Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: September 2012


Food Review: Guilio Bonazza's Italian Cuisine (Mentor, OH)

Being cooped up in a hotel is no fun. Walking around the area around my temporary living quarters, I came across a small Italian eatery called Guilio Bonazza's. I figured it would be worth a shot and I was very pleased with the food.

For the appetizer, I started with the garlic knots which were freshly baked bread rolls covered in olive oil and fresh garlic with a sweet marinara sauce for dip. When the server brought them over, I took a full whiff of the finely chopped garlic and olive oil that was slathered all over those rolls. And that tastes like nothing I've ever had before. I'm not a red sauce fan at all, but I'll make a severe exception for that.

My main course was a 10" cheese personal pizza with Italian white sauce and grilled chicken breast on top. The crust had a nice crispy texture on top with a very soft inside. What I liked the most of it was that despite the fact it was a thin crust pizza, it had the crust of a deep dish. Unlike a lot of people, I love pizza crust, and to get a little extra of it was a huge bonus. They have a whole slew of toppings to choose from so you could make a pizza to your heart's desire.

I could taste the authenticity in their dishes. The cheese was fresh, the dough was flavorful, and you smell the fragrance of fresh garlic from a mile away. I'm so doing take-out with these guys when I get my new apartment.

As for dining atmosphere, there's limited seating as the place is designed to be more for carryout. But if you're just looking for a quick eat, it's the place to be. This is definitely a new favorite here in Mentor.

Guilio Bonazza's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon


Food Review: Thai Orchid (Mentor, OH)

After my first day of work at the new job, I decided to go somewhere local to celebrate with some very familiar food that I have always attached with good memories. So I headed to Thai Orchid on Mentor/OH-306.

When I was still a high school teacher (yes I was one in a previous life), my co-teacher at the time introduced me to Pad See-Ew, a flat noodle dish pan fried with meat, Chinese and regular broccoli, egg, and a sweet sauce. It has since then become a favorite dish of mine and one that I look forward to eating when I can make it to an authentic Thai restaurant. This place did not disappoint.

I started my meal by sipping a tall glass of freshly-made Thai tea. It was well-balanced, and all it needed was a giant straw and boba to make it perfect.

A very nice and creamy Thai tea. I would've liked the option of little boba balls floating in there.
As an appetizer, I went with their fried tofu. The sauce was sweet with a tinge of chili topped with crushed peanuts. You definitely needed to douse the tofu pieces in the sauce to bring out the flavor as the tofu by itself didn't have much taste to it. My only critique is that the sauce was a bit thin so it didn't stick very well to the tofu. I made a bit of a mess on my plate trying to get the sauce as spread on the tofu as much as possible but it did taste great when I managed to cover it.

And the main course, a giant plate of Pad See-Ew. I could smell the aroma of sweet sauce steaming off this plate. I enjoyed this dish. The noodles were well done and blended in the sauce. Both types of broccoli were mixed in and not overcooked. The beef in this dish was seasoned well, thinly sliced, and very tender. The only reason I had to stop eating was that I needed some leftovers for tomorrow's lunch!

The benefit of huge portions: Today's leftovers become tomorrow's lunch. Yum.
If you're hanging around Mentor and want some Thai, I definitely recommend giving these guys a shot. Entrees were moderately priced anywhere from $9-15 so it would make an affordable date dinner. Thai Orchid is located at 7329 Mentor Ave., Mentor, OH 44060. You can visit their website at

  Thai Orchid on Urbanspoon


Two-Wheeled Tourist is on the move...

So anyway, I know I've been a bit incognito in the last few weeks. I've had a lot of stuff going on.

After a little over a year and a half at Independent Motorsports, I've picked up stakes and moved on to a new position in Mentor, OH, about 150 miles north of Columbus near the shores of Lake Erie. I'm now at Premier Cycle Accessories, an online retailer that specializes in sport touring and adventure bikes as well as long-distance riders. I couldn't pass that opportunity up! And it's a nice fit for me and I'm hoping to stick around for a while.

Of course, the consequence to this is a bit of a move. Since Matt's job is still treating him very well (and it would be absolutely absurd to move up here without securing something else), we're now in two different parts of Ohio until further notice. Considering that other opportunities could have put me back in California (would've been nice but a heck of a lot more expensive and complicated to move) or in farther states, this actually works out pretty well. It'll be a bit of long distance commuting to see each other and chats with the webcam, but we'll make it work.

There was quite a bit of prep involved, however. I had to go through a lot of things in the apartment and figure out what needed to go with me to Mentor and what just needed to go. After a week of total cleanup and mass recycling, donation, and shipping, I have a lot less unnecessary crap laying around to deal with. Of course when I still had the stuff it was important and relevant to what I was doing, but time can render things useless, especially if they have to deal with a video editing business that's slightly in hiatus. I'm still working on that...

All this (and then some) used to be filled with stuff!
More to come from my new digs as things change. I'm still waiting on my new apartment to be readied for move-in so I'm in an extended stay hotel for a couple weeks. I have to say these places are actually quite nice and chill, definitely a great option when you're in a situation like this. At least I'll have more time to think and write about things. Running, running, running.


Midwest Road Ramblings in Indy and Peoria - Part 2

It usually doesn't take me this long to get a second part to a ride on the blogspace, but I can explain...

So I left my friend's place in Peoria and headed up toward Downer's Grove, IL, a suburb near Chicago. I almost made it in an entire tank but chickened out on the attempt, stopping for fuel in Channahon. I'm glad I did, because with a 6.6 gallon gas tank on Eleanor, filling up with this much gas was a very nice OMG-get-ready-to-slightly-panic moment.

After that little adventure, I found myself at one of the several locations of Total Hockey, a budding chain of hockey stores that actually have a comprehensive selection of gear. Sadly enough, I had to travel this far just to get a pair of hockey referee shorts. I wish there was a store like this in Columbus, OH, but when you have the Columbus Blue Jackets for a minor league team, nobody really takes the sport that seriously.