Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
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Restaurant Reviews


Call of the Canyon answers the call for lunch

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    Calamity (Sarah) Jane at Call of the Canyon Cafe in Bowling Green.

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    Clarkdale Club at Call of the Canyon Cafe in Bowling Green.

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    The Hitch Up is chicken salad and lettuce on cranberry walnut bread at the Call of the Canyon Cafe in Bowling Green.

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    Tomato Florentine Soup and a corn muffin at Call of the Canyon Cafe in Bowling Green.

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    Cowboy Beans at Call of the Canyon Cafe in Bowling Green.

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    Sunrise on the Canyon at Call of the Canyon Cafe in Bowling Green.

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BOWLING GREEN — For about 20 years, Call of the Canyon Café, 109 N. Main St., has delivered delicious soups, sandwiches, salads, and homemade baked items to students of Bowling Green State University and the community at large.

With most menu items priced at less than $10, Call of the Canyon offers something that fits just about any budget.

The restaurant changed hands in 2015 and is owned by George and Amy Strata, who also run Beckett's Burger Bar.

As the name might suggest, Call of the Canyon follows a Southwestern theme. The cozy restaurant is decorated with items including wagon wheels, horseshoes, and photographs, and the sandwiches feature such names as Maverick, Trailblazer, Cowpoke, and Green Valley.

The menu is vast and can be a tad overwhelming. But we settled on a few sandwiches and soups.

Call of the Canyon Cafe

★ ★ ★½

Address: 109 N. Main St., Bowling Green

Phone: 419-353-2255

Category: Casual

Menu: American/Southwest

Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. (Delivery 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

Wheelchair Access: Yes

Average price: $-$$

Credit Cards: MC, V, AE, D


On one visit, the soup of the day was a rich, chunky Tomato Florentine ($4.95 bowl; $2.95 cup). The bowl was paired with a deliciously sweet corn muffin.

On another visit, the slightly spicy cowboy beans were the perfect way to beat the frigid temperatures outdoors. The chili-like stew featured pinto beans simmered with ham, onions, mild green chili peppers, and Call of the Canyon’s secret seasonings.

From the sandwich side, we selected the Payson Reuben ($8.95), the Hitch Up ($8.95), and the Clarkdale Club ($8.95). Each featured familiar ingredient combinations with a slight twist.

The Reuben, for example, featured turkey, Swiss cheese, 1000 Island dressing, mayonnaise, and slaw on Canyon Rye bread; pastrami, however, was added for another level of flavor. Similarly, guacamole elevated the standard Club ingredients of turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. It’s worth noting that the thick bacon was perfectly crisp and not too salty.

The Hitch Up takes creamy chicken salad and lettuce and pairs them with a semi-sweet cranberry-walnut bread, making for a perfect light lunch.

The fried egg, bacon, chorizo, and hash brown-stuffed Sunrise on the Canyon Burrito ($7.99) sneaks a breakfast item on an ambitious luncheon menu.

The burrito, too big and unwieldy to grab in your hands, is wrapped in a choice of plain, wheat, spinach, or cheese and jalapeno tortillas.

The chorizo gives the Sunrise just enough spark to make the burrito interesting.

Tortilla chips and salsa accompany each sandwich. The salsa has a nice kick, but, at least with the burrito, the tiny cup of salsa was a disappointment in an otherwise filling meal.

Though ordering a salad midwinter in the Midwest is bit dicey, I settled on the Calamity (Sarah) Jane ($8.99), which the menu describes as an “all-time favorite.” The salad arrives in a giant bowl brimming with a mountain of mixed greens covered with lightly seasoned strips of grilled chicken breast, mushrooms, toasted pecans, and dried Michigan cherries. It’s accompanied by a lightly flavored raspberry vinaigrette.

The Canyon iced tea is also of note. Our server said the seasoned tea is brewed fresh, and though she declined to say what spices are used, there is definitely a refreshing hint of cinnamon. 

For its desserts, Call of the Canyon is most known for its large selection of pies, which vary from time to time, but also offers cakes and cheesecakes. (Whole pies, cakes, and cheesecakes are available for purchase, $16-$28, with at least 48 hours’ notice.) On separate visits, we sampled the Tollhouse, Almond Joy, Pecan, and Cherry-Peach varieties.

The Tollhouse is like a chewier chocolate-chip cookie. The decadent Almond Joy is like a sinful blend of coconut cream and French silk. The cherry-peach had a nice blend of sweet and tart.

Call of the Canyon is a great place to meet up with friends, but its small dining room can become cramped when the restaurant is busy. The other drawback, for someone living and working in Toledo, at least, is that the restaurant is only open until 4 p.m. daily. Still, if your schedule permits, Call of the Canyon is worth a midday trip.

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