CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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Archive for the ‘kid friendly dining’ Category

Saturday February 21st: Eat Pattycake Pancakes, Help Zoe

Posted by cmh gourmand on February 15, 2009

Who: Pancake eaters, Pattycake fans
What: Eat Pattycake Pancakes, waffles, sausage, fruit and more; listen to local music
When: Saturday February 21st – 9 AM to Noon
Where: Maple Grove United Methodist Church
*7 West Henderson Road (High and Henderson – Clintonville)
Why: Help Zoe, Fight Cancer, Thank local businesses for stepping up
How: $5 buys food, music and an opportunity to bid on some great items
Web: Check this post for updates (and maybe corrections) during the week

maple syrup

maple syrup from Bonhomie Acres

Food (the menu so far!)
Pattycake Bakery Pancakes including:
*Whole Wheat Pancakes
*Rachel’s Apple-Sauce Flapjack’s with sauteed goldrush apples from Charlie’s Apples
*(Probably) gluten-free pancakes
Homemade Waffles (mix donated by Polaris Grill)
Cedar Cress Sausage
Fruit (from Weilands Gourmet Market)
Coffee and a special pink ribbon herbal ten blend tea (from Clintonville Community Market)
Maple Syrup ( from Bonhomie Acres courtesy of the Greener Grocer at North Market)
More Maple Syrup – Trader Joes
Milk – Snowville Creamery
Various sundries (Orange Juice, sugar, etc.), more sausage – Betty’s / Liz Lessner and Crew

Three Musical Acts:
Megan Palmer
Eric Nassau
Keenan Wade & Friends

Funds for a Silent Auction featuring:

Jeni’s Ice Cream Gift Certificates
Tip Top Kitchen and Cocktails Gift Certificates
Pleiades Maple Products (from Mt. Gilead, a Worthington Farmers Market standby)
– an antique sap bucket with maple syrup, maple sugar, maple tea and more
More items to come….

Zoe’s Story:

Zoe Buyalos is a 31 year old Clintonville resident and owner of a green cleaning service. She was diagnosed with cancer several months ago. She is fighting through chemotherapy which has limited her ability to work and to cover medical expenses.

Article (2006) featuring Zoe

Say thanks to these and other sponsors:

Pattycake Bakery

The Greener Grocer &
Local Matters

Clintonville Community Market

Weilands Gourmet Market

Clintonville Community Resource Center


Snowville Creamery

Support your community and check out some of these local products:

Article featuring Bonhomie Acres Maple Syrup

Charlies Apples

Copy this for your calendar
Saturday February 21st
9 AM to NOON
Maple Grove United Methodist Church
7 West Henderson Road
(Corner of High and Henderson)

Posted in breakfast, Clintonville, events, kid friendly dining | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Chef-O-Nette (and a serving of Tasty Tremont Center Tips)

Posted by cmh gourmand on August 13, 2008

Chef O Nette
Chef O Nette
2090 Tremont Center
Upper Arlington

I found myself in a (good) dining rut, I was mainly hitting downtown and Short North eateries. It was time to get back to a baseline and venture away from High Street. You can’t get more basic than Chef O Nette. Walking in, you don’t feel like you are in Arlington, you feel like you are in a small town somewhere, maybe even Mayberry. You also feel like you have walked back in time to the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. The prices are right here with the most expensive item being $10.95.

A cheeseburger plate with crinkle cut fries and cole slaw will knock you back $5.45. The burgers are thin patties, grilled just right and are served on sesame seed buns. You can also get a Chef-O-Burger – a double, for $2.65. There are some diner classics here: The Hangover – Hamburger, ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce and onion as well as the Sta-Slim Special – Lean ground round patty, cottage cheese, cheese slice, tomatoes, pickle chips, and rye bread.

Burger and Fries

The milkshakes, although on the small side are served in an old school Coke glass and are a standard order for regulars. My favorite thing here is the Cole Slaw. I am constantly on the search for perfect cole slaw, I rarely find this except old diners. Chef-O-Nette does it right here – everything is finely chopped and diced with just the right mix of sauce. This is popular enough that they sell it in pints for $3.25.

