City Barbeque

Welcome to City Barbeque in Dublin.

City Barbeque in Dublin, Ohio:  The world is divided up into two kinds of people.  Those who slobber over ribs, brisket on a bun and pulled pork, and those who are indifferent to the sweet smoke of BBQ.

If you are in the latter category, this article will be about as interesting to you as a review of the Albanian cement industry.  If you are the former, you will be on the road to Columbus quicker than I can say “rack of ribs and a side of slaw.”

City Barbeque is to Columbus what dim sum is to Hong Kong. If you miss it, you’ll roam in the Valley of Regrets for the rest of your life.

About two years ago, my husband Paul and I were traveling around Ohio, and someone mentioned to us that Columbus had great ‘cue.  We laughed. You go to Texas or Kansas City for BBQ, but Ohio? Paul is travel editor of Fiery Foods and Barbecue Magazine, and he knows BBQ the way other men know sports. Just to be polite, we headed for Columbus for some smoky dining,  figuring it would be the butt of some future joke.

Well, the joke was on us. Owner Rick Malir became a BBQ fan in college, went to the country’s best smokeries, attended the national cook-offs, ate his body weight in ribs and pulled pork every few months, and hired the best Pit Masters he could find. He set some paper towels on the table for wiping up the slobber, performed the proper alchemy to create great sauces, added killer Mac and Cheese to the menu, and opened the doors of his joint.

We must have spent two hours at City Barbeque, and we weren’t reading Joyce’s Ulysses. We were pigging out, and slogged to the trough for seconds and thirds.  Then, depression set in. We returned home to Santa Fe, New Mexico, and we kept dreaming about those ribs, corn pudding, greens with pork, baked beans, Texas smoked sausage, hickory-flavored brisket, turkey breast and pig.

One day, we decided to call City Barbeque and ask if they could send us a care package.  To our surprise, they said they shipped ‘cue all the time, all over the country.  You order whatever you want, and two days later it lands on your doorstep, in a big box, frozen like Otzi the Iceman.  All you have to do is defrost, heat and serve.

We ordered enough for a battalion of BBQ nuts, and invited 23 of our foodie friends. Some are famous, some are anonymous, and they all share a craving for great comestibles. They were incredulous: BBQ in a box from OHIO???! We staked our culinary reputation on it.

Our kitchen counters looked like a wedding reception–platter after platter piled high with pig and associates. Our amigos loaded up their paper plates, slathered the whole thing in City Barbeque original and spicy sauces, and sat down to eat.

An hour later, there was one toothpick-sized sliver of pulled pork left.  And here are the unexpurgated comments of our friends:

Michael and Margie O’Reilly , owners of Pranzo and the O’Keeffe Café, two of the best and most beloved restaurants in Santa Fe:

“The sausage was smoky and the hot sauce–WOW.” (Michael)  I thought it was just fabulous.”  (Margie)

Wes Studi, famed Native American actor and musician, and his wife Maura, an actress and jazz singer: “The sauce is breathtakingly pungent and the meat falls off the bone” (Wes). “”The brisket was a surprise because it was tender, not chewy, and the greens were very good. The regular sauce was very good too.” (Maura)

Danny and Louise Rubin.  He wrote the movie “Ground Hog Day” and she is a web designer and architect.  “I was so enjoying the company during the meal that I just noticed all the food disappeared from my plate.” (Danny)  “You should have ordered three times as much.” (Louise)

Diego Mulligan, radio talk-show host, and Jennifer Hanan, who places guests on talk shows all over the country.  “The Prairie Fire sauce is the kind of decadence Middle America has needed for so long. This is a religious experience. I am sure there is some rabbi who will bless this.” (Diego) “Even this vegetarian liked it. I ate more meat tonight than I have eaten in 20 years. It was so good that it makes me think twice about not eating meat.” (Jennifer)

Kitt Miller, artist, cook and day trader and Greg Hoel, artist: “I just can’t believe that it came in a bag….like Stoeffer’s. And when it came out, it tasted like it was just cooked in the oven. It makes me wanna sing Swannee. (Kitt) “Oh…the sauce. And Oh…the brisket.” (Greg)

David Wolf, owner of Wolf’s Bagels, composer, and Phyllis Wolf, program director for the Jewish Community Center in Albuquerque: “Well, the corn pudding was wonderfully moist and I’m still ‘pungenting’ the aftermath of the sauce. Together, they are dancing in my mouth.” (David) “After you told us to try a rib, I went to the kitchen to find one chewed-up and discarded rib on the serving platter. I guess that speaks to whether or not people liked them!” (Phyllis)

Gary (lawyer and musician) and Linda Storm (artist and teacher):

“I would say the meal was salubrious.” (Gary) “A total surprise for me was that the Mac and Cheese was the best I ever had.” (Linda)

Erika Eckerstrand (Swedish potter and beader): “This was my first American BBQ. I love it!”

Tone Forrest (stage and film actor and bass player), and Judith Bever (artist):”Best collard greens I’ve had since I came to New Mexico and I loved the corn pudding.” (Tone) “I second what was said about the Mac and Cheese and the hot sauce was tangy, saucy, and had heat.” (Judy)

John Rochester (investment broker and actor) and Larry Fodor (artist): “The only thing missing for me was those big, fat, gluey slices of white bread.” (John)  “The food is as colorful as the folk art on your walls.” (Larry)

Brett Goldberg (owner of Computer Medics) and Deborah Finklestein (writer and teacher): “The first serving was as good as the sixth.” (Brett) “I think too often a spicy sauce has no flavor. I was very pleased. Also, often a meal focuses on the main dish.  They focus on the whole experience. It was amazing.” (Deborah)

My husband Paul stood up and gave the guests an after-dinner blessing: “Be full, “he intoned. “Be very full.”


We’re not the only ones who slobber over City Barbeque. They now have eleven restaurants in Ohio, five in Columbus, two in Dayton, two in Cincinnati, one in Toledo and one in Findlay. But wherever you are, you can take advantage of Barbecue by Mail. website:

Columbus Food Adventures

Welcome to Columbus Food Adventures.
Excerpt from a past edition of by Christine Bryant

A Columbus tour group is hoping to satisfy the tastes of local food lovers.

Whether it’s exploring the city’s stash of taco trucks, or browsing delicacies at some of the capitol’s finest restaurants, Columbus Food Adventures takes visitors on five different food tours throughout the city.

Bethia Woolf, owner of Columbus Food Adventures, says the tours aren’t just for out of towners, though.

“I think they have something to offer people who live in Columbus because it’s a way of trying different restaurants in one day,” she said. “It’s a great way to explore and find new places.”

Woolf, a food blogger, got the idea of running a food tour company in Columbus after hearing about successful tours in New York.

“I think Columbus has a lot of great food and we started the business because we wanted to really show that off,” she said.

In the summer of 2010, Woolf began offering culinary tours, which typically run three to four hours in length.

“We take people to the places with the most interesting stories or who are doing special things,” she said.

Group tour and private tour options are available for any of the five tours: The German Village Tour, the Alt Eats Food Tour, Short North Food Tour, the Taco Truck Food Tour and the All Food Dessert Tour.

Tickets range from $50 to $60 and include all the food on the tours, transportation and the guides. Two of the tours – German Village and Short North – are walking tours.

German Village Tour

Lined with historic brick homes, the streets of this Columbus neighborhood located just south of downtown are home to some of the city’s most famous restaurants.

Stops on the food tour include Lindey’s, G Michael’s Bistro, Pistacia Vera and Barcelona. Also on the tour is Harvest Pizzeria, known for its gourmet Neapolitan-style pies, and Katzinger’s, a deli featured on the Food Network.

The German Village Tour begins at 2 p.m. on Saturdays from March through December.

Alt Eats Food Tour

The Alt Eats Food Tour takes visitors on a tour of the world by including Somali cuisine, Vietnamese sandwiches, Mexican baked goods, Nigerian food and Southern Indian delicacies.

The tour takes place in ethnic neighborhoods near North Cleveland Avenue, and visitors will travel in a 14-passenger van to each destination.

Tours typically run beginning at 6 p.m. on Fridays.

Short North Food Tour

The Short North is one of Columbus’ most popular neighborhoods. Located just north of downtown, the Short North includes boutiques, an arts district and quaint bars and restaurants.

Woolf says the Short North tour is designed to show off some of these features, beginning with the North Market, a public farmers’ market that operates year-round. The tour includes a history of the building and allows tour goers to meet some of the market’s local food vendors.

The tour also includes another five to six stops, including Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, which has been featured on the Food Network.

The tour is a walking tour, and kicks off at 11 a.m. – just in time for lunch.

Taco Truck Food Tour

Scattered throughout the west side of Columbus are some of the city’s best Mexican dishes served in taco trucks.

Tour goers will board a passenger van and travel to five of the most popular trucks. Each stop includes a tasting of each individual truck’s specialty.

The most popular tour Columbus Food Adventures offers, the Taco Truck Food Tour also gives visitors insight into how to order at a taco truck, meat choices and the history of some of the different dishes.

This tour runs from April to the end of October.

All Dessert Food Tour

A popular choice among sweet lovers, the All Dessert Food Tour visits some of Columbus’ best sweet spots.

The tour begins at Pistacia Vera in German Village and includes Sugardaddy’s in downtown Columbus where tour goers will sample the store’s famous brownies. The tour also includes a stop for artisan roasted coffee at Café Brioso, baked goods at Pattycake bakery in Clintonville and a frozen treat at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

Mixologist Cris Dehlavi will create dessert cocktails for the final stop at M Restaurant. There also will be non-alcoholic drink options for those who are not of age or do not want to consume alcohol.

The tour begins at 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

Woolf said Columbus Food Adventures also can arrange a special gluten dessert tour for groups of eight or more.

To order tickets for any of these tours, call 1-800-838-3006 or go to

By Christine Bryant

Granville Inn

Welcome to the Granville Inn.

The Granville Inn is an historic English Manor inn in Granville, Ohio. Its become a dining destination for lovers of great food throughout central Ohio. Voted  Best New Restaurant byColumbus Monthly magazine this year, Granville Inn is a cherished landmark in the heart of this quiet New England-styled village.

Offering a delightful selection of contemporary cooking rooted in classic French traditions, our emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients, and the finest meats and seafood, is complimented by a wine list of over 90 selections.  Open breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Each of our thirty guest rooms offers individual character and style through their unique furnishings and décor. All rooms feature feather beds, plush linens, luxurious guest amenities and modern comforts such as full, private baths, cable television and high-speed Internet.

Escape to Granville Inn.  Great taste in the heart of Granville only 10 minutes North of I-70 East of Columbus.

Mozart’s Bakery & Piano Cafe

Welcome to Mozart’s Bakery  & Piano Café in Columbus.

  • Hours:    Sun – Mon 8 am – 5:30 pm; Tue – Thr  7 am – 10 pm; Fri – Sat 7 am -11 pm (call number above for hours of other locations) 
  • Location: (Map It) 2885 North High St. in Columbus, Ohio 
  • Phone: 614-268-3687 or 1-888-MOZARTS 
  • Web:  

The Mozart’s Bakery  & Piano Café in Columbus:  Anand Saha left India to study hotel management in Europe, where he met Austrian native Doris Tinter, training to become a pastry chef. They shared a dream of owning a business, which became reality in 1995 with the opening of Mozart’s Bakery and Café.

Today, the Sahas have three more stores: Mozart’s (North Market); Café Mozart (on Indianola); and Café Amadeus (363 E. Town St.). They all offer free wireless Internet access and fabulous food, and the High St. and Indianola locations offer live classical music every weekend. They also hold a High Tea, with more than 20 teas and a mouth-watering display of canapés and pastries, each Tuesday through Sunday from 2 pm to 4 pm (reservations required).

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are also available, with choices ranging from Ham, Mushroom, and Swiss Omelet to Muesli to Eggs Amadeus, and such lunch/dinner specials as Hungarian Goulash, Mushroom and Asparagus Quiche,  three kinds of  Schnitzel, and Spaetzle with Spinach and Swiss Cheese. More familiar fare, such as a burger, is also available.

And all four locations offer goodies like apple strudel, napoleons, petit fours, and tortes (including my favorites, tiramisu and lemon cream), available in individual servings or as whole desserts. Prices vary; call for details. Or stop by for a bite and pick up one of their popular mini gift boxes while you’re there. If you don’t come away groaning in delight and repletion, you have more self-control than I do!

Nutcracker Family Restaurant

Welcome to Nutcracker Family Restaurant in Pataskala.

The Nutcracker Family Restaurant in Pataskala:  This 1950s-style family restaurant features black and white tiled floors, neon, and old-fashioned jukeboxes cranking out the hits. Try the daily special. Breakfast, lunch and dinner served Tuesday through Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday & Monday 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Pure Imagination Chocolatier

Welcome to Pure Imagination Chocolatier in Columbus.

  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9am -7pm; Saturday – 8am – 5pm; Sunday – 12 noon – 5pm
  • Location: (Map It) 59 Spruce St. (in the North Market) in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone: 614-221-5433
  • Web:

The Pure Imagination Chocolatier in Columbus:  The first time I met Dan Cooper, owner/operator of Pure Imagination Chocolatier, he was hand-dipping bits of fruit in chocolate, and I couldn’t resist trying one or two. OK, I tried several, along with some dark chocolate drops, and they were fantastic. How did he do it?

His face lit up as he explained. Freshest cocoa beans. Pure cocoa butter. The highest grade of chocolate. His own secret recipe, heated three times at various temperatures. Then he broke off sheepishly. “Sorry, that’s probably more than you wanted to know. I love to talk about chocolate. I’m a chocolate geek!”

He sure is. He left high school to build a chocolate lab in his basement. He worked three jobs to save money for his business. He spent (rare) days off tracking down secondhand equipment, talking to other chocolatiers, and experimenting. And a decade later, his chocolates are a Columbus treasure.

I love his truffles, especially the Twist My Arm (dark chocolate ganache covered in milk chocolate) and the Mousse Au Chocolat Dark (dark ganache crème covered in dark chocolate), but he also has other goodies, too: buckeyes, cherry bombs, macadamia paws, pecan clusters, chocolate-dipped potato chips… yummy!

Dan does it all himself, from preparing the chocolate to hand-dipping the candies, and  plans to keep it that way. He should probably hire a helper (besides his grandmother, who waits on customers at the shop), but doing it himself insures quality and keeps his recipes secret. And he only wants one shop. “Quality is a solitary calling,” he says. “Pure Imagination will never be a chain.”

Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties

Welcoem to Sugardaddy’s  Sumptuous Sweeties in Columbus.

  • Downtown Columbus Location: (Map It) 11 E. Gay Street @ High Street – Hours: Monday – Friday 11am to 6 pm
  • Polaris Area Location: (Map It) 1329 Cameron Avenue @ Cameron Avenue; Lewis Center in Columbus, Ohio – Hours: Monday – Friday 11am to 7pm; Saturday 10am to 4pm
  • Phone: 614-888-4491
  • Web:

Award-winning Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties®, Purveyors of The Edgeless Brownie®, has redefined the cozy, American classic brownie into a truly luxury dessert indulgence, gifting, and special occasion experience. Sugardaddy’s has extended its fresh-baked luxe brownie and blondies line with Sugardaddy’s Brownie Biscotti, Brownie Truffles, Brownie Cheese Cakes, Brownie Cakes, and Brownie Trifles. Each and every order is hand-made to the customer’s specifications; then hand-cut, hand-packaged, and hand-delivered to ensure the perfect presentation. Equally impressive is that gift-givers can have their gifts “their way” by customizing the flavors and the packaging. Personalized monogramming is also available with Sugardaddy’s Signature Silk Collection and Sugardaddy’s Personalized Petite Totes.

Sugardaddy’s has been named “Best of the Best” by Food Network and crowned winners of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. In addition, Sugardaddy’s has been named “Best Gift” by Instyle, Suite,,,, and Sugardaddy’s has been selected as “Editor’s Pick” byChocolatier, Food 411, The, Instyle, Midwest Living, Woman’s Day, Instinct, and Vive. Sugardaddy’s has appeared on such shows as Ellen, The Rachael Ray Show, and Queer Eye and has been featured by The French Culinary Institute’s, The Gilded Fork, ABC 9 Bridge Street, and NBC 4 Today/Midday.

Perfect for individual gifting, corporate gifting, and entertaining, Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties® products can be ordered online at, by phone at 1.888.4 I WANT 1, or at Sugardaddy’s Retail Store at 1329 Cameron Avenue in Lewis Center, Ohio.

Lava Rock Grill at Unusual Junction

Welcome to Lava Rock Grill at Unusual Junction.

  • Hours: Monday – Friday 11 – 2; Sat. & Sun 11-4
  • Location: (Map It) 56310 US 36 in West Lafayette, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-545-9772
  • Web: Click here

The Lava Rock Grill at Unusual Junction:  One of Ohio’s unique shopping & dining attractions. Situated in a restored 19th century railroad station and 7 vintage train cars. Featuring a Gourmet deli and food market, a 1950’s era retro diner serving lunch and snacks.

Featuring gourmet sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, homemade soups & salads, and ice cream desserts, set in a 1950s style diner. Lava Rock Grill is also now the home of the Bob Barker Price is Right game show sign, so you can dine under the flashing TV show icon while watching the original programs on television.

Velvet Ice Cream & Ye Olde Mill

Welcome to Velvet Ice Cream at Ye Olde Mill and Velvet Ice Cream Company in Utica, Ohio.

  • Location: (Map It) 11324 Mt. Vernon Rd. in Utica, Ohio
  • Phone: 800-589-5000 
  • Web: Click here
  • Visitors Center with hourly tours
  • Ohio’s only ice cream museum
  • Ice cream production viewing gallery
  • 1817 Ice Cream Parlor
  • The Mill Room Restaurant
  • Gift shop
  • Weekend family entertainment
  • Picnic park and shelter houses
  • Children’s playground
  • Nature trails
  • Farm animal petting zoo
  • Buckeye tree grove


Each year, Ye Olde Mill attracts 150,000 nature and ice cream enthusiasts from all over the country. Ye Olde Mill, on 20 picturesque acres nestled in the gently rolling hills and forests of lovely Licking County, is the perfect spot for family fun, reunions, weddings, and more.

The restaurant can accommodate large groups for any occasion. For group reservations, contact Guest Relations at 740-892-3921 or 800-589-5000.


Ye Olde Mill features Ohio’s only ice cream museum, an 1817 Ice Cream Parlor, The Mill Room Restaurant, and gift shop. The Velvet adventure begins with the Visitors Center, built to resemble Grandpa Dager’s old milking parlor, which offers hourly tours of the Mill and museum, along with observation of the Velvet Ice Cream factory at work.  Outside, the adventure continues with the Visitors Center’s livestock barnyard, children’s farm animal petting zoo, and scenic natural trails and picnic grounds.

Open May to October

Mill Room Restaurant, Ye Olde Mill, Ice Cream Museum, and 1817 Ice Cream Parlor

May 11am – 6pm.  June, July, August 11am – 8pm.  September 11am – 7pm.  October 11am – 6pm.

Tours of Ye Olde Mill and Factory

Weekdays: 11 am to 3 pm on the hour

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