The Ex-Neighbor works in the west Franklinton area; I work downtown. So when we were looking for a spot for lunch on Monday, we split the difference and picked Strongwater Food and Spirits. Located at 401 W. Town Street, just across the river from downtown, it’s about halfway between us.
Strongwater looks like it would be a good place for an adult beverage after work. It’s got an interesting interior space, with a large bar area and side rooms that in an Irish pub would be called snugs. You can imagine a lot of energy in the room on a crowded night.
As a lunch spot, Strongwater is a pretty strong choice, too. I had the excellent and huge Kick’n Chicken sandwich, which featured some very juicy, crunchy, tasty fried chicken with pepperjack cheese, spicy aioli, and pineapple salsa. All of the Strongwater sandwiches are served with a side of truffalo sauce that can be applied to either the sandwich or the sides (kettle chips or fries). I liberally applied it to both, and the result was some Kick’n Chicken that had a very pleasant mouth-warming zing.
The E-N went all in for the vegan reuben and said the seitan in the sandwich — chunky wheat gluten — that is made in-house had the same kind of bulk and consistency as meat. Of course, that’s the highest compliment that can possibly be paid to a vegan dish. I never thought I would say this about a non-meat offering, but his grilled sandwich did look pretty darned good, and the E-N wolfed down every bit of it.
Strongwater is one of the pioneering businesses that is helping to lead the renaissance of the east Franklinton area. It’s on the same block of brick industrial buildings as Dinin’ Hall and its neighboring art studios, just past the railroad overpass. On our visit the Ex-Neighbor and I also noticed The Land-Grant Brewing Co., a brewery and tap room, just across Town Street from Strongwater, and the Rehab Tavern down the block. East Franklinton looks to be heading in the right direction.