Sandwiched between Cuyahoga Falls and Fairlawn-Bath, Pub Bricco on Merriman Road in the valley is convenient for a quick commute for lunch or gathering after work along that busy thoroughfare.
Pub Bricco seems a little less formal and a little less upscale than its downtown Akron brethren, Bricco on Main Street. The menu focuses more on sandwiches and burgers ($7.50 for burgers and chicken to $11 for crab cake) than the mother ship, but it features many of the same appetizers ($5-$8).
Speaking of appetizers, on a recent visit we ordered fried white Cheddar cheese wedges with a mustard horesradish sauce ($6). The sharp Cheddar and slight bite of the sauce made for a nice savory appetizer.
I ordered the grilled Buffalo chicken wrap with a peppercorn ranch dressing, provolone cheese and lettuce (hold the tomato, please) in a sun-dried tomato wrap ($8).
We ordered some fresh-fried potato chips for the heck of it.
My wrap came out with tomatoes in it, but the waiter cheerfully returned it to the kitchen for correction. Meanwhile, one of my lunch companions shared part of her wrap, which curiously was the exact same order (and no tomatoes). Go figure.
The half a wrap was plenty of food for lunch. It was stuffed with big chunks of chicken and had a generous portion of Buffalo sauce, which had some nice but not overwhelming heat. I couldn't taste the provolone and didn't much notice the peppercorn ranch, except it added a little creaminess to the wrap. No matter: It gets a thumbs-up.
The chips were warm and crispy, with a light touch of salt. Just right.
My wrap returned minus tomatoes. Hmm. Dinner. (It was almost as good four hours later, even though the wrap dough had gotten a bit soggy.)
My lunch companions, neighboring Patch Local Editors Kymberli Hagelberg and Amanda Harnocz, talked me into dessert, so we split a piece of cheesecake and a small bowl of seasonal pumpkin ice cream. The cheesecake was competent, which is to say very good, drizzled with chocolate sauce. Either you love cheesecake or you don't. And the ice cream had a subtle pumpkin flavor accentuated by cinnamon, which is also good, because some pumpkin dishes can a little too skunky for my taste. This too was just right.
The yellow jackets were out in force again, drawn by the smells of the food outdoors, but this recent run of weather has been irresistable. We'll cope with the pests till they start stinging.
If Buffalo wraps aren't your thing, there are more than a dozen sandwiches on the menu (multiplied by choice of ground beef, chicken, ground turkey or veggie burger), salads and French bread pizzas. And soups, of course.
It's a less formal menu than what I remember from my last visit to the downtown Akron Bricco, but the food was well prepared, and that's what really counts.
Pub Bricco. 1841 Merriman Rd., Akron. 330-869-0035.