This year’s Summer Foods Tour took me to a lot of popular locations. From waterside dining to scenic drives, I got to check out some places I’d never been before.
My overall favorite stop from this tour is definitely Mary O’s at Pelican Plaza in Conneaut Lake. Not only did I have great company, but I also had fantastic service and food that both tasty and well-priced. The lobster flatbread on special the night of our visit was a favorite of everyone at the table, but I also very much enjoyed my Pelican Pasta. Conneaut Lake is just a stone’s throw from Erie and the area is booming in the summer months thanks to the huge lake and all the entertaining activities that come along with it. Our server, Teresa, gave us delicious suggestions and was a perfect host. I will be absolutely be back to try more from their menu.
I didn’t mention it in the review of Mary O’s, but it’s worth noting that across the parking lot from the restaurant and bar, and part of Pelican Plaza, is Mr. B’s Ice Cream. This quaint little shop just so happens to offer Marcie’s Homemade Ice Cream from Meadville, which is also where the ice cream served at Romolo’s here in Erie comes from. Ice cream was another awesome week on this summer food tour. Locally made ice cream is a treat, and though there aren’t a ton of places to get it around here, the ones that do exist are delicious. Casey’s in Meadville will always be a favorite of mine, but the cold, creamy, sweet Romolo’s chocolate-filled ice cream from Marcie’s, as well as the incredible variety at the Boston Bean Café in North East, is amazing. With so many ice cream stands around, I embraced the opportunity to explore the few places left that make their own from scratch.
The Greek Festival is a staple summer event in Erie, but if you want delicious Greek food more often than just that one weekend, Peninsula Gateway fits the bill. On your way back from enjoying a sunny beach day at Presque Isle or hours of fun at Waldameer, stop by Peninsula Gateway for a delectable gyro or a piece of baklava and the option for outside dining; you won’t be disappointed.
Erie and the surrounding towns offer beautiful views for those looking to fully appreciate the breathtaking sunsets over Lake Erie. Both Smugglers’ Wharf and The Italian Fisherman offer the chance to have a drink and some food while taking in those views. The drive to Chautauqua is wonderfully scenic and Bemus Point really is a cool little town with that “everybody knows your name” kind of feel. Location does play a large role in food cost, so the meals at both The Italian Fisherman and Smugglers’ Wharf were expensive given their quality, but I wouldn’t mind going back for a concert or outdoor event to enjoy some drinks, appetizers, and, of course, the gorgeous scenery. I will highlight The Italian Fisherman’s nachos again simply by saying that they are an incredible appetizer. A word of caution, however, come very hungry or bring friends, the portion size is huge.
Thank you to everyone who made this Summer Food Tour so fantastic. I want to mention that during this tour, I visited my one hundredth location! A big thank you goes out to all the loyal readers who come back week after week for my reviews. I’m looking forward to visiting another hundred places and being continually surprised at the great food this area has to offer.
The next tour will be a second round of sandwiches, so keep sending me recommendations for your favorites to email@example.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook. Remember to come back and vote as well.
Until next time,
Andrew — Beard vs. Food