Monday, April 25, 2005

Back to Ohio (for the very first time!)

I left NY/NJ a day late given the weather (snow, hard rain, and so forth) and some personal concerns about taking such a long journey. So it was Sunday morning when I left for Ohio. About 7 hours later, a quick jaunt down I-80 and there it was, "Welcome to Ohio."

What does Ohio look like? It looks like America; for some that's bad I'm sure, but for me it was more like reassuring.., the Home Depot here looks just like the one in Brooklyn... and I already speak the language. And there is a sacrament that we all share, theist or atheist and no matter how we voted in the last election cycle. That sacrament is food.

Sunday night brought me to Barberton and the famous Barberton Chicken. 5 famous places to choose from... I chose Hopocan Gardens; it was good, better than good in fact. The chicken came in several size portions from regular to large to extra large to family size, and also broken out by white and dark meat. I had a large order of thighs and legs (~$8) and a large order of Chicken Paprikash with dumplings (~$9) and a pitcher of Diet Coke ($4.95). Everything came with sides. I had apple sauce, fries, mashed, and slaw (mayo free, acidic, and sweet). What I didn’t have was the hot sauce… to much time on the road for anything spicy that night. Then it was on to the hotel, a clean and well-located Motel 6 near North Akron.

Monday a.m. ... The breakfast special ($1.99) at the local Steak and Shake and then a quick ride to Mansfield and the Jones Potato Chip Company for some "warm" chips, and then a ride to Porky’s Drive-in for some great treats like a Hot Dog with Coney sauce (rather spicy onion and tomato sauce with some Italian seasoning), sauerkraut balls, and homemade chicken soup. The owner was a very nice gentleman who took the time to say hello and gifted me a Porky’s Mug, which I shall bring back to Schnack. Then I took a ride through backcountry farmland (Ohio Route 60 and 36) with water hazards (there were some high water signs and high water due to recent heavy rains). Very pretty all in all... very nice and very much NOT Brooklyn. We stopped by the Killbush Sweetshop for some amazing ice cream (a local brand called Smith and Ruggles ) and then the Interstate (I-77 to I-70) to Zanesville, where I'm typing this now... Probably will not have net access the rest of the trip so the next writeup maybe in a few days... (Don't try to call me either, the rent-a-car isn't able to charge my cell phone for some reason either..)