Posted on Apr 05, 2020

Springtime Fun In Downtown Canton

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COVID-19 has you cooped up? Spend time with family, get outside, eat yummy food!  STOP #1: DeliOhio: View the menu online, call ahead, then pick up your delicious lunch items. Options include a great lineup of sandwiches, salads, and select desserts. Fresh and tasty. #2: Stadium Park and Stark Parks Walking Path: Head west on Tuscarawas Street and turn right on Elgin Street.  You may catch the weeping cherry trees along the river in full bloom. If you see pink, pull over into the small lot on the right and let the kids run underneath the big hanging blossoms. Unpack the food.  It’s like having lunch in a pink teepee.   Let the kids run, climb the trees, then get them back in the car and head north. Stop at the McKinley Monument to walk the steps and view the amazing architecture. Or follow the road and park at any one of the numerous lots. Take a stroll along the walking paths. STOP #3: Taggart’s Ice Cream Parlor is just a few blocks up the road. Handmade in small batches, this delicious ice cream, served in a quaint, fun setting (booths and tables on one side or parlor tables...

Posted on Mar 30, 2020

Reflecting On “Time Well Spent”

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“Time spent together is time well spent” is an adage that didn’t sink for most of us until we were unable to physically be close to friends, family, colleagues. We look forward to hosting your “reunion” gathering when Stark County businesses open up. A food tour is fun for a birthday, anniversary, or other “event”, but sometimes it’s perfect to simply celebrate time together.  Four hours of eating, drinking, laughing, talking, and being together. Time together is indeed, time well spent.  See you on a tour!  ...

Posted on Mar 25, 2020

Healthy Take-Out Dining Tips

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Basil Noodles

Mindful choices make a difference  Supporting restaurants during COVID-19 is important, but it’s easy to watch the numbers go up on the scale. Enjoy your favorite foods while keeping extra pounds in check with these tips: Slow the Sauce: Don’t smother your food. A lot of take-outs put sauce in a separate container which makes it easier to monitor amounts. That puts it on you to slow the pour. Don’t immediately tip the dressing container upside down and dump the whole thing out. Not at first anyway.  Some sauces are integrated into the main dish during baking or cooking, and can’t be separated. This brings us to tip #2. Portion Control: Don’t eat straight from the container. Pretty soon you’ll be scraping the bottom. Plate your take-out meal by putting a portion of it on a dish, and maybe even add some other healthy foods from your own fridge (veggies, a healthy side). Keep the rest in the box and out of sight. Bonus – You’ll have some for tomorrow. Color and Variety: Eat a little bit of a lot of different foods. Instead of one giant burger and a pile of fries sitting in your stomach, order the burger...

Posted on Mar 14, 2020

Why A Walking Tour?

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We zip to work, zip to the store, zip home. There’s so much from Point A to Point B. Walking tours allow us to slow down and take a closer look at architecture, scenery, public art. We call it a layered experience.  Get to know a city, gain a better appreciation. Zipping’s fine. But slowing down works wonders....

Posted on Mar 12, 2020

Come For The Burgers, Stay For The Art

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If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, drop a couple letters:  It can also be the way to a man’s art. Culinary tourism means Walk, Eat, Drink, Repeat. The concept is simple but the experience is complex. What exactly are food tours? Basically we eat and drink our way through town and enjoy great food and drinks. We also highlight regional history, architecture, art and culture. Strolling through the Canton Arts District offers a colorful backdrop. Ten years ago empty buildings and a nondescript downtown greeted visitors to nearby destinations such as the Pro Football Hall of Fame and National First Ladies Historic Site.  Thanks to ArtsInStark, our county-wide arts council we now have numerous studios/galleries and 40+ pieces of public art. The arts have laid the foundation for our city’s revitalization and we showcase these galleries, artists, and public art on each tour. Food tours allow visitors to take a closer look at public art and learn about the artist. To offer tours following COVID-19 health guidelines, we have options to enjoy our food at galleries instead of in a restaurant. This allows us to maintain social distance regulations, and lighten the load on...

Posted on Jun 22, 2018

How Many Chefs Does It Take To Make A Food Tour?

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Like soup on a slow simmer or wine in barrels aging, a food tour starts long before you walk through the door and say “hello”. Food tours can be found in over 200 cities in the U.S., last around three hours and can be complex for many reasons, first and foremost because they involve, well….. food. Small plates served shortly after the group is seated at multiple restaurant stops takes coordination, planning, and timing. And many people. Aside from chefs preparing awesome plates of yumminess, there are so many other people who make a food tour what it is. The restaurant host/hostess who takes the reservation and makes sure there is a place set aside for us. The staff who set up our spot the day we arrive. The manager or owner who visits the table during a busy night to greet our group. The chef, who not only prepares and plates the food, but often emerges from the kitchen to greet visitors with a smile, tells them about the dish and answers questions. Then there’s the wait staff who refill water glasses and take drink orders. And finally the someone or someones who whisk away our dirty dishes...

Posted on Jun 15, 2016

Stumped. And By A Simple Out-Of-The-Blue Question

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At step 93 I saw them. A family of three, dressed in casual attire, taking photos, looking around. Clearly not here for a workout. The steps I was climbing, known locally as The World’s Largest Outdoor Stair Master, the McKinley Monument steps, 4 tiers of 24, can put an amazing amount of hurt on your buns, thighs and calves. Peering over that last set to flat ground (yay), my gaze caught white tennis shoes, plaid shirt, and slow casual gate. Visitors. At first I ignored them. Completely out of breath and sweating profusely is no way to begin a conversation.  Maybe they’ll be gone, I thought, when I round the Monument.  But there they were, still in sight, the younger boy and older man had walked halfway down the steps to read the statue’s text.  Actually interested in the history of the place? I couldn’t resist. I approached the woman slowly, acting like I was adjusting my headphones, and asked, “Is this your first time here?” She smiled and said, “No, not for us, but for him”, and she pointed to the younger boy (20-something). “He’s a McKinley, he lives in Wheeling.  This is his first time here and...

Posted on Apr 29, 2014

The Farmer and The Businessman: A Study In Opposites

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On a drizzly grey morning we pulled into Mud Run Farm. Sarah and I were developing a series of Farm-To-Table tours that focus on local farmers and restaurants that use in-season local foods. Later that day we had a meeting scheduled with Ken Bogucki, Proprietor and Executive Chef of The Wooster Inn. We continued up the hill to a small brick farmhouse, popped the trunk and traded “regular” shoes for boots.  We figured the farm had the word mud in its title for a reason. At the front door we were greeted with a hurried Alex who was in deep conversation on the phone. He gestured that he would be out in a minute.  We said, “no problem!” and plopped down on the stoop. Here we took the beautiful view of the farm and small valley below us.  The morning sun popped through the clouds and lit up the pond. Farm equipment, outbuildings and black squares of recently tilled soil spilled across the hills before us. Birds chirped and frogs sang. We certainly didn’t mind waiting here. Alex stepped out and apologized for being on the phone. The conversation was about purchasing chickens, and it didn’t end well.  “He...

Posted on May 07, 2013

What I Learned From A 98-Year-Old Guest

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98-years-old on a Canton Food Tour? I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I walked up to Pat to introduce myself and he handed me a sticker.  It was small and shiny.  I put the sticker on my shirt near my logo and it sparkled in the sun. That’s when I noticed he had “blinged” himself and others in the group.  This was going to be fun. The rest of the group soon joined us, we piled in the van, and were off.  First stop was Ben Heggy’s Chocolate Company.  Boy did it smell good when we opened the door.  As our group selected chocolates, Pat remarked, “I remember when those chocolate covered marshmallows were a penny”.  Everyone laughed. Basil Asian Bistro was next.  Pat slurped up the Asian noodles while others in the group were more picky.  Before we left, I noticed that restaurant owner, Tony Ly, had been “blinged” too.  After Basil it was on to Hazel Artisan Bakery. I enjoyed listening to the group chat, reminisce, and laugh together.  Chef Lonnie Ball placed scrumptious dessert platters down, two with lit candles, celebrating two Birthdays in the group, the reason for the tour.  The girls laughed. In between...

Posted on Nov 20, 2012

Mystery Ending Showstopper

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Brittany Cary sings “Nearer My God To Thee” at The McKinley Monument as part of Canton Food Tours 2012 season-ending MYSTERY ENDING Tour, November 16th, 2012.  Proceeds went to Jackson School for the Arts. (Source:

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