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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hudson's On The Green

Place: Hudson’s On The Green
Location: 80 North Main Street, Hudson, OH 44236 Google Maps

Quick Blurb:
Hudson’s On The Green is lounge style diner located at Hudson’s First and Main plaza. Friendly staff and decent food will make me want to return and give their dinner menu a go, although it doesn’t vary much from the one we had at Lunch.


Hudson’s has a friendly atmosphere that takes you back a few decades. The lighting is a little low, dark colors everywhere and booths that remind me of a saloon. The bar, while small, is full of character – it looks as though a lot of good conversations have taken place. The seats were comfortable and the table at a good height. Sometimes when you sit in booths, there either is not enough room between the chairs and table, or the table is at an awkward height. For those reasons, I prefer a table – although come to think of it, I don’t recall any tables at Hudson’s. Maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention.

I really enjoyed everyone who waited on us at Hudson’s. The hostess showed us our table (booth) and waited for everyone to sit before passing out the menus – which I do appreciate as opposed to them trying to wiggle in and place the menus down before promptly rushing away.

Our waitress was super busy when we first arrived and politely told us she would be just a couple of minutes, instead of leaving us sitting there wondering what was going on. She gladly took our drink orders and did not rush us with ordering appetizers or main meals immediately – thank you! She was prompt, checked in on us when needed and was quick on the draw with refilling drinks (soda). Sometimes at restaurants, you’re left sucking the last life out of your glass during your main meal and straining your neck to make eye contact with your server – not here.

They had a minimal selection of draft beers, but they had Stella and Great Lakes Dortmunder as two of the selections, and that’s good enough for me.

The sodas were served in giant glasses – combined with frequent refills – you weren’t left feeling thirsty at all.

House Chips: Spiral cut chips topped with bacon, tomatoes, Gorgonzola cheese and scallions, finished with a balsamic glaze.

These were by far the best part of the meal, both in terms of taste and presentation – agreed by everyone at the table. The chips were thinly cut and cooked to a medium brown – then you had the bacon, tomatoes, cheese and scallions as toppings. BUT – these were not just toppings, but rather inclusions.

Let me explain: When you go to a place and order nachos. They give you nachos with all the toppings right on top. So the bottom chips usually are bare and left to scrounge up what minimal toppings are left from when you loaded up the first chips. At Hudson’s, it’s as if they tossed the chips and toppings together and the result was a delicious mélange which was never short on the combined flavors of each ingredient.

The bacon was cooked all the way through and you didn’t have those cheap fatty pieces in the mix, just the ‘good stuff’. The glaze was not obnoxious – a little drizzle over the top was all that was done. I will be ordering this again next time.

Lobster and Shrimp Flatbread: Lobster cream sauce topped with Lobster, Shrimp, Fontina and Cheddar cheese.

Sounds great; but I was left being slightly disappointed. The flatbread had a distinct flavor to it that I did not like. It wasn’t a spice flavor, but something distinct in the dough. The cream sauce left a little to be desired as well. It was creamy, but was missing something. You will never find me adding salt to any dishes in restaurants or at home, I’m somewhat afraid of it, but realize its importance. That said, I think I should have added some salt to the sauce, it was a little bland. The lobster pieces were good, but the shrimp didn’t taste fresh; not bad, but not fresh. So overall, ‘eh’.

People around me got the Strawberry Salad and the Cibatta Club. The salad had cut up strawberries on the sides, but they looked a little dry, as if it was made ahead of time and was sitting in the fridge waiting to be served. They did taste sweet, I was told, but the presentation wasn’t there. The club was a double layer and I had a bite, it was ok. Typical club sandwhich with turkey that would have been better if it was smoked turkey or pepper turkey; anything to spice it up a notch.

Covered this earlier. Beer selection was minimal, but somewhat fit the style of the place. The sodas were great – large and replenished often.

A neat place that I’ll go again if even just to have a beer and those house chips. I’m a little hesitant in their main meals though. They have a burger selection, but I’m worried that it would be a little on the greasy side and cause me to taste it all day long, just like Pub Bricco. I’ll be back and write a review of the dinner side.

Go try the chips…

Hudsons on the Green on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Thought I'd throw this out there:

If you have a place that you would like me to review - let me know!! I'm always up for trying new places (obviously).

The Cabin @ Mario’s Spa

Place: The Cabin @ Mario’s Spa
Location: 30 E Garfield Rd, Aurora, OH 44202-7958 Google Maps

Quick Blurb:

The Cabin is a little out of the way from Akron/Cleveland area, but worth the trip for some great food. The service, while not bad, isn’t the greatest. Concentrate on the food and you’ll be happy.



Visiting in the winter added to the rustic atmosphere of The Cabin - dim lighting and exposed beams. 1800’s décor surrounds you as you enter and both the Lounge and Dining areas are very fun to sit. We were sat in the dining room as there was no place left in the lounge (despite us being told during reservations that there would be no problem to have a table). We were seated near a window, which was a little chilly, but heating was not a problem (to be expected in such an old building). The smell of fire and food made you feel very comfortable in a formal setting.


Overall – OK. As mentioned above, friends of ours who made reservations had asked if it would be possible to sit in the lounge area. They were told it would not be an issue, however, upon arriving, the hostess simply said “No, sorry no room. But your table is here”. No remorse, no pausing to take a look to see if there was anything she could do, nothing. Not exactly the best start to the evening.

After being seated we were greeted by our waiter. Don’t blink, in case you miss him smiling. He was very dry and tried to act too proper. Perhaps it was the character he was trying to portray as he put on a faint British accent and had a grey pony tail to boot. I’ve been to formal restaurants and the staff always is lively and polite and enjoyable.



The drinks were good. The ladies had a glass of champagne and we had martinis. The champagne was very nice and the martinis made very well. This started to make up for the initial greeting.


I went for the Torta di Granchi – aka Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Roasted Fennel, Sundried Tomato Relish, Aioli. Let me start by saying that I am a fan of every ingredient listed. Usually when places list fennel on the menu, it has no taste and is just on the menu to sound fancy; not so here. I could taste the anis and it complimented the relish and crab so that the combined flavor was unique, delicious, and also distinguishable; you could taste each element. Most restaurants typically have aioli as the highlight of their crab cake dish; The Cabin has chosen to make it what it is, in my opinion, and that is a complimentary dip and not the focus – this is good! A garlic, olive oil mayonnaise-esque dipping sauce should not be the feature of a dish, but instead it should be a tasty option as it was in this case. The crab meat was excellent – fresh, sweet flavor paired with the tart of the relish – delicious!


Tell me how good this sounds:

Spaghetti Fruitti Di Mare

Shrimp, Scallops, Lobster, White Wine, Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I couldn’t resist…

I would like to stress a couple of things about The Cabin and I feel now is the best time. Their food is excellent – cooked perfectly and as fresh as you’ll find.

Now onto the main course – the first thing that I noticed was that I had to search for the pasta beneath all the seafood. Yes, that is written correctly. How many times are you able to say that you had seafood with pasta rather than pasta with seafood?

I had at least five large scallops that were not cooked beyond recognition, but rather seared properly. The Shrimp were abundant as was the lobster. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. I was also pleased that there was not an obnoxiously heavy cream alfredo sauce drenching the food – which again is usually what you find elsewhere. The garlic and olive oil is plenty tasty and not heavy on the stomach – leaving more room for the seafood!

Now usually no one really talks about the pasta – pasta’s pasta, right? Well, I don’t think so. I think pasta is usually over cooked at restaurants and is cheap. Again, The Cabin serves up quality – the spaghetti was cooked a perfect al dente and had a very different flavor than compared to the San Giorgio pasta you pick up in the stores. It tasted real…I know that’s an unusual way to describe something, but just think about it and go and have a taste!


While they hand you a semi-extensive wine list, we were knocked down twice with our selection. We asked for two wines, neither ridiculously expensive, nor cheap, and both “they were just out”. The last bottle of wine we asked for happened to be “the last one” and we were meant to feel lucky as a result. This was a continuation of the not so great service that I talked about earlier. If you are out of bottles of wine, then let people know prior to handing them the list. Another option is to not try to carry such an extensive wine list. Additionally, act a little apologetic when you have to tell people for the second time that you do not have their selection – being disinterested isn’t the reaction that pleases people.


As you know, I’m not much of a desert person and I was quite satisfied with the meal. I opted for a simple bowl of their ice cream – and it was equal to the quality of the crab cake and pasta.

The Cabin serves excellent food – and ranks up there in places I’ve been to since moving to this area. However, the service just isn’t up to par. And when I go out to eat, I want the entire dining experience to be enjoyable. It’s part of the atmosphere and pleasure of dining.

I say give The Cabin a go – the food is excellent. And perhaps they have improved in the service area since we’ve been (just before the Christmas break 2009).