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Food & Drink

Fry Guys: 6 creative takes on fries from around Columbus

Mitch Hooper



Who would’ve thought there would be such a heated debate when it comes to French fries? They are so simple, yet so controversial. Do you put your ketchup on the side, or cover your fries in it? Crispy or soggy? Shoestring or crinkle cut? McDonald’s or Wendy’s? Or Burger King? Does a tater tot count as a French fry? What about waffle fries? Or curly fries?

If your head is spinning from all these spuds, that’s a good thing. While fries are typically just a sidekick to the main entree, people really care about these fried potatoes. And right here in Columbus, we’re seeing people take the fast food staple to a new level. Dipping your fries into ketchup or a Frosty is so last year; now we have fries topped with mussels or even kimchi! It’s time for you to see what the future of fries holds, and we’re here to point you in the right direction.

Irish Fries | Byrne’s Pub, 1248 W Third Ave.

Photos: Katie Forbes

The bond between drinking and nachos is strong, and Byrne’s Pub is all too aware of that. But instead of the traditional tortilla chip base, Byrne’s swaps in waffle fries. The waffle fries are crispy and seasoned and come doused in Cheez Whiz. Then the fries are topped with jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, bacon, and avocado to fully round out the nod to nachos. We recommend getting this just for yourself, but good luck fighting off all your friends who keep stealing bites.

Poutine Fries | Pecan Penny’s, 113 E Main St.

Look, we said the fries were delicious, not healthy. At Pecan Penny’s, the poutine fries are the pinnacle of indulgence. This Canadian-inspired dish comes with a bed of seasoned waffle fries smothered in brown gravy, cheddar cheese, green onions, and a fried egg. This order is massive, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a fry that isn’t completely covered in gravy and cheese. There’s also the option to add brisket or pulled pork to the dish, and hey, if you’re spending the extra calories, you might as well go all the way.


Truffle Fries | Arch City Tavern, 862 N High St.

While Arch City’s burgers are incredible, the parmesan truffle fries are giving them a run for their money. These fries are fresh cut, meaning they have a crispy exterior with a soft interior, making them perfect for dunking and scooping up sauces. The fries are also topped with truffle oil and parmesan cheese, giving them a savory and salty flavor. Just make sure you get an extra order of the garlic aioli because it is highly addictive.

Mussels & Fries | Grandview Cafe, 1455 W Third Ave.

If you are a fan of fish and chips, you’ll love Grandview Cafe’s take on it. Instead of fish with steak fries, you’ll be chowing down on steamed PEI mussels with shoestring fries. But don’t think that’s all you’re getting in this dish. The mussels and fries get a boost in flavor from additional ingredients like ground chorizo, garlic, blistered tomatoes, white wine, and butter.

Pop Fries | Xi Xia Western Chinese Cuisine, 1140 Kenny Centre Mall

When one thinks of places serving up delicious fried potatoes, Western Chinese food doesn’t typically come to mind. But at Xi Xia Western Chinese Cuisine, you can find amazing fries with an Asian twist. These pop fries come topped with kimchi and are served with house sweet and sour sauce. Is it a bit of a carb-overload to get both the house-made noodles and the fries? Perhaps, but it’s well worth it.

Cheese Fries| Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace, 248 S High St.

And while all the spots on this list are taking fries on a new path, Dirty Frank’s keeps it classic with their cheese fries. Sure, the dish is simple: freshly fried fries completely covered in cheese sauce. But that’s what makes it so great. There’s no extra frills here, just well-cooked and well- seasoned fries and enough cheese sauce to drown in. Best of all? These fries are only $2.75.

millennial | writer | human

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{UPDATED} Indoor Dining: what’s NOT opening?




Los Gauchos

PINS Mechanical Co.

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Hey Pinheads. We're so excited to hear that our world is beginning to reopen! Many of you have reached out asking about our opening plans so we wanted to provide a brief update on Pins Mechanical Co. While we fully trust and support the decisions of our local leaders, it’s our responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our team members and guests, while not sacrificing the experience that makes Pins, Pins! With that in mind, none of our locations will be opening in May. There are many unknowns with COVID-19 and we hope that taking this extra time will help our guests and teammates feel better about the measures we’ve put in place to keep all of us safe. For example, on top of our already stringent cleaning procedures, we’re installing UV technology at all locations (ensuring you always have clean balls to play with). We’re looking forward to welcoming back our kick-ass team to train and adjust to this new normal. Once our people feel comfortable + confident, we’ll know it’s time to get rollin’ again! Thank you for your incredible support, online sales, photo shares + kind words over the last two months. Even when you couldn’t show up, you showed up and we’ll never forget it! We’re hopeful that everyone will be safe and smart as we begin to reopen the doors to the small businesses that make our communities so special. See you soon, Pinheads!

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Old North Arcade

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Dear friends, . As you are most likely aware, Governor DeWine has permitted the reopening of bars and restaurants for dine-in seating effective 5/21. We are very grateful that our leadership is now offering businesses the choice to do what they think is right. We offer no judgment for the bars and restaurants that are/have chosen to open. However, for our particular business, and for our staff, we still think it's too early. We are going to remain closed this week and next but do hope to open soon. Your understanding and patience is greatly appreciated and we cannot wait to see you all. It is important to us that we apply an extra layer of safety and precaution on top of the govermental recommendations. Tentatively, we are looking at the end of May to reopen in a very limited capacity but we're following local and national developments very closesly so will be quick to bail if things turn south. Your continued support has been quite humbling. Thank you. Stay healthy, support local, and be more than kind to one another. . Cautiously optimistic, . ONA Staff

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Watershed Kitchen + Bar

101 Beer kitchen

They are delaying opening dine-in service until May 26th.

Matt the Miller's Tavern

Stay tuned on social for patio and dine-in updates!

J. Gumbo's

J. Gumbo's will continue to stay open for online ordering for pick up and delivery - stay tuned for dine-in updates.

Mouton on High

The Whitney House

The Whitney House will be opening Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 11 am.

The Guild House

Stay tuned for opening dates!

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Stay safe everyone 💕

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Smoked On High

Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace

The Woodbury

The Woodbury will be opening its doors for dine-in service on June 1 2020.


Roosters are not opening dine-in until May 26th 2020.

The Eagle

The Eagle is temporarily closed - stay tuned on social for updates!

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In light of the government mandated closure of dine-in business for an indeterminable period of time, we’ve made the incredibly hard decision to temporarily close The Eagle Columbus. . Given the truly unprecedented and quickly evolving nature of this health crisis, we’ve been forced to make the best decisions we can, with the information we have. As the true scale of this crisis has been revealed, it’s become impossible to deny the impact this mandate will have on our business and team members. This decision was made as all of our decisions have been: with the health, happiness, well being and best interests of our guests and team members in mind. . The state of Thunderdome Restaurant Group is strong and we look forward to seeing and serving you all on the other side of this. Truth, courage, and be well.

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Lavash Cafe

Tiger + Lily

Tiger + Lily is sticking to carry out for the time being. Follow them on social for updates for dine-in!

Yats Grandview

Red Lobster

Red Lobster is continuing to stick to curbside pickup, delivery, or touchless pick-up.

Harvest Pizza

Bareburger Columbus

Bareburger is opening for dine-in on May 26th, 2020.


City Barbeque

Local Cantina - Creekside, Grandview, Dublin, Westerville, Hilliard Locations

Creekside Local Cantina is delaying opening indoor dining until May 26, 2020.

OH Pizza and Brew

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Don’t be that guy/gal who forces your favorite bar/restaurant to permanently close; here are the rules




Once the flood of COVID-related documentaries start to infiltrate our Netflix and Hulu feeds, one of the most debated topics will be which smoking gun the auteur chooses. NBA player Rudy Gobert recklessly rubbing his hands over every microphone during a press conference days before testing positive comes to mind first. The spring break bro who wouldn’t let the virus stop him from raging will make its rounds. Even the scene at Standard Hall made some people’s skin crawl.

The Ohio Investigative Unit will be doing its best to monitor situations at restaurants and bars in order to prevent any future anecdotes like the ones listed above. Local law enforcement agencies will be assisting the OIU to make sure that establishments are complying with the Dine Safe Ohio order. With the issues that were brought up following the opening of outside dining on May 15, the OIU has made specific stipulations for patrons to follow:

  • 6-foot social distancing between employees AND members of the public
  • patrons must be seated while eating and/or drinking 
  • no more than 10 people to a table
  • no billiards, video/arcade games, dancing, or card playing
  • patrons must follow specific guidelines put in place by restaurant/bar

For those who have no shame dancing by themselves in public, you’re golden. However, patrons can be written up for not following the OIU’s guidelines. 

Some people may be able to shoulder a citation, but bars and restaurants are the ones who have the most to lose here. In a press conference on May 18, Gov. Mike DeWine mentioned that OIU will issue citations that could result in the permanent loss of liquor licenses.

So once again the ball is in the consumer’s court: follow these very simple rules and avoid the risk of putting your favorite restaurants and bars out of business for good. In 2020, being spring break bro is the worst look.

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Food & Drink

Craft & Vinyl pairs pints with LPs in new digital book




For almost two years, Craft & Vinyl has been pouring drinks while music-obsessed patrons flip their fingers through owner Troy Stacy’s vinyl collection. The Grandview area bar also operates as one of the handful of record stores in Columbus. Lump in a recording studio experience and a stage for live music and Stacy has essentially crafted a one-stop-shop for music enthusiasts.

Like most record stores in the area and around the country, Craft & Vinyl is feeling the economic effects of COVID-19. With no patrons to drink craft pints or musicians to fill the store with live music, every side of Stacy’s business has been blindsided.

However, Stacy has found a distinct way to quench the thirst and tame the ears of his would-be customers. With a longstanding tradition of pairing potent drinks with suitable music, Craft & Vinyl is finally bringing their mixology vision to book form with POUR and PLAY.

POUR and PLAY is chock full of combinations of cherished classic and modern albums, ranging from Amy Winehouse to Billie Eilish, Outkast to Tame Impala. Each page comes with a display of an individual album along with a brief description, ideal craft beer pairing, and an embedded Spotify link.

The digital book is currently available for presale at a 50 percent discount. You can lock in your copy of POUR and PLAY for $12 by following the link here.

Become fully immersed in the “hopsonic” listening experience by purchasing POUR and PLAY.

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