One of my favorite Twitter hashtags is #firstworldproblems. For the Twitter uninitiated, it’s typically used when someone is complaining about bourgeois or tedious day-to-day issues that are not actually problems, a self-effacing nod to having the good life. So when I say that I needed a vacation from my vacation, I hereby acknowledge the ridiculousness of the statement. Nonetheless, it was true. After ten days of non-stop travel (during half of those one or both of us were sick), Ben and I needed a way to recover from our trip to London. We needed to rest. Luckily, I’d anticipated this happening, and booked a weekend stay at the Inn at Cedar Falls for the weekend after we’d return home.
This? It’s the opposite of the near panic attack I had on an over-crowded, over-heated Picadilly line where I accidentally stepped on a woman’s foot before hitting her head with my bag. And, happily, it’s only about an hour and a half from my house. In recent experiences, a trip to the destinations within the Hocking Hills of Southeast Ohio can seem like a trip to Disney World, with lines of crying children and gossipy octogenarians. And to be honest, Cedar Falls (which incidentally, has no cedars nearby), was no different.
The rest and relaxation came in form of the Inn. Thanks to a generous gift card from Ben’s grandparents, our two evenings in one of the cottages were completely comped, allowing us to splurge at the restaurant across the street.
Of all of our meals at the restaurant — five in total — our Friday night dinner was my favorite. I’ve known Chef Schulz for several years, through cooking classes with my day job, and was excited to try his seasonal and local selections on his own turf. Roasted chicken is not a flashy dish; in truth, it’s one of the first things I learned to make. But his was memorable, even months later. A mixed rice blend and chopped root veggies enveloped by citrusy and buttery chicken broth gave the dish multiple flavors and textures. I literally sucked the final bits of chicken off the bone and by the end of my devouring the dish, there was just bread to soak up the rosemary-kissed juices.
Ben’s filet was just as good. In fact, it caused fights. (Not very relaxing, but fun, nonetheless.) I wanted another bite and he refused me. I joked with our server about ordering this dish for dessert, and seriously considered doing so. (I think the fact that the chef knew me caused me to refrain from this decadence.) Ben announced that it was the best steak that he can ever remember having.
Both breakfasts featured a special (usually a baked dish that could be easily kept warm and served to many guests), a granola bar and meaty side dishes. Our server was also pushing some of the Inn’s homemade muffins, which had an orange-flavored overtone to them. It may be a controversial topic, but I’m not into orange baked goods. The second morning I skipped them all together. As a whole the breakfast was nice — and a million times better than I’ve had at a hotel.
Our other meals were solid, as well, and it was clear we weren’t being served straight-from-the-distributor foodstuffs. At lunch, the tomato soup actually contained traces of tomato, the potato salad had potato skins.
And although our favorite dishes were primarily meat-centric, a chickpea-based appetizer (served with saffron aioli) showed creativity and a willingness to experiment with flavors outside of generic steakhouse finds.
After a weekend with a Jacuzzi, a massage, homemade granola, decadent dinners, woodsy views and no cell phone coverage, we had a new first world problem: we didn’t want to go home.
Inn at Cedar Falls
21190 State Route 374
Logan ,Ohio 43138