We are all over the plate today.

A local restaurant got a makeover this week thanks to Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible.”

We've also got news on an area woman who is a finalist in a national contest involving mixing Coca-Cola drinks. The winner gets $10,000.

And among other morsels, it's time for tomato sandwiches at Julian's cafe in Akron's Goodyear Heights.

First up, “Restaurant Impossible's" visit to Edgar’s Restaurant at Akron's Good Park golf course.

As I shared in a column earlier this month, the eatery at the city-owned course in West Akron will appear on an upcoming episode of the show. Host Robert Irvine uses his no-holds-barred approach to critiquing restaurant operations and $10,000 to turn eateries around — all in 48 hours.

Filming to document the décor and menu revamping was Tuesday and Wednesday.

This evening, members of the public who signed up via email will dine — on their own dime — at the restaurant for the episode's grand reopening scenes. Reservations are now closed.

Glenn Gillespie, owner and chef of Edgar’s, at 530 Nome Ave., can't talk about anything involving “Restaurant Impossible” until after the show airs. (There's no air date set yet.) Gillespie signed a nondisclosure agreement.

So we don’t know how critical this “Restaurant Impossible” mission is.

But those who have watched the show know Irvine and crew don't swoop in to bring change to restaurants that are doing well.

I drove by Edgar’s on Monday morning, and white tents already had been set up in the parking lot to house the production crew.

No one from the crew was talking. One tent housed video monitors and other equipment. Another tent looked to be a snack area; a table inside was dotted with bags of chips and the like.

Members of the public who volunteered to help with remodeling worked Tuesday and today. A show spokeswoman said I wouldn’t be permitted to be at the restaurant to report on the filming.

I ate at Edgar’s after it was announced the restaurant would be on the show. As I have before, I enjoyed my entrée.

This time I had a smoked and grilled half chicken seasoned with a delightfully fresh-tasting lemon herb brown butter. It was served with grilled veggies and Yukon gold potatoes.

The service was excellent.

On hyper-alert because of the forthcoming “Restaurant Impossible” visit, I noticed the carrots accompanying a hummus had not been peeled. A small thing, but the kind of thing Irvine spots.

The side salad was ordinary and had dinky croutons. One of the friends with whom I dined said she liked them, but I thought the whole salad fell into the "why bother" category.

We wondered if Irvine would trim the large menu.

The décor in the women’s bathroom needs freshening up, and a toilet seat slid around. A curtain meant to block the view into a closet was open, exposing a jumble of uniforms.

I’m looking forward to stopping into Edgar’s soon to see what changes have been made. I hope Irvine doesn’t drop the smoked chicken from the menu. Or if he does, I hope Gillespie brings it back.

Mixing for $10,000

Earlier this summer, Cheryl Holsapfel of Garrettsville was at an area Giant Eagle Market District store and noticed a Coca-Cola Freestyle drink dispenser, prompting her to research the machine online.

Soon, she landed on information about the “Make Your Mix” contest, which, she said, meshed with her love of mixing different flavors in her cooking.

People entered the contest by creating their own signature Freestyle drink, mixing two or three of the Freestyle machine’s nearly 200 drink choices.

“I think it’s fun to be like a little mad scientist and try different kinds of flavor profiles,” Holsapfel said.

“We called it the Unicorn Sparkle Punch,” she said of the concoction that her daughter, Jackie, 6, helped her name.

“We are obsessed with unicorns in this house,” Holsapfel noted.

 Holsapfel's creation is a combination of Orange Hi-C, Minute Maid Sparkling Limeade and Fanta Grape.

In June, contestants shared photos or videos of their mixes on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MakeYourMixContest. Holsapfel is one of five finalists.

The finalists' mixes will be available on the 50,000-plus Freestyle machines nationwide beginning Friday and running through Nov. 4.

During that time, people can cast their votes for their favorite mix by selecting it and pouring it at a Freestyle dispenser.

The winner will be determined by which mix attracts the most pours.

Holsapfel is a digital arts instructor at Solon Middle School, who teaches seventh graders how to communicate visually. They create websites, logos and digital drawings.

Holsapfel encourages her students to enter contests that have a creative element. “You never know [how you’ll fare],” she said. “You’ve got to give it a try and fingers crossed.”

