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C-bus, yes that's what the "kids" call it these days. Anyway in keeping with Don's request and since it's fun to add a new topic, I'll describe my 3 recent MEALS here in the great Buckeye city as I'm home for the month...

Sedeo Cafe (Is also reviewed in the May issue of Columbus Monthly for those that care).
45 seat restaurant with a little bar off to the side, warm and modern decor, top-notch service by an endearing young man who hails from Germany, and our wonderful chef (my sister's fiance) was alas only around for a few nights filling in until the "real/new" chef takes over, our temporary chef was a substitute since the "old chef" was gone...yet "old chef's" picture was still on every tables 'postcard.'
On to food and wine...
A round of procesco for the 3 ladies, compliments of the house, and a mixture of brioche, breadsticks, crisp pita? and somthing else... (could have ordered some tapenades but didn't).
Amuse Bouche - tropical gazpacho on silver spoons, a perfect start
Small Plate - 2-3 oz of seared Halibut, Haricot Vert citrus salad, lemon caper beurre blanc (didn't remeber many capers, which is good), with the spark of the dish, french lentils, which were braised with bacon or something similar...the halibut just melted with the sauce. This was paired with a California chard, "Artesa" from Carneros Vinyard, C. Valley.
Greens Truffled Beef Tartare (2) with Blue Cheese and date stuffed belguim endive (2), the tartare was over watermelon, and the balsamic drizzle was light - there's not much they could have done wrong here, and everything was just right. Paired with "Vina Borgia,Grenache, Spain DOC"Our regularly scheduled 3 courses was interupted by the following:
A large shared plate of sesme seared rare ahi tuna - this fish was FREEESSSHH! simple yet stunning; to look at and to eat. And then again with a plate each of 'port wine gastrique duck breast', braised scallions, mango and endive, the duck was stellar and as I was a few glasses of wine in, I tried to save up for the main course...
Land Rack of Lamb with Spinach and & Roasted Tomatoes wrapped in puff pastry. Now I normally do not like lamb and had substituted the filet (or so I thought - because my sister took the last one of the night when she ordered.) but the future brother in-law wisely took the helm and split the last plate of lamb (4 pieces of which we ate a total 1 and ½) and I decided I actually do like lamb (apparently if you prep lamb a certain way it doesn't get that offish flavor?.. anyway) and of course my sister was thrilled, she loves the stuff. That was paired with “Wynn’s Cabernet Savignon” from Australia.
Satisfied out of our mind, we were trying to forgo any dessert, but a small plate of fried plantains made its way out, and while I passed, and my sister was enjoying them, I had a lovely glass of Merryvale Antigua Muskat from Napa Valley, liquid dessert for me...
Obviously, there will be a different chef when you go but if you ever find yourself in Columbus make a trip up, for a $55 3 course meal with wine pairing, you’ll forget you're in the cornfields, and will enjoy the excellent atmosphere, service, food and wine.
Website is www.sedeocafe.com, but no menu, pretty sure it changes a lot.

Martini's
This really is a great place for light food and wine before the “big night out” in the Arena District of Columbus. The bartenders were great and very friendly guys, but pros (when one friend spilled the last ¼ of her 1st glass of red trying to get her lip gloss, it was refilled to the top immediately). I'd so rather eat at the bar then at tables, and luckily tables weren't available so no arguing with the girlfriends, who haven't gotten the “eat at the bar” thing yet.
Anyway it really is about the atmosphere here, but the $5 salads were good, filling, if not amazing, but good. One was an Italian wedge (sun-dried tomato gorgz dress, egg, pancetta, red onion, toms.) I had the “Martini” salad, sun dried toms, gorgz, pine nuts, and balsamic dress.) Our friend had a side of mashed for her dinner (don't ask.) I also had figs wrapped with pancetta with gorgz and port wine reduction. Honestly I've made better myself, but I also stuffed the figs with the cheese and it was on the side here. I would not get it again, but wasn't a total loss.
The wine was appropriate, “mashed pot dinner friend” ordered a (few) sweet Rieslings, I had a Pine Fin (stoli doli essent.) and Sterling merlot (tried to sell me the A-Z Pinot with the figs, but no go for me.) And while the bartender didn't second my recommendation of the Nebiollo, because it didn't offer much flavor, my friend really liked it, sometimes you just know your friends, and light was they way to go.
I would go back in a heartbeat, and that's probably why not only this restaurant but all the Cameron Mitchell's do well, great friendly, professional service, with reliable food and the right atmosphere can be a good thing. They aren't the best of the culinary world, but they aren't the Olive Garden either (yeah “mashed pot dinner friend” did suggest that, love her, love her).

Wildflower Cafe
Little Diner off of Indianola near "The Ohio State University" and Clintonville neighborhood. Cute little place with maybe 20 tables and the line was going all morning but only took 15mins to sit. Wonderful Sunday brunch the eggs benedict had one of the fluffiest hollandaise sauces I've had, and must have been made in house properly. If you are in Columbus and need to recharge, stop in here for a local favorite that beats "Bob Evans" the unfortunate other local favorite out of the park! This was my first time there but a fav of my Dad's who lives near by.

I'm hoping to get to the Refectory the oldest and "fanciest" spot in columbus before I leave so look for more soon...

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Thanks for the update. I make it back once or twice a year for games, so it is good to know whats good and new. Last year we wandered into the Rossi and found a great little bar with pretty good food. Much better than the standard pub grub.

IIRC, I had a lamb chop special that was quite nice. The Rossi is in the short north area. Reservations

helpful, IIRC. You could also sit at the bar.

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Although not on the high-end of the dining spectrum, Thurman Café (183 Thurman Avenue) does have pretty decent burgers. Located in German Village, this place boasts about the secret ingredient in its burgers. And, the burgers are HUGE: 3/4 pounds. I wisely asked for a to-go box to be delivered with my burger; half of the burger was immediately wrapped.

I ordered the bacon cheeseburger because it was one of the few burgers that came with onion straws, rather than chips. (They did offer hand-cut fries; maybe on my next visit.) The bacon was generous. My only complaint: the tomato was so under-ripe, despite good color; I couldn't cut it with a knife. I didn't expect too much from the onion straws and I wasn't disappointed: slightly greasy albeit tasty. Also on the menu: subs, pizza and Buffalo chicken wings. Although no one ordered the sub or pizza while we were there, the chicken wings were delivered in a 5-quart steel pail.

The place is quite small, but has a funky - maybe eclectic - atmosphere: there are signed dollar bills on the wall; wine is served in single-serve bottles; and they have only one dessert - some sort of brownie thing - that's listed on the appetizer table menu.

Two burgers and two single-serve bottles of wine came to $26.

Lemongrass (641 N High St; Short North) was a total disappointment. We started with the Crab Cakes (made with "real" crabmeat and grilled salmon, accompanied with a mint wasabi sauce) and the Seafood Rangoon (fried house-made noodles filled with "real" crabmeat, shrimp, green onion and cream cheese served with sweet and sour sauce). It worried me a bit that they placed an emphasis on "real" crabmeat. Uhm, what restaurant would advertise "fake" crabmeat? Wouldn't they at least call it surimi? It sounds so much more exotic.

The Monsoon Beef (beef wok-fried with lime juice, lemongrass, coconut milk, and chili paste, served over a bed of green beans), although wonderfully described, it wasn't anything to write home about; I only knew the dish contained curry because it was described on the menu. The other dish was so unexciting that I've forgotten what it was.

I had Zucchini Shrimp (sautéed zucchini, basil, and green chili paste in coconut milk with grilled shrimp served over a bed of angel hair rice pasta). Both the pasta and the zucchini were over cooked. Oh come on! It takes no more than three minutes - tops! [ to cook both. Although the shrimps were tasty, the curry wasn't as "hot" as I would like. (I much prefer the same dish at Haiku: not only is it plentiful; the curry actually packs a punch.)

We decided that either (1) the chef left the kitchen in incapable hands or (2) it was near closing time and the kitchen just didn't care. I asked that our concerns be relayed to the manager who, surprisingly, had left for the evening.

For me a good breakfast depends on lots of caffeine and carbohydrates. What can I say: I'm not picky and I'm a cheap breakfast date. MoJoe (600 N High St; Short North) and Old Mohawk (821 Mohawk St; German Village) both fit the bill (despite the fact that the only non-herbal tea served at Mohawk was Lipton's). At Mohawk, the kid's egg breakfast (two scrambled eggs, cheese, bacon, and a English muffin) was more than enough. We also had a kid's pancake breakfast which was enough for two people to share. Only complaint: the thick syrup came packaged in individual serving packs, rather than warmed or thinned.

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;) It saddens me to say that I have to completely agree with every word about Lemongrass - worse than a consistently bad restaurant, which I avoid, is one with inconsistently good food. Don't get me wrong, I love surprises, but not when I pay for a dining experience. I'd much rather know that the meal is going to be bad and simply avoid the agony of a largely forgettable meal than "to hope for the best" with a dear family member who is a complete "foodie." I am so very sorry for that meal and the greater sadness is that Lemongrass has become undependable and avoidable. :)

ETA: This was posted by my quasi-BIL, Patrick, under my name; I guess I didn't log out of his computer. :P

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Old Mohawk (821 Mohawk St; German Village)

The Mother Mohawk sandwich is one of the few food items from my few years in Columbus that I really miss. Roast beef, chicken salad and horseradish sauce on toast. It may not sound like a combination that works, but trust me on this one.

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Preparing for annual pilgramage to Columbus: any Thurman competitor I should check out? How's Dublin Village? Any suggestions for "light food and wine before the "big night out" in the Arena District"? Are Sedeo and Martini's still holding strong?

