Crimson Cup Coffee House – Upper Arlington, OH



Just a couple of weeks ago, Crimson Cup Coffee opened their second company-owned coffee house at the corner of Lane Ave and Northwest Blvd in Upper Arlington. The location, as I’m sure many of you are well aware, has been used in similar fashion by prior residents (most recently Peet’s, and Caribou before that), but I think Crimson Cup has the local presence to make the new shop into something really special. The folks at Crimson Cup have made no bones about the fact that they don’t believe in cookie-cutter shops, so they have designed the new shop to offer a completely different experience than their Clintonville store.


The new store is an inviting space with lots of seating, including a pleasant patio area out front, which has always been one of the greatest features about this place. Inside the shop, the front counter is stocked with bottled drinks and juice, as well as muffins, scones, coffee cakes and cake pops.


The back half of the shop is a comfy sitting area featuring a charming fireplace surrounded by armchairs and end tables, which gives it a homey feel. There are also several other tables that can be pushed together for larger groups. The exposed brick, ceiling duct work, and custom painting lends a cool, artsy vibe to the room.


The front of the house is huge and bright, with a few tables lining the windows. The major focus of the shop is the brew bar, which is the perfect vehicle for providing a deeper coffee experience.


Crimson Cup’s brew bar showcases the slow coffee-brewing techniques that bring out the optimum flavor of each coffee bean. The innovative Modbar, which is a new and revolutionary coffee brewing experience that is completely modular, stores all of the major brewing hardware under the counter, so that all the customer experiences are the beautiful taps that pour their favorite drinks.


A perfect example of this are the several nitrogen and carbon dioxide taps that dispense their cold-brew coffees and several other favorites.


I tried the Sidamo Ardi cold-brewed Nitro ($3.75). It was very Ethiopian-like, being light, fruity and bright, and the nitrogen infused drink was extremely smooth and flavorful. Many coffee connoisseurs have raved about their Hopped Nitro, but they were out on the day I visited. I definitely plan to try it soon.


The brew bar menu also includes delicious drinks such as espressos, lattes, cortados, and pour-overs, along with coffee cocktails. The rest of the menu is there too, like hot loose-leaf teas, frozen drinks, iced coffee & tea, and even breakfast sandwiches.


In addition to serving up their amazing coffee to the community, Crimson Cup also plans to use the new location as a “testing lab” to experiment and utilize the latest coffee brewing equipment and methods to stay current on the latest trends in the coffee biz.


You can still buy Crimson Cup’s products at the new store, for your home-brewing desires. Several varieties of beans, as well as home-brewing equipment are available for purchase.

I hadn’t been in the shop when it was Peet’s, but I was there when it was a Caribou Coffee, and I have to say that from what I remember, the feeling in the shop is just so much more cheerful and welcoming to me, as Crimson Cup’s newest location.  It’s the kind of place where you can relax and unwind, or enjoy coffee with family and friends.

I’m excited for the addition of the Coffee House to the UA area, and it’s a place I know my family and I will surely be frequenting. Stop by and check them out when you’re in the area. If you’re lucky, you may just be among the first to try a new coffee or brewing method. If not, at least you’re guaranteed to receive an excellent cup of locally-roasted coffee from Columbus’ oldest roaster.

Crimson Cup Coffee House is located at 2468 Northwest Blvd, Upper Arlington, OH 43221 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Friday, 6:00am – 9:00pm, Saturday, 7:00am – 9:00pm, and Sunday, 7:00am – 8:00pm. For more info, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and check out their website

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Tremont Goodie Shop – Upper Arlington, OH


Sweets and treats are a big part of my world. As a food writer and breakfast lover, I’m always on the hunt for awesome local shops that are serving up freshly made donuts, pastries, and other such glorious offerings. So, there’s this shop in Upper Arlington that I’ve been hearing about since I moved back to Columbus from Philly in 2010, that for some reason, I’ve never visited. It’s a place that has a long and storied history in the area, and a place that provides cherished memories for many folks – the Tremont Goodie Shop, aka the Original Goodie Shop. I decided to finally stop in recently to experience why this little shop is such a beloved part of so many people’s lives.


