Well friends, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten the pleasure to talk to all of you. Time seems to be tight lately between softball practices, going to school, work—you know, just day-to-day things piling up. I must say though, I have truly missed having the opportunity to write and express myself to you all on here. That aside, Spade and I recently visited a place that we must tell you all about. Ben Ratner from Lib’s Market invited us down for brunch a couple of weekends ago and it was by far one of the greatest eating encounters we have had thus far.
Lib’s Market is nestled into the quaint downtown area of Salem, Ohio. For most of you Salem might seem like quite a trek, but it is not as far as you might think. It is also well worth the drive. If you are looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of the Boardman/Canfield area or the dregs of downtown Youngstown, you must make the trip. (We promise, you’ll be glad you did.) From the outside of Lib’s Market you notice a pop of color amidst the Salem downtown strip. As you walk through the front door you feel as though you are walking into a modern day general store. However, this is so much more. Lib’s Market re-inhabited a space by Friends Specialty coffee roasters. The space has some real character to it even displaying the safe from the original 1850’s bank that once occupied the corridor. This bright and energetic establishment serves a mean Taco Tuesday, does brunch on the weekends, has a grab n’ go section for the rest of the week and even roasts their own coffee.On this specific encounter, we got to dine with them for brunch. If you have been following Spade and I for any amount of time now you will quickly realize how much we love brunch. When Ben offered to treat us to a delicious meal we had to come check out their Sunday specialty. The after-church crowd was in full swing as we walked into this caring café. Lib’s seems to be a meeting place for friends and family of all ages. Hugs and high energy filled the room. A cacophony of laughs, friendly voices, and a kitchen base line had a ring to it that flooded your soul with butterflies. The ambiance was heartwarming as Ben and his wife corralled the crowds while pulling a quarter back draw with the baby. Even their two young daughters got in on the action bringing plates to the table. This place is family owned, family run, and family filled.The menu was short and sweet and seemed to be going quickly with the low prices Lib’s provides to the community in Salem. After eating I even told Ben I would have gladly paid twice the asking price and been fully satiated. We shared a spring ramp flatbread pizza and a Bananas Foster waffle (that was gluten free btw). With ramps being in season I thought this was a great use of fresh product. The pizza had a full round flavor of garlic and cheese. It was the perfect savory option for a brunch. Not too breakfast-y but not too lunch-like either—the pizza demonstrated the perfect balance of the two. Also, I seriously think the Bananas Foster waffle was the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. If I wasn’t already attached at the hip, I would have asked it to marry me. The heavy-textured brown sugar sauce next to the fresh dollop of whipped cream made for a heavenly combo. Another side note—the presentation of the dishes was out of this world. Clean, crisp, creative, and almost too pretty to eat (emphasis on almost).Seeing as how they roast their own coffee beans at Lib’s I must mention the coffee. I usually go for a light roast so Ben offered a Guatemalan. The coffee had beautiful notes of citrus that complimented the entire meal. They also had a specialty latte menu that Spade chose an Almond Joy latte from. It was the perfect amount of sweetness without over powering the espresso.Before we left we had to snag some of the homemade pastries. (They barely even made it home.) We devoured what was a literal bounty of sugary snacks. The Reese’s cookie bar was my favorite if I had to choose.
On an ending note, with Mother’s Day coming up I must make the notion to head to Lib’s Market for Sunday brunch. This would be the perfect destination for your family or just you and your mom. Aside from the food being outstanding, it’s the people that make Lib’s Market special. We felt so welcomed upon our first steps inside and it was truly like no other dining experience we’ve had. From the patrons to the owners and even the crew members, everyone is important in this equation. Don’t miss out on this unique, delicious, and charismatic spot!