9 questions with the Shapiros

You’ll know Scott and Kim Shapiro from TD’s Tailgate Grill, a popular local sport bistro and winner of About’s Feast Award for “best brunch” in 2014.

You’ll know Scott and Kim Shapiro from TD’s Tailgate Grill, a popular local sport bistro and winner of About’s Feast Award for “best brunch” in 2014. After the success of their Canton location, not only did the couple open a second location in North Canton, but now they are serving up incredible breakfast fare at their new daytime eatery, Twisted Citrus.

Because the new TD’s Tailgate Grill location and Twisted Citrus are connected, the Shapiros are able to share a kitchen between the two, making it a lower-risk venture. And since the restaurant closes each afternoon, the Shapiros plan to begin renting out Twisted Citrus this fall for private events for 30 to 100 people. They also have their eyes set toward creating their own monthly “dining in the dark” wine dinner, aptly named Twisted After Hours.

I sat down with the Shapiros in hopes of discovering their secrets to success—and perfecting my pancake prowess—and the couple delivered.

1. Why a breakfast joint now, after two successful sports bistros?
KS:
I simply happen to love breakfast! It’s my favorite meal. When we go on vacation, I’m most excited about finding really creative, funky breakfast places. Ours is coastal cuisine, like you’d find in a Florida or California resort town.

2. Travel and breakfast? We’re kindred spirits! What’s your go-to breakfast order?
KS:
I like sweet, so mine is usually pancakes or French toast. Something off a griddle. I love banana walnut or pecan.
SS: I’m torn. I like the spicy flavor of the huevos rancheros, but I also like our corned beef hash because we make it with real chunks of corned beef.

3. I loved the make-your-own bloody Mary bar at TD’s, what other breakfast bevvies await your guests?
KS: We have mimosas, but I recommend our morning sangria: white wine, orange and pineapple juices with strawberries and grapes. And then there’s our coffee. We have a fairly exceptional cup of coffee. It’s roasted weekly for us, truly tougher to get any fresher coffee than we do.
SS: We have a custom blend from Angel Falls in Highland Square. We’re only the second place they roast for.
KS: The same way you’d pair a great wine with dinner, we pair a great cup of Joe with breakfast.

4. What’s the secret to the perfect pancake?
KS:
Make sure the griddle is at the correct temperature. If it’s not hot enough, they’ll be doughy in the middle. If it’s too hot, the outside will burn before the inside is done.

5. What’s next for the Shapiro restaurant empire?
SS:
Depends if we hit the lotto or not.
KS: We would retire.
SS: Yep.
KS: We plan to bring the dual concept of a shared kitchen between two unique restaurants to the outskirts of Cleveland. We’re hoping that by the fall of next year, we will have our fourth and fifth restaurants open, 10 or 20 miles north of here.

6. What’s the most unusual item on the menu?
KS:
That would be our Bahn Mi breakfast sandwich, inspired by Vietnamese street food. It has the usual eggs and bacon, and then we add pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers, cilantro and sriracha mayo. It’s almost indescribable … filling, a bit sour, but it leaves a fresh feeling on your palate.

7. What’s the most popular menu item at Twisted Citrus?
KS:
Outside of our omelets, I’d say the breakfast tacos. They’ve been very, very popular. So are things from the griddle. Take our cinnamon roll pancakes—we make the cream cheese glaze and the cinnamon swirl in house—and then we top it with Chantilly cream, making it sweeter than standard butter and syrup. Most guests don’t even miss the syrup. You can get pancakes anywhere, but we’ve got red velvet cakes with strawberry compote, and Fat Elvis French toast, our homemade banana bread, with creamy peanut butter and chopped bacon.

8. What dishes are missing from your menu?
KS:
We have a seasonal menu. Our intent is to change things up in a way that uses local ingredients, like in-season fruits. In the fall, we’ll have pumpkin pecan pecans and our homemade granola will be cranberry walnut. And there will be some dishes that aren’t working that we will replace.

8. What would you serve to Guy Fieri if he came in?
KS:
That’s a good question. I think he usually tries three things, right? So, the Bahn Mi, the hangover pasta and the Benny O’Reilly, our version of eggs benedict, but with corned beef hash as the base on an English muffin with sauerkraut, a poached egg and hollandaise. And I’d add a side of twisted taters.
SS: I might throw in our breakfast nachos. They’re huge and different, and he likes to dig into stuff like that.
KS: I think he only gets three dishes. So, we could take out the pasta?
SS: No, I’d give him all four and tell him to eat them all!

9. What’s next for the Shapiro restaurant empire?
SS:
Depends if we hit the lotto or not.
KS: We would retire.
SS: Yep.
KS: We plan to bring the dual concept of a shared kitchen between two unique restaurants to the outskirts of Cleveland. We’re hoping that by the fall of next year, we will have our fourth and fifth restaurants open about 10 or 20 miles north of here.

Twisted Citrus (1649 North Main Street in North Canton) is open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.

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