Toledo Favorites 2: Pub Food – Nick & Jimmy’s Bar and Grill

I’m not big on going to bars. In fact, what usually gets me to a bar is the food.  I’ll usually have a drink, but the food is why I’m there.  For that reason, Nick & Jimmy’s has become one of my go-to bars.  Nick & Jimmy’s is one of a few restaurants owned by the same restaurateur.   These include the Village Inn, Basin Street Grille, and the Temperace, MI Nick & Jimmy’s.

Upon entering the restaurant, there is a section of seating and of course the bar. Off to your right is another small seating section and a room with two pool tables and a shuffleboard table.  Off of that room is another small bar.  There are a few arcade games throughout the bar like pinball.

I am rarely in there for dinner or later with the bar crowd.  My friends and I will grab a late lunch after class occasionally.  It is usually not very busy in the middle of the afternoon. We usually eat with a beer, then go play some pool, which is $1 per game. Continue reading

Toledo Favorites 1: Pizza – J&G Pizza Palace

We’ve been going to J&G Pizza Palace since, well, as long as I can remember.  It’s located on Main St. in downtown Sylvania.  This is your quintessential hole in the wall restaurant; a dive, in other words.  The free standing building is small and old.  Parking is limited to a small lot and along Main. St.

When you walk in, the small waiting area faces right into the “kitchen” where you can watch them toss pizza dough, pull pizzas in and out of the oven, and slice up generous portions of their gyro meat.  You can also watch them make pizza dough and assemble the pizzas through the front window.

The seating area is small, with only a hand full of booths and a few long tables.  There is usually a wait for a table and people constantly coming and going with carry out orders.  Now on to the good stuff: the food!

J&G’s pizza is different from any other pizza joint in town.  A thin cracker crust is loaded with toppings (our favorite is the house special), then a hefty layer of cheese is laid on.  Their pizza definitely makes my top 3 in Toledo.

One of their other specialties is gyro.  They start with a homemade meat mixture, which is what makes it so great.  We often carry out a large gyro appetizer, which is plenty for a couple people, even more if paired with one of their Greek Salads.  You can also get a gyro sandwich, served on pita bread with onions, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce.  The sandwich is huge, and it’s very reasonably priced.

If you’re in the area, I’d highly recommend you check out J&G Pizza Palace.  You won’t regret it, I never do when going there.
J & G Pizza Palace on Urbanspoon

Sori Sushi

My dad and I were looking for some place new to go tonight when he mentioned he wanted sushi.  I had heard some good things about Sori Sushi, so we headed over there to give it a try.  It’s located on Monroe St. in Toledo, OH.

20130109-Sori Sushi-0002.jpgThe restaurant is small, but with a nice sized sushi bar.  We took a couple seats right in front of the owner and sushi chef, Kenny.  We were immediately served by his wife, co-owner and namesake for the restaurant, Sori.  She gave my dad and me each a small plate with dish containing cucumbers, a piece of crab, and a gingery dressing.

We took a brief look around the menu and filled out our order sheet. I chose a Sori Roll (~$12) as well as an Eel and Avacado hand roll, or Temaki (~$6). I also ordered one piece of sushi, mackerel, since I’ve never had this fish.

The Sori Roll is loaded with tuna, white tuna, salmon, snapper, crab, egg, and spicy tuna rolled up in a cucumber katsuramuki (thin sheet). It was 20130109-Sori Sushi-0001.jpgserved with tobiko in each slice and daikon radish.  The presentation was simple, but nice.  The roll was very good.  I actually took one piece apart to try its ingredients separately.  The fish was good, and the egg was sweet.  The spicy tuna was not very spicy, but had good flavor.  I would definitely order this one again.

I’ve been really liking hand rolls lately, and my eel and avocado one had good flavor.  It could have been rolled a bit better, but the taste is was counts.  And besides, I didn’t lose 20130109-Sori Sushi-0005.jpgany of the delicious filling out the bottom; no harm no foul, I guess!  I actually decided to order another hand roll, and I had Kenny make me a soft shell crab one for dessert (~$9).

The mackerel sushi ($2) was served with thinly sliced scallions and had a nice seafood flavor.

My dad ordered the Spicy Tiger roll (~$11), tempura shrimp with spicy tuna and tobiko on top.  I usually prefer a panko breaded shrimp to a real tempura one in rolls, I just think they stand up better.  Like I usually find, the tempura was a little soft, but it tasted good.  I love the spicy tuna, and the fact that it’s got some texture to it and not just mush.  It had only a little heat (how I like my spicy tuna); I’d say it would be fine for even though who don’t like spicy foods.  He also ordered a piece of octopus ($2.25)  and a piece of eel sushi ($2.75).

20130109-Sori Sushi-0006.jpgWhen I ordered my second temaki, my dad also ordered another roll, the Dancing Eel (~$12).  It comes with smoked almost, cucumber and cream cheese inside and is topped with eel and avocado.  He doesn’t like cucumber, so he subbed avocado.  This roll was my favorite of the night.  I could have used a bit less cream cheese, but it didn’t distract from the flavors.  The eel went very well with the smoky flavor from the salmon inside the roll.

Overall, it was a good time and a good meal.  The restaurant is nice inside, and the bar was fairly roomy for the two of us (although there weren’t many people sitting there).  The value for what we got was good.  The prices seemed about average from what I’ve had in Toledo.

Right before we left, Kenny and myself got talking about knives after I spotted the gorgeous yo-gyuto next to his work station.  He was friendly and very enthusiastic.  Besides, you gotta love knife talk!

While not my absolute  favorite, Sori Sushi is probably in my top 5 sushi restaurants in Toledo.Sori Sushi on Urbanspoon