CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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Posts Tagged ‘DK Diner’

DK Diner: Kind of Dynamic

Posted by cmh gourmand on January 22, 2015

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My primary and secondary references to DK Diner have focused on their donuts. There are three reasons for that: 1) These donuts are among the finest in the state anywhere and I have the research to prove it 2) DK stands for Donut Kitchen – the previous name of this former Lawson’s location 3) As has been established before, Breakfast is my fifth favorite meal behind Second Lunch and Midnight Snack but I do make an exception for Breakfast – donuts. (Writer Note: I ordered 200 DK Diner donut for my wedding and there was only one box left the next day mainly because I hid it).

DK Diner originally established themselves as a breakfast destination (which can be confirmed any Saturday or Sunday Morning). I had forgotten I had breakfast there – once – I had to go through my notes to confirm such but I did indeed have breakfast there and it was good. I’m sure I had donuts. But there is more to dining life other than donuts and breakfast so DK Diner has continually been tweaking their approach to dining after Noon. (Writers Note: This post is dedicated to The Dining Duder who is the least favorite fan of the Ohio Donut Trail).

All of this came about then I was picking up some donuts for Mrs. Gourmand. I noticed some specials listed near the cash register including a coney special. I love a classic hot dog snadwich but Columbus does not support a hot dog or coney culture so I felt a need, well actually mission, maybe even an obligation to support a coney special. So I made note to come back on a Monday so I could belly up my support.

Coney

The coney special includes two coneys with cheese and onions with a hearty serving of hand cut fries. My coney cliff notes: Good combo and a great price. While consuming a coney I noticed another weekly special, Meatloaf. Meatloaf is the litmus test or the canary in a coal mine of any true Diner, so I planned on coming in during my next open Wednesday for more research. This special includes a fist sized serving of meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans (that are cooked not poured out of a can then reheated) and one half of a bun grilled to toast level crispness with a bit of butter. The meatloaf was cooked to perfection with just the right amount of ketchup baked in to the meat. This dish is all DK Diner needs for official diner status.

meatloaf

Another item that caught my eye in the side dish category was potato chips. Well actually this caught my eye and kept it, so I ordered these as my appetizer for my meatloaf main course. Wow, these chips are great, they are spindle cut and deep-fried to order coming out fresh with plenty of crispness with just enough slightly chewy pieces intermixed in the mess of potatoes piled into a basket. Other than OH! Chips, you will not find a better fresh potato chip in Ohio.

Chips

While masticating meatloaf I spied this on the regular menu: “Schlamager Bratwurst – DK’s special recipe, served on a grilled torpedo bun with sauerkraut, grilled pepper and onions”. So I looked for a day to come back and tried this. Verdict: Sehr gut. I asked my server if she knew anything about the name of the bratwurst or the special recipe, clearly she knew I was trying to get some “intel” so she feigned ignorance. Heading back home, I did some internet research to “crack the Schlamager code” and while I found lots of references to DK Diner I could not find a Schlamager on my screen. What ever Schlamager subterfuge is going on here, the end result is that it is an exceptional bratwurst sandwich experience served with a side of chips (and during my meal, a free donut at check out). What could be better than that? Well. While I was doing research I discovered DK Diner did offer a special featuring this brat with baked beans and pierogis, that would be slightly better than what I had and I would like to see that as a daily special.

Brat

So what is the key to success at this dynamic diner? They adapt to the times. Over the years the business has added patio space, focused on building up their bar business with local craft beers and some locally sourced spirits from Watershed Distillery. Another cool thing in the beer offerings, each beer is displayed in a baseball card style format to help guide your drinking decision and to help DK avoid constantly printing new beer menus. While all of this is being crammed into a small amount of space, DK Diner does not challenge guest with complicating anything. Booths feature instructions on how to interact with the diner: Drinks are self-serve, when it is time to leave, go to the counter with your table number and they will ring you out. Want the wi-fi password? It is listed on the information sheet. Another handy feature is the donut menu so you can see what they have to offer. This simple approach to diner satisfaction because most old school diners cater to their regulars that already know “the rules” while DK Diner wants to make you an “insider” on your first trip.

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DK Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in bar, beer, Diners, donuts | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

DK Diner Donuts

Posted by cmh gourmand on January 19, 2010

I don’t get excited about breakfast since it is the meal that takes stomach space and money away from lunch and dinner. However there are a few exceptions that deserve discussion. In my book donuts go with any meal but for some reason they seem most associated with breakfast. With that disclaimer, here is the downlow on DK Diner and their donuts.

Many people I know rave about DK Diner as a breakfast and lunch spot. Their reasons vary but the good feelings about the place are consistent and persistent. The common thread in all discussions is DK Diner donuts. People LOVE them. I was a bit skeptical about this. How could a place that is not a bakery or a donut specialist make such a drool worthy fried dough product? I am not sure of the how or why but I do know this, these are the best donuts in Franklin County.

DK Diner is a small place in Grandview. Looking at the building, it’s past life was probably as a garage or gas station. The inside seats about 40 and the interior would best be described as nondescript diner decor. One wall is plastered with propaganda from community sports teams and schools. Eating here is a lot like eating at a friends house. Service would best be described as a relaxed version of laidback. The staff seem to be hanging out here as much as working. Beverages are all self-serve and the orders come flying off the grill so fast you don’t even have time to establish a bond with the employees.

DK All the Way aka the heart attack starter

The breakfast and lunch are served here is standard diner fare. I did stick around for breakfast. I tried the DK All the Way which seemed to be the best way to gauge the quality of the food since it features about 1/2 of their menu. This dish consists of two soft chewy biscuits, each topped with a slice of ham and a fried egg covered with sausage gravy and surrounded by home fries. This was quite good. However it is time to get back to the donuts.

Damn, those donuts were good! During my time at the counter I noticed one common denominator among every customer. They each ordered a lot of donuts. There is a small selection of donuts by the cash register. I doubt there are ever more than 100 in the display case at any time. The selections include (the varieties are unmarked): blueberry, cinnamon, cruller, old fashioned cake, cream filled, Devils Food and maybe a few others. These fresh fried pastries appear to crafted in small batches. They would best be described as irregularly shaped (in some cases deformed), each one looks different from the other unlike the more uniform appearance I have seen at any other donut shop I have visited. The donuts are dense and chewy with a perfect crispy, crunchy crust on the outside.

See the bottom right corner, the first woman to bring me three of these gets my hand in marriage

Somehow looking at these unassuming handmade pastries I knew they were going to rock my socks off. I ordered one of each and spent the next twenty four hours sampling them looking for evidence that they were not the best donuts I have ever had. Exhaustive research on my part could only conclude that these are indeed the best donuts in central Ohio. I appreciate the public service that DK Diner offers by serving meals to the community but if they want to focus exclusively on donut sales that would be OK with me. My favorite of the box was the old fashioned cake donut with chocolate frosting and peanuts. I would really like to have one right now. Ummm donut…..

Where to find the donuts:

DK Diner
1715 West 3rd Ave
Grandview Heights
614.488.5160
Call for hours.

D K Diner on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, breakfast, Diners, donuts | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »