by Tyron Hoisten

06/01/2018

A Walk In The Park Café is a modest and artsy spot that is steadily gaining popularity. I’ve read a few write-ups, some in this very magazine, giving well deserved praises to the artist whose work adorns the walls of the café and to its young owners—but I haven’t read anything about their food. That’s where I come in.

I have a circle of friends who swear by the café’s edible offerings. Monday through Friday, like clockwork, these pals of mine can be found at lunchtime with one of the café’s sandwiches or wraps in hand. For the longest time, they’ve been encouraging me to check them out, and finally, I did.

I walked in and was pleasantly taken aback by the eccentricity of the place. It’s a park-theme culmination of art, décor and figurines. The main focal point of the café is a life-size tree with branches sprawling up to the ceiling. The sight of it all is actually kind of amazing. It’s literally like a walk in the park.

The menu has selections ranging from pancakes to smoothies to soups. Although the extreme bacon sandwich was tempting, I decided instead to order the chicken tomato basil sandwich with a piece of cinnamon apple crunch cake.

While I waited for my order, I perused the café, awed by the layers of detail all around. I really began to appreciate its charm and individuality. It’s not a fast food joint that could easily be franchised; it’s a place where you can get away without actually getting away. In our fast-paced world, it’s nice to have a place to slow down and kick back.

My meal arrived at my table on a ceramic flower plate. The tomato basil sandwich, with its perfect griddle marks, looked too good to eat…but for $5.75, I figured I should at least eat half.

The first bite was exactly what I thought it would be: satisfying.

Is it the buttery soft but crunchy ciabatta bread? Is it the cubes of chicken held together by strings of melted mozzarella? Is it the garlic marinade that dresses the tomato and basil? Maybe it’s all the elements of this relatively simple sandwich that come together to make each bite one to savor.

The cinnamon apple crunch cake—which is a specialty item, not on their regular menu—was crunchy on top, moist in the middle and sweet everywhere in between. Enough said.

I see now why my friends are so head over heels about this place. It’s simple and chill and offers a few bites with flavors as bold as the decor. Do yourself a favor and stop in soon and you’ll find out for yourself that this café is, as its name says, a walk in the park.

A Walk in the Park Cafe is located at 1492 Aster Ave, Akron, OH 44301. They are open Monday-Saturday from 8am-8pm and Sundays from 10am-4pm. Call them at 330-536-9255.

 

Tyron Hoisten is a writer, an actor, a minister—in short, he is many things, but most notably, he’s bald.

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