Brunty Farms in Bath, which has gained a local following selling pasture-raised eggs and meat at its property and at farmers markets, has opened a butcher shop.

Husband and wife Jeff and Melanie Brunty bill their shop as “farm to plate,” riffing on the term that typically refers to restaurants that feature locally sourced ingredients.

They initially hoped to open the Farmer’s Rail Artisanal Meats and Butcher Shop by last Thanksgiving. It quietly opened this month at 1572 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Bath, in the building that formerly housed the Flower Hutch.

Melanie and Jeff established the Bath farm in 2008 as part of the Countryside Initiative to boost sustainable agriculture in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. They began with eggs, chickens and turkeys, expanded into pork and then lamb and beef, buying 40 acres in Ashland County in 2014. These days, the Bath farm off Martin Road is grazing land from April until November.

At the shop, the Bruntys cut meat for retail sale and make sausage. Processing is done near the couple’s Ashland County farm.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Phone is 330-576-3333. For information, go the Farmer’s Rail Facebook page. There, you can check out pictures of various meats, as well as cool pics of the reclaimed wood floors. We’ll have more later on.

Maple Sugar Festival

This year, you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Maple Sugar Festival at Hale Farm & Village in Bath.

The festival will run two weekends — March 10-11 and March 17-18. Enjoy a pancake breakfast, prepared by Acme Catering, at the 19th century village/museum in Bath, participate in tree-tapping and learn about the process of making syrup. Crafts and trades will be demonstrated.

Admission for breakfast and activities is $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3 to 12, $5 for members of Hale Farm. Pancake breakfast only is $5. Breakfast will be served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hale Farm closes at 4 p.m.

Reservations are not necessary. For more information, call 330-666-3711 or visit http://www.halefarm.org.

You can take the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Maple Sugar Express to the event. For information, go to http://www.cvsr.com for tickets.

Soup Fest at Firestone

Soup’s on soon for Firestone High School’s annual Soup Fest — open to the public and set for 4:30 to 7 p.m. March 1.

This event, which raises money for the Firestone High School Instrumental Music Association, is marking an impressive 22 years.

So far, these establishments have committed to donating soup: Mr. G’s Pizza, Valley Cafe, Ido Bar & Grill, Howie’s on the Lake, 35˚ Brix, Caston & Main Brewyard, TGI Fridays, Cracker Barrel, Applebee’s, Skyway and Frank’s Place.

The fest will be in the cafeteria of the high school, 470 Castle Blvd., in northwest Akron. It raises money for the Instrumental Music Association. Patrons get unlimited portions, a dessert and beverage. Tickets, $9 for adults and $5 for children under 10, are available at the door. Bring a mug, or bowls will be available.

Egg hunt for adults

This is only loosely food-related, in that it doesn’t involve eating eggs, but hunting for them. But it sounds mighty fun.

Fieldcrest, the historic Hoover estate in North Canton, has brought back its Adult Easter Egg Hunt. It’ll run from 6 to 10 p.m. March 24. (Easter is April 1 this year.)

A limited number of tickets will go on sale at 8 a.m. March 7. More than $3,000 worth of prizes are promised.

For information and tickets, beginning March 7, go to http://fieldcrestestate.com/attend. Cost is $20 plus a $2.49 ticketing fee. Fieldcrest is at 1346 Easthill (55th) St. SE.

Easter at Stan Hywet

Speaking of Easter eggs, tickets are on sale for the children’s egg hunt March 31 at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron.

This photo-ready event sells out. Who doesn’t want to see their kid on a nice (hopefully) spring day hunting for eggs on the picturesque grounds of the historic estate?

Cost, including breakfast with the Easter Bunny and more, is $20 for member adults and children ages 10 or older; $21 for member children 9 or younger; $25 for nonmember adults and children ages 10 or older; and $27 for nonmember children 9 or younger.

Breakfast will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Egg hunts by age group (0-3, 4-6 and 7-9) will run 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$14 for the egg hunt only.

For tickets and more information, go to stanhywet.org/events/easter-egg-hunt.

Yeah, this event also is only loosely food-related. But it’s a popular one, and I’m all about the Easter Bunny.

Spring cooking

Jump on this free, spring-themed event quickly: Registration for anything food-related at Hudson Library & Historical Society tends to fill up. At 6:30 p.m. March 15, Chef Eric Wells will demonstrate “seasonal spring cooking” at the library at 96 Library St. in the First & Main shopping complex.

Through his Sky LaRae’s Culinary Services in South Euclid, Wells prepares small dinners, and caters dinner parties and events. He trained at the International Culinary Arts & Sciences Institute in Chesterland.

Register at hudsonlibrary.org. For information call 330-653-6658, ext. 1010.

Coffee Brewing 101

The Akron area may be one of the few places in which you can have a made-from-scratch lunch at a furniture store. Wayside Café, in the Wayside Furniture complex in Springfield Township, recently celebrated its 16th anniversary.

And from 1:30 to 3 p.m. March 11, you can attend a free Coffee Brewing 101 workshop there. Larry Denton from Red Cedar Coffee Roasters in Berea will brew the Wayside house blend in a variety of systems and discuss to how choose beans and brew “the perfect cup of coffee,” Wayside’s Patty Horner says.

Reservations are required. Register by emailing [email protected], or by calling 330-733-6221, ext. 215.

Wayside’s three-building complex is at 1367 Canton Road, south of Waterloo Road.

The café, featuring daily specials, is inside the Red Brick Amish Shop, which houses Wayside’s custom-built Amish furniture collection, just north of the main Wayside building.

The café is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

International Dinner

Walsh University will host its International Dinner on March 17, featuring food prepared by Walsh’s international students. It promises to be truly an international affair as Walsh says students from 34 countries, including India, Canada, Spain, Tanzania, Brazil, Bolivia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom, attend the school.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6 p.m. Entertainment will include a fashion show and performances by the Kent State University African Dance Troupe and others. It’s open to the public.

Cost is $15 for adults and $5 for students. Children ages 5 or younger will be admitted free. Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are available at http://bit.ly/2GtDtFl or by contacting Kristi Campbell at 330-490-7105 or [email protected].

Wine events

• Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 4000 Medina Road, Bath Township, will host a five-course wine dinner featuring four Hall Vineyards wines at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Cost is $99, plus tax and tip. Call 330-670-5200 to reserve.

• Chop & Swizzle, 3700 Massillon Road, Green, will host its first Whiskey Cocktail Dinner, featuring five courses and five cocktails, at 6:30 p.m. March 5. Chop & Swizzle is teaming up with Cleveland Whiskey. Cost is $60, plus tax and tip. Call 330-563-4840 to reserve.

• Papa Joe’s, 1561 Akron-Peninsula Road, in the Merriman Valley, will host Rocky Ruggiero for a wine dinner. Ruggiero, who has appeared on PBS and History Channel television shows, will talk about the Medici family of Italy. Cost is $75. Call 330-923-7999 to make reservations.

Reminders

• Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath Township will continue its Local to Global healthy dinner series with a Colombian dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday. It will be prepared by Monica Bongue, a Colombian native who is executive director of the nonprofit Crown Point.

Cost is $45. Call 330-668-8992, ext. 106, for reservations. Crown Point is at 3220 Ira Road. To learn more, go to http://www.crownpt.org.

• You can celebrate a German version of Mardi Gras at Family Fasching Night with the German Family Society on Saturday. On the menu: goulash soup, flasher hase (German meatloaf), potatoes, green beans, salad, rolls and butter.

Cost is $20 for nonmembers, $15 for active members and $17 for nonvoting members, with discounts for children and for those who want to attend the program only (no food). Dinner is at 6 p.m., with music starting at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required; call Eva Lehner (330-335-8985) or Renate Moellmann (330-633-3949). It’s a masquerade party, so guests are encouraged to dress up.

The German Family Society’s grounds are at 3871 Ranfield Road, Brimfield Township.

• The annual spring brunch hosted by University of Akron students studying hospitality management will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 4 at the Crystal Room Bistro, 360 Grant St. (Gallucci Hall).

Cost is $22.95; $18.95 for ages 60 or older and UA students, $11.95 for children ages 3 to 12, free for children 3 or younger. Phone 330-972-6615 for reservations.

• Where else can you get breakfast for $1? The Summit County Farm Bureau will host its 10th annual Farmer’s Share Breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. March 10 at Copley High School, 3807 Ridgewood Road, Copley Township.

The breakfast — pancakes with local maple syrup, sausage, scrambled eggs, coffee and milk — costs only $1, which represents the average portion the farmer receives for producing the food for the breakfast.

Donations will be accepted and all proceeds will be given to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Families are welcome.

• Restaurateur Beau Schmidt will host the Showcase of Chefs at 6:30 p.m. March 7 to celebrate the memory of his daughter, Halle Schmidt, who died in a car crash in 2016, and raise scholarships for Copley High School seniors.

The event will feature food from his Beau’s Grille and Beau’s On the River, and other area establishments. It will be at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn at 3180 W. Market St., across from Summit Mall.

Cost is $50 for adults and $25 for students. Tickets are available at 330TIX.com. Call Kim Hurray at 330-835-5983 for information.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com and read the Akron Dish blog at http://www.ohio.com/food.

Wanted: Recipes that help make up the Akron area’s rich food history.

Judy James, former Akron-Summit County Public Library local history librarian, is seeking recipes for The Akron Recipe Project, a cookbook she is putting together to be published by the University of Akron Press.

James is after recipes of ethnic and cultural groups that have made Akron home, as well as family favorites not connected with a particular group or ethnicity.

The Akron Recipe Project promises to be more than a cookbook. James plans on including brief histories of the ethnic and cultural groups, and origins of family recipes.

To submit recipes, contact Judy James at [email protected] or call her at 330-815-0775. James said recipes can be typed, scanned, photographed or handwritten.

For more information, go to the Akron Recipe Project Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/akronrecipeproject).

Arguably one of Akron’s most iconic foods is the sauerkraut ball, and James envisions a chapter on the history of the breaded snack and a chapter on favorite restaurant recipes. In 2015, James helped local historian Sharon Myers put together an exhibit on the Golden Age of Restaurants in Summit County.

Here’s some trivia about sauerkraut balls, and who doesn’t want that? Some say they were initially cooked up by area German immigrants. For years, commercially made Bunny B sauerkraut balls have been available. The Bunny B brand, once a part of the old Salem potato chip company in Akron, is today part of Ascot Valley Foods, formerly Or Derv Foods, in Akron’s Ascot Industrial Park.

Farm breakfast

The Summit County Farm Bureau each year draws hundreds to its annual Farmer’s Share Breakfast.

The 10th annual event will run from 8 to 11 a.m. March 10 at Copley High School, 3807 Ridgewood Road, Copley Township.

The breakfast — pancakes with local maple syrup, sausage, scrambled eggs, coffee and milk — costs only $1, which represents the average portion the farmer receives for producing the food for the breakfast.

Donations will be accepted and all proceeds will be given to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Families are welcome. The farm bureau has a goal of serving 1,000 people. Last year’s number: 780.

The event will include seminars on Back Yard Chicken Basics, given by Chrissy Seyerle of Copley Feed, at 8:30 and 10 a.m.

Bring a canned food item for the Salvation Army of Summit County and get a raffle ticket to win a year’s worth of Smith’s Dairy ice cream.

Showcase of Chefs

Restaurateur Beau Schmidt is putting together a March 7 fundraiser to celebrate the memory of his daughter, Halle Schmidt, who died in a car crash in February 2016, and raise scholarships for Copley High School seniors.

The Showcase of Chefs — featuring food tastings from his Beau’s Grille and Beau’s On the River as well as other area food establishments — will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Hilton Akron/Fairlawn at 3180 W. Market St., across from Summit Mall. (Beau’s Grille is at the hotel.)

Beer, wine and a signature cocktail will be included. Cost is $50 for adults and $25 for students. Proceeds will go to the Halle Schmidt Scholarship Fund. Halle Schmidt graduated from Copley High School and was a nursing student at Stark State College.

Participating establishments include Arnie’s Public House, Crave, D’Agnese’s Trattoria and Cafe on White Pond, Edgar’s, the Merchant Tavern, Moe’s Restaurant, Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar, Papa Joe’s, Russo’s and Vaccaro’s Trattoria.

Tickets are available at 330TIX.com. Call Kim Hurray at 330-835-5983 for information.

Frank’s Place at 25

Frank Horvath will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Frank’s Place On Market.

On Saturday, he’ll offer drink and food specials and former bartenders and servers will return, with tips being donated to Canton-headquartered nonprofit Project St. Nicholas Returns, which helps needy children and families.

Horvath was a bartender at TGI Fridays in Copley when he heard that the former Samantha’s Lounge at 549 W. Market St. was for sale. Before Horvath purchased the place, it had operated as Woodstock, pretty much just a drinking spot.

Horvath transformed it into a cozy bar and eatery known for its nightly specials, including a 12-ounce strip steak and mashed potatoes for $12 on Fridays. On a recent visit, this deal included a cupcake from Sweet Mary’s Bakery in downtown Akron, delivered to tables by Horvath himself.

Thank Todd Wetzel, the head cook, for the way-above-average bar menu, which includes chicken paprikash on the first Wednesday of the month.

Frank’s Place will open, as usual, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The website is franksplaceonmarket.com. Phone is 330-376-8307.

Luau buffet at Tiki

The Tiki Underground at 5893 Akron-Cleveland Road in Boston Heights (near the Hudson line) will celebrate its first TU Luau on Saturday, with a buffet featuring smoked pig, grilled pineapple and tuna poke.

The TU Luau will start at 6 p.m. Hula Fusion will perform after dinner and cocktails. Hula Fusion, based in the Cleveland area, performs traditional as well as modern dances from the Polynesian and Hawaiian islands.

Preparing the buffet, which will include black beans and rice, mac and cheese and purple slaw, will be Chef Dick Kanatzar, owner of Chop & Swizzle in Green.

Tickets are $60 (adults only) and include a TU Mai Tai or nonalcoholic Island Mocktail, and Hawaiian lei. Buy at tuluau.eventbrite.com or at the bar/restaurant, which opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The phone is 234-380-5398.

Husband and wife Sean and Jessie Coffey opened the Tiki Underground in March of last year in the space that previously housed Tequila Pancho’s. Sean is the tiki collector.

Taverne closes

In case you missed it, I reported last week that the historic Taverne of Richfield was forced to close because the kitchen exhaust system failed to pass an inspection.

Serena Raybould, who owned the restaurant with her sister, Sonya, told me the two plan to reopen somewhere in the region. The sisters do not own the Victorian-style Taverne building, which dates to the 1880s and is up for sale.

Here’s the story: http://bit.ly/2EkCuLf.

Winery is for sale

Ever wanted to own a winery?

The Candlelight Winery at 11325 Center Road in Garrettsville is for sale. Well, actually the home and the outbuilding that houses the winery is for sale. The property is listed for $319,900 with Howard Hanna.

A link from the winery’s Facebook page notes that the owners have decided to “pursue new opportunities.”

There’s no closing date yet for the winery, which is hosting a Valentine’s Day Dessert and Wine Pairing on Wednesday. Cost is $15.99, plus tax and tip. Call 330-527-4118 or go to https://mkt.com/candlelightwinery to reserve.

Los Girasoles opens

La Loma has closed its location in the former Monica’s at 1682 Merriman Road after less than a year.

The new Mexican restaurant operating in the spot is called Los Girasoles Mexican Grill & Bar. It’s the third Los Girasoles in the Akron area; the others are in Stow and Brimfield Township. Girasoles is Spanish for sunflowers.

Blanca Saucedo, who owns the original La Loma in Akron’s Ellet neighborhood with her husband, German Guijosa, told me that it had become too difficult to staff both places so the couple sold the Merriman Road business in January.

La Loma is known for its authentic Mexican food. It grew from a taco truck and is next door to the couple’s Mexican grocery at 459 Darrow Road.

Events in Wooster

Downtown Wooster enjoys a fair number of noshing and drinking spots for its size, and a new event will showcase them.

The nonprofit Main Street Wooster will host R&R Week (Restaurant & Retail) Feb. 26-March 3, with 13 restaurants offering specials. For a list, go to mainstreetwooster.org. On March 1, many stores will remain open until 8 p.m., and the Sounds of Downtown will perform.

Chocolate and Lent

The title of this Lenten discussion series is a grabber, especially for a chocolate lover like me.

Christ and the Chocolaterie is the theme of the series at New Life Episcopal Church in Lake Township that will begin Feb. 21 and continue each Wednesday for five weeks through Lent.

The series draws upon the 2000 film Chocolat, about a woman who opens a chocolate shop in a small rigid French community, as a means to talk about religious issues.

Joseph Bridges, former chair of the Malone University communications department, will lead the sessions.

They will start with a soup and salad supper at 6:30 p.m. Participants can sign up to bring items. A church secretary said she imagines some people will go with the theme and bring something chocolate.

The series is open to the public and is for adults. Make reservations at 330-699-3554. The church is at 131118 Church Ave. NW, Lake Township.

Cocktails and wine

• Chop & Swizzle, 3700 Massillon Road, Green, will host its first Whiskey Cocktail Dinner, featuring five courses and five cocktails, at 6:30 p.m. March 5.

Chop & Swizzle is teaming up with Cleveland Whiskey for this event. Cost is $60, plus tax and tip. Call 330-563-4840 to reserve.

• Papa Joe’s, 1561 Akron-Peninsula Road, in the Merriman Valley, will host a Valentine Champagne Dinner at 7 p.m. Friday for $95.

At 6:30 p.m. March 19, the restaurant will bring back Rocky Ruggiero for a wine dinner. Ruggiero, who has appeared on PBS and History Channel television shows, will talk about the Medici family of Italy. Cost is $75.

Call 330-923-7999 to make reservations for either dinner.

• Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 4000 Medina Road, Bath Township, will host a five-course wine dinner featuring four Hall Vineyards wines at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23.

Courses include Maple Leaf Farms duck, cinnamon-chipotle spice-rubbed pork loin, pepper-crusted sliced filet mignon and Kona coffee crème brûlée.

Cost is $99, plus tax and tip. Call 330-670-5200 to reserve.

Reminders

• Prepaid orders are due Sunday for hamantashen pastries made by the Women’s Chavurah group at Anshe Sfard (Revere Road Synagogue) in Bath Township. An order form is available at http://www.akronshul.com.

Orders can be picked up at Anshe Sfard, 646 N. Revere Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 25, or by appointment. Call 330-867-7292.

• Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath Township will continue its Local to Global healthy dinner series with a Colombian dinner at 6 p.m. Feb. 22. It will be prepared by Monica Bongue, a Colombian native who is executive director of the nonprofit Crown Point.

Cost is $45. Call 330-668-8992, ext. 106, for reservations. Crown Point is at 3220 Ira Road. To learn more, go to http://www.crownpt.org.

• The annual spring brunch hosted by University of Akron students studying hospitality management will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 4 at the Crystal Room Bistro, 360 Grant St. (Gallucci Hall).

Cost is $22.95; $18.95 for ages 60 or older and UA students, $11.95 for children ages 3 to 12, free for children 3 and younger. Phone 330-972-6615 for reservations. Proceeds help pay for students’ field trips. Major credit cards and Zip Cards accepted.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com.

A co-owner of the historic Taverne of Richfield said authorities forced it to close because the kitchen exhaust system failed to pass an inspection.

Serena Raybould, who owns the restaurant with her sister, Sonya, said Thursday the two plan to reopen somewhere in the region. The sisters do not own the Victorian-style Taverne building, which dates to the 1880s.

Fire authorities “told us we had to shut down,” Serena Raybould said, explaining that the restaurant closed Jan. 25 — the day the exhaust system did not pass a routine inspection.

The property’s owner, Robert Doty, a retired dentist, said Wednesday that he has been trying to sell the Taverne building at 3960 Broadview Road in Richfield village, as well as two adjacent properties, for the past several months. The asking price is $595,000 for Keller Williams Realty-listed properties.

“We’ve had some interest and some offers,” Doty said.

He said after owning the historic property for 20 years, it’s time to “pass the responsibility of it to somebody else.”

He said he has spent at least $800,000 to renovate the property over the last two decades. He noted the nonprofit Richfield Town Trust has contributed $43,000 over the years to maintain the historic nature of the Taverne structure and one of the two other buildings.

“It’s kind of an iconic property,” Doty said, “that I’ve kind of subsidized basically for the past 20 years.”

Serena Raybould, who took over the restaurant in 2010, said the restaurant, which served seafood, steaks, burgers and salads, had been doing well. “We had turned [financial] corners,” she said.

She’s looked at several potential places in which to relocate, she said, declining to provide specifics. She also said she plans to honor Taverne gift cards at the new location.

She said she has not ruled out opening up in the historic property again, should someone decide to invest in it.

The days since the shutdown, she said, have been a whirlwind, with she and others calling vendors and people who had booked space for upcoming banquets and weddings. She’s also been helping employees find new jobs.

Loyal customers, she said, have rallied, offering emotional support and giving her tips on possible places in which to reopen.

“I feel so loved and amazed at the same time,” she said.

Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com.

Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, is followed by Valentine’s Day next week.

It’s time for some wintertime indulgence, although for the Catholic faithful, there might be some calendar considerations.

That’s because Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday fall on the same day for the first time since 1945.

Catholic dioceses across the country are recommending parishioners celebrate Valentine’s Day on another day. For Catholics, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence.

With Valentine’s Day on a weekday, folks — Catholic or not — might choose to celebrate the weekend before or after.

If you plan to dine out on the day or sometime before or after, make your reservation now if you haven’t already.

OpenTable, the online restaurant service, says ideally you should have made it this past weekend. OpenTable said that its 2017 Valentine’s Day data showed that reservations were made on average 11 days in advance of the holiday.

The data also showed: Italian topped the list as the most booked cuisine followed by American/contemporary American and steakhouse; the most popular reservation time for Valentine’s Day was 7 p.m.; and almost 50 percent of reservations were booked via mobile. About 40 percent of reservations were booked in the week leading up to the holiday.

Don’t want to join the throngs eating out? Once again, Rocco’s in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow is offering 12-inch heart-shaped pizzas on Valentine’s Day, available for pickup. The cost is $10.95 for a cheese pizza and $12.45 for pepperoni.

The local purveyor expects to bake up hundreds of the special pies. Rocco’s has more than 300 heart-shaped pans it will put into service.

Brothers Rocco and Mario Caponi own the business, which their father, Mario, began in 1953. The Falls Rocco’s is at 1053 Portage Trail (330-928-3344). The Stow shop is at 973 Graham Road (330-920-1111). Visit http://www.roccos-pizza.com.

Coffee shop is No. 1

Architectural Digest thinks the Heartwood Coffee Roastery in Hudson is mighty spiffy inside.

The magazine has named Heartwood its top-rated coffee stop in Ohio as part of its feature on “The Most Beautiful Coffee Shop in Every State in America.”

“Subway tile and crown molding — all in white, plus the walls and ceiling — make the salvaged-wood design in front of the bar pop even more at Heartwood Coffee Roastery’s sole cafe,” Kristine Hansen writes.

To read the full list, go to: http://bit.ly/2DB7lPc.

Jim Sanders, who works full time as a plumber, opened the shop last year. He began roasting coffee at a facility in Geauga County a few years ago, selling the beans at events and farmers markets, online and through a subscription service.

Heartwood is at 46 Ravenna St. in a collection of shops called the Evaporator Works, east of state Route 91.

Phone is 234-284-2555 and website is heartwoodroastery.com.

Party at Frank’s Place

Twenty-five years ago, Frank Horvath bought the former Samantha’s Lounge at 549 W. Market St. and dubbed it Frank’s Place On Market.

On Feb. 17, he’s throwing an anniversary party with drink and food specials, and “celebrity” bartenders and servers.

The celebrities are former employees, who will donate tips earned that day to Canton-headquartered nonprofit Project St. Nicholas Returns, which helps needy children and families.

Frank’s Place will open, as usual, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. The full menu will be available at that time. As I’ve said before, if you think Frank’s Place is just a bar, check out the menu at http://www.franksplaceonmarket.com. The phone is 330-376-8307.

I’ll have more next week.

Mardi Gras events

Here are some local Mardi Gras happenings. (Take note, these don’t all happen on Fat Tuesday.)

• The Merchant Tavern, 1824 Merriman Road in Akron’s Merriman Valley, will host its fifth annual Mardi Gras party from 3:30 p.m. to midnight Tuesday. Live music, Cajun food and Mardi Gras cocktails will be featured. Call 330-865-9510.

• The Chowder House in Cuyahoga Falls will celebrate on Fat Tuesday with a menu that includes malacca over rice, etouffee (shrimp, scallops and crawfish), Creole snapper, lobster and andouille stew and housemade beignets.

Chef and owner Louis Prpich told me he plans to soon launch a new menu.

The Chowder House is at 2028 Chestnut Blvd., just off State Road, in Cuyahoga Falls. The phone is 330-794-7102.

• The Ido is offering “N’awlins cuisine” through Fat Tuesday. Visit http://www.idobar.com. The phone is 330-773-1724.

• Wise Guys Lounge & Grill at 1008 N. Main St. on North Hill in Akron, will celebrate Fat Tuesday and Valentine’s Day with various specials, including a seafood tower for two. Call 330-922-3006 for reservations.

• The Polish American Citizens Club will hold its Mardi Gras dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the club, 472 E. Glenwood Ave., Akron.

Dinner includes Polish sausage, sauerkraut, homemade pierogi and doughnut-like paczki, and there will be music and Polish dancing.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 5 to 11. Call the club at 330-253-0496 or Ed at 330-825-7607. Tickets also will be available at the door.

• Kent’s first Mardi Crawl is Friday. The event — put together by the nonprofit Main Street Kent — will begin with participants checking in at the Venice Cafe, 163 W. Erie St., between 5 and 8 p.m. to pick up bar crawl lanyards, passes and T-shirts, and they can enter a costume contest and a drawing before heading out to visit participating establishments.

Cost is $15, with proceeds benefiting Main Street Kent and Freedom House, a transitional housing facility for homeless veterans. To purchase tickets, go to mainstreetkent.org.

Wine and dine

• Fishers Foods’ Jackson Township store at 5215 Fulton Drive NW will host a wine, chocolate and cheese tasting from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday at its Jackson Township store at 5215 Fulton Drive NW. Cost is $10.

• The Kent Cheesemonger will host Cheese, Chocolate & Bubbles for Valentines from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14. Cost is $30. The Cheesemonger is at 155 E. Erie St. in the Acorn Alley retail area in downtown Kent. Go to kentcheesemonger.com and click on Classes & Events to purchase tickets. Phone is 330-593-5619.

• Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Merchant Tavern, 1824 Merriman Road in Akron’s Merriman Valley. Light finger foods included. Cost is $35. Call 330-865-9510.

• Papa Joe’s, 1561 Akron-Peninsula Road, in the Merriman Valley, will host a Valentine Champagne Dinner at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 for $95. Call 330-923-7999 for reservations.

Also at Papa Joe’s, at 6:30 p.m. March 19 the restaurant will bring back Rocky Ruggiero, who has appeared on PBS and History Channel television shows, for a lecture and a dinner.

This time, he will talk about the Medici family of Italy, one of the longest lasting dynasties in history.

Ruggiero lived in Florence for 20 years, teaching for American universities, including Kent State. In 2008, he and his wife, Emilie, founded Rocky Ruggiero Cultural Programs, which offers educational travel in Italian cities.

Cost is $75. Call 330-923-7999 to reserve.

UA spring brunch

The annual spring brunch hosted by University of Akron students studying hospitality management will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. March 4 at the Crystal Room Bistro, 360 Grant St. (Gallucci Hall).

“Action Stations” will feature roast beef, omelettes and waffles and the buffet will include Parmesan-crusted cod, roast chicken with house gravy, bacon, sausage, roasted redskin potatoes and fresh fruit. Dessert will include glazed cinnamon rolls and yogurt parfait.

Cost is $22.95; $18.95 for ages 60 or older and UA students, $11.95 for children ages 3 to 12, free for children 3 and younger. Phone 330-972-6615 for reservations. Proceeds help pay for students’ field trips. Major credit cards and Zip Card accepted.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com and read the Akron Dish blog at http://www.ohio.com/food.

This weekend marks another grand-opening celebration at the new Northside Marketplace at 21 Furnace St., on the bottom floor of the Northside Lofts in downtown Akron.

This celebration will focus on three spots in the mini mall: Local Brew; wine and champagne bar Belle Vie; and Akron Creamery, which specializes in Thai rolled ice cream.

The trendy food is just what it sounds like: rolls of ice cream in a container topped with a variety of yummies.

Akron Creamery is owned by Siobhan Kirn, a medical assistant, and is among several dozen shops — food, beverage and nonfood — operated by area retail entrepreneurs at the Akron-centric Marketplace.

Local Brew and Belle Vie are owned by Byte Dining, a partnership that counts Akron-area developer Joel Testa and well-known Cleveland chef Dante Boccuzzi among its members. Byte also owns the DBA restaurant next door.

The Marketplace will be open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Take note, though, if you’re headed to Local Brew and Belle Vie: They will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. through the Super Bowl on Sunday. A “tailgate buffet” featuring DBA-made appetizers will be available during the game, said Dave Sharp, manager of Local Brew and Belle Vie and a Byte Dining partner.

On Saturday, Akron-headquartered Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. will visit for the release of its new Pineapple IPA. Head brewer Brandon Benson will be on hand from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The official tapping will take place around 6 p.m.

The seasonal beer will be sold through April or until it runs out. John Najeway, co-owner of Thirsty Dog, said brewery swag — such as 3-pint glasses — will be available.

Joel Testa spearheaded development of the Northside Lofts and the next-door Courtyard by Marriott. His wife, Cassie, came up with the idea of the marketplace.

Shops include the relocated Rubber City Clothing, Dirty River Bicycle Works and Sure House Coffee Roasting Co. Some vendors don’t even have a shop, limiting their displays to shelves. Owners often aren’t on hand, but a central checkout system means they don’t have to staff their small shops all day.

For a complete list of vendors, see northsidemarketplace.com.

Wine and dine

Wine, ice cream, chocolate, cheeses, brownies, cupcakes … oh my!

All will be available from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at a wine, chocolate and cheese tasting at Fishers Foods’ Jackson Township store at 5215 Fulton Drive NW.

This has to be among foodie deals of the week at $10.

Jeff Welsh, national sales manager of Alexandria Nicole Cellars, will offer varietals from the Washington State winery. Leanne Wentz, brand manager for wine importer Luneau USA, will present Aime Roquesante Rosé and Jules Bertier sparkling wine.

Chocolate ice cream from Velvet, of Utica, will be served. The brownies and cupcakes will be from the grocery’s bakery.

Also jumping on the cheese-and-chocolate bandwagon, the Kent Cheesemonger will host Cheese, Chocolate & Bubbles for Valentines from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14. Each cheese will be paired with goodies from the nearby Popped popcorn store. Sparkling wines will complete the spread. Cost is $30.

The Cheesemonger is at 155 E. Erie St. in the Acorn Alley retail area in downtown Kent. Go to kentcheesemonger.com and click on Classes & Events to purchase tickets. Phone is 330-593-5619.

More wine events:

• Bubbles, Ice Wines & Desserts will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Akron location of 750ml.

Cost is $29 for club750 members and $39 for nonmembers. To reserve, call 330-794-5754. The Akron 750ml is at 2287 W. Market St.

• Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Merchant Tavern, 1824 Merriman Road in Akron’s Merriman Valley. Light finger foods included. Cost is $35. Call 330-865-9510.

• The inaugural Wine, Cheese & Chocolate, Darling on Feb. 10 at Akron Civic Theatre is sold out.

Plaudits to Akron Civic Theatre for attracting 400 folks to its first wine, chocolate and cheese tasting, a spinoff of the historic theater’s Akron Craft Beer Festival at the Civic, which drew 600 to 700 people last year, its fifth. Local cheese and chocolate purveyors will be among those offering samples.

Lisa Martinez, development consultant for the Civic, said they hope to make the event an annual one, so keep an eye out next year.

Fat Tuesday bar crawl

A Kent group is organizing the city’s first Mardi Crawl, set for Feb. 9, the Friday before Fat Tuesday.

The event — put together by the nonprofit Main Street Kent — will begin with participants checking in at the Venice Cafe, 163 W. Erie St., between 5 and 8 p.m. to pick up bar crawl lanyards, passes and T-shirts, and they can participate in a costume contest.

Get your pass punched at each bar you visit, no purchase required. Those who visit at least five of the 10 participating locations can drop their passes in the contest entry box at Water Street Tavern, 132 S. Water St., for a chance to win prizes in a Feb. 12 drawing.

Cost is $15, with proceeds benefiting Main Street Kent and Freedom House, a transitional housing facility for homeless veterans.

To purchase tickets, go to mainstreetkent.org.

More Mardi Gras

• Celebrate a German version of Mardi Gras at Family Fasching Night with the German Family Society in Brimfield Township on Feb. 24. On the menu: goulash soup, flasher hase (German meatloaf), potatoes, green beans, salad, rolls and butter.

Cost is $20 for nonmembers, $15 for active members and $17 for nonvoting members, with discounts for children and for those who want to attend the program only (no food). Dinner is at 6 p.m., with music starting at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required; call Eva Lehner (330-335-8985) or Renate Moellmann (330-633-3949).

It’s a masquerade party, so guests are encouraged to dress up. Folks at the society say Fasching, Karnival and Fastnacht are all similar to Mardi Gras, emerging from different regions of Germany.

The German Family Society’s grounds are at 3871 Ranfield Road, east of Interstate 76 in Brimfield Township. The society also hosts popular Oktoberfest and European Days events.

• The Polish American Citizens Club will hold its Mardi Gras dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 10 at the club, 472 E. Glenwood Ave. in Akron.

Dinner includes Polish sausage, sauerkraut, homemade pierogi and doughnut-like paczki, and there will be music and Polish dancing.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 5 to 11. Call the club at 330-253-0496 or Ed at 330-825-7607. Tickets also will be available at the door.

Goodies for sale

• Orders are being taken for hamantashen pastries made by the Women’s Chavurah group at Anshe Sfard (Revere Road Synagogue) in Bath Township.

Prepaid orders are due Feb. 18. An order form is available at http://www.akronshul.com.

Each year, the Women’s Chavurah has helped to celebrate Purim, which this year begins the evening of Feb. 28, by making thousands of the pastries. The triangle-shaped hamantashen are sold by the dozen, with prune, apricot, raspberry, poppy seed, cherry or chocolate fillings, or an assortment.

Orders can be picked up at Anshe Sfard, 646 N. Revere Road, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 25, or by appointment. Call 330-867-7292.

• The annual Spring Bake Sale at Annunciation Greek Orthodox church in Akron will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 28 and 29. The sale is held the Wednesday and Thursday before Western Eastern, which this year is April 1. The church is at 129 S. Union St., Akron. More info soon.

Reminders

• The wedding cake show at Reeves Cake Shop in Akron returns for its 27th year. The sweetness will run from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the shop at 2770 Cory Ave. in Akron.

More than 20 flavors of cakes will be available for tasting, and more than 40 wedding cakes will be on display. A drawing for a free wedding cake — valued at $375 — will be part of the event.

The bakery celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016. Visit reevescakeshop.com. Phone is 330-848-1036.

• Steve Baker and his wife, Marcy, are celebrating 20 years of owning the venerable Ido Bar & Grill at 1537 S. Main St. in Akron’s Firestone Park.

On Friday and Saturday, they will roll back some prices to 1998, such as chicken parmesan served over pasta (with salad or one side) and hand-battered fried shrimp (nine pieces with two sides), which will each cost $7.95.

The Ido is also offering eight days of “N’awlins cuisine” to celebrate Mardi Gras, Monday through Fat Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Visit http://www.idobar.com. The phone is 330-773-1724.

• This Sunday is the annual spaghetti dinner featuring homemade meatballs and sauce at Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, 1800 Steese Road in Green, to benefit Boy Scout Troop 334.

It runs from noon to 2 p.m., ending long before the Super Bowl kicks off at 6:30 p.m., and you can take out your dinner if you want. The meal includes two meatballs, spaghetti, salad, bread, punch and coffee for $8, $6 for ages 65 or older and $5 for children ages 5 to 12. Free for children under 5.

• Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath Township will continue its Local to Global healthy dinner series with a Colombian dinner at 6 p.m. Feb. 22.

It will be prepared by Monica Bongue, a Colombian native who is executive director of the nonprofit Crown Point.

Cost is $45. Call 330-668-8992, ext. 106, for reservations. Crown Point is at 3220 Ira Road. To learn more, go to http://www.crownpt.org.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com.

For a dozen years, chili has stirred up a heated competition in January in downtown Akron.

Last week, the Akron Firefighters Chili Challenge in the indoor area of Lock 3 Park celebrated its 12th year.

I was there for the fourth year on the judges’ panel, and snagged two winning recipes before folks went home to bask in their wins.

The People’s Choice Award went to Akron firefighters for their chili dubbed — appropriately enough — No Hose Barred. Those paying $10 to sample the six offerings got to vote for the People’s Choice.

The Judges’ Choice was a Tex-Mex style chili called South by Southwest, made by the mayor’s Office of Economic Development in Akron.

The Joe Smith Spirit Award went to Cleveland Clinic Akron General for its Smoky Beef and Red Bean Chili, which took both the Judges’ and People’s Choice awards two years ago.

On to the recipes!

For the first, we have just a listing of ingredients. Many cooks know it’s not unusual to make chili without a recipe; ad-libbing is a badge of honor.

Akron firefighter Damarcus Wilkinson, who joined the department in 2008, made the winning No Hose Barred (love that punny name!) chili, and said it’s “just a lot of meat, fresh spices and [other] fresh ingredients.”

He said he used ground beef, diced pork shoulder, bacon, canned crushed tomatoes and peppers to make a yummy old-fashioned chili with no beans.

“It’s more meat and chili peppers than anything,” Wilkinson said. “It’s harkening back to old Texas-style chili.”

Texans “don’t do beans. And they use very little tomatoes,” he said. “That’s what I was going for, a Texas bowl of red.”

Wilkinson, who lives in Bath Township with his wife and daughter, cooks at Akron Fire Station 11, and said he’s the primary cook at home.

Julie Pryseski, who works in the mayor’s Office of Economic Development, made the SXSW chili that we judges made our No. 1 choice. We liked all the layers of flavors. Pryseski said the name is a reference to the South by Southwest trade show in Austin, Texas, held in conjunction with the SXSW music and art festival, which city representatives plan to attend in March along with Akron tech start­ups.

Pryseski used beef brisket and a puerco (Spanish for “pig”) rub created by Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar in downtown Akron. She didn’t rub the brisket with it; she simply added it to the chili. Nuevo’s rub includes dried ground chili peppers, cinnamon and allspice. (Look for those ingredients in another spice blend or rub if you can’t get Nuevo’s.)

South by Southwest

Tex-Mex Chili

2 medium onions, peeled, chopped

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 cans (10 oz. each) Ro-Tel brand diced tomatoes with chopped green chiles (Pryseski uses the “original” style)

1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes

1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes

2 cans (15-16 oz.) black beans

2 cans (15-16 oz.) kidney beans

2 cans chili beans (15-16 oz. cans)

1 (28 oz.) can baked beans

3 tbsp. puerco spice mix from Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar in Akron

1 tsp. chili powder

1½ lbs. cooked beef brisket (made according to your favorite recipe and then pull or cut into 1-inch pieces)

For topping: Bacon bits, jalapeño slices and sour cream

Sauté onions in a large pot with oil or juice from cooking brisket. Add canned tomatoes and beans, spice mix and chili powder and stir. Fold in brisket. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with toppings.

Stray Dog closes

Stray Dog leaves North Hill.

A little more than a year ago, Charly Murphy took the helm of the kitchen at the Akron City Tavern (formerly the Office) in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood. Murphy is owner of Stray Dog food carts and Stray Dog Café at the Akron-Summit County Main Library downtown.

Jan. 13 was the last day for Stray Dog at the North Hill spot at 778 N. Main St.

Murphy told me he had expanded into operating the bar, separated by a wall from the dining room, as of early December.

But he said he and the owner of the property, Frank Caetta, who previously operated the bar, couldn’t come to an agreement “about the future operation of the space” on Main Street. Caetta could not be reached for comment before press time.

Murphy, a North Hill resident, hopes to find another spot in the area for a Stray Dog location. “We’re just looking for something that suits us a little better,” he said.

Murphy was welcomed in North Hill. The Office restaurant and bar — which had been going by the name Akron City Tavern — had been closed for a couple of months when Murphy took over the kitchen in late October 2016.

Stray Dog moved in less than a year after the bar and the dining room got an interior makeover. A new menu with lower-cost items was introduced at the time. Caetta opened the Office in the old brick building in 2006, and the Office Bistro in 2012 in Cuyahoga Falls.

New eatery opening

Fans of Joe Cernava’s made-from-scratch food always seem to find him.

But Cernava doesn’t want too much time to go by before they discover his new location. On Monday, he opened Joseph’s Grille in the Gala Commons shopping complex on East Waterloo Road in Springfield Township.

Joseph’s Grille, which serves lunch and dinner, is in the space that previously housed Siamone’s Thai Pub & Restaurant, at the far west end of the plaza at 2215 E. Waterloo Road.

Most recently, Cernava operated an eatery in Lake Township. Before that, he was in Green. A few years ago, he ran the Rose Covered Inn on East Waterloo, gaining him loyal followers in that area.

The menu includes appetizers such as onion rings and cheesy garlic bread; salads with freshly prepared meat (for example, grilled ahi tuna over iceberg, mixed greens and cheese); entrees such as chicken marsala; and seafood dishes including broiled scallops.

House favorites include Old World cabbage rolls made using his mother’s recipe. Most dinners run $11-$15. It’s a clean, modest eatery with no tablecloths and paper napkins.

The phone is 234-706-5559. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. He has no liquor license, though he plans to get one in the future.

Speaking of Siamone’s: It has moved to Brimfield Plaza in Brimfield Township, and is now called Thai Monies.

Siamone Fryer ran Siamone’s Thai Pub at the Gala Commons plaza for several years. She moved to Brimfield to be closer to her home, said Al Lopez, who spent years in the area restaurant and bar business, and was previously married to Fryer. (The two remain on good terms and Fryer is helping her publicize her move.)

The address is 4112 State Route 43. The phone is 330-474-7588. Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

We’ll have more on both restaurants later.

Wedding cake tasting

Acme Fresh Market will host its free Wedding Cake Show from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at its Portage Lakes store, 3235 Manchester Road, Coventry Township.

More than 18 cakes will be on display. Patrons will enter via a red carpet, and swag includes roses for brides-to-be. Sparkling wine and cake tastings also will be available. Register at http://www.acmestores.com/weddingshow and enter to win a wedding cake.

The following weekend, Reeves Cake Shop will host its free wedding cake show, from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 3-4 at 2770 Cory Ave. in Akron.

For information, visit http://www.reevescakeshop.com or phone 330-848-1036.

Pizza Palooza returns

A big pizza party is returning to the gymnasium at Stow-Munroe Falls High, 3227 Graham Road, from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

More than 2,000 people attended the inaugural Pizza Palooza last year.

Fourteen shops and restaurants have signed up to participate in this year’s event to benefit student programs in the Stow-Munroe Falls school district. Attendees can cast votes for People’s Choice.

In addition to pizza, attendees enjoy doughnuts, cookies, mini cupcakes and ice cream. Activities will include face painting, coloring tables, a balloon artist, raffle drawings and inflatables.

Each food item or beverage will cost $1. Buy tickets at the door. Go to http://www.SMFcommunity.org for information.


Super Bowl spaghetti

Feb. 4 is the annual spaghetti dinner featuring homemade meatballs and sauce at Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, 1800 Steese Road in Green, to benefit Boy Scout Troop 334.

This event always falls on Super Bowl Sunday. It runs noon to 2 p.m., ending long before kickoff at 6:30 p.m., and you can take out your dinner if you want. The meal includes two meatballs, spaghetti, salad, bread, punch and coffee for $8, $6 for ages 65 and older and $5 for children ages 5 to 12. Free for children under 5.

BurgerFi returns

The BurgerFi in the Portage Crossing shopping complex in Cuyahoga Falls has reopened under corporate management.

Previously operated by a franchisee, it closed abruptly in July, and an eviction notice for “breach of lease” and “failure to pay rent” was taped to the wall.

BurgerFi was one of the first places to open at the Portage Crossing shopping complex in Cuyahoga Falls in 2014.

Fat Tuesday sale

The West Side Bakery is taking orders for king cakes and beignets through Fat Tuesday, Feb. 13. Cakes will be available Feb. 2-13. Beignets will be available Feb. 10, 12 and 13. The cakes run $12.95, beignets $2.

Get the Mardi Gras goodies at both of the bakery’s locations, 2303 W. Market St., Akron (330-836-4101) and 1840 Town Park Blvd., Green (330-899-9968).

Healthy dinner series

Crown Point Ecology Center in Bath Township will continue its Local to Global healthy dinner series with a Colombian dinner at 6 p.m. Feb. 22.

It will be prepared by Monica Bongue, executive director of the nonprofit Crown Point, which includes a 10-acre certified organic farm.

Cost is $45. Call 330-668-8992, ext. 106, for reservations. Crown Point is at 3220 Ira Road and is a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. To learn more, go to http://www.crownpt.org.

Wine events

• The 21st annual Red & White fundraiser benefiting the Arthritis Foundation will be 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Quaker Station at 135 S. Broadway, in downtown Akron.

Tickets are $85 in advance, $95 at the door. VIP tickets are $125 in advance and $135 at the door. Buy tickets at http://www.arthritis.org/redandwhite.

• Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Merchant Tavern, 1824 Merriman Road in Akron’s Merriman Valley. Light finger foods included. Cost is $35. Call 330-865-9510.

• Papa Joe’s, 1561 Akron-Peninsula Road, in the Merriman Valley, will host a Huge Napa Valley Cabernet Wine Dinner at 7 p.m. Friday. Menu includes escargot with crimini mushrooms, grilled quail, confit of duck breast and lamb chops. Cost is $85. Papa Joe’s will also host a Valentine Champagne Dinner at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 for $95. Call 330-923-7999 for reservations.

• Ken Stewart’s Lodge, 1911 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Bath, will offer a six-course wine dinner featuring the wines of Caymus Vineyards of Napa Valley, at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31. Cost is $145, plus tax and tip. Call 330-666-8881.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com and read the Akron Dish blog at http://www.ohio.com/food.

Akron firefighters won the People’s Choice award and a city department entering for the first time won the Judge’s Choice award in the 12th annual Akron Firefighters Chili Challenge.

Akron firefighters won for their beefy No Hose Barred chili at the contest Friday at the city’s Lock 3 Park downtown.

Firefighter Damarcus Wilkinson made the chili.

The city’s economic development department, entering the challenge for the first time, won for its SXSW — South by SouthWest, a Tex-Mex style chili.

Julie Pryseski, who works in the department, made the chili. She said the name is a reference to the South by Southwest technology conference in Austin, Texas, in March that city representatives plan to attend along with Akron tech start­ups.

Cleveland Clinic Akron General won the Joe Smith Spirit Award for its Smokey’s Blazin Beef & Red Bean Chili.

The award is named for Akron Police Detective Joe Smith, who died in 2014 and had helped with the Chili Challenge every year.

For the yearly chili challenge, Akron firefighters challenge representatives of other city departments and local businesses and organizations to see who can create the best pot of chili.

Members of the public pay for samples and get to cast their votes; a judge’s panel also picks a top chili. This year’s event raised more than $2,000 for Akron Children’s Hospital burn center.

The chili was served inside, in the Commons area of Lock 3.

For more on the chili, see Akron Dish in Wednesday’s food section of the Beacon Journal.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected].

Applebee’s Grill & Bar wanted to delve more into craft beers and it liked Akron-headquartered Thirsty Dog’s Blood Hound Orange IPA.

Last week, the owner of 36 Applebee’s locations in Northeast Ohio said it had gained pouring rights of the fruit-flavored seasonal beer.

The Applebee’s franchisee sniffed out all the Blood Hound Orange IPA it could to serve on draft, said John Najeway, co-owner of Thirsty Dog Brewing Co., Akron’s largest craft brewery.

“We brewed as much as we could. They got all the blood oranges we could fit into our brewing schedule right now,” he said.

“We are excited to be starting the year with the announcement of our partnership with Thirsty Dog Brewing Company,” Terry Culler, regional marketing coordinator of the Applebee’s franchisee, Apple American Group LLC, said in a prepared statement.

The franchisee is calling the deal exclusive, but other restaurants or bars may have some Blood Hound Orange IPA on tap that they can still sell.

Thirsty Dog originally released the beer last June.

Applebee’s “will have a supply through April,” Najeway said, declining to say how much of the IPA the Applebee’s franchisee bought.

April 1 release

Thirsty Dog will release Blood Hound Orange IPA again April 1, and it will be available to bars and restaurants as it was last year. The IPA also will be available in area grocery stores and other spots where Thirsty Dog brews are sold.

Applebee’s was attracted to the beer, Najeway said, because craft IPAs are hugely popular these days.

“Seventy percent of the craft sales right now are IPA,” he said. IPA stands for India Pale Ale and is a hoppy beer style.

Additionally, Najeway said, blood oranges “are one of the hottest fruits on the market” when it comes to craft beers.

“To see them [Applebee’s] move on the craft side of beers is huge for us personally and the craft industry,” Najeway said, explaining that Applebee’s has traditionally carried brews of “big industrial breweries.”

Applebee’s customers will be able to buy the IPA by the pint or glass or can buy growlers of beer to take home. Growlers will run $26 each.

Najeway said the Applebee’s eateries represent the largest chain to have Thirsty Dog pouring rights.

The second largest is Winking Lizard, with 22 locations in Northeast Ohio that offer Thirsty Dog on tap.

The brewery will release its second fruited IPA at the end of January: Pineapple IPA. It will be available on draft at the end of the month and bottles will be available in early February.

Thirsty Dog, with nearly 40 employees, began in 1997 as a brewpub in suburban Canton. Two other Thirsty Dog locations opened in later years. By early 2005, all three locations had closed. The brand survived with its bottled beer being made in Maryland.

In 2007, Thirsty Dog brought production back home, opening its own brewery at 529 Grant St. in Akron, the former headquarters of the Burkhardt Brewing Co.

Last fall, Thirsty Dog opened a brewery, taproom and brew pub in the Flats East Bank development in Cleveland.

Apple American Group bills itself as the largest Applebee’s franchisee, as well as the largest “U.S. casual dining franchisee.”

Apple American owns and operates more than 485 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurants in 23 states. It has locations in the Akron and Cleveland areas and in Portage, Stark and Wayne counties.

Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com.

A Kent group is organizing the city’s first Mardi Crawl, set for Friday, Feb. 9.

That’s the Friday before Fat Tuesday, which this year is Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The event — being put together by the nonprofit Main Street Kent — will begin with participants checking in at the Venice Cafe, 163 W. Erie St., between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to pick up bar crawl lanyards and passes, Kent Mardi Crawl t-shirts. Attendees also can participate in a costume contest.

Attendees can get their pass punched at each bar they visit — no purchase will be required. Those who visit at least five of the ten participating locations can drop their passes in the contest entry box at Water Street Tavern, 132 S. Water St., for a chance to win one of four prizes. Drawing will be held Mon., Feb. 12th.

Cost is $15 per person, with proceeds benefiting Main Street Kent. A portion of the proceeds will go to Freedom House, a transitional housing facility for homeless veterans.

To purchase tickets and for more information, go to mainstreetkent.org.

Main Street Kent can be reached at 330-677-8000 or [email protected].

One Akron woman decided to get a bit adventurous on her second visit to Lyeh Thai Food.

“I had no idea what I was ordering, but it looked good,” said Rosemarie Foord, who has since returned to the newish eatery at 160 E. Tallmadge Ave. in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood many times.

And the dish — Pad Woon-Sen, made with cellophane noodles — was good, Foord recalled on a recent afternoon, waiting for her carryout order.

She’s gone on to try other dishes, including pho, the Vietnamese noodle soup. (Lyeh’s offers it with beef, chicken or pork.)

“I’ve been sort of working my way through the menu … this food seems more authentic” than some other Thai eateries, Foord said.

Foord, a retired library branch manger who lives in North Hill, noted she’s “thrilled about all of the influx of Asians in North Hill. It brings a whole new dimension.”

Lyeh’s owners Rot Sorn and her husband, Mehn Hepu, are among resettled refugees from Southeast Asia who have started businesses — primarily food stores — in North Hill.

Members of the Mon ethnic group of Myanmar, Sorn and Hepu came to the United States in 2004. Like many Mon, they lived in Thailand, which borders Myanmar, before coming to this country. (Most of the recent refugees who have settled in Akron have come from another Southeast Asian country, Bhutan, which is tucked between India and China.)

The couple need only look across the street to see a reminder of their early days in Akron: the International Institute, the refugee resettlement agency that helped them come to the United States, housed in a brick building at 207 E. Tallmadge Ave.

Like many refugees, Sorn and Hepu initially found factory jobs.

In August, they opened Lyeh Thai Food, with the help of a $10,000 loan through ASIA Inc., a nonprofit with offices in Akron and Cleveland. The loan program, designed to help lower-income entrepreneurs in Summit County get businesses off the ground, is funded by the Knight Foundation.

The small, no-frills, brightly lit eatery has several tables and a counter, in a space that formerly housed a Chinese restaurant. The menu, while not as extensive as some Asian spots, includes Thai favorites like red and green curry and various fried rice and noodle dishes, along with appetizers such as larb (a salad with ground chicken) and papaya salad.

It’s in a small building next to U.S. Asian Market owned by Yi Mon. In addition to receiving the loan, Sorn and Hepu have leaned on Thet Win, a program assistant at ASIA Inc., who also is from Myanmar and helps startups in the program.

“Sometimes they need assistance in English and technical support related to electronic devices,” said Win, who came to the United States as a refugee in 2009.

Win is passionate about seeing the restaurant succeed, even helping take orders on some weekend days. The micro-loan is the first ASIA Inc. has granted to a restaurant.

Susan Wong, senior program director at ASIA Inc., noted Sorn had already started another venture — she makes sushi for the Heinen’s in Hudson as an independent contractor — when she sought the loan for the restaurant.

“I’ve worked sushi for a long time,” Sorn said in an interview last week. She also worked as a chef in Thailand and also sold food she prepared in a market. (There’s no sushi on the menu at Lyeh’s, where both Sorn and Hepu cook.)

Most of her customers are Americans, she said, though there are some from Myanmar and other countries.

Last week, high school students Set Lay Brow, 17, her sister Heh Gay Brow, 15, and Eh Da Po, 17, came in for an early supper. All three are Karen, another ethnic minority in Myanmar. Their favorites include pho, pad thai and fried rice dishes.

To see Lyeh Thai Food’s menu go to the eatery’s Facebook page. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. The phone is 234-334-4528.

Celebrating roots

Akron’s rubber industry was booming and the city’s population was growing fast in 1923 when the Ido Café opened near Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.

Steve Baker and his wife, Marcy, are celebrating 20 years of owning the venerable eatery — now called Ido Bar & Grill — on South Main Street in Akron’s Firestone Park. That’s an impressive number in restaurant years.

“Feb. 2 is the day we opened, Groundhog Day,” Steve Baker told me.

From 4 p.m. to close on Feb. 2 and 3, the Bakers will roll back the prices on some items to 1998.

Chicken Parmesan served over pasta (with salad or one side) and hand-battered fried shrimp (nine pieces with two sides) will cost $7.95 each, while a 6-ounce Black Angus filet (with two sides) will run $13.95. Sauerkraut balls with cocktail sauce and homemade mozzarella wedges with marinara sauce will cost $3.95.

“I looked at an old menu and those were the prices,” Baker noted.

Additionally, happy hour, which is normally over at 7 p.m., will run to 9 p.m. both nights.

In 1997, Baker was looking to leave his job as chef of Guy’s Party Centre on Waterloo Road in Akron to open his own restaurant. He and his wife, who both grew up in Firestone Park, put in a call to the Ido’s owners and learned they were willing to sell.

After briefly considering changing the name to “Baker’s Pub,” the couple decided that would be a mistake, and reopened under the Ido name on Feb. 2, 1998. “The Ido is an institution,” Baker said in a 2003 Beacon article.

Also this February, the Ido will again offer eight days of “N’awlins cuisine” to celebrate Mardi Gras. This year’s Mardi Gras menu runs Feb. 5 through Fat Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The Ido is at 1537 S. Main St., Akron, north of Firestone Boulevard. Visit http://www.idobar.com. The phone is 330-773-1724.

Paying tribute

Speaking of local restaurant history …

On Feb. 23-24, Wise Guys Lounge & Grill in Akron will celebrate the food of the dearly departed Nick Anthe’s Restaurant, the former occupant of the North Hill site.

The menu on those two nights will feature Nick Anthe staples like halibut and bean salad. We’ll get more information soon from Chef Dino Reed.

Here’s another tie-in to Akron’s hospitality past: Red Shapiro, who for three decades welcomed customers to Red’s Bar in Akron, will greet folks at the Anthe celebration.

Tom Procaccio of Cuyahoga Falls bought the building at 1008 N. Main St. and opened Wise Guys in 2014, about three years after Nick Anthe closed there.

At the time it closed, Anthe’s was owned by Douglas Robinson, who had worked there since he was a teenager. He purchased it in 1989 from Nick Anthe, who remained at the restaurant for several years, working the front of the house and greeting customers. Anthe died in 2004, Robinson last March.

On Fat Tuesday, Feb. 13, and Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, Wise Guys will feature dinner specials, including a seafood tower for two and surf and turf.

Call 330-922-3006 for reservations; the restaurant advises reserving early for Valentine’s Day.

Healthy dinner series

Crown Point Ecology Center, which includes a 10-acre certified organic farm on 115 acres in Bath, is launching Local to Global, a healthy dinner series, that will run through April.

The first dinner will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, designed and prepared by Margaret Medzie, founder of the Functional Nutrition and Wellness consulting firm.

The evening will begin with wine and hors d’oeuvres followed by dinner with grass-fed beef and vegetarian items, such as squash soup.

Cost is $45. Call 330-668-8992, Ext. 106, for reservations. Crown Point is a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. To learn more about Crown Point, go to http://www.crownpt.org.

Chili reminder

The 12th annual Firefighters Chili Challenge is at 11 a.m. Friday at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron.

The event features chili made by city departments and local businesses. Attendees get to sample the chili, fill their tummies and cast votes for People’s Choice.

Cost is $10 for six 4-ounce samples and a soft drink; one sample costs $1.50. Proceeds benefit the burn unit at Akron Children’s Hospital. Last year, firefighters won the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice awards after being shut out in 2016, the first time in the history of the city-organized event that the firefighters flamed out.

Don’t worry about the weather; this is an indoor event, with seating in the Commons area of Lock 3.

Wine events

• The 21st annual Red & White fundraiser benefiting the Arthritis Foundation will be 5:30 to 9 p.m. Jan. 25 at Quaker Station at 135 S. Broadway, in downtown Akron.

The event offers food, craft beers and lots of wine. Tickets are $85 in advance, $95 at the door. VIP tickets are $125 in advance and $135 at the door.

Attire is business casual. Buy tickets at http://www.arthritis.org/redandwhite.

• 35° Brix, 3875 Massillon Road, Green, will offer a five-course dinner featuring wines from Alexandria Nicole Cellars of Washington state, at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Cost is $79 plus tax and tip. 35° Brix is at 3875 Massillon Road, Green. Call 330-899-9200.

• West Point Market’s annual Best Buy Reds wine tasting is at 7 p.m. Friday, offering 35 wines to sample that sell for under $15. Appetizers, cheeses and sweets included.

Cost is $55. Call 330-864-2151, Ext. 405. West Point is at 33 Shiawassee Ave., north of West Market Street, in Fairlawn.

• Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 14 at The Merchant Tavern, 1824 Merriman Road in Akron’s Merriman Valley. Wines ranging from bubbles to whites to cabernet and ports will be featured, with light finger foods.

Cost is $35. Call 330-865-9510.

• Papa Joe’s, 1561 Akron-Peninsula Road, in the Merriman Valley, will host a Huge Napa Valley Wine Dinner at 7 p.m. Jan. 26, and a Valentine Champagne Dinner at 7 p.m. Feb. 16.

Cost and menu for both events will be available later. Call 330-923-7999 for reservations.

• Ken Stewart’s Lodge, 1911 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Bath, will offer a six-course wine dinner featuring the wines of Caymus Vineyards of Napa Valley, at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31.

Cost is $145, plus tax and tip. Call 330-666-8881.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com.

Stray Dog has left North Hill.

A little more than a year ago, Charly Murphy, owner of Stray Dog food carts and Stray Dog Café in downtown Akron, took the helm of the kitchen at the Akron City Tavern (formerly called the Office) in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood.

Over the weekend, Murphy posted on Facebook that Saturday, Jan. 13, was the last day for Stray Dog at the North Hill spot at 778 N. Main St.

“Our patrons have become dear friends and our staff has become family…we hate to let you down and can’t wait to see everyone at the cafe and at our carts,” the post says.

“Moving forward, we strive to make a new home in North Hill, we will be focusing on our house made condiments, you will find our carts all summer long at events and on the streets of Akron and we will be available for catering!” the post continues.

Murphy could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

The Stray Dog Café in downtown Akron is at the Akron-Summit County Public Library. The entrance is off South Main Street.

Murphy’s Stray Dog operation was welcomed in North Hill. The Office — which had been going by the name Akron City Tavern — had been closed for a couple of months when Murphy took over the kitchen in late October 2016. He dubbed his operation there “Stray Dog at Akron City Tavern.”

Murphy said in October 2016 that he was collaborating with Frank Caetta, owner of the tavern and the building in which it is located.

The Office got an interior makeover in 2015, when a new menu with more lower-cost items was introduced. Caetta opened the North Main Street venture in 2006 and a second Office location — the Office Bistro — in 2012, at 1846 Front St. in Cuyahoga Falls.

The Beacon Journal is also seeking comment from Akron City Tavern.

Akron’s rubber industry was booming and the city’s population was growing fast in 1923 when the Ido Café opened near Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.

Steve Baker and his wife, Marcy, this year are celebrating 20 years of owning the venerable eatery — now called Ido Bar & Grill — on South Main Street in Akron’s Firestone Park neighborhood.

That’s an impressive number of years in restaurant years.

“Feb. 2 is the day we opened, Ground Hog Day,” Baker told me.

From 4 p.m. to close on Friday, Feb. 2, and Saturday, Feb. 3, the Bakers will roll back the prices on some dinner menu items to 1998 prices.

Chicken parmesan served over pasta (choice of salad or one side) and hand-battered fried shrimp (nine pieces and served with a choice of two sides) each will cost $7.95, while a 6-ounce Black Angus filet (with choice of two sides) will run $13.95.

Sauerkraut balls with cocktail sauce and homemade hand-breaded mozzarella wedges with marina sauce will each cost $3.95.

“I looked at an old menu and those were the prices,” Baker noted.

Additionally, happy hour, which is normally over at 7 p.m., will run to 9 p.m. both nights.

In 1997, Baker was looking to leave his job as chef of Guy’s Party Centre on Waterloo Road in Akron to open his own restaurant.

Baker and his wife, Marcy — who both grew up in Firestone Park — put in a call to Ido’s owners and learned they were willing to sell.

After briefly considering changing the name to “Baker’s Pub,” the couple decided that would be a mistake, and reopened the place with the Ido name on Feb. 2, 1998. “The Ido is an institution,” Baker said in a 2003 Beacon article.

Also this February, the Ido will again offer eight days of “N’awlins cuisine” to celebrate Mardi Gras. This year’s Mardi Gras menu runs Feb. 5 through Fat Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The Ido is at 1537 S. Main St., Akron, north of Firestone Boulevard. Visit http://www.idobar.com. The phone is 330-773-1724.

Read more Akron Dish items at Ohio.com or in the Beacon Journal.

Yay! The New Year brings some news of new eateries on the way and already open.

Get your napkins ready. Here we go …

Poke Fresh: This entrant into the growing poke (pronounced PO-kay) trend is slated to open late this month at the West Market Street Station, home to the new Whole Foods Market 365, in Akron’s Wallhaven area.

So what’s poke? It’s a Hawaiian dish that’s something like deconstructed sushi.

Poke (the word is Hawaiian for “to slice” or “to cut”) bowls typically feature ahi tuna and salmon. Poke Fresh will offer other proteins, including shrimp, chicken and tofu.

The assembly-line setup will allow customers to create their own bowls. They’ll start with a base of rice or Ohio-grown organic greens, add fish or other protein and toppings, including edamame, cucumber, pickled ginger and avocado.

The bowls can be finished off with signature sauces and crunchy bits, such as toasted sesame seeds.

Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free poke bowls will be available.

Poke Fresh is a single-site enterprise so far.

Owner Jonathan Gotschall, 36, previously owned Caroline’s Cupcakes in Jackson Township; he sold it in 2016 to Nom Nom Popcorn, which continues to sell Caroline’s Cupcakes at the site.

Gotschall got the idea to open a poke eatery in Northeast Ohio after patronizing one last year in Washington, D.C. He was visiting his sister, Caroline, for whom the cupcake place was named.

“We ended up going there three out of the four days I was there. We just loved it so much,” Gotschall said. “I saw poke was going to explode.

‘‘It’s all over the West Coast. Poke restaurants are now starting to pop up in East Coast cities.”

Poke Fresh’s address is at 46 N. Hawkins Ave. Website: http://www.eatpokefresh.com.

Some may remember that Gotschall caused a brief media stir in 2014. Gotschall, a day before ESPN broke the news of LeBron James’ return to Cleveland, posted on Caroline’s Cupcakes’ Facebook site that James definitely was coming back to the Cavaliers. Gotschall, in his post, said he had received the information from a friend who is a member of James’ inner circle.

Papa Gyros: This small Stark County chain, which has gained a following for its Greek food, will open its first Akron location at 1 N. Hawkins Ave., also in the Wallhaven area.

I couldn’t get an opening date before press time.

A big lighted sign adorns the building that most recently housed Teriyaki Madness, which closed in 2016. Previously, it was home to Caribou Coffee and briefly Peet’s Coffee. Here’s to Papa Gyros, with a menu that includes a lot more than gyros, having more staying power.

The Paxos family owns the Papa Gyros venture, which got its start in 2001 at 2045 Cleveland Ave. NW in Canton. Steve Paxos, former commissioner of the National Professional Soccer League and former owner of the Canton Invaders, heads the Papa Gyros enterprise.

The Akron site will be the fifth. In addition to Canton, there are spots in Green, Jackson Township and Alliance. To see the menu, go to papagyros.com/menu.php.

Pulp Juice & Smoothie Bar: The Kent-based chain is coming to the old Starbucks at 2279 W. Market St., near Sand Run Road.

Founder Thom Knepp, a 1999 Kent State University graduate, wasn’t available to talk before press time. The chain, which has grown to 20 sites through franchises, began in Kent in 2005.

Its menu features more than 30 fruit and veggie smoothies, including one called Hangover Relief and another named Protein Packer, along with wraps, salads and “energy bowls.”

The chain has one other location in Akron, at 278 E. Exchange St., across from the University of Akron, and in Cuyahoga Falls, Green, Jackson Township, Kent, Macedonia, Streetsboro, Stow and Wooster. Pulp’s website is pulpjuiceandsmoothie.com.

CoreLife Eatery: This young Binghamton, N.Y., chain plans to come to Fairlawn in June, co-founder Todd Mansfield told me.

As previously reported by Beacon Journal staff writer Rick Armon, it will be part of a new complex replacing the demolished Wyant Buildings, across from Fairlawn Town Centre.

The Fairlawn CoreLife at 2858 W. Market St. will be among more than 30 locations when it opens.

Customers go through a line and choose from fresh ingredients to build their own bowls, starting with a base of grains, greens or broth, and adding protein, such as chicken or beef.

The chain bills itself as focused on “healthy active lifestyles” and says its fresh ingredients are free of trans fats, artificial colors, sweeteners, artificial additives and GMOs. Customers can build vegan, gluten-free, soy-free or paleo bowls, Mansfield said.

“There is nothing on our menu that is not good for you,” he said, repeating his mantra.

So far, there are two other CoreLifes in Ohio, in Strongsville and the Polaris area of Columbus. Its website is https://corelifeeatery.com.

2 Girls Cafe moves

I’m late on a move: 2 Girls’ Cafe & Bakery moved to a new Stow location late last year.

But I’m not too late for the ribbon cutting, which will be at 4 p.m. Thursday at 3707 Darrow Road, which previously was home to Mocha Joe’s.

It’s in the Eddy’s Bike Shop plaza at the southeast corner of Graham and Darrow roads.

2 Girls’ Cafe & Bakery is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. The phone number is 330-928-4644.

See its Facebook page for more information.

Grille could reopen

I’m also late on a closing, and hopes of a reopening:

The Uptown Grille at 3883 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls, closed late last year, but it could reopen under another name if Mat Forestal, who worked at the family-style eatery, can raise enough cash.

Forestal said the restaurant, a little south of Steels Corners Road, had gained loyal customers, some of whom have pledged money to help launch a new restaurant at the site.

Forestal figures he needs roughly $20,000 for equipment, including a dishwasher, and working capital. He said he would pitch in $5,000 to $10,000 of his own money.

As of early this week, a GoFundMe campaign had raised $2,000 of a $5,000 goal.

The campaign is dubbed Bring Back the Grille, though Forestal said it would be called Esprit de Corps Grill, a reference to his Marine Corps background. Forestal would like it to be a gathering place for local veterans and to host fundraisers for veterans’ causes.

The campaign is at http://www.gofundme.com/bringbackthegrille. There also is an Esprit de Corps Grill Facebook page.

Swensons expands

You can now get a Galley Boy in University Heights.

The double-patty burger, as well as onion rings, shakes and other yummies of Swensons, Akron’s iconic drive-in, are all available at the new one at 14510 Cedar Road, near Beachwood. It opened Dec. 30.

Last spring, Susan Infeld, then mayor of University Heights, told me that “people are literally jumping up and down” at the news that Swensons was coming. It is the eighth Swensons in Northeast Ohio and the second in Cuyahoga County; there’s one in Seven Hills.

Late last year, Columbus Business First reported that Swensons is eyeing a spot at 7490 Sawmill Road near Dublin for what would be its first Columbus-area restaurant. Swensons spokeswoman Crystal Griffith told me she couldn’t discuss that.

The expansion comes after California private-investment firm Spanos Barber Jesse & Co. said in May 2016 it had completed an investment in Swensons. Griffith said the investment will not change the tried-and-true “customer experience.”

The chain started in 1934, when Wesley T. “Pop” Swenson opened up a small hamburger hut on South Hawkins Avenue in Akron’s Wallhaven neighborhood.

He had been selling sandwiches out of his car to students at the newly constructed Buchtel High School. The original restaurant was replaced with a new model in 2005.

Little has changed over the years. Customers still pull up and make sure their lights are on; curb servers run to take orders and make sure burgers arrive fast.

Chili Challenge

Will Akron firefighters keep their title at the 12th annual Chili Challenge?

The event features chili made by city departments and local businesses. Each team, using a recipe of its choice, makes 10 gallons. Attendees get to sample the chili, get their tummies very full and cast votes for People’s Choice.

It starts at 11 a.m. Jan. 19 at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron. Cost is $10 for six 4-ounce samples and a soft drink; one sample costs $1.50. Proceeds benefit the burn unit at Akron Children’s Hospital.

Last year, firefighters won the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice awards after being shut out in 2016, the first time in the history of the city-organized event that the firefighters flamed out.

Don’t worry about the weather; this is an indoor event, with seating in the Commons area of Lock 3. The event will go on until the chili runs out.

I’ll be on the judges’ panel, and I hope to snag some recipes for you.

Wine events

• 35° Brix, 3875 Massillon Road, Green, will offer a five-course dinner featuring wines from Alexandria Nicole Cellars, at 7 p.m. Jan. 18.

Jeff Welch, national sales manager, will present five 90 points-plus rated wines from the Washington winery. Cost is $79 plus tax and tip. Call 330-899-9200.

• Papa Joe’s, 1561 Akron-Peninsula Road, in the Merriman Valley, will host a Huge Napa Valley Wine Dinner (love that simple and fun name) at 7 p.m. Jan. 26, and a Valentine Champagne Dinner at 7 p.m. Feb. 16. Cost and menu for both events will be available later. Call 330-923-7999 for reservations.

• Ken Stewart’s Lodge, 1911 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Bath, will offer a six-course wine dinner featuring the wines of Caymus Vineyards of Napa Valley, at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31.

Roger Blottenberger from the Wagner Family of Wine (which includes Caymus) will be on hand.

Courses include smoked salmon samosa, shaved asparagus salad, eggplant caponata cavatappi, charcuterie and cheese plate, Colorado rack of lamb and dark chocolate pavé. Cost is $145, plus tax and tip. Call 330-666-8881.

Polish spaghetti dinner

Eat Italian at the Polish American Citizens Club of Akron from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday.

The Polish spaghetti dinner will include meatballs, bread, salad, dessert and coffee or tea. Cost is $9 for adults and $4 for children. Call 330-253-0496. The club is at 472 E. Glenwood Ave. in North Akron (entrance on Dan Street).

Burns Night festivities

Reminder: The Scottish American Society will host its Burns Night celebration Jan. 26. It’s open to the public.

The celebration will be at the Stow Youth Baseball Party Center at 4157 Hudson Drive (north of state Route 8). Festivities will run from 6 to 10 p.m.

Cost is $35 for adults; $30 for society members; $20 for seniors (90-plus); and $25 for children ages 12 or younger.

Checks made out to the “Scottish American Society” should be sent by Friday to Liz Belvin, 3165 E. Waterloo Road, Akron, OH 44312. For information, go to http://www.scottishamericansociety.org.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com.

You can now get a Galley Boy in University Heights.

The double-hamburger patty sandwich, as well as onion rings, cheeseburgers and other yummies of Akron’s iconic Swensons drive-in chain are all available at the new Swensons at 14510 Cedar Road, near the city of Beachwood.

The location opened last weekend. A grand-opening will be Monday with the restaurant opening at 11 a.m.

Last spring, Susan Infeld, who was then mayor of University Heights, told me that “people are literally jumping up and down” at the news that Swensons was planning to open a location in the city.

The University Heights location is the eighth Swensons in Northeast Ohio and the second one in Cuyahoga County. The existing Cuyahoga Swensons is in Seven Hills.

Late last year, Columbus Business First reported that Swensons is eyeing a spot at 7490 Sawmill Road near Dublin for what would be the chain’s first Columbus-area restaurant.

The Sawmill road property most recently was a bank branch, part of the former Akron-based FirstMerit Corp. The bank branch closed after Huntington Bancshares Inc. of Columbus acquired FirstMerit.

The moves to expand the now eight-restaurant chain comes after California private-investment firm Spanos Barber Jesse & Co. said in May 2016 it had completed an investment in Swensons.

Spanos Barber Jesse & Co. has offices in the San Francisco Bay area and Dallas.

The chain, known for its burgers, shakes and onion rings and other sides, started in 1934, when Wesley T. “Pop’’ Swenson opened up a small hamburger hut on South Hawkins Avenue in Akron’s Wallhaven neighborhood.

Swenson had been selling sandwiches out of his car to students at the newly constructed Buchtel High School. The original restaurant was replaced with a new model in 2005.

Little about the eatery has changed over the years. Customers still pull up and make sure their lights are on for service. Curb servers still run to cars to take orders and make sure burgers arrive fast.

Read more Akron Dish on Ohio.com and on Wednesdays in the Beacon Journal.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected].

Local Girl Scouts will launch their annual cookie sale Jan. 3, and the mighty popular S’mores are back.

Cookie fans might remember that higher-than-anticipated demand led to shortages last year.