In the nearly sixty years that they’ve been serving delicious desserts to their community, the Tremont Goodie Shop has become an Upper Arlington institution. One quick search of the online review sites and you’ll find a multitude of personal memoirs from fans young and old – people who have been indulging in the Goodie Shop’s goodies for decades, and those who have recently found them for the first time. They’re a business that is definitely loved by their community. In fact, in 2009, when the Goodie Shop closed up shop citing economical hardship, fans of the bakery rallied around them and did what it took, including holding gatherings and selling t-shirts, to pull them through their hard times. The shop reopened shortly thereafter, and has been going strong ever since.


Tucked back into a corner of the Tremont Center off of Tremont Rd, the Goodie Shop is 100% small-town bakery in a modern world. As soon as we entered the shop, the aroma of fresh-baked delights consumed us as we were warmly and cheerfully greeted with a smile by the lady waiting behind the counter. The shop is petite and charming, but it makes good use of the space, featuring several cases filled with their many baked goods.


There’s also a modest seating area where you can sit, relax and enjoy a pastry or a big ol’ iced cookie, and a cup of coffee. They also have a nice bistro table outside in the shade, along with some benches that surround one of the Center’s courtyards.


The Goodie Shop does many, many things very well, but if there’s one thing they’re known for it’s their Cinnamon Sticks.  If you’ve never had one (like I hadn’t) you’re in for a real treat. The Sticks are wee in size but huge in flavor, and will satisfy just about any sweet tooth. Multi-layered pastry dough, along with butter, cinnamon and sugar make these things highly addictive – imagine taking the yummy insides of a cinnamon roll and pressing it flat like a cookie. That’s kind of what they’re like….only better! I mentioned to the lady who was helping me that this was my first time visiting the shop, and she instantly handed me one of these beauties to sample. She told me that people all over the country order these by the boxful and have them shipped directly from the shop to wherever they are, and the farthest they’ve shipped them is Afghanistan! These are definitely one of my new favorite sweets in town!


They also make room for a coffee station featuring locally-roasted Crimson Cup Coffee.


Donuts are in abundance here too! All of their donuts are scratch-made in house (as are all of their goods), and I was immediately drawn to them. I had heard amazing stories about their bear claws and their fritters, but unfortunately didn’t see any on the day we stopped. That didn’t deter me though.



Stop drooling!


Being that it was mid-morning, we decided that a snack was in order. We opted for one of their Buttermilk Stick donuts, along with a few more Cinnamon Sticks. The donut was really fresh and delicious. I also grabbed a cup of Crimson Cup’s Celtic Grogg coffee to accompany my cake. So good.


After snacking, I snapped a few photos of some of the shop’s other delicacies, like their beautiful wedding cakes. The Goodie Shop bakes custom-made specialty cakes for all occasions, and has a reputation for doing whatever it takes to make sure the cake is exactly what the customer wants it to be. I especially loved the cakes on display, including this one with the cascading emerald-colored roses. The shop also stocks a nice assortment of cake baking and decorating supplies for all of you DIY’ers out there!


And then there are the cookies…they’re everywhere!! Thumbprint cookies, Snickerdoodles, peanut butter cookies, sugar cookies, and these tea cookies come in a variety of flavors….


Their artful and inspired iced cookies are a huge hit with the kids. I seriously almost bought a Cookie Monster cookie for myself :)


And then of course you have the Buckeyes. A staple in just about every Columbus bakery and candy shop (especially during football season), these guys aren’t really unique, but they sure are tasty!!

During my visit, I got to chat with Emilie Smith, who is the current shop manager and the daughter of owner, Debbie Smith. She told me that the Smith’s know that they’re lucky to be as loved by supported as they are, and that they strive to make this family business the best it can be, by offering the freshest, tastiest treats they can possibly make.

