Food

Resturants reviews and edible things!

Drive-In Restaurants of Ohio

In the 1950’s Drive-ins were all the rage. A place where a family could take the kids without having to dress up. A place where teens could meet up and hang out. While the Drive-in movie theatre has updated with new technology and moved in to the modern area, many a drive-in restaurant has keep the look and feel of the early days.

The old fashioned atmosphere helps to make them less of a fast food joint and more of a community gathering place. Most of the drive-ins in Ohio opened in the 60’s or before and the old fashion decor is not just a gimmick but tradition. Unlike a drive through where there is another car waiting to be served and one must get it and go, these places are more about parking, being waited on by the friendly staff, and enjoying the good food and good times. The pace of life seems to take a breather as the nostalgia over comes the place.

So here is a list of a few places to find a good burger, fries, and of course a frosty root beer.


Cincinnati:
https://www.therootbeerstand.com 

Cleveland and Northeast: http://swensonsdriveins.com (many locations from Columbus north)

Columbus: https://www.dansdrivein.com/

Chillicothe: http://www.sumburger.com

Dayton: http://www.rootbeerstande.com

Tiffin: http://www.jollysdrivein.com

And so many more:  Just look for one in any area of Ohio and chances are there’s one nearby.

In Ohio the weather can be unpredictable. Sometimes the winter is harsh and early. Sometimes it is mild and hard to find. Because it is hard to work in winter conditions, some of the Drive-ins are only open seasonally.

Drive-Ins of Ohio are now open

Cars at Drive in

Old Drive In

Since the beginning of the movie theater industry movies have been shown outdoors. The reasons have varied. Be it lack of indoor air conditioning or lack of a building all together. In 1933 someone decided to make it so that theater goers could watch a movie in the comfort of their own cars. Thus the Drive In Movie theater was born. Ohio, leader not a follower, was no late comer to the fad. In the heyday of the drive-ins Ohio was strong. During the decline, Ohio held strong.

The Drive-in is a right of passage for all Ohioans. From the first time one sees the screen through the front windshield to the moment the last frame is displayed the drive-in is an experience like no other. If a patron feels like talking, texting, running, sitting, or eating loudly this is okay because the Drive-in is a place of personal space. With the ability to personalize everything from the level of the sound to the temperature in ones car. Every vehicle is ones own private theater. Yet still the drive-in is  able to convey a sense of community. Exit the car and the sounds of the movie mingle with the sounds of nature and other patrons. As long as everyone keeps things with in reason the sky, literally, is the limit.

Some Tips for Drive-In Enjoyment:

  • Check the locations official website for rules. Some charge to bring in outside food others don’t. A quick check can prevent many problems
  • Visit the concession Stand at least once. The food is where a lot of the Drive-ins make their money. Also the food is reasonably priced and the selection quite large.
  • Plan for a late night. If two movies are playing, and the first one can’t start until dark, the last one won’t generally end till after midnight.
  • Bring a portable radio. Most places use radio transmissions for sounds delivery. A portable radio means you won’t miss any of the soundtrack on a restroom break or snack run.
  • Arrive early to get a good spot.
  • Most allow movement between the screens and time the movies so that if you want to see one from one screen and one from the other you can. Do not expect to get a great spot if you move to the more popular second movie.

No matter where you live in the state there is a drive in with in a reasonable drive.

Cincinnati: Starlite Drive-In

Cleveland and the northeast area: There are a lot of them. probably the most dense area.  (list of Drive-ins)

Columbus:  Skyview Drive-In

Dayton: Melody 49 Drive-In, Dixie Twin Drive-In

Hamilton: Holiday Auto Theatre 

Toledo: Tiffin Drive-In Theatre, Field of Dreams Drive-In Theatre, Sundance Kid Drive-In

Along with many others:

P.s. Most drive-ins offer double features with the price still lower than the average movie ticket.

Kahiki Supper Club

Kahiki Supper Club

Long ago in the land of Columbus was a special place where visitors could take a journey to a far away land and experience the magic of the Island life, all with out leaving Ohio. The place was the Kahiki Supper Club. The largest Tiki themed restaurant in the country and it was a sight to see.

In the late 1940’s Servicemen returning from the war in the pacific brought back idealized stories of the island life. As the 1950’s economic boom spurred on the consumer culture, people began looking for things to do. With Hawaii on track to become a state, and the stories of the servicemen becoming more romanticized, Tiki culture was born. For a few dollars average citizens could escape to a far away island.

Lee Henry and Bill Sapp were looking to cash in on this cultural trend. They decided not only to make a themed restaurant, but to make one of the largest. The Kahiki Supper Club, 3583 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43213, was a landmark. The building was designed to look like a traditional men’s meeting house of new Zealand, but much, much larger. From the street the the complex looked like a Las Vegas resort. The building was at the center with a driveway leading past it to a parking lot. The light up signage was in a faux polynesian font. The landscaping was low and framed the building. To enter the restaurant guest passed to massive Heads. Beyond them was a moat and a small bridge. By the time visitors had even stepped inside  they were already being transported away.

Kahiki Menu Picture

The lobby housed a fountain, with a gift shop and restrooms around the sides. George, the fountain, is now on display at Grass Skirt Tiki Room. Once inside the main dining room the true vision of the owners could be seen. The room was set up like a small Tahitian village. The lobby, bars,  and side seating areas were separate buildings. One wall was aquatic with many fish tanks. The other wall was a rainforest with a thunderstorm brewing outside. Watching over the whole place was a giant tiki head fireplace. The fireplace became the icon of the restaurant ending up on menus, and almost anything it could be placed on in the gift shop.

One of the main aspects that drew people to tiki culture was the drinks. In traditional pacific culture rum was not used. In American Tiki culture the Caribbean island staple was added to almost every drink. The drink menu at the Kahiki was as large as the fireplace and as vast Pacific itself. The restaurant had not one but 3 bars, The Maui Bar and Cocktail lounge, The Outrigger Bar, and the Music Bar, where the Kahiki Beachcomber Trio would preform. They even recorded an album there.

Kahiki drink menu

In the 1970’s Tiki culture started to wain. Restaurants and buildings were starting to get old and in need of updating. Many tiki places were lost. The Kahiki was a landmark of Columbus and Ohio. It stayed strong. In 1988 the owners decided to sell to Michael Tsao. Tsao wanted to expand the brand and started a line of frozen food. Eventually in the late 90’s the building was in need of repair. The neighborhood had changed and the tiki culture was dying. Tsao decided to sell the land. He had hoped to rebuild in a new location, but died before any plans could be made. The Kahiki was torn down and a chain drugstore was put up in its place.

As the Tiki culture, and having a night out as an adventure, makes a comeback citizens of columbus and Ohio fondly remember back on the great restaurant of the islands.

 

Day Trips in the Dayton Area

Have a day to spend in Dayton? Want something to do, and You’ve already done The National Museum of The United States Air Force. Here are a few day trips you can take.

History of Dayton

  1. Carillon Historical Park – Website – The historical Museum of Montgomery County. A great place to learn about what made Dayton a worldwide name. Well worth a visit.
  2. Woodland Cemetery – Website – Where all the most famous citizens of Dayton are laid to rest.
  3. Pine Club – Website – The best steakhouse in the area. Has an old school feel. Does not take reservations, and is cash only, but is worth it.

The Birthplace of Aviation (Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park)

  1. Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center – Website – The starting point of the National Park. Tells the early life and times of the brothers and the area. Has a recreated Bike shop next door.
  2. Paul Laurence Dunbar House – Website – The house of famous poet and friend to the Wright Brothers.
  3. Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center – Website – teaches about the field in which the Wright Brothers perfected flight.
  4. Huffman Prairie Flying Field – Located on an Air Force Base and can be closed at times – The field where the Brothers made flight a reality and the oldest flying field in the world.

Sports!

  1. Wegerzyn Gardens Metro Park – Website – a neat garden with many things to do and see
  2. Triangle Park – Website – Site of the First ever NFL game.
  3. Taqueria Mixteca – Website – A very authentic Mexican Joint
  4. Fifth Third Field – Website –  Home to the Dayton Dragons. The only field that has sold out ever game it ever has had (over 1400).

The Arts

  1. Dayton Art Institute – Website – celebrating the visual arts in Dayton for over 100 years. A great place to take kids
  2. Dayton Metro Library – Main Branch – Website – A really big building dedicated to educating the community. Has great art, books on art, and a little bit more inside and all around.
  3. The Benjamin and Marian Schuster Center – Website – Dayton’s largest theater in the preforming arts district. Almost always something to see.

This is only a small idea of things to do in Dayton. As with most all in Ohio there is way more to do than can probably be done in a week.

The Scioto Mile

https://www.sciotomile.com/

The Scioto Mile is a collection of 9 parks along the Scioto River in the heart of Downtown Columbus. Started in 2015, this “mile” was a reworking of the land surrounding the river. Dams were removed. The area was taken back to a more natural state and the its beauty was emphasized. The mile has more than 175 acres of land, but is more than just a series of parks along a river.

The parks are connected by the Scioto Trail. The trail makes up the backbone of the system running from Scioto Audubon Park in the south to the Olentangy Trail in the north and on to the Ohio to Erie Trail. It follows the east side of the river winding from park to park. The parks are not just open green spaces with a few benches. Many of them are filled with sculptures and memorials. There is a center dedicated to the visual arts. More in to the performing arts? The trail has a place for them too. The variety of things to see and do is enormous.

Along the trail is Milestone 229. A restaurant for people on the trail. This is not a fast food joint but a comfort food joint for everyone. It “offers a kids’ menu, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.” The restaurant has great views of the river and the Scioto Mile Fountain. The fountain is a large interactive fountain that comes alive at night with lights and fog. A must see on the mile.

In the middle is the name sake that flows through the city. This section of the river has been improved to be a great water recreation venue. Paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks can be seen on the river during the warmer months. Tours are even offered.

Along the west bank the trail goes through less parks but is no less as scenic. The trail ends up at the new National Veterans Memorial and Museum and one of the Greatest Science Museums in the nation.

The Scioto Mile is a great way to get out and see nature or to experience the city life, or do both at the same time. It is the variety that makes this state great all within the heart of its capital city.

 

German Village Coffee Shop

193 Thurman Avenue,Columbus, OH 43206

www.gvcoffeeshop.com

Menu

The German Village Coffee Shop is a coffee shop in the German Village area of Columbus. The feeling of the place is comfortable, neighborhood hang out, old school, and inviting. It is a diner with booth and counter service. You can see your food being made right in front of you. The coffee shop is open for breakfast and lunch. Expect the place to be more popular on weekends. It is not huge, so one might have to wait. The food was very tasty and the coffee was good. One true test of diner, is if the coffee cup is keep full. Their was the right amount of attention to our needs. The menu consists of omelets, burgers, sandwiches, hotcakes, pancakes, and salads. The place is one of those neighborhood spots where people come in and know each other, this place was really showing this when we were there. The German Village Coffee Shop is a place to try out when visiting Columbus.

You can tell we liked the coffee

Do not worry the coffee cup was kept full.

19 place to go in ’19

For the last few years we have been doing a list of places to see in Ohio. This is our wish list of places to see for the year.  There is no order or ranking. So, we hope you enjoy, 19 places to see in 2019.

  1. John Glenn Museum – In the 50th year of the Apollo 11 moon landing we wanted to visit more of this new museum
  2. The Stuart & Mimi Rose Music Center at The Heights – A large music venue in Huber Heights. Seems to have a great line up each year.
  3. Fort Meigs – the site of a major battle of the war of 1812. Recreated to look like it did in William Henry Harrison’s time.
  4. Loveland Castle – A cool medieval castle in sw Ohio.
  5. Paul A Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum – The name says it all
  6. Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum and Library – a collection and displays on the newspaper and magazine comic. Free!
  7. Ohio Theater – Columbus – They always have a good schedule.
  8. Mansfield -While known for the world-famous Ohio State Reformatory Museum, there are a lot of other museums and attractions in the area. This place is worth a weekend.
  9.  Riverboat Cruise (Cincinnati ) – Here are two places that offer riverboat cruises on the Ohio river. Both offer different cruises and tours. Queen City and BB Riverboats
  10. Pine Tree Barn, Wooster – a shop, barn, restaurant, and unique Ohio attraction all in one
  11. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (original location) and the North Market – Columbus – We love markets, we love ice cream. This is seems like the perfect combination.
  12. Covered Bridge Pizza – Multiple locations of these pizza restaurants that are located in covered bridges.
  13. Toy and Plastic Brick Museum – Lego and toys and a museum, Yes please.
  14. The Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati – Cincinnati has great art, and somehow we missed last time in town. Also we want to see more of the great murals.
  15. Glass Heritage Museum – Heritage and art all in one free location.
  16. Deer Creek State Park – A new place to hike and be outdoors.
  17. Sweetie Candy Company – Return to the Candy!
  18. A Street Fair in Ohio – So many to choose from.
  19. Sandy Ridge Reservation – scenic views and hiking trails

Throwback Thursday: Breakfast Places

We absolutely love breakfast type restaurants. You know, those places that are open for breakfast and lunch or open 24 hours.

One great place we reviewed was Sugar n’ Spice in Cincinnati. This place is fun and has great food. When in Cincinnati we also visited, The Echo Restaurant. Another local spot for breakfast.

If you want something that is traditional and has a great flavor, we reviewed the Der Dutchman. Amish style cooking done very well.

We also reviewed a few markets. Markets are great for getting breakfast supplies or getting a quick bite to eat. West Side Market in Cleveland has a wonderful selection of food. The Findlay Market in Cincinnati is also great. We had some great tasting food there, with a wide variety.

If donuts are your breakfast of choice, we reviewed, Bill’s Donuts. If you need some coffee each morning, we reviewed Boston Stoker Coffee Company.

Here is a sneak peek, we have an upcoming review of great local coffee shop we went to when in Columbus. This place was local and friendly.