On a recent adventure day, Tom and I picked up Mom and Dad and headed to one of our favorite places, Lakeside Ohio, where we had lunch at Ooh La La Fine Food. Lakeside is a very special place on Lake Erie with a unique small-town, resort feel. Mom and Dad had a cottage at Lakeside for 30 years and spent as much time there as possible. Now we go up once a year to see what is new and visit one of our favorite people, Rev. Karen Graham.
During the years that Mom and Dad owned their cottage, the “season” at Lakeside was the third week in June through to Labor Day. When West and East Ohio moved their Annual Conferences away from Lakeside, the season was able to expand to Memorial Day through Labor Day. Admission is charged for anyone entering the grounds during the season. During the season, Lakeside is a busy place with half a dozen restaurants and a dozen stores and specialty shops. Once the season ended, all the restaurants and stores closed down.
Not so anymore. We were all pleasantly surprised to find the town just as bustling on a Friday in mid-October as it is during the summer. Most of the stores and restaurants were still open, although only on the weekends. But there was still one restaurant open during the week, so we headed there.
Ooh La La used to be a gelato and dessert stand. Mike and Patti Savona opened it in 2006 at its location on Second Street. In 2023, they expanded to the building next to Fountain Inn, where the short-lived Slack House operated. They kept their Second Street location, which still serves desserts and also has a gallery of fine art. The new location offers a variety of sandwiches.
Karen suggested eating at Ooh La La and Tom and I looked at the menu and reviews ahead of time. The reviews raved about the quiche, so that is what I ordered. Everyone else ordered a sandwich. Tom, Karen and Mom all got chicken salad and Dad got turkey. They all enjoyed their chicken salad and Dad’s turkey sandwich was packed with meat. My quiche was very good – broccoli, chicken, and cheddar – and the serving was petite. Our food came quickly and we enjoyed all of it.
After our lunch Tom chauffeured Mom and Dad around in the golf cart. Karen and I walked to the dock and then around the park. The day was cold and blustery and the waves were crashing over the dock. Karen and I walked up to the Lakeside United Methodist Church, where Karen is the pastor. The Women of Faith were selling apple dumplings and I had ordered four. The whole church smelled like cinnamon and baked apple.
As we walked, I noticed all the construction being done on the grounds. Karen said that residents aren’t allowed to renovate their houses during the season, so spring and fall are very busy times. I was especially interested in one house that looked like it was floating. The walls of the two-story house were there, but the house didn’t have a foundation. Karen told me that many owners are putting basements in their home. This house had steel beams supporting it and resting on wooden pillars. But underneath – nothing!
We love visiting Lakeside and spending time with Karen. We didn’t stay very long but we had a good lunch and a great time.