Also back are gluten-free Toffee Tastic cookies with crunchy toffee bits, which debuted nationwide last year after being available on a limited basis in 2015.

The S’mores, a graham sandwich with a chocolate and marshmallow filling, were launched last year in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scout Cookie sales.

The S’mores and Toffee Tastics are $5 a box; the other cookies in the lineup sell for $4. They are classic favorites Thin Mints (the top-selling cookie in the region), Samoas, Do-si-dos, Tagalongs, Trefoils and Savannah Smiles.

All the cookies are made by Little Brownie Bakers in Kentucky.

Last year, the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio council reported that local troops get 17.5 percent of the sale of each box, and 30 percent covers the expense of producing the cookie. The remainder goes to the council for administrative and programming costs.

Scouts will begin taking orders for the cookies Jan. 3. Booth sales at grocery stores, malls and other locations will begin in March.

To find a Scout selling cookies in your neighborhood, call 1-888-9-THIN MINT, or download the Cookie Finder app to receive cookie booth alerts beginning March 9. Girl Scouts gather orders in person as well as online through the Digital Cookie platform.

To learn more, go to girlscoutcookies.org. For more about Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, go to gsneo.org.

New event at Civic

The Akron Civic Theatre will debut “Wine, Cheese & Chocolate, Darling” on Feb. 10.

The new event will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will take place “throughout the building” — in the Grand Lobby, mezzanine and stage — of the 1929 Moorish theater, said Lisa Martinez, development consultant for the Civic.

Working with Vintage Wine Distributor of Solon, the Civic will offer stations according to type of wine: bubbles (champagne and sparkling wine), dessert wines, chardonnays, other whites, decadent reds, cabernet sauvignons, other reds, rosés, and orange wines.

Yes, orange wines. They’re not made from oranges. Rather, the skins are left in contact with the juice during fermentation, resulting in a dry wine with noticeable tannins and an “orangish hue,” Martinez said.

About 50 wines will be available, including a few Ohio wines. Cheese and chocolate purveyors will offer samples to be paired with the wines. Locally owed Nervous Dog Coffee Bar will set up a station featuring coffee drinks.

Martinez said the event “just seemed like a logical step” after the success of the Akron Craft Beer Festival at the Civic, which drew about 600 to 700 people last year, its fifth.

Sponsors are Wayside Furniture and the Akron Civic Theatre Women’s Guild. Cost is $45. Tickets are available at the Civic box office, or call 330-253-2488 or go to http://www.akroncivic.com.

Tribute to Nick Anthe

Louis Prpich, owner of Chowder House Cafe in Cuyahoga Falls, likes to pay homage to other chefs each year when he puts together his New Year’s Eve menu.

This year, he’s celebrating Nick Anthe Restaurant, which was at 1008 N. Main St. in Akron and is now Wise Guys Lounge & Grill.

Prpich worked for Nick Anthe from 1991 to 1993 as an assistant chef. While Anthe had sold the restaurant to Doug Robinson by then, Prpich noted that Anthe continued to work at the front of the house, greeting customers.

“I got to know Mr. Anthe really well,” Prpich said.

Anthe died in 2004, Robinson in March.

On New Year’s Eve, as well as Friday and Saturday, Prpich’s dinner menu will feature popular Anthe dishes, including charred halibut with drawn butter, Chicken Winston (chicken tenderloins and jumbo shrimp sautéed in a dijon mustard and cream sauce) and the Loving Couple (filet mignon medallions and jumbo scampies with a garlic and white wine sauce.)

For his plaki, Prpich will use grouper, topping it with a Mediterranean vegetable melange of artichokes, olives and spinach; and his version of Steak Diane will be topped with sautéed wild mushrooms and a light au jus made with garlic, shallots and red wine.

Prpich also will have popular Chowder House dishes, including lobster ravioli, which is made in house.

The restaurant will serve from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For reservations, call 330-794-7102. The Chowder House is at 2028 Chestnut Blvd. in Cuyahoga Falls, east of State Road.

Reminders

• The Scottish American Society will host its Burns Night celebration Jan. 26. It’s open to the public.

The celebration will be at the Stow Youth Baseball Party Center at 4157 Hudson Drive (north of state Route 8). Festivities will run from 6 to 10 p.m.

And, yes, there will be haggis, that traditional Scottish dish made with sheep’s liver and oatmeal, as well as other foods.

Cost is $30 for adults; $25 for Scottish American Society members; $15 for seniors (90-plus); and $20 for children ages 12 or younger. Add $5 per ticket if paying after Dec. 15.

Checks made out to the “Scottish American Society” should be sent by Jan. 12 to Liz Belvin, 3165 E. Waterloo Road, Akron, OH 44312. For information, go to http://www.scottishamericansociety.org.

• Papa Joe’s will host a Champagne Dinner, featuring five courses paired with champagnes, at 7 p.m. Friday.

The menu will include citrus cured wild salmon, lobster crepe, seared diver sea scallops, tenderloin of beef en croute and creme brulee with fresh raspberries.

Cost is $95. For reservations, call 330-923-7999. Papa Joe’s is at 1561 Akron-Peninsula Road in the Merriman Valley.

• The new Northside Marketplace at 21 Furnace St. in the Northside Lofts in downtown Akron will host a New Year’s Eve party from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.

On the menu are craft beers at Local Brew, wine and champagne at Belle Vie and food and dessert from Marketplace vendors and DBA Akron (located next door). Gluten free and vegan options will be available.

The evening will include games and music. Guests will be able to watch the Times Square festivities on the big-screen TVs and get a view of the downtown Akron fireworks.

Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 on Dec. 31. It includes an open bar and food stations. Hotel accommodations will be available next door at the Northside Marriott.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com and read the Akron Dish blog at http://www.ohio.com/food.

Today let’s head to Medina, where this Friday the city will host three grand openings — Nibble, Emi’s Taqueria and JT’s Barbecue.

We also bring you tidbits on a new hard cider at Bent Ladder in Doylestown with a name plucked from one of last year’s presidential debates, post-Christmas food and drink, and more.

First up, the new spots in Medina. All have opened in time for the holiday season. Here are some morsels on each:

• Nibble (grand opening 11 a.m. Friday at 102 W. Washington, near the square): Melissa Ziogas, owner of The Raspberry and The Rose women’s clothing store in Medina, said the Nibble specialty food shop “was just kind of a natural progression.”

She said she lives “in a houseful of foodies,” where her husband and three children all enjoy watching cooking shows on TV. “We’re constantly fooling around with cooking,” Ziogas said.

The tiny store — just 440 square feet — offers packaged and bottled goods. “We don’t have refrigerated cases, as of yet,” she said.

Items include jellies, jams, sauces and mixes from Stonewall Kitchen, dips from Davis & Davis, buckeyes and other chocolate treats from Anthony-Thomas, candy from Hammond’s and drink mixes from Gourmet du Village.

Ziogas also is carrying a handmade line of pottery serving pieces and glassware that celebrates Medina’s bicentennial next year, and an etching that includes the latitude and longitude of the city.

The space the shop inhabits is familiar to Ziogas: Her clothing, accessories and jewelry store was located here before moving to 240 S. Court St. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The phone is 330-952-1200. Nibble has a Facebook page.

• Emi’s Taqueria, (grand opening 4 p.m. Friday at 249 Lafayette Road, west of the square): There’s nowhere to sit down at Emi’s. It’s a drive-thru place that also has a counter for those who would prefer to order on their feet.

It sits in front of the former Hawkins grocery (a moment of silence for Hawkins’ bakery), in the former Joey’s South Side Burgers. Colleague Craig Webb reminded me that the spot housed the Lunch Bunch before Joey’s.

Emi’s is owned by Filimon and Emilia Medina. Yes, Medina. How’s that for coincidence? They say in marketing materials that their goal is to bring “an original Mexican taste to Medina.”

They couldn’t be reached by press time. Reports are that the place has been so busy that the drive-thru line has backed up onto the street.

Emilia Medina previously worked at the Thyme2 restaurant just south of the square, according to city officials.

Emi’s serves street tacos, featuring beef or chorizo topped with cilantro and onion and served in a corn tortilla, along with burritos, tamales and enchiladas.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Phone is 330-722-7528. Emi’s has a Facebook page.

• JT’s Barbecue (grand opening 10 a.m. Friday at 930 W. Liberty St., west of the square): Jerry Hackley Jr. has morphed his family’s food truck business into this eatery. Joining him is his wife, Jacqueline, and four sons: Jerry Hackley III, head chef Jakeb Tyler (JT), Jason and Joshua.

Hackley Jr. rolled out the JT’s Barbecue food truck about five years ago when he lost his manufacturing industry job due to downsizing.

The brick-and-mortar spot, in a small building that most recently housed Captain Tony’s Bar and Grill, features relatively inexpensive barbecue: $6.99 for lunch and $9.99 for dinner.

The daily lunch menu has pulled pork, chicken and kielbasa with sides. Friday dinner features ribs, pulled pork and turkey. Saturday dinner is pulled pork, chicken leg quarters and beef brisket. Sides vary, depending on the day.

JT’s is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday for lunch. The only dinner hours are from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Phone is 330-725-PORK. Love it.

Also, I need to get out to this place for the monthly lunch special of eggnog pudding. Oh my. JT’s has a Facebook page or see http://www.jtsbarbecue.com.

Bad Hombre cider

On Friday, the Bent Ladder winery and hard cider mill at Rittman Orchards in Doylestown will release its newest cider, Bad Hombre.

A portion of the proceeds from every glass sold will go to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Some background on the name: Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump used the term “bad hombres” during a debate to describe some undocumented immigrants from Mexico, prompting Internet memes and criticism.

Matt Vodraska, co-owner of Bent Ladder, explained in an e-mail that he wanted to pay homage to his experiences in Washington State, where he grew up. “American agriculture today would not be where it is today without the integral contributions of Latino cultures. I saw this firsthand growing up in the Yakima Valley.”

He said, “In this divisive time, we felt it was important to create something that embraces our shared cultural heritage.”

Bad Hombre features a blend of apples aged for six months in tequila barrels from Mexico.

Bent Ladder’s tasting room is open Thursday through Saturday. Phone is 330-485-1089. Bent Ladder and Rittman Orchards is at 13550 Mount Eaton Road N., Doylestown.

Beginner beekeeping

The new year offers an opportunity to take up a honey of a hobby.

Laura Urban of Urban Honey Bee, which has hives in Akron and is based in Green, and Emily Mueller of Mueller Honey Bee Removal in New Franklin will teach a five-week Beginner Beekeeping course.

The class will be in conference rooms of Bricco Prime, the former Prime 93 at 4315 Manchester Road (state Route 93) in New Franklin. Courses will be taught from 7 to 9 p.m. on five consecutive Wednesday nights, Feb. 28 through March 28.

The course includes a hands-on experience at the apiary at Prime Vine across the street. The owners of the Bricco Prime building, Jim Pulk and his wife, Julie, are developing Prime Vine, which will include a vineyard, wine tasting room and events space.

Urban is a local producer of queen bees, a beekeeper of more than 12 years and a former county inspector.

Mueller created headlines across the world and became an internet sensation after posting pictures of honey bees covering her pregnant belly. In November, the family said on social media that Mueller had lost the baby.

Urban said that preregistration for the course has begun and spots are limited. Call 330-608-3778 or contact [email protected].

Burns Night celebration

Those Scots are on it this year.

The area’s Scottish American Society already has sent information on the annual Burns Night celebration in January. This year’s festivities marking the birthday of Robert Burns, often called the national bard of Scotland (he wrote Auld Lang Syne), will be Jan. 26. It’s open to the public.

The celebration will be at the Stow Youth Baseball Party Center at 4157 Hudson Drive (north of state Route 8). Festivities will run from 6 to 10 p.m.

And yes, there will be haggis, that traditional Scottish dish made with sheep’s liver and oatmeal, as well as other foods.

Burns Nights — marking the birthday of Burns, who was born on Jan. 25 in 1759 — feature his music and poetry; among his many works is Address to a Haggis.

Cost is $30 for adults; $25 for Scottish American Society members; $15 for seniors (90-plus); and $20 for children ages 12 and under. Add $5 per ticket if paying after Dec. 15.

Checks made out to the “Scottish American Society” should be sent by Jan. 12 to Liz Belvin, 3165 E. Waterloo Road, Akron 44312. Some attendees dress in “Scottish formal,” but business casual is acceptable, says information sent by the group.

For information, go to http://www.scottishamericansociety.org.

Drink and be merry

• Cuyahoga Falls wine guy Joe Zaucha, who operates as JZ Wine Co., will pour samples of hopped bourbon from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Giant Eagle Market District at Portage Crossing at 2687 State Road in Cuyahoga Falls.

He will pour samples of Three Bines Thrice-Hopped whiskey, and Spiced and Thrice-Hopped whiskey. (The hop-bourbon mix makes sense. Whiskey and beer are both made from a fermented grain mash.)

Zaucha and his partners, avid brewers, founded the venture in 2015. Partners are Zaucha’s brother, Jerry, cousin Patrick Testa and friend Jim Jackson.

• West Point Market, 33 Shiawassee Blvd., Fairlawn, will host its popular Bubble Bash from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday It will feature 20 varieties of bubbly, including champagne, cava and prosecco. Cheeses, appetizers, dessert included. Cost is $50. Call 330-864-2151, ext. 405 or see http://www.westpointmarket.com.

• Acme Fresh Markets will host Wine & Cheese Weekend this Saturday and Sunday. Shoppers can sample wine and cheese from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at all stores.

Discounts will be offered on various types of cheese.

Champagne Dinner

Yikes! I’m already getting information on post-Christmas festivities:

• Papa Joe’s will host a Champagne Dinner, featuring five courses paired with champagnes, at 7 p.m. Dec. 29.

The menu will include citrus cured wild salmon, lobster crepe, seared diver sea scallops, tenderloin of beef en croute and creme brulee with fresh raspberries.

Cost is $95. For reservations, call 330-923-7999. Papa Joe’s is at 1561 Akron-Peninsula Road in the Merriman Valley.

• The new Northside Marketplace at 21 Furnace St., in the Northside Lofts in downtown Akron, will host a New Year’s Eve party from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31.

On the menu are craft beers at Local Brew, wine and champagne at Belle Vie and food and dessert from Marketplace vendors and DBA Akron (located next door). Gluten free and vegan options will be available.

The evening will include games and music. Guests will be able to watch the Times Square festivities on the big screen TVs and get a view of the downtown Akron fireworks.

Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 on Dec. 31. It includes open bar and food stations. Hotel accommodations will be available next door at the Northside Marriott.

Akron developer Joel Testa and his wife, Cassie, came up with the idea of the marketplace, which features local food and retail entrepreneurs.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com and read the Akron Dish blog at http://www.ohio.com/food.

Coffee drinks, hot cocoa and award-winning oatmeal cookies. Now that sounds like some winter yums.

We have news of both, among other morsels.

I judged the third annual Oatmeal Cookie Contest at Akron’s historic Mustill Store over the weekend and I snagged the two winning recipes for you. One wowed the judges with its pie spice, pureed pumpkin, brown butter icing and roasted pumpkin seeds. The recipe for this cookie and another award-winner are below.

On the coffee front, we have info on not one but two new shops: One is a soon-to-open Nervous Dog Coffee Bar location in Fairlawn. But first up is the new Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea, in a new plaza at 116 Tallmadge Circle.

