OK, now I’m ready to recount the rest of the food highlights from Columbus, Ohio! It’s a good thing my friend and I made it out for a run that morning, because it was a day with a lot of food. As you shall soon see.
J wanted to do some exploring on our own in the morning so we set out fairly early, punching some addresses of interest into our GPS. He was interested in going to Thurman Cafe (it’s been featured on “Man vs. Food” thanks to its ginormous burgers), but it wasn’t open that early, so we went a few doors down to the German Village Coffee Shop.
The German Village section of Columbus had a really friendly, cozy vibe. A random man said hello to us on the sidewalk outside the coffee shop, and the place itself was like a low-key, locals-only diner. Even though I’d already had a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, I wanted to order something other than just coffee, so I settled on a single flapjack. Let me tell you, I’m not really a fan of thick American-style pancakes (I prefer crepe-like ones), but this flapjack was amazing. The plate-sized pancake was framed by thin, crispy edges– the best part– and the inside was airy but not sponge-like. The flavor was wonderful too– not floury at all, with a hint of vanilla or something. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of it, but the fact that my enthusiasm for this flapjack has not faded over the last month really says something.
After breakfast and a walk around the German Village we headed to a restaurant J had read about and really wanted to visit– Quaker Steak & Lube. It’s apparently a chain, but I’d never heard of it before. We got there at 11 and killed time in a nearby Tim Horton’s until the Steak & Lube opened at 11:30. Too early to try some wings with one of their 21 sauces? Nope, not for us.
When we couldn’t decide which sauce to get on the wings, the waitress brought us three to sample, along with freshly fried potato chips for dipping! That was a really nice touch. We went with the Buckeye BBQ sauce, since the other one we’d considered (the Supercharged) was really too hot to be enjoyable. We ended up buying a bottle of the Buckeye BBQ and one other sauce to take back to Estonia with us.
After adding five wings, some celery and blue cheese dip to the food consumed that morning, I didn’t feel the need to eat again for many hours. Which is good, because we were headed to a place that’s not exactly known for its spectacular food choices: the Ohio State Fair.
We walked around with my friend’s fiancee, checking out livestock, walking through a marketplace filled with things we couldn’t imagine people buying, and just generally soaking in the atmosphere. J had wanted for this trip to include plenty of small-town America, the real America, and I don’t think you can get more American than a state fair. And when in Rome, one must do as the Romans do.
Oh yes– J got himself a deep-fried Snickers bar.
I had a bite too, and honestly, it’s not anything special. The fried dough does add another flavor component, but a Snickers already has plenty of flavors going on so it’s just not necessary. Oh well– at least we can say we’ve tried it! A little while later J decided he couldn’t leave without getting a corn dog. I helped him eat the last three or four bites. I actually like the flavor combination in a corn dog, but it would’ve been better if the hot dog had been better quality.
As if our day wasn’t all-American enough, in the evening our hosts took us to a ballgame! It was a minor league game, with the Columbus Clippers playing the Louisville Bats at the brand-new ballpark in Columbus. What’s a summertime baseball game without beer?
The weather during the game was just perfect, so I think J got a good idea of why attending baseball games is a popular pastime. You can enjoy the weather, the company, the beer, and maybe even the game as well ;-).
Overall we had a great (though all too short) time in Columbus! But after a couple of days there it was time to start heading back eastward…