It was definitely nice to find another local bakery in town that not only focuses on high-quality products, but one that employs a friendly, welcoming staff and owners who know the value of a satisfied customer.

The Tremont Goodie Shop’s community obviously values and appreciates them too, and has for many years. And that’s what it’s all about.

The Tremont Goodie Shop is located at 2116 Tremont Center, Upper Arlington, OH 43221 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Thursday, 7:00am – 6:00pm, Friday 7:00am – 7:00pm, and Saturday 7:00am – 5:00pm. For more info, visit their website, or follow their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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Grand Day Café – Columbus, OH



Grandview is really one of my favorite areas of Columbus. It has pretty much anything you would want: fancy shopping, fine dining, quaint little shops, breweries, local coffee, pubs & bars, bakeries, trendy eateries, and comfortable family-style cafes. When it comes to the latter in Grandview, in my mind I immediately think of places like Grand Day Café. GDC is squished inside of a strip mall along busy W. 5th Ave, surrounded by lots of other local businesses. It’s a casual, medium-sized restaurant that serves breakfast all day, seven days a week.


Grand Day Café has that simple breakfast place feel. It’s been around for several years as its current incarnation, but the space itself has been a breakfast mainstay in town even in its prior life as Rise & Dine Restaurant, a concept very similar to GDC. We visited on a Saturday morning at around 10:30am, and the place was packed. What makes that last sentence a little more impressive was the fact that it was raining cats & dogs outside. When the weather is pleasant, you can usually expect big crowds. But on this day, the weather sucked, so I was pretty surprised at the volume of business they were doing.


The restaurant is set up with a small entryway in the middle, with a counter straight ahead and a seating area on either side. While we were waiting for a table, I struck up a conversation with a guy who has been coming here every Saturday for the last couple of years and sitting at his usual spot at the counter. That’s him in the hat. I love stories like that.


And the other side of the room…packed.


The menu at Grand Day is about as all-inclusive as you can get. It covers all of the usual breakfast bases  – like breakfast combos, steak & eggs, wraps & sandwiches, corned beef hash, omelets and the like – but also adds some nifty dishes that you don’t often see, like a Kentucky Hot Brown and eggs benedict made with fried chicken or shrimp. I was surprised, however, that the kids meal section only included three or four options. Thankfully, Grub Boy doesn’t venture far from his usuals.


One interesting item on the menu is the Benedict Sampler ($8.99). The idea is that you can create your own combo from any two benedict dishes that they offer and sample one of each, along with hash browns or home fries. The choice was tough since GDC makes about eight different varieties.


I chose one Fried Chicken benedict and one Avocado benedict, along with a side of hash browns. On the up side, I loved the huge portion of well-cooked hash browns that was on my plate. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, just the way I like them. The benedicts, on the other hand, were a little hit & miss for me. I loved the concept of both, but the execution fell a little flat. The meat on the fried chicken benedict consisted of two small slices from a breaded chicken patty, which tasted good, but I had wished there was a little more to it. The poached egg was overcooked and had very little runniness to the yolk, and the hollandaise was really heavy on the lemon, almost to the point that I couldn’t eat it. The avocado benedict was better – the egg was a little less overcooked, but the hollandaise was still tough to get past. Both were topped with some tasty crumbled bacon.


Our boy went with his favorite dish, French toast ($4.49), from the kid’s menu. It came with his choice of bacon or sausage, and he chose the salty pig strip, which was cooked nicely.


Mrs. Grub Guy ordered one of GDC’s specialties, their breakfast version of a  Kentucky Hot Brown ($7.29), and it looked absolutely delicious. It was a big slice of Texas toast topped with some really nice sliced, smoked turkey breast, a poached egg, hollandaise, and bacon. It came with her choice of potatoes, and she too went with the shredded hash browns.


