H & B's Hop
Review by Rosie, MaceVindaloo, DancingQueen, PandaCat
There are the charms of being in the middle of nowhere, and a sense of adventure in entering a sort of Twilight Zone experience. You know no one, know nothing, people notice you're not from here. The shiver down your spine in the hot summer evening is welcome! But we were on a mission for some food, not necessarily for a retro re-living of our hours in front of the black and white TV (or some simulation of such an experience, having not been born when life only doled out black and white TVs ...)
So we drove on for another couple of miles looking for a place to grab some dinner before the movie. We were hoping to find someplace a little unusual; not the run-of-the-mill fast food joint or chain restaurant. Seems like so many places have succombed to the cheap nationalized fodder, and why the heck drive out so far from "reality" to have something one could have at home? As it turned out, we didn't even see any of those; that's how small this northern Ohio town was. What we did find was an old road-side food stand that still had carhop service on Friday nights. We missed out on that, but we did see the trays that hang on the car windows stacked inside the glassed-in kitchen area.
H & B's Hop was the ideal place for us to take in the whole small town Saturday night at the drive-in experience. When we got there, there were only a few people grabbing a bite or treating their kids to ice cream, but while we waited for our food and then sat and ate it, it became clear that this place was a gem frequented and appreciated by the locals. The menu included everything from corn dogs and curly fries to fried baloney sandwiches and jalapeno poppers to chicken tenders and mozzarella sticks. And it was all freshly made and delicious! Kind of like the state fairs of our imaginary youths, but really good!
Of course we couldn't leave without dessert. There were rainbows of slushie flavors; vanilla, chocolate, and swirled softserve ice creams; milk shakes; sundaes; apple dumplings; and cheesecakes to choose from. We opted for a Dole whip (an orange flavored creamsicle) 8 inches tall at least, a swirled softserve, a turtle sundae, and an apple dumpling. Every one more delicious than the last, but Oh! Were we stuffed by the time we were done!
Okay, so we got a sort of Pleasantville experience, when television was limited and automatically nostalgic. The food and service here were really quite retro, and in a good way. What to do to cap off such an experience? Go find a drive-in and a pool, of course! (And we did!)
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