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Oct 14, 2012 10:22 PM

Road Trip Report: Milwaukee-Chicago-Toledo-Cleveland-Columbus (Part IV Columbus)

We had a great food visit in your neck of the woods on our week long road trip through the Great Lakes region. Our primary goal was to hit up local foods & institutions, and I think we did quite well for the most part. In Columbus:

Late dinner after the game at Natalie’s Wood Fired Pizza:
Great find. Very good thin crust Pizza, but the apps and live music were the real stars. One of the best mac & cheeses I have had anywhere.

La Chatelain
Mixed reviews on Chowhound and Yelp, but we were glad we stopped by. We had a cheesy brioche thing that was very tasty and a lobster quiche that was nicely done. The coffee wasn’t bad either. I guess I understand how some can complain that the pastries were premade and sitting behind the counter, but they tasted fresh to me.

County Fair
Had a day to kill so we thought we would hit up the county fair in Delaware. Tried a couple of different things, but I really enjoyed my first fried bologna sandwich. Then again I could have just been real hungry! Also tried first fried Twinkie, which I just didn’t get. Essentially a sponge cake dipped in funnel cake batter? Dipping in a fish & chip type batter probably would have made more sense.

Dinner Schmidt’s Sausage Haus:
Unfortunately it was one of our more disappointing meals on our trip. The website said it closed at 9 on Sundays so we figured there would be no problem arriving at 8. I am having a hard time choosing what to order so the waitress recommends the autobahn buffet. I had herd of it before from Man vs. food so I figured what the heck. First pass I tried some cold/salad dishes that were tasty enough. The second pass I tried to sample just a little of a lot of thing so I could figure what I liked and go back for more (although they were out of a few things that I was told they would be restocking). The third pass I came back empty as everything was buttoned up. It wasn’t even 8:30 and the place was closing down! With customers still dinning! We did manage to order a giant peanut butter cream puff to which we enjoyed back at the hotel.

Breakfast: German Village Coffee Shop
Nice neighborhood type coffee shop with friendly folks. Remembering my bologna sandwich from the fair I decided to try their version with a fried egg. Turns out it was probably my hunger that made me so fond of the fair version…There version was perfectly fine, but two in two days was enough for me!

On the way we noticed the streets were lined with police cars and dump trucks. Turns out they were getting ready for a campaign stop from Obama. So we got in the rental car and headed off to the North Market.

Lunch at North Market
Many of the more interesting looking shops were closed, but fortunately Jeni’s was open for ice cream. A fantastic array of flavors. I only wish I had time to try them all, ‘cause the cayenne chocolate & peanut butter (Ohio State?) cone I did order was amazing!

Also before heading out of town we managed to pack up some Ballreich's potato chips and Root’s shredded chicken to try when we got home. Loved the moisture and flavor of the Root’s chicken on a bun with a couple of chips and a pickle, but found the chips on the salty and greasy side.

We had a great visit and ate well. Thank you all for your hospitality!

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  1. CB, I've enjoyed all of your trip reports and I am sure many others have, too. Thanks for sharing with us. Glad you ate well & enjoyed your trip. Sorry I didn't see your original reply to one of my posts where you were asking as to where you could get Ballreich potato chips & Root's chicken off I-80/90 but obviously it wasn't a problem once you found a mid to full size grocery store. That thread was long with 42 posts & it slipped past me until now. Glad you could try Ballreich chips & Root's chicken. Some of us think the chips are salty & greasy and the rest of us are addicted to those chips especially when they were the regional chips we grew up with. I can remember being in Rothenburg, Germany, about 20 years ago where we observed a UPS truck pull up in front of a private residence. The driver was delivering a box of Ballreich chips! I went ballistic b/c I knew where those chips came from and we sure were a long way from "home." As for the shredded chicken mix, some Ohioans like to add cream of chicken soup to the shredded chicken mix. Not my favorite way. I like to throw in a few crushed Ballreich chips & that takes care of the "salt". All in all, glad you had a great trip with very good culinary experiences!!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: CurryLover

      Thanks CL, we had a blast. The Root's Chicken was actually hard to find. Finally tracked some down at Anderson's in Columbus. It was worth it! Saw in the ingredient list that it had chicken stock. I like to barbecue meats, so I'm going to pull some chicken and try adding that sometime.

    2. CB - I'm glad you enjoyed your Midwest adventures! I've been now about 10 months removed from the SF Bay Area and it's been fun to find this area's gems in what I'm finding to be a pretty vibrant food scene.

      My wife and I are actually looking forward to being back in SF around Christmas to try to sample some old faves and new hot spot or two

      1. Thanks for your report! I'm sorry that Schmidt's acted so strangely; I can't imagine why they'd shut down early like that. I hope you had the chance to at least try a Bahama Mama.