CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

Dining, Donuts, Dives and Diatribes

  • Recent Comments

    Ashton W on Ezzo Sausage Company – T…
    best donuts Columbus on The Sidedished Food Blogs of…
    CMH Gourmand on Mrs. Renison’s Donuts, M…
    Mark on Mrs. Renison’s Donuts, M…
    Shop Local, Columbus… on Columbus Pizza: A Slice of His…
    anna paolucci on Falling into the All for Fall…
    Cindy Leland on Falling into the All for Fall…
  • Categories

  • Top Posts

  • Archives: August 2006 to Now

Archive for the ‘Short North’ Category

Brezel: (The Power of Pretzels!) New at the North Market

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 2, 2011

Sometimes the stars line up. If get you get really lucky, maybe galaxies align. In the case of Brezel, maybe, just maybe the universe has put everything in place for this post. Huh? It just so happens that April is National Soft Pretzel Month. I have been following the pretzel making path of Brezel for several years. Maria and Brittany are the chief dough makers and bakers at Brezel. They have kneaded their way into the bread business by being at nearly every event, farmer’s market and party they could find. They also placed their product at bars and grocery stores. The good will, word of mouth and fine tuning they gathered from working hard allowed them to find a home at the North Market. They recently opened their shop (near Clever Crow) so I dropped in to see them.

Brezel (there is a “_” over the e) makes and bakes and creates big, soft, chewy, Bavarian style pretzels. However, these are pretzels with an extra twist. The ladies of Brezel stuff their pretzels with a variety of flavors and top them with good, tasty things. They have standard pretzels every day and they serve several other varieties such as jalapeno, apple cinnamon, everything, habanero and more. If you want to dip your pretzels they have a variety of toppings for dunking and flavor enhancement. Maria and Brittany also bake pretzel buns, bites and pizza shells. A pretzel hot dog bun….oh yeah. I can attest to their pizza crusts as well – a Brezel pizza has a life expectancy of 43 seconds at Pizza Grand Prix. The Brezel gals are constantly tinkering in the kitchen so drop in and sample their latest creation or give them a flavor suggestion, they may just make it and bake it.

at the North Market
59 Spruce Street
Short North

Brezel on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, markets, Short North | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

C-Bus N Bar Crawl

Posted by CMH Gourmand on January 3, 2010

The Night Owl Bus, more fun than the Love Boat

On the Saturday evening after Christmas, I tagged along on a High Street Bar crawl. Normally something like this would not catch my interest (well, OK, it might) nor would it be “blog worthy” however, this event was about much more than drunken debauchery. This bar crawl was designed to fill up late night COTA buses and support High Street business.

So why was this important to me? The new Night Owl Bus (#21) runs until 2:30 AM on the weekends from the Arena District to Clintonville. This is good for many reasons. People complain about nothing to do downtown – this nips that in the bud. Citizens complain about having problems finding parking in the Short North – negated. Business owners along High Street are looking for more business and new customers – this helps that. The Night Owl bus provides an alternative to drunk driving for people that drink and live along High Street – that is a plus. Most importantly, this bus provides a means of transportation for employees that work at businesses along this route, such as restaurant, bar and hotel workers. As a supporter of all things public transportation anything that adds options to riders while promoting fun at the same time has my support. The best way for me to show my blessing for the new route was to plant my ass in bus and bar seats so I rode and I drank.

Oddly, I have been on only one other intentional bar crawl in my life. In 2004 I planned a bar crawl of every Clintonville bar from Villa Nova to Patrick J’s. I made maps, plotted distances, designated rest stops for food and hydration. While many people committed to join me only one person showed. He joined me for the first six bars. I was joined by various friends for the subsequent seven bars and finished the night by walking from Patrick J’s to my home in Beechwold at 4:00 AM. Along the way I found a dime and a softball making my evening complete and proving that my folly was no mistake.

Knowing the pain of planning an event that no one shows to, I wanted to support the planner of this event. The master of ceremonies of the C-Bus N Bar Crawl and I have a special connection; my dad threatened to shoot him. Fortunately for all involved that did not happen and my dad is now a full-time resident of Honduras where he is not allowed to have a firearm and I don’t have the worry as much about his cowboy style of justice. Jerrod Wagner did not need my assistance, he had thirty people show for the crawl.

The event had the support of the business community as well. Barrio which was the first stop of the evening offered discounted drink specials to the group. The Betty’s Family of Restaurants offered assistance as well. At Betty’s, we were offered $1 PBR’s and a food special. At Surly Girl Saloon we each received a free cupcake.

I was in my element among this group of crawlers since many of them were not native to Columbus or buses. I was able to share my knowledge of public transportation, bars, restaurants and Columbus culinary lore with these out of town wayfarers. In addition to detailing the fine points of Betty’s and Surly Girl I was able to explain Columbus style pizza to some east coasters culminating in my pointing at a Donatos pizza in mid consumption through the window at the Short North location. I also was able to convince some skeptics that Surly Girl Saloon is not a lesbian bar and that Columbus rocks the socks off the offerings of most major cities.

I ended my service to the tour at O’Reilly’s in Clintonville. This magic place is “my bar”. It was my honor to introduce two people that live within walking distance of this fine establishment to their first O’Reilly’s poured beer here. Everyone loves O’Reillys, except people that hate parades, a strange, but true fact.

It is my understanding the the crawl carried on to Blue Danube, Char Bar and points in between until the wee hours. If you are looking for a fun way to explore High Street consider making your own COTA crawl.

Posted in bar, beer, Clintonville, Short North | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Bedtime for Bono

Posted by CMH Gourmand on December 11, 2008

No Pizza for You

Bono Togo Pizza in the Short North closed quietly in November. The good news is 2009 may see Bono bounce back in Grandview at the corner of Northwest and Chambers.

Bono Togo was tucked away on Russell street in the core of the Short North. The daytime location of Eleni Christina Bakery (among my favorite breads in town) became Bono Pizza at night.


Bill and Peggy Yerkes with some helpers crafted artisan pizzas inspired by Bill’s decades of perfecting his prized pies. In between pushing pizzas in and pulling them out of the oven, Bill would provide lots of commentary to his guests. Peggy treated all of us like family. And if that was not enough, there were crepes, very, very, very good crepes.


Bono sign

The Summer of Bono created some great memories and locked in some fine friendships as late nights outside of Bono flowed into fall (Bear, Colleen, Hungry Woolf, Roland, Drew). It also led to the creation of the “Colleen” Pizza – 15b on some menus. Any food item can be Colleened by adding a fried egg.

Here is some insight into the magic.

The Columbus Underground Bono Post

Hungry Woolf wolfs down Bono

Walker, Anne and Desmond (future mayor of Columbus) go to Bono

Columbus Foodcast interviews Bill and gets the backstory on the Colleen pizza

15B - The Colleen

White Castle and Bono – The Roland Pizza

Yelp on Bono

The End of Bono

In the meantime, Bill has a mobile woodfired pizza oven he created himself. He graciously brought it to the Columbus Underground 7th Anniversary party at Wildgoose Creative. We ate pizzas all night which helped out a bit since the night before we were told about the coming demise of Bono.

The Oven

Fire in the oven

pizza in the oven

Dispatch article on Bill’s Oven

For now, while waiting for the new Bono to open, maybe we will see the mobile oven pop up somewhere. I volunteer my driveway anytime.

Posted in pizza, Short North | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

North Market News – Excellent Yule Events

Posted by CMH Gourmand on December 2, 2008

Every word below was lifted directly from the North Market News e-mail I receive as a member of the Market. Support local businesses and fill your belly.

Ladies of the Market Cookie Exchange

Benefiting the Mid-Ohio Food Bank
Thursday, December 4
5:30-7:30PM in the Dispatch Kitchen
Cost $50
To register call 614-463-9664

Get some early help with your holiday baking at the Ladies of the Market Cookie Exchange! Every participant will go home with her choice of 3 dozen cookies personally made by the Ladies of the Market. Come join us for a glass of wine, hors d’oeuvres and some entertaining stories of life “on market” as told by our own merchants. The event will be co-hosted by Robin Davis, Food Editor of the Columbus Dispatch. Take home luscious cookies and contribute to a great cause, the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, at the same time!

North Market Holiday Open House & Craft Extravaganza

Saturday, December 6
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Once again ‘tis the season for holiday entertaining, cookie baking, pie making, turkey basting, present shopping, gift-giving and celebrating all of the reasons for the season. The North Market Holiday Open House & Craft Extravaganza on Saturday, December 6th is the perfect place for both inspiration and acquisition of all of your holiday trimmings. Where else can you pick up everything from a fresh cut tree to a free range turkey to a beautiful bauble for your sister or niece or mother (or yourself)? Roasted chestnuts, holiday trees and greenery, warm beverages, live holiday music and entertainment will be located throughout the market the length of the event on Saturday, December 6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..

Our merchants will be armed with an array of samples to tempt your taste buds and help you formulate your holiday feasts. As always they are endowed with the wisdom of years of experience to give you excellent advice. The second floor will be devoted to forty-five local artisans and crafters for a special day of shopping for distinctive handmade gifts.

North Market Gift Certificates

North Market Gift Certificates are one-size-fits-all perfect stocking stuffers, lovely hostess gifts, or an ideal bequest to your favorite North Market supporter! Gift certificates are issued in $5 increments and are accepted by all of our merchants and farmers. That makes them oh so easy to splurge on anything from your favorite pint of Jeni’s to a chunk of cheese at Curds & Whey!

Our gift certificates are easy to procure, simply drop in at the North Market business office on the second floor the next time you are shopping. Still too much work? Give us a ring and we’ll mail them right to you or your favorite recipient’s door! North Market gift certificates are valid for two years from date of purchase and we don’t hit you with any pesky carrying fees or other nonsense (postage is required for mailing).

‘Tis the season and a gift of North Market gift certificates makes everyone jolly! Call us at 614-463-9664 to get the ball rolling today!

No fine print here – I love the North Market and I want you to support the market so I am passing on the information.

North Market
59 Spruce St
Short North

Posted in culinary knowledge, events, markets, Short North | Leave a Comment »

IPA’s vs. Belgians; Surly Girl and The Beer Wench

Posted by CMH Gourmand on June 3, 2008

My friend and podcast co-conspirator, the Columbus Beer Wench along with Surly Girl Saloon (co-owned by my pal Liz Lessner) have a beer tasting event coming up. For in depth information see more at the Beer Wench site.

Here is the press release

Beer, Cheese and Cupcake Tasting


Surly Girl Saloon, in conjunction with The Columbus Beer Wench, invites the citizens
of Columbus to explore the uncharted territory of a beer, cheese and cupcake pairing on Sunday, June 8th.

The theme of the actual beer tasting will be a battle of India Pale Ales versus Belgian Ales. Tasters will learn the different nuances of each of the two styles, all while enjoying delicious fresh baked cupcakes and select styles of beers and cheeses.

New update (June 6th – stolen straight from Surly Girl’s weekly events e-mail)

$20 gets you a pairing of 4 intense Belgians with 4 ridiculously good cupcakes (made by the tough and lovely Lara Yazvac) and 4 amazing IPA’s with 4 delicious cheeses.

Cupcake tasting and tweaking happened yesterday and we had some very happy staff. Bacon cream cheese frosting was to die for. No, seriously. We all almost killed each other trying to lick the bowl. Mmmm…bacon. Think that’s going to be our only non-veggie product though for the non-omnivores among us.

So the cupcake lineup is now:
Piraat Triple IPA with an orange and cardamom cupcake
Brasserie des Rocs Grand Cru with a Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale and cheddar cheese cupcake with bacon cream cheese frosting
Lindeman’s Framboise with a lemon rosemary cupcake
Lindeman’s Pomme with a goat cheese cupcake

(Post Post Script June 8th…..late in the evening)

The event was at attended by 20 plus people. The Stilton was the cheese that pleased all. And it is now official – bacon is the new black, most people loved the bacon icing.

Posted in bar, beer, cheese, culinary misadventure, Short North | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

North Market Apron Gala – May 17th (and More Market Mayhem)

Posted by CMH Gourmand on May 11, 2008

The 12th Annual North Market Apron Gala

Saturday, May 17th

Doors open and aprons on at – 7 PM

North Market

59 Spruce Street

Short North

Who: Me plus anyone one else that likes to eat and/or loves the North Market

What: Three courses of appetizers, tastes and samples of entrees, desserts, beer from Columbus Brewing Company, Ohio wines, multiple North Market vendors, a silent auction, fortune tellers, raffles, prizes, and a contest to see who has the coolest apron.

When: See Above

Where: North Market – the mecca of food goodness

Why: To support the North Market, proceeds go to support our North Market

How: Through the hard work of North Market vendors, staff, local restaurants, and the Friends of North Market

Tickets – $75 (worth every penny); $65 for registered Friends of the North Market

If you have never been to the North Market or have never been to a North Market event, this is the night to go. If anyone wants to meet up and talk food with me send me an e-mail, I will be there all evening.

If you need more encouragement to go, see my photos from the North Market Cinco D’ Ohio Festival below. The photos are a taste of the culinary wonders you can expect at events like this. I was one of the judges for the salsa contest. Nine people pitted their salsas up against the palettes of four lucky judges.

Then, I was also a judge for an array of tacos from for a fiery and heated competition with local professional chefs. Five Top chefs mixed their skill, creativity, and some North Market ingredients for a United Nations of flavors in the Taco Taste Off. The winner – in a tummy pleasing close call contest was Steve Lawrence from Cajohn’s Caboom Chili Company with his Asian Taco (in a soft, yet crunchy Wonton shell). Alana Shook (Alana’s) and John Dornbeck (Basi) were neck and neck in my book for a heartbreaking second place with my palette.

