Little Miss Muffet
Sat on her tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
Fortunately, the Nutty Muffet has nothing to do with the mental state of the little girl in the nursery rhyme and much more to do with an unusual creation at Bishop's Fine Foods. When I first started writing about Orrville's tightly knit collection of eateries, I hadn't intended on including Bishop's with that crowd. Being located south of Orrville at the intersection of Routes 30 and 57, it existed in a very small area labeled as Riceland. However, when I pulled up the actual address of the restaurant, it was listed on Yahoo Maps as an Orrville eatery. And given the feedback I've received from other locals, it is definitely considered to be part of the Orrville family, if on the outer edge.
Bishop's Fine Foods was located at 34 Wadsworth Road, Orrville, OH 44667 and can be reached at 330-683-9922. There was no website associated with the restaurant at the time of this review. Parking was available in a lot just outside the restaurant and along the side of the building.
Here was a shot of the front entrance to the restaurant:
Once inside the front door, I was greeted warmly and escorted to my table where I was handed the menu:
There was also a breakfast menu on the very back:
While I was definitely here today to try the much lauded Nutty Muffet, I had also been told that Bishop's was equally as well known for their homemade onion rings. Since I consider myself to be somewhat of an onion ring aficionado, I could almost predict what I was going to order being even looking at the menu. For only an additional $3.49, I could put my burger in a basket with a side of onion rings and my choice of any additional second side. Noting that the homemade coleslaw was already going to adorn my sandwich, I decided on going with another homemade side, the baked beans:
This was brought out almost immediately after placing my order, as if it were my salad course. First off, let me state that these were very good baked beans. They were saucy without being soupy, the beans were creamy without being mushy, and the balance between the sweetness, acidity, and smokiness from the bacon left me enjoying this pleasant, if not fairly large and filling, side dish. I only ate about half of this dish because I wanted to make sure I left room for my dinner.
Only a few minutes later, my dinner basket arrived at my table:
Here was a close-up of the Nutty Muffet:
And here was a shot of my Nutty Muffet with the crown of the bun removed:
A Nutty Muffet was essentially a double cheeseburger that had been topped with a combination of the homemade coleslaw and the same toasted and ground nuts used for the sundaes that are served up at the counter. When I first peeked under the crown to check out the interior, I noticed a fairly surprising lack of ground nuts. I called over my server and she indicated that sometimes the kitchen places the ground nuts underneath the coleslaw. While I looked for the missing topping, my server volunteered to go off and get me small cup that I could administer myself.
Once I had rectified the problem, I took a bite. The burger patties, while hot and juicy, were on the thinner side. It honestly reminded me of the SkyHi burger at SkyWay drive-in. What made this burger unique, however, was the addition of the coleslaw and the grounds nuts. You could actually taste each component quite distinctly and strangely enough, they all worked very well together. The nuts had a predominant hazelnut taste to them, but when I asked about them specifically, I was told that they were a blend of different nuts that had been toasted and ground. The acidity from the coleslaw worked well to cut through the fattiness of the burger.
When I was up paying my bill at the cash register, I asked about the origin of the burger. It seems that one of the original owners, Mr. Moffet (I believe she said Moffet and not Muffet) was looking to put a unique burger on the menu. After trying a number of different toppings, he settled on the homemade coleslaw and the ground nut blend that they already used for their sundaes. Through what I'm sure was only a small evolutionary nomenclature change, the Nutty Muffet was born. Was this the best burger I've ever had? No. Was this a good burger with a unique flavor? Absolutely.
Lest I forget the other item sharing my burger basket, here was a shot of the homemade battered onion rings:
I could tell when they were put down in front of me that these were batter dipped. The onion inside each ring was tender and cooked properly. The batter was a little uneven, but this didn't bother me too much as they were a sure sign of being dipped before fried. The fried coating, however, was a little too doughy and a bit on the greasy side. They did not have the nicely crisp exterior that I've come to expect from a great onion ring. Don't get me wrong: these were definitely good, but just not exceptional.
When the check came, I was also pleasantly surprised. For only $7.50 plus tax and tip, I had eaten a very filling and surprisingly cost-conscious meal. The fact that the food was quite good and had largely been homemade was another positive for Bishop's Fine Foods. In my mind, Bishop's does not qualify as "destination" dining if you live more than twenty minutes away. However, being that it is located on Route 30, if you are headed down into Amish country, and most definitely if you are heading to someplace like Kidron to visit Lehman's, this might just be a nifty side stop to make along the way.