Happy Meals?

I want to take a break from talking about politics. Instead I’d like to promote some of our area’s great restaurants. I decided sometime ago that I would not post about restaurants I had a bad meal at. On the other hand, I note that a few of the restaurants I’ve highly recommended have closed. I wonder how have some of these boring chain restaurants and some inferior locally owned ones survived when better ones close? I think it’s that the better ones need more people talking, posting and promoting them. I’ve also decided that I will criticize some of our area restaurants (and other businesses) in a hope that they will take a look at what they need to do better.

Let me mention a couple of restaurants that have been gone for years that I really miss. First off is a restaurant that was on Mahoning Ave. in Warren, OH. I think it was called, the Jamestown (if you remember the one I’m talking about let me know). Mrs. E will only eat fish if it isn’t fishy tasting. Given that, we could always count on the Jamestown to deliver. They had these small breaded and fried fish fingers. They were so good that I measure other restaurants fish fries by them. Next is Lum’s Restaurant a chain that was located in downtown Youngstown. They had fish and chips that were as good as it gets. Lum’s also had a Lum’s Burger that had secret spices on top that took a burger to a whole new level. Two excellent casual restaurants gone but not forgotten.

Mrs. E did give a thumbs up to a fried fish dinner we both enjoyed at the Buckeye Diner. It is located on Rt. 224 in Boardman, OH. Service was very good and the meal came very quickly. I’m told by others who’ve eaten at the Buckeye Diner that their breakfasts and burgers are well worth checking out. I must say I am rather baffled by what has taken place in burger architecture in recent years.  When I order lettuce on my burger why is  placed on top of the meat? What are they trying to hide? Proper construction is supposed to be a burger on a bed of lettuce, not a burger under a blanket of lettuce. What’s next lemon meringue pie with the meringue on the bottom?

I tried the fried fish dinner at O’Donald’s Irish Pub in Austintown. The menu called it the best fish fry in the area. It was just OK. Mrs. E had a salad with chicken on it. She sent it back because the chicken was nearly raw. The Mahoning Valley Burger Review Board says, O’Donald’s has a great burger so I’d say go with that.

Mrs. E, Adam (our son), his girlfriend and I went to the new Wing Warehouse franchise in Niles, Ohio. It’s located behind Eastwood Mall. The wings were cold as was the fajita nacho appetizer. Our server was very good, and I’m sure would have made things right but I don’t believe in sending food back. For now, I’d say they haven’t been open long enough to overcome start-up issues.

Mrs. E and I enjoyed an evening at Mikee’s Restaurant in the Youngstown Airport. I believe they are only opened Wed.-Sat. We had the Wednesday special which was 10 wings for $3.50. Tacos were also available for .50 and domestic beer was $1.00 a bottle. On Fridays they feature $1 burgers. The wings were good size and they had quite a number of sauces to pick from. With such good food and affordable prices I see why the place was packed.

Since I’m talking about wings let me mention a fixture in our area. I’m talking about Quaker Steak and Lube in Sharon, PA. I hadn’t been there in a decade and after recently going with my daughter, Mac I remembered why. We both ordered their week day lunch buffet, priced around $8.50. The waitress said, “You can order some wings with the buffet or get the ones at the buffet.” Mac wisely ordered 10 hot wings, I said, whatever was at the buffet was fine. When I got to the buffet I got the one wing that was left. They later brought out more wings. I got in line but was left with two wings. The wings were cold and tiny. The green beans, corn and mashed potatoes I got all had the same taste, and it was a foul taste. The waitress finally brought my iced tea, which I needed to wash down the nasty taste in my mouth. The next thing I know I was spitting up the iced tea. The tea had the same awful taste. I asked the waitress for a glass of water instead. I smelled the water and then realized their water was the culprit as the beans, corn and potatoes had all been cooked in it. They are located next to the Shenango River and I have the feeling they must be using it right from its source.  I have never been impressed with the “Lube” and wonder why it has lasted so long. They claim to have won wing contests where they were called, the best wings in the USA. I find that amazing because a few blocks away is “Our Gang’s Lounge” which has won the best wings in the Shenango Valley for several years in a row. I won’t wait a decade to go back….I’ll wait a lifetime.

Amos Lee: anti-war song Freedom

El Camino

“I’ll bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal.”
Martha Harrison






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4 responses to “Happy Meals?

  1. Mike Colello

    I am responding to the post regarding the Quaker Steak and Lube in Sharon, I am the Managing Director of the Sharon property and I am very disheartened by the comments made about our restaurant. We strive for perfection every shift, every day and it sounds like we were far from it during this guests experience. As before mentioned in the post we have been around for along time getting ready to celebrate our 37th anniversary in April because we are 100% focused on far exceeding our guests expectations. We can only continue to get even better by reading and reacting to our guests comments I truly hope this guest re-considers coming back to our restaurant as we will do our best to make them a Lube fan.

  2. elecpencil

    Thanks for responding. Congrats on 37 years in business. I have patronize the Lube several times over those 37 years and never been impressed. On my last visit I informed the waitress that the ice tea and water both tasted bad. The food cooked in that water had the same foul taste. A good chef should sample the food leaving his kitchen to catch such problems. Is the water always that bad or are people just use to it?

  3. liteblue74

    I don’t usually do this but I thought I was the only person that was unsatisfied with both the food and service at the Lube. I remember going there as a teenager for all you can eat wing night and it was something I looked forward to every week. After I graduated high school, I joined the military and it was years before I made it back. What I found was disappointing. They made all can eat wing night into a buffet and the wings got smaller. The few times I have been there since being back home I was seated in a corner, the waitress only came to our table about four times, food was usually was barely warm, and the prices are outrageous. I no longer go there and suggest other places when friends want to go there. I would rather go to the smoke filled, sewer smelling, dark and dingy bar near my house because the service is better, the food is out of this world and on Thursday wings are 25 cents each, the flavors are better, and I only have to travel 5 minutes. Thank you for the great memories but you are just another chain restaurant with mediocre expensive food.

  4. elecpencil

    Thanks I couldn’t agree more that they are just one more lousy chain. They must cruise comments about their restaurant because I received an e-mail from a manager inviting me back and telling me I’d enjoy it. It’s been lousy for decades so I doubt I’d all of a sudden like it. Where is near your home you enjoy with the 25 cent wings? I’m from smoke free Ohio so I am surprised how many bars I go into in PA that have smoking and just reek. I see places like the Jug Handle and Clark House that brag about being a smoking establishment. Thanks for sharing.

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