Critic’s Special: MOD Pizza

With 200 locations around the U.S. and a fast growing presence in the Midwest, MOD Pizza brings the build-your-own pizza concept some refreshing perspective. As another new location opened in Columbus Saturday, Another Food Critic was invited to take a look inside.

Rate this:

Ranch One

A reborn concept with just a few locations now, Ranch One is a fast-casual sandwich shop. This reinvention of the concept is often paired with other restaurant concepts often in the similar price range, making quick and easy to go meals and combinations, and focused in heavily commercial areas. It’s pretty safe to say that you’ll have a decent meal here, but whether or not it’s really that different from other chain restaurants and a very similar sandwiches they purvey is a question I ask before considering a special trip.

Rate this:

Engineer’s Club of Dayton

A private club in the heart of downtown Dayton, the Engineer’s Club of Dayton is a members’ organization and gathering place in a historic downtown building. Founded for Dayton’s thinkers and intellectuals by big names including Charles Kettering and Orville Wright, this spot hosts private events and other kinds of functions. The environment rings of history and the walls are decorated of the many exploits of Engineer’s Club members over their lifetimes, but the breakfast and lunch service is worth a try if you can find someone to get you in.

Rate this:

Critic’s Special: Bibibop

Bibibop has rocketed out of the central suburbs into an all-Ohio chain of eight restaurants, and now both Cincinnati and Columbus eaters can enjoy the fast casual Korean food concept. One spot opened yesterday off Sawmill Road in Northwest Columbus at virtually the same time as another opened in Liberty Center near Cincinnati. So what does this chain have to offer? Owner Joe Holbrook invited Another Food Critic out to give it a try. The result was fantastic.

Rate this:

Kahn’s Desserts

Capitalizing on the meteoric resurgence of the East Nashville neighborhood, Kahn’s Desserts opened its doors in 2011 as a vegan bakery with inspiration that came from the nearby Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant. And Kahn’s has the concept covered; selling products with no dairy, eggs, refined sugar, bleached flour, or animal products. It’s a very difficult thing to make — baking with an entirely different set of staples, and yet still coming up with something sweet and delicious. But this spot shows just how advanced, and how delicious, vegan baking has become. This spot is fantastic.

Rate this:

Meadowlark

A highly experimental concept that brings an ever-changing face to contemporary cuisine, Meadowlark is the kind of place you go if you’re looking for a culinary adventure. This American cuisine restaurant offers up a ton of vegetarian dishes, sandwiches, soups, and dishes with inspiration all over the globe. It’s hard to find a restaurant that truly goes out on a limb to really try and make something new. In Dayton, it can seem almost impossible. But step into this little restaurant nestled behind a strip mall in south Dayton, and you won’t regret a thing you order.

Rate this:

City Barbecue

One motto on City Barbecue’s website really embodies what this business is all about: “Other restaurants serve barbecue, we’re a barbecue restaurant.”

Since its inception in 1999, this Dublin-based chain of 20 restaurants has exploded all over the state and into neighboring Indiana. City Barbecue really goes for a classic community smokehouse feel; exposed skeletal walls filled with paraphernalia of local high school sports, dominated by an oversized counter where the line of hungry customers watch as red meat is slathered with sweet Midwestern Barbecue sauce. It’s a shame that few barbecue chains tend to do well, but City Barbecue seems to be bucking the trend, and deservedly so.

Rate this:

Max & Erma’s

Founded in 1972, Columbus, Ohio based Max and Erma’s currently operates about 60 casual dining restaurants ripe with burgers, barbecue, and plenty of other favorite Midwestern dishes. Competition is tough in the casual dining sector in Ohio; chains like this one are everywhere. Max & Erma’s has a great opportunity to stand out and bring an interesting new flavor to the area, but I am not convinced that they really pull of anything more than a middle-of-the-pack bid to become just another one of those places you may or may not have visited.

Rate this: