#febrewary import: Urban Artifact

#febrewary import: Urban Artifact

Since their beers haven’t made their way North before now, we thought you might like to meet some of the breweries behind the drafts. First up is Urban Artifact. We’ll be pouring their Maize Kentucky Common Ale as long as it’s flowing in Canton, Akron and North Olmsted.

FEBREWARY IS FOR BEER LOVERS

FEBREWARY IS FOR BEER LOVERS

This month, The RAIL is putting the BREW into FeBREWary.

We have imported four Ohio craft beers from Cincinnati for our fellow beer lovers. Yep, imported. We basically sent a friend down to Cincinnati to pick up 17 kegs of beer that wouldn’t otherwise be available up here in NE Ohio. We’ll be featuring the different brews at all 3 locations beginning Febrewary 1st until we run out.

60 Miles. 3 Days. 1 Kickin' Party.

60 Miles. 3 Days. 1 Kickin' Party.

Tickets are now on sale at The Rail at Summit Mall for our 4th annual benefit to raise funds for Akron's "Team Breast Man Walking" as they participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. And for those RAILavores not able to make the trek to Akron, both our Canton and North Olmsted locations will be donating a portion of their sales on Sunday, May 3rd to the benefit. So, eat up, drink up and help do something about breast cancer.

Bite me, I'm local.

Bite me, I'm local.

Local food advocacy group, Strolling the Heifers, released the results of the 3rd Annual Locavore Index last week. The index ranks the best (and worst) U.S. states for eating locally based on the # of farmers' markets, CSAs, food hubs and schools with farm-to-school programs.

Vermont takes the top spot for being the most convenient state when it comes to buying and eating locally grown and raised food. That's 3 years in a row for The Green Mountain State, although it leads us to wonder what portion of their total includes maple syrup products.

SPOILER ALERT: Ohio doesn't make the list of top 10 states; in fact, we come in toward the bottom at #37 (at least we're not Texas). But don't fret, you can still eat local as a RAILavore.

For the complete ranking, go to: http://www.strollingoftheheifers.com/locavoreindex/.

 

 

We're gonna RAIL Against Breast Cancer

RABClogo

FAIRLAWN, OH – The Rail is teaming up again with Akron natives Kathy & Lee Giller and Nancy Schrader for its third annual “Rail Against Breast Cancer”. This benefit will be held on Sunday, May 18th, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Rail in Fairlawn to raise funds for their team’s participation in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, a 60-mile walk to erase breast cancer. 

For the past seven years, the Gillers and Schrader have made it their mission to raise awareness and tens of thousands of dollars to find a cure for a dreadful disease that has hit too close to home more than once.

In 2005, Lee Giller was diagnosed with male breast cancer. After seven years of being cancer-free, Lee is now facing a recurrence. He is battling Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. And just three summers ago, Lee & Kathy’s then 28-year-old daughter, Pamela, was diagnosed.  

Kathy Giller, a relentless fundraiser and dedicated advocate in the fight against this disease, has partnered with The Rail owner, Mike Mariola to help raise critical dollars in finding a cure.

“My wife and I both have survivors in our family,” said Mariola. “We feel strongly about giving back to the local community, so we are thrilled at the opportunity to be involved.”  

Ticket holders for the “Rail Against Breast Cancer” event will enjoy an evening of live entertainment by Akron’s Swizzle Sticks Band, auction and raffle items, as well as The Rail’s locally-sourced burger sliders, signature milkshakes, Ohio craft beer tastings, locally distilled spirits and scrumptious house-made sides. 

Tickets for this private event are $75 per person and are not available at the door. The Rail will be closed to the general public for this special event. For advance reservations, please contact The Rail at 330-864-RAIL {7245}.

The Rail’s two new locations (Canton and North Olmsted) are also getting involved this year, donating all profits for the day of May 18th to the cause.   

Stronger beer, you say?

Stronger beer, you say?

JAFB - Wooster Brewery's Brewmaster Paul Fryman gives his two cents on proposed OH legislation to raise the ABV limit on beer.

Carnivores, meet Rail Beef

The Rail has been the topic of many conversations lately, which of course we love. Sometimes those conversations include not-quite-so-accurate details. So we thought it best to debunk a few myths we've heard lately.

1.      Rail beef is not raised on the owners' farm. They raise sheep and soccer players, in addition to fruits and vegetables.

2.     Owner Mike Mariola does not personally wrestle the beef to the ground at slaughter time.

 

So, what’s the deal with Rail Beef?

Rail beef is 100% Ohio sourced.  We serve patties that are a blend of fresh ground beef, it's absolutely never frozen.  Our patties are custom ground and formed by Blue Ribbon Meats in Cleveland, Ohio.  We get deliveries almost every day to ensure freshness and quality.

