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Calling all overeaters: 7 best food challenges in Columbus

614now

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Your boss dropped that report on your desk Thursday afternoon and laughed because he never thought you’d finish.

But guess what, it was bound and ready to go once quitting time rolled around on Friday.

You get stuff done. That’s just the type of person you are.

But when it comes time for lunch, you’re not even trying. We’ve seen you at your desk eating those limp tossed salads with wrinkly cherry tomatoes. We want more out of you. We want to see you champion your meals.

The food challenges we are about to share with you are not for the faint of heart (or stomach) but even though your boss may not, we here at 614Now have full faith that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and make your body hate you!

The Melt Challenge

Melt Bar & Grilled, 840 N. High St. Columbus, OH

An entire platter of food is yours for the taking. Four luscious pounds of a thirteen cheese medley nestled between two thick slabs of buttered toast—all cuddled up beside heaps of French fries and cole slaw.

Coming in at a hefty 5.02 pounds and $35, this monster of a meal comes with more than a cardiac arrest once completed. Winners receive a t-shirt, a $10 Melt gift card and most importantly, their picture on the wall of fame.

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The Thurmanator Challenge

The Therman’s Café, 183 Thurman Ave. Columbus, OH

The Therman Café has been a staple in German Village for over 70 years. One of their claims to fame is the Thurmanator. With a name like that, you better step back a couple of feet to make room when it enters.

Two, 3/4-pound beef patties under a half a pound of ham and bacon, covered in mozzarella and American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, sautéed onions, pickles, jalapeno peppers, and mayo. The condiments alone could suffice as a meal but this is America so why limit yourself?

Mega-Meat-Mega-Challenge

Joseppi’s Pizza, 4767 W. Broad St. Columbus, OH
You + 1 friend + 28”, 13.2-pound mega meat pizza + 1 hour = gluttony stardom. The makers of this challenge must not believe it’s achievable because the prizes are dope.

Any pair to devour the whole pie will receive $100 cash, $150 Joseppi’s Pizza gift certificates, a t-shirt and of course, their greasy smiles on the wall of fame.

The Mucho Macho Burrito Challenge

Cazuela’s Mexican Grill, 2247 N. High St. Columbus, OH

“IT TASTES LIKE PAIN.  Like pain that makes you want to saw off your tongue while you’re pouring sweat, shaking in your chair and crying. What a huge mistake.”

That was one of the top reviews of the challenge on Yelp. Sounds like a lot of sissy complaining, huh?

A 12″ tortilla filled with rice, refried beans, chicken or steak—all topped with hot habanero sauce. Big whoop! Prove those Yelpers wrong and mow down that burrito.

And slap the accomplishment on your resume when you’re done.

8 Pound Omelet Challenge

Hangover Easy, 1646 Neil Ave. Columbus, OH

Photo courtesy of Tony Carter of The Lantern

Although you may not spot it on the menu, we have it on good authority that if you have enough conviction, the General Manager of Hangover Easy will schedule a time with you to dominate a 12 egg, 8-pound omelet.

As if eating a dozen eggs is not enough of a challenge, this omelet is also stuffed with ham, sausage, bacon, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, sausage gravy, and five biscuits.

The beefy guy pictured above succumbed to the challenge but don’t let that intimidate you.

Monolith Sandwich Challenge

Neighborhood’s Deli, 2142 W Henderson Rd, Columbus

The Monolith Sandwich Challenge at Neighbor’s Deli in Columbus has everything you could think to put on 4 pieces of bread; turkey, ham, roast beef, pastrami, bacon, 4 different cheeses, but mayo, mustard, horseradish, slaw, veggies and pickles.

Oh, and don’t forget the mammoth-sized side of potato salad.

Finish under 20:173 and you get it free.

Johnson’s Banana Split Sundae Challenge

Johnson’s Real Ice Cream, 2728 E Main St, Bexley

Hankering for more of a sweets overload? Johnson’s Real Ice Cream in Bexley is dishing up the treat for you!

The Banana Split Sundae Challenge comes with:

  • 3 whole bananas
  • 8 scoops of ice cream (your choice of flavor)
  • Topped with almonds, whipped cream, and cherries
  • 8 additional toppings of your choice

If you can finish the ice cream mountain in less than 4:28 minutes, you win the $19.99 sundae free and land your name on the wall of fame.

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Food & Drink

Clintonville Brunch Crawl: We dare you to squeeze all 3 stops into 1 day

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Clintonville is lovely this time of year, especially when you make three separate stops for brunch. 

Whether the weather is gracing the charming little burgh with a healthy dose of vitamin D or giving it a couple spins around the Lazy Susan that is Ohio’s climate, a trifecta of morning food destinations is sure to keep your mood afloat.

BLunch  • 2973 N High St.

blunchcolumbus.com

Yes, we know that Columbus now is home to a Drunch AND a BLunch.

Snicker all ya want—if you do, you’d be missing out on one of the culinary scene’s welcome newcomers—a half-day cafe that carries the comforts of a First Watch, but with the sophisticated execution of Tasi or Katalina’s.

The White Family has decades of hospitality under their belt—the family owned Galena’s Mudflats until recently, and dad Jeff has been running the OSU Faculty Club for the past 20 years.

Those two were training grounds for son Jeff, once a young, eager dishwasher and now head chef for the White’s new “daylight eatery and bar.” Mom Jane, despite her own admission that in the family’s tavern-running days breakfast didn’t get served until halfway through afternoon, now relishes an intimate spot where people can maintain their own balance between booze and breakfast.

A full-bar at brunch is a rarity in the peculiar little burg, and positioned near Lineage, Old Skool, and Condado, BLunch could be the perfect starting point for a casual Clintonville crawl.

Then again, you may not have another stop after Chef Jeff gets done with ya. He and the White family have concepted a bennies-and-batter focused menu, where you’ll be sure to come back after a healthy amount of indecision. Me? I’ve been dreaming about the Bananas Foster pancakes (topped with ice cream) and the huevos rancheros over masa cake for weeks. – Travis Hoewischer

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Dough Mama • 3335 N High St.

Dough-mama.com

Dough Mama is the top of my list for my favorite breakfast joint. I love so much about this place.

The atmosphere is super chill, laid back, and inviting. The food is so so good. I would call it comfort food with an extra sprinkle of love and thought.

From pie to salad, it’s all good.

They use a variety of local and seasonal ingredients and support some of my favorite local delicacies with Dan the Baker bread and Thunderkiss coffee … YUM! They also have a variety of vegan and gluten-free options.

I am smitten with the Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy muffin. This place is my go to for a yummy drippy egg, roasted potatoes, salad, a sweet treat and a perfect cup of coffee.

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My husband loves Grammie’s Sammie and a piece of Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie. I somehow manage to splurge here and feel really really good about it.

Their menu has some great staples but they also always have specials that look and are amazing.

Right now they serve both lunch and breakfast during the day and I’ve heard it through the grapevine that they will soon be open in the evening and serving dinner. I cannot wait to see what delicious dishes they create for that menu. – Jana Rock

Baba’s • 2515 Summit St.

babascolumbus.com

Baba’s is my go-to breakfast spot in Columbus. You can grab a breakfast sandwich on their homemade griddle muffins (aka little pillows of heaven), order a rack of ribs, or in the spirit of Alabama Worley, have a slice of perfect pie and a cup of Thunderkiss coffee.

Their delicious baked goods are made in house, they smoke all of their own meats and their produce and coffee are all sourced locally, though their espresso will send you to the moon.

The service is fast, their team is super-friendly and there are never any pretentious vibes in the super chill atmosphere they have created on the corner of Hudson and Summit.

They’ve made a beautiful impact in their short existence in the SoHud neighborhood, fostering local artistic connections and bringing beautiful new mural art that rotates different artist from the community throughout the year. Don’t forget to grab one of their perfect cinnamon rolls for later. — Vanessa Jean Speckman

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Food & Drink

Harvest Pizzeria sowing last seeds in German Village

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Eight years ago, Harvest Pizzeria cropped up in a small space in German Village. Today, the local pizza chain announced the closure of its flagship location.

Harvest Pizzeria German Village will open its doors for the final time on Saturday, April 27th.

“Despite the success of Harvest in German Village and our strong ties to the neighborhood, the owner of the property will not honor our renewal of the lease,” wrote founder Chris Crader in an email. “…the landlord’s demands for a new lease at a higher rate would not allow our little pizzeria to remain viable.

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Crader added that he is proud of the strides Harvest German Village has made over the years, and thankful for the community that’s supported it. He hopes they can return to the neighborhood when the right spot presents itself.

As far as the employees go, Crader wrote that with the success of the other locations, the German Village workers will be able to join a team at another restaurant.

“Harvest sincerely thanks all of its loyal supporters and we hope to see you at our other locations soon,” wrote Crader.

This news follows the announcement of the Grandview Harvest closing back in February. Read more here.

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Food & Drink

Crawfish boils claw their way into Columbus Saturday

Mike Thomas

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What’s the deal with crawfish boils? Sure, they’re delicious, but as a true land-lubbing midwesterner, my knowledge of this particular culinary phenomenon is fairly lacking.

That said, I definitely can’t tell you why there are multiple crawfish boils going down this Saturday. Best not to overthink it—just enjoy the experience!

Pecan Penny’s |113 East Main Street
Saturday at 4 PM – 7 PM

Sponsored by Brewdog, downtown BBQ joint Pecan Penny’s is kicking off patio season with an all-you-can-eat Crawfish boil, complete with giveaways and a DJ.

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Rehab Tavern | 456 W Town St
2 PM – 6 PM

Rehab’s own 4/20 crawfish boil kicks off at 2:00. Your $15.75 entrance fee will net you a pint of beer in addition to all-you-can-eat crawfish and fixins’!

Can’t make either of these, or want to try the boil experience before committing to a large-scale event? Check out Kai’s Crab Boil or Boiling Seafood Crawfish—both on Bethel Road —for first-rate seafood experiences you won’t soon forget.

Why are there two crawfish boils on the same day? Why are there two crawfish restaurants on the same road? We may never know, and honestly, who cares? Crawfish is the bomb! Just put on your bib and get crackin’!

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