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Preparing for annual pilgramage to Columbus: any Thurman competitor I should check out? How's Dublin Village? Any suggestions for "light food and wine before the "big night out" in the Arena District"? Are Sedeo and Martini's still holding strong?

 

Have you been to Basi Italia? If you have good weather, they have a nice back yard patio garden where you can dine. I can't remember details, but I had a very nice light meal here the last time I was in town.

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Anybody familiar with the chili parlors of Cincinnati? I'll be there with family for one night later this week and figure I should try either Skyline or Gold Star. I know both are chains but are they like Clyde's chains or are they more like Denny's? Are some locations better than others? I'll be staying just across the river in Kentucky if that helps.

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Anybody familiar with the chili parlors of Cincinnati? I'll be there with family for one night later this week and figure I should try either Skyline or Gold Star. I know both are chains but are they like Clyde's chains or are they more like Denny's? Are some locations better than others? I'll be staying just across the river in Kentucky if that helps.

 

More like Denny's. I believe Gold Star is even well-represented on the Louisville side of the river. Personally, I found GS to be nothing to write home about; my Cincinnati-native better half prefers Skyline as well.

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Need good, high-quality, ultra-casual, semi-healthy, cheap eats in Columbus - can someone cull from upthread and recommend (preferably in the next few hours?) Thanks! Rocks

The Columbus dining magazine Crave says there is a strong base of Somali immigrants living in Columbus. I have never been to Columbus, or had Somali food for that matter, but the places mentioned in this article seem casual, healthy, and cheap. The pictures and descriptions certainly make this cuisine sound appealing to me. Might be worth risking one meal on. Of course, the no alcohol rule would probably limit this to a lunch only visit for me. :P

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Pretty much everything on campus is going to be what you expect. Shitty to middling beer, and food that mostly isn't made in-house. If you're staying there, go north on High st to get some good BBQ at the Pink Pig. Again, I'm not sure if the beer selection there is decent. One of my favorite places to go in Columbus is off of Bethel, called Tea Zone. Great tea, good udon and food, and some really cool pastries, all made in-house, great prices. That's the one place where I'll stop every time I'm out there, so there's your best bet for your "good, high-quality, ultra casual, semi-healthy, cheap" request. The one upscale place there where I'd recommend is actually just down the road from there, called The Refectory. It's not necessarily on par with food of the same style out here, but it's generally executed well and tastes good.

Oh, shit. And Hounddog's. Pretty much a Columbus institution. Good pizza, surly waitresses, all kinds of characters there, especially at later hours. Which is the best time to go, obviously.

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Oh, and not really a food spot as much as a coffee place, I've heard great things about Kafe Kerouac (yes, yes, I have no idea why they used two K's either). Also on High st, in the north campus area. Seems like a great spot to generally go and chill.

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Need good, high-quality, ultra-casual, semi-healthy, cheap eats in Columbus - can someone cull from upthread and recommend (preferably in the next few hours?) Thanks! Rocks

I ate at Till about 3 weeks ago. Local food, organic, vegetarian and vegan options, plus meat too. Local drinks, too. http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/33/1648785/restaurant/University-District/Till-Columbus

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Pretty much everything on campus is going to be what you expect. Shitty to middling beer, and food that mostly isn't made in-house. If you're staying there, go north on High st to get some good BBQ at the Pink Pig. Again, I'm not sure if the beer selection there is decent. One of my favorite places to go in Columbus is off of Bethel, called Tea Zone. Great tea, good udon and food, and some really cool pastries, all made in-house, great prices. That's the one place where I'll stop every time I'm out there, so there's your best bet for your "good, high-quality, ultra casual, semi-healthy, cheap" request. The one upscale place there where I'd recommend is actually just down the road from there, called The Refectory. It's not necessarily on par with food of the same style out here, but it's generally executed well and tastes good.

Oh, shit. And Hounddog's. Pretty much a Columbus institution. Good pizza, surly waitresses, all kinds of characters there, especially at later hours. Which is the best time to go, obviously.

No advice but I drove through Columbus 2 hours ago. Stopped further west as we are heading to St.L tomorrow.

(I would find a Steak and Shake and screw healthy eating. I saw a number of signs from 70 for them. )

Oh, and not really a food spot as much as a coffee place, I've heard great things about Kafe Kerouac (yes, yes, I have no idea why they used two K's either). Also on High st, in the north campus area. Seems like a great spot to generally go and chill.

I ate at Till about 3 weeks ago. Local food, organic, vegetarian and vegan options, plus meat too. Local drinks, too. http://www.urbanspoo...t/Till-Columbus

I really appreciate these responses. I was thinking long and hard about Hound Dog's, but boy did it look sketchy on paper. I ended up at Bodega Cafe thanks to this Tweet by Seth Gitter, and had that processed food (albeit with locally baked, quality bread) that Arcturus warned me about (in an extremely busy, extremely loud restaurant frequented mostly by people in their twenties in t-shirts and shorts) ... but they had a *great* beer program, and I mean great. I got to try a couple of regional brews from Columbus and North Olmstead that I'd never seen before, so if you're a beer lover, then Bodega Cafe is for you. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write - I know from experience that your guidance will be used by others in the future. Cheers, Rocks

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If anyone is going to be in/near Columbus, please PM me. I spend the "and ohio" part of my life in Columbus. Been here 21 years. We are up and coming as a dining town, and returning to our roots as a brewing town. YUM! Much fun to be had here.

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Headed to Columbus in 2 weeks to take my dog to OSU for some medical procedures. A friend is driving up from Cincinnati Monday morning to have brunch or lunch with me. Wondering if anyone has good suggestions. In theory I'd like to not venture far from OSU in case something comes up, but I may change my mind about that (most likely won't need to pick him up until at least 3). We've also talked about visiting the zoo for a few hours if the weather cooperates, but I really haven't gotten far with that.

I'm arriving Sunday evening and may be in need of a place to get something to take back to my hotel room if there's anything worthwhile where I could do that. Thinking a solid burger would do it as I try to eat paleo and can always just avoid the bun. May actually have to investigate steak & shake - assuming it's a fast food burger joint similar to The Shake Shack, Spike's place, etc.?

Will also check out some of the suggestions that Don received above.

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Headed to Columbus in 2 weeks to take my dog to OSU for some medical procedures. A friend is driving up from Cincinnati Monday morning to have brunch or lunch with me. Wondering if anyone has good suggestions. In theory I'd like to not venture far from OSU in case something comes up, but I may change my mind about that (most likely won't need to pick him up until at least 3). We've also talked about visiting the zoo for a few hours if the weather cooperates, but I really haven't gotten far with that.

I'm arriving Sunday evening and may be in need of a place to get something to take back to my hotel room if there's anything worthwhile where I could do that. Thinking a solid burger would do it as I try to eat paleo and can always just avoid the bun. May actually have to investigate steak & shake - assuming it's a fast food burger joint similar to The Shake Shack, Spike's place, etc.?

Will also check out some of the suggestions that Don received above.

 

I just sent you a PM. Happy to advise. Zoo is pretty far away and not enjoyable if weather is really bad. Plenty of solid burger options without resorting to Steak and Shake. Easier to advise if I know where you are staying.

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I just sent you a PM. Happy to advise. Zoo is pretty far away and not enjoyable if weather is really bad. Plenty of solid burger options without resorting to Steak and Shake. Easier to advise if I know where you are staying.

 

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. :) I'm booked at the Red Roof Inn on Ackerman.

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Thanks in advance for your suggestions. :) I'm booked at the Red Roof Inn on Ackerman.

 

OK. You are North of main campus and north and east of the vet school. You are not in a premier dining area but also not far from lots of options. if you go south on Ackerman and then turn right on Lane, going west, there is a great divey pho place in a former Taco Bell, a very decent option in La Chatelaine (at dinner it is a sweet and reasonably priced french bistro, not as noisy and hectic as lunch), and a nice wine bistro. They are all on the north side of Lane, not more than 10 minutes from your hotel.

Good burgers at Graffiti Burger in Grandview on 5th avenue not far from where you are. Better than steak and shake. More upscale good burgers at Third and Hollywood, just a few blocks from Graffiti burger.

From where you are I can direct you to all sorts of things...so let me know what interests you.

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Thanks! It sounds like from what you've said already that I have a good selection to choose from for dinner when I get in. My main concern is brunch on Monday - the place doesn't necessarily need to be super close to my hotel although I don't want to drive great lengths (maybe within 15-20 min or so is reasonable), I'm just looking for something tasty that makes their food in house and if I had my best case scenario sources their food locally.

Also, I've realized that I have to drop Zuri off at 7:30 am so I will have a couple of hours to kill before I meet my friend so a place that serves high quality coffee (wifi is an added bonus) that is nearby and open that early would be a huge plus.

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Thanks! It sounds like from what you've said already that I have a good selection to choose from for dinner when I get in. My main concern is brunch on Monday - the place doesn't necessarily need to be super close to my hotel although I don't want to drive great lengths (maybe within 15-20 min or so is reasonable), I'm just looking for something tasty that makes their food in house and if I had my best case scenario sources their food locally.

Also, I've realized that I have to drop Zuri off at 7:30 am so I will have a couple of hours to kill before I meet my friend so a place that serves high quality coffee (wifi is an added bonus) that is nearby and open that early would be a huge plus.

Breakfast/brunch spots: deNovo (downtown, so maybe too far to drive, but a cool place), Mojo on High Street in the Short North (not the downtown location), Cafe Apropros on Third at Michigan in Harrison West, Northstar Cafe (High street in the Short North). None of these are very far. All have decent Coffee. Northstar has pretty good ingredient ethics.

