Alison Matas taste-tests the porterhouse with mac and cheese and Brussels sprouts gratin, pulled pork sandwich with fries, wedge salad and warm spinach salad at Canton Chophouse & Market.
The city center’s restaurant scene keeps getting bigger and more diverse.
One of its newest additions is the Canton Chophouse & Market, which opened downtown last year in the space where Tapas 218 used to be. The upscale spot serves dinner, and the market offers hot lunches, boxed meals and specialty products. The chicken, beef and pork are Ohio-raised.
I checked it out on a Friday night and instantly was intrigued by the layout. Upstairs is the spacious market and an eating area for the shop’s lunch service (more on that later). Downstairs is a sleek bar, walls of exposed brick and painted portraits of cows—which is a nod to what you’re probably ordering for dinner.
I already knew the burger on the menu is out-of-this-world good thanks to my gig as a judge for the magazine’s Feast Awards: Burger Wars this year, so I was excited to try some of the other dishes.
I also knew we were going to get our fill of meat, so we started with salads. All the dressings are homemade, our server told us, so some have a bit of a different taste from what you’d get out of the bottle. The wedge ($8.88) has crumbles of bleu cheese, bacon, egg and onion topped with a white French dressing with a nice kick of spice. It’s large enough it could have sufficed as a small meal on its own. The house salad, topped with homemade ranch, had leafy greens and crunchy fresh vegetables.
The bread board we were served was one of the best parts of our dinner. Admittedly, carbs usually are my favorite food group, but this was excellent. The bread was warm, thick and chewy, and the cinnamon butter was the perfect topping.
For the main course, we decided to try one pricey entree and one sandwich—basically, your two choices for dinner. We picked the pulled pork sandwich ($10.88) with fries and the 24-ounce porterhouse ($44.88) with sides of three-cheese mac and cheese and baked Brussels sprouts gratin and the house salad.
One note: We barely had begun eating our salads when our entrees were served. Our waitress said our food came out fast, which meant our high-top table-for-two got pretty crowded.
I preferred the sandwich meal to the steak and sides. The barbecue pork was tender and overflowed the kaiser bun, and the coleslaw on top of the meat provided good texture and crunch. The fries were hand-cut and crispy. It was a generous, tasty portion of food for a reasonable price.
I was prepared for the steak to be the best steak I ever had (considering all the other top-notch eats at the restaurant), but it wasn’t. The flavor was there, but parts were too chewy and fatty for my liking.
The sides helped make up for that: The three-cheese macaroni and cheese topped with breadcrumbs was creamy and hearty without being too filling, and the Brussels sprouts gratin was unlike anything I’ve ever had at a restaurant before.
The only part of the menu we didn’t end up sampling was the appetizers. They include the usual fried foods—chicken wings, pickles, onion petals—and seafood dishes.
A few days later, I made a weekday lunchtime trip back to scope out the hot meal offerings and the boxed salads for sale. The restaurant offers a smaller lunch menu for dine-in or takeout—mostly sandwiches and wraps, which come with coleslaw, fries or cottage cheese.
I got a meatball sub ($8) to-go, and it was awesome. Six large, well-seasoned meatballs filled the Italian bread and were mixed with a yummy marinara and broiled cheese. Plus, I only had to wait about 10 minutes for my lunch to be ready. And while I waited, I got to peruse the market, which sells cheese, jarred products, candles, small-batch honey and produce.
Editor’s note: The restaurant is not to be confused with the former Canton Chop House that was on Whipple Avenue NW in Jackson Township. This is a new place.
[ 218 Court Ave. NW, Canton | Hours: Market: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; Restaurant: 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday | 330-491-7955 ]