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Photos: Brunch at The Torpedo Room

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One of the latest Columbus Food League arrivals, The Torpedo Room, launched a limited brunch menu this past Sunday in conjunction with a monthly event of brunch + a classic movie at the Gateway Film Center. I took my five-year-old to go check out the brunch (although I don’t think he’s quite ready for Goldfinger). The Torpedo Room is located on the main floor of the GFC; you’ll see the signs just to the left of the concession stand.

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As you might expect, the single-room restaurant uses a heavy nautical theme, with round portholes, heavy draped curtains, and a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea feel.

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There’s a good amount of seating, and the restaurant includes a full bar. It’s a cozy and quiet spot.

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The current brunch menu (it may change) features seven items, lots of sides, plus drinks (including the bar). There’s a heavy southwestern theme, with burritos, enchiladas, and huevos rancheros taking the lead. Like every CFL restaurant, you can rely on solid vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options.

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I took the opportunity to finally try a Rambling House ginger beer. Rambling House produces their own natural sodas out of a small space in southern Clintonville (where they host a LOT of live music), and their sodas are showing up on tap around town. The ginger beer is bright, fizzy, and a delightful balance between sweet and a nice gingery pucker. The last few gulps were especially strong with the ginger. You could make some great cocktails out of this.

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I chose the egg and cheese enchiladas, because you don’t see many breakfast enchiladas out there. The two enchiladas are filled with eggs and cheese, and topped heavily with a spicy verde salsa; I added the optional chorizo, because… well, chorizo. They’re served with a small plate of hash browns.

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Will asked for the breakfast burrito, a good-sized one filled with eggs, cheese, beans, sausage, and salsa, plus a side of potatoes.

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It was as filling and tasty as you would expect from a breakfast burrito.

Overall, it’s a solid brunch that’s just getting started. Expect the menu to change and hopefully regular hours to be established.

If you want to visit:
The Torpedo Room
1550 N. High St. (inside the Gateway Film Center)
Columbus, OH 43201
(614) 247-4433

Currently brunch is just served with this event. Upcoming movie brunches (cost is $15 for both your meal and the movie ticket) include:
April 6th: Breathless
May 4th: Annie Hall

UPDATED: Regular brunch hours are Sat & Sun, 11a-2p; Cinema Classic brunches start at 12p, movie is at 2.

The Torpedo Room on Urbanspoon

Beyond Breakfast: Mughal Darbar | Columbus, OH

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I’ve spoken before of our family’s love for a lot of cuisines, highlighting passions for Ethiopian and Mexican food, but I haven’t said much of our love for Indian cuisine, too.

Well, it’s time to rectify that.

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When our family falls in love with a place, we fall hard, and our loyalty sometimes prevents us from branching out as much as we should. Columbus has its fair share of top-notch Indian restaurants, but for many years our hearts were true to Taj Mahal just north of OSU’s campus. We were regulars at Taj. We were on a first-name basis with the owners. We even hosted some events with them at Wild Goose Creative. We love that they had history as one of the first Indian restaurants in Columbus, opening more than twenty-five years ago. But then they quietly closed earlier this year.

The general word (confirmed by the new owners) is that it was sold to distant family members. The building was fixed up, the menu revamped, a few of the prices lowered, and it re-opened as Mughal Darbar. The “Mughal” in the title refers to the Mughal Empire that once ruled much of India, and this translates into a little more Persian influence in the food. If you were a fan of Taj, pretty much everything you loved on the menu is still there, and there are some new favorites to boot.

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Entrees are served in metal dishes, and you spoon it over rice. This makes it perfect for sharing. Above are three of our favorites. At the top is coconut murgh, or coconut chicken, in a sweeter sauce with big chunks of tender chicken. To the right is saag paneer, a tangy combination of spinach (the saag) and paneer, a spongy white Indian cheese. On the bottom left is baingain bartha, a rich and slightly smoky eggplant dish.

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Mughal also has a full bar. I appropriately ordered Elevator Brewing’s India Pale Ale to pair with our meal.

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Indian food is typically served with naan, a thin crusty bread that’s baked on the side of a tandoori oven. There are a multitude of flavors, but we usually go for the garlic naan and the paneer onion kulcha, which includes cheese and onion.

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Much like Ethiopian cuisine, Indian food can be eaten by tearing pieces of naan and scooping bites of the meat, vegetables, and rice.

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Mughal includes a type of naan called peshwari naan, too, which usually has nuts and fruit in it. We were so-so on this one – it was a little dry – but our impressions are unfair because we absolutely loved this bread when we studied abroad in London.

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Our recent visits took place during Dewali, and Mughal offered a wider range of desserts than they normally do. We enjoyed some rice pudding.

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As well as these sweet, crispy honey fritters (I can’t remember their name).

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Mughal hosts a lunch buffet regularly, and it’s especially popular on Sundays.

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Their food holds up to the buffet treatment, and it’s a chance for you to sample a lot of different dishes, plus appetizers, salad, naan, and dessert.

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You can’t really see it from these pictures, but the owners at Mughal Darbar have done some much-needed updates to their space, with fresh paint and decorations, refurbished of wood floors, and better lighting. The restaurant is an old house on High Street, just north of campus, and they’ve done a wonderful job of making it feel even more homey.

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Our last trip to the buffet included meals with vegetables, beef, potatoes, chicken, and lamb.

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And you have to finish a run at the buffet with a couple (or four) of these spongy fried cake balls. They’re hot and soaked in honey, and therefore delicious.

We certainly miss Taj Mahal and the family that ran it, but Mughal Darbar has taken a beloved experience and improved on it. So it will continue as our go-to for Indian food in town.

If you want to visit:
Mughal Darbar
2321 N. High St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43214
(614) 429-0700
Open Tues-Sat, 11a-2p, 5-9:30; Sun, 11:30a-2p, 5-9p
Find them on Facebook

Mughal Darbar on Urbanspoon

The Little Donut Shop | Columbus, OH

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The Little Donut Shop
(Facebook)

1716 N. High St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43201
(614) 725-4940
Open daily 9a-4p
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Visited: Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 11:00 a.m.

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A new donut shop? What?! This is big news for any breakfast aficionado, as well as any red-blooded, pastry-loving American. So imagine my surprise when I read online about a new donut shop opening across the street from Ohio State’s campus. It snuck up on me! So on our first available Saturday we sought out the new shop with the quaint name: The Little Donut Shop. You can find The Shop on street level below The Big Bar (get it?), part of the Newport Music Hall building facade.

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Little Donut Shop’s space is clean, new, and nicely packaged. Their branding is solidly designed and consistent throughout.

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The interior includes a small ramp up into the space (which eventually leads to the staircase up to the bar). There are cab tables and counters spread along the walls. It’s fairly open and easy to access for the grab-and-go customers.

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The menu sports a good variety to begin with, and I’m sure they cycle in some specials once in a while. The pricing is pretty standard, at $1 per donut, $5 for the half dozen, and $8 for the full dozen. I didn’t think to ask how many donuts come in the Late Night Bucket. What’s a little odd is that the current hours – 9am to 4pm – aren’t exactly of the “late night” variety, so I’m not sure when is the ideal time for such a bucket.

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Little Donut Shop’s donuts are a little smaller, maybe about three inches across. The intention seems to be that customers can put away two or three of these, in lieu of a single giant bismark or a thick cake donut.

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They make up for the smaller size, though, with an over-the-top line-up of toppings, glazes, and flavorings. They seem to draw inspiration from some of the wackier donut shops out there, like VooDoo Doughnut in Portland, Oregon. Which is good, in some ways, because Columbus doesn’t have anything quite like that (although Heather at Destination Donuts gets pretty creative). They use one type of cake donut as the base and then go all out with the toppings. See above: the Oreo and the M&M donuts, covered in a white glaze and generously smothered.

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Or, of course, the maple bacon.

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There’s the raspberry lemonade.

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The chocolate and the strawberry shortcake (I think?).

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Or the powdered and the Dirty Worm.

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We grabbed a good variety: maple bacon, M&M, chocolate, samoa, Milky Way, and sprinkle. The verdict? Good, but not mind-blowing. Certainly very sweet and fun to eat: a big hit with our kiddos. The base donut is pretty simple, and the toppings are very creative, but they came off as overly sweet. Case in point: the Milky Way is a donut that’s glazed and drizzled with caramel and mini chocolate chips and more chocolate. It’s just a lot of sugar packed into one small bite. I guess my ideal for this size of donut is something like Duck Donuts in North Carolina and Virginia, which uses a simple yeast donut as their base, and then dips them in sweet but balanced toppings.

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Little Donut Shop is certainly differentiating itself with a lot of creative flavors. They’ve done a wonderful job with that space and the branding, and hopefully the nearby student population will take notice. Their challenge will be carving out a niche when nearby tried-and-true spots like Buckeye Donuts have already been winning over donut fans for decades.

The Little Donut Shop on Urbanspoon

Tree Spirit Coffee | Columbus, OH

IMG_4485[Update September 2013: the cart is temporarily closed while they search for a permanent home.]

Tree Spirit Coffee (Facebook)
Currently at Woodruff Ave. & Tuller St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43201
(801) 949-7664
Follow on Facebook for specials, times, and current location

Visited: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

While I’m always on the lookout for good food and coffee near Ohio State’s campus, I started seeing Facebook posts in the spring about a new trailer that had up shop along High Street just south of Lane. I never made it during the spring semester, but while driving some back streets on the way to *ahem* Buckeye Donuts, I spotted Tree Spirit at Woodruff and Tuller. It’s a little difficult to find – and not as clearly seen as the High Street location, but it’s worth a stop.

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On a warm spring day, I wanted some iced coffee. Kelsey (sp?), who was running the trailer, suggested the vanilla cinnamon iced coffee. She was spot-on. It was rich and sweet, with a little bite from the cinnamon. She added cream at my request; they stock Snowville Creamery goods.

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Tree Spirit has a nice selection of iced coffees, teas, bagels, yogurt, plus some hot sandwiches.

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They run daily specials as well. Keep an eye on their Facebook page to see what they’re serving there and where they are. Kelsey (again, sp?) told me that the owner is currently looking for a brick-and-mortar space along High Street, and that they plan to be moved in by the end of the summer. Judging by my iced coffee, Tree Spirit will be a welcome addition in the area!

Beyond Breakfast: Penn State Berkey Creamery

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What goes best with a little BBQ while you’re on the road in spring break? Ice cream! And if you happen to be on the road anywhere near central Pennsylvania, your best bet for ice cream has to be Penn State University’s Berkey Creamery.

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I know I know I know… I’m a blogger from Ohio, I teach at THE Ohio State University, Penn State is supposed to be a sworn enemy, blah blah blah. Columbus does ice cream well – we do it very well – but ice cream has been proven to transcend cultural, geographic, national, and yes, sometimes religious boundaries. So while we have lots of ice cream to be proud of in central Ohio, we’ve got to acknowledge the excellence of Penn State’s ice cream program. After all, our very own Jeni of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams attended Berkey Creamery.

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At the Berkey Creamery, it’s not just all ice cream. There’s sherbet, there’s cheese, and there are sticky buns from the local diner.

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In recent years the Creamery moved to a new space in the new Food Science Building. From what I barely remember of the old space (I only peaked in once), this is spot is bigger and more open. One corner of it is run like a good old fashioned convenience store, but a majority of the space is dedicated to the ice cream.

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Like any established ice cream shop, the Berkey Creamery has its share of famous flavors, like Peachy Paterno, Coconut Chip, and Mint Nittany. One of the more well known – and my personal favorite – is the Death By Chocolate.

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Death By Chocolate isn’t a really complex flavor, it’s just really, really great chocolate ice cream. It’s rich, it’s not over-the-top sweet, and it’s served in a generous heaping cup.

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We also “sampled” the cookies & cream and the peanut butter swirl.

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I’ve always had a soft spot for cookies and cream. It’s one of my go-tos at any ice cream parlor. The chunkier, the better.

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This would be a great way to go.

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Aside from eating ice cream on premises, we also visited with the purpose of loading up a cooler with half gallons. The creamery features an entire wall of freezers loaded top to bottom with ice cream, and they’ll pack it on dry ice for you.

For ice cream lovers or for casual travelers, the Berkery Creamery is a must-stop in central Pennsylvania. And don’t be intimidated by the campus location: it’s easy to access and a nearby parking garage has half hour spots dedicated to Creamery visitors.

If you want to visit:
Berkey Creamery
119 Food Science Building (map it!)
University Park, PA 16802
creamery.psu.edu
See also on Facebook and @PSUCreamery

Berkey Creamery on Urbanspoon

Boston Stoker Coffee | Columbus, OH

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Boston Stoker (Facebook / @BostonStokerOSU)
1660 Neil Ave. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43210
(937) 890-6401
Open Mon-Fri, 6:30a-7p; Sat & Sun, 8a-2p
Accepts cash & credit/debit

Date of Visit: Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:30pm

Coffee on Ohio State’s campus – or any college campus, for that matter – can be a dubious affair. Students in need of caffeination are surrounded by shops hawking extra large lattes and towering cappuccinos. And let’s face it, as a student you’re usually focused more bang-for-your-buck caffeine stimulation rather than the true coffee experience. And that demand is met by places like Brenen’s Cafe, Starbucks, Panera, or any of the OSU food service run coffee shops.

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So if you’re someone like me, and you want coffee, but something beyond a sugary iced chai or a grande cup of acidic dark roast, you’re usually out of luck. Until about a year ago, when a Dayton-based chain called Boston Stoker opened a store on Neil Avenue near the center of campus. Like the Brenen’s Cafe that previously occupied the space, Boston Stoker fills the front half of the building, while the back half is dedicated to a bank branch. So in some ways the coffee shop feels like a glorified bank lobby, but it’s got enough personality to be a real coffee shop: couches for chatting, outlets for laptops, plenty of tables for studiers.

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The Boston Stoker company roasts their beans in Dayton, where they have nine other stores. In Columbus, menus are printed daily with the coffees available for espresso, French press, or pour overs.

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They also serve tea, plus munchables like bagels and muffins.

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The real feature of their coffee service is the brew bar, where cups of coffee are prepared individually using the pour over method.

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Pour overs provide a little song-and-dance routine for the customer, as it’s slightly more involved than just shooting coffee out of a press pot. This process includes pouring hot water over the coffee grounds in a funneled filter.

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This maximizes the appropriate contact time between water and grounds, and it allows you to do it one cup at a time.

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The result allows you to best feature the roast’s flavor profile. Seriously, you don’t need cream or sugar with it.

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I tried a cup of the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe on the recommendation of the barista, and I loved it. Clean, rich, a little fruity.

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This is why I’m so happy to have Boston Stoker on campus: no one else nearby is making coffee like this! Sure, maybe not all college students are looking for the ideal coffee experience, but there’s got to be a crowd for this. Especially given that the closest places preparing coffee well are further south in Short North or up in Clintonville. I know I’m going to create some slight detours to Boston Stoker on the walk between my office and my classrooms.

Photos: a Jack & Benny’s revisit

One of the challenges of food blogging, especially when talking about restaurants, is to keep discovering and writing about something new, while simultaneously wanting to revisit old favorites. I know, I know… poor me. But the real joy of a good breakfast place is becoming a regular there, getting to know the owners and even some returning customers.

Case in point: Jack & Benny’s. I reviewed J&B’s way back in 2007, when the blog was just starting. So the description is inexperienced and the photos are less-than-great. I still stand by my assessment, but I think I could represent the restaurant better. So, of course, when my boys and I had a free Saturday morning on a OSU football gameday, we swung by for some grub and to snap a couple more photos.

Two important things to know about Jack & Benny’s. 1.) They’re a classic diner. Big wooden floor. Old counter and stools (you can tell they’re old because they’re a little smaller – my legs are crammed when I sit there). The owner Geno works the grill. Cheap coffee and generous breakfasts. 2.) J&B’s is an Ohio State institution. Even if they’re not technically on campus, they’re close enough that the decor is like a museum of OSU football history. The main wall is lined with photos of past coaches and players, famous diners, and the owners posed with other notables. Then there’s the case of bobblehead dolls: everyone’s represented, from Woody Hayes to Archie Griffin to Jim Tressel to the brand new Urban Meyer.

Jack & Benny’s is also home of the busters. I will admit, without shame, that I rarely order anything other than the Gutbuster. It’s everything I love about breakfast: eggs, hash browns, sausage, cheese, ham, gravy, and toast. All in one indistinguishable pile.

Look at that: layers of breakfast goodness. And while the portions are big, I’ve never experienced the actual gut-busting that the name promises. (But does that say something about the dish or about me? Hmmm…) Nevertheless, Jack & Benny’s is one of my neighborhood diners, and it’s worth a visit or two or three. Goodness knows I’m always looking for the excuse to go back.

Sloopy’s Diner | Columbus, OH

Sloopy’s Diner
1739 N. High St., in the Ohio Union (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-7000
Accepts cash, credit/debit, and BuckID
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y
Date of Visit: Friday, August 5, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.
IMPRESSIONS: Anyone who attends or works at Ohio State is familiar with construction on campus. We live with road closures and new buildings, but we also enjoy the fruits of all that labor. Cases in point: our beautiful renovated library, and our massive new Ohio Union. And a bonus that came with the Union: the designers wisely placed a diner in it.
ATMOSPHERE: Because Sloopy’s is, after all, situated on the campus of THE Ohio State University, you can expect very heavy Buckeye themes. Tile floors, plates, lighting fixtures, booths, signs, countertops, everything is decorated in scarlet and gray. It’s very fitting for a diner, actually.
If you go at mealtimes, especially during the school year, you’re bound to find crowds of students. However, the diner provides a wealth of seating, with two levels of booths, tables, and a looooong row of counter seats. For a diner, it’s pretty spacious.
You also get a big view of the kitchen, so Sloopy’s may not have that crammed-next-to-your-neighbor charm that smaller places like Nancy’s or Jack & Benny’s boast, but it still gives you enough of the diner flare.
FOOD: We started off with some coffee. Notice the checkered scarlet and gray around the cups and plates. Coffee was good diner coffee; bonus points for bringing out a mug of cream automatically.
We had heard tell of their popular cinnamon rolls, too, so we sampled one. It was pretty warm and soft. Definite cream cheese taste in the frosting. Not the best cinnamon roll ever, but I can see why people go for them. It works well as an appetizer for a group.
I haven’t seen too many breakfast sliders on menus, so we had to try one of these, too. It’s essentially a small breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs and a sausage patty, but then it’s topped with crispy onions and a dash of barbeque sauce. This could make an easy light breakfast (or another appetizer). The ingredients came together well: the onions and a little bit of zest from the sauce sold it.
I ordered the smothered breakfast burrito: a flour tortilla packed with eggs, cheddar, chorizo, black beans, and salsa. I’m a sucker for a good burrito. This wasn’t the most dynamic, but it certainly tasted good and was filling. The chorizo and salsa were pretty flavorful, and you can’t argue with eggs and cheese. Came with a side of nice crispy hash browns.
Here’s the overhead artsy shot of my burrito.
And here’s the No Veggies Here omelet, loaded with bacon, sausage, ham, turkey, and cheese, then covered with black beans, avocado, and more cheese. We chose the side of hash browns. Like the burrito, the dish was delicious and portions were student-sized. You’ll certainly get your fill at Sloopy’s. It’s a wonderful combination of diner + student cafeteria, which means you’ll get a lot of comfort food.
SERVICE: Sloopy’s fully embraces the 1950′s diner theme. The menu is shaped like a record, and you’re of course treated to lots of 50′s rock music while you eat. Although the servers don’t come to your table on roller skates, you’re still treated well. Our service was great: very friendly and welcoming, able to suggest menu items and tell us about the restaurant.

Taste of Belgium (Wexner Center) | Columbus, OH

UPDATE: The Taste of Belgium location in the Wexner Center has CLOSED. The North Market location is open.]

Taste of Belgium (Facebook / @TOBWex)
1871 N. High St. (inside the Wexner Center for the Arts)
Columbus, OH 43210
(614) 292-2233
Open Mon-Fri, 8 am – 4 pm
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Date of Visit: Monday, January 31, 2011 at 12:30 p.m.

IMPRESSIONS: I’ve been a fan of Taste of Belgium’s waffles for some time now, having first discovered them when they opened a stall at the North Market. If you’ve never tried one of their signatures, you’re missing an opportunity to re-define how you think about waffles. Here they serve the authentic Belgian version, which are very unlike your thin, flat toaster-made waffle. A true Belgian waffle (Liege-style, at least) is made using a thick batter infused with beet sugar. The waffle is smaller, thicker, marbled with caramelized sugars, and a wonderful hand-held snack.

The Wexner location is Taste of Belgium’s second in Columbus. The Wexner announced months ago that they were seeking a replacement for the generic Cam’s on Campus. In my opinion, ToB is the perfect fit for the Wexner: still a casual cafe and coffee shop, but with an international flair.

ATMOSPHERE: You can find the cafe by heading down the big staircase in the Wexner’s main entryway. It’s hard to miss once you get to the lower floor (where you’ll also find the entrances to the bookstore, video theatre, galleries, etc.). Line yourself up to order at the counter.

You may have to step forward to grab a menu while you wait in line. This isn’t too bad to deal with if you’re know about it, but I think it would be handy if they put more of their menu on the wall. You can help out, though: once you’re done with your menu, be a pal and pass it back to the next person.

There’s a fair amount of seating around the cafe. Once you’ve ordered, take your number and find a table. Be advised that, during peak hours, tables can fill up. You are on the campus of the largest university in America, after all.

The cafe seating is nice and bright, even though you’re partially below ground.

FOOD: Because this location of ToB is more of a traditional cafe, their menu is expanded beyond the waffles, crepes, and coffee offered in the North Market. The market is aimed more so at the walk-and-eat crowd. Here you’ll find the full coffee shop lineup of drinks: espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, all made using coffee from Coffee Emporium in Cincinnati. Other drinks include hot and cold cider, tea, or blended drinks using coffee or fruit. Food-wise, you’ve got sweet and savory crepes; soup, salad, and sandwiches; fruit, yogurt, and muesli; frittatas; and oatmeal. Really a nice mix.

Taste of Belgium’s signature piece is the waffle, so the cafe offers a couple different spins on it. I ordered the Waffles Rancheros.

The Rancheros takes one of their waffles, and adds a small souffle-like pile of scrambled eggs, topped with a spicy salsa. Comes with a side salad with a dash of vinaigrette.

Nice cross section of it. The Rancheros are a little hard to cut with a fork and knife – the eggs are fluffy but the waffle’s a little crisp. Still, the combination of sweet waffle, savory eggs, and spicy salsa comes together well. Add the salad to that, and baby, you’ve got a lunch on.

If you’re in a sweeter mood (awww…), you can order the waffle with toppings. You have a choice of fruit – that day it was blueberries or bananas – plus optional whipped cream (note: whipped cream is not really an optional thing). The fruit and sweet cream are a nice complement to the dense, sugary waffle.

SERVICE: Despite the sometimes long lines (especially in between classes), the food service is pretty quick. If you’re eating in the cafe, just take your number to your table and they’ll find you. The folks behind the counter are nice – not terribly talkative – but nice nonetheless.

OVERALL: I’m very glad to have Taste of Belgium on campus. I think the fit is perfect for the Wexner Center, and it offers an alternative to the fast food along High Street or all the campus-run cafeterias. I hope that the campus community appreciates what we have here, and that Taste of Belgium becomes a mainstay of OSU dining.

OTHER LINKS
:
-> full Taste of Belgium website

Taste of Belgium at the Wex on Urbanspoon

Buckeye Donuts | Columbus, OH

Buckeye Donuts (Facebook)
1998 N. High St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43201
(614) 291-3923
Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
Accepts cash and credit cards
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? N/N/N

Date of Visit: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.

IMPRESSIONS: I’m a terrible member of the Ohio State University community. Why? Because after 8+ years of teaching and studying at the University, I’ve never once been to Buckeye Donuts. I’m surprised they gave me my degree. Buckeye Donuts has been maintaining tradition for a scant 42 years, and it was my duty as an Ohio State student and Columbus resident to patronize the establishment.

Fortunately, I have remedied my misdeeds and paid them the first of hopefully many visits. Buckeye Donuts is located, as you would expect, right across from Ohio State’s campus on the main drag of High Street.

It’s a small family business that’s been running since 1969. Jimmy Barouxis followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, and took over the business in 2001.

Aside from their pastries, Buckeye Donuts has a small menu of sandwiches, French toast, and the standard sides. Note two things in the picture above: the spelling of “Breakfast Spesial,” and tater tots on the menu.

Buckeye Donuts is a good stop on any Columbus diner tour as well. Check out the curving counter and the tiny red stools.

FOOD: But of course, the real stars are the donuts. Students past, present, and future visit Buckeye Donuts for a taste of their apple fritters, Bismarks, Buckeyes (choc + peanut butter), longjohns, sprinkled, cake, glazed, and more. A donut is a cheap snack; perfect for the college student budget.

I ordered a mixed half dozen. Each one of these donuts was delicious. My personal favorites were the longjohns. These always bring back memories of getting donuts from a local grocery store growing up. To this day, whenever someone mentions getting donuts, this is the first thing that comes to mind. Always custard-filled.

They generally make two big batches each day. One early in the morning around 5:00 a.m., and a second smaller one roundabouts 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.

SERVICE: Service is very quick and friendly. They can pack up donuts to go for you, or you can have a seat and enjoy a pastry or a hot breakfast. While I visited, Jimmy let me poke around in the back, too.

Two guys were running the small kitchen, making egg sandwiches and French toast on the flattop.

Jimmy asked this gentleman – in Greek – how long he’s been making donuts there. The reply, in Greek: 34 years.

He was working on a batch of cinnamon rolls.

Lots of donuts ready to go…

…ready for some glazing!

The best way to become someone’s hero is to show up with a box of donuts. Buckeye Donuts can help you achieve that.

OVERALL: As I said, I think Buckeye Donuts is a must-stop for donuts in Columbus. They aren’t my top favorite, and they certainly keep mostly to traditional styles. But it’s got a unique Columbus flair to it, it’s part of a long tradition at Ohio State, and it’s always good to support a family business!

NOTE: There is another Buckeye Donuts on Columbus’ south side, but it is only loosely connected with this one. This store is the original; the south side location is run by another part of the family.

OTHER LINKS:
-> my (614) Magazine write-up on donuts (including Buckeye Donuts)

Buckeye Donuts on Urbanspoon

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