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The Lemon Grove
110 West Federal Plaza Youngstown, Ohio
Hours: Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Menu: 9 Burgers ($7.95-$10.95) with a veggie option for each.
By Anthony M. FUDA
Everything about The Lemon Grove screams eclectic. From the atmosphere, to the entertainment, to the menu — especially the burgers.
The Lemon Grove is decorated with different types of paintings on the walls. In fact, our table was underneath a full ceiling blue sky mural. You can eat next to the paintings and make them the topic of your dinner conversation, or you can choose to eat outside on the patio and watch the Youngstown city in action.
On any given evening you can see a band, belt out a couple karaoke tunes, or even take in an art show.
The burgers also have that eclectic feel. Where some places have a veggie burger, the Lemon Grove gives you the option of veggie or ground beef for each burger on the menu.
The cafe also prides itself on having the freshest toppings and getting as much locally as it can. The organic beef comes in fresh from right down the road at Catullo Prime Meats and you can taste the quality in the burgers.
The toppings had that right-from-the-garden crispness, and the buns were toasted just the way we like them.
The burgers have all the familiar toppings and sauces, as well as a couple unique ground beef collaborations: Classic Burger, Mushroom Swiss, Whiskey Burger, The Gabe, The Pittsburgher, The Bleu Angel, Horsey Swiss, Bacon Cheeseburger and the Spicy Cajun. For any burger, you can add bacon (75 cents) or cheese (50 cents).
What you will not find at many other burger joints are the Sliders — just smaller versions of the regular 8-ounce burgers. You can order two ($6.95) or four ($10.95) from any of the burgers on the menu.
You also have a variety of choices for your side: chips, soup, coleslaw, cottage cheese or salad. Those are all nice options, and each side we ordered was good, but what was missing was a nice handful of fries.
Our server, Mohammad Musleh, took our orders and made sure our burger evening went without a hitch.
We invited Viking Jim (from CD 93’s Homegrown Show) to join us on our quest, and he came in with his game face on ready to review. He went with the Horsey Swiss and said even though the horseradish added a nice bite, he would have preferred a different cheese, but the overall burger was good.
JT went with the Whiskey Burger and said: “Although I could not taste the whiskey, the seasoning was good and the toppings were fresh. Overall, I’d say it was average — not bad, but nothing about it really stood out. I did miss having french fries as a side option.”
Greg requested to modify his Mushroom Swiss with provolone, but they didn’t have it, so he settled for mozzarella. He noted, “The meat was seasoned well, and the steak and pepper soup was very good.”
I had the Spicy Cajun Burger and thought the seasoning, combined with the pepper jack cheese and slices of hot peppers, had a very good flavor and just enough kick to keep me happy.
If you are looking for an evening out with a little bit more culture, but not sure what you want to do, The Lemon Grove has events everyone can enjoy. Just make sure you add a burger to the mix to complete your great time. Even if you go with a veggie burger.
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