CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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Archive for the ‘hamburgers’ Category

Quadruple Hamburger – Circleville Roadtrip, Part 1

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 1, 2008

The Original Hamburger Inn
125 Watt Street
Circleville, Ohio
740 747 1233
(Closed the business in November 2008 – please let me know if they reopen)

I heard about the Original Hamburger Inn in Circleville for a couple years. I was passing through town one afternoon while coming back to Columbus after doing some work for “the man”. I popped in for a quick hamburger and found it to be very tasty. While I was there I noticed a little sign titled Josh Dares You. I am all about dares they typically get me into a lot of trouble.

In case you can not read the bottom line – it says – Don’t be a pansy, no sharing please!

As it turns out, for $10, Josh dares you to eat a quadruple hamburger – with cheese if you like, unlimited fries and free refills on Pepsi. Um….duh, how could I not want to do that – it is a bargain. I was determined to come back and get my ten dollars worth.

A few weeks later I was back with two friends in tow. The Quadruple hamburger was really good and not so big as to cause illness. There is no way Josh is making any money on this ten dollar steal. Josh is the owner, he dropped by about every 5 minutes refilling my fries. There was almost a sense of panic if my beverage was less than 3/4 full. My non foodie friend Chris had a quad burger as well and thought it was great.

Josh reports that the “Josh Challenge” is popular on the weekends, 3-6 people will come in for the dare and most usually finish their burger. During the Circleville Pumpkin Festival 10 or more quadruple burgers are ordered each day. The most memorable consumption was two quadruple burgers, a load of fries and a piece of pie by an out of town visitor during a past Pumpkin Festival. There are also Pumpkin Burgers for the festival. Really!

The Original Hamburger Inn has been around since 1930. Josh has owned and operated it with his family for about 6 years. It is a Circleville local landmark and worth the drive for the experience of eating in a small town eatery where everyone knows everyone by name. This would be a good summer or fall adventure. Circleville is about 30 minutes from Columbus depending on where you hail from. There are several farmers markets along Route 23 you can check out on your way there or back to mix up the drive.

Josh dares you, so do I – hit the road and get that hamburger.

Posted in CLOSED, hamburgers, Ohio, restaurants | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

A Tale of Two Burgers: Gahanna Grill and Thurman Cafe

Posted by CMH Gourmand on March 25, 2007

Filmmaker George Motz is working on a book about hamburgers which brought him to Columbus. He was gracious enough to let me join him on his eating tour.

George did a documentary on eight great hamburger joints in the USA. It was really well done. It snagged the interest of a publisher who asked him to write a book on the best (100 or so) places.

Hamburger America

More about George at his web site

We met at The Gahanna Grill. I also met his wife Casey – although she is a 5 month pregnant vegetarian, she enjoys tagging along with George watching him eat burgers, take photos, and experiencing the Midwest. George and Casey are great so I hope we cross paths again.

Gahanna Grill

The Gahanna Grill
82 Granville St

George and I each had a Beanie Burger.


Beanie Burger
(Named for Beanie Vessner who has grilled these for 30 plus years)

1/2 pound patty
American cheese
Sautéed onions
Homemade Cole slaw
Served with a side of fries

beanie Burger

The Gahanna Grill has changed hands a couple times since the 1990’s but Beanie has remained and so have the fiercely loyal regular customers. The new owner used to have a pizzeria in NYC and was private chef to Rudy Giuliani (really). He retained all of the character of the place while upgrading the facilities. In fact, Gahanna Grill has not changed much since I last wrote about it.

Gahanna Grill a la City Search

The thing to do at the Gahanna Grill is to have a Double Beanie Burger. If you can eat all of it – you get a T-Shirt with an image of Beanie on the back as well as your photo on the Wall of Fame (I am on there twice from previous forays to the Grill).

Gahanna Grill

Our next destination was The Thurman Cafe in German Village.


Thurman Cafe
183 Thurman Ave
(German Village)

Web site

George and I each had the Thurman Burger.

Thurman Burger
At least 1/2 lb of beef
What seems like one pound of ham
American Cheese
Sauteed Onions
a heap of pickles
Jalapeno peppers
(Served with Chips and a pickle spear)

Thurman Burger

The Thurman-ator – twice the meat – we opted not to get that. Casey ordered some of the fabulous Thurman’s Steak Fries. Thurman’s has been around since 1937 and has always been a family operated place. It is oozing with character – wooden booths, the bar is plastered with all types of old photos, beer themed novelty items, signed dollar bills and more. There are many great spots to eat in German Village but Thurman’s is a true Columbus culinary destination.

The Thurman Burger is big – tall and wide.

This is my technique for the successful eating of the burger (works on a Double Beanie Burger as well).

1 – Place hand on Top Bun press down hard.

2 – Flip the burger over so that the bottom (very soggy by this point) bun is on top

3 – Cut the Hamburger in two equal pieces

4 – Grip firmly and don’t let go of the burger down until you finish your flipped half hamburger

George Motz

George Motz at work on a Thurman Burger

Buy George’s Book when it comes out in 2008!

FYI (Food of Your Interest) – More about Hamburgers

Business Week 2005 – Menches Brothers and the Ohio Hamburger Connection

Our Ohio – more on Menches

The National Hamburger Festival is July 21 and 22, 2007 in Akron. It will feature a Hamburger Eating Championship, the Burger Queen Pageant, and restaurants will compete to be the best hamburger in the nation.

Hamburger Festival

Ohio Magazine did a nice overview of Ohio hamburger history. Check out the article below.

Ohio Magazine on Ohio hamburgers

Posted in Columbus, hamburgers, restaurants, sandwiches | 10 Comments »