Hail to the chef, The Cricket Inn on Rt 322 between the Marianne Estates and Shippenville PA is a great soup-and-sandwich shop. For the old timers, it’s where Judy’s Motel once stood, that later became The Keg & Crate, and then burned down. The Cricket is in a section of the old motel, with bright yellow doors.
Dave Woolslayer, graduate of Clarion University and Community College of Allegheny County, opened last June, and keeps hours 7 to 7, Tuesday through Saturday. You can order takeout at 782-3355, but you will miss the fun of eating in. The decor has a little bit of everything for a friendly, funny atmosphere. Just when have you dined under Picasso’s Guernica? Never, I bet. If you plan ahead, he does cakes and pies to order.
I can personally attest to the tasty Crabby Club that could hold its own on the East coast. I also enjoyed the Grilled Meatloaf sandwich on dark, marble bread with spicy Dijon mustard. I have had three of his own soups: Potato, Ham & Pea, and Mulligatawny, each excellent.
If you really plan ahead you can order the Cricket Special. The organic, cage free crickets are shipped live, dipped in a very light batter, then lowered into hot oil with an Asian strainer for less than a minute. I am not allowed to say how he lifts the fragile cluster out of the strainer on to paper towels and then to an arranged bed of fancy lettuce on a presentation plate, dressed with drizzled pomegranate sauce. If there are crickets separate from the cluster, they are arranged as though guarding the cluster.
If you like to eat in local spots where you know who does the cooking and serving, you can talk to the big one who brings your minus because the big one is Dave. Charles Marlin