North Market is fun, fun, fun and the people are great so come support our market the night of May 17th.

Finally….If the Apron Gala does not work out for you or the other events seem too large scale, consider a more intimate experience with some of the best chef’s and cooks in Columbus:

To sign up drop by the North Market office or call to register at 614-463-9664.

Shop with the Chef Series, Saturdays, 10AM-1PM

Limit 20 people, cost $45 per person; $225 series

Saturday, June 7 – John Dornback, Basi Italia

Saturday, June 21 – Paul Yow, Barcelona

Saturday, July 5 – David Tetzloff, G. Michael’s Bistro

Saturday, July 19 – Matt Langstaff, Bexley’s Monk

Saturday, August 2 – Alana Shock, Alana’s Food + Wine

Saturday, August 16 – Robin Davis, The Columbus Dispatch

Summer Evening Chef Series, Wednesdays 6:30-8:30PM

Limit 26 people, cost $60 per person; $300 series

Wednesday, June 4 – John Skaggs, Chef at Large

Wednesday, June 18 – Jason Shelley, Mitchell’s Ocean Club

Wednesday, July 2 – Paul Yow, Barcelona

Wednesday, July 16 – Chef Rocco, Pastaria

Wednesday, August 6 – Matt Prokopchak, Trattoria Roma

Wednesday, August 20 – Matt Langstaff, Bexley’s Monk

Fall Evening Chef Series, Wednesdays 6:30-8:30PM

Limit 26 people, cost $60 per person; $300 series

Wednesday, September 3 – Henry Butcher Sr., Creole Kitchen

Wednesday, September 17 – Kevin Jones, The Columbus Fish Market

Wednesday, October 1 – Paul Yow, Barcelona

Wednesday, October 15 – David Tetzloff, G. Michael’s Bistro

Wednesday, November 5 – Matt Prokopchak, Trattoria Roma

Wednesday, November 19 – Matt Langstaff, Bexley’s Monk

Posted in bakery, cheese, chocolate, Columbus, culinary knowledge, food, ice cream, markets, Short North, wine | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

A Short North Sunday – L’Antibes

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 15, 2008

772 N. High St.
Short North
Brunch at L’Antibes is reasonably priced, relaxed and feels really European… a great way to start a lazy Sunday. The price is fixed at $15. Here is a sample of what to expect.

First Course
Crème fraiche with warm lingonberry jam
and brioche toast
Assorted cheese plate
Second Course
Poached Eggs Normandy, spinach and hollandaise
Quiche with boar bacon and asiago with young greens
Lobster Potato Gratin with “sunnyside up” egg
French Toast with fig jam and vanilla bean syrup

Brunch is Sunday only from 11AM to 3PM. This is a fine introduction to this restaurant and should be enticing enough for you to want to come back for a special lunch or dinner. The servers are well versed in the menu. They are more than happy to guide you through the menu or go in to detail on an item. L’Antibes puts the fun in French.

Posted in restaurants, Short North | Leave a Comment »

A Short North Saturday – Rigsby’s Kitchen

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 15, 2008

Rigsby’s Cuisine Volatile

698 North High Street

Short North


Rigsby’s Website

Saturday afternoon is a great time to explore the Short North. I like to experience Rigsbys when the restaurant is a little less crowded and more laid back. My new discovery (of something not so new) is the Cichetti Menu (venetian style small plates). There are some change ups to the menu but what is listed below is what you could / should expect to see:

Devilled Eggs with Shallots and White Truffle Oil
Greek Meat Balls with Tzadziki
Fried Picholine Olives
Empanadas Ernesto
Arancine with Prosciutto and Mozzarella
Prosciutto di Parma with Fig Jam and Fett’unta
Smoked Salmon Crostini with Horseradish-Chive Cream
Spicy Shrimp Bruschetta with Garlic and Raddichio
Steamed Mussels with Spicy Garlic Tomato Broth
Calamari Fritto
Baked Oysters with Parmigiana and Crisp Breadcrumbs
Pizza Quattro Formaggi with White Truffle Oil

The twelve items on the menu add up to just over $100. Seems possible for two motivated people with a bottle of wine.


An asian mother and daughter duo come in at least once per month to share this menu with two ceasar salads at the same corner table by the window – what a great idea! I have not attempted this yet – but throw in two glasses of wine and this experience sounds like a perfect afternoon to me.

My favorite on the menu is the Steamed Mussels in Spicy Garlic Tomato Broth for $11. The friendly servers know the menu and have the expertise to help you scale down your choices if you can not decide what you want to order.

Posted in restaurants, Short North | 1 Comment »