Cole Slaw

Chef-O-Nette is a blast from the past. Drop in some time, sit at the counter on one of the red, chair backed stools and enjoy a simple meal. There is also a carry out window here if you are in a rush.

The Tremont Center has a some other good culinary selections as well. There is an Old Bag of Nails here as well as one of the two Moretti’s locations in town. (I can’t quite place why, but the Tremont location of Moretti’s is the better of the two.) Huffman’s Market is here as well, one of the last of the family owned, independent super markets in town. Huffman’s carries some hard to find items that make stepping in worthwhile – Johnson’s Ice Cream, Esther Price Chocolates and Der Dutchman donuts.

Posted in Diners, hamburgers, kid friendly dining, restaurants | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Ohio Deli: Dagwood Sandwich – 1, Gourmand – 1

Posted by cmh gourmand on December 25, 2007

Ohio Deli
3444 South High St (North of 270 (South) at intersection of Williams Road)
Columbus (South Side – about 3 miles south of German Village)


Another Update: December 24
Since I am getting about 1300 hits a day on the post I am linking all you need to know about the Dagwood below.

The Dagwood Challange with Columbus Underground – The Video

Dagwood Challenge – The CU Thread

Update: December 2nd, 2008 – there is a lot of buzz on the Dagwood because the Travel Channel program – Man vs. Food has a Columbus segment on the Dagwood (and the Thurman Burger – go figure I wonder where they found out about those two sandwiches). For more Dagwood information and a link to a video – check my March 2008 Dagwood Challenge post.

I made recent trip to the Ohio Deli with Members of the Men’s Super Gang (MSG), a group of gentlemen that try to meet once per month to sample the fare our fair city has to offer and to introduce one of our members (an upstate New York Transplant) to the best dining destinations. It had been while since I was at the Ohio Deli. On my previous trip there I consumed their famous Dagwood Sandwich for the reward of a photo on the wall and a free T-shirt. I made it – but just barely. For a couple years I told stories (all true) of how big the sandwich was. When the MSG and I walked in for my recent visit – I convinced them to get one sandwich we could all share. When it arrived, I was disappointed – it was about 1/2 of the size I recalled from my last visit – but – it is the same price, still comes with a T-shirt and is even better tasting than I remembered it. I was kind of incredulous. I kept asking staff about ” what happened”. Most were kind of surprised by my questions..”don’t you think it is big enough”, etc. Finally, one of the employees told me that the bun had changed. They used to order (giant) individual sandwich buns for the sandwiches, now they just cut the bread from a long loaf of sourdough. And it turns out, the size of the sandwich can vary depending on who makes it. This helped me feel better, I did not want to think my previous effort with the sandwich was in vain or not the accomplishment I recalled it to be.

Here is the tale of my first tangle with the Dagwood

Here is tale is about a man, a sandwich, and what happened when the two met.

Desperate for anything that resembles an accomplishment, I ventured out to eat the much-ballyhooed Dagwood sandwich at the Ohio Deli.

The mission was undertaken some time ago (2004?) – but it took a while to recover and come to peace with what I had done. As has been for most life choices – I cannot be a good example – but I can be a horrible warning.

To protect the two people I conned into my mission I will refer to them as Mr. Scarlet and Mr. Gray

This is the Deal: eat the Dagwood and the fries served with it in 30 minutes and you get a T-shirt and your photo on the wall. While waiting for our table we looked at the pictures of past Dagwood eaters – most seemed kind of troubled yet relieved. The record time is 12 minutes. The bus boy – who looked like a combination of the teenager character and the Cletus character from The Simpson’s told us that the true “champion” is the guy who ate it in 13 minutes then had a piece of pie. (Sir, I salute you – there should be a beer commercial about that!) The busboy was a true supporter. He called us the three stooges and checked on our progress frequently.

Mr. Scarlet and Mr. Gray decided to make a go at the Sandwich as well. Mr. Scarlet did not think he could do it, Mr. Gray was ready to show he could.

The sandwich could best be described as gigantic fist sized portions of ham, turkey, and roast beef served with garlic mayonnaise, American and Swiss cheese in a bun that is as large as my head (my head is not small, one of 170 reasons I am single). The sandwich is the size of a hefty dinner plate. I regretted eating breakfast and lunch and not really being hungry at dinnertime, I worried about the task at hand.

I ordered my Dagwood without tomato or onion but offered to eat some extra fries to make up the difference.

As a benchmark I would say the sandwich equals two double beanie burgers (at the Gahanna Grill) or 1 and 3/4 of a Thurman burger (duh, from Thurman’s). I asked Cathy our waitress about the size. She thought the sandwich has two pounds of lunchmeat. The sandwich is big – everyone agrees on that.

A couple bites into the sandwich I felt good. A couple bites in Mr. Scarlet felt bad. At the 10-minute mark I had eaten the first half of the sandwich. Mr. Scarlet had 1/4 completed; Mr. Gray was near the 1/2 way point.

Three bites into the second half, I started to falter. The ham was very
salty and was going down slow. I disassembled the sandwich and started making mini sandwiches out of the pieces – each mini was the size of a white castle. A few more bites into the sandwich I realized I needed to pee. I decided not to go for two reasons. First, Cathy might think I was cheating. Second – the temptation to throw up would be too great, I had to press on.

I continued, somewhere around the 19 minute mark I had a panic attack and possibly went into a fugue state – I lost sense of time. Around minute 23 I came out of this state and saw that Mr. Scarlet was almost done. I still had a solid 1/3 to consume and Mr. Gray was really struggling. At 24 minutes, Mr. Scarlet was done. I burped which gave me the extra strength and belly room to carry on.

The feeling I had was similar to what I have read about marathon runners – after you hit the wall and pass through it you know you will make it and a strange nirvana sets in. I moved forward with gusto and finished at 27 minutes. Mr. Gray, still struggling made a bold move and dipped the remaining bun in his orange drink for the extra moisture needed to get that behemoth down. (This is the same tactic used by professional eaters at hot dog eating contests – Eye of the Tiger, baby). He finished at 29 minutes and more than a few seconds – he still had a good number of fries left but Cathy seeing that he had gone the extra mile let that slide. I later learned that Mr. Scarlet – during my fugue episode – had done a series of yoga moves to stretch his stomach, which allowed him to finish strong.

You can see the photo of the three of us together on the wall – we are listed as Curly, Larry, and Moe. The “I defeated the Dagwood” t-shirt is a good shirt. That sandwich destroyed me. In the photo, I would not say we look sad, but we do not look happy either.

Some suggestions for when you go.

1) Don’t eat lunch if you are going for dinner, don’t eat breakfast if you
are going for lunch.

2) Use the pickle on the side as an eating aide – (something I discovered a little late) – a small bite of pickle every 8-10 bites seems to help things go down better.

3) Make sure you have someone with you – you really need the moral support to push through. And you need someone to drive – but that is another story.

4) Consult your physician

5) Exercise, doing a triathalon would be ideal.

6) Have that orange drink ready – no way you want to fall short at the end.

Round Two

Thanksgiving week 2007, I went back to do battle with the Dagwood again. Another thing I forgot, Ohio Deli has awesome fries. I ordered my sandwich. I ate it with plenty of time to spare (you have 30 minutes) and even had time to be interviewed by Kevin Joy from the Dispatch while eating the Dagwood. When I was done, a woman sitting nearby asked me to stand up because she wanted to see where I put the sandwich because she figured someone would have to be bigger than me to put a sandwich away “that fast”. What can I say, I am task oriented.

Posted in breakfast, culinary misadventure, kid friendly dining, restaurants, sandwiches | Tagged: , | 9 Comments »

A Waffle House Thanksgiving

Posted by cmh gourmand on November 23, 2007

Waffle House

I started Thankgiving breakfasting at Waffle House many years ago. My mom worked third shift and typically was in need of sleep on Thanksgiving Day while I cleaned the leaves out of my grandmothers gutters (traditions!). I also encourage my mom not to cook so dining out helps. One Thanksgiving morning we searched all over for a breakfast spot that was open – and we found every place closed except Waffle House. We have been back every year since and not just for the food.