This is the first Crimson Cup outside of the company’s home market of the Columbus area. The shop, which opened late last month, will celebrate its grand opening with $1 espresso drinks all day Wednesday. A ribbon cutting with Tallmadge city officials will be at 1 p.m.

“I’m excited. We see a lot of opportunity there,” said Greg Ubert, founder and owner of Crimson Cup.

He said the owner of the Tallmadge plaza, longtime local restaurateur Tony Jaber, reached out to the company about opening there.

The new shop features a gas fireplace that anchors a brick wall on one side, lots of seating including leather chairs, and a special bar that baristas use for relatively quick preparation of pour-over coffee — which uses a dripper, a cone that holds the grounds.

Crimson Cup features hot, iced and frozen espresso drinks, as well as a tap for nitro cold-brewed coffee, which has a stout-like, smooth and creamy texture, akin to a Guinness beer.

Teas, hot chocolate and fruit smoothies also are available, along with breakfast sandwiches and baked treats from Linda’s Kitchen, also in Tallmadge.

Crimson Cup began as a roaster in 1991 and today sells its coffee to independent shops, restaurants, universities, hospitals and other organizations in more than 30 states. Over the years, through its “franchise alternative coffee program,” it has given free advice to help hundreds of independent shops get off the ground.

The company expanded into owning shops in 2007 with a site in Columbus’ Clintonville neighborhood. A second shop opened in 2014 in the suburb of Upper Arlington and a third in the Greater Columbus Convention Center in 2016.

There are also three — soon to be four — Crimson Cup franchise shops in Bangladesh, owned by Ohio State University graduates.

The company won Macro Roaster of the Year last year. It was the first time the annual award — bestowed by Roast magazine for more than a decade — went to an Ohio company.

The Tallmadge store is managed by Rachel Friend of Bath Township. She earned a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University, where she managed a small cafe that served Crimson Cup.

The Tallmadge store is open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Phone is 234-678-0917.

Nervous Dog

Local independent coffee purveyor Nervous Dog is opening a fourth shop, in the former Starbucks at 3763 W. Market St. in Fairlawn. The site is in a small plaza on the north side of West Market and east of Cleveland-Massillon Road.

Nervous Dog folks didn’t bark (forgive me!) by press time about the opening date. But customers at the 1530 W. Market St. location, in West Akron, have heard the new place may open sometime next week.

Nervous Dog owner Michael Litt began the venture in 2006 in the cozy West Akron spot. Litt also has locations at 4161 Steels Pointe Drive in Stow near Stow Municipal Court, and at the La Place shopping center in Beachwood.

The Starbucks relocated farther west earlier this year, to 3899 W. Market St., next to a Malley’s Chocolates store.

Oatmeal cookies

Judges (I was one of ’em) were impressed by the variety of entries in the third annual Oatmeal Cookie Contest Saturday at the historic Mustill Store Museum, a stop on the Towpath Trail just north of downtown Akron.

The contest is a nod to Ferdinand Schumacher, who operated a mill near there and grew a cereal empire in the 1800s that became part of Quaker Oats.

Casey Raftry of Parma won the first prize, dubbed the Golden Recipe Card, for her Iced Brown Butter Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Don Gordon Jr. won the Best Use of Oatmeal award, for his Taste Twice Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Bars.

Gordon is the executive director of the Cascade Locks Park Association, which sponsors the annual contest and operates the Mustill Store Museum. Raftry is his niece. She won the Golden Recipe Card last year, too.

But I swear the fix was not in. We did not know the bakers’ names until after picking winners.

Also judging were Chris Miller, communications and community investment officer at the Akron Community Foundation; Debra Lape, an author who is an Akron native and now lives in Westlake; and Blue Green, a local videographer and the creator of Around Akron with Blue Green, a monthly TV magazine on Western Reserve PBS.

Hanging out with us was Green’s daughter, Zoey, 8, who attends Lincoln elementary school in Akron. Her fave cookie was Gordon’s Taste Twice bar cookie.

Iced Brown Butter

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Cookies with Roasted

Pumpkin seeds

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1⅔ cups all purpose flour

1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 cup granulated sugar

¾ cup brown sugar (light or dark)

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds and additional pumpkin seeds for topping

Brown Butter Glaze:

¼ cup unsalted butter

1½ cups confectioners sugar

3 tbsp. milk

¼ pure vanilla extract

Brown the butter: Cut all butter (for both the cookies and glaze) into pieces and place in a skillet (non-stick works best). Melt butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

The melted butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring occasionally. After 5-8 minutes, you will notice the butter begin browning; there should be little brown specks at the bottom of the pan and the butter will have a nutty aroma. Once browned, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Reserve ¼ cup of the brown butter for the glaze.

Whisk oats, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a medium bowl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat, set aside.

Pour the 1 cup brown butter into a large bowl. Whisk in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until combined, then whisk in the pumpkin puree. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Add the chocolate chips and ½ cup pumpkin seeds. The dough will be thick and sticky.

Scoop cookie dough into balls (about 2 tablespoons) and place on cookie sheet. Leave space between the dough as cookies will spread out. Slightly flatten dough balls out.

Bake for 14-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven.

Make glaze by mixing the reserved brown butter with confectioners sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Let cookies cool before icing. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Makes 2-3 dozen.

Recipe from Casey Raftry.

Taste Twice Chocolate

Cherry Oatmeal

Cookie Bars

1 cup butter, at room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1½ cups all purpose flour

2 cups old-fashioned oats

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (can substitute milk or dark chocolate chips)

1 cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9-by-13-inch baking pan with baking spray or parchment paper.

In stand mixer bowl, cream butter and sugars until well mixed. Add eggs, one at a time, until well mixed. Lower speed and add vanilla extract.

Remove bowl from mixing stand and add salt, baking soda, baking powder, flour, rolled oats, chocolate chips and dried cherries. Stir all ingredients together by hand. Spread mixture into prepared baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.

Makes 24 bars (2-by-2-inch squares).

Cooks notes: Toasting the oats before adding to the mixture enhances the flavor. I also soak the oats in about a ½ cup water for 10-15 minutes before adding to the mixture.

Recipe adapted by Don Gordon Jr.

Dinner at Stan Hywet

You can celebrate the holidays by supping at Akron’s historic Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron.

For the eighth year, Stan Hywet is offering “An Evening of Holiday Magic,” featuring dinner, cocktails and a self-guided tour. The two remaining dates are Friday and Dec. 15. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m.

Tickets cost $75.95 (with non-alcoholic beverage) or $79.95 per person (with alcoholic beverage).

Taste of Excellence provides the buffet dinner. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available by special request. See stanhywet.org for the complete menu.

Celestial Strings, featuring Roseann Canfora, will perform during the meal. Guests can see Stan Hywet — a Tudor Revival country estate built by Goodyear co-founder F.A. Seiberling — and its grounds outfitted for the holidays with 1 million lights and animated displays. Santa and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be on hand.

For reservations, contact the Stan Hywet Rental Department at [email protected] or call 330-315-3210.

Stan Hywet will also present its Holiday Tea and Centerpiece Workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $80 for members and $100 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Tickets may be purchased at stanhywet.org or by calling 330-315-3287.

Holiday bites

Chef Larkin Rogers, with the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, will show guests how to make trucs, lagniappes and festive cocktails at the Holiday Cocktail Soirée at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The event — part of the monthly Dinner in the Valley Series — will be at the Happy Days Lodge, 500 W. Streetsboro St. (state Route 303) in Peninsula in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Reservations are required by Wednesday. Go to http://www.conservancyforcvnp.org.

Guests can attend the soiree before going to the concert featuring bluegrass band the Barefoot Movement, also at the lodge. Dinner attendees will receive priority seating for the concert, which will begin at 8 p.m.

Cost for the dinner and concert is $85 for members of the conservancy and $95 for non-members. Dinner only is $60 for members and $65 for non-members. Concert only is $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

Children will be admitted free to the concert. See the website for more information.

• First United Methodist Church of Akron, 263 E. Mill St., near the University of Akron, will host Gingerbread for Humanity from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Participants at the fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity will create gingerbread houses using kits, $12 each. Reserve at https://bit.ly/2hR4P1A. For information, call the church office at 330-376-8143.

• Pav’s Creamery in North Canton will host its first free Sundae with Santa from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 17. Kiddies will receive a free Kiddy Sundae and can have their pictures taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. The North Canton Pav’s is set to open soon at 708 S. Main St.

Wine events

• Fishers Foods will host its Eat Drink and Be Merry wine tasting from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Jackson Township store, 5215 Fulton Drive NW. On the menu are 12 wines selected by Fishers Foods owner Jeff Fisher and food samples from Fishers’ catering, deli, Marketplace and bakery departments. Cost is $10.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, the store will host a Holiday Cheese & Wine tasting. Wine samples will cost 25 cents.

• Vaccaro’s Trattoria, 1000 Ghent Road, Bath, offers its Holiday Wine Tasting Extravaganza from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday. The event offers 100 wines for tasting, appetizers and live jazz. Cost is $35. For tickets, go to http://bit.ly/2AGwcU1 or follow the link on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

• West Point Market, 33 Shiawassee Blvd., Fairlawn, will host its popular Bubble Bash from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 15. It will feature 20 varieties of bubbly, including champagne, cava and prosecco. Cheeses, appetizers, dessert included. Cost is $50. Call 330-864-2151, ext. 405 or see http://www.westpointmarket.com.

• The 12 Wines of Christmas will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday at both locations of 750ml. Cost is $19 for club750 members and $29 for non-members.

To reserve at the 750ml at 2287 W. Market St. in West Akron, call 330-794-5754. To reserve at the 750ml at 8903 Brecksville Road, Brecksville, call 440-526-8100.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com and read the Akron Dish blog at http://www.ohio.com/food.

Visions of chocolate blimps, peanuts roasted in Akron, Barberton-made cookies and Medina County candy are dancing in my head.

For the 15th year, United Disability Services, headquartered in Akron, is offering its line of Buckeye Baskets featuring Ohio-made food items. Some baskets are filled entirely with Ohio products, many of them from Northeast Ohio.

Clients at an Akron workshop for people with disabilities assemble the baskets and prepare them for shipping.

The Ohio focus “just seemed like a natural,” said Carrie Herman, business development group manager for the UDS agency. “It’s an opportunity to support our local and state businesses, and to create a niche and set our baskets apart from most other gift baskets.”

Herman said that over the years she has received help from friends, family members and co-workers who suggest Ohio items to include. Also, she regularly checks the Ohio Proud website (ohioproud.org) that lists products at least 50 percent grown, raised or processed in Ohio.

A total of 16 basket styles are available. Buckeye Baskets featuring all Ohio-made products include “Season’s Greetings from Ohio” and “Buckeye Best.”

Buckeye Best is filled with McJack Candy Co. of Medina Township’s vanilla caramels and chocolate walnut fudge, Springerle cookies made by a baker who works out of her home in Barberton, honey-roasted peanuts from downtown Akron’s Peanut Shoppe, a solid chocolate blimp made by Hartville Chocolate Factory, and Buckeye chocolate and peanut butter treats from Harry London/Fannie May in Green among a variety of other Ohio-made products.

The Buckeye Baker basket features a sugar cookie mix from Fowler’s Milling Co. near Chardon, brownie mix produced by Brand Castle in Bedford Heights, sunflower oil from Sunsational of West Salem, and vanilla extract made by Bickford Flavors of Wickliffe. There’s also an Ohio-shaped cookie cutter (not made in Ohio).

Baskets are priced from $11.95 to $150, plus tax and shipping. Most are under $60. Order online at http://www.buckeyebaskets.com; by phone, 330-379-3341, or toll-free 877-731-8733, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Baskets can be shipped anywhere in the United States or picked up at UDS, 701 S. Main St., Akron. If you plan to pick up, you must place orders by phone at 330-379-3341.

The baskets are available any time of year, but the holiday season is the busiest for the enterprise. Herman recommends ordering by Dec. 19 for the best chance of delivery before Christmas.

Markets go indoors

Two big area farmers markets are inside for the season.

• The Countryside Winter Farmers’ Market at Old Trail School, 2315 Ira Road, Bath, continues from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 9 and 16. The first winter market of the new year is Jan. 6.

The markets at Old Trail School run from 9 a.m. to noon on select Saturdays. Roughly 45 vendors set up in the gymnasium and cafeteria for each of the indoor markets. Breakfast and lunch are available from various vendors.

Details on special events at the market are at cvcountryside.org and Countryside Conservancy’s Facebook page.

• The indoor Haymaker Farmers Market in Kent — the granddaddy of area markets — runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through April at the United Methodist Church at 1435 E. Main St., Kent.

Both of these markets move outdoors after their winter season.

Seasonal sipping

Here are some December tastings we haven’t yet mentioned this season:

• Regency wine store and bar in Fairlawn will present its annual Traderman Distributors Tasting from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday. . Ten wines will be available for tasting for $15.

Regency is at 115 Ghent Road, in the Merchant Square plaza across from Summit Mall. Also at Regency, the Champagne Tasting is 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6. Cost is $50, plus tax and tip. Appetizers are included. Call 330-836-3447 for reservations for either event.

• The annual Nebbiolo Wine Dinner with John Bee is Dec. 5 and 6 at D’Agnese’s White Pond. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. each night. Bee is a wine importer who spends a large part of the year in Italy, Cost is $60, $55 with a toy donation for the restaurant’s Toys for Tots Campaign. Call 234-678-3612 for reservations. The restaurant is at 566 White Pond Dr. in Akron.

• Vaccaro’s Trattoria, 1000 Ghent Road, Bath, offers its Holiday Wine Tasting Extravaganza from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 10. The event — which last year attracted quite a crowd — offers 100 wines for tasting, appetizers and live jazz. Cost is $35. For tickets, go to http://bit.ly/2AGwcU1 or follow the link on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

• West Point Market, 33 Shiawassee Blvd., Fairlawn, will host its popular Bubble Bash from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 15. It will feature 20 varieties of bubbly, including champagne, cava and prosecco. Cheeses, appetizers, dessert included. Cost is $50. Call 330-864-2151, ext. 405 or see http://www.westpointmarket.com.

And a few we’ve already mentioned:

• One Eleven Bistro, 2736 Medina Road (state Route 18), Medina Township, will host a five-course Bubbles Dinner, featuring Trudon Estate champagne, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Cost is $85 ($60 without wine) plus tax and tip. Call 330-952-1122 for reservations.

• The 12 Wines of Christmas will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 11 at both locations of 750ml. Cost is $19 for club750 members and $29 for non-members.

To reserve at the 750ml at 2287 W. Market St. in West Akron, call 330-794-5754. To reserve at the 750ml at 8903 Brecksville Road, Brecksville, call 440-526-8100.

Brunch with Santa

Tree City Coffee & Pastry in Kent will host its third annual Brunch with Santa from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. On the bill: create-your-own waffles and omelettes, a DJ spinning Christmas music, a hot cocoa station for kids and mimosas, spiked eggnog and Great Lakes Christmas Ale for adults.

There’s no admission fee; you pay for food and drinks. Bring gifts for free wrapping, with donations going to Kent Social Services. Tree City Coffee & Pastry is at 135 E. Erie St.

Lots of reminders

• The Holiday Market on the Farm at the Hale Farm & Village Gatehouse in Bath runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday. Organizers are giving the event more of a Buckeye flair, with various Ohio-made food and nonfood items for sale.