Another option would be for you to go to the North Market, which is very interesting in its own right, located at the southern edge of the Short North, just above downtown. You can get good coffee or tea, peruse the vendors, get a pastry or other snack. Lots of seating area upstairs (if you don't see the stairway, just ask - the layout can be un-obvious).

La Chatelaine, recommended for dinner, also is a good breakfast/brunch place. Excellent pastries, made in-house, with high standards.

More hidden, but not hard to find, and worth the effort, is Tasi just off High Street in the Short North. Breakfast, pastries, coffee...very good sourcing and ingredients. Just be sure to park at a meter or in a space marked for Tasi because you will be ticketed for illegal parking.

So, lots of options within 15 minutes. Google to see what entices you. Good luck! The vet school here has a wonderful reputation and I know they will do the best they can for any creature.

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Thank you! The North Market sounds like just my sort of thing, might be a good place to start my morning while I wait for my friend. I will check out the places you recommended.

Sidebar - OSU has an amazing greyhound health & wellness program, but on top of that, one of the vets I used to see periodically here and who was the primary vet for my greyhounds rescue group is now at OSU. I'm taking my male grey in for a dental and a little lump removal that she will do. Some would probably find it ridiculous that I'm driving all the way up there for that, but it ends up saving me money and he will get better care, plus I can stop and see family in Pgh on the way and check out a city I've never really had a chance to explore. End sidebar. :P

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Thank you! The North Market sounds like just my sort of thing, might be a good place to start my morning while I wait for my friend. I will check out the places you recommended.

   
Oh, no. I just realized that North Market is CLOSED on Mondays. Sorry. Don't want you to head there and be denied. Northstar, Mojo, Cafe Apropros, Stauff's Coffee (5th avenue in Grandview, very good coffee)... there's also a Cup O' Joe in the Lennox Center (very close to you...ask for directions to the Target and look for the Giant coffee cup). All have wifi (I speak from experience). If you want an OSU campus experience, you can pay to park next to the Ohio Union, get coffee, breakfast, use the wifi and people watch.

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I'm spending a few days in Granville, Ohio in a few weeks. Anyone have tips on (a) places to stay, either in Granville or Columbus or somewhere else within an easy (up to 45 minute) drive of Granville, (B) places to eat (same geographic restrictions), and © things to do? I'll have a decent amount of downtime and would love to explore. Thanks!

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I'm spending a few days in Granville, Ohio in a few weeks. Anyone have tips on (a) places to stay, either in Granville or Columbus or somewhere else within an easy (up to 45 minute) drive of Granville, ( B) places to eat (same geographic restrictions), and © things to do? I'll have a decent amount of downtime and would love to explore. Thanks!

Given that Columbus is the home of OSU, and a *huge* college town, there are an enormous amount of bad, truly bad, restaurants. Matt and I stayed in Columbus on the way to Indianapolis last summer, and through extensive last-minute research, we found a good, fun, restaurant with an excellent beer selection. I'm not sure how much you like craft beers, but the midwest is really great for breweries - it has an explosive, young population, and is developing a substantive beer culture rather quickly (it is very, very sticky and time-consuming for a region to develop a wine culture, and it surely hasn't happened yet in Columbus).

We took a pretty big chance on Bodega because it's right there, ground zero (or one-step removed from ground zero) for OSU students, but it was a definite hit. There was nothing special here, but we both had really good sandwiches, and they may have been the Shrimp Po Boys with chips, not fries - and I say this with trepidation to a NoLa export. It's a very loud, early 20's college restaurant that's only a small step up from being a college bar.

If you go, don't try too much culinary exploration - stick with a good sandwich, and by all means, study the breweries before you go, and then get a beer from cask if they have one. There will be no thrilling surprises here, but if you play your cards right, you'll walk out nodding your head in admiration of having had a good time.

Oh! I didn't realize I had posted this last summer. I won't edit either post - see if they both match up (I trust my memory much more at the moment than I do now).

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This likely will never, ever help anyone, but what the hell.

About ten years ago I was on a project in Dublin for a month. We often went to this small stretch of old town and there were several pretty good restaurants down there. The best part about these places is that they were only allowed to charge $5 more per bottle of wine than they paid for it. Whether that is still the case or not, I don't know, but it was pretty sweet.

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This likely will never, ever help anyone, but what the hell.

About ten years ago I was on a project in Dublin for a month. We often went to this small stretch of old town and there were several pretty good restaurants down there. The best part about these places is that they were only allowed to charge $5 more per bottle of wine than they paid for it. Whether that is still the case or not, I don't know, but it was pretty sweet.

That strip has grown up quite a bit. But Dublin is quite a haul from Granville and parts of Columbus. I don't know if the pricing still applies. The last time I had wine in one of those places I paid standard by the glass prices (standard for Columbus).

For anyone near downtown or campus during happy hour...there's a restaurant on High Street in the southern end of the Short North (is that confusing!) called Deepwood. Chef driven, seasonal, local sourcing, etc. The place has been in construction zone hell for many months due to building renovation next door, with scaffolding obscuring the front door and windows. Anyway, at the bar, during HH, bottles of wine are retail priced....which here is about 1/3 discount off the regular menu price.

We have had some wonderful bottles here. There is a great bar menu, but you can order off the regular menu, too. The bar menu is innovative and changes frequently, and comes with a great bread basket. It's one of the best deals in town.

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I'm spending a few days in Granville, Ohio in a few weeks. Anyone have tips on (a) places to stay, either in Granville or Columbus or somewhere else within an easy (up to 45 minute) drive of Granville, ( B) places to eat (same geographic restrictions), and © things to do? I'll have a decent amount of downtime and would love to explore. Thanks!

Well, there are the Granville and Buxton Inns. Both are cute, stuffy, New England-ish style, allegedly haunted places and are across the street from each other, so you can check both out. My hubs says that the Granville Inn is slightly nicer and is a more regular hotel-style property, while the Buxton Inn is quite variable in its room size/furnishings and is mainly comprised of a set of linked guesthouses.

There aren't many great places to eat/drink in Granville, but (according to my husband, who lived there a zillion years ago) Brews has a decent selection of (bottles and other) beers and sometimes has live music. Only eat at Elms Pizza if you like super thin, crackery pizza crusts. There's some nice walking/hiking at the Dennison University BioReserve.

For anyone near downtown or campus during happy hour...there's a restaurant on High Street in the southern end of the Short North (is that confusing!) called Deepwood. Chef driven, seasonal, local sourcing, etc. The place has been in construction zone hell for many months due to building renovation next door, with scaffolding obscuring the front door and windows. Anyway, at the bar, during HH, bottles of wine are retail priced....which here is about 1/3 discount off the regular menu price.

Thanks for the tip!! I have vegetarian in-laws in Columbus and this sounds like a great place to get gift certificates for them :)

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Breakfast/brunch spots: deNovo (downtown, so maybe too far to drive, but a cool place), Mojo on High Street in the Short North (not the downtown location), Cafe Apropros on Third at Michigan in Harrison West, Northstar Cafe (High street in the Short North). None of these are very far. All have decent Coffee. Northstar has pretty good ingredient ethics.

North Star ended up being a great spot. We sadly got there about 5 minutes too late for breakfast (I was literally brokenhearted as I had checked their website earlier in the day to make sure they didn't stop serving breakfast and it wasn't noted), but they were happy to accommodate not only my paleo eating, but my strong desire for breakfast by slapping 2 pieces of bacon and 2 eggs on top of my bunless Niman Ranch burger. Sweet potato fries (although technically not paleo since they were fried in peanut oil) were delicious with bits of fried garlic clove throughout. They also had a great selection of organic loose leaf teas. Thanks for the rec!

I also wanted to mention that I stopped into a wonderful little coffee shop in the Short North neighborhood called One Line Coffee. Because I was still on my coffee hiatus, I couldn't actually buy a cup of coffee at the time, but I geeked out with one of their employees (who was incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable) over the crazy cold coffee brewing system they had and their selection of personally sourced & roasted beans and I brought a bag of beans home with me. I just brewed my first cup this morning and was wowed by the quality of the coffee. I highly recommend checking this place out if you're in the neighborhood. There was, incidentally another place just down the street that also does its own roasting, but I could only subject the friend who was with me to one shop to be nice. :)

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There's a good chance I'll be in Columbus tomorrow night with Matt and his friend - I wrote up above about Bodega, but that was too college-like for non-drinking high school kids. Matt really appreciates good food, but we'll have been traveling and will look like hobos - does anyone have any suggestions?

I also see that dcandohio has chimed in with a lot of suggestions since the last time I've been here, and I can't think of anyone more qualified to comment about Columbus dining than she.

Thanks,

Rocks

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Haven't been back to Columbus in years, but if you want casual, City BBQ was always really good BBQ. No sauce needed since the meat was so good. Sides left much to be desired though.

We'll be making the drive to Cincinnati on Thurs night, and our daughter now expects a breakfast stop at White Castle as we exit off I-71 just before pulling into my mom's Fri AM.

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There's a good chance I'll be in Columbus tomorrow night with Matt and his friend - I wrote up above about Bodega, but that was too college-like for non-drinking high school kids. Matt really appreciates good food, but we'll have been traveling and will look like hobos - does anyone have any suggestions?

I also see that dcandohio has chimed in with a lot of suggestions since the last time I've been here, and I can't think of anyone more qualified to comment about Columbus dining than she.

Thanks,

Rocks

Here are some ideas for places where you can feel comfortable dressing down and have a good meal.

Harvest Pizza, two locations. German Village more convenient to I-71/70, Clintonville more convenient to OSU campus. Really nice wood fired pizza. Clintonville more laid-back than German Village.

New kid on th block is Wolf's Ridge on 4th downtown brews their own beer but is more restaurant than bar. Very loud. Nice place but totally cool with very casual dress.

