So, I obviously had to eat while I was in Columbus right?

It just happened to be restaurant week in Columbus, Ohio this week while I was there with Carrie and we had the opportunity to sample some great food from some restaurants that we might not have otherwise tried.  We also tried some new pizza places and delivery services to get a better idea of the food options in a downtown area that is pretty quiet after dark.

Our first delivery option was pizza, and we decided to give OH Brew & Pizza a try.  It was a Friday night and ended up being the first night of OhioCon which just happened to be a couple blocks away from the restaurant we ordered from.  This led to a 90 minute delivery time, which was less than thrilling for us but the restaurant was good about keeping us informed.

The pizza itself was pretty good, with a crisp crust and just enough sauce to add good flavor without overwhelming the cheese and toppings.  Meat quantity and quality was great, with even coverage and solid flavor.  Overall quite good and we will order from them again.  We tried a couple of their side items, both loaded tots and fried crustables.  Both arrived a little cold and a lot greasy.  The fryer temperature was too low and they took too long to arrive for them to be any good to me.  We may try them again at the restaurant but won't order them out again.

The next night Carrie had a working dinner so I had dinner with my cousin and his wife at a popular Mexican restaurant near the OSU campus called MadMex.  I went with the carnitas burrito and I was pleased but not wowed.  After growing up with so much great authentic mexican food Midwest college town versions of Mexican food don't excite me.  There was ok flavor but no heat, and the citrus was nowhere to be tasted in a dish that normally would hinge on it being front and center.  Portions were huge and quality was decent but uninspiring.

The Carnitas Burrito is served with r oasted green chilis inside, blue cornbread, pico and sweet-n-sour slaw on the side.

The Carnitas Burrito is served with roasted green chilis inside, blue cornbread, pico and sweet-n-sour slaw on the side.

The only other real meal out that we had was our last night in town.  Quite a few restaurants had special three course menus at reduced prices to encourage people to try new places for restaurant week, so we gave BareBurger on High Street a try.  Located just across from the convention center at the beginning of Columbus' Short North arts district BareBurger has quickly made a name for themselves serving organic and free range menu items while being careful to cater to dietary and allergy restrictions.

 

While limited the 3 Course menu BareBurger featured for Restaurant Week actually presented quite a range of options

While limited the 3 Course menu BareBurger featured for Restaurant Week actually presented quite a range of options

Since I cant have onions my first course was the Pickles & Slaw appetizer.  Featuring bread and butter, sour, garlic, and hot pickles along with a brussel sprout slaw it is actually a great sampler if you like pickles (which I do).  All of their pickles are made in house and are very good.  I love a good bread and butter pickle and BareBurgers offering reminded me quite a bit of the pickles my grandmother used to make when I was a kid.  The sour and garlic pickles were about average, and the hot pickles could have used more pepper and less garlic but were quite good as well.  In all it was a good start to the dinner.

The Pickle & Slaw sampler

The Pickle & Slaw sampler

For my second course I had the Wiki Wiki - a wild boar burger with duck bacon, gouda, and grilled pineapple on a brioche bun.  The boar was perfectly seasoned, allowing some of the gaminess of the meat to come through without allowing it to overpower the sandwich.  Their duck bacon is a treat.  Crisp and just the right amount of fatiness it adds just the right amount of flavor to the sandwich and is cut just right by the acid of the pineapple.  This is a well designed and balanced sandwich.

In all our dining experiences in Columbus were again pretty average.  Next trip I'll try to hit some of the more trendy spots in the Short North and Downtown, but we haven't had a bad meal in our visits yet.

The Fat Boy Summer Road Trip 2014 Part 2: On the Road Day 6

My view for 4 hours while waiting for Coop to finish getting his Jeep inspected for shipping.

My view for 4 hours while waiting for Coop to finish getting his Jeep inspected for shipping.

Today started of OK, then got bogged down for hours before a great finish.  We got moving this morning, checked out of our hotel in Towson, MD and planned to get to the Port of Baltimore around 1300 for Coop's appointment to ship his Jeep before a six hour drive to Raleigh, NC.  Unfortunately, what we hoped was going to be a quick process dropping off the Jeep ended up keeping us there until after 1800, making getting to the Raleigh area and Ft. Bragg impossible.

what it did do was have us ending the night just south of Richmond, VA after a great meal and evenin catching up with an old friend for Coop and meeting a new friend for me when we met Art at Honey Whyte's. 

 

When Art found out we were coming through late hetold us he had just the place for us to get the best burger in Richmond, and he was underselling what we found.

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Located on Historic Tobacco Row in the Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond, VA Honey Whyte's boldly proclaims on assign out front "best burger", and they back it up convincingly.  The only entrees on the menu are burgers.  They have turkey burgers for the healthy eaters and even a black bean patty for the vegetarians in the crowd but what they really do is beef.  You start by choosing either a 1/4 pound or 1/2 pound patty and then the type of burger.

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Fried pickles, the perfect appetizer

We started with an order of fried pickles, and they were perfect.  Thickly battered and evenly coated, they were crispy and delicious.  Back home fried pickles often are cooked at too low a tempature and end up a soggy mess, it's good to be in The South again.

Honey Whyte's "1/2lb Heart Attack" stands by itself, no sides needed!

Honey Whyte's "1/2lb Heart Attack" stands by itself, no sides needed!

The signature burger at Honey Whyte's is the 1/2 pound Heart Attack.  A 1/2 pound fresh beef patty between two grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches.  Presentation was simple, a giant burger in the center of a clean white plate with a knife stuck in the center.  No sides like fries to detract from the mountainous burger.  The individual sandwiches were grilled crispy and perfectly browned, and the beef was one of the best burgers I've ever eaten.  This goes in my top 5 list along with burgers like The Boncat Bite's Green Chile Burger in Sante Fe, NM and the Hot Brown Burger from Wallace Station in Versailles, KY.

The cross section of the 1/2lb Heart Attack shows off the bacon and cheese in those great sandwiches it uses as buns

The cross section of the 1/2lb Heart Attack shows off the bacon and cheese in those great sandwiches it uses as buns

It was great to meet Art and a great chance for he and Coop to catch up, but it was also an amazing burger experience.  Serendipity to be sure on this Fat Boy Summer Road Trip.

Coop and Art at the end of the night as we headed out to find our hotel.

Coop and Art at the end of the night as we headed out to find our hotel.