Bomba Tacos & Rum, the regional chain that has a Montrose site in Copley, will do a “kitchen takeover,” making tacos and other food. Hale Farm’s shop, the MarketPlace, will be open that day from noon to 6 p.m. For information, go to http://www.wrhs.org/events/holiday-market-on-the-farm-copy/. Hale Farm & Village is at 2686 Oak Hill Road in Bath.

• You still have until Thursday to enter the oatmeal cookie contest organized by the folks who run the historic Mustill Store, near downtown Akron and along the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail.

Contestants will bring their cookies to the Mustill Store’s Holiday Extravaganza on Saturday. The festival, featuring locally made gifts and signings by local authors, will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3.

The cookie contest is a nod to Ferdinand Schumacher, who operated a mill just south of the Mustill Store and grew a cereal empire in the 1800s that became part of Quaker Oats. Cost to enter is $25. For an entry form, go to the Cascade Locks Association’s website, http://cascadelocks.org. Mail it or drop off at the association’s mailbox off the Mustill Store parking lot. The physical address is 57 W. North St., which is different than the mailing address.

For more information, go to the website or call Beth at 330-374-5625.

• First United Methodist Church of Akron, 263 E. Mill St., near the University of Akron, will host Gingerbread for Humanity from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 9.

Participants at the fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity will create gingerbread houses, using kits and decorations provided by organizers. Holiday treats will be available.

Kits will cost $12 each. Reserve at https://bit.ly/2hR4P1A. For information, call the church office at 330-376-8143.

• Reeves Cake Shop in Akron offers classes on making gingerbread houses, at the bakery or at your own house or other location.

This year, the two classes at the bakery, 2770 Cory Ave., will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Dec. 6. All supplies are furnished. Cost is $25. Call 330-848-1036 to reserve.

Bakery workers present workshops at homes, businesses, schools, churches and other locales. Cost for a workshop is $23 per house (minimum of 10). Group classes will be offered Saturday through Dec. 16. Call 330-848-1036 or visit http://www.reevescakeshop.com.

• Stan Hywet in Akron will present a Holiday Tea and Centerpiece Workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 9.

Each guest will have the opportunity to create a holiday centerpiece. Afterward, guests can take a self-guided tour of the Manor House, decorated for the holidays.

Cost is $80 for members of Stan Hywet and $100 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Tickets may be purchased at stanhywet.org or by calling 330-315-3287. Stan Hywet is at 714 N. Portage Path.

• Pav’s Creamery in North Canton will host its first free Sundae with Santa from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 17. Kiddies will receive a free Kiddy Sundae and can have their pictures taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

The North Canton Pav’s, a year-round shop with indoor seating, is set to open soon at 708 S. Main St.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com and read the Akron Dish blog at http://www.ohio.com/food.

The bird has yet to be carved.

But news of post-Thanksgiving holiday events featuring food and drink is stacking up faster than dishes from the big meal.

We bring you info on shopping for food gifts, an oatmeal cookie contest, gingerbread house-making events, wine tastings and more. And we also have some last-minute Turkey Day tips.

Here we go …

Gifts of food are always fun at the holidays. The recipient can share the goodies with holiday guests. And consumable gifts don’t add to anyone’s clutter — providing they get eaten!

One event worth checking out for food gifts is the Holiday Market on the Farm at the Hale Farm & Village Gatehouse in Bath from 4 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1. This year, organizers are giving the event more of a Buckeye flair, with various Ohio-made food and nonfood items for sale.

We’re about the food here, and vendors will include Popped!, which sells savory and sweet popcorn in Kent; Bissel Maple Farm of Ashtabula County, maker of maple syrup, candy and maple mustard; Waggoner Chocolates of North Canton, buckeyes and other goodies; Rust Belt Pepper of Canton, relish made with roasted sweet peppers and tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes; Urban Honey Bee, the honey maker that has hives in Akron and is based in Green; and Richards Maple Syrup of Chardon.

Bomba Tacos & Rum, the regional chain that has a site in Copley, will do a “kitchen takeover,” making tacos and other food. Native Hill Coffee, a Canton-based truck, and Peace, Love & Little Donuts will also be there, and you can taste Ohio wine and beer.

Hale Farm’s shop, the MarketPlace, will be open that day from noon to 6 p.m. It sells items made by hand at the farm, as well as food and nonfood items made in Ohio.

For information, go to http://www.wrhs.org/events/holiday-market-on-the-farm-copy/. Hale Farm & Village is at 2686 Oak Hill Road in Bath.

Cookies and authors

The folks who run the historic Mustill Store, near downtown Akron and along the Ohio & Erie Towpath Trail, are bringing back their oatmeal cookie contest.

Those who register by Nov. 30 will bring their cookies to the Mustill Store’s Holiday Extravaganza on Dec. 2. The festival, featuring locally made gifts and book signings by local authors, will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3.

The cookie contest is a nod to Ferdinand Schumacher who operated a mill just south of the Mustill Store and grew a cereal empire in the 1800s that became part of Quaker Oats.

Cost to enter is $25, and the deadline to enter is Nov. 30. For an entry form, go to the Cascade Locks Association’s website, http://cascadelocks.org. Mail it or drop off at the association’s mailbox off the Mustill Store parking lot. The physical address is 57 W. North St., which is different than the mailing address.

Entries with nuts or fruits must be clearly marked. Prize money will be based on the number of entries.

For more information, go to the website or call Beth at 330-374-5625.

Gingerbread lessons

Here are some opportunities to build your own gingerbread house:

• First United Methodist Church of Akron, 263 E. Mill St., near the University of Akron, will host an event dubbed Gingerbread for Humanity from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 9.

Participants at the fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity will create gingerbread houses, using kits and decorations provided by organizers. Holiday treats will be available.

The church is encouraging families and individuals to attend. Kits will cost $12 each. Reserve at https://bit.ly/2hR4P1A. For information, call the church office at 330-376-0875.

• The folks at Reeves Cake Shop in Akron will again offer classes on making gingerbread houses, at the bakery or at your own house or other location.

This year, the two classes at the bakery, 2770 Cory Ave., will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 29 and Dec. 6. All supplies are furnished. Cost is $25. Call 330-848-1036 to reserve.

And if you have a large group, employees of the 40-year-old, family-owned shop will come to you. Bakery workers present workshops at homes, businesses, schools, churches and other locales. Cost for a workshop is $23 per house (minimum of 10). Group classes will be offered Saturday through Dec. 16.

Bakery workers construct the houses the night before with baked-from-scratch gingerbread. That way, the icing is dry and the houses are sturdy enough to decorate. Call 330-848-1036 or visit http://www.reevescakeshop.com.

Stan Hywet workshop

Here’s a way to enjoy tea and a luncheon at Stan Hywet Hall and get a little creative.

Stan Hywet in Akron will present a Holiday Tea and Centerpiece Workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 9.

Each guest will have the opportunity to create a holiday centerpiece with fresh greens and seasonal decor. Providing instruction will be florist Scott Robertson of Stems Fleur in Cleveland’s Ohio City. Afterward, guests can take a self-guided tour of the Manor House, decorated for the holidays.

Cost is $80 for members of Stan Hywet and $100 for nonmembers. Reservations are required. Tickets may be purchased at stanhywet.org or by calling 330-315-3287. Stan Hywet is at 714 N. Portage Path.

Pizza for Thanksgiving

Good deed: PizzaFire, the Medina County-based chain, will provide free pizza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving to people who are homeless and others in need at its Cleveland location at 236 Euclid Ave.

This is the third year for the giveaway, which last year attracted about 500 people. PizzaFire staffers volunteer their time.

PizzaFire now has 26 locations, including 16 in the Akron area.

Sundae with Santa

The coming-soon Pav’s Creamery in North Canton will host its first free Sundae with Santa from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 17.

Kiddies will receive a free Kiddy Sundae and can have their pictures taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

The North Canton Pav’s, a year-round shop with indoor seating, is set to open soon at 708 S. Main St. Voters in the precinct earlier this month overwhelmingly approved sale of liquor, so Pav’s plans to sell its “adult milkshakes” spiked with booze there. The adult shakes debuted at the year-round Pav’s that opened in 2015 in Green.

A third Pav’s with indoor seating is planned for Cuyahoga Falls in the spring, on the stretch of Front Street where two-way traffic is being restored. The original Pav’s at 3769 Manchester Road in Coventry Township is a seasonal stand.

Seasonal spirits

A sip or two for the season…

• The big Holiday Wine Show at the two area 750ml wine bar/shops was such a success that owners have decided to do it again — in a scaled-down way.

The owners will offer another tasting, The 12 Wines of Christmas, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 11 at both locations. (The Holiday Wine show earlier this month featured some 75 wines.) Cost is $19 for club750 members and $29 for non-members.

Lauren Carpeta and her husband, Joe Race, took over the 750ml at 2287 W. Market St. in West Akron this past summer. Carpeta will pour 12 of her favorite wines for the event. To reserve call 330-794-5754.

At the shop in Brecksville, Karla Walters, who co-founded 750ml with her husband, Jim, will pour 12 wines at 8903 Brecksville Road. To reserve, call 440-526-8100.

• Flemings, 4000 Medina Road, Copley, will celebrate “Red Friday” at 5 p.m. Friday, offering a tasting of eight red wines with cheese-themed appetizers for $45. Call 330-670-5200 for reservations.

• Galaxy Restaurant in Wadsworth will host its Holiday Wine Festival, featuring more than 100 wines, at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Also on the bill: hors d’oeuvres, music, cooking demonstrations and a silent auction to benefit the Salvation Army. All wines will be available for sale.

Cost is $75. The Galaxy is at 201 Park Centre Drive, off state Route 94 and Interstate 76. For reservations, go to http://www.galaxyrestaurant.com or call 330-334-3663. Hotel packages are available at the nearby Holiday Inn Express (330-334-7666) and Comfort Inn & Suites (330-336-7692).

• One Eleven Bistro, 2736 Medina Road (state Route 18), Medina Township, will host a five-course Bubbles Dinner, featuring Trudon Estate champagne, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30.

The menu includes seared salmon, seared five-spice duck, caviar, ginger ramen and an apple and pear tart with almond custard.

Cost is $85 ($60 without wine) plus tax and tip. Call 330-952-1122 for reservations.

• Regency wine store and bar in Fairlawn will host its Champagne Tasting from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6. Cost is $50, plus tax and tip. Appetizers are included.

Call 330-836-3447 for reservations. Regency is at 115 Ghent Road, in the Merchant Square plaza across from Summit Mall.

Be careful out there

’Tis the season for holiday food-preparation tips.

Among the tip sheets I’ve received is one from the Ohio Department of Insurance that said more than 200 cooking-related fires were reported in Ohio in November of last year.

One of the biggest culprits: deep-frying turkeys, according to the email.

“There are many distractions when cooking a Thanksgiving meal,” Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment said in the email. “As basic as it sounds, staying focused and understanding how to safely prepare your meal can decrease the risk of injury, property damage and filing an insurance claim.”

The department offered these tips:

• Do not leave any cooking area unattended.

• Keep the deep-fryer out of the garage, away from your home and wooden structures, including the deck.

• Have an appropriate fire extinguisher handy.

Here are more tips, from the Chow Line newsletter, produced by the Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

• It’s best not to cook stuffing inside your turkey because uncooked poultry can harbor bacteria both on the inside and outside.

The only way to destroy bacteria, the Chow Line article notes, is to cook the turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, using a digital tip-sensitive meat thermometer to ensure that the bird has reached this temperature.

Even if the turkey itself has reached the safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees, the stuffing may not have reached a temperature high enough to destroy bacteria that may be present, noted the article which was edited by Barbara Kowalcyk, an assistant professor in food science and technology at the college.

The article also noted that you shouldn’t leave the food out on the buffet table all day on Thanksgiving. Bacteria can grow rapidly on food that’s left out for more than two hours after cooking.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com and read the Akron Dish blog at http://www.ohio.com/food.

Mr. Zub’s Deli is offering a chance for holiday party bartenders to hone their skills.

There will be mixology stations set up at the bar at 812 W. Market St., Akron, where some tips will be offered on the right ingredients to create signature cocktails.

There will be giveaways and items for participants to keep.

The drinks will include the “Old Fashioned” (Bulleit, sugar cube and bitters) along with “Walk on The Wild Side” (Johnnie Walker Red, lavender bitters, ginger beer and lime juice) and the “Gold Rush” (Crown Deluxe, bitters, honey and lemon). Tickets are $15. For more call, 330-252-0272.

Sampling event

From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Reeves Cake Shop is offering an open house, featuring samples of more than 15 flavors of cakes, as well as holiday pastries and cookies.

The Akron shop is also offering its holiday gingerbread house classes.

You can take one at the bakery Nov. 29 or Dec. 6. Cost, which covers all supplies, is $25. Call 330-848-1036 to reserve.

If you have a large group, employees of the longtime family-owned shop will come to you and present a workshop. Call 330-848-1036 or visit http://www.reevescakeshop.com for information. The bakery is at 2770 Cory Ave.

Wine events

• Merchant Tavern at 1824 Merriman Road in Akron’s Merriman Valley will feature reds and whites from Flora Springs Winery in Napa Valley from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Light snacks are included. Cost is $35. Call 330-865-9510 for reservations.

• West Point Market, 33 Shiawassee Ave., Fairlawn, will feature A Sip of Italy with 20 wines from Italy from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday. Cost is $40. For reservations, call 330-864-2151, ext. 405.

• Flemings, 4000 Medina Road, Copley, will celebrate “Red Friday” at 5 p.m. Nov. 24, offering a tasting of eight red wines with cheese-themed appetizers for $45. Call 330-670-5200 for reservations.

• Galaxy Restaurant in Wadsworth will host its Holiday Wine Festival — featuring more than 100 wines — at 7 p.m. Nov. 25.

Also on the bill: hors d’oeuvres, music, cooking demonstrations and a silent auction to benefit the Salvation Army. All wines will be available for sale.

Cost is $75. The Galaxy is at 201 Park Centre Drive, off state Route 94 and Interstate 76. For reservations, go to http://www.galaxyrestaurant.com or call 330-334-3663. Hotel packages are available at the nearby Holiday Inn Express (330-334-7666) and Comfort Inn & Suites (330-336-7692).

• One Eleven Bistro, 2736 Medina Road (state Route 18), Medina Township, will host a five-course Bubbles Dinner, featuring Trudon Estate champagne, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30.

The menu includes seared salmon, seared five-spice duck, caviar, ginger ramen and an apple and pear tart with almond custard.

Cost is $85 ($60 without wine) plus tax and tip. Call 330-952-1122 for reservations.

• Regency wine store and bar in Fairlawn will host its Champagne Tasting from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6. Cost is $50, plus tax and tip. Appetizers are included.

Call 330-836-3447 for reservations. Regency is at 115 Ghent Road, in the Merchant Square plaza across from Summit Mall.

Reminders

• Thanksgiving Dinner with Abraham Lincoln at Hale Farm and Village in Bath Township will be from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Nov. 18. A “classic Thanksgiving feast” will be served, and costumed interpreters will share stories and music.

Cost is $45 for nonmembers of the Western Reserve Historical Society; $35 for members; $20 for children ages 3 to 12. Reservations are required. Call 330-666-3711, ext. 1720.

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or [email protected]. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook.