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Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

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Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

I'm really interested in local/regional food. Are there some uniquely Ohio foods I should be on the lookout for when I'm in Columbus? Where should I go to try them?

(FN: Jeni's Ice Cream has already been recommended and is definitely on the list!)

Columbus, Ohio
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1. Re: Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

Jeni's is definitely a must.

Schmidt's is known for, among other things, the spicy "Bahama Mama" sausage.

Cincinnati-style chili is available around town at Skyline. I haven't found any place in Columbus to get goetta, though. Boo!

Quite a few regional/national chains are headquartered in Columbus -- Wendy's, White Castle, Charley's Subs, Bob Evans, Max & Erma's. They're not exactly unique to this area, but this is where they are "from."

Tip Top Kitchen downtown is a fun bar/restaurant with decor steeped in Columbus history. They serve "Ohio comfort food" and the mixed drinks are all named after various Columbus landmarks or famous people.

http://www.tiptopcolumbus.com/

Skillet in Merion Village has only been open for a short time. They have a focus on local ingredients, with a menu that changes weekly. They are open for brunch and lunch, and it's really good:

http://skilletruf.com/index.html

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2. Re: Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

Not sure what you mean buy ohio foods but we have plenty of exclusive eateries, to just name a few is Thurmans, Club 185, Katzeningers and multiple other just due a search of food and I'm sure alot will pop up from this forum.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

Thanks! Skillet sounds promising. So does Tip Top Kitchen.

I did not realize Wendy's was Ohio-born. Always learnin' stuff at TripAdvisor.

What's "goetta?"

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

By Ohio foods? If a native of Columbus moved away, what food would they miss that they could only get in Columbus or Ohio in general? Or that is prepared in a unique way there. I don't know, myself, but some examples in other cities...

In Philadelphia, you have to eat a cheesesteak. (And away from Philly, most eateries claiming to serve Philadelphia style cheesesteaks should be boarded up. Fined first, then boarded up.) What they call a "stromboli" in Philly, is usually called a calzone (I think) in other cities, but in Philly they are larger -- more like a pizza folded over and then stuffed.

In Baltimore area: steamed crabs (even if most do now come up from the gulf); maryland crab soup; batter dipped, fried potato wedges with Old Bay Seasoning or boardwalk fries with malt vinegar and Old Bay.

In New Orleans, etouffe, muffalettas, po'boys

Brooklyn NY or Manhattan -- depends on the neighborhood -- Chinatown Ice Cream factory is wonderful! New York style corned beef hash & eggs. There are cuban chinese restaurants on the upper west side. Wonderful!

You don't find biscuits and gravy very often in Maryland, but you might find creamed chipped beef on toast -- 2 versions of basically the same idea.

Okay now I've made myself hungry. .... sigh ... and no respectable cheesesteaks where I live.

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5. Re: Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

Goetta is a type of sausage made with oats that seems to be unique to the Cincinnati region. It's mostly fried and served as a breakfast food, but you can get goetta dogs at Reds games; there are goetta burgers...there's even at least one pizza place on the west side of Cincinnati that uses it as a pizza topping.

I've never seen it on a menu or in the store in Columbus, though. For a state that isn't very big geographically, Ohio has a lot of very distinct regional cultures. I grew up in Cincinnati and have lived in Columbus for six years, and even though the cities are only 100 miles apart, they are very different. And Cleveland again is different from the other two "Cs"

Washington DC...
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6. Re: Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

Interesting! I wonder if oats were originally a way to extend the meat portions? Or the meat, to make oats more palatable? Makes me think of the scottish haggis, but the name sounds sort of Italian? Or maybe like anglicized German?

Do you ever see "scrapple" in Ohio. It's a type of sausage -- made up of, you guessed it, scraps! (Not something I'll be looking for though. It's not my favorite thing.) You'll find it all over SE PA, but also in parts of MD. I've heard that it originated with the PA Dutch, but did go with them out to OH and catch on with the non-Amish?

I get what you say about the regional differences -- Baltimore and D.C. are entirely different, vibewise, too. And as small as Maryland is, the topography and way it developed has resulted in at least 3 regions (maybe 4?) I've been reading a lot of Ohio history and am discovering (1) how little I know and (2) how truly rich and complex it is. And for a a long time, it really was one of _the_ destination points for people migrating from the coast and for new immigrants. Just amazing growth and energy and complexity .... Very cool!

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7. Re: Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

Here is a related discussion I found that might give you some more ideas:

columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/ohio-re…

Washington DC...
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8. Re: Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

Thanks for the link! An awful lot of fried bologna/baloney mentioned there.

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9. Re: Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

if you have the time, you might head out of Columbus up to Berlin, Ohio. Amish Country-- you'll find LOTS of wonderful local foods. Homemade bread, fried chicken, meatloaf... all the usual homey foods that we farmers grew up on. And the bakeries... worth the trip alone! :)

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10. Re: Unique to Ohio (or Columbus) Cuisine?? And where to get it?

yep, love the amish bakeries!

i was thinking Skyline Chili and goetta as well, even though those are Cincinnati in origin. I personally think goetta is gross, lol (It's german, and i normally love german food, but i'll pass on the goetta). There is a popular barbeque that originated in CIncinnati, and I think there is a franchise in Columbus now... Montgomery Inn.

As for specific to Columbus, go with what the host of Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel visited when he was here. Schmidts (for a bahama mama and cream puff), Thurman Cafe (for amazing burgers), or the Ohio Deli (to get a Dagwood).