Grandpa’s Cheese Barn

If you have spend any amount of time driving Interstate 71 between Columbus and Cleveland, you undoubtedly have seen the big white barn near Ashland emblazoned “Cheesebarn.” Sure, there are a few different kinds of cheese places in northern Ohio, where many local cheeses are made. But this one is likable because it has a series of businesses all tied into one. Sample some of the many cheeses, pickles, sauces and dips that are made at this place, and you’ll find an engaging experience and a great place to try.

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B Spot Burgers

Chef Michael Symon has been credited with leading the revival of Cleveland’s food scene, and his much loved concepts have made waves all over the country. As his concepts continue to capture national fame, they’ve been creeping into other cities, among them the very popular B Spot Burgers. This restaurant chain, now with locations in Cleveland and Detroit, brings Chef Symon’s mastery to a very American dish: the burger. Something as common (and inexpensive) as a burger…from a world class chef. Yes, this is absolutely worth a visit.

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Ben’s Sweet & Hot Mustard

The people at Ben’s were pretty humble when I stopped by their booth at the Troy Strawberry Festival, but that website has everything you need to learn about this product. They sell only two things and are damn proud of it. The joy of street festivals for me is that little places like Ben’s get to show off their products, and you really do get a taste for what you’ve been missing. Too many people pass these places by without recognizing them, and in this case it’s a real shame to miss. Sauces like these are what make food interesting.

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Schmidt’s Sausage Haus

German Village in south-central Columbus gets its name from the huge number of German immigrants who found their way to the city. Indeed, its close houses and brick streets evoke a very European semblance of closeness. Almost as old as the streets themselves is one of the best known restaurants in town: Schmidt’s Sausage Haus, a 125-year-old centerpiece of culture in the quaint neighborhood. It serves up custom sausages and German beers in a festive atmosphere with old-time musicians and costumes. It may as well be the German Village town hall.

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