The Scioto Mile

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


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.

Chalet in the Valley

IMG_01605060 OH-557, Millersburg, OH 44654

Note: Not always open in the Winter months.

Chalet in the Valley is an Austrian, Swiss and Amish cuisine restaurant in Ohio’s Amish Country. The restaurant is a real treat allowing one to get something  not find at a typical restaurant. The building is a Swiss chalet overlooking the Doughty Valley. This restaurant really gives you an authentic and special feeling when you arrive in the parking lot and then enter.

We started off with sauerkraut balls. These balls were deep fried and contained sauerkraut and pork. A nice treat that came along with Dijon mustard. The mustard really complimented the dish. They also offer other great appetizers, like fried pickles, cheese curds, pierogi, and more. One item they have that is probably popular is cheese or chocolate fondue. This is made even more special as they are across the street from a cheese factory.

There are lots of great main dishes and they are known for their schnitzels. You can also get wurst, spaetzle, sauerbraten, sandwiches, salads, and more.  There is a great line up of desserts.

The food was really good and had great flavors. It was well cooked and authentic. We loved the spatezle steak tips which had a great gravy. We also loved the sauerbraten which was tender and very tasty. Our meals came with pretzel breadsticks which were a nice addition.

The service was good and the atmosphere warm and inviting. This is s a great addition to any vacation in the area. It is nice to have something a little different from the other restaurants. This is really a great place to bring the whole family. You can get a great meal in a great location.


Belgrade Gardens

401 E State St, Barberton, OH 44203

In order to understand Belgrade Gardens Restaurant you will need to know about Barberton chicken. Barberton chicken is a kind of chicken the originated in Barberton and is Serbian-American style.


The breading and chicken are only seasoned with salt and pepper and are fried in lard. Maybe there was no salt and pepper, we are getting a few conflicting Internet recipes, but it was for sure not heavily seasoned with lots of spices. The chicken is available in many different cuts.

Belgrade Gardens has been around since the 1930s in an old farmhouse. The place has been expanded and if you walk around you can see that the restaurant is huge and can seat hundreds of people. It  won many awards and has been featured in magazines, newspapers, radio, and television. They even won a Food Network TV show. The place is comfortable and the menu is more than just chicken with many daily specials. When we went we had great service and the great food.

The chicken is well known, but the sides are also great. They have a dish called hot sauce. We were expecting some sauce in a bottle, but were surprised when this dish came out. IMG_0312

Their hot sauce has rice, tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers in it. It was very tasty and just the right amount of heat. The peppers might of been removed before the dish was served, we did not bite into a really hot part.

We ordered the regular which came with chicken, fries, hot sauce, and cole slaw. Each item was well done and very tasty. We also ordered there root beer, which was a nice treat.


In the area, or not, this is really worth the drive. The chicken is crisp, but not too crisp and very fresh. The breading has a nice chew to it and is not over hard. The chicken was very juicy and not dried out. This is a restaurant that really knows what they are doing and sticks to recipes and dishes they make well. This restaurant has a local feeling.

If you want to experience good food and a great time this is your restaurant. Worth the trip no matter how far.

Note: The restaurant’s website has a great about section. Yes, we saved that for last so you would not jump over too soon.

Der Dutchman

Der Dutchman is what one wants from a restaurant. Good food served at a good price. The look and feel of the locations varies, as they should with a quality restaurant. The location in Walnut Creek is in Amish country. The Plain City location has a large gift shop attached to the restaurant.

Although the locations are different, the food isn’t. This is okay. From real mashed potatoes to homemade pies, the quality of food will not disappoint any one. With a large selection of and unlimited quantities the best recommendation is the buffet. Every day it has three types of meat and every day the selection is different.

The staff is as friendly and as welcoming as any around. The atmosphere is simple and works nicely to help one feel calm and peaceful. No tacky paintings or festive memorabilia adorn the walls. With the simple food and simple atmosphere Der Dutchman is a must. It is one of Ohio’s Amish treasures.

Quick Tip: It is closed on Sundays. In the summer are free carriage rides.

Schmidt’s Sausauge Haus

240 E Kossuth St,
Columbus, OH 43206

Quick Review: Good sausage in an authentic atmosphere that is as true to its history as it is to its food.

Schmidt’s is one of those little hole in the wall locations that you might never go to if nobody ever took you there. But once you go there it is one of those places that you will visit every time you are in the town.

Although Schmidt’s says it is authentic it does not fell forced like some places. The atmosphere nicely complements the food without being over bearing. This is one reason the place is so hard to find. It seems to blend in to the quaint little area it is housed.

Schmidt’s is known worldwide for it sausage. As it should be. The firm meat has a bit of a spice in the mild variety and a good amount heat in the hot, but still tastes like meat. The Sausage stew is a heap of noodles meat and flavor. The side dishes all speak of their German heritage without seeming foreign and strange. The buffet has a great variety of both sausage and side dishes but does not commit the cardinal sin of sacrificing quality for quality. It is recommended to try only a piece of everything before getting too much of one thing. Even though there are some vegetables, and a salad portion, on the buffet, the amount of meat and starch will quickly load you up.

The staff is extremely friendly but do not expect blazing fast service on a busy night. While this may seem like a minus, it does give you a chance to digest your food before trying to move. A good thing when loaded down with meat and starch.

Every aspect is nicely tailored at this unique German restaurant. From the ambiance all the way down to the horseradish on the tables. A great place to go once, a hard place not to go back to.

Quick Tip: The desserts are cheaper if you get the buffet, but who has room for dessert after the buffet? Take them to go. They are a great way to remember the place. Also take home some sausage. Also to work off the food take a walk to The Book Loft just a few blocks down the street.