The Restaurant Crawl – Six Delicious Venues

Daimian Hatch, owner of Evolution

The Truth Staff

There were so many outstanding experiences to enjoy during the Juneteenth Restaurant Crawl. The food was universally outstanding, the service was wonderful, the entertainment was … entertaining.

What really stood out, perhaps, was the variety of good food the six Black-owned restaurants offer guests on a regular basis – each restaurant presented something unique … and tasty.

A combo plate of oxtails and curried goat on a bed of rice and peas with a side of fried cabbage; a seafood combo of tilapia and shrimp; a chicken dinner with fried cabbage – thumbs up all around on Thursday night at Jamaican Spice (1540 W Sylvania) – the first night of the Juneteenth restaurant crawl!

The restaurant, in addition to the front room at the entrance, has a rear open air atrium area that also accommodates entertainment and dining alfresco

Toss in a DJ and a summer night is just about perfect.

The Lyte House (2114 W. Alexis) also offered entertainment on the second night of the Crawl. Not just any entertainment – Carmen Miller and the MGM Band held forth.

The Lyte House’s menu is an assortment of build-your-own meals, starting with burgers and also including build-your-own baked potatoes, salads, chicken and BLT sandwiches.

The room is spacious with plenty of seating at tables and the u-shaped bar. Pool tables are also available. And the burgers, by the way, are grilled just right – a crisp outer layer while still nice and juicy in the middle.

Jamican Spice Bartender Candy Dixon

Club Evolution (519 N. Reynolds Road) was the Crawl selection for Saturday night. The comfortable setting, more than enough space for parties and other such events, is owned by Daimian Hatch. Hatch is known as “the atmosphere guy” – the guy who can set up such an establishment for the comfort of virtually any customer who stops by.

Club Evolution’s menu runs the gamut from commonplace items such as wings and dogs to selections a bit more esoteric such as lobster and lamb chops. “You can’t go wrong with our kitchen,” says Hatch. And the lamb chops certainly proved the accuracy of that statement.

This Is It (302 N. Detroit) was it and the place to be on Sunday as the MGM band entertained in the afternoon and the restaurant served its signature turkey ribs, among other delicacies.  If you have never had a turkey rib, you are in for a treat. Tasty meaty bones served with an equally tasty dressing as a side dish. And the menu is varied – steak, lamb, seafood and chicken are also offered.

Bertha Mae’s is the newest restaurant on the list. Opened a year ago by Nolan and Pam Hych (840 N. Summit), the restaurant was honored during the Crawl by Toledo City Council for achieving their one-year milestone. Bertha Mae’s touts its catfish as the best in town – that may be an understatement. The fried catfish is indeed scrumptious but the fish items also include grouper, walleye and perch, all of which are fabulous. Toss in some wings and smash burgers and the options are plentiful.

The Hollywood Connection band entertained guests in the courtyard while diners munched on the tasty food or imbibed from the Bar Party Truck selections.

In the end, there was Jera’s Heavenly Sweet (3059 W. Bancroft). What better way to top off a restaurant crawl then to feast on Jera’s delicious cookies, cakes and cobbler? They don’t make it easy on you there. The most difficult part of exploring Jera’s selections is making up one’s mind – everything looks so good.

Everything at Jera’s is indeed as good as it looks – as with all of these establishments, plan on making numerous trips so you can sample all of each menu’s delights. Then start all over again!!