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Sidekick Spotlight: 5 of the best side dishes in Columbus

Mitch Hooper



Whether it’s sports, entertainment, or cooking, no all-star anything is complete without its sidekick. What’s Batman without Robin? Who’s Michael Jordan without Scottie Pippen? And maybe the most important question, what’s a burger without fries?

I’m here to argue that a burger without fries is just a sad and lonely sandwich. The world is a better place with sides. Could you imagine Thanksgiving with no sides? It would be a nightmare. Thankfully, we don’t have to live in a world without entree sidekicks. These are just a few of the can’t-miss menu options here in Columbus.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Philco Bar and Diner | 747 N High St.

Photo by Jamie Benjamin

If caramelized onions can make a $10 burger cost $15, it’s a damn steal that Philco’s side of caramelized brussels costs only $5. The dish truly lets the flavor of the vegetable do the heavy lifting as it’s minimally seasoned with salt and  pepper, and tossed in olive oil. But the caramelization process highlights the “meaty” flavor of the brussels while also providing for some crispy and crunchy leaves that fell off during the cooking process.

Sesame Stir Fry Snap Peas

Mitchell’s Ocean Club | 4002 Easton Station

A trip to Mitchell’s Ocean Club is typically on a special occasion—graduations, anniversaries, birthdays—and that usually means the focus is on a stellar seafood entrée, but making a meal out of a single item is no way to celebrate anything.

Nearly every side dish is elevated at Cameron Mitchell locations, but the sesame stir fry snap peas are perfect with everything from steaks to salmon. The simple side features fresh snap peas sauteed in a savory sesame sauce and topped with sesame seeds for the visual pop and textural crunch. The subtle sweetness of snap peas combined with the savory sauce creates for a perfect umami marriage.


White Cheddar Grits

Hubbard Grille | 793 N High St.

Just because Columbus isn’t in the South doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy southern favorites here like grits. At Hubbard Grille, this Southern treat is on the menu with a slight spin which comes in the form of white cheddar. Anyone who has experienced a bad bowl of grits knows how off-putting they can be—for lack of better words, they become… gritty.

Luckily, the experience at Hubbard is nothing like that. The grits hold their texture without becoming too firm or too mushy, and white cheddar is a great cheese that won’t overpower the dish with too much cheese (if that’s even a thing?) while adding depth, richness, and creaminess.

Elote Mexican Corn Cob

Katalina’s | 1105 Pennsylvania Ave.

Katalina’s has seemingly stolen the city’s heart by way of pancake balls, but that’s not the only delicious dish they have tucked away on Pennsylvania Avenue. Whether you order it straight from the menu, or it comes with your order of breakfast tacos, the elote Mexican corn cob is quite literally dripping with flavor. The quartered corn cob is rolled in guajillo pepper from North Market Spices, smoked paprika, parmesan, and Sriracha-lime aioli. While it is just as messy to eat as you imagine, it’s worth all the stains you might risk on your shirt. 

Cowboy Caviar

Two Dollar Radio Headquarters | 1124 Parsons Ave.

Similarly to Katalina’s elote corn on the cob, you can snag the cowboy caviar from the regular menu, or as a side to your entrée. The important thing is that you order it. The vegan dish (caviar can be vegan, too) has a relatively simple ingredients list, but these ingredients combined together pack a real punch when it comes to flavor. The bean salsa is zesty and hearty and served with avocado to add some “fat” to your protein-packed dip as well as tortilla chips from Koki’s Tortillas in the Hilltop.

millennial | writer | human

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Food & Drink

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




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.

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


Dough Mama • 3335 N High St.

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.


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.

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




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.


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



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.


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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