Q.: At Bender’s Tavern in Canton, they sell a steak called “Hoover style.” What exactly is that and how did it get its name?
— M.T., Akron
A.: Jerry Jacob, owner of Bender’s Tavern, the oldest restaurant in Canton, was happy to explain how this specially prepared New York strip steak came to be.
It was named for Herbert W. Hoover Jr., who became president of the Hoover Co., the North Canton vacuum manufacturer, in 1954. He was the grandson of Hoover founder W.H. “Boss” Hoover. (No relation to President Herbert C. Hoover.)
Hoover Jr. enjoyed his steak caramelized with butter, brown sugar and sauteed peppers and onions.
Jacob said the peppers and onions are sauteed first, then mixed with equal parts brown sugar and butter, slathered on top of the steak and placed under the broiler, where the sugar caramelizes and gives the steak a nice crust.
He said the restaurant began preparing the steak for Hoover Jr. at his request, and when others would see him eating it, they would ask for it too. Eventually the restaurant added it to the menu, where it has been for about 60 years, Jacob said.
Got a food question? Lisa Abraham has the answer. Call 330-996-3737; email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Ask Lisa” in the subject line; or write to her at 44 E. Exchange St., P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640. Please include your name (initials will be printed on request), hometown and phone number.