This dish was a hit with the wife. The turkey was thick-sliced breast meat and had a really amazing smoked flavor. Her egg was poached perfectly (tender but firm whites with a smooth, velvety yolk) and she didn’t mind the lemony flavor of the hollandaise. It was topped with two strips of bacon that just added another layer of goodness. I’m still not 100% sold on the hollandaise for this dish…I’m thinking maybe if I were eating (or making) it, I’d prefer a traditional cheese sauce for this one, but she said it was very enjoyable.

Pro Tip: Grand Day Café offers a “Free coffee before 8:00am” guarantee every day!! Their coffee is standard, slightly weak diner brown, but I’m still chugging down two or three cups every time I go!!

There’s a lot to like about Grand Day Café. They do breakfast well, and offer a menu with enough variety to satisfy everyone from the enthusiast to the casual fan looking for a plate of bacon and eggs. It’s the perfect place to take someone who’s stuck in the Bob Evans/IHOP/Sunny Street Café rut because it’s just got that same kind of feel, but it’s much more enjoyable to someone like me who’s big on supporting locally owned businesses.

Overall, we enjoyed our most recent visit, as we have the previous ones before it, and even though the food was a little off this time, I’m sure we’ll be back.

Grand Day Café is located at 1284 W. 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Sunday, 6:30am – 3:00pm. For more info, check out their website, or their Facebook or Twitter pages.

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Grub on Wheels: OD on BBQ – Columbus, OH


I thought I knew about every barbecue place in town. I have consumed some of the most amazing pulled pork, brisket, and ribs at many of Columbus’ best smokehouses, food trucks, and rib shacks. But earlier this year I discovered a hidden BBQ gem on the southeast side of Columbus, and I couldn’t have been more excited!! ( I snapped this picture when I first found this place, thus the snow on the ground – lol).

OD on BBQ has been a regular resident in the parking lot of Smith Farm Market (3341 Winchester Pike) for almost ten years. Consisting of a decent-sized food trailer with a big smoker out back, and a large, sturdy canopy that shelters several picnic tables, owner Dan Burch is on site just about every day smoking pork, chicken and beef to satisfy just about any barbecue craving you might have. But with just a small sign with the letters “BBQ” near the road to direct the public, OD on BBQ is pretty easy to miss unless you’re looking for it. I just happened to stumble upon them recently while out for a drive, and decided to stop in for a sampling.


OD on BBQ serves up all of your traditional favorites in their award-winning, Southern pit-smoked BBQ style: pulled pork, beef brisket and pulled chicken sandwiches which you can order individually, in a combo, or by the pound; 1/4 slab, 1/2 slab, and whole slab ribs, as well as rib tips; half and whole chickens; as well as homemade sides such as cole slaw, baked beans, red skinned potato salad, corn pudding, mixed greens and more that they sell in individual, pint and quart sizes. They also offer a couple of family-sized meal deals, which include enough food to feed an army. And on top of all of that, they also find time to make two varieties of their own homemade BBQ sauces– The Cure (sweet) and Defib (spicy).


On my first visit, I met the staff and got to taste a little of what they offered. Based off of their recommendations, I ordered a cup of Wild Bill’s BBQ Stew ($2.35), a favorite of those in-the-know. The stew was very much like a hearty vegetable soup with a thin, slightly BBQ-flavored broth, corn, tomatoes, and a couple kinds of beans to add flavor and texture. It also contained OD on BBQ’s pulled pork, chicken and brisket which bulked up the dish nicely. I can certainly see why it’s always in such demand.


I recently went back and ordered one of their monstrous pulled pork sandwiches ($5.85), and a side of their mac & cheese ($2.35). The sandwich was simply enormous, with a softball-sized portion of pulled pork piled high atop a sturdy bun, and smothered in sweet BBQ sauce. The pork had a great smoky flavor and was very tender. The sauce was somewhat thin, but tasted incredible. It was served with several spicy, homemade dill pickle chips that were much appreciated.


The mac & cheese was nice and had decent flavor, but it just wasn’t that gooey, cheesy baked mac & cheese I was hoping for. The seasoned breadcrumb topping gave it a little more definition and flavor, as well as some much needed texture, but it could definitely benefit from the addition of a bolder cheese added to the mix. Overall, I’d give my meal at OD on BBQ one and a half sauce-covered thumbs up because of the delicious pork (I need a wet-nap)!!

OD on BBQ was definitely a great find. Their meats are tender and are smoked really well, and their sauces are delicious (hey, I lived in Memphis, I know good BBQ!!). Remember, they’ve got your BBQ needs covered for everything from a quick bite on your lunch break during the work week, to a Sunday afternoon family reunion under the awning. If you’re like me and think you’ve had all the barbecue Columbus can offer, head over to Smith Farm Market and check out OD on BBQ. Trust me, it’s worth the drive!

I hope to get back to that side of town to try some of their other grub soon!!

OD on BBQ is located at 3341 Winchester Pike, Columbus, OH 43232 (MAP). They’re open Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00am – 8:00pm, and Sundays 12:00pm – 6:00pm. For more info follow them on Facebook .

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June Gift Card Giveaway: Cameron Mitchell Restaurants!!


Hey guys,

As you know, every other month here at TBGG we like to give out cool stuff as a “thank you” for following along, and this month’s “Gift Card Giveaway” is a big one!! Just in time for Father’s Day, our friends at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants have generously donated a $50 gift card to be given away to one of my readers for you to enjoy at any of their local establishments!  Yup…you get to choose from such acclaimed eateries as The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek, Hudson 29 Kitchen + Drink, Cap City Fine Diner, M, The Guild House, and more!!

To enter, all you need to do is tell me one cool thing about your dad. That’s it!! You can enter by leaving your answer in the comments section of this post, or by using #TBGG on Twitter!!

One winner will be chosen at random this Saturday, June 6th at 11:00pm, and will be announced on Sunday morning, June7th!

What a better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to take Dad out for an awesome meal at one of the premier spots in town, right? Or, you could just keep it for yourself for later :) Either way, enter BEFORE this Saturday night, and you just might win!! As always, be sure to tell all of your family & friends about the giveaway and TBGG!!


Congratulations to the winner of the $50 Cameron Mitchell Gift Card Giveaway:


My dad is going to be the grandfather of my twins that are going to be born later this year and I get to surprise him with the news on Father’s Day! I can see the tears already! He will be an amazing grandfather, just like he was the perfect father to me! It would be great to take him to Hudson 29 to celebrate so much happiness

SUZIE, please email your address info to us at so we can send your prize!!!

Thank you to all who entered!!!

The Social – Columbus, OH


They say that you should never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. I say that’s actually the perfect time to go.

Especially if you shop at Whole Foods Market.

I’m a big fan of Whole Foods, but quite honestly, we don’t shop there nearly as much as I’d like to, and I had not been to the Whole Foods Market in Upper Arlington until just recently. I have followed them on social media for quite some time and regularly see advertisements for the in-store events and different dining opportunities that take place at the store, and I certainly appreciate their dedication to local food and drink. So when I finally had the chance to stop in and check out The Social inside of the UA store, I was super excited to find the crew there making fresh, delicious meals to order, including those from a breakfast menu!!


Whole Foods is known for showcasing delicious and healthy local foods, which includes a number of prepared food options, such as their beautifully fresh, organic olive bars and salad bars, pizzas, hot and cold sandwiches, and more. Many Whole Foods stores offer abbreviated menus at different lunch counters throughout the store featuring small meals made up of specific types of food, and will often hold different tastings, samplings and such. Some of their other Columbus locations offer this type of option, but I never really liked the feeling of sitting in the middle of the store and eating, exposed.

At the store in UA, however, there’s The Social – a casual eating space with a full-service menu consisting of many of the awesome foods and drinks that you can find throughout the store, prepared fresh for you in a comfy pub-style environment. The Social has a really independent feel to it – you know it’s part of the store, but it’s separated enough to feel like its own entity.


Big, bright windows and stylish decor add to the attraction of this little restaurant. The dining area is actually much larger than you would expect it to be, being inside of a grocery store and all. The Social actually does have its own entrance from the parking lot, but you can also access the store from inside, using an adjacent set of electronically sliding glass doors.


When you enter the café, the menus are located just to the left of the order counter, below a welcome sign. I actually had a hard time locating them at first, and was searching the chalk boards behind the counter for food options. I finally found the menus, and I grabbed a table as I looked it over. The boards behind the counter list all of their hot and cold drink options, as well as their beer menu and draft list. Both the coffee bar and the beer list had everything you’d want, including lots of local craft beer. The restaurant is filled with empty growlers as a reminder of the option to take home some of your favorite brews, too.


Being that it was about 10:30 in the morning, I passed on the growler and ordered an Allego brand Pomegranate Green Iced Tea ($2.00). It was one of three available flavors that day, and it was really refreshing. I’m not sure why I don’t order iced tea more often??


I also noticed at the counter were several really yummy donuts and pastries for sale, which appeared to have been made in-house. They went for $.99/ea, which seemed like a really good deal for as delicious as they looked.


The Social’s menu features a pretty good selection of sandwiches, salads, and entrees for the lunch and dinner crowd, and a small but solid breakfast menu with 5-6 entrees and around a dozen a la cart items. The menu at The Social does change several times per year based on seasonal ingredients. Many of their dishes can also be made as vegan or wheat free upon request.


I ordered the Farm Breakfast ($5.00), which was pretty much a steal at that price! It’s advertised as “The best deal in town”, and I have to say, it might just be, when it comes to breakfast!! It included two eggs, breakfast potatoes w/ onions and peppers, two slices of multigrain toast, and my choice of meat (bacon, ham, or pork/chicken/vegan sausage). Everything was cooked really well – the potatoes were soft and nicely seasoned, the eggs were good, the toast warm and lightly toasted (just the way I like it), and the sausage patty was really flavorful. For $5, you can’t beat this plate of breakfast grub!!


Here’s a shot of the Breakfast Sandwich ($3.00), which was pretty basic, but very tasty. It comes as a local fried egg and your choice of cheese (American, Swiss or cheddar) on a toasted English muffin. They offer add-on options of bacon, ham, sausage or avocado for an extra $2.00. The egg was cooked with the yolk still a little runny, which seeped out and covered the bottom of the muffin, making it a little messy, but who doesn’t love a good runny yolk? The muffin was toasted exactly the way it should be – just a slight crunch, but still soft and chewy. The addition of the avocado was the perfect choice, as it made for a more filling meal without the guilt of a lot of extra calories.


I enjoyed spending the morning visiting The Social. Their comfortable atmosphere, affordable prices, and good food have definitely given me an inexpensive option for breakfast in UA. And the best part is, you don’t even have to be doing your shopping to check this place out (and as a guy, I certainly appreciate that)!

The Social is located inside Whole Foods Market Upper Arlington at 1555 W. Lane Ave., Columbus, OH 43221 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Sunday, 7:00am – 10:00pm and serves breakfast all day. For more info, check out their website, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Social in Whole Foods Market on Urbanspoon

TBGG on 610 WTVN’s Big Bass Brothers radio show!!

This past Friday, I had the extreme pleasure of guest hosting The Big Bass Brothers radio show with John Corby and Joe Bradley on News Radio 610 WTVN. The BBB weekly restaurant review has been a favorite program of mine for a long time, so I was totally stoked to get the call from Joe to come and dine with them, and share my thoughts on-air. And what made it even better?? We were talking BREAKFAST!! You can check out the photos and a short video from our breakfast by clicking HERE.

The guys let me choose where we would be eating that morning, and I knew I wanted to take them to one of my favorite breakfast spots in Cbus, Katalina’s!!

Below is the audio link to the program. Please give it a listen and let me know what you think!!

Thanks again to The Big Bass Brothers and 610 WTVN for inviting me to be part of the show!! I’m looking forward to doing it again soon!!