The Rail Burger Bar
by Stacey Lim
|The Rail Burger Bar at Summit Mall|
I used to long for a good burger in the Akron area, and not the kind that you can get at a fast-food chain. Last year, my wish was granted with the arrival of The Rail Burger Bar, which is located in Fairlawn. It is in the Summit Mall near Dillard’s. I decided to go to The Rail for a late lunch after a long day at work. Immediately after I arrived, I was greeted by the manager and was seated quickly at one of the tables, even though it was very busy. In addition to the individual tables, the restaurant has a communal table, booths, and bar seating. If it’s a sunny and warm day (and as you can see in the picture—it was not), you can sit on the patio.
|Inside The Rail, meat hooks hang above the bar.|
The décor is minimalistic, with concrete flooring and a butcher’s rail above the bar. The lighting fixtures are unique, with bare bulbs that evoke an almost industrial feel. Signs with upside down cows tell you what this restaurant’s philosophy is: Locally sourced products from Ohio. If you enjoy beer, you’ll also like the fact that The Rail embraces beer that is made in Ohio. The meat for the burgers is sourced from Wayne County, where the owner has two successful restaurants (The Wooster Inn and South Market Bistro).
|The Local Yokel: a burger topped with a fried egg and bacon grown in Ohio.|
There are plenty of options for burgers, from the original Rail Burger, which is a classic burger that can be dressed up (or down) to your order. Various toppings and condiments are available for this. Specialty burgers on the menu include various creative combinations (and names, such as The Crouching Burger, Hidden Bacon or The Twinsburger) I wasn’t in the mood for a classic burger, so I decided to order the Local Yokel, which is a burger topped with a fried egg and Ohio bacon. I also ordered a side of fries (one of my weaknesses) with this. The Rail also has these amazing French fries that are drizzled with white truffle oil.
|The Rail includes chalkboard menus with food descriptions on the wall above the booths.|
The burger and fries arrived in a plate that reminds me of a pie tin. Let me just say that this burger is an experience. It didn’t need any condiments (I’ll be honest: I’m the kind of person who drenches burgers in ketchup and mustard). But the burger itself was juicy and flavorful, and biting into a combination of bacon, egg, and burger—well, it’s just fantastic, and I found myself mopping up the yolk with my burger.
After all those fries and the burger, I had no room for one of my favorite things at the restaurant: The milkshake, which comes in various offerings beyond chocolate and vanilla (on the menu: Nutella Crunch; it is also worth checking out the monthly or daily milkshake specials—which are also made with dairy products from local dairy producers.)
|The large communal table that runs the middle of the restaurant.|
Here, it’s all about the meat and experiencing Ohio at its best, even on a rainy/snowy day at the end of April. Check out The Rail Burger Bar and try the different burgers that are available. You’ll need to make several trips to try them all.
The Rail Burger Bar is located at 3265 W. Market Street Akron, OH 44333
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