Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Quaker Steak & Lube
Polaris, OH
Review by Diana DeRiggs

I was in a car with a guy who tended to get lost, in a perpetual sort of manner. Since I don't drive, I was at his mercy, but I was trying to be navigator. We were trying to get to the Target across the road from the Polaris Mall, a new, clean, sprawling space with ultra cool furniture in their public seating areas. Anyway, we wanted soda and chips, and thus were trying to get to a dry goods place, which was behind a big row of restaurants that included the likes of Bob Evans, Max & Erma's, some Italian place, some national franchises, etc. Behind those was a block-shaped building that looked like a garage, complete with down-to-the-floor roller windows, through which we could see cars up on hoists, and a couple of gas pumps. The word "Lube" featured prominently. I mentioned to the driver that the place was called "Quaker Steak" and he nearly ran into a car trying to crane his neck to see if I was telling the truth.

That's when I told him to park. Better to walk to it if he was intent on rubber necking! The two gas pumps were actually the old fashioned kind that burbled gas into a glass ball on top; there were likewise other old, non-working pumps, forever stuck on random amounts, like $3.53 (show's you how long ago these date from!). The door handles were gas dispensers (they used to be called bowsers!) and through the glass windows that we thought were garage rollerdoors we could see families eating greasy foods and looking really happy.

We went inside and had to walk over TV screens embedded in the floor ... they were showing NASCAR and CART races (I had this odd feeling that Jeff Gordon was looking up my dress!) on those screens. The lobby of the restaurant held arcade games, displays of tools belonging to legends of racing, and prizes dispensed time and again (like a Harley-Davidson ... or a mechanic's tool chest with tools ... stuff I don't understand ...) The dining rooms held many loud televisions blaring football games, to the delight of men who garnered points with their wives and kids for taking them out to eat, yet they didn't have to sacrifice the holy viewing of the Sunday game!

The place declared itself to have the BEST chicken wings, even taking the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY in a head-to-head contest. They grade their wings from ultra mild (seasoned only with Ranch dressing powder) to Atomic (150K Scoville units, and they aren't kidding that you have to sign a waiver before you can partake). There are a dozen or so levels of heat. I went for "mild" at 15,000 Scoville units. I didn't die and actually could taste the chicken meat, yet also got a bit of spice. They didn't serve the wings with anything, no even the de rigeur bleu cheese dressing and celery/carrot stick "salad." Major bummer.

They had kid- and dad-friendly meals, meaning fried appetizery finger-food type things. My favorite was something called "Bucket of Bolts" -- for $9.95 you get a squat "tub" full of greasy goodness: mozarella sticks, fried zucchini slices, onion rings, curly fries (which they call "springs" as in coils like the ones in shock absorber mechanisms), toasted ravioli. This came with three pre-packaged, pre-portioned little tubs: marinara, ranch, honey mustard. Like I said, kid- and dad-friendly. The kid meals come in little cardboard green racecars; the onion rings are served on a contraption consisting of a mini-hubcap onto which an antenna was welded perpendicularly. The rings are looped on, like horsehoes pitched at a target. Presentation is a big deal here!

The decor is car theme -- the fiberglass shells of race cars, stock cars, etc. hang from the ceiling upside down (so you are looking at the tops, rather than the bottoms). The bathrooms are very clean and spacious. Noise level is high so if you have a man who likes to yell when he speaks, or if you have children who don't like to be scolded for shreiking and scurrying around everywhere. The food is fried and not healthy, for sure, but really, it's good, and let's face it, it's stuff you can't make at home. At least not without a huge fryolator and an even bigger mess to clean up. Restaurants are made for food you do not want to try at home! There are about 8 restaurants all up -- not a national franchise chain, more like branches, and they are clustered around Lake Erie. Find one and hang out a while! And be sure to try the wings, even if you're not into atomic damage to your taste buds!

Disclaimer: The opinions and observations noted are the property of the author. Neither Wookieehut nor any associates makes any claims or lucre from the posting of this report or review. This webpage is presented by Wookieehut.com. Enjoy!