Have you ever been with your significant other and could not think of where to eat? We all know the familiar banter. “Your turn to choose. No yours. Okay well what about Chinese? Eh, I’m not feeling Chinese tonight. Mexican? I just had Mexican for lunch.” It can be exhausting. By the end of the conversation you’re not even sure if you’re still hungry. Going out to eat should be an enjoyable experience. That said, there are two people who would like to guide you on this journey to restaurant nirvana and help you avoid the pitfalls. We’d like to show you that there are superb places to dine right here in the Mahoning Valley.
I met my better half a little over a year ago. Coincidentally, or not, we met at a restaurant. It was love at first sight (well for me at least.) We rapidly realized that we shared tons of similar interests, but the most electrifying commonality was our love for food. I’d finally met the most amazing girl and to top it off she was a foodie just like me! Besides our constant hunger pains, I’ll give you all some context as to why food is so fascinating to us. (For this blog we plan on using the pseudonyms of Jimmy and Spade, so we’ll stick with that for now.) Spade is a well-cultured siren who lured me in with her affinity for food. She has a fashion design degree from Kent State University and has traveled all over the world. She’s eaten and lived in places like Chicago, Italy, and Hong Kong. Her well-rounded cuisine resume adds an attractive twist to our dining campaign. I, on the other hand, have a different lens for eateries. I have always loved to cook. My interest in food began at a young age and has been much more than just a necessity. I always wanted more. As I grew older, I found I loved working in restaurants. The food, the people, the laughter — there’s just something about making someone smile with a delicious treat. I’ve been a server as well as a cook, but the position I thrived most at was managing. At a pretty young age, I was responsible for the most reputable and mouth-watering fast-casual restaurant in the area. From there, I went on to manage a full-service Italian café, where I met Spade. I have a handful of close friends who are either chefs or restaurant owners themselves, who in turn are a great source for providing refreshing perspectives. My experience in the industry has given me a distinct birds-eye view of restaurants. I can’t help but observe everything that’s going on. From the employee interaction, presentation of the plate, customer service, etc. Spade and I make a dynamic duo when it comes to finding the best places to dine in the area.
This idea came about while sitting in a local café eating a sub-par pulled-pork sandwich. We both looked at each other and knew it could be so much better if they had just put the effort into it. We couldn’t help but think of all of the other places in the area that would have been so much better than what we had just encountered. The decision was made. We have to get the word out on the best spots to tickle your palette. I’ve lived in this area for the last 27 years of my life and the age-old anecdote is “there’s nothing to do and nowhere good to eat in Youngstown.” We were tired of it. There’s a hidden array of delicious places to go, we just needed to get the word out. Additionally, another reoccurring theme in the Mahoning Valley is the affinity for the staples. Places like the MVR in Youngstown or Sunrise in Warren serve as comforting classics. That said, there’s a whole other tasty cornucopia of dining options in North East Ohio that most are simply unaware of.
Whether you’ve stumbled upon our blog by chance or you’re on a serious hunt for the right place to eat this weekend (or where to avoid), we welcome you with open arms and savory suggestions. We earnestly hope that our small sphere of influence can help guide you on your next Mahoning Valley dining experience. Bon Appétit and thanks for joining us on this adventure!