CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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Tremont Goodie Shop: More Than Just A Bakery

Posted by CMH Gourmand on May 11, 2011

And now for something completely different…… guest commentary.

Columbus is lucky to have a very large and devoted cadre of food enthusiasts with an unconscious agenda to grow good food in our city. Through exploration, education, encouragement, advice, allocating 40% or more of disposable income to the culinary arts and a good amount of twittering around, these people are guiding Columbus into a more food focused town. I am happy to call many of these people my friends. I am also happy that I can not count all of these movers and shakers with all of my fingers and toes. Indeed, there are that many people escalating eating forward, around and upside down in our town.

My friend Molly Kurth serves on the board of Slow Food Columbus and is vocal supporter of our food community especially her neighborhood haunts Basi Italia, Knead and Cafe Corner. Today she is sharing one of her favorite places since childhood. Photographs are by our mutual friend Kate Djupe who is a chef, photographer, gardener, canner and person extraordinaire.

Frosted Butter Star Cookies. Those four words evoke memories, flavors, moments and smiles for me in a way that few other foods do. Those little cookies, compliments of The Tremont Goodie Shop, represent more than just delicious little baked treats (and they are delicious!). They represent tradition and community and, for me, my childhood. My grandma would take us there on our weekend adventures, letting us pick out a treat or two and, for me it was always the frosted butter star cookie. Those cookies still bring a smile to my face every time I walk in the shop and I can hardly ever walk out without a few in a bag, eating them as I walk out the door.

If you have not experienced The Goodie Shop, let me give you an idea of what you are missing so you can hurry up and add it to your list of “Things I Must Try in Columbus”. Tucked in the Tremont Shopping Center, in an area one of my friends fondly calls the Bermuda Triangle of Arlington, is a business that is first and foremost a family. And, in case you wondered how a business can be a family, let me share a story with you. Back in 2009, The Goodie Shop was going through a transition that was going to force them to close for a few months. It was emotional for the family who had owned it for more than 50 years and it was a sad moment for those in the community who had gotten their birthday cakes, holiday rolls, weekend donuts or just a simple treat while they were in the area. I became one of the fierce advocates posting on Twitter and Facebook about the closing of The Goodie Shop and our hope that it would be saved by those who loved it most. Soon there were posts about selling t-shirts and coming out to support them as they made their best effort to repurchase everything at the mandated auction, which would occur after a community rally to save The Goodie Shop. The outpouring of community support and love was overwhelming, even to the casual observer and an emotional buoy for the people trying to save the business that had become a family for this community.

During the period of time that the shop was closed, my best friends from college were coming to town for our annual girls’ weekend, which was doubling as a baby shower for one of the girls. I was saddened that I would not be able to get my cake from The Goodie Shop and began the search for where I was going to go. In the midst of the search, the returning owners of The Goodie Shop (whose father had owned it years before) reached out and said “we’ll make it for you at our home – just send us pictures of what you want and we will meet you at the Chef-o-nette to pick it up”. Yep, that is what I mean by family.

So, fast forward to 2011, where I have a few friends who have *never* been to The Goodie Shop – what? I know. But instead of berating them (okay, there was a little of that), I organized a mini-tour of the Tremont Center, where we got to sample some of The Goodie Shops classic treats. Emilie Smith, whose mom Debbie Smith, owns the shop, did an amazing job putting together a tasting for us, letting us sample some of the beloved treats and even bringing in Snowville Creamery Milk for us to enjoy with the sweets. Emilie is successfully carrying on the legacy that was created by her grandfather, one that is rooted in the community and the traditions of so many families who grew up here.

So, I will leave you with a few of my favorite treats and hope that you discover a few of your own too:
Molly’s favorites:

Frosted Butter Star Cookies (buy several, trust me.)

Chocolate Frosted Long Johns and Classic Glazed Yeast Donuts
(get there early or pre-order the donuts, when they are gone, they are gone.)

6-Pan Cinnamon Rolls (a must-have for holiday mornings in our house)

Dinner Rolls
(choose your style, so good and one less thing you have to do for Thanksgiving dinner!)

Cream Horns
(light and flaky, one of the few places that still makes their dough from scratch!)

White cake with white Icing
– Miranda, one of Debbie’s daughters, does much of the decorating (if not all of it) and has made some awesome designs – you can check out the gallery online.

Tremont Goodie Shop
located in Tremont Center
2116 Tremont Center
Upper Arlington
Hours: M-F 7a-6p; Sat 7a-5p; closed Sundays

Writer and Foodista Molly is a Columbus native who loves sharing her passion for the people and food in her community. After many years living away from Columbus, she is back and discovering how much cool stuff the city has to offer.

Posted in bakery, Columbus, culinary knowledge, desserts, donuts | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Schneider’s Bakery: Early Morning Donut Run

Posted by CMH Gourmand on January 11, 2011

Food nourishes the body. When it is really good it nourishes the soul as well. It also creates memories that connects us to people and places that endure longer than the meal itself. Good food can become great if it is paired with a palatable memory. Therefore, a mere donut can be a life defining thing when combined with the bonding that happens best in college. Early in the morning while there may be better things to do such as sleep or study, eating a donut or a box of them with friends is an event that memories and maybe legends are made of.

Schneider’s Bakery is a legendary landmark in downtown Westerville and a late night destination for Otterbein College (now University) students since 1957. Owner Jeff Hamler has been around awhile as well. He bought the bakery in 1987 after starting work there as a teenager in 1974. Several friends mentioned Schneider’s with a sense of reverence and nostalgia and often used the phrase “nothing beats one of their fresh donuts, hot out of the oven at one in the morning.” The late night aspect had me intrigued indeed. It seems that Schneider’s opens at 1:30 am Tuesday to Thursday and 1:00 am on Friday and Saturday. That seemed interesting – but not critical until this happened (see below).

I arrived about noon on a weekday. No donuts. Well, there was one. The nice lady at the counter let me have it for free since she felt sorry for me….and the lonely donut. She told me that they often run out of donuts early in the morning and such was the case today. This was not such a bad thing, since I had time to look at the rest of Schneider’s offerings. Schneider’s is a bakery that offers donuts instead of a donutery that is an exclusively donut maker. These are some of the items Schneider’s can supply customers: cinnamon rolls, muffins, bread (buns, loaves, rolls: butterflake, cloverleaf and Parkerhouse, white, whole wheat, rye, French, Vienna) cookies, brownies, Danish, sweet rolls, croissants, cakes (in any variety serving up to eight people), cupcakes and a few more things. One of those things comes in the form of Coffee cakes (I counted multiple types) with the best looking of the bunch being the sour cream version. I grabbed a couple pecan sandies that were the diameter of a volleyball and left with my culinary tail between my legs vowing to come back at 1 am for donuts.

And that I did. I arrived at 12:50 am on a Saturday morning. The facade was dark as the cold night I was freezing in. I saw no signs of life. I twittered away on my iPhone thinking that perhaps I was a dumbass. I looked up a few minutes later to see twenty-five or so Otterbein students queued up for their sugar fix. Yet still no sign of life or light or donuts inside. At 1:01 am, the lights flashed on, the doors opened and the first wave of sorority girls surged to the counter. I found myself in the second wave, standing in front of a drunk or cognitively impaired (or both) middle-aged fella who seemed to be mostly amusing himself repeating the same joke over and over again until someone would laugh. I only felt slightly less out of place in my very non-hipster warm clothing vs. the jeggings and other warm weather fashions the rest of the kids were sporting. The importance of this moment was best summarized by two young lads standing outside in the cold. (Lad #1) “Dude, why are we doing this?” (Dude) “Because they (donuts) are awesome.”

Schneider’s offers a good late night deal for the kids. For $1 you get a donut with a glass or chocolate or regular milk. Every person (twenty) in front of me opted for that option. Then came me. I threw the whole process out of whack. I was here to get a box of donuts. In between Sophie’s choice level decisions about what and how many of each type of donut I needed, I was asking questions and snapping photos on the fly. To the members of the class of 2013 that froze longer because of me I offer my apologies and a word of wisdom – don’t wear flip-flops in the winter.

(see my selections below)

Schneider’s donut selection is pretty impressive. The guy behind the counter goes out of his way to make sure you get the freshest of the fresh of any donut selected (since you did stay up late / get up early to come see him). The crowd favorites seem to be the glazed blueberry cake donut and the standard yeast donut hot out of the fryer. The donut selection is deep in the raspberry, lemon and custard filled categories so I picked up several of those. I was intrigued by the Davy Crockett a massive, roundish cinnamon fried donut with maple icing. I sampled my donuts later in the day with a twitter based tasting team. We found the donuts to be consistently good. None could be as good as the hot donut I had at one in the morning. If you want to create a memory for yourself, hit Schneider’s for an early morning donut run.

Schneider’s Bakery
6 South State Street

Tuesday – Thursday
1:30 am to 6:00 pm
1:00 am to 6:00 pm
1:00 am to 3:00 pm
(Donuts at your own risk after 6 am)

Schneider's Bakery on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, donuts | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Auddino’s Italian Bakery: Audaciously Awesome Donuts

Posted by CMH Gourmand on January 2, 2011

We will get to the donuts in a bit. Let’s digress with some history and backstory for a distraction. I have eaten Auddino’s baked goods my entire life, but I rarely knew it. This Italian bakery supplies breads, buns, rolls and all types of flour based goods to at least one half of the Italian restaurants in town and who knows where else. The Auddino’s immigrated to Columbus from Italy in 1966 and have grown a gigantic following of loyal regulars in the last four decades. They even have a second location in Florida so that Columbus snowbirds are not deprived of their sweet treats. The bakery moved to their current Linden area location in the 1990’s.

This is a large volume bakery but they have set aside enough counter space to sell everything they offer to the public. In addition to cash and carry baked goods they sell some hard to find Italian-American grocery items such as olive oils, giardiniera, sauces, sardines, and such. When I parked, a car pulled up beside me. My friend Matt popped out. He was surprised this was my first time here so he provided the rundown on what I should get. He confirmed that everything was awesome but he wanted to make sure that I ordered a few critical items. The critical items are: glazed croissants, cannolis and apple fritters. I can confirm that these are all wonderfully perfect.

The glazed croissants come in two sizes regular and large. Some have a light drizzle of chocolate. These were fresh, perfect and would meet any Frenchman’s approval with or without sugar. These are the best in Columbus. I have searched for a good cannoli in Columbus for about ten years. I never found one that ceased my craving. Auddino’s cannolis are among the better versions I have tried in the United States (this includes: what I have sampled in Little Italy neighborhoods of Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia….and (for the price to value range) New York). As for the apple fritters – I may need to have an fritter throwdown but I believe these are as good as or maybe better than the apple fritter at Resch’s Bakery. If you have the impression that I was impressed you are correct.

I visited the bakery on a Saturday. Mama and Papa Auddino were minding the counter serving regular customers they know by sight and order. Most of the transactions were small – a bag of sandwich buns or a loaf of bread. The Auddinos are a kind and sweet elderly couple that might be described as hobbits with Italian accents. I approached the countered stating I wanted to “get a lot of donuts”, mama said “wait a minute while I get this person, I know what he wants”, she passed me off to papa who said the same thing. After a bit of gourmand ping pong one of them finally picked me and my ordering began.

Auddino’s has most of the standard donuts selections – none were perfectly formed which is a good sign in my donut consumption experience. Stick donuts come plain or with a vanilla or maple glaze. In my donut investigations, any legitimate Ohio donutery must offer the maple option. I picked up one or two of each donut offering including two standard donut doughnuts. These all looked good, smelled delightfully “donuty” and felt fresh to the touch. I fought my inner consumption demons not to eat them in the lobby. I also noted that papa Auddino seemed to give me a significant discount on my order, he must have sensed that I am in the process of becoming a loyal regular.

Instead, I took my donuts to the toughest donut testing team on the planet – the Lopez sisters. These three Puerto Rican princesses have consumed Donald’s Donuts in Zanesville for twenty plus years. Auddinos donuts passed the Lopez litmus test with flying colors. At this point some of you are wondering….um, what about the DK Diner test? I expected Auddino’s to be very good. I was not prepared for these donuts to be audaciously awesome. If I had, I would have picked up a box of DK Diner donuts for a head to head comparison. My gut tells me that some individual donut types at DK Diner may still be a bit better. On the flip side, Auddino’s has better variety, the best cannoli on this continent and glazed croissants. For now, pending intensive research over the winter, I will declare Auddino’s and DK Diner tied for best in Columbus. Additional Ohio research trips in Dayton and Springfield are in the works to declare an overall winner.

1490 Clara St
Linden (between I-71 and the Ohio State Fairgrounds on 11th)
Open 6:30AM to 4PM (3PM Sat)
Closed Sunday

Auddino's Italian Bakery on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, desserts, donuts | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Resch’s Bakery: A Donut Run

Posted by CMH Gourmand on December 12, 2010

Even though I am not a superfan of donuts, I found myself questing for them a lot this year. Resch’s was presented as a local favorite by several respected fooders so it was decided I needed to buy a box to sample with my tasting team.

I have been long overdue in making a trek to Resch’s. The bakery opened in 1912 and has been at the present location since 1960. Generations of eastsiders swear by Resch’s. Whenever I mention the place to long time Columbus residents I usually hear a nostalgic sigh followed by a story about a wedding cake, decades of birthday cake memories or a favorite donut. When I mention the place to Columbus transplants I hear concerns about the location, having to wait in line or being put out by a cash or check only policy.

I enjoyed my first visit on a busy Saturday morning. Newcomers have to figure out the order of ordering operations on their own. I noticed several people standing in random places in the store looking intently at the counter. Then I observed a chaotic choreography of customers and counter staff converging together as people were matched with numbers so they could place orders or pick up cakes. I then figured out where the number ticket machine was, pulled my tab and started to explore Resch’s while I waited.

Resch’s seems to have a Bavarian connection based on a mural on the wall. The counters and display cases are made out of wood showing an ancient and well worn look from decades of use. There are ten to twelve employees behind the counter dodging each other as they fill customers requests for donuts, pretzels, cookies, cakes and more. The cakes seem very popular, at least when I was there, I counted at least 100 cake boxes labeled and ready for pick up lined by the bakery entrance. I noticed shelves full of hamburger and hot dog buns, plenty of bagged baked goods including Vanilla and Cinnamon sticks ready for consumption. I spied springerle’s – hard little cookies with deer images on the top. There is a significant depth and diversity to the baked goods line up at Resch’s. I saw enough to get my interest, including a lot of smiles from regulars so I know that I need to come back for more research.

I ordered fourteen donuts and delivered them to my tasting team. Our consensus, these are really good donuts. My thoughts, not as good a DK Diner (Sorry Resch’s loyalists). The winner was the apple fritter. I liked that the Resch’s interpretation are smaller and taller than the typical fritter so these are easier to manage and manhandle on a plate or box. Two of my tasters noted that the apple flavor was very apparent in each bite. Resch’s donuts were all good. The rest of Resch’s looks really good too. I’ll be back.

Resch’s Bakery
4061 East Livingston Ave
Columbus (East Side)

Resch's Bakery on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, donuts | Tagged: , | 5 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
Call for hours.

D K Diner on Urbanspoon

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

Buckeye Donuts: an OSU Late, Late Night Tradition

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 8, 2008

Buckeye Donuts

1998 North High Street

Corner of 18th and High Street

OSU Campus


Web Site

Most of OSU is new now. One exception is Buckeye Donuts. This small nook of a corner donut shop has been serving up donuts and coffee since 1969. I do not know how long it has been 24 hours a day service but based on my own trips and drive by’s – my guess would be at least a decade. Gyro’s were added into the list of offerings sometime in the 1990’s… it all kind of blurs together sometimes. For quite some time, the Gyro’s were made by Souvlaki George from (closed) Souvlaki Palace but he is no longer with us at BD.

One of the most memorable nights at the shop was when it was a featured destination on Insomniac with Dave Attell.

My favorite Buckeye donut would be a tie between an old fashioned and a chocolate covered crueller.

The Barouxis family has owned BD since day one. The Buckeye Donuts in the German Village area is no longer affiliated with the campus location but I hear the donuts are still good. There are many great BD stories and you can find some of them on Columbus Underground as comments to the Buckeye Donut review I posted on CU in January.

Posted in bakery, beverages, breakfast, culinary misadventure | Tagged: | 1 Comment »