I have been surfing the Columbus resto recs, but since I don't know the city the neighborhoods and streets listed mean nothing to me.
As a matter of principle I avoid hotel restos since they cater to a captive audience. Would anyone suggest that Blackwell's is the exception?
I will be in the city for about a week in June for work. No car, but I am happy to walk and take buses. The hotel claims to offer a free car service (subject to availability) for destinations within 3 miles or so, such as Grandview Heights, the Short North, the other side of campus or the OSU Wexner Medical Center, but I have no idea what if anything that will yield. Are any of the favorites that I have seen listed in those areas?
During the day my work will keep me near the hotel so the more distant (and probably better ??) options must be reserved for dinner. Breakfast and lunch will have to be in the football stadium/hotel area. I probably will also try to do some shopping for bread and fruit so I can have some light fare during the day. Generally I am not a breakfast person. As for lunch I am often happy with the left-overs of a good meal from the night before.
1) Food shopping: any decent supermarkets or specialty stores nearby or within a half/hour walk or the 3 mile car service radius? Is there any good artisanal whole grain bakery or pastry in town?
I like crusty substantial flavorful bread, as far from wonderbread as possible.
2) As for food preferences, no chains, no pizza, no burgers, no sushi, no Mexican, no wings. Unless the Indian/Chinese/Asian food is exceptional, probably no to that too. It is not that I dislike those options, but it is that I prefer to find something that is distinct to Columbus. I travel a fair bit, but I am based in Boston so fish in the land-locked part of Ohio makes little sense.
I do like bbq. Is Ray Ray's Hog Pit, 2619 North High Street, any good? It seems to be a food truck. Is the bread and food at Whole World Natural Bakery and Restaurant, 3269 N High St, any good? The menu seems blaah. While I like vegetarian, I dislike vegetarian pseudo-meat and they seem to have a lot of that.
Most of the other North High St. places listed on Google Map seem like chains.
Italian food is good, but Italian restos are a waste of money, overpriced pasta.
How far away is the North Market? Are its shops and restos likely to be open at night?
I know that Starliner is local, but it seems inconvenient w/o a car and Cincinnati chili does not thrill me.
About a decade ago the following got mentioned: "L'Antibes for great French food, Alana's on campus for creative fusion, the Refectory on Bethel (www.therefectoryrestaurant.com) has great French food and a bargain weekly bistro menu that has 3 courses for a really cheap price, like $25"
I probably would not fly to Columbus to eat French, but I would prefer that to pizza. Is Alana's still in business?
MARBLE GANG got mentioned a decade ago for soul food, but by then it was already out of business. Is there any other soul food left?
What are "low-country type fancied-up dishes" for which a decade ago Braddock's got a recommendation?
Anything new and local worth considering? Other than Cinci chilli is there anything distinctive to Columbus and Ohio in general worth trying?