Steve Evans Country Sausage

I had lunch in this old movie theater turned restaurant in Gallipolis, at The Colony Restaurant.

It serves Steve Evans Country Sausage. Steve is Bob Evans’s son. Many decades ago, he was given a faded piece of paper written by his father containing a family recipe for their genuine country sausage. This is a different recipe than the one used in Bob Evans Restaurants. This one was reserved for family and close friends visiting Bob and the family on the farm until now.

The Colony Restaurant & Entertainment Venue in Gallipolis converted the town’s historic Colony Movie Theater into a restaurant and more. It’s a unique setting that has preserved much of the old theater’s heart. It has become a popular destination restaurant as well as a favorite local hot spot. The movie screen still hangs and entertains the dinner crowds with classic films. It sits on a vast stage that now hosts a variety of live entertainment.

Of course, the sausage sandwich was highly recommended by my friend, Bob (different Bob), but so was the white chicken chili. Both will make your taste buds pop with mouth-watering flavor.

Plan your foodie adventure at https://www.ohiotraveler.com/the-colony-restaurant/

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Mouth Watering Stacked!

Okay, the signature dish at Scott’s Diner in New Concord may be their Rueben, but the Stacked Ham & Swiss was perhaps the most delicious ever. It’s hand-carved, sugar-cured, hickory smoked tavern ham and Swiss cheese topped with Scott’s signature Dijon mustard dressing and is served on an artisan bun with crisp lettuce and vine-ripened tomatoes. Add the cole slaw for a perfect combo. It is freshly made, in-house, with the right amount of tangy-sweet balance. Plan your next diner visit at Scott’s Diner | Ohio Traveler.

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This is a Serious Fudging Business!

Schmidt’s Fudge House has mastered an old-world technique for making Belgian-inspired fudge! Cooking with Paula Deen named it the fourth-best fudge made in America! After it’s cooked in copper kettles, it is hand-crafted and finished on marble tables. It achieves a sophisticated flavor by combining ingredients like Belgian chocolate, creamy caramel, smooth peanut butter, fluffy marshmallows, walnuts, almonds, and roasted pecans into the mix. It’s so good that celebrities such as Martha Stewart and Adam Richman (Man vs. Food Travel Channel Show) have made special journeys to get a taste of this treat nestled in the brick streets of German Village in Columbus. Their chocolate is also out of this world delicious! Plan your visit at https://www.ohiotraveler.com/schmidts-fudge-haus/.

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My Most Memorable Diner in Ohio

My parents moved from the big city of Cleveland to what was then the sleepy farm town of Avon Lake before the I-90 freeway stretched that far west. Mom took a break from being a secretary while my sister and I were preschoolers. Dad drove Lake Road daily to get to his tool and die factory job in The Land. There and back, he’d see the alluring roadside family diner in Rocky River – Bearden’s, advertising their famous steakburger – always fresh, never frozen! – since 1948.

We were the signature blue-collar household from back in the day. Eating out was a true treat. And we only did it once per week, on Friday, for supper. There was always an air of excitement when we’d pile into the car without our seatbelts, roll down the windows, and feel the crisp breeze coming off Lake Erie, waves glimmering in the golden hour.  Mom and Dad would laugh—argue—laugh in a weekly ritual that washed away their stress and paved the way for a weekend to get lost in. It usually started with the lit-up sign appearing through the windshield, luring my sister and me to cross the territorial imaginary line in the middle of the backseat to take in the ceremonial view, smile, and then retreat to our corners, saying, “Eww, don’t touch me!”

Inside, we always grabbed a booth, plopped down, and waited for the waitress (always the same lady) while the model train wowed my sister and me with its loops around the dining room from overhead. We never needed a menu. We ordered the same thing time after time. Dad got the steakburger with everything, fries, and Coca-Cola. Oh, and a side salad. The rest of us got the Kiddie Special – yes, even Mom. She said the proportions were more to her liking. Afterward, Dad ordered shakes all around.

For this hour per week, life was never better.

Try it. Bearden’s is still there—now a cool, cheerful, remodeled retro 1950s roadside diner that’s been kid-friendly since 1948!

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun 

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Peanut Clusters in Amish Country

This Amish Country staple is one of the tastiest stops you’ll find. I stumbled upon Coblentz Chocolate Company on a rainy travel day last week. Oh, I’ve heard rave reviews about it, so I popped in. And what a treat it was!

There was a viewing window to see the hand-made sweet concoctions on their way to my goodie bag. Known for fresh ingredients and premium chocolate, I tried to decide between Almond Bark, Cherry Cordials, Chocolate Caramels, and Peanut Clusters. Since the Peanut Clusters have reached legendary status over the 30+ years since Coblentz opened, I chose those … and MORE!

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun

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Mother Mohawk Sandwich

Taste the Legendary Mother Mohawk Sandwich at the
Old Mohawk Restaurant in German Village
 

Yah-yah, the true staple of the Old Mohawk Restaurant, is its famous Mohawk Turtle Soup, a tradition for more than 70 years, but it was the legendary Mother Mohawk Sandwich that I look forward to tasting again.

Heck, it was so good, I think it knew it because the sauce flashed me a smile! See the pic if you don’t believe me!

Anyway, this tasty bite is grilled roast beef and homemade chicken salad topped with Swiss cheese on marble rye bread served with a side of caraway horseradish sauce.

Old Mohawk’s historic building dates back to Prohibition when it, as legend has it, served as a Speakeasy. It’s even rumored that the original owner raised the turtles for the popular turtle soup in the basement of the building.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun

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A Toast to Ohio

A TOAST TO OHIO
I know I’ve been doing the OhioTraveler thing for a long time when I start seeing Ohio in my toast.
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Mt Adams Bar & Grill

Mt Adams Bar & Grill in Cincinnati
was the first drinking establishment in Ohio
to obtain a liquor license post Prohibition

Let me tell you about the historic Mt Adams Bar & Grill in photos, the back of the menu, a couple of selections from the menu, and a plaque on the brick wall outside.

The Back of the Menu 

“The Mt Adams Bar & Grill backbar reputedly came out of a speakeasy owned by the infamous Cincinnati bootlegger, George Remus. Speakeasys were illegal bars operated during the Prohibition of alcohol decreed in 1919 by the 18th Amendment to our Constitution. Remus, a Chicago criminal attorney, moved to Cincinnati and bought a distillery to produce legally bonded whiskey for medicinal purposes by prescription only. Not surprisingly, a great of Remus’ whiskey found its way into speakeasys. At the height of his success, he employed 3,000 people and $20,000,000 in bribes to local police and officials. His success brought him $45,000,000 in profits and the unwelcome attention of federal agents. Scheduled for trial, he gave his diamond collection to his wife. For unknown reasons, she promptly filed for divorce, but in a diabolical twist, just two hours before the trial was scheduled to begin, Remus tracked her down in Eden Park and killed her. He pled guilty due to insanity, spent three months in a state mental hospital, afterwhich he was found sane and released.

Prohibition was repealed in 1933 with the passage of the 21st Amendment and the Bar & Grill in it’s present location was the first drinking establishment in Ohio to obtain a liquor license.” 

A Plaque on the Brick Wall Outside

“When Prohibition ended, Mt. Adams Bar served the second drink in Cincinnati at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 6, 1933 to the Mayor of the Queen City, Russell Wilson.”

A Couple of Selections from the Menu

OMG, try this appetizer: Fried Jalapeno Ravioli. It’s to die for!

“It’s a ravioli filled with chopped jalapeno peppers and ricotta cheese. Fried to a golden brown and served with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.”

And for a sandwich, try the Southwestern Chicken. “It’s fresh chicken breast marinated in their special sauce and grilled to perfection. Topped with sour cream, green taco sauce, pepper jack cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, and served on a grilled buttercrust bread.” 

A trip here will also whet your appetite for culture and history. Mt. Adams is a legendary Cincinnati neighborhood built on a steep hillside. Much of it was once part of the Nicholas Longworth Vineyard, which developed the Catawba grape from which America’s first champagne was produced. Also rooted in Mt. Adams’ story are the world-renown Rookwood Pottery and the first public observatory in the western hemisphere—Cincinnati Observatory.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun

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It’s Tom & Jerry Time!

It is a yummy, warm Wapakoneta holiday tradition that dates back about 130 years. Welcome to the Alpha Café, where the Tom and Jerry cocktail is served in a coffee mug. It’s warm, contains alcohol, and is also sweet, frothy, and has just the right touch of holiday spice. Click here to plan a visit to this historic establishment.

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Ohio With A Side of Christian Rock

Ohio with a Side of Christian Rock’s
We Are Messengers

So, I let this gentleman go ahead of us at Adesso Coffee. In turn, he bought our coffee with a God bless. 🙌

His name is Antjuan. His Christian rock band, We Are Messengers, performed later that night in Mason, Ohio.

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Meatballs with Lingonberries

Munching on some IKEA meatballs in their cafeteria (having nostalgic thoughts of the K-mart cafeteria growing up – lol), looking to help furnish one of the kids’ new places. Hey, these meatballs with lingonberries are pretty tasty.

Ohio has two IKEA stores (Columbus and Cincinnati areas). The Swedish home furnishing brand known for assemble-yourself affordability and comfort the world over put out its first catalog in 1951. The world’s first IKEA store opened in Sweden in 1958. A year later, self-assembly furniture was produced to reduce shipping costs by keeping the packaging more compact. In 1974, a supplier turned a plastic bucket into a chair (pictured), illustrating the concept of innovation at low cost.

Bring your walking shoes. There’s a lot of walking to browse this store. Maps are everywhere, so you don’t get (too) lost.

Plan your visit at https://www.ohiotraveler.com/ikea-in-ohio/

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Meet the Hafners!

Travel back to the 1800s and meet Mr. & Mrs. Hafner at Ye Olde Trail Tavern in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

The Hafner is a mouth-watering combination of grilled corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss drizzled with thousand island on toasted pumpernickel rye or Udi’s gluten-free bun.

The Mrs. Hafner combines grilled turkey breast, sauerkraut, Swiss and Thousand Island dressing on Pumpernickel Rye or Udi’s gluten-free bun.

Either way, it’ll be a scrumptious choice set in the ambiance of a historic tavern.

Plan your foodie adventure at https://www.ohiotraveler.com/ye-olde-trail-tavern/ and meet the Hafners.

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Pilgrimage to Miracle Meals

Make a pilgrimage to Do Good.

If anything, the journey to rural Ohio is worth it just to have a Miracle Mocha, Prodigal Burger, Trinity Grilled Cheese, or Little Fishers served in a Noah’s Ark with animal crackers.

Welcome to Do Good Restaurant in Osgood, Ohio. Blink and you might drive right through the tiny town without knowing it.

The servers are volunteers and tips go to a worthy cause. Ask your server whom you are helping today. Remember, “Brothers and sisters, while we are here let us do good.”

Plan your pilgrimage for a divine breakfast, lunch, or dinner by clicking here.

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The Gulla Dog

Gulla Dog at Gulla’s Lunch
photo is courtesy of Belmont County Tourism

This “FoodtEase” serves up…THE “GULLA DOG” at Gulla’s Lunch in Bellaire, Ohio.

Gulla’s Lunch is home to the famous “Gulla Dog”. Paul Gulla is the fourth generation to serve up the sauce on Belmont Street. A tradition that started more than 4,000 miles away in Sicily. The recipe is Paul’s great-grandmother’s. His great-grandfather ended up in Bellaire, opening the first version of Gulla’s Lunch, just down the street from their current location. It was called the Columbia. In 1984 they moved two doors down to their current location, where the menu expanded and so did the clientele, as generations passed on the tradition that is grabbing lunch a Gulla’s. The fish, the chili, the vegetable soup, all of our soups are homemade. The staple lunch is a Gulla dog, fish and fries and gravy, Even though they sit on a small street in a small town, Gulla’s can go nationwide. If you bring in your own mason jar, they can jar you up some sauce to ship to someone as far away as Texas.

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Attention Ohio Foodie Lovers

Eli’s BBQ in Cincinnati is located in a place that’s not well marked but everyone knows where to go for great-tasting barbeque and atmosphere. It’s in an old river neighborhood a stone’s skip from the Ohio River. When you walk into the weathered building, you first notice the worn wooden floor. On one wall there’s a collection of rock’s finest vinyl records. On another wall, there’s an old stereo system with a turntable spinning records from the collection.

You’ll walk to the counter in the back and order your food. Then, find a seat in the front dining room with the most peculiar art for sale, hanging on the walls. Or you may sit outside or in an adjacent tented eating area. They’ll bring the food to you when it’s ready. The pulled pork, ribs and creamy southern coleslaw are to die for! But there are plenty of other great options to feast on. If you enjoy Jalapeño, try the cheddar grits and cornbread.

Eli’s BBQ has been listed in national top-10 lists for best barbeque and is also available at some Cincinnati area Kroger stores. They also have a stand at the historic Findlay Market for take-out in downtown Cincinnati. Elis is open daily from 11am – 9pm. You’ll find it at (Map It) 3313 Riverside Drive in Cincinnati, Ohio. You may call 513-533-1957 or visit http://www.elisbarbeque.com/.

For more of Ohio’s unique eateries, vsit https://www.ohiotraveler.com/restaurants-eateries/. If you want to suggest a place for our taste buds to determine if it gets added to the list, email scoops@ohiotraveler.com.

By Rocco Satullo, your Tour Guide to Fun

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Amish Fruitcake to Die For

“An Amish Fruitcake Like No Other”

Yoder’s Bakery & Furniture
(Formerly Keim Family Market)

I’ve heard this about Yoder’s (formerly Keim’s) holiday fruitcakes for the past 13 years I’ve worked with them. The recipe goes back to the 1970s when Roy Keim sold them and his wife’s homemade pies roadside from a horse and buggy. Now, people around the country order them. We think word spread from truckers over the years. This year, I decided to have one mailed to me so I could finally try it. In a word: YUM! There are plenty of fruitcake jokes during the holiday season, but at Yoder’s, fruitcake is no laughing matter. Like many fruitcake lovers across the country, you may order one from this quaint Ohio Amish shop to be shipped to you by calling them at 937-386-9995.

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A Taste of Tuscany in Ohio

at Gervasi Vineyard

Gervasi Vineyard, an upscale Tuscan-inspired winery, has three distinct restaurants featuring exceptional cuisine. The stunning 55-acre estate featuring the state-of-the-art winery and distillery also has a coffee house and craft cocktail lounge in addition to offering tours, tastings, pairings, culinary classes, and events. And you may spend the night in “Tuscany” in a luxury suite.

The Bistro, housed in a historic barn, features rustic upscale Italian cuisine with homemade ingredients featuring antipasti, salads, brick-fired artisan pizzas, steak, chicken and seafood entrees, and delectable desserts. Offering a full bar including specialty cocktails, craft beers, and award-winning Gervasi Wines. (Reservations recommended.)

The Crush House is a contemporary wine bar and eatery in a more casual setting. Enjoy lunch and dinner in an open-air “loft” style restaurant and winery featuring Venetian-style cuisine with appetizers, sandwiches, salads, wraps, pasta bowls, entrees, and a full bar including specialty cocktails, craft beers, Gervasi wines, featuring weekday Happy Hour 2 – 6 pm and Theme Nights.

New to Gervasi Village is The Still House, a coffee house by day, featuring a wide variety of coffee creations. In the evening, the venue transforms into a swanky cocktail lounge as one of the coolest spots in town. The Still House offers specialty craft cocktails created by mixologists, an extensive bourbons list, craft beers, and Gervasi award-winning wines. Cigar aficionados can enjoy a high-end indoor/outdoor lounge. Live music featuring local artists is offered every evening.

Spend the night in “Tuscany” in a luxury suite. The Villas, and the new boutique hotel, The Casa, offer a total of 48 luxurious suites, offering high-end amenities and are custom designed to feel like you have escaped to Tuscany.

Links to Gervasi’s restaurants for menus, dining, and take out options:

Gervais Vineyard 2Photos courtesy of Gervasi Vineyard

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Ohio’s Oldest Public Market

Photo courtesy of Findlay Market

Welcome to Findlay Market, Ohio’s oldest public market and Cincinnati’s only surviving municipal market house.

It’s home to over 50 full-time merchants and over 50 seasonal farmers, artisans, produce vendors and more! Nestled in the heart of Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, this historic structure has been (and remains) home to a plethora of small, multi-generational businesses and is a place where a diverse array of local food entrepreneurs gather to provide the freshest and highest quality food and artisan products.

The Market has remained an integral part of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood (once home to over 40,000 German-American, African-American and Appalachian residents). Findlay Market was the one-stop-shop for folks to get their weekly essentials—farm-fresh produce, high-quality meats, freshly-baked bread, hand-cut flowers, etc. Today, Findlay Market prides itself on staying true to its roots by supporting small business and providing Over-the-Rhine residents and Cincinnati locals with eclectic food and food-related products they will not find anywhere else in the city.

In addition to providing the best food in town, Findlay Market is a communal space, conducting over a dozen events throughout the year. Findlay Market is also home to the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, in which businesses, organizations and school groups gather at the Market and parade through the city to celebrate and cheer on the Cincinnati Reds!

In the warmer months, Findlay Market hosts local artisans, farmers, and prepared food vendors in its Outdoor Market. During this season, shoppers can enjoy a local craft beer (or two) in the Findlay Market Biergarten (pictured) with their family and friends!

Click here to plan your visit to Findlay Market.

Photo courtesy of Findlay Market

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Spot Burger

The Spot Burger in Sidney, Ohio will definitely hit the spot. It’s no wonder people take road trips to Sidney for one of the tastiest burgers in a setting that is authentic and nostalgic.

The Spot Restaurant started as a chuckwagon more than 100 years ago. Its cheeseburgers have left ear-to-ear grins on happy customer faces generation after generation. Spot Miller wheeled his chuckwagon into town in 1907 but Sidney officials restricted selling meals from the mobile eatery so Spot Miller kicked the wheels off and became a permanent fixture in town for generations to come, cooking up memories for all.

New owners bought the place from Spot Miller and had a grand vision of popping up in many spots across Ohio and beyond. The chain, Spot to Eat, opened in Athens, Urbana, Lima, Piqua, and Bellefontaine. Eventually, they all disappeared and only one SPOT exists today, the original!

Along the way, a more permanent building was built. Fire in the early 1940’s resulted in the exterior design seen today, including the neon sign hanging over the front door with the Spot trademark. Inside, the last renovation was 1976.

Click here to plan your visit to The Spot!

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Maid Rite Sandwich Shoppe

Welcome to the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville.

  • Location: (Map It) 125 N Broadway St. in Greenville, Ohio
  • Phone: 937-548-9340 
  • Web: Click here

The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville:  One of the most unique eateries around, the Maid-Rite lures hungry visitors from hundreds of miles away just to taste the legendary sandwich made just right in a modest shop located in the little rural Southwest Ohio town of Greenville.

If any place can reflect a city’s heart and soul, it is this minuscule eatery with a big attraction. From the looks of the outside, nobody in their right mind would want to eat there. This is because the deco of the exterior red brick is adorned with chewed bubble gum of a wide assortment of colors stuck to the walls in such density it is difficult to find a new spot to add to the “Wall of Gum,” as locals fondly refer to it. Consider it a tradition and try a Maid-Rite sandwich anyway. There’s nothing like it.

A Maid-Rite sandwich can be compared to a very dry yet flavorful sloppy joe with a touch of onion, mustard, and pickles.

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