Arcadia Grille hits the spot if you’re hungry and too lazy to walk a block to another restaurant.
When I was a kid Denny’s was the only restaurant that was open 24 hours. The saying was, “nobody plans to go to Denny’s, they just end up there.” In other words, we were happy to eat at Denny’s when everything else was closed. Arcadia Grille reminds me of that. Its a popular establishment mostly due to its location in downtown Canton. It’s too much effort to go anywhere else, so people just end up there for lunch.
This was my third time eating at Arcadia Grille. The first time I ordered a hamburger and recall that it didn’t make a very strong impression on me. On my second visit I ordered a steak salad only to receive a bland salad topped with even four very small pieces of steak. Not exactly meeting my expectations, but also not setting the bar very high for a return visit.
I really had no overwhelming desire to go back to Arcadia Grille but two things intervened. First, a friend is visiting from Texas and another friend only had a small window of opportunity to see him. Arcadia Grille was the closest place to her work so that was the chosen spot. Second, this would give me a chance to review the restaurant and never have to worry about returning again.
How could I say no to an opportunity to have an average lunch with friends? So we put the bark collar on the dog and Jen, Robert and I headed out.
We met up with Jackie at her office and walked over to the Restaurant. Arcadia Grille is a seat yourself establishment, at least has been every time I’ve visited. The walls are covered with pictures and artifacts and other what-nots. The ceiling is interesting in that the suspended tiles are replaced with ads. Local businesses get good exposure with the lunch time day-dreaming crowd.
I’m a bit of of a germophobe when it comes to public places. It’s not incapacitating or anything like that, but I do try to avoid touching things that are frequently handled by strangers since I don’t know where their hands have been. Shopping carts, stair railings and restroom door handles are all off limits. Oh, and I like to eat off utensils that have actually been washed!
Ok, that’s not entirely fair. The utensils at Arcadia Grille had been washed, just not well. Either that or they are so very old that they just can’t get clean. Either way, the utensils–much like the ketchup bottle on the table–are in dire need of replacement. The ketchup looks like they married the bottles one too many times and the relationship had gone sour.
We got our drinks; a couple of Pepsi’s, a water and Jen got her usual unsweetened ice tea. (Jen says it’s actually non-sweetened because it’s never been sweetened in the first place.) The tea connoisseur that she is, Jen had to send hers back because it tasted like it was made with filtered sewer water. She asked for a Ginger Ale, which was overly syrupy, so she had to send that back too.
We ordered an appetizer sampler which included mozzarella cheese sticks, fried mushrooms, prawns, fried onions, french fries and chicken. Jen and I agreed the chicken was great. I loved the fried mushrooms but was the only one who did. Jen took a bit of shrimp and couldn’t eat any more, but Robert thought it tasted fine, but not remarkable. The mozzarella sticks were way under cooked. It was more like a slightly warmed and battered string cheese stick instead of a gooey, cheesy stick of battered yummy goodness that it should have been.
For the meals, Robert ordered a hot ham sandwich (sans cheese) and home fries. According to him it was very tasty and not too fatty. Jackie ordered a grilled chicken salad which she seemed to enjoy well enough. Jen got a BLT which she thought was fantastic and would be willing to return for should she have an overwhelming desire to consume another BLT.
I opted for something completely uncharacteristic. I typically go for something safe, something I’ll have a greater chance of enjoying… like a hamburger or perhaps a steak salad. Since I struck out here twice before I thought ordering something new was in order so I asked for the House Special Italian Sausage Sandwich. I’m not a hug fan of pig (I like cow) but I have a growing love of good sausage.
The Italian Sausage comes hot or mild. I asked how hot hot is and was told “it won’t burn your mouth off or anything like that.” I went hot and would like to think that I enjoyed it but to be honest I really couldn’t taste much more than the hot peppers. Taking a bite I saw an entire layer of dried hot pepper flakes staring back at me. I immediately flashed back to a couple of quotes from a recent episode of Psych. “You people are stupid for eating food this hot,” and “I can’t see out of my right eye.”
The second time I ate at Arcadia Grille I distinctly remember the service leaving much to be desired. This time out the service was fine, but certainly not distinctive, with one exception: After lunch we were treated to a complimentary desert. It was a very tasty lemon cake that said very flattering things about me.
Of my three visits, this was probably my best experience at Arcadia Grille, but I’ll be unlikely to return for a fourth. It’s not that the food is bad, nor did I have a a distinctive bad experience… there’s just so much more out there to be explored and enjoyed.
Arcadia Grill seems to suffer from an identity crisis. The outside sign reads “Arcadia Grill” While the website logo reads “Arcadia Grille”. Not to mention that nothing inside give me the sense of of being a “grill” type joint. They also have a sever case of familiarity blindness. Things like the ketchup bottle and silverware only make it onto a table because the staff get so used to it they don’t even notice it anymore. Life is too short for average and mediocre dining, especially when there are plenty of other places left to be experienced.
More Arcadia Grille Info
Cost: 4 adults, $34 plus tip
Hats off: 2/5
Arcadia Grille website
Arcadia Grille menu (pdf)
Google reviews and information
321 Court Ave. NW
Canton, Ohio 44702