Road trip! I got a phone call from my buddy (I’ll call him Ja from here on) a few weeks ago wanting to know if we were busy on August 2. He was going to be in Sandusky for work and wondered if we wanted to meet up. Ja and his wife (Je from now on) were friends of both J and I when we lived in Peoria. All four of us worked at the same place. Ja is from Ohio and went back to school. His girlfriend, who later became his wife, eventually followed him to Athens and the only time the four of us would see each other was at weddings.
Ja and Je now live in Columbus, OH which would still be a pretty good haul for either of us to make a social visit. Sandusky seemed a little more doable since it would be just a short three hour drive from Lansing.
After the trip was planned, I started scouring foodie boards for places to eat. There’s got to be some little hidden gem in a tourist town. Alas, all anyone would tell me is that Sandusky is over run by chains. To that I say, what city isn’t? I hate when I get that answer because there is an abundance of chains in every town, every city, and every tourist destination in the country. I’m not looking for those. I want to know where the locals eat.
Finally, I got a few suggetions. Out of the top three I got, two were bars and Ja said a bar probably wasn’t a good idea, so I picked the Italian eatery.
Danny Boys Italian Eatery is on the edge of town fairly close to Cedar Point. When you get off OH-2, you go left for the amusement park and right to find this restaurant. It’s less than a mile down Milan Road on the right side. The building shares space with a few smaller businesses, but there’s a huge parking lot and overflow parking on the side.
We got there right at 11:30 on Sunday which is when they open. After the hugs and handshakes in the parking lot…and a little ribbing for my friends driving a Kia…we went inside. I was a little surprised by the decor. I was almost expecting a cheesy Italian decor which would fit the tourist town, but we we found was more of a Tuscan pub. The floors were faux stones. The first walls and ceilings were dark wood paneling. The first area we came into was actually a bar with a window to the kitchen.
The hostess asked if we were ok sitting at one of the high pub tables in the bar area. It was fine with me. I actually prefer these tables. We all got settled in and continued our conversation while the waitress took our drink orders. We all got Cokes except for Ja who got a lemonade. It took the waitress a while (you’ll see this get repeated a few times) to get our drinks, but it was alright because it gave us more time to look over the vast menu.
The menu consists of pizzas, calzones, salads, ribs, pasta, subs, and something called a “foldover.” I wanted fries and the only thing that looked like it came with fries were the subs. All the subs had Italian movie character names. The one that caught my eye was the Vito Corleone. The menu description reads….
…..”We’ll make you a sub you can’t refuse!” Ricotta cheese, warm Danny Boy’s Pizza sauce, layers of ham, bacon, & pepperoni, topped with melted Danny Boy’s pizza cheese.
I would encourage you to go read that description again then finish reading this. Make sure you’re familiar with the ingredients listed in the description. Done? Ok.
The sandwich was served on a 12″ bakery fresh Orlando sub bun. The sauce was on the bottom followed by the ricotta cheese and meats…..oh, and lettuce and tomato. Not on the menu. The meat followed those bottom layers followed by the pizza cheese…AND MAYO. Lots of mayo. Too much freakin mayo. It took the sandwich from something I was looking forward to to something that was almost inedible. The sandwich was soggy. I couldn’t pick the bun up and the only flavor I got was the mayo….that wasn’t listed on the menu. Without the mayo, it would have been a knife and fork sandwich, but I ended up just pulling the meat off and doing my best to choke it down. Fortunately, I had fries to fill me up. The fries were out of the bag restaurant fries, but at this point, it was the best thing on my plate.
The rest of our group went with the foldovers. A foldover looks like a huge taco made out of pizza dough. J and Je both got smalls while Ja got a medium. J and Je’s came out first. They were huge. So huge that they almost asked for boxes when the plates were set down. Ja knew he was going to need a box because he wouldn’t have been able to eat a small, let alone a medium.
J got the Chicken Deluxe Foldover. The dough was stuffed with breaded chicken chunks smothered in Danny Boy’s pizza cheese, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, bacon, & mayo. She missed the mayo on the menu or she would have asked to leave it off. She really liked the concept. She said the dough was sort of a mix between a pizza dough and a bread. The chicken chunks were delicious and the whole thing worked really well. She was bummed there was mayo on it though because we weren’t going straight home or somewhere with refrigeration, so we ended up having to throw the leftovers out at a Speedway on the way home because we figured the mayo had probably gone bad. I would have loved to eat the rest of it for lunch today.
Je got the Cheeseburger in Paradise Fold Over which almost sounded good to me. The dough was filled with crumbled ground beef, mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar cheese, lettuce tomato, ketchup, mustard, mayo, & pickle. I would have done without the ketchup and mayo, but she really liked it. In fact, all three of them loved their foldovers. I don’t remember which one Ja got, but he was on board with the two ladies.
Mixed reviews from Danny Boys. Everybody but me seemed to really like the place. Our service was painfully slow. Had it just been J and I, there would probably be more complaining, but since we weren’t in a hurry and were enjoying the time we had to catch up, I barely noticed that it took almost a half hour in an empty restaurant to get our meals. I know the bill for J and I was a little over $26. I don’t know what Ja and Je’s was, but it would have been a little bit more due to their menu selections. It sounds high, but the portions were huge. All four of us would have had leftovers had it not been for the mayo on J and mine’s.
Danny Boys was better than a chain. I just think I picked the wrong thing on the menu. If I was going to spend a weekend at Cedar Point, this is definitely a place I would try. I just wish that if you’re going to put something on a sandwich, you put it on the menu as well.