A couple of weeks ago Spade and I ventured to a local farmers market. This is always an enjoyable enterprise for us. I love going to all the different booths and meeting the local farmers and business owners. You are sure to find something unique at any local farmers market. However, the journey was meant to acquire some particular baked goods. Aubrey Gustovich is a local entrepreneur and pastry chef. She has been a long time friend of Spade’s, and I had the pleasure of making her acquaintance on this particular meeting. Aubrey is a passionate and exceptional sorcerer of baking. Her product line up is endearing and whimsical. Her baking could be equated to works of art. For this encounter she wielded her magical wand of pastry to create some fun, holiday themed treats. Continue reading “Whipped by Aubrey”
This one goes out to all my fellow fellas out there. It began as a “bro talk” at my local barber shop. This is a bi-weekly ritual for me and is a harbor for great conversation. As we dove into sorted topics of politics, men’s fashion, and other random subjects one main idea surfaced. Where you should take your significant other for Valentine’s Day? As the food and restaurant aficionado, the question was obviously directed towards me. Deliberating more on the idea, my thoughts became clearer. This is not so much a question of specifically where to take your female counterpart, rather a question of how to plan the evening. Continue reading “Date Night: Valentine’s Day Edition”
With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching we find it only fitting to hit a few local chocolatiers these next two weeks. That being said, you can call us both Charlie because you will probably see a few mid-week short posts on some of Youngstown’s best chocolate spots. This week we hit a local favorite of ours, Philadelphia Candies. We visited the Boardman retail location, however, their epicenter is right up the road in Hermitage, PA. You can almost get lost in the array of sweet, umber treats. This is the benefit of encountering a helpful staff. They walked us through the assortment of chocolates and answered all of our questions. Probably the best part was that they let us sample some of the chocolate too. From my perspective, choosing that right assortment of chocolaty treats for your sweetie can be cumbersome. Have no fear at Philadelphia Candies though as they have something for everyone. What we loved most was that they had so many personalized, distinct treats. With chocolate renderings of hairdryers, musical instruments, Hello Kitty, golf clubs, and more, you are sure to find something unique for your special someone. Continue reading “Philadelphia Candies”
As I sit here looking over my pork-embellished “Taco Tuesday” travelogue, the sultry aromas of this week’s encounter almost fill my nostrils. The Kitchen Post in Struthers was our obvious choice this week when looking for a tantalizing joint serving up tacos. I can’t even tell you how many people have mentioned this local hidden gem to us recently. You can almost miss this charming eatery tucked away on Youngstown-Poland road. The restaurant is small, yet cozy. It has a very eclectic use of different textures, patterns, and colors. It gives you a hometown feel with a big city vibe. My favorite aspect of the restaurant’s aesthetic was the use of denim cushions for the booth backs. Continue reading “The Kitchen Post”
This week, Spade and I had the pleasure of dining with a familiar associate. My 8-year-old daughter engaged on our feasting endeavor as we embarked our taste buds to travel a little farther east. A local favorite, we made a trip to Pho Saigon. It is a quaint restaurant nestled in a plaza on South Avenue in Boardman (near Sam’s Club). Having lived near this oriental eatery the last few years, it has become dear to my heart. It seems very inconspicuous from the outside amongst the other South Avenue inhabitants, but you will immediately think otherwise once you step foot inside. The Vietnamese restaurant has a very clean and sleek vibe with a touch of whimsy. The dining room is well laid out with room for bigger parties yet still set up with cozy corners. It is a small family owned operation that at times may seem slightly understaffed, but I think they handle it with grace. We were promptly greeted at the door with a warm smile and immediately brought to our seats, which I thoroughly appreciated. It can be very discouraging in certain instances when arriving at a restaurant you have never been to and not being immediately greeted. Continue reading “Pho Saigon”
Being born and raised in the Warren area, I tend to have a certain affinity for the Courthouse Square. It’s a place that is quaint yet stately. That being said, Spade and I ventured to the Lime Tree Sandwich Gallery located in downtown Warren. We desire certain qualities in a local restaurant; a unique environment, distinctive menu, and support of the local art and music community. I believe the Lime Tree embodies all of these characteristics in a diverse way. Continue reading “The Lime Tree Sandwich Gallery”
The Mahoning Valley truly has a rich pedigree of dining dynasties. I revel in the stories of the “good old days” when Youngstown and Warren were filled with tasty treasures. Stories of how you couldn’t even get into the old Alberini’s or Abruzzi’s Cafe 422 without having a suit jacket on. The days when you could go to Idora Park and get an ice cream cone and fresh-cut fries at a moment’s notice (…just imagine the rides going and the smell of the salt and vinegar!) There was a certain magic the Mahoning Valley had about it. With major plant closings over the past few years and a continuously rising crime rate, it seems these olden days could almost be forgotten. Luckily, there are few tried and true restaurants that have made it though despite these difficult times. Continue reading “Mahoning Valley Food Culture”
As we set off on our quest for culinary excellence across the valley, I find it only fitting to begin our voyage at the place that has restored my hope in the industry. The point of this blog isn’t necessarily to find the best food, but rather to find the places that have the best heart. Places that you really want to be at. Places that make you want to come back time and time again. Branch Street Coffee Roasters has become that place for me and Spade. It has become a weekly retreat that we continuously look forward to.
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.