Heather Crow’s voice weakened and she sounded like she was going to cry as she talked about the connection she had with the clients of The Crow’s Nest Dinner.
She mentioned the customer waiting in the parking lot for the restaurant to open for breakfast. And the customer who moved to Perry Township, but still visits the restaurant regularly. Others come from Louisville or Green.
These are just a few of the examples Crow has given of clients she cherishes and appreciates.
“When I think about it, it gasps me,” she admitted. “These people are the whole reason I fight every day. This restaurant is a family community where everyone knows each other. They always want to know more about my daughters; they want to know the families of the other waitresses.
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“I have a smile on my face and I’m ready to go thanks to what they are doing for us.”
Known for its breakfast casseroles, homemade meatloaf sandwich and other menu items, The Crow’s Nest Diner also continues a family tradition in the restaurant business.
Crow’s parents, Rick and Melinda Haas, previously owned and operated Susanna’s at the same location at 707 S Main Street in North Township.
“They actually wanted to retire, so my husband (Joshua) and I bought the restaurant,” Crow said.
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“Thank God for them,” the girl said. “I would not have survived (the pandemic) without them. They helped me with so many things. My parents are here from Tuesday to Friday, every morning. They make my days go by.
During a fun and lively phone interview, Crow explained her love for her customers and why her mother’s recipes are so popular and tasty.
Q. What time do you arrive at the restaurant to prepare breakfast?
A. “We’re usually here at a quarter to five in the morning getting everything ready and ready to go. We open at 7, a cook and I open the front of the house and the back too.
Q. How difficult was it to open the restaurant two years ago, just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic?
A. “We had 10 weeks and then COVID came along so a lot of people didn’t really know we were here. So it was a difficult start.
“But then we realized what a great community we have. Our community made sure we were taken care of. We have customers who won’t miss a day. Even rain or shine, just to make sure we’re taken care of.
Q. Who helps you run the restaurant?
A. “My mother and my father, they are here with me. Since the pandemic, my family has arrived (including my sister and my uncle). »
“We call my dad the socializer. All the guys that come in and sit at the counter, they love talking to my dad. They wait for my dad in the morning, and my dad comes out and talks to them.
“All the cooks and servers, they’re the ones that keep this place going. If it wasn’t for their food and whatever comes out of here, it wouldn’t stay open. I tell them all the time how much I appreciate them.
“You really need all the space for it to work well. … We have mom. She makes all the recipes. She helps me with recipes in the morning. All the waitresses we have here, they are so friendly. They just make people happy and want to come back.
Q. Tell me about the food.
A. “We have buckwheat pancakes. My mother, she has the best recipes. She makes these casseroles (which sell on weekends). We have quadrupled the lots, but they still sell out at 9:30 or 10. They are to die for.
“French toast casseroles. We have different ones every week. Everyone loves the one with blueberries and lemon; it has a cinnamon streusel topping on it. It’s like a lemon meringue all the way through. She finished the apple; she made peaches of it.
“And then we have some great dishes like our meatloaf sandwich. (Customers) tell me there’s no meatloaf they’ve tasted like my mom’s. She has something special she adds to her meatloaf that I haven’t seen anywhere else. … People say it makes your mouth water when you smell it in the kitchen.
“Everyone also comes for their soups. She makes the best soups (including cheeseburger and lasagna soups). And she makes chicken noodles. It’s the flavor and the seasonings she puts in it. My mother is one of those who do not measure; she tries it, and that’s how she likes the taste.
Q. Do you change the menu or offer specials?
A. “We are mostly like comfort food. During the week the crowd comes in and they know what they want…but we have a younger crowd that comes on the weekends, and they are more willing to try different recipes than we do.