Tuesday, June 26, 2018

This Week's Counter: Mama D's Diner

What used to be the Lyndhurst Diner on Mayfield Rd in the center of Lyndhurst recently reopened as Mama D's. We got a chance to stop in on a recent weekday morning to give it a try.  

A very small space in a block of stores, the diner has a small counter and maybe 6 or 7 tables.  Everything about the place looks really modern and new, as they've only been open a couple months. No problem getting spots at the counter, and service was pretty quick and friendly. 

The menu is not too extensive, but has enough breakfast and lunch choices to satisfy most everyone. Ted did breakfast -- eggs, potatoes, bacon, toast and coffee -- while Cam went with a triple-decker (which turned out to only be double-decker) grilled cheese with bacon for lunch.  

The food took awhile to show up -- seems they had just one guy cranking out the orders and with a moderate crowd in the place he was struggling a little bit to keep up.  But it was worth the wait -- fresh, hot and cooked as ordered -- they got it all perfect. 

Service maybe could have been a little more attentive throughout our visit (offering more coffee, for example), but overall it was a good experience.  Hope they stick around -- it's one of the few good diners in that part of the East side. 

Cam says: "Bland atmosphere with just OK service. Impeccable food quality made up for it. I give it 8 frying pans."

Ted says: "A nice, small and welcoming place. Very good food quality, well worth the price. I'll give it 7 pans."


Sunday, May 6, 2018

This Week's Counter: Cafe in Stow

On our last trip down to Stow, for Isaly's, we happened to notice the Cafe in Stow on the way back.  It's on Rt 91 just North of the center of town.  When we figured out it has a counter, we decided to make it our next place to try.  So we dropped in on a late Sunday morning. 

The parking lot was packed and there were lots of people waiting for tables, but fortunately there were plenty of seats open at the fairly large counter.  Service was fast and friendly -- we had menus and drinks right away, and quickly ordered.  Cam did a breakfast sandwich -- eggs and bacon on a bagel.  Ted had the omelet special -- bacon & cheddar, with potatoes and toast.  Tami joined us on this trip and had french toast, eggs and bacon.

The food came out in a reasonable time and everything was cooked well, although the eggs could have been hotter.  Coffee was pretty good also.  Overall we liked this place -- above average food quality and service, and certainly a welcoming atmosphere with friendly staff.  Worth stopping in if you are down that way.

Cam says: "Comfortable seating, with homey atmosphere.  Decent food quality and fine service.  I give it 8 frying pans."

Ted says: "Liked the large counter and that it wasn't chaotic even though the place was very busy.  Pretty good food for the price, everything cooked fine.  Nothing standout, but solid.  Worth 6 pans."

Guest Review Tami says: "Fun to be with the counter guys.  Very clean, food was good but eggs could have been hotter. I would give it 7 pans."


Saturday, March 31, 2018

This Week's Counter (and our 75th!!!): Isaly's II

We hit 75 counters!!! 

The milestone was achieved at Isaly's II down in Stow. Apparently there was an Isaly's (I) way back in the past -- it was in the nearby heart of Stow, but the owner sold the land to development. It was known for ice cream as well as good food.  Now the reincarnation is tucked away in the back of a shopping plaza on Kent Road. It retains some of the old artifacts from the original (old signs on the walls, an old ice cream counter, etc).

We visited late morning on a Saturday and were surprised to find it fairly quiet -- no problem getting seats at the fairly large U-shaped counter.  The servers were friendly (although not super-attentive -- took awhile to get someone's attention to put in our orders). The menu is pretty extensive, as they service a wide range of breakfast items, as well as complete lunches, dinners and desserts.

Being close enough to lunchtime, Cam went with chicken and fries.  Ted chose a cheese omelet and potatoes (well done).  The food arrived very fresh and hot -- all cooked well, particularly the potatoes, which really were crispy.  Coffee was pretty good, but not standout.  Overall, the food quality was solid -- probably not the best we've had, but good value for the price.

All around, a good counter experience and a nice place to mark the #75 milestone -- very traditional diner atmosphere.  Well worth a visit if you are down towards Akron.


Cam says: "Slightly uncomfortable counter but good food quality. Atmosphere was a little bit hard to read. I'll give it 7 frying pans."

Ted says: "Very nice and friendly place, spacious counter and decent service. Food was great -- one of the few that gets the potatoes right!  A strong 7 pans."