Over the weekend, my mother and I went to Steubenville, Ohio to visit my little brother, Alexzander, who is a broadcast journalism major at Franciscan University. For a late lunch, Alexzander suggested this small fish and chips place that “everyone on campus loves,” called Steve’s Fish and Chips, just 10 minutes away from campus in downtown Steubenville.
When he suggested Steve’s, we were with some of his other friends on campus, who agreed to try the eatry. Among these friends was Julianna Cornish, a theology major, who immediately suggested ordering fries/chips with whatever we decided to get because they were “seasoned differently” compared to other french fries at similar establishments.
When we walked in, there were no tables to sit and eat at–which ended up being okay in the long run. Steve’s had an atmosphere of getting you in and out with everything you needed, like a true carry-out establishment, without lacking service.
There were about five other people in the lobby, so it was pretty crowded given the size of the customer waiting area. But everyone was either already waiting for their food or didn’t take too much time to order, so we were next in line fairly quickly. The lady who took our order was kind and patient enough to answer all of our questions about what’s good here and how much we should order.
From cheeseburgers to chicken to lots of different fish (even frozen to fry up yourself), needless to say, there was a lot to choose from. We ended up ordering about $30 worth of food, which ended up being too much for the three of us to finish. My brother and mother ordered double cheeseburgers with sides of fries and I ordered the Shimp and Chicken combo, which came with coleslaw and a bread roll. In addition, we ordered five mac ‘n’ cheese bites and five jalapeño poppers, which came with cheddar and cream cheese sauces.
Our wait time for the food was a little over 10 minutes. We traveled back to the hotel my mother and I were staying at to have our late lunch. When we opened up our paper containers, the food was still very warm.
I immediately tried a mac ‘n’ cheese bite, since that was the most unique part of our meals. Unlike other bites I’ve had, these triangle-shaped, deep-fried bites were not messy when you took a bite and were no bigger than the palm of my hand. The mac ‘n’ cheese portion of it reminded me of Kraft brand, which felt familiar to me. These bites were entertaining, but it was missing something…perhaps more cheese. I didn’t regret ordering them, but I don’t think they were worth getting again.
The double cheeseburgers had a familiar tune as well. While Alexzander enjoyed his burger, which was something he ordered in past visits, my mother said hers “could’ve had more cheese on it” and it “wasn’t the best burger” she’s had.
The jalapeño poppers were something we enjoyed. Like the mac ‘n’ cheese bites, they were not messy to eat, which is always a plus for my mother and me. The popper’s coating was loose, making room for the popper so it didn’t fall out when we took a bite into it. As my mother said, “you just get your bite.” But growing up putting cayenne pepper on everything, we thought the poppers just provided a “gentle” spice, as Alexzander put it. It was nothing that would ruin your meal, just in case you only enjoyed a little heat.
My combo was the only true combo that included sides. The bites, poppers and fries were not included in any of our meals. I enjoyed both of the proteins I chose, which were shrimp and chicken. Both were breaded and fried well, but the chicken surprised me with the not-so-subtle amount of pepper added to every bite. This was a good surprise.
The one ounce amount of coleslaw that was included in my meal was creamier than not. It contained strains of cabbage and carrots with a touch of sweetness. I prefer my coleslaw less creamy. But my mother, who had a couple bites, loved it since it was more her preference of coleslaw. The dinner roll was just an offbrand dinner roll that you would buy when you first start buying your own groceries (or just have poor taste). Boring.
And finally, the fries, which got me excited to try Steve’s in the first place. Like Julianna mentioned, the fries did have a different element. But to me, I thought they were just lightly seasoned with just enough salt. I enjoy the crunchy fries–it adds stability since the inside of the fry is softer to begin with.
If you want soul food without getting too messy, Steve’s is your place. Though I still wipe my hands often, I loved the fact that I didn’t need to soak up grease running down my forearm. There were some elements of the meal that I enjoyed, like the chicken and fries. But overall, the meal wasn’t something to write home to about (something that I literally just did).