If you're going to be on Hwy 315, there are some good ethnic places on Bethel Road (just west of the highway). Also Gallo's, an unlikely candidate near a former K-Mart and a Microcenter that serves good burgers, sandwiches, etc.

If you are interested in testing one of the newer national small chain "concepts," Bareburger is open in the Short North. Responsible sourcing, lots of options, very teen friendly. Parking may be a problem.

It would help if I knew where you will be (which highway, which part of town, and what time). PM me! I am happy to be tour guide today if you are not going to interfere with World Cup viewing!!!!!

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Don, I haven't been for some time now so I don't have any suggestions except to stop into One Line Coffee if you happen to pass it by and by yourself some beans. I am finishing up the dregs of a few packages of other beans over here and then I will finally be able to place an order with them (I wasn't allowing myself to order more until I used up what I have)!

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It would help if I knew where you will be (which highway, which part of town, and what time). PM me! I am happy to be tour guide today if you are not going to interfere with World Cup viewing!!!!!

Don, I haven't been for some time now so I don't have any suggestions except to stop into One Line Coffee if you happen to pass it by and by yourself some beans. I am finishing up the dregs of a few packages of other beans over here and then I will finally be able to place an order with them (I wasn't allowing myself to order more until I used up what I have)!

Thanks, you two. We're just coming westbound on I-70, and are only passing through for one night. Harvest Pizza sounds like it might be perfect, actually.

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Don asked me to post some info that I shared with him via PM. So for all of you who are eager to head to Columbus, especially those passing through on I-70...

Harvest Pizza, 2 locations: The German Village location of Harvest is teeny-tiny, but it has patio seating. Curio, the tiny cocktail lounge attached to Harvest, has one of the best cocktail programs in the city. You can order a Curio cocktail and eat at Harvest, or order Harvest and eat in Curio. Very close to 70.

The Clintonville location of Harvest, just north of the OSU campus, is a bit larger, with a much larger, covered patio. Much easier to park in Clintonville.

Schmidt's Sausage House in German Village, though super touristy, is really old-school Columbus and is run by the original Schmidt's family. Their signature Bahama Mama Sausage is to Columbus what the half-smoke is to DC. Schmidt's is the only producer of this Bahama Mama. They are also known for their giant cream puffs. Basically a calorie bomb in an amped-up German setting. Fun place often jammed with tour buses. Parking is a nightmare, as it is in all of German Village.

No discussion of German Village would be complete without a mention of Thurman's, home of the giant hamburger featured on "Man vs. Food." I've been there several times but never eaten there because the waits for seating can be insane. Gets great reviews from locals, despite the TV publicity.

Columbus Brewing Company is a real restaurant, not just a brewery, which is very close to 70 in the Brewery District. Very casual. Dedicated parking lot. Good beer and a good choice if you are coming through on I-70 and don't want to get too far off.

Another choice for I-70 travelers is Barley's Smoke House in Grandview, though they've recently changed their menu and I can't vouch for new menu. The BBQ is solid for this area, good but not great. Big place, lots of seating. Good beer, brewed on premise. It's a place that would be very friendly to teenagers and large groups.

If you end up in German Village, the Short north, or downtown Columbus, please be wary of parking regulations. Columbus is really very aggressive about towing.

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If you had half a day to spend in Columbus, what would you do or see?

Depending on your interests and time of year...

Columbus zoo (actually north of Columbus, accessible only by car)

Short North Arts District, including the Pizzuti Collection (private art collection opened to public) and North Market

OSU Campus/Wexner Center for the Arts

Whetstone Park of Roses

German Village, including Schiller Park

Thurber House (home of James Thurber)

Topiary Gardens downtown

Outdoor concert at Columbus commons or Bicentennial Park

Park/fountains at Bicentennial Park

Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Food Adventures taco truck tour or other food tour

Blue jackets hockey game

Crew soccer game

Columbus Marathon (I'm cheating because the race goes right past my house!)

The annual Arnold (Schwarznegger) Fitness Classic

Columbus Arts Festival (early June)

Jazz and rib festival (late July)

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Thanks, you two. We're just coming westbound on I-70, and are only passing through for one night. Harvest Pizza sounds like it might be perfect, actually.

Don asked me to post some info that I shared with him via PM. So for all of you who are eager to head to Columbus, especially those passing through on I-70...

Harvest Pizza, 2 locations: The German Village location of Harvest is teeny-tiny, but it has patio seating. Curio, the tiny cocktail lounge attached to Harvest, has one of the best cocktail programs in the city. You can order a Curio cocktail and eat at Harvest, or order Harvest and eat in Curio. Very close to 70.

If you end up in German Village, the Short north, or downtown Columbus, please be wary of parking regulations. Columbus is really very aggressive about towing.

The German Village location of Harvest Pizza was a really good choice - I had no idea this quaint little hamlet, right by the interstate, even existed. My brief glimpse of German Village makes it seem not so much a place to "do things in," but rather a place to "take in the vibe" and just be there - it's really charming.

Harvest was full, and there was a 25-minute wait. Similarly, there were seats at Curio, next door, but only at the bar, and my two teenage guests couldn't sit there.

The hostess at Harvest - a petite, fair young woman in glasses and a ponytail - felt genuinely sorry for us when I said we couldn't wait 25 minutes because of two starving teenagers, and because we'd been driving all day. I told her a two-top for them would be fine, and I could eat at Curio; but she somehow managed to come up with a table in 5 minutes. I will always be thankful to her (and was looking for her on the way out so I could give her $5, but could not find her).

Harvest had two things that prevented it from being a perfect choice: it was hot as a furnace in there, and the pizzas took a good 20-30 (closer to 30) minutes to come out because the restaurant was slammed.

But these are rock-solid pies, and worth the wait, especially with Harvest's excellent beer list. I unwound with a Harvest Nut Brown ($4) while we waited for our order, the youngest of us getting a can of Coke ($1.50). The three pizzas - which we all shared: Fennel Sausage ($15) with Canal Junction Gouda, Smoked Provolone, Onion, and Fennel Pollen; Ohio Double Bacon ($14) with fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper, Aleppo pepper, and oregano; Spicy Yuma ($14) with Canal Junction Gouda, fresh mozzarella, chorizo, jalapeí±o, corn, roasted red pepper, and chipotle-spiked tomato sauce. The Spicy Yuma was *very* spicy, perhaps to a fault, but the other pies didn't come across quite as busy as they sounded. There was maximal char on the crust, right up at the upper bounds of acceptability, but within the range, and the flavor of the crust itself was very good while falling short of great.

To go, we got a slice of Mama's Strawberry Pie ($7) which was a huge slice with macerated strawberries (I was hoping for straight-up strawberries) with a granola-laced strawberry sauce, all on a weighty, almost shortbread-like crust - it was enough pie for two people, and also very good.

So, considering we were on I-70 literally five minutes before we arrived, I'd say Harvest Pizzeria was pretty much a perfect choice - especially since our hotel was only a half-mile away. Thanks dcandohio - you definitely saved us!

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If you had half a day to spend in Columbus, what would you do or see?

Easy.  This:  Exploring Calvin and Hobbes at OSU's Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum thru Aug 3.

In fact, I'm planning a day trip detour from Pittsburgh later this summer specifically to see this and the accompanying Richard Thompson (_Cul de Sac_) exhibit.  There is also a feature-length documentary film, _Dear Mr. Watterson_ (2013).

This will not be a traveling exhibit, and who knows if or when anything similar will be mounted again?  Watterson doesn't seem to have done anything else with any museum since 1991, when OSU and the Smithsonian persuaded him to draw a t-shirt for MoMA, the only authorized C&H t-shirt ever released.

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Well, that would be the reason I'd be in Columbus in the first place, so I was fishing for what else to do.  :)

The Cartoon Library is right near the heart of campus. Stop in to the Wexner Center (I believe this may be considered a separate entity from the Cartoon Library even if they are in the same complex), and stroll around the campus oval. Stop in to the newly renovated library. There's a coffee shop in there if you need refeshment. Then, drive south on High Street past 5th. After you park, keep strolling south through the Short North. Many shops, bars, restaurants and people to watch. End up at the North Market and browse/snack. A nice day without a lot of driving. There is a large visitor garage near the Wexner Center right off of High St., so parking is usually very easy.

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Well, that would be the reason I'd be in Columbus in the first place, so I was fishing for what else to do.  :)

Ah, in that case, my original plan (when it was a weekend trip from DC) was regrettably not-very-Columbus: detour back through Pgh and try to get a reservation at Spoon, where Wabeck is somm.

You're passing through the country's ice cream belt (IMHO), and Columbus is in that narrow overlap band between Graeter's and Jeni's home territories.

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I'd hoped to make it an overnight trip, but for various reasons Mr P wanted to do a there-and-back trip, so we didn't have time for much.  But after seeing the Calvin and Hobbes exhibit, we spent time strolling in the Short North.  Ice cream from Jeni's, a coffee from One Line, and a few bonbons from Le Chocoholique, then off to Schmidt's in German Village.  Even at 3:40 it was mobbed with a long wait for a table, so we got a Bahama Mama and a bratwurst to go, fetched the picnic blanket from the car, and walked to Schiller Park.

Columbus is an interesting town that deserves a closer look.  All we managed to do was whet our appetites.  I think we'll be going back.

Exploring Calvin and Hobbes  is a great exhibit.  It includes a small section with strips that influenced Bill Watterson, and a case with some of the art tools he used while drawing the strip (both with his commentary).  There's something fun about being in a museum where people are trying to suppress their giggles or not laugh too loudly.  The exhibit closes in a few weekends so make your plans now.

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