Judy James is looking for a sauerkraut ball recipe.
The former local history librarian for the Akron-Summit County Public Library continues her work on “The Akron Recipe Project,” a cookbook to be published by the University of Akron Press.
She’s got a lot of recipes for Akron’s signature appetizer, enough to take up an entire chapter of the book, but one version still eludes her.
“The only one I am missing is the original Brown Derby recipe that was made available to ABJ Action Line readers,” James wrote via email. “No one seems to have it. I even reached out to the Brown Derby and the daughter of the chef who was in charge of their commissary kitchen but no luck!”
An item was published in the Dec. 27, 1970, Action Line column, which answered various reader questions. “Miss I.S.” of Kent wrote to request the sauerkraut ball recipe from the Brown Derby, the local steakhouse chain.
“The chief chef sent us his secret,” went the reply. “You’ll need to get beef, pork and corn beef. Other ingredients are chicken stock and tobasco [sic] sauce. Also keep your meat grinder handy.”
The item invited readers to send in a stamped, self-addressed envelope to receive the full recipe. A 1972 Action Line said more than 550 copies were mailed out, but James has not yet found one. “Someone out there must have it stuffed in their recipe file box and I will happily give the first person to find it a copy of my cookbook, once it's published,” she said.
James is still collecting recipes for the book from ethnic and cultural groups that have made Akron home, as well as family favorites, “recipes that have been handed down and continue to grace family tables at celebrations and holidays — even weekday dinners,” she said.
She is especially interested in more recipes and stories from the Italian, Appalachian/Southern, and African-American communities.
James can accept handwritten, typed or photocopied recipes (mail to Judy James, 337 Hickory St., Akron, Ohio 44303). Send photographs or emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or via www.facebook.com/akronrecipeproject.
Barrio coming to Kent
Barrio, the build-your-own-taco restaurant that originated in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, is coming to downtown Kent.
According to a news release, it will open in the summer at 295 S. Water St., in the space formerly occupied by Newdle Bar.
“We are so excited to see Barrio grow into more neighborhoods in just seven years … We are very grateful to introduce Barrio to new neighborhoods where people of all ages can enjoy!” said owner Sean Fairbairn in the news release.
The menu allows diners to customize tacos by choosing the tortilla, protein, salsa and other toppings, or you can pick from the chef’s selections. Margaritas, tequila and whiskey are featured drinks.
It will be the sixth Ohio location for Barrio; others are in Lakewood, Cleveland Heights, Willoughby and the Gateway district in downtown Cleveland, in addition to the original in Tremont. It also operates food trucks, two stands at Progressive Field and a restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis plans to open a restaurant in the Short North district of Columbus.
He is partnering with Forward Hospitality Group and Team Sawyer Restaurants to bring an American-themed restaurant and bar to 906 N. High St., reports Megan Henry of The Columbus Dispatch.
The name of the new restaurant has not been announced but Forward Hospitality Group said the 11,000-square-foot space will open this summer with a rooftop patio.
Forward Hospitality Group operates several restaurants and nightclubs, including Flipside, 3 Palms and One Red Door in Hudson's First and Main shopping center. Team Sawyer Restaurants is owned by the award-winning Cleveland chef Jonathon Sawyer.
Piedmont wine dinner
Vaccaro's Trattoria hosts a five-course dinner featuring wines from the Piedmont region of Italy at 6:30 p.m. May 2.
Courses include antipasti; ricotta tortellini with smoked oxtail bolognese; artichoke risotto; vitello tonnato; and torte di Nocciola, each paired with wines. Cost is $100 and reservations are required at 330-666-6158. Vaccaro's is at 1000 Ghent Road, Bath.
• The Mustard Seed Market & Cafe at 3885 W. Market St., Bath, will host “A Night in Spain” wine tasting 7 to 9 p.m. Friday.
It will feature 20 red, white and rose wines from Spain, along with tapas, cheeses and a sweet treat from the store's bakery.
Cost is $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Call 330-666-7333 or see http://tinyurl.com/y42kf3gl to reserve.
• The Ramp Up Peninsula festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Peninsula. It will feature ramps in all kinds of foods, as well as artists and crafters and more.
The ramp is one of the first edible plants to pop up in spring. Some call them “little stinkers” because of their garlicky aroma.
For information, go to explorepeninsula.com or email questions to email@example.com.
• The fourth Grapes on the Lake will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday. The event benefiting Lake Anna Park in Barberton and the Special Olympics will be at the Tadmor Shrine Center, 3000 Krebs Drive in Coventry Township.
Cost is $20 presale, $25 at the door and includes 10 wine tastings. Tickets are available at the Barberton Parks & Recreation offices inside the YMCA building, 500 W. Hopocan Ave., by phone at 330-861-7135, or at the door.
Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook.