Over The River & Down The Highway

. June 1, 2015.

Sam B’s Restaurant

163 S. Main St. Bowling Green, OH


Sun-Thur: 11am-10pm (Sunday brunch 11am-2pm)

Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm


I don’t mind living in Toledo. But let’s face it, after the winter we had, even just a 20 minute jaunt down Interstate 75 South can give you a fresh perspective and leave you feeling like really did “get out.” Who am I kidding? Anywhere beyond my driveway this winter felt like a nice adventure.  I can say with 100 percent certainty that the kids and I were absolutely stir crazy by the end of the winter and our Saturday night escapade in our Sienna Sleigh to Bowling Green was quite refreshing and just what the doctor ordered.

Experience a little bit of Bowling Green history

I have long heard that BG has some tasty dining establishments. Suffice it to say, we found another little Ohio gem. Sam B’s has been owned by Jim Ferrell since the beginning; currently located in the heart of downtown Bowling Green on Main Street.  Downtown was hopping and the kids and I really hope to return and meander in and out of the shops when we have more time.

While speaking with manager Sandy Daum, she rattled off several places she said we needed to stop in next time we’re in Bowling Green. Daum began  as a server with Sam B’s in 1988 and has been a manager for many years. “I can’t rave enough about the place,” she said. “The beauty of it being a family business is that people care,” she added. “A lot of us have been here a long time.”

I’ll get to the scrumptious food in a moment, but I first want to talk about the fun atmosphere at Sam B’s. For starters, my teen daughter was quick to point out the Indy-Rock type music they played in the background. We chose the bar dining area, but there is a quieter dining room as well. With my daughter’s interest in art these days, she (and I) loved that throughout the restaurant, various works by local artists were on display. “We love it. Every three to four months we switch it out,” Daum said. My daughter was curious about having art work on display/for sale and our friendly waitress, the rocket scientist, (for real) gave us lots of information on the Prizm Creative Community. All art is available for purchase.

The “from scratch” shines through in everything

“Everything is from scratch” is music to this foodie’s ears. Sam B’s skimps on nothing, and makes just about everything in house, right down to the mixed berry ice cream. They are known for great seafood, but offer a bit of everything on the almost overwhelming menu.

For the little ones 10 and under they offer meals for $5.95 and they include a drink as well as ice cream or chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Our delightful waitress let my middle one slide by on the kids’ menu and he really enjoyed their pasta with marinara and bread and butter. My youngest tried their macaroni and cheese with applesauce. He opted for the ice cream because our waitress let us know she couldn’t absolutely guarantee the cookie dough hadn’t been near nuts. She was on that before I could even ask! I love it when people realize how important it is for food allergies to be taken seriously.

I absolutely loved the chicken diplomat and scrumptious mashed potatoes. I just had to try it because I don’t recall ever seeing that on a menu, and I LOVE crab. It certainly was a winner. My daughter attempted the club sandwich but had to share a little with her brothers because it was quite large. The menu literally covers subs, sandwiches, burgers and moves on to various chicken, beef, and pasta dishes. “Our steaks are cut for us. We cut our filets in house,” Daum said. I also heard the eggplant parmesan is the owner’s mother’s recipe. Oh my, that is one of my favorites. It appears we’ll be heading over the river and down the highway once again before too long.

Bottom Line: Do yourself a favor. Venture out of town just a bit and experience something new and a change of scenery. Sam B’s in Bowling Green is great for a date night, or a family night out. You’ll find a nice atmosphere, even better food, and friendly service. While in the heart of downtown, plan for extra time to walk Main Street and enjoy the other shops as well.

Karen Zickes is a mom of three active
children and freelance writer who resides
in Holland, OH. She can be reached in
c/o editor@toledoparent.com 


Kid friendly: Yes

To avoid wait: Anytime

Noise level: Moderate

Bathroom amenities: Changing Station

High chairs? Yes

Got milk? Yes, as well as a variety of juice

Kids’ Menu? Yes, and dessert and drink are included

Allergies: They do not use peanut oil and very few nuts are used in anything they prepare. Let the waitress know in advance if you need the grills wiped down etc. They are happy to accommodate special needs.