In a departure from our usual Wednesday outings, the Taste of the Trail crew visited The Schoolhouse Restaurant on Thursday, August 17, because it's only open for weekday lunches on Thursdays and Fridays.
The Schoolhouse fronts on St. Rt. 126 and backs directly onto the Trail about 100 yards north of the Cunningham Road intersection. The rear access takes patrons past a goat and goose pen, with a general store adjacent. John and George arrived promptly at 11 AM at the front door – only to find it locked for another five minutes (so much for getting to school on time).
We were the first patrons, but were soon joined by another half dozen Trail volunteers—the best Taste Adventure turnout to date. Everyone was seated on the first floor of this well-preserved two-story structure built in 1863 as a hospital for Union troops and converted in 1865 to a school that educated students until 1952.
The old classroom ambiance has been preserved: hardwood floor, exposed brick wall, a potbelly stove, and the menu written in chalk on the front blackboard. All those hard surfaces make for great nostalgia—but also the very high noise level we experienced when by 12:30 the room was filled almost to capacity. Most tables are circular, with elevated lazy Susans which become the destinations for bowls of mashed potatoes and green beans served family style along with honey dispensers, small pitchers of yellow gravy, and bowls of butter. The Schoolhouse majors in American-style comfort food, with lunch featuring fried chicken, fried fish, cornbread, mac 'n cheese, burgers of various varieties, chicken salad, a fried green tomato BLT and open-faced roast beef sandwiches. Prices are in the $8 to $9 range. Wine and beer are available, but the latter is strictly bottles—no draft.
Service was cheerful but harried with just one server handling the entire room. The consensus among the FLMSP diners was that the food was quite good but not particularly remarkable (though the peanut butter pie tried by some was graded "outstanding"). The setting was unique and appealing, and the prices were reasonable.
The Schoolhouse gets high marks for proximity to the Trail, traditional food served in an unusual atmosphere appealing to both adults and children, and good value. The restaurant gets a note sent home for the limited lunch hours, the marginal service, and the high noise level. John and George give it three-and-a-half bells.
The Schoolhouse Restaurant
8031 Glendale-Milford Road (Rte. 126), Camp Dennison OH
Hours: Lunch: Thurs. and Fri., 11 to 2. Dinner: Thurs. and Fri. 5 to 9; Sat. 4 to 9; Sun. 12 to 8.