Food Tour: Appetizers

Stuffed Avocado
from Angry Avocado

My favorite entree at downtown Canton’s lively Mexican cantina Angry Avocado is listed under appetizers.
The stuffed avocado ($8), both light and rich, popping with flavors and visually artful, was created by Angry Avocado chef Matthew Fischer.

A perfectly ripe avocado is sliced in half then stuffed with your choice of shredded chicken, pork or beef, or tofu, then topped with ultra-fresh pico de gallo, chipotle cream, chopped cilantro and wedges of lime.
After slowly savoring this item the first time, I’m tempted to order it every time I visit the Avocado at 217 Market Avenue N.

—Dan Kane


Coconut Shrimp
from TD’s Tailgate Grill

I’m not usually one to order appetizers, but when out to dinner with my husband, brother and sister-in-law at TD’s Tailgate Grill, I wasn’t quite hungry enough for a full entree so I landed on the Coconut Shrimp appetizer ($9.99). As soon as I read on the menu that they came with orange marmalade dipping sauce, I was sold. This shrimp is unbelievably good. It’s crispy, flaky and savory. Once dipped in the sweet sauce, it’s perfection. It quickly became a favorite. Share with the table or get it as an entree with two sides ($14.99).

—Kelsey Davis


Crispy Brussels sprouts
from The Twisted Olive

How good are the crispy Brussels sprouts at The Twisted Olive?

Good enough that Anne and I placed a carryout order a few days after the governor ordered restaurants to close to dine-in eating. We could have written this review from memory—we’ve ordered them several times—but the opportunity to buy again and also to spend a few dollars at one of our favorite restaurants felt like the right thing to do on a dreary March afternoon.

Considered a “starter” on The Twisted Olive menu, the dish combines large Brussels sprouts, halved and roasted with bacon, truffle honey and Parmesan cheese. There’s no bitterness, just a savory blend of the ingredients with none overpowering the others.

The portion is generous, especially considering the modest $10 cost. You practically can make it a meal all its own.

For someone who would never (as in never, ever) touch Brussels sprouts otherwise—I was forced to try these the first time—this appetizer alone is worth the trip to The Twisted Olive.

—Rich Desrosiers


Pepperoni Rolls
from Bella Sera Pizzeria & Ristorante

The baseball-sized pepperoni rolls at Bella Sera Pizzeria & Ristorante are crispy on the outside, soft and warm inside and glazed with butter, Parmesan cheese and herbs.

If that sounds tempting in description, imagine a basket of these fresh-from-the-oven treats sitting in front of you.

A trademark item at Bella Sera, at 248 Federal Avenue NW in Massillon, the rolls are $7.95 for a basket of four, and one roll accompanies each dinner entree.

Not surprisingly, the restaurant sells up to 2,000 rolls a weekend.

—Dan Kane

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass