It’s Restaurant Week in Toledo, which means some great deals for lots of delicious food all around Toledo and the surrounding communities.
Restaurant Week takes place Feb. 26 - March 4 and is a celebration highlighting 40 locally-owned establishments around Toledo. Each time you dine at one of the participating restaurants, they donate a portion of the money you spend to Leadership Toledo’s Youth programs.
Many of the restaurants also offer a special menu that features their most popular items and, oftentimes, new ones.
So, I decided to hit up the Flying Joe, a coffee shop in Perrysburg, to taste some things for myself.
It took me about 20 minutes to get there from UT and, by the time I arrived, I honestly questioned whether the drive would be worth it.
The storefront itself was unimpressive and the inside was small. But, as I approached the counter to order, I was overwhelmed by how many beverage options were listed.
Not only did they offer your typical Cortado and Americano, they also had a number of specialty drinks including dark hot cocoa, a honey and cinnamon latte and house-made chai.
And then I realized they not only served coffee and tea but wine and hard liquor as well.
A coffee shop serving tangerine moscato, cranberry mimosas and Irish coffee with Jameson whiskey? I had never heard of such a thing.
My gaze lingered on the Irish coffee, but it was early and I wasn’t quite sure whiskey at 9 a.m. was such a bright idea. An avid chai drinker myself, I settled on ordering the chai tea latte along with a giant blueberry muffin.
At this point, I think I’ve tasted every chai latte from every coffee shop in the city of Toledo. I know who serves the spiciest chai and who serves one that tastes like it’s 98 percent milk.
The Flying Joe’s chai creation was a bit on the milky side for my taste. So, if you love cinnamon as much as I do, I suggest bringing your own to spice things up a bit. But I have to admit, it still made my top three list of best Toledo-area chai lattes. Creamy with hints of spice, it went down warm and smooth.
Now, the blueberry muffin was another story entirely. I had wanted a banana Nutella muffin, but they were fresh out, so I settled for the blueberry, which I’ve never been overly fond of. I have always found them to be somewhat on the sour side.
But this blueberry muffin blew my mind — and my taste buds. It was so delectably sweet and I couldn’t get enough of the top, which tasted like a buttery, sugar-coated shortbread cookie. When there was nothing left but crumbs, I scraped them up and ate those too. I was honestly tempted to buy another, but resisted.
My order totaled about $8, and I hadn’t planned on spending much more. While this may sound expensive to some of you, consider how much you spend at BREW or even Starbucks. It’s probably about the same amount.
At the Flying Joe, however, I know I am getting quality food that is locally handmade and baked with the freshest ingredients. I like that they partner with coffee roasters, juiceries and bakeries based right here in Toledo and the surrounding area. Personally, I don’t mind paying a bit more when I know that the money goes to support local and family-owned businesses who work to ensure fair trade.
But, if you still don’t want to pay that much, remember that Restaurant Week is a perfect opportunity to try out some new eateries and shops like the Flying Joe without breaking the bank.
The Flying Joe will offer lemon tarts, loaded tater tots, reuben quiche and other special menu items paired with select beverages for only $5 until the end of the week.
I promise you it’s worth the drive.
And, if you go, you might even catch a glimpse of me shoving my face full of blueberry muffin and sipping an Irish coffee.