 

Local beef is important, and here is why:

-It tastes better:  Fresher food tastes better, period.

-It helps our local economy:  Ohio beef sales bring in over 500 million dollars a year to Ohio farms.  This money goes directly back into our local economy.

-It supports our farmers:  Buying beef locally helps support small farms all around Ohio and in Ohio, farming's kind of a big deal.

-Lower carbon footprint:  Food purchased from local sources has to travel shorter distances to the end user.  This helps reduce transportation and its associated carbon footprint.

-It makes us special:  We are proud to be one of only a handful of restaurants in the state that can say all of their beef comes only from Ohio farms! 

 

What do Rail Beef eat? Are they Grassfed?

Our beef comes from all over the State.  Ohio is home to thousands of beef farms ranging from small (less than 10 head of beef) to large (over 100 head of beef).  We are proud to say that the burgers that we purchase from Blue Ribbon Meats are 100% Ohio Sourced.  We believe that the closer you can be to your food source, the better. 

The American Grassfed Association defines grassfed animals as those that have eaten nothing but their mother’s milk and fresh grass or grass-type hay from birth to harvest – all their lives. Since our source is so broad (farms throughout the state), we cannot certify the diet. Although much of the beef that makes its way into our food chain is raised on pasture and eats primarily grass, some of the beef has a mixed diet that may include corn, corn silage, haylage, brewer’s grains (leftover grains from beer production – LOVE IT), vitamins and minerals, wheatlage and other mixtures based on specific diet goals, or based on the season (if you'll notice, there's not much grass on the ground in winter). So while Rail beef is not certified grassfed, it's also not what some refer to as "feedlot" beef.

Again, the most important factor of our beef is that it all comes from Ohio farms.

 

What is Source-Verified?

For beef to be source-verified it must meet strict guidelines, enforced by the USDA, that track each head of beef from birth to harvest.  This process requires detailed record keeping and audits.  When we opened the first Rail location, we had just one main source for our beef.  Due to the high volume of beef we now purchase, this system has changed to include farms across the state.  Source verification on such a large scale would be possible, but cost-prohibitive. The Rail beef is not source-verified; however, The Rail beef is 100% Ohio sourced!

 

Hand-Formed?

No more.  We started by hand forming our burgers.  Why?  The burgers retain a really nice loose texture, like the ones grandma would have cooked on the backyard grill.  This is the flavor and texture profile we are looking for.  The issue we had with hand-formed burgers is that they cooked very unevenly.  We ended up with baseball burgers, hockey puck burgers and ying yang burgers (rare on one half and well on the other).  Solution:  We worked with Blue Ribbon Meats to make a custom patty plate for their state-of-the-art patty machine.  Blue Ribbon was able to calibrate the machine to form our burgers with LOW compression, which gives us the nice fat (or phat) patties that stay loosy-juicy when they come off the grill. 

Cleveland & Pittsburgh Beer Lovechild

What could warm your heart more this winter than Cleveland and Pittsburgh collaborating on an exceptional craft beer to unite our cities? That's exactly what Buckeye Brewing Company and Rivertowne Brewing Company have done---and it's called the OH-PA Session Pale Ale.

And on Feb. 20th, you can taste and discuss it for yourself with the owner/brewer of Buckeye Brewing Co., Garin Wright, at the inaugural meeting of the North Olmsted Beer Exploration Society.

Catch up on the whole story.

A Not-So-Secret Society

A Not-So-Secret Society

Beer enthusiasts exploring local craft beer, one month at a time. In beer, we trust.

The RAIL Goes to Canton

THE RAIL TO OPEN 3rd LOCATION IN CANTON

CANTON, OH (Jan. 21, 2014): The Rail, a local burger bar from restaurateur Mike Mariola, is under construction on its third location in Canton at Belden Village Mall. The opening comes just 3 months after a successful opening in the Cleveland neighborhood of North Olmsted.

“Canton is a great community,” says Mariola. “And I think The Rail’s combination of an upscale, independent bar, foodie-inspired burgers and focus on Ohio craft beers will add something to the scene that isn’t currently there.”

Specializing in fresh burgers from a custom grind of 100% Ohio-sourced beef, The Rail offers a selection of traditional and inventive toppings---most of which are also locally sourced. Add in the old-school, hand-dipped milkshakes and impressive selection of Ohio craft beers and spirits, and one can understand why The Rail has built a local following to accompany its local fare.

“The architecture of the space speaks to a time when people knew where their food came from,” says Mariola. “And the design is intended to feel social; we want our guests to have fun and experience a sense of camaraderie with their friends, neighbors and, ultimately, local farmers.”

