An ever-changing list things we’re loving or obsessing over or that we think are worth exploring right now: favorite tastes, stand-out dishes, delightful libations, restaurants deserving a little love, new menus, anticipated openings, fun adventures. [Updated 12/7/17]
1. Dinner and drinks at the Service Bar.
We finally made it to Middle West Spirits’ new in-house restaurant. We’ve long been fans of Avishar Barua and his cooking, and he’s in fine form at Service Bar. Just think of all your favorite dishes – pork rinds, dumplings, wedge salads, Taco Bell gorditas – and then imagine an innovative take on them. A week later and I’m still thinking of the cocktails, the lamb dumplings, and the cheesy brisket crunch.
2. Chicago on our minds
I finally wrote up our October Chicago adventures in three different parts. Looking back at the photos has me wanting to return as soon as possible. From a super rich breakfast at Stephanie Izard’s Little Goat Diner, from donuts to coffee, burgers to Szechuan delicacies, beautiful parks to that little musical Hamilton – it was all a delight.
3. The Ohio maple latte at Brioso Coffee.
It’s rich and warming, with just a touch of smokey sweetness from the maple syrup. One of my favorite drinks for the colder months.
4. Donuts, breakfast, sculpture parks, and family fun in Butler County, Ohio.
The folks from Butler County invited us out again to explore the region, and we discovered more to love in the way of breakfast, beer, donuts, laser tag, public art and more. Read parts one, two, and three of our recent adventures!
3. Discovering Layla’s Kitchen
We had an excellent meal at this northeast side Indian restaurant. We visited with friends, ordered plenty of dishes to spare, and didn’t lay off the spice. Fun bonus: they have a drive-through!
4. Pumpkin creme brulee donuts from Tupelo Doughnuts
While they’re building out a Clintonville storefront, Tupelo is taking their aquamarine truck Tilly to the streets, serving Brioso coffee with tupelo honey and donuts like their new seasonal pumpkin creme brulee and mulled cider.
5. Everything Cravings Cafe is doing
After nearly two years, Cravings Cafe has returned to the Columbus dining scene with their breakfast sandwiches and bronuts and cookies and Thunderkiss Coffee. Visit their new spot on Front Street downtown for breakfast or lunch!
6. Trips to Yellow Springs, Ohio
We’ve been enjoying our visits to Yellow Springs lately, especially hiking Glen Helen Nature Preserve, biking the Little Miami trail, and stopping for beers at Yellow Springs Brewery. Read about our recent adventures here!
7. Eating ALL the dumplings at Momo Ghar
We just can’t stay away. The jhol momo dumplings deservedly get a lot of attention, but we’ve loved the Eastern Tibetan momos, too, as well as the sides of potatoes and cold black beans. The seasoning is fantastic, and you can’t beat the welcome. Recently Guy Fieri stopped by Momo Ghar while filming Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and we got to sit at the counter and chat with him!
8. A dive bar breakfast at Lisska’s Bar & Grill
Jim from CMH Gourmand and I had breakfast with a group of regulars at Lisska’s, a dive bar over on the east side. This group has been meeting every Thursday morning for years, and they kindly invited us to join them. What we found as warm welcome from folks that made us instantly feel like part of the group – not to mention some unique dive bar digs and a solid breakfast that reminded me why I got into this game in the first place.
9. Dinner and drinks at The Keep in Hotel LeVeque
Beth and I stayed at the new Hotel LeVeque for our 16th anniversary. The beautiful hotel space, renovated out of the first nine floors of the LeVeque Tower, includes a cocktail bar and restaurant on the second floor. Dinner at The Keep was delightful – wonderful service, creative dishes. For the best experience, sit at the bar and watch the open kitchen.
10. Silog at Bonifacio
One of the features of their Filipino brunch is a dish that combines garlic rice, a fried egg, pickled veggies, and choice of meat. You can’t go wrong with the chicken adobo, longanisa pork sausages, tocino pork, or bistek steak.