I live in Michigan. On a random day, we decided we would take off Friday after work and drive…somewhere. We watched the weather, which kept shifting and changing. We must have switched our route at least 5 times heading into Friday before we ended up traveling towards Ohio, specifically the Toledo area. I know it’s not a typical “vacation destination,” but it fit our needs for a couple nights away from home. And since food is always at the top of our list of “things to do on vacation,” we figured we’d easily find something we’d enjoy! And we did.
In addition to some wandering which included the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum and the Toledo Zoo (both more amazing than we anticipated, and I highly recommend), there were some outstanding dining experiences.
Tin Goose Diner
Thanks to the internet we landed at Tin Goose Diner, on the property of the Erie-Ottawa International Airport. It also includes a museum filled with treasures for those that like to check out vintage aviation.
The renovated diner was originally built in the 1950’s in Elizabethtown New Jersey and ended up in Port Clinton after operating as the Sunrise Diner in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. And it is truly authentic, as described on their website. If you’re looking for the atmosphere that comes with a 1950s diner, this place delivers! Red vinyl booths and chairs, tons of chrome trim, a retro ceiling and all with an amazing view of the airfield — blue sky and tall grass (at least on the day we were there!).
The menu had diner food (as you’d expect) but the one thing I had to order was Maurice’s Fried Bologna, not what you might expect in the Midwest, but one of my favorite southern sandwiches. It was thick-cut German bologna (ah-may-ZING) with, get this, sauteed onions and melty American cheese. Multiple food vices of mine in one concoction.
My significant other and travel partner ordered one of his favorites: the French Dip, topped with provolone. There was no shortage of delicious sliced prime rib on a perfect soft and crusty roll. It was served with a rich au jus to dip into and really was a French Dip achievement.
Both sandwiches came with potato chips and…you’d think we were going to have enough food, but I couldn’t resist ordering their battered onion rings. Yes battered, not breaded. My favorite way to have onion rings. Served up in a big basket, on red and white-checked paper, we just couldn’t do it all! These impeccably crispy, dreamily fried delectables were barely touched while we soaked in the vibe of the Tin Goose Diner and came with us to-go. (I may have eaten them room temperature right out of the packaging while we continued our last-minute Ohio adventure).
Every item I mentioned is recommended to try. If we get back that way, I will have a difficult time trying something different. Maybe if we get there early, I’ll go for their special Red Tail Hotcakes: red velvet hotcakes topped with whipped cream cheese. Or if it’s later, their lobster bisque (marked on the menu as a specialty item).
The parking lot is substantial, and the place is easy to find about 20 minutes northeast of I-80 where it runs north of Fremont (where the Rutherford B. Hayes property is located). If you’re visiting that part of Ohio, passing through on I-80, or just live within a few hours-drive, pop into the Tin Goose Diner and grab a red vinyl-covered stool at the counter or drop into a booth and order up!
Note:Tin Goose Diner is temporarily closed.
Information from the Tin Goose Diner website:
CLOSED Jan 4th-March 12th, 2021. *
We will hopefully reopen on the 13th.
(* Possibly longer depending on weather, Covid-19, and state mandates)
|3515 East State Road Port Clinton, OH 43452|
|(419) 732 – 0236|
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