CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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Posts Tagged ‘Columbus Underground’

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)

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

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.

Posted in Columbus, culinary knowledge, ice cream, restaurants | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

A Burp in Food Content – Jim on a Soapbox. Columbus Rocks!!

Posted by CMH Gourmand on May 5, 2008

And now for something completely different. Man can not live by bread (and sandwiches, and ice cream, and…). For this post, I am all about the CMH (Columbus) and not so much the Gourmand.

I love Columbus. I am not sure when this happened. I have never been anti–Columbus but I had my eye on other places. I also, as my friends can attest, I made a run at being a fulltime Australian. I have been here all my life. Our city impresses me with potential. I think our fair city has a lot to offer anyone. And I think we are going to see some of this potential blossom sooner instead of later. I am excited about things other than eating….and that does not happen often.

Columbus is hip, in a tech-sexy kind of way.

The Columbus Social Media Café

Check out the blog; stay tuned for little leaps and bounds of greatness from this group. I have been a member since the first meeting. I always leave excited about what we can do. This group wants and needs more of you to add your two cents and two hands to grow this group. The object is to use Social Media (blogs, podcasts, Flickr groups, etc.) as a means of connecting the people of Columbus with information and each other. This is also a means to let people outside of 270 know about the greatness within. There is a social component to this group too. The Beer Wench is a member and we have become partners in crime for many food related events. Jeff from the blog UrbaninFill recently joined me for a Podcast adventure on the OSU campus.

I will let the website do the talking on this one. Podcamp is a great learning opportunity for everyone be you a computer geek or technophobe. People are traveling from throughout the state and the region to be here. We are lucky this event landed in Columbus. The guy to thank for this is Angelo Mandato. Thanks!

Another organization we are lucky to have in Columbus. This place plants the seeds for technology start-ups. What an incredible resource to have literally at our fingertips.

Start Up Weekend July 17th and 18th
At the end of this weekend, some people in Columbus will have created several viable, sustainable businesses with the help of like-minded peers and business experts – and probably a lot of coffee. The power of social media got the startup weekend here and will keep it thriving after the Start Up Weekend is finished. A post on Columbus Underground helped drive in the votes needed for Columbus to win out over many other cities.

Columbus Underground

Thanks Walker Evans for creating and maintaining this hub of hipness and great information. If there is something going on in Columbus, it will be on this site, with regulars posting their well reasoned opinions on everything from streetcars, to the best new restaurant or just who wants to meet up for a drink. This is another example of the power of social media. It is not about e-mails – it is about action and connecting likeminded people. Some members of the group decided to meet up at the Warehouse Café downtown on Saturdays to support weekend business downtown. A few posts built a cadre of regulars. Now, each Saturday sees up to 30 people pass through the doors to support an independent business and build some friendships. In the past four months several people in this group have become really good friends of mine. We have a Kickball team, dine out events, beer tastings, survived a Dagwood Eating contest; we did a cleanup on a bike trail and are a defacto support group for a bastion of streetcar evangelists.

Now some no tech stuff that is cool.


When we build it, they will ride. Come on Columbus. Streetcars are not intended to solve our public transportation problem. This is a first step, a baby step really. Sometimes in the life, or the life of a city, you have to start with what you have – not what would be perfect or meet everyone needs all at once. If you wait for the right time, the right time never comes. You have to make things happen and this is the time to make streetcars a reality.


If you have never been – go. I am starting the countdown to my shift at the wine booth.

GO COLUMBUS! Back to food bloging. I now return you to your regularly scheduled CMH Gourmand – already in progress.

Posted in Columbus | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »