Fox in the Snow Cafe – Columbus, OH


The Fox in the Snow Cafe has been a huge hit since they opened for business last October. In a city that is far from short on coffee shops, this inconspicuous Italian Village space has become a powerhouse in a relatively short period of time. And it’s really quite simple how they did it: brew excellent, high-end coffee, offer amazingly satisfying food and outstanding homemade pastries, hire a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and wrap it all up in a clean, sleek, and comfortable atmosphere. In case you haven’t visited Fox in the Snow yet, let me show you exactly why you should…


Fox in the Snow Cafe is located along N. 4th St, and might be tough to spot unless you happen to spy their playful, pouncing fox logo on the front of the building. Other than that, there is no official signage on the building’s painted cement block exterior. Inside, the space feels wide open, with tons of natural lighting.


Ordering is easy at Fox in the Snow. Baristas are waiting with a smile behind the white and gray tiled counter, which is home to a long pour-over station, a beautiful espresso machine, and on the other end…some of the most incredible-looking pastries you’ll ever see.


The natural wood tables, the exposed, industrial ceiling, and the little splashes of greenery and color create a perfect ambiance for sitting and enjoying some coffee or a delicious, light meal with friends, or for settling in with a good book and a couple of hours to kill.


Fox in the Snow is deliberately old school, as is evidenced by their music system – a turntable and a box of vinyl. Now, don’t get me wrong…they play some pretty slick beats over the speakers here, but the “lo-fi” gig is all a part of encouraging community and togetherness, as opposed to every other shop in town where people sit zoned in on their laptops or iPhones. It’s oddly appealing and it seems to work.


The large menu board behind the counter boldly proclaims your coffee, tea, or hot cocoa choices, as well as the sweet and savory food offerings that are available. The kitchen is located just to the right of the order counter, and is exposed behind glass windows so that you can watch the baking and other food preparation.


Fox in the Snow Cafe uses coffee from Tandem Coffee Roasters in Maine, and the aroma of the shop is absolutely intoxicating. We tried the Cappuccino ($3.75) which was incredible.


We also selected the Egg Sandwich ($6.00) to accommodate our drink. The sandwich was killer – crusty, chewy bread, a tender folded egg, salty, crispy bacon, gooey cheese, fresh greens, and swiped with a tangy, honey mustard sauce that just knocked it out of the park. It’s seriously one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve had in a while.


Back to that pastry counter though…there are tons of fresh, house-made treats available too, like these giant, iced cinnamon rolls…


There are also goodies like these pecan sticky buns, scones, blueberry muffins, biscuits, house-made granola and more!


I was told that one of their biggest sellers are their house-made donuts that are filled with everything from vanilla cream to jelly to peanut butter! It all looked, and smelled, so good.


We also sampled the Cortado ($3.25), which was strong, dark, and delicious.


The blackberry Hand Pie ($3.50) was another definite winner. The crust was absolutely perfect – flaky, moist and tender, encasing delightful, perfectly-sweet, blackberry filling.


Is there any doubt as to why the Fox in the Snow has been busy since day one?? When you combine all of the perfect attributes of an ideal coffee/bake shop, it comes out looking and feeling like success. Deservedly, that’s just what the Fox in the Snow is enjoying now.

Here’s hoping to many more successful years for them!!

Fox in the Snow Cafe is located at 1031 N. 4th St, Columbus, OH 43201 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and Saturday – Sunday, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For more info, check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

Fox in the Snow Cafe on Urbanspoon

Other Meals: El Pollo Perucho – Columbus, OH


If you’ve never spent much time eating on the North or West sides of Columbus, I highly recommend you venture out to do so the next time you’re craving something deliciously different. These sections of town are home to some of the most underated and under-appreciated ethnic restaurants and food trucks in the city. They’re usually not fancy places, some not much bigger than a couple of tables in the back of a corner market, but they’re most often serving up the most authentic and unusual “Alt Eats” in town.  And if there’s anything that Bethia and Andy from Columbus Food Adventures has taught me, it’s to always be on the lookout for new and unfamiliar foods.  So when I had the opportunity to stop at El Pollo Perucho for my first ever taste of Peruvian cuisine, I jumped at the chance.



El Pollo Perucho is located on Georgesville Rd, on the West side outskirts of the city. It’s perched in a small, newer shopping center just up the street from the Hollywood Casino, and in the same vicinity as many delicious taco trucks and other inconspicuous culinary gold mines are located. The space inside is bright and roomy, with the dining area consisting of 8-10 tables with seating for approximately 30-40 people. The owners were very friendly and welcomed me as I found a seat.


Upon arriving, I quickly pulled up some info about the restaurant on Alt.Eats.Columbus, and learned that the thing to eat here is the Pollo a la Brasa, or Peruvian charcoal-grilled rotisserie chicken. The chicken is slow-turned in a huge indoor charcoal barbecue after being marinated in Peruvian spices and seasonings. They offer their delightful meals in three sizes: 1/4 chicken, 1/2 chicken and whole chicken. I ordered the 1/4 de Pollo meal ($6.00), which came with an order of french fries (which were fried fresh for my order and were actually pretty darn tasty) and a salad topped with cucumber, tomato, and radishes.


The chicken was absolutely delicious. The skin was crispy and the seasoning had just a bit of a kick, but wasn’t overwhelming. The meat was moist and tender, and honestly I probably could have eaten another 1/4 pollo. The owner brought me a really tasty Peruvian yellow chili sauce called aji amarillo, that added some really good flavor. Again, it wasn’t as spicy as I was expecting, so I went ahead and just doused my whole portion of tasty yardbird with it.

The rest of the menu features a handful of other authentic dishes like Ceviche (fresh fish marinated with limes, onions, spicy peppers and cilantro) or a Lomo Saltado (sliced beef grilled with onions, tomatoes and french fries) and more. They also sell wings, fried chicken, and a few other Peruvian sides.


I also ordered a Porcion de pinto beans ($2.99), which was listed as a side order. It came as a big bowl of hot, fresh beans that were nicely seasoned with onion and cilantro. Given the fact that I had the chicken combo to consume as well, I only finished about half the bowl – it really was that much food.


El Pollo Perucho also offers ice cream and other frozen desserts for after your meal, and also has a few shelves of ethnic groceries that you can buy and take home to cook for you and your family.

I whole-heartedly enjoyed my first taste of Peruvian food. The Pollo a la Brasa was seriously some of the best rotisserie chicken I have ever eaten (in fact, just writing this post has me craving it right now!). The rest of the food was good, too, and the owners are very friendly and are willing to answer any questions you might have.

I love supporting these small, ethnic eateries in our city. It’s awesome to know that great spots like this are available around Columbus – sometimes it just takes a little bit of extra looking to find the hidden gems.

Pro tip: Want to try new foods, but not sure where to start? Check out Columbus Food Adventures’ Alt Eats Tour or their Taco Truck Tour!!

El Pollo Perucho is located at 727 Georgesville Rd., Columbus, OH 43228 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Thursday, from 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Friday – Saturday, 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM, and Sunday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For more info, check out their Facebook page HERE or Trip Advisor profile HERE.

El Pollo Perucho on Urbanspoon

The Pearl – Columbus, OH


Although I’m not a fan of oysters, or a whole lot of different seafood for that matter (white fish, shrimp and crab are about all I go for), The Pearl has been on my list of brunches to eat in Columbus since they opened in early 2013. Its branding and theme have been built around their fresh oyster room, which calls to seafood lovers from all over the city. But even though soft, squishy creatures encased in shells aren’t really my thing, Cameron Mitchell restaurants most definitely are. His family of restaurants are very well-known throughout Cbus, from the upscale M at Miranova, to the newly opened Guild House right across the street, so it was a safe bet that The Pearl was poised to deliver the freshest quality foods and service, as all of CM’s restaurants are known to be. It’s  situated right along High St. in the Short North, and it was buzzing on a frigid Valentine’s Day morning when the wife and I stopped in for brunch.


It’s safe to say that The Pearl is a combination of several styles and dining atmospheres all in one space. First, the main seating area is divided between 3 separate dining rooms. It’s dimly lit by amber-tinted ceiling lights, and the decor provides a tavern-like ambiance, with a slight antique boutique feel thrown in for good measure.


An example of this was the huge room divider that we were seated right next to, which was made up of shelves filled with all sorts of tchotshkes.


The bar area features several high-top tables as well as bar seating. The Pearl serves an exclusive collection of ales, lagers and stouts as well as classically inspired cocktails.


Then there’s the oyster bar – a unique feature of The Pearl that many patrons love. It is functional for lunch and dinner, as well as brunch, and there were several folks dining in this section when we arrived. There are several varieties of oysters and other shellfish to choose from, as well as colossal blue crab, peel & eat shrimp, clams and more. A glass case is situated right along the top of the bar which is filled with fresh oysters on ice, and a side cart next to the counter holds condiments such as spices, sauces, and horseradish to customize your meal to your tastes.


The brunch menu is separated into sections: Snacks, Starters, From The Oyster Room, Entrees, Sides, and Fresh Pies. The Snacks section features small appetizers like fried cheese curds, lamb meatballs, and spiced pickles. Starters are a little heftier, with selections like jalapeno spoon bread, salads, and a delicious charcuterie board. Entrees features some amazing main dishes such as huevos rancheros, a scrumptious-looking short rib poutine, steak & eggs, a Pub burger, and a Cuban sandwich. In addition, sides and desserts are available individually.


I’m not sure if it was a special touch specifically for V-Day, or if they have them all the time, but the small candles at each table added a nice little romantic feel. Additionally, Mrs. Grub Guy really loved the vintage silverware, the rustic, wooden tabletops, and all of the details that added charm, like the glass bottle chandeliers, which I missed getting a picture of.


The wife and I started our meal with a homemade Cinnamon Roll ($4.00) to share. It was fresh and warm, and was covered in a creamy and smooth vanilla icing.


We also shared an order of Deviled Eggs ($6.00), which won the award of the day for presentation. Arriving on a cutting board and a chicken-shaped egg scale, these were perhaps the tastiest deviled eggs I have ever eaten. They were nicely chilled, and the smooth filling had a bit of a bite.


As far as entrees go, Mrs. Grub Guy decided on the Chicken & Waffles ($14.00). While the portion size of this dish was a little small for the price in my opinion, the two waffle quarters and medium-sized, boneless, southern fried chicken breast was fresh and flavorful, according to the wife. The waffle was crisp on the outside, and the Ohio honey-glazed chicken was tender, hot and juicy. It came with a warm blueberry compote that she topped both her chicken and waffles with.


I ordered the Tavern Benny ($12.00) which, according to the menu, appeared to be a combination of two of my favorite breakfast/brunch dishes – eggs benedict and sausage gravy & biscuits. This dish was big and filling. It consisted of a fresh split, buttermilk biscuit, topped with house made sausage patties, two poached eggs, and homemade sausage gravy.


Assembled in the same fashion as a traditional eggs benedict, this version replaces the English muffin with a hot and flaky biscuit. The house-made sausage was absolutely outstanding and packed with flavor. Each patty was approximately 3/4″ thick, and was topped with a perfectly poached egg. It was smothered in a generous serving of homemade sausage gravy that was rich and creamy. I enjoyed it very much and would definitely order it again on a return visit.


After our meal, our bill was delivered tucked inside of an old book, inside of which notes, jokes, and witty sayings were written by past guests. This delivery method is a trend I’ve seen several times in the last few months, and I really like it. It’s creative, it’s different (from what most places do anyway), and it’s fun.


We both really enjoyed our Valentine’s Day brunch at The Pearl. The atmosphere was casual and cool, and the staff was pleasant and friendly. The Pearl probably has one of the larger brunch menus I’ve seen in a while, but every dish seems like it fits.

If oysters or other seafood is what you crave, The Pearl is definitely the spot for your brunching needs. You can grab a few mollusks on the half shell, and enjoy some excellent land-based brunch food, too! But if you’re like me and prefer to pass on the seafood, there’s still plenty to fill your table…and your belly.

The Pearl is located at 641 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Thursday, 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Friday, 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM, Saturday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM, and Sunday, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM. For more info, check out their website HERE, or the Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
The Pearl on Urbanspoon

February Gift Card Giveaway: Cravings Carryout Cafe!!


Hey gang, it’s that time again…

As you know, every other month we give away a gift card to a local restaurant to show our appreciation for reading and following this blog!! This month, our friends at Cravings Carryout Cafe have donated a $15 gift card for us to give away to one of you. For a look at Cravings, read my recent review HERE.

This month, all you need to do is leave a comment telling me where you plan to take your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day this weekend!! I will randomly draw a winner from the replies, and will post a winner on Sunday, the 15th, at 5:00 PM.

As always, feel free to let your friends and family know about how easy it is to win, and tell them to visit TBGG to enter!!



We are going to SuperChefs for breakfast. Can’t wait!!



5 Ideal Spots for Valentine’s Day Brunch!!


This year, St. Valentine’s Day just happens to fall on a weekend (MEN – that’s Saturday, the 14th!!), which means that since you don’t have to get up for work the next day, the possibilities for impressing your sweetheart just went through the roof! Instead of the usual, boring dinner at your old standby steakhouse, how about treating your better half to an incredible weekend brunch for Lover’s Day?? What an absolutely perfect way to start the romantic weekend – with a delicious morning meal followed by two full days of snuggling. Ok, maybe that’s a getting a little carried away for some of you guys, but the brunch part sounds good, right? Anyway, I’ve put together a list of what I think are the 5 Ideal spots in Columbus for a romantic brunch. So if you’re still looking for plans to show your Snookims how romantic you can still be, think about checking out one of the following spots….

Milestone 229, 229 Civic Center Dr. – Downtown

Milestone 229 is an upscale, one-of-a kind dining experience with an innovative menu featuring elevated comfort food. The restaurant offers romantic and spectacular views of Downtown Columbus, Bicentennial Park, and the Scioto Mile, and a delightful dining atmosphere. Their brunch is served on Sundays from 10:00 – 3:00, and offers many delicious dishes like Goat Cheese Waffles, a Beef Brisket hash, Flautes de Papa (crispy potato flautes), as well as specialties like Seared Tuna, and Skillet mac & cheese. In addition, Valet Service is offered during brunch hours.

Nada, 220 W. Nationwide Blvd. – Arena District

Located practically right across the street from Nationwide Area, Nada is one of the newest restaurants in the Arena District. With trendy, Latino-style decor and a lively atmosphere, Nada would spice up your Valentine’s Day morning nicely. Many of their brunch items feature a zesty, ethnic flair, like the Tinga & Fried Egg (braised chicken, chorizo, fried egg, spicy tomato), Eggs Goettadicto (poached eggs, avacado, goetta, sriracha hollandaise, pico de gallo), a delicious huevos rancheros, and around a half dozen varieties of tacos. Nada has an impressive brunch cocktail menu for the breakfast drink lovers, too.

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, 215 N. 4th St. – Downtown

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing is a favorite among many Columbus brunch lovers these days. They’re a microbrewery/restaurant combo space with a comfortable, yet classy, dining atmosphere. Their new American menu features the freshest seasonal ingredients in some unbelievably satisfying brunch dishes. Some of our favorite brunch plates here include an exquisite Confit Pig Cheeks breakfast, the Toad in a Hole (eggs, brioche, porter-cheese sauce, fingerling potatoes), Naked Enchiladas (with braised pork belly), and an incredible Beef and Lamb Burger. Don’t forget to sample WRB’s incredible drink with a flight of their craft brew!!

Bon Vie, 4089 The Strand E – Easton Town Center

Bon Vie combines classic comfort cooking with traditional bistro fare in this classy, French bistro-esque restaurant. Hardwood floors, large antique mirrors, tin ceilings, and a zinc-topped bar set the stage for a romantic morning meal. We love many of their amazing breakfasts like Turkey & Bacon Crepes, Eggs Benedict B.V., a Spicy Chorizo Scramble, and a delicious Croque Madame.

The Whitney House, 666 High St. – Worthington

The Whitney House is located in downtown Worthington and serves made-from-scratch, rustic-yet-refined, American comfort food, using the freshest local ingredients available. The restaurant is very young, having only been open for business for a few weeks, but this newcomer is certainly impressing Columbus brunch-goers for their stylish, casual atmosphere and their incredible menu. Brunch consists of many fantastic dishes like a Brunch Farrotto (risotto-style farro, mushroom blend), and incredible version of Chiliaquiles, house-made granola, and even a Smoked Trout Plate. They serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 – 3:00.

Golden Donuts & Diner – Columbus, OH

“Donuts….Is there anything they can’t do?” – Homer Simpson

The answer, in case you’re wondering, is no. Donuts are all around us. They can be served all fancied up, in trendy coffee shops; they’re dipped and sprinkled with every kind of topping imaginable at specialty bakeries; and they’re still going strong in old school neighborhood donut shops. They can make you feel better when you’re sad or sick. They can make you smile after a bad day. They can even make your grumpy co-workers seem more cheerful and easier to be around! See? They’re awesome!!


On the forgotten South side of Columbus sits a shop that, not unlike several other shops around town, seems to be frozen in time. Golden Donuts & Diner on Lockbourne Rd is certainly old school in every sence of the word. It’s one of those shops that I believe used to be an old Jolly Pirate store back when they were everywhere several decades ago, and it still has the all of the vintage character and charm to go with it.



We stopped in to the diner at around 10:00 AM on a Sunday, and it seemed to me that they were already restocking the wall of donut trays after an apparent busy morning. We took a few seconds to browse, and then grabbed a couple of stools at the counter, since our boy loves to sit there and watch the action. The stools, while somewhat worn, were comfy, with plenty of space at each seat. The booths that lined the outside walls of the restaurant were older, but looked cozy. There was one guy sitting at the end of the counter when we arrived, and several other people joined us during our stay, as well as many folks who just stopped in for a box of hot, fresh cakes to go. By the time we left, the place was pretty hopping!


The waitress behind the counter was an older lady who was super friendly, cheerful and talkative, which was fun. Upon taking our stools, she immediately poured two Styrofoam cups full of classic diner coffee for me and the wife, and offered Grub Boy a cup of hot chocolate. After a few minutes, she took our orders and delivered them to the grill cook. While we waited, I perused the wall of donuts behind the counter, which was starting to fill up with a second round of trays featuring classic donut shop favorites.


In the glass case below the counter were a couple of racks filled with several varieties of long johns…


And cinnamon rolls. YUM!!


Our food arrived to the counter within just a few minutes. Golden Donuts & Diner offers a full page of classic diner fare, including combos, breakfast sandwiches, and a la cart items. I think that the best measuring sticks by which to judge an old school diner are its classic breakfast plates, so I ordered the Steak & Eggs Breakfast ($6.99), which included a 6 oz. chopped sirloin, 2 eggs, home fries and toast. I have to say that I was really pleasantly surprised at how good Golden Donuts & Diner’s food was. When you eat at these kinds of places, sometimes you get just flavorless, greasy breakfast grub, but not here. The steak was relatively thin, but seemed fresh (not pre-made), and was hot and pretty darn tasty. The eggs were cooked just right, and the potatoes were absolutely great. Great start!


Our boy ordered Two slices of French Toast w/ turkey sausage ($5.89). He kept saying how good it was, so I had to snitch a bite, and he was totally right…it was wonderful French toast! He ended up not wanting the turkey sausage, so the wife and I each ate one. The patties were pre-made, but had really good flavor and were cooked well.


Mrs. Grub Guy ordered a Bacon & Cheese Omelet ($5.79) which also came with the home fries and toast. Her omelet was a 2-egger that was packed with coarsely chopped bacon that was cooked just the way she likes it, and topped with a big pile of shredded cheddar. She said it had terrific flavor and was really filling. Again, the potatoes were a big hit here too, and the toast was nice and buttery. These guys really know how to do diner breakfast food!!



After breakfast, we decided to grab some donuts ($8.50/baker’s dozen) for later. The same lady who took good care of us during breakfast boxed up our selections as we ooo-ed and ahhh-ed over the cakes. On several occasions, she even walked to the kitchen to retrieve the fresher donuts for us that had just been made. That kind of excellent customer service really stands out to me and is what keeps people coming back.

We decided on some hot, freshly coated glazed, some iced Devil’s food, some blueberry, a couple of black raspberry-filled (good ones are hard to find anymore), some chocolate iced w/ sprinkles, maple iced, and a glazed bow tie.


I have to say that I was just as satisfied with GD&D’s donuts as I was with their breakfasts. Their cakes are classic donut shop style in every way, with the quality and deliciousness capable of competing neck and neck with any donut in Cbus. The wife absolutely loved the black raspberry-filled, and said the flavor was out of this world.


I was very, very happy with our visit to this out-of-the-way diner & donut house. It seems that “the land that time forgot” is still alive and kicking down on the South side of town, and with shops like Golden Donuts & Diner still cranking out outstanding breakfasts and unbelievably yummy donuts every day, it’s only a matter of time before word spreads and these tried and true shops are truly rewarded with the respect, and the volume of business, they deserve.

Golden Donuts & Diner is located at 1928 Lockbourne Rd, Columbus, OH 43207 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Saturday, 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM, and Sunday, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM. For more info, you can visit their Facebook page HERE.


Golden Donuts & Diner on Urbanspoon

Introducing Modest Box: A subscription box service for lovers of everything local!!

My mother-in-law sends us “mystery boxes” in the mail all the time. My family loves getting these boxes in the mail, especially ones that are filled with some of our favorite things. The excitement of opening it to find special treats, hand-made items, jewelry, crafts, even clothes is enough to brighten even our darkest times.

Now imagine being able to send a box to one of your family members, friends, co-workers, or clients filled with locally made special eats and treats, jewelry, crafts, t-shirts and more. How awesome would that be?? Well, boxes filled with unique Columbus and Ohio-centric items are now available through a terrific subscription box service being introduced by Andrea Archibald of Simply Vague and It’s called Modest Box, and it’s pretty awesome!!


The idea of Modest Box was born from Andrea’s desire to provide a local experience and local products to those who may not be in a position to live it first hand, as well as a passion to help small local businesses reach a larger audience with their products. She recently told The Metropreneur, “When my husband Nate and I opened Simply Vague in 2012, we met many of our vendors at farmer’s markets or festivals. These small business owners are so passionate about their brands and their businesses and they work so hard to get them off the ground. Some of the best products I have ever tried were discovered at a farmer’s market. I want to be able to bring that same experience to people who may not be able to experience it first hand.” Modest Box will help her do just that.

So, who is Modest Box for? Really, it’s for anybody. Folks who have moved away from Ohio and long for a little piece of home; as a “thank you” to a client or business associate; or even a fun gift to yourself!

Modest Box is available in three different types of boxes – a small assortment, a large assortment (this assortment is gender specific), and a t-shirt box that ships two, super-soft Ohio-made t-shirts each month. According to Andrea, you can expect to find a good mix of high-quality, Ohio-made food products, accessories, body products, and/or art in each box. Pricing is $39/mo (small), $89/mo (large), and $56 (t-shirts) plus shipping. Subscribers have the option to purchase just one box, or they can pay for three, six, or twelve months up front to receive discounts on the price per box. The first shipment of boxes are currently scheduled to go out February 12th.

I honestly can’t think of a better way to show your love of all things local than to share the gift of Modest Box with everyone you know!! To order your Modest Box, or for more info, you can visit


Another really special feature of Modest Box is that they donate $5.00 from each box ordered to support a local charity or organization. I have chosen Wexner Medical Center’s Movement Disorder Fund, which deals with educating medical professionals and the research of neurological disorders. This fund is very important to me, as these disorders affect three generations of Mrs. Grub Guy’s family. You can learn more about OSU Wexner Medical Center’s Movement Disorder Fund HERE.

When ordering, please include the coupon code “TBGG” to be sure your donation goes to this worthy cause!!