Adding up to 60 local jobs, the upcoming Canton location will be 1,000 square-feet larger than its popular Summit Mall counterpart. With 125 seats and an additional 20 on the patio, The Rail at Belden Village will also be pouring twice as many beers---24 Ohio craft beers will rotate seasonally, including brews from Thirsty Dog, Hoppin’ Frog, Ohio Brewing Co, JAFB Wooster Brewery, Buckeye Brewing, and The Brew Kettle. 

“We just want to celebrate beer with fellow beer lovers,” says Mariola. “Turns out there are quite a few of us in this state.”

The beer celebration goes one step further with The Rail’s Beer Exploration Society, a monthly beer class featuring a craft brewer or certified beer geek who leads a small group of eager explorers through a tasting of local brews and Rail food.

The Rail at Belden Village is slated to open March 1st, 2014 and will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. For more on The Rail, go to www.therailburger.com

-MORE-

Local chef-turned-restaurateur Mike Mariola’s restaurant experience goes much farther back than the Akron and Cleveland locations of The Rail. In 2002, after working with renowned Chefs Parker Bosley in Cleveland, Michele Richard in D.C. and Christian Constant in Paris, Mariola opened South Market Bistro, a critically acclaimed neighborhood bistro that specialized in preparing the freshest organic and locally grown ingredients available each season. He sold the bistro in 2011, 3 years after launching The City Square Steakhouse, a traditional Chicago-style steakhouse in downtown Wooster. Mariola still owns and operates the steakhouse today.

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To schedule interviews or for more information please contact Kathleen Haley at 440-655-8647 or khaley@idology.biz

"North Olmsted is already a hot-spot"

Cleveland.com contributor Cathy Phillips and her Scoop du Jour team stopped by The Rail at Great Northern to taste the buzz for themselves. We're happy with the glowing assessment, "The Rail burgers make the cut for taste, quality and farm-to-table freshness."

Read the whole shebang here.

North Olmsted is On

Our North Olmsted spot opened Monday, 12/9 at Great Northern Mall and so far, so great. We practiced all weekend on friends, family and neighbors in anticipation. Burgers, beers and shakes were consumed in masses, and we're ready for more. 

A heavenly view. (TMC News photo)

A heavenly view. (TMC News photo)

Our first review came in from blogger TMC News and it seems we have a new fan. Read it for yourself here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.585845454797933.1073741864.112922588756891&type=1

The RAIL Comes to Cleveland

therail_northolmsted.jpg

9/25 THE RAIL TO OPEN RESTAURANT IN CLEVELAND

NORTH OLMSTED, OH (2013): The Rail, a local burger bar from chef-turned-restaurateur Mike Mariola, has started construction on its second location in North Olmsted at the newly renovated Great Northern Mall.

Specializing in ½-lb burgers from a custom grind of 100% source-verified Ohio beef, The Rail offers a selection of traditional and inventive toppings—-most of which are also locally sourced. Add in the old-school, hand-dipped milkshakes and impressive selection of Ohio craft beers and spirits, and one can understand why The Rail has built a local following to accompany its local fare.

“The architecture of the space speaks to a time when people knew where their food came from,” says Mariola. “And the design is intended to feel social; we want our guests to have fun and experience a sense of camaraderie with their friends, neighbors and, ultimately, local farmers.”

Adding up to 50 local jobs, the upcoming North Olmsted location will be almost double the size of its popular Akron counterpart. With 140 seats and an additional 20 on the covered patio, The Rail at Great Northern will also be pouring twice as many beers—-two dozen Ohio craft beers will rotate seasonally, including brews from Fat Head’s, Thirsty Dog, Buckeye Brewing, The Brew Kettle, Ohio Brewing Co, and Great Lakes. 

“We just want to celebrate beer with fellow beer lovers,” says Mariola. “Turns out there are quite a few of us in this state.”

The Rail at Great Northern is slated to open December 1st, 2013 and will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. For more on The Rail, go to www.therailburger.com

Local chef and restaurateur Mike Mariola’s restaurant experience goes much deeper than the two locations of The Rail. In 2002, after working with renowned Chefs Parker Bosley in Cleveland, Michele Richard in D.C. and Christian Constant in Paris, Mariola opened South Market Bistro, a critically acclaimed neighborhood bistro that specialized in preparing the freshest organic and locally grown ingredients available each season. He sold the bistro in 2011, 3 years after launching The City Square Steakhouse, a traditional Chicago-style steakhouse in downtown Wooster. Mariola still owns and operates the steakhouse.

###

To schedule interviews or for more information please contact Kathleen Haley at 440-655-8647 or khaley@idology.biz