Hollywood in Ohio?


It’s taken me a few years, but I finally made it out to Third & Hollywood in Grandview, Ohio. As soon as I walked in, I loved the place. The lights were dimmed, and the warm glow of candlelight and rich woods gave the place a romantic and cozy feel. The classic lounge music (c. 1940) also contributed to the great ambiance. Good thing I was there on a date with my husband! We started our order with an order of the Cheddar Herb Biscuits (pictured above), which were indescribably delicious. My mouth is watering just remembering them. You can see the light layer of melted butter on top of these biscuits, and the flavoring was just heavenly.


I also ordered a house-made ginger ale, and while the bar service was on the slow side, the drink was well worth it. It had a pronounced ginger flavor that managed to still be mild, and had a nice sweetness to it that kept the drink from being too dry. For my entree, I ordered the Hollywood Burger (a fairly standard cheeseburger), but I had them substitute their house-made veggie patty to make it a vegetarian dish. They were happy to do this for me and automatically subbed in the bell peppers for the fries (not something I’d asked for or necessarily wanted, but it was okay because the burger was soooo good). I know some Columbus locals will probably get mad at me for saying this, but their veggie patty was even better than the one they make at the Northstar Cafe (and that one’s pretty damn hard to beat). I’m not sure if it was the perfect amount of smoky flavoring from being cooked over an open flame (I’m assuming) or what, but that veggie patty is amazing. It looked so much like meat I made my non-veg husband take a bite first, and when I tasted it I was blown away by the texture and the complete lack of crumbliness. I’ll be back, I can tell you that much.


Third & Hollywood on Urbanspoon

More Than Just Beer…

The Bier Garden is a little restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina that boasts an enormous selection of beer. Even though this is how they bill themselves, their food is quite delicious. I ordered the Hummus Sampler (pictured below), which came with Jalapeño hummus and Black Walnut & Herb hummus, along with a side of salsa. My only complaint, if you could call it that, is that it was a bit filling for an appetizer.


For the main course, I had the Southwestern Burger with a vegetarian patty. The fresh corn and jalapeños sprinkled on top of the patty gave it a nice Southwestern flavor and kept the overall tone of the burger nice and light. It was an unexpectedly scrumptious lunch, at a very reasonable price.

Bier Garden on Urbanspoon

a Danish brew-venture

Photo by Anne Jansen

I went to the Solvang Brewing Company a few months ago, just after it opened. I ordered the Baja Burger (pictured above) with the veggie patty, and a mix of sweet potato and regular French fries. The meal was delicious, and even though the service was rather slow (which I believe was partly due to the newness of the restaurant — the kinks were still being worked out), our waitress was friendly. When she accidentally brought us an extra order of the Cream of Carrot soup (pictured below), she left it with us…on the house. It was a surprising and delicious treat, and remains one of the best soups I’ve ever had. While I can’t speak to how the service is now, I can attest to the originality of the menu and the tastiness of the dishes. It’s about time Solvang got a brewery!

Photo by Anne Jansen

Solvang Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon


a casual treat

Photo by Anne Jansen

For my anniversary, my husband and I ended up venturing outside of Columbus to Granville, Ohio, where we tested out a great little place called Brews Cafe (so named because of their relatively extensive list of beers on tap). I ordered their South of the Border Burger with the house-made beet and rice veggie patty. It was messy and flavorful and absolutely fantastic. I also upgraded to the curly fries, which were crispy on the outside and hot and yummy on the inside. Couple the food with the atmosphere — we were seated on the second-story balcony (complete with Southern-style ceiling fans and square columns) — and the friendly service, and it’s clear that Brews is a great gem hidden in a sleepy little town with tons of charm.

Brews Cafe Deli on Urbanspoon


photo by Anne Jansen

I stopped in for a hearty lunch at Hopworks Urban Brewery, aka HUB, after hiking around in the lava tubes at Mt. St. Helens. It turns out they make a mean burger. I ordered their House Burger with their house-made veggie patty (consisting most prominently of black beans), which was served on an onion cheese bun. It was delectable, but still not as good as the house-made organic root beer! It had some serious bite to it, but also had a crisp sweetness to it. If I lived in Portland, I’d be a regular at HUB.

photo by Anne Jansen

bbq delight

photo by Anne Jansen

The Bridgeport Brewpub, located in the heart of Portland’s Pearl District, is a beautiful restaurant occupying a historic brick building. Oregon, alternately referred to as “Beertopia,” turned out to be even more vegetarian friendly than I thought it would. Even at a brewpub like this, there were vegetarian and vegan options. What did I opt for? Why, the BBQ burger (housemade beet and rice patty) of course. And it was deeeeeelicious! The BBQ sauce was spicy and savory, and the burger itself was surprisingly juicy and flavorful. While I know my choice was somewhat less than original, it was well worth it!

beach surprise

photo by Anne Jansen

The San Dune Pub is a small restaurant and pub located in “downtown” Manzanita, Oregon. While their menu is small and simple, I’ll admit to being surprised that they offered vegetarian burger choices (Gardenburger and Boca Burger). I ordered the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger sans bacon, and with a Gardenburger patty…and it was quite good. The BBQ sauce was smoky and spicy (two of my favorite characteristics in BBQ sauce) and the onion rings were nice and crispy. And my personal favorite: the burger was served with a knife stuck right into the center of it.

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