I recently was asked by folks who put together the magazine for British Airways Executive Club members if I could describe the food scene in Akron in 50 words.
It seems the airline wants to give a description of the local fare in some smaller U.S. cities for their customers who may find themselves traveling there.
I have been thinking about the request and I have to admit, it’s a tough one.
I can barely say good morning in just 50 words, and most of you who read this column with regularity will know that I like to go on and on (and sometimes, on) about Akron-area foods.
I could give a list: hamburgers, sauerkraut balls, lard-fried chicken, jojos, frozen custard, decadent brownies, craft beer, white French dressing and Lawson’s chip dip. But not only would it be too few words, it wouldn’t do justice to the wide variety of foods the city has to offer.
Here are some of my attempts:
“Come to Akron, Ohio, for Italian, Serbian, Lebanese, Greek, Thai, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, English, and, oh yeah, all-American fare.”
“Come to Akron, Ohio, to take part in the thriving farmers market movement, where you’ll find everything from pasture-raised beef and chicken to local goat cheese and every vegetable you can imagine.”
“Come to Akron, Ohio, and enjoy the best hamburger you’ve ever had, in at least six different restaurants.”
So you see my problem.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had this dilemma. Folks routinely ask me what my favorite places to eat are, and I routinely answer that it depends on what I’m hungry for.
I can tell you where to get a good pizza, but it will vary depending on what side of town you’re on and what kind of crust you like.
Head to Barberton, and everyone will give you a different answer about where to get the best fried chicken. But aren’t Belgrade Gardens, White House Chicken, Hopocan Gardens and Milich’s Village Inn (in Norton) really just an embarrassment of riches?
Narrowing our food down to a small description does a disservice to its diversity.
Eventually, I will find the right combination of 50 words to answer the question. I won’t be able to tell the executive club members of British Airways everything we’ve got, but hopefully they’ll get the idea.
It would be easier if I was limited to just one word.
Welcome to Akron, Ohio, where the food is “good.”