'Mater sandwiches

Time for tomato sandwiches.

That's the word from Dan Julian, of Julian's cafe in Akron's Goodyear Heights, who grows the juicy 'maters that are the star of his eatery's wonderfully simple tomato sandwiches.

They're made with sliced tomatoes, lettuce and a squirt of mayo on white bread.

The cafe is at 314 Pioneer St. Call 330-798-0043. Hours are 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The eatery celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

Wine events

• Wine maker Adam Pearce will introduce Two Sisters Vineyards in Canada to Ohio at a 7 p.m. Sept. 26 Winemakers Diner at 35° Brix in Green.

Five courses from 35° Brix Executive Chef Eric Henniger — each paired with a Two Sisters wine — will be served.

Courses include eggplant margherita pizza, sockeye salmon on sushi rice cake and beef short ribs with Maytag blue cheese fondue.

The Green eatery is at 3875 Massillon Road in the Heritage Crossing Plaza. Cost is $69. Call 330-899-9200 to reserve your seat.

• The Mustard Seed Café and Market in the Montrose shopping area will host Bethany Ford, co-owner of Illahe Vineyards, for a wine dinner at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 29.

Mustard Seed will pair five Illahe Vineyards wines with five courses.

Cost is $65 in advance.

For reservations, go to https://bit.ly/2YzpcxY or call 330-666-7333.

The Mustard Seed in Montrose is at 3885 W. Market St. in Bath.

Medina Fest

Medina Fest returns to the city's Public Square from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The event includes music, family activities and “Medina restaurant row,” featuring local eats.

An early list of food participants included 17 Public Square, Big Dog Daddy’s, Buehler’s Food Truck, Buffalo Wild Wings, Carnivore, Old World Foods, Rito’s Bakery, Union Barbecue, Sully’s Irish Pub and Zydeco Bistro.

Go to www.mainstreetmedina.com for more information.

Made in Ohio

The Made in Ohio Festival at Hale Farm & Village will again run three days this year.

Featuring Ohio-produced arts, crafts, beer and wine, it will run from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 30; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

The $7 admission includes the art festival as well as the grounds, buildings and craft demonstrations at the collection of historic structures in Bath. (Regular admission to Hale Farm is $10.)

Food vendors will be available through the day. The event also will include musical performances and traditional artisan demonstrations.

The festival was expanded from two to three days last year.

Hale Farm & Village is at 2686 Oak Hill Road. For information, go to www.madeinohiofestival.com.

Oktoberfest next month

The German Family Society's Oktoberfest is Sept. 6-8 at 3871 Ranfield Road in Brimfield Township, south of Interstate 76.

One of the area’s festival mainstays, it is celebrating its 46th year.

German fare such as schnitzel, cabbage rolls, rotisserie chicken, franks, hot pretzels and corn on the cob will be on the menu. Beer, dancing and polka bands also are big parts of the festival. An outdoor Biergarten and a Jäger tent will be available for adults.

Non-alcoholic drinks include fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Attractions and games for children will be offered Sunday, though each day is billed as family friendly. The Kuchen Haus (cake house) will be stocked with German pastries.

Hours are 6 p.m. to midnight Sept. 6, 3 to 11 p.m. Sept. 7, and noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 8. Admission is $5, ages 12 or younger free. Call 330-678-8229 or go to www.germanfamilysociety.com.

Get your passport

Kent's International Festival — featuring food and beverage samples offered by downtown businesses — will follow the Run the World 5K at Kent State University Sept. 7. For information on the race, which benefits scholarships for study-abroad programs, go to www.kent.edu/RunTheWorld.

The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dan Smith Community Park in downtown Kent and will feature performances and the annual Passport Excursion, which features food and beverage samples offered by downtown businesses — each representing a different country.

Passports are $5 and will be available for purchase at "Customs" in the park on East Erie Street, north of state Route 43. (Race participants receive free passports.)

Passport Excursion participants get a stamp for each destination. The first 100 people to return to "Customs" with their completed passports earn a prize. For details, go to www.mainstreetkent.org/kent.

 

Send local food news to Katie Byard at 330-996-3781 or kbyard@thebeaconjournal.com. You can follow her @KatieByardABJ on Twitter or on Facebook.