Another reason we ended up here is because it was the day after Christmas and because this place has just opened, it is not very crowded yet. In fact, there were only a couple of other tables full when we got there at 12:15 or so. But it is exceptionally clean (maybe even a tad bit cold feeling, but that may have been the fact that there was hardly anyone in there) and there are various mementoes of Ohio State around. Even a Heisman Trophy. Okay, that is about the extent of the knowledge I have about football, so I can’t really go into much more detail about what else was in there.
Anyhow, we started with the “Brutus Bites” ($7). I have to say, they were a unique and maybe more sophisticated take on what is essentially a simplified potato skin. They were little whole roasted potatoes that had a little cut across the top with some cheddar cheese inside and a slice of bacon sticking out of the top. They were sitting on top of a chili lime sour cream. I liked the flavor of the sour cream with them a lot, however because they had done a sort of artistic design on the plate, I felt like they didn’t really give you enough of it—I would order a little extra on the side next time. I liked that they were fresh potatoes, pretty clearly not just something that came previously frozen from a bag. For bar food, I was fairly impressed.
For my lunch, I had the club salad ($9), which was essentially a Cobb salad, not really sure what the difference would be—this was mixed lettuces topped with blue cheese, bacon, egg, sliced cherry tomatoes, avocado and your choice of either fried chicken pieces or rotisserie chicken. Our server told me how good the rotisserie chicken was, so I went with it (roasted in house). She was right—the chicken was really good. Both the dark and white meat was quite tender and flavorful—nicely seasoned and had a wood roasted flavor. Te rest of the salad was just average, the avocado was pleasingly ripe, the leaves were actually tossed with the dressing (house made garlic buttermilk ranch). The chicken is what made it special (and I liked the pretzel roll breadstick). But the ingredients were fairly fresh (although I could have used more blue cheese and a little fresher, crisper bacon).
Hubby had the Carnitas sandwich ($10) which was slow braised pork with hickory sauce, cilantro, jack cheese, pickled onion, avocado and mayo. This is a sandwich that has a couple of my favorite things (pickled onion and avocado) and I actually thought about ordering it myself. It was really good as well. It was an interesting mix of flavors, but they actually went together well. The pork was tender but had some nice crispy edges and the textures of all the things—the softness of avocado and the tangy crunch of the onions. A good choice as well. You had your choice of sides; hubby went with the onion strings. They were good and looked like they were actually made with freshly cut onions. A tad greasy maybe, but tasty. Anyway, for a sports bar kind of joint, the food was pretty creative and tasted pretty good. So if you are looking for a sports bar in Columbus with decent food, give it a try.
And hey, as a side note, we also stopped in and had some Jeni’s ice cream which is made in Columbus. They specialize in hand crafted ice creams in more exotic flavors (one I tried was goat cheese and Cognac fig sauce) and made with local milk and products. We bought several pints, and I have to say, this stuff is not cheap (I should have known when hubby’s uncle told us to bring some gold bars with us). It was around $10 a pint. But it was really tasty. We had the salty caramel, the Askinosie dark milk chocolate, and the Meyer lemon yogurt. I got the yogurt to combine with the salty caramel based on a recommendation from a suggestion of Jeni’s on twitter. I have to say, it was a really interesting combo. The chocolate was milk chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate flakes mixed in. Think of a really good double chocolate chip ice cream. They were all really good, but next time I think I would just go in for a scoop and not buy quite so much due to the cost. And they will give you a free sample of any of them while you are in there.
Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill
900 Goodale Blvd
Columbus, OH 43212
Jeni’s Ice Cream
1281 Grandview Ave (and various locations in Columbus area)
Columbus, OH 43212