The Heirloom Café is the new eatery downstairs in the Wexner Center art museum at Ohio State University. It replaces Taste of Belgium (which still has a location in the historic North Market), which replaced Cam’s on Campus, and it promises to stick around for a while with its original menu and reasonable prices. This sandwich, odd as it sounds, is a peanut butter & honey & banana sandwich served up nice and warm with a free side (I chose the fruit). It was light but filling, and delicious without being artery-clogging. Having glanced over their hot beverage menu, I can tell you now that I’ll be back at the Heirloom in the winter to sample their inventive and numerous hot drink options. Perhaps I’ll post again soon….
This beautiful array is a combination of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream‘s Peach Buttermilk (left) and Coriander Raspberry (right) flavors served up in a recycled/able paper cup, wearing their signature house-made sugar cone as a hat. And what a tasty hat it was…. I don’t think this amazing treat even lasted 5 minutes before I was licking the bowl. There’s a reason Jeni’s is a citywide must for locals and visitors alike, and why their book is selling faster than their ice cream. If you visit Columbus, or if you live in one of the many nationwide metropolises where Jeni’s is sold (they ship!), make a beeline for Jeni’s. And bring your friends!
This omelette from the Wildflower Cafe (no working website) is served up to perfection. The veggies that comprise the filling are mixed in with the eggs in a way that makes the dish nicely balanced and difficult to stop eating. In fact, this particular omelette is a special order (it’s the Western Omelette with potatoes subbed in for the ham and bacon) — and the chef and waitstaff are always very obliging to me when it comes to making alterations and substitutions like this. Now, the service at the Wildflower can be a bit slow (mostly when it comes time for the bill — the food service is actually very prompt), but the food is good and definitely worth any wait. The atmosphere of the small cafe is cozy in an English-cottage kind of way, and it’s pleasant enough to spend a bit more time relaxing and talking over your morning cup of coffee while waiting the extra time for your check to be brought out to you.
Another great treat from Bodega, this Caprese Salad is really light (some restaurants douse these salads in olive oil, making it a far heavier dish than it has to be), and always served up fresh. The basil garnish and the light sprinkling of pepper top off a tasty base and make this meal one of my personal favorites.
At the Vienna Ice Café in Columbus, Ohio, you’ll find a decent selection of locally-made flavors and a friendly and helpful staff. This small ice cream and gelato shop is owned and operated by the same people who own Mozart’s Cafe just a few doors down. They’ve completely revamped the decor (this used to be Denise’s Ice Cream Parlor) so it’s much more clean and chic. With the enormous windows, the small selection of cookies and pastries from Mozart’s, and the relaxed atmosphere, the Vienna Ice Café is a must-visit for those hot summer days.
This case full of scrumptious round brownies literally made my mouth water! Sugardaddy’s is a local chain that serves up a host of specialty brownies that are not only ridiculously tasty, but also perfectly round. These “sumptuous sweeties” come in three different categories: brunettes, blondes, and fire & spice. A friend and I tried out two amazing desserts (pictured below): the Caramel Brunette (left) and the Tahiti Blonde (right). Paired with a small carton of milk, these treats were just the pick-me-up we needed in the middle of a busy afternoon. As if the food wasn’t enough incentive to get yourself down to a Sugardaddy’s near you, the decor was also very hip: multiple shades of pink, swirly designs, and trendy lighting accents created a really fun and contemporary feel.
I purchased and ate this delightful cupcake from the Global Gallery coffee shop in Columbus, but it was made by Melissa’s Incredible Edibles across the street. The frosting dissolved on my tongue and was the perfect balance of sweet/tart, and the cupcake itself was fluffy and light. It was a delicious treat, and was super-reasonably priced. If you get the chance to try out Melissa’s Incredible Edibles, you should go for it. I’m glad I did!
One of my favorite little restaurants in Columbus is La Chatelaine, which is why this is my third post on their food. Above is a cup of their tomato bisque soup, covered with the cheese shavings and croutons you can purchase to top off any cup/bowl of soup. My personal favorite soup (which I don’t have a photo of yet) is the Friday soup du jour: Cream of Potato. It’s delicious! My other favorite dish at La Chatelaine is the spinach, feta, and artichoke briquette (pictured below). Encased in a flaky pastry crust, this baked meal is the perfect size for one person to enjoy a light lunch. I’d recommend La Chatelaine to just about anyone — for both food and ambiance — and am a regular customer there myself. Bon apetit!
The Global Gallery Coffee Shop in Clintonville is a fair-trade, ethical coffee house and gift shop. They have the best hot chocolate in at least a 5-mile radius — it’s light and airy, and has a delicious milk-chocolate base. Their food is also healthy and lite, and a step up from the usual coffee shop fare. I tend to order the house-made granola with vanilla yogurt (plain if they have it in stock, but this is something they do to accommodate my specific preferences — they’re very willing to do what they can to please their customers) — it’s a hearty treat that sits lightly and keeps me going for hours.
The seasonal flavors at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams are the best part of the Jeni’s enterprise. It’s a real treat to walk in and check out the seasonal selection and enjoy samples from as many flavors as you like before having to make up your mind on what you want in your order. I recently went in and chose the Rhubarb & Lime Cardamom Yogurt (pink, on the left) and the Pistachio & Honey ice cream (green, on the right). The tartness and spice of the Rhubarb & Lime was the perfect mate for the mild sweetness of the Pistachio & Honey. Jeni’s is always an adventure, and one worth the price and the wait.
The Tip Top is one of the most popular downtown restaurants in Columbus, and for good reason. The Spicy Vegetarian Corn Chowder is a real treat — it’s rich and creamy, and packed with flavor. It’s one of those vegetarian dishes that makes you do a double-take and wonder if they’ve slipped you something with meat in it (the flavors are so strong). But it’s 100% vegetarian, and boy is it ever delicious! The Tip Top may not look like much from the outside, but it’s really cute inside (tin ceilings, beautiful wooden bar, and cute booths…not to mention the theater-themed art on the walls. The food and the decor are both a real treat!
Travonna Coffee House is one of my favorite places to study (especially in the winter, when the dark interior provides a comfortable shelter from the bitter cold outside. Their hot chocolate is made with milk chocolate, and has that perfect sweetness that I love so much. They top it off with whipped cream and a light dusting of chocolate powder, and serve it up in a tall, thin glass that makes it feel as elegant as it is delicious.
They also offer food, and since I was in for breakfast, I had an asiago cheese bagel with a dollop of cream cheese. It was nothing out of the ordinary, but was tasty and filling nonetheless. Not to mention it was brought out to me quickly by the friendly waiter who took my order at the counter. Travonna is a nice little haven for anyone looking to study or relax for a little while. They have free wi-fi for their customers, and their staff is friendly and kind.