Put-in-Bay Food Reviews

Your Insider Island Dining Guide

Mr. Ed's Bar & Grille - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

New Menu for 2013 Features Exciting Changes

If you read our last review of Mr. Ed's (click here), you know that this is one of our favorite hangouts on Put-in-Bay. So it was with mild trepidation that we heard that they had completely remodeled their menu for this year and invited us in for lunch. We were lucky to show up the day they were practicing and finalizing their new menu items and got an insider peek at the new food. We've never left hungry before, and this trip was no exception!

The burger section of the menu is almost completely new. The theme this year is based around their Big Chubby burger. This is the platform for all of the other burger creations, of which there are many. Offerings this year range from adding pulled pork, to bologna, to onion rings, to chorizo. We decided to try the chorizo burger. It's official name is "The Spanish Sunrise Burger" and you may ask why such a goofy name. Chorizo (spanish) and a fried egg (sunrise) are featured, so it makes more sense after you see it. Back to the beginning... this is your platform Big Chubby burger to which they have added chorizo, albeit not a super spicy blend. It is all about the chorizo flavor and not the heat, fortunately (tastes great!) and unfortunately (I like it hot hot hot!). The burger is topped with some pepper jack cheese and a fried egg on top of that to get the cheese melty. Top this off with some spicy slaw and southwest sauce and you have your burger! It's a little pricey at $10.99 but well worth it.

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Bars | Added: 14:11, 12 June 2013

2013 Spring Fling Customer Appreciation Festival

Record Number of Kegs Served

This year, the Put-in-Bay Spring Fling had a record turnout mixing a bunch of regular attendees with many new faces. This is traditionally the first big party of the year up at Put-in-Bay before the season even really starts. It is a cross between a festival and a block party. For those in the know, they already had their hotel and house reservations booked many months in advance because this was another sellout weekend (even though it is in April/May). Some people attended because of the free music, and enjoy a mix of JD Owen, Mike "Mad Dog" Adams, Brave Youngster, and Pat Dailey. Some people attended because of the free beer and enjoyed ALL 30 kegs of Miller products poured by a bevy of beautiful young ladies. Some people attended because of the free food and enjoyed one (or two, or three, or even more) of the 1400 hamburgers/cheeseburgers that were flipped, 600 hot dogs that were grilled, and loads of chips and condiments to build your own burger creations. But let's face it, most people came because it was Put-in-Bay and they got a free party with a little bit of everything!

Back in the day, 1998 to be exact, when on Put in Bay there was no Jet Express yet and the last Miller Ferry for the day quit running at 7 pm, the first big thing to do was Victoria Day (the week before Memorial Day) and then Memorial Day got the summer going. Paul Jeris from the Island Club decided to call his friends and family and have a party the first of May and let everyone stay for free at the Island Club on Put-in-Bay. It was just a way to get everyone together and make sure the houses that they rent were ready for the season. People would come up, make sure the water in all the houses worked, all the utilities were on, and the houses were in working order.

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Festivals | Added: 12:24, 4 May 2013

2012 Fall Ball Customer Appreciation Festival

A Put-in-Bay Tradition Gets Even Better

This year, the Put-in-Bay Fall Ball had a great turnout. JD Owens rocked the crowd and everyone had fun! This is traditionally the last big party of the year up at Put-in-Bay before the season really starts ending. It is a cross between a festival and a block party. For those in the know, they already had their hotel and house reservations booked many months in advance because this was another sellout weekend (even though it is in October). Some people attended because of the free music, and enjoy a mix of JD Owen, Mike "Mad Dog" Adams, Brave Youngster, and Bobby Gatewood. Some people attended because of the free beer and enjoyed over 30 kegs of Miller products poured by a bevy of beautiful young ladies. Some people attended because of the free food and enjoyed one (or two, or three, or even more) of the 1400 hamburgers/cheeseburgers that were flipped, 600 hot dogs that were grilled, and loads of chips and condiments to build your own burger creations. But let's face it, most people came because it was Put-in-Bay and they got a free party with a little bit of everything!

Back in the day, 1998 to be exact, when on Put in Bay there was no Jet Express yet and the last Miller Ferry for the day quit running at 7 pm, the first big thing to do was Victoria Day (the week before Memorial Day) and then Memorial Day got the summer going. Paul Jeris from the Island Club decided to call his friends and family and have a party the first of May and let everyone stay for free at the Island Club on Put-in-Bay. It was just a way to get everyone together and make sure the houses that they rent were ready for the season. People would come up, make sure the water in all the houses worked, all the utilities were on, and the houses were in working order.

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Festivals | Added: 20:24, 6 October 2012

Subway EAT FRESH - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

When You Want to Eat Great, Even Late

Just imagine... it is 2:50am. You have just stumbled out of Mr. Ed's after listening to Dot Dot Dot and you have some SERIOUS munchies. You are walking back along the building towards your hotel room and you see a golden shining light! On the side of the building at the entrance to the Commodore. What is it? Why yes, it is the bright shiny Subway neon! And they are still open!!! And at 3am, they are pretty much the ONLY ones still open at that hour, and a respectable chain franchise restaurant on top of that so you know you are going to get something good. Or are you? Psych! Yes, this Subway rocks! Even for those of us on a diet.

Subway offers 7 different sandwiches for 6 grams of fat or less. These sandwiches are 6" long and mostly have deli meat in them like turkey, ham, roast beef, etc. Most sandwiches fall in around 220 calories so you can get filled up without getting plumped up. Add in cheese and some light mayo for a lil more oomph. That usually keeps me going all night until I happily pass out in my bed. And recently (ok, within the past year) Subway has added some new sauces (red wine vinaigrette, sweet onion teriyaki, honey mustard) that you can have on any of their sandwiches so that you can create a much larger variety, when you add in all the bread selections. OK, so we all pretty much knew that from all their advertising and gimmicky marketing. But how do the subs really taste?

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Restaurants | Added: 13:11, 5 August 2012

The Goat Soup & Whiskey - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

Where Fine Dining Meets Flip Flops

With the closing last season of Axel & Harrys and The Skyway, we were happy to see The Goat Soup & Whiskey step up to fill the "fine dining" culinary void. Island guests know that The Goat has been here for a number of years, but this year marks some new changes and improvements. The bar drinks have been kicked up a notch with the addition of fresh-squeezed juices and an assortment of new drinks based upon them. According to Scotty Jackson, Goat co-owner, "We press our own juices for the bar drinks daily, a practice we picked up in Costa Rica this past winter as we were researching our new drinks for the season." We hope they do some research in to Spanish or Italian food this coming winter and let us tag along! But seriously, the drinks are phenomenal, fresh, and moderately priced ($5.00 - $8.00).

No stop at The Goat would be complete without a cup of soup ($3.95, $6.95 for a bowl). The soups here are so popular and widely known, that instead of a daily drink specials board, they have a soup board! Their Chicken Green Chili is the only regular soup served daily. Head Chef, Bob Moon, brings out three to five different special soups every day. A few recent options: Gazpacho, Chicken Curry, Split Pea, Cold Melon Compote, Tomato Basil, and our favorite, the Lemon Chicken soup. The lemon chicken had shredded chicken in abundance with a slightly creamy broth which hid some nice big chunks of carrot, potato, and celery. Diced green onions fancifully garnished the top and provided that little bit of crunch for texture. The lemon was very very subtle, but left a great aftertaste on the palate.

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Restaurants | Added: 13:11, 3 July 2012

Mr. Ed's Bar & Grille - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

Upscale Bar Food in a Trendy Atmosphere

Any trip to Put-in-Bay would not be complete without a stop at our favorite watering hole, Mr. Ed's Bar & Grille. Located right smack dab in the middle of downtown Put-in-Bay, it is hard to miss. There's a big horse sign out front and usually some great tunes jamming out from their awesome sound system. Midwest bands are features all throught he summer, usually on weekends but occasionally during the week as well, and after the sun sets this place gets packed with bachelorette parties, boaters, and a great lively young crowd.

However, we stopped here for lunch on our visit so it was a little tamer, but still loads of fun. If you ride the Jet Express, there is a coupon for a free kid's meal, but we didn't bring any young 'uns with us this time. Our group was hungry so we came for the food. We were not disappointed. Everyone's meal came out fresh and hot and on time. Note: very friendly and cute waitresses!

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Bars | Added: 08:11, 12 June 2012

2012 Spring Fling Customer Appreciation Festival

Record Number of Kegs Served

This year, the Put-in-Bay Spring Fling had it's biggest turnout ever. This is traditionally the first big party of the year up at Put-in-Bay before the season even really starts. It is a cross between a festival and a block party. For those in the know, they already had their hotel and house reservations booked many months in advance because this was another sellout weekend (even though it is in April/May). Some people attended because of the free music, and enjoy a mix of JD Owen, Mike "Mad Dog" Adams, Brave Youngster, and Pat Dailey. Some people attended because of the free beer and enjoyed ALL 30 kegs of Miller products poured by a bevy of beautiful young ladies. Some people attended because of the free food and enjoyed one (or two, or three, or even more) of the 1400 hamburgers/cheeseburgers that were flipped, 600 hot dogs that were grilled, and loads of chips and condiments to build your own burger creations. But let's face it, most people came because it was Put-in-Bay and they got a free party with a little bit of everything!

Back in the day, 1998 to be exact, when on Put in Bay there was no Jet Express yet and the last Miller Ferry for the day quit running at 7 pm, the first big thing to do was Victoria Day (the week before Memorial Day) and then Memorial Day got the summer going. Paul Jeris from the Island Club decided to call his friends and family and have a party the first of May and let everyone stay for free at the Island Club on Put-in-Bay. It was just a way to get everyone together and make sure the houses that they rent were ready for the season. People would come up, make sure the water in all the houses worked, all the utilities were on, and the houses were in working order.

(click for more...)

Posted By: Admin | Category: Festivals | Added: 20:24, 8 May 2012

Frostys Family Pizza & Bar - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

Pre-Season Islander Family Pizza Buffet Night

You know the season is starting when Frostys opens their doors for the annual island family pizza buffet night. This year it happened today, April 20th, at 5pm. The doors opened, and the hungry islanders poured in to get their first Frostys pizza fix of the season. All the bar stools were packed when this intrepid reporter arrived at 6pm, and most of the tables were full as well. June was holding court in the back near her delicious homemade desserts and the bartenders were busy pouring beers (no liquor yet!).

The first thing that assaulted my nostrils was the delicate aroma of hot pizza pie. That wonderful doughy and cheesy goodness filled the air and easily won out over the cold rainy outdoor mess left behind as the door closed. It would not be the last olfactory experience of the night as I had only just passed the doorway. First stop was the bar to choose one of Frostys multitude of bottled craft beers. Yes, they have the standard domestics, but they also have a great variety of "upscale" beers both in the bottle and on tap (check out the IPAs!).

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Restaurants | Added: 20:24, 20 April 2012

Oktoberfest 2011 - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

PROST !!! Beer, Food, and Fun!

With nothing else on my agenda for last weekend, my friends impulsively suggested we go down to the 18th Annual Put-in-Bay Oktoberfest to hang out, eat food and drink beer, and I impulsively agreed. But I'm not so impulsive that I didn't check with the Putinbay.com calendar of events first to get the lowdown. This helped me find out about the $4 entrance fee ($6 for both Sat and Sun) and the disallowing of glass beer steins (have to buy your cups there). I also checked out the Chamber of Commerce website, but their details on Oktoberfest were limited to useless generic info listing time, date, their own phone number, bla bla bla... there's no mention about ticket prices, the type of beers, pricing on beer/food, parking, entrance fee, nada.

Based on previous years, we were prepared for a long line at the entrance but were pleasantly surprised. Arriving around 1pm, we were relieved to find virtually no line to get in, despite that it's already packed inside. There's the aforementioned $6 entrance fee (we opted to go for the 2-day pass). As an aside, the parking is free and efficiently coordinated all around the park but make sure you don't enjoy the refreshments too much if you are driving. Inside, there's a large beer stand up by the stage selling 2 different types of beer, The Maxx Band is already playing their own brand of polka, an elderly couple is all dressed up in German clothes and is dancing up on stage, and all around the perimeter of the two tents are stands for food, with a killer selection. We try the German beer first ($19/pitcher) and the beer is actually tasty so we wet our whistle and get in the mood to start buying food.

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Festivals | Added: 20:24, 15 October 2011

2011 Fall Ball Customer Appreciation Festival

A Put-in-Bay Tradition Gets The Weather

This year, the Put-in-Bay Fall Ball had it's biggest turnout ever. This is traditionally the last big party of the year up at Put-in-Bay before the season really starts ending. It is a cross between a festival and a block party. For those in the know, they already had their hotel and house reservations booked many months in advance because this was another sellout weekend (even though it is in October). Some people attended because of the free music, and enjoy a mix of JD Owen, Mike "Mad Dog" Adams, Brave Youngster, and Pat Dailey. Some people attended because of the free beer and enjoyed over 30 kegs of Miller products poured by a bevy of beautiful young ladies. Some people attended because of the free food and enjoyed one (or two, or three, or even more) of the 1400 hamburgers/cheeseburgers that were flipped, 600 hot dogs that were grilled, and loads of chips and condiments to build your own burger creations. But let's face it, most people came because it was Put-in-Bay and they got a free party with a little bit of everything!

Back in the day, 1998 to be exact, when on Put in Bay there was no Jet Express yet and the last Miller Ferry for the day quit running at 7 pm, the first big thing to do was Victoria Day (the week before Memorial Day) and then Memorial Day got the summer going. Paul Jeris from the Island Club decided to call his friends and family and have a party the first of May and let everyone stay for free at the Island Club on Put-in-Bay. It was just a way to get everyone together and make sure the houses that they rent were ready for the season. People would come up, make sure the water in all the houses worked, all the utilities were on, and the houses were in working order.

(click for more...)

Posted By: Admin | Category: Festivals | Added: 20:24, 1 October 2011

Sweet Basil Pizzeria - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

Brick Oven Pizza Pies Just in Time

Just when you thought you knew all the places on Put in Bay island to go for a quick bite to eat or to grab a pizza pie, along comes a newbie. We were driving around Saturday morning, minding our own business, when we took the turn at Joe's Bar (corner of Meechem and Catawba) and discovered this collossal pizza oven parked in their lower parking lot! To an uninformed civilian, it might at first glance look like some big kitchen cooking thinga-ma-doo-jiggy with a couple propane tanks hooked up. But to the trained eye, it was a beautiful masterpiece of not-so-modern machinery. Not a chain link in sight and no big-company uniforms. We slammed on the brakes and spun in to the parking lot at Joe's to investigate further.

What we discovered was the Sweet Basil Neapolitan Style Pizzeria... on wheels. The pizzeria itself is locally owned by Dan Joyce in Cleveland but he also has this great mobile brick-oven pizza maker that he can send wide and far when the call for pizza is heard. He is giving it a whirl up here on Put-in-Bay for the summer, every weekend. So far, according to Joyce, it has been a smashing success. Being outdoors, it is quite visible from the street and the smell of FRESH pizza being baked (yes fresh!) is unmistakable. They make everything right in front of your eyes so you know you are getting the best. A notable exception is that the sauce is prepped ahead of time in their more sanitary kitchen in Cleveland the day before and driven up to the Bay fresh.

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Restaurants | Added: 09:37, 24 September 2011

Joe's Bar - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

The Big Red Barn Dishes up Some Grub

Not everything at Put-in-Bay is located downtown. If you are adventurous and explore the island a bit further, you are bound to find some hidden gems. Joe's Bar is one of them. Located at the end of Catawba across from the Crown Hill Cemetary, it is about as far from downtown as you can get. It is also a favored haunt of those staying at the State Park, just over the hill. You would not think of food right away when you look at the place, but they do have some grub there if you look hard enough. Most come for the drinks because this joint is truly the island dive bar, in a good way.

Imagine a big red barn that someone placed a bar in the middle of, cut out some holes for windows, and slapped on a couple porches to hang out. That's Joe's Bar. It originated as the Press House and was the corner market for many many years before being transformed in to what it is today. It did a volume of business selling ice, sandwiches, snacks, and truckloads of beer to fishermen and campers. That was back when the original owner, Joe Suttman, owned the place. Oddly enough, the bar is named after him as well. Joe has since moved on to teach school in Austria and the change in ownership is evident, but you will still find Joe's picture hanging on the wall.

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Bars | Added: 15:28, 6 September 2011

Big Man's Burrito Stand - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

A Put-in-Bay Backyard Food Stand Gets a Hot Review

Ryan and Kim Stoiber are the proud owners of Put-in-Bay's only burrito business, Big Man's Burrito Stand. They make and sell their food out of a backyard food stand behind Frosty Bar, with access either through Frosty Bar or down the alley off Loraine Ave. behind Pasquales.

Each has been in the food business for many years and they have experience with different ventures including Crescent Tavern, Frosty Pizza, Oddfellows Tavern (closed 2009). After closing Oddfellows, Ryan decided to act on a plan he'd been kicking around for awhile... opening their own burrito business. Because it was previously Burrito-free, Put-in-Bay provided the perfect opportunity for this new business and by the looks (and tastes) of it so far, he is on the right track.

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Restaurants | Added: 12:45, 3 August 2011

Put-in-Bay Pizza Company - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

It May Say Pizza, but Check the Grinders!

When I think of Put-in-Bay, I think of beer, bands, crowds, afternoon beers, tiki bars, and did I mention beer? After a long day of enjoying the festivities at Put-in-Bay, it is nice to have a new option for those late night munchies and some tasty new items to sop up all that alcohol swirling around in your tummy. The new Put-in-Bay Pizza Company comes to the rescue like a knight in shining armor. Open until 2am on weekdays and 3am on weekends (and sometimes later), you will have no problem getting a fresh hot pie delivered to your door or hotel room.

The menu is conveniently encompassed on a single page and has been skinnied down from last year's mega-barbecue options. Who really wants pulled pork on a pizza at Put-in-Bay anyway? What remains is a great list of pre-designed pies and build-your-own options on the right side of the menu, and apps, salads, and monster grinders on the left (more on this in a moment!). Hands down, the All Meat Special Pizza ($18.50 medium, $22.95 large) is crazy good and our favorite of all the pies. You won't find little teeny weeny chopped up pieces of ham or undercooked tiny pepperonis on this pizza. No sir! It is only authentic Hormel meats on this round disc of pleasure. The ham is large cuts of actual ham. The sausage is big hunks of sausage. Pepperoni gets that lil crispy edges to it that taste oh so good. And what about the salami and meatballs? OMG! It is SOOOO good! But I digress.

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Posted By: Admin | Category: Restaurants | Added: 14:15, 16 July 2011

Island Restaurants Open and Closed

The Skinny on Where to Eat this Season

2011 Looks to be another great year for the Put-in-Bay food scene. There are rumors and speculations already making the rounds as to who will be open, who will be closed, and who will be starting something new and exciting for this upcoming summer tourist season. One of the fun things about living in a small close-knit community is finding out the gossip. And while this is not a gossip column, we do want to let you in on some of the more important information.

So here is some of the scuttlebutt... Axel & Harrys is officially not going to open for 2011. And, obviously, the attached High Tides Waterfront Grill will be closed as well. The main reasons they won't open need not be reviewed here, but if you look at their track record on food quality and staffing, you will see that it was bound to happen. Corporate groups used to enjoy going there as well as higher-end tourists and guests over the past few years, but there was a lot of grumbling last year. The food quality had been slowly deteriorating as the prices increased. While still good, the food was not AS good. One thing veteran restauranteers will tell you is consistency is key. Another problem was the attitude and service level of the staff, which also had dropped. All in all, it is a mixed blessing that we saw A&H close its doors in 2011.

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Posted By: Admin | Category: General Interest | Added: 15:45, 9 June 2011

2011 Spring Fling Customer Appreciation Festival

A Put-in-Bay Tradition Gets All Hopped Up

This year, the Put-in-Bay Spring Fling had it's biggest turnout ever. This is traditionally the first big party of the year up at Put-in-Bay before the season even really starts. It is a cross between a festival and a block party. For those in the know, they already had their hotel and house reservations booked many months in advance because this was another sellout weekend (even though it is in April/May). Some people attended because of the free music, and enjoy a mix of JD Owen, Mike "Mad Dog" Adams, Brave Youngster, and Pat Dailey. Some people attended because of the free beer and enjoyed over 30 kegs of Miller products poured by a bevy of beautiful young ladies. Some people attended because of the free food and enjoyed one (or two, or three, or even more) of the 1400 hamburgers/cheeseburgers that were flipped, 600 hot dogs that were grilled, and loads of chips and condiments to build your own burger creations. But let's face it, most people came because it was Put-in-Bay and they got a free party with a little bit of everything!

Back in the day, 1998 to be exact, when on Put in Bay there was no Jet Express yet and the last Miller Ferry for the day quit running at 7 pm, the first big thing to do was Victoria Day (the week before Memorial Day) and then Memorial Day got the summer going. Paul Jeris from the Island Club decided to call his friends and family and have a party the first of May and let everyone stay for free at the Island Club on Put-in-Bay. It was just a way to get everyone together and make sure the houses that they rent were ready for the season. People would come up, make sure the water in all the houses worked, all the utilities were on, and the houses were in working order.

(click for more...)

Posted By: Admin | Category: Festivals | Added: 20:24, 2 May 2011

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About This Blog

This website is meant to showcase the Put-in-Bay, Ohio food scene. Monthly reviews of Putinbay restaurants occur during the season. When there is a festival involving food or wine in town, then that is covered as well. Put-in-Bay Bars get occasional notice for the quality of their drinks and entertainment. Each review is as unbiased as the palate of the reviewer (unless brussel sprouts are involved, that is a dealbreaker!).

The mystery reviewer is an island resident who has been boating and working on the island for over 15 years and can remember back to the days when there was a Taco Bell on the island and the downtown bars closed at 11pm. Times change, but everyone still needs to eat!

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