Brunch Love: The Blue Door – Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
We admit that we’d be the first to go all ‘Portlandia’ when it comes to brunch. We love it. But brunch is hard to find in Canton, once you remove our city’s Sunday buffets and the usual chain restaurants. So, we usually settle for ‘brunch’ that’s really just a breakfast joint open until 2 PM. It’s a good thing we don’t live in Portland:
The Blue Door in Cuyahoga Falls (just outside Akron), however, is just a short drive north and appeals to the marionberry pancake-eating part of us in every way. They offer locally-sourced ingredients, house-made pastries and breads, and both standard and rotating menus (you WON’T find 189 variations of breakfast combos), offering a nice balance of breakfast/brunch/lunch/sweets. That rotating menu? It changes weekly and offers 10 or so loosely themed dishes – one week it might lean German, the next French. No matter what, the ingredients are always in season.
It’s upscale food + casual vibe – a perfect combo in our book.
As a couple of girls who could easily live on bread and cheese, we love that their menu has a European flair – crepes suzette, raspberry almond pancakes, croque madame, mussels & frites, etc. With a menu of that caliber, it was little surprise to learn that their kitchen staff all has chefs’ training.
We’ve both eaten at the Blue Door on numerous occasions, so instead of recapping each visit (yawn), let’s get straight to the food porn:
I adore the specialty crepes on their rotating menu – since the menu is always changing, you can try a new creation each week. Last fall, I had the butternut squash crepes topped with prosciutto, greens, and a sweet berry reduction. Wowzers. I also can’t resist their regular and vegetarian Croque Monsieur, both served on HUGE buttery, flaky homemade croissants. Details like imported Leoncini ham and local cage-free eggs make all the difference. Also, if you get a chance to try The Blue Door’s seasonal take on biscuits and gravy, ORDER THEM. They’re that good.
Their fish is flown in fresh (crazy rare in these parts!) from Sea to Table, so you know the catch is from small-scale, sustainable fisheries. They take extra care with the preparation, so if you don’t mind spending a bit more (usually around $20) you’re in for a special treat.
And be sure to grab some bakery items on the way out. Their brioche and challah make unbelievable French toast, and Futureman is obsessed with their sticky buns. As someone who’s not big on overly sweet things, I’m partial to their extra-dark, bittersweet Valrhona chocolate brownies.
My kids love the Blue Door, too. Frankly they do not deserve such exquisite food – real maple syrup, the thickest, most delicious smoked Nueske bacon I’ve ever had (no exaggeration), perfectly griddled brioche toast, and homemade jam.
My first go around of this place, I did NOT want to go. It was still listed as the Golden Goose on all review sites and maps, and that name just resonates with a bad, blue-haired, supper-at-4PM image. But, E and I had to settle because The Office wasn’t offering brunch that day. That’s the day I learned to shut my mouth and get to the place before pitching a fit. I LOVE this place.
Try out their chai and coffee. The coffee is roasted locally from Angel Falls Coffee and their chai is so good you could almost make it into a weekday breakfast. The crepes tartine ($8) are fantastic, and also a great go-to with fresh fruit, Nutella, creme fresh and homemade preserves. E tried out the french toast, which is made from The Blue Door’s bakery bread – huge portion and so delicious.
The menu is constantly changing, and the chef is very hands on and involved with this. He’ll pop out and talk to the guests and talk them through the menu which is such a nice touch to hear the passion behind the selections.
If you’re not from the Cuyahoga Falls area, The Blue Door makes a fantastic start to an afternoon excursion. Start here for brunch and mosey over to some of the consignment shops nearby to look at furniture, head down to the waterfront to walk around, and there is a large shopping area a couple streets over off of Howe Road.
Atmosphere? From what we gather via their Facebook page, the space is work in progress. The walls are white and clean, with a wood floor and plenty of windows for natural light. Their new white marble tables and booths are beautiful additions. Outside, they have yet to put up a sign, so the only give-away is their (you guessed it) blue door. It’ll be interesting to see where they take the space next. We’d love to see a cozy European feel to match the food, along the lines of Le Pain Quotidian or a Parisian boulangerie, and maybe a better blue door?
Price? Our bills generally come in at around $40 for two or $60 for two adults/two kids. A bit pricey, yes, but this is hardly your average brunch spot.
Verdict? The Blue Door is SO worth the drive to Akron. We’d go every weekend if we could. In fact, we love it so much we decided to feature it FIRST on our blog. Get the crepes. Get the bacon. Get the coffee. Get their baked goods – any of ‘em, really. Just go and get something – we’ll imagine you’ll love it all. Now if they’d get a liquor license…
Our rating: love, love, love it (Go….NOW!)
They do a great job of posting their daily menu on Facebook. And kudos for over 3,000+ likes!