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Spain Restaurant, Denise’s Ice Cream and a Social Media Experiment

Posted by cmh gourmand on May 22, 2008

Spain Restaurant
888 E. Dublin Granville Rd
Columbus, (161 and Huntley – hidden in the Best Western Hotel)
614.840.9100

I have been doing occasional dinners out for groups, mostly people I have met through Columbus Underground and the Columbus Social Media Café. Many of my culinary cronies are regular posters at Columbus Underground. There was a recent Other Paper article discussing the “power of Social Media” while profiling the Columbus Underground and The Columbus Social Media Cafe. Our “ilk” was described as young, affluent professionals…thank you – I would really like to be young and affluent.

My second “Dine Out” targeted Spain Restaurant, hidden in the Best Western Hotel on 161. See my post way back in November 2006 for details on this great spot. Nothing has changed at Spain since I last wrote about this restaurant. The food is still good, the service is attentive and professional, and for the price you get more than expected in serving size and quality. You do not often experience tuxedoed servers and tablecloths at restaurants that offer entrees at the price point Spain dishes out.

This is one restaurant I am quick to tell anyone about (some spots I hold to myself to avoid lines) because Spain needs the business, they always have. I am sad to say I still do not have to wait for a table whenever I show up – because there are always plenty available.

On the plus side, this is the perfect place to take a large group of people because there are so many tables to choose from. I had planned on having a group of six to eight people, as word got out about the “Dine Out” our group grew. When I arrived I had no idea about how many to expect, so our table for 10, became 12, then 14, then 15, then 16….. Manager Andres Casal was more than gracious about this and let us each order on separate checks as we kept adding tables and orders. Many of us ordered the Paella – something Spain really does well. In my opinion any of their three paellas are better than Barcelona’s offering. A few others agreed with this assessment and gave Spain high points.

By report, everyone enjoyed their meal and several already plan to come back. None of us had room for dessert – something Spain always excels at. Their after dinner offerings feature several tempting choices including, on occasion, Tres Leches. My Social Media Experiment was intended to introduce people to Spain and convert a few new fans; I believe I accomplished my mission. I asked my dining companions to write their own reviews of the place so I could post here, however, either I did not present my hopes for a mega-review clearly or everyone was disoriented by the food and sangria we consumed. My friend Jessica did report the next day that she had enough leftovers for two lunches.

As we were heading for the parking lot, about 8 of us decided that we might be able to squeeze in some Denise’s ice cream. Denise’s is about a ten-minute drive away in Clintonville so by the time we got there, we figured, we might have room. Many of us ordered Coffee flavored ice creams – with Coffee Oreo being the most scooped. Denise’s (Stan Zafran) makes some great ice cream that often gets overlooked in our Jeni’s and Graetersocentric city. If you have not been to Denise’s then you should drop in to experience one of the three best ice cream shops in central Ohio. They have several new flavors to try out. My current favorites are carrot cake and sumatra.

Denise’s Ice Cream
2899 North High Street
Clintonville
614.267.8800

At the end of a slow Tuesday night, I introduced several people to meals, people, and places they might not find on their own. That is the power of Social Media and why I write this blog. I am a much better person for it. Social Media is about communities and conversations – old school media is about reading what someone else thinks.

4 Responses to “Spain Restaurant, Denise’s Ice Cream and a Social Media Experiment”

  1. Bear said

    The Dine Out series sounds like a terrific idea — especially if it highlights hidden gems like this one! This member of the ilk approves. 🙂

  2. andrew said

    Thanks for this wonderful report and for yet again proving that we aren’t all little napoleons behind the CRT; we’re actually human’s contributing to the community one bowl of Paella at a time. Wish I had made it to this event – see you soon!

  3. Tom said

    I’ve also been to Spain and thought the paella was excellent. I think the #1 thing working against it is the location – the hotel is not great, area not great, decor not great … food though is pretty great. I don’t think they need to move to the expensive short north or anything – but do think to really make it they need to find a location that is more inviting – especially for first timers!

  4. Interesting post. And a great social media experiment. Have you tried using twitter to get people to dine-outs?

    I just covered a dinner on Twitter by six chefs from the Berkshires preparing dinner at the James Beard House in NYC. It was a good experiment for me as I’m in Portland OR. You can see that at http://chalkboarder.wordpress.com.

    Best,
    Jeffrey Kingman

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