One of the more exotic options for Athens cuisine, Restaurant Salaam (“Salaam” is Arabic for “peace”) offers “fine world cuisine,” a thorough mixture of Indian, Mediterranean, and African dishes. A mixture of spices and seasonings from such places as Morocco and Turkey garnish prominent dishes in Salaam’s menu. A healthy variety of lamb, chicken and beef options are served in gyros, kebabs, and assorted other dishes. Make no mistake, you won’t find a menu like this anywhere else in the region. Salaam specializes in bringing to the table things few other places offer.
Another more recent addition to the Athens restaurant lineup, Gran Ranchero opened in February 2010 as the second franchise of a restaurant based in Parkerberg, West Virginia. Owner Emanuel Morales, one of five owners of the chain, told reporters he opened his second restaurant in Athens after so many people drove from there to Parkersburg just for the food. I’m convinced this place has attracted quite a following, but I’m not sure I’m about to join the flock.
Rounding out Court Street’s wide variety of food options, Brenen’s Coffee is a quaint and pleasant little shop serving healthy sandwiches and drinks in a quiet location far from most of the street’s rowdier bars. Though it does not tend to stay open into the late hours of the night, it is a very popular day spot for groups of students to sit and socialize over a meal. The coffee is just one of Brenen’s many attractions.
Brand new to the Athens area, GG’s Bubble Tea opened this past fall, replacing a bar at the same address. Its signature product is actually a Taiwanese beverage which has been creeping into American via small shops such as this one opening up in larger cities. The store owner, John Ballard told a local paper he feels Athens is the “perfect spot” for a new bubble tea store. College kids like those found at Ohio University are particularly open-minded, and some international students may be reminded of home.
Jackie O’s is another of uptown Athens’ prominent bars. While many of its competitors aim to please students exclusively, Jackie O’s is a bar of an entirely different stripe. Toting itself as “Athens’ only Brewpub,” the bar features a slightly more Irish atmosphere and caters as much to Athens’ local populace. It prominently features local micro-brews and a variety of alternative bands populate its stage on weekends. Jackie O’s brings a unique mix of students and townsfolk mingling together — few other places in town seem to have this dynamic.
Far off the beaten path from the rest of the businesses in town, Burr Oak Lodge and Conference Center offers a picturesque and upscale place for dinner, a conference, or a large group event. It’s perfectly placed along the Burr Oak lake. As nice of a place as it is, Burr Oak’s food really was not so impressive, and neither were its prices.
The uptown Court Street area in Athens is the central stomping grounds for the students of Ohio University. The businesses along the street are a product of huge amounts of student business. The economical mindset of these students also rubs off on the foodmakers; there are dozens of food places in a square mile, and many of these sell food for cheap. Right in the middle of the bar sector of the street sits The Pub, which had been serving up burgers by day, and drinks at night.
With 23 regular flavors and 13 seasonal flavors, Greater’s Ice Cream has singularly dominated the sweet treats business of Cincinnati and its surrounding areas. Currently, the local flavor has 44 ice cream shops in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and the northern Kentucky area. Some of the ice cream and bakery items vary by location, but Greater’s has become the signature ice cream of the tri-state area with its thick ice creams prepared under the unusual “french pot process.” It results in a very thick, creamy product packed with flavor. Each hand-packed pint of the ice cream weighs twice a regular ice cream pint.
In an unassuming little storefront in Nashville’s historic Germantown neighborhood sit some of the best chocolate truffles you may ever taste in this lifetime.
The Cocoa Tree, just north of the city center, has seen a few moves in the few years it has been operating as a business. A very small operation run by chocolatier Bethany Thouin, The Cocoa Tree prides itself as an “artisan chocolate cafe” and though the cramped little store doesn’t have the flashy signage preferred by larger chocolate operations, the numerous media mentions prove this store has a product standing on its own.
The latest lunchtime poll on CNN’s Eatocracy food blog is beginning to reveal the scathing image the online world has of food bloggers. Recent outings of several well-known food bloggers prompted the blog to look at how food critics are perceived. Los Angeles-area food critic S. Irene Virbila was refused service at a restaurant last … Read more