Re:Visiting Main Street Ohio
Thu, 01/22/09 11:26 AM
Saturday January 17, 2009 cont. A short distance south of Lima, in the small town of Wapakoneta, is the Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum. Neil Armstrong was born and raised nearby. Really nice museum, that includes a high quality movie and a moon rock. They also surprised me by having lots of info on the Russian space program, too. This place is worth a couple of hour visit. I also paused to watch all the kids sledriding on the hills right outside the building. Man, that looked like fun! After driving through lots more farmland and small towns, I arrived at my dinner destination, Balyeat's Coffee Shop in Van Wert, Ohio. This place is not reviewed on the Roadfood website, but has appeared in some of the JMS books. It has been about four years since I was here last. Balyeat's is very easy to find, since it is located next door to one seriously big county courthouse. One of the true highlights of this place is the great sign hanging outside. I had hoped to plan my visit here so that I could take a photo of the sign during the light when I arrived and then after dark and all lit up, when I was leaving. The interior is long and somewhat narrow, with a long line of counter seats. Spotting a open table in the corner, next to a heater, I sat there. More times than not, I would have sat at the counter, but warming up was the priority here. The clientele is older, which is no surprise, since Balyeat's offers what can usually be described as comfort food. Veal loaf sandwich? My waitress was a little white haired woman, probably in her late 60s. She had lots of personality and opinions, which I enjoyed. The first thing I asked her was how are we doing on the pies. She scurried away and came back with terrible news. All they had left was one piece of the sugar free raspberry and several slices of the raisin. I had her bring me back the raisin. This was very disappointing, since I passed on pies at earlier stops, to save room for here. At least the raisin pie looked good. I didn't try much of the bread, but the biscuit on top was soft and warm and tasted better than it looked with some grape jelly on it. Lots of interesting things on the menu worth trying, but how could I pass up the chicken, considering the sign outside. I was asked if I wanted white or dark meat and I asked for a combination of both. She apologized, but said it was either or. I chose the dark. The chicken is fried and then baked, which is unusual. It was very moist and flavorful and I easily ate the whole thing. The dressing here was much better than what I had the night before, but the mashed potatoes did not taste from scratch to me. I think they were from a box. As for the pie, outstanding! Perfect, unmistakably homemade pie. All it did though, was make me regret not being able to sample more of their pies. I will be back. Unfortunately, my food came out so quickly, it was still light out when I left, so I didn't get a night photo of the sign. The plan was to hit one more place on the way to my hotel near Toledo, but I was tired and full by now. On the way, the snow had picked up and I saw several accidents. It was a bad night for driving. After relaxing in my hotel in Perrysburg for a while, I looked outside, since I was considering a visit to Schmucker's in Toledo, for some of their excellent pie. But, looking out the window at all the snow coming down, I decided to just stay in. After all, I was having breakfast there the next morning. More to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 01/22/09 11:42 AM>