Friday, March 26, 2010

Nicely Fried Chicken That Won't Break The Bank

After reading about Lindsay's Amber Restaurant on fellow food blogger's The Hero of Canton site, I decided to track them down and give them a try. Located in a L-shaped strip mall just south of the Route 224 and Route 91 intersection, they are tucked away in a position not visible from Canton Road. It had been a while since I had read the review, so I didn't recall too many details of Hero's visit, save for one: I was definitely bringing down the average age of the patrons seated in the restaurant, albeit only slightly.

Located at 1500 Canton Road, Akron, Ohio 44312, they can be reached at 330-733-9611. As of this writing there was no website associated with the restaurant.

I arrived tonight around 7:30 PM to find a mostly empty parking lot and restaurant. Here was a shot of the front of the restaurant:

A sign immediately inside the front door advertises an all-you-can-eat fish (AYCE) fry for $7.49. While this was tempting, I decided to take a look at their regular menu before making up my mind. Here was their regular menu:

What jumped out at me almost immediately was the availability of "comfort" foods that some people seek out. In talking with readers, I find that people generally go out to eat for two reasons (although I'm sure there could be more). Some people choose restaurants because they offer fare that is similar to what they make at home. For whatever reason, perhaps they are too tired or just not motivated after a long day at the office, they want what they normally have at home. Others, myself included, often pick restaurants that have menus that offer foods that I wouldn't normally do at home. Can I cook Thai food at home? Certainly, but many times I'd rather just have someone else do it for me. Lindsay's Amber's menu, with its stuffed peppers and meatloaf, would certainly fit the bill for the first crowd.

After talking it over with my server, I ended up not going with the AYCE fish dinner, but with a fried chicken dinner instead. She warned me that they fry the chicken to order and that it might be about fifteen or twenty minutes. I assured her that if it was as good as she said it was, I had no problem with the wait. She walked into the kitchen to place my order an within just a few minutes returned with fresh rolls and margarine:

The rolls were fresh, but they were pretty much run of the mill in terms of flavor.

She also brought me my first of two sides, the homemade coleslaw:

I could tell when she set this down in front of me that it was indeed homemade. The shred on the cabbage and carrots was irregular. It was dressed in a nice amount of sauce, neither being too dry or too soupy. The dressing was also unique to Lindsay's. It was definitely coleslaw dressing, but their recipe had a much richer flavor profile to it. It was well balanced and hit salty, sour, and sweet in a very nice way.

I don't know if it actually took twenty minutes for my dinner to arrive, but it certainly didn't seem like it had been that long. Shortly after finishing my coleslaw, my chicken and second side, Jo Jo's, arrived:

You can order chicken in just about any combination and I had chosen a chicken breast and a chicken wing for dinner tonight. When I first dug into my chicken, I thought it had been broasted, a process of brining and then pressure frying, because the skin was so crispy. However, I confirmed later on that the chicken was simply deep fried. Not only was the skin nice and crispy, but the seasoned flour mixture they had used to coat the chicken added a wonderful salty spiced flavor to the meat. The chicken meat was amazingly juicy and I eagerly devoured both breast and wing. I suspected that the chicken might have been brined in order to get it this juicy. When I went up to pay the check, I struck up a conversation with the manager. He confirmed that the chicken was indeed brined. This also turned out to be the perfect amount of chicken for my meal; I had no leftovers to pack up at the end.

The Jo Jo's were coated in the same seasoned flour mixture before being deep fried. Here was a shot of the cross-section of one of these potato wedges:

Flavor-wise, these were just as tasty as the coating on the chicken. I did have two issues with the Jo Jo's, however. The first issue was that some of the larger Jo Jo's weren't cooked entirely through and had just the tiniest bit of raw potato texture at their very cores. The second issue I had was proper drainage. On the white ceramic plate, the small pool of tan frying oil could be easily seen. Fortunately, only the Jo Jo's sitting directly in the oil were greasy. Finally, and this issue dealt directly with the entire plate, not just the Jo Jo's was the lack of color diversity: A nice sprig of parsley would've done wonders to break up the monotony of brown on the plate.

As a surprise, my server also brought me a third side:

Apparently all of the dinners were served with the vegetable of the day, in today's case, corn. I was appreciative of the gesture until I took a bite and realized that this was canned corn. While I realize that many of the typical patrons might prefer canned corn over frozen because that was what they grew up with, personally, I had no issue trying a few bites and pushing the rest aside.

How much did I pay for my two piece fried chicken dinner with a side of coleslaw, Jo Jo's, corn, and rolls? $7.00 with tax. An amazing bargain! It's hard to believe a restaurant the size of Lindsay's Amber would ever fill up (it looked deceptively small from the outside), but from The Hero's account, apparently Sunday is a very popular day for the restaurant. Tonight being a Wednesday evening, there was ample choice of seating arrangements. Despite my small issues with the Jo Jo's and the canned corn, I think that overall I really enjoyed my dinner at Lindsay's Amber Restaurant. Everything I ordered was quite tasty and it was clearly very easy on the wallet. I recommend that you give them a chance the next time you are in the area.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails