgonzola béchamel…hmmmmm.




What's Best

What's Worst

  B B C+ A D B  
      Wild and Interesting But With
Serious Issues (Parking Esp.)
Chilly Noodles and
Multiple Piggies
Lobster Stuff Had Issues    
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