Dan Sharpe,The Columbus Foundation
Cheap: Cheap makes me think of quick and dirty. Dirty Franks Hotdog Palace, of course. With most dog offerings at $3.50, and piled with flavorful toppings – the options are almost endless for $10. Eating there makes my toughest decision of the day choosing between Puff the Magic Popper (Cheddar cream cheese, jalapeño, and real bacon bits) or the Whoa Nellie (Pulled beef brisket & a drizzle of BBQ sauce). Some folks complain that the wait at the Fourth Street location is too long. So do yourself a favor and visit the new Westgate location on West Broad.
Rich: Stretch your money and your palate at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing. Both the brewