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Jan 22, 2009 11:13 AM

Columbus, GA - Taking My Graduating Soldier to Dinner

I'll be travelling to Columbus next week to attend the graduation of my son from Basic Combat Training at Ft. Benning. He wants to take us out to dinner on Friday night and I'm looking for suggestions for somewhere nice. We are from Oakland, CA and generally like to eat in non-chain places, so I want to steer clear of Applebee's and similar. It's a special occasion, so I don't want to do a barbecue joint.
Does anyone have any ideas?
Thanks, and I'll be sure to report my experience.

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  1. I have had several good experiences with The Cannon. It's a brewpub. Good food and craft beers (including root beer).

    Congrats to your son.

    1 Reply
    1. re: flyingtiger

      Here's a brief report:
      Had lunch at a place called Minnie's on Thursday. It is located in the historic district of Columbus, in a neighborhood of lovely old homes. It was a cafeteria style "meat and three" place, with great fried chicken, which is what we all ordered. Everyone's various sides were good. The tea was served in individual pitchers; my California kids were thrilled with the sweet tea. The fried chicken was really excellent. There were five of us, and two only had 2 sides, two had dessert (red velvet cake and carrot cake), and the bill was $42. The place was clean, plenty of space between tables, and was really busy with what looked like local business folks on lunch break. We appeared to be the only tourists.
      We had dinner that night at the Buckhead Grill which was close to where we were staying on Armour Drive. It looked promising from the street, and even the menu looked OK, but the food wasn't great. The fish and chips were extremely greasy and the fries looked like they were reheated from the previous day. I couldn't eat my fish. One son had a 1 lb. burger that he really enjoyed, but those fries were awful. My ex-husband had a tuna steak which he said was good. My new soldier had shrimp and grits, which were delivered well after everyone else's meals, so he couldn't finish because he had to be back on base by 8. We had 2 appetizers, fried calamari and chicken wings. They were greasy too. The salads were delivered before the apps were even half gone, then the entrees were agonizingly slow to show up. Even then the shrimp and grits were even slower. I would not recommend this place.
      We had lunch the next day at Chef Lee's, a Chinese restaurant that was highly recommended by some friends of my son. We ate at the second location north of town. It was really excellent. The Hunan shrimp I ordered had so much shrimp i could hardly eat it all. Lunch came with a wonton, an eggroll, fried rice (which had no soy sauce nor was it at all greasy) and the entree. Fantastic. Five of us ate for $37, including tea, both hot and sweet.
      Dinner was at the Cannon Brew Pub. I had a Special Ops IPA, pretty darned good. The food was typical brew pub fare: We had onion ring loaf and chili cheese fries appetizers. I had spinach salad, two had monte christo sandwiches, one veggie pasta dish and one calzone. The calzone came after we had all finished our meals, at least 20 minutes late. The pasta was proclaimed good, and the sandwiches (deep fried ham and cheese, essentially) were said to be good. I would definitely go back there. The bill was $86, including one beer and 4 root beers.
      Breakfast the following morning was Waffle House for the guys. They would have eaten there again if possible.
      All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised with Columbus in general and there are several more places I would like to try for meals.
      The highlights this trip were Minnie's, Cannons, Chef Lee's, and for the boys, Waffle House.