Waffle House is open 24/7, 365 days a year, so it gets a diverse range of customers. The crowd of diners is even more diverse and entertaining on Thanksgiving. There are so many stories going on in a place like this during a holiday – the people watching is incredible. There are some people on their way to somewhere, others that can not get to where they want to be and some that have no place to go at all but everyone is equal waiting in line and passing the time. The servers soldier on although I am sure most would rather be somewhere else. I have always walked out after breakfast thankful for what I do have and that I can go to Waffle House by choice and not by nessessity. This year, while waiting in line, I chatted with a gentleman that goes to Waffle House every day at 10 AM – the employees and regular customers all knew him by name and he would not have chosen to be anywhere else any day – especially on a holiday.

Another thing I like about Waffle House is they have HOUSE RULES posted everywhere. The rules cover all types of things such as table selection, waiting in line, and how everyone should be treated – we might all benefit by reading these rules from time to time (am I becoming Andy Rooney in my old age?).

Fun facts about Waffle House

There are over 1500 Waffle Houses in 25 states and what they do they do well – cook fresh food fast for the masses without any apologies or excuses. I only go once per year but I will keep on going just for the experience alone.

Posted in breakfast, kid friendly dining, restaurants | 1 Comment »

A few more bytes on Northstar (Clintonville) – The S factor, breakfast and a sandwich for skeptics

Posted by cmh gourmand on April 28, 2007

Surprise – much more ado about Northstar

Northstar Kitchen

I have been paying attention to how Northstar operates in my weekly visits. I was eating there just before closing tonight.The owners do everything right. I noticed they were eating together, talking about the day and very clearly enjoying what they have created. It is inspiring when two people can find a passion, follow through on it and see it be wildly successful. Awesome!

So this is what I have noticed about Northstar – the S Factor.

Subtle: No big sign – just a name painted on the door. The prices are all off kilter with the rest of the restaurant world – $1.88, 7.96, 6.79 – these guys think out of the box.

Simple: The menu is small. The ingredients are basic. The decor is cool but not over the top – it reminds me of IKEA or the kind of functional efficiency I expect to find in Switzerland.

Service: Everyone is NICE! You order at the counter, take a number and your food is brought to you. I have yet to encounter a Northstar employee that was not fully focused on making the dining experience anything other than great.

Saving the Planet: Local suppliers when possible. Recycled paper napkins. Northstar is a member of 1% for The Planet – so 1% of their profits goes to good things.


The Clintonville Northstar is now serving breakfast – Monday to Friday 7:30 AM to 11:00 AM and Saturday and Sunday 7:30 AM to 3 PM.

Here is the menu:

Granola with Vanilla Yogurt

Sweet Potato Hash

Red Peppers
Sweet Onions
Sunny side up egg
Sweet potatoes

Big Burrito
Black beans
Red peppers
Sweet potatoes
White cheddar

add bacon or sausage – 1.88

Cloud 9 Pancakes
Riccota cheee pancakes with maple syrup

Egg Sandwich
Egg with white cheddar cheese on a biscuit

Add bacon or sausage – 1.88

Other Items:

Praline Scone (the best I have ever had)

Ham and Cheese Scone

Morning Glory Muffin

Peanut Butter cookie

Chocolate Truffle cookie

A simple sandwich for Northstar skeptics

Turkey Dandwich

I sometimes have to lure people into Northstar because of concerns that the restaurant might be some kind of “vegetarian, hippy, tree hugger, granola munching place”. My best weapon for that kind of mindset is pictured above.

House Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich

marinated peppers


rosemary aloli


add bacon

served on hefty house made bread bound with a thick toothpick

served with roasted peanut slaw

Ok – the peanut slaw might throw someone off – but it can be replaced with a side of torilla chips if the slaw is too freaky.

Final note – my Northstar wish list is growing. I still want to see soup – soup really is good food. Also – if two items from my departed and beloved Galaxy Cafe could be added (Ricky Barnes are you reading?) – I would be in heaven. I crave black bean hummus with garlic sauce and Adobo eggs with jalepeno cornbread. A Gourmand can dream – (an when he does – it is about food.)

Posted in breakfast, kid friendly dining, restaurant reviews, restaurants, Vegetarian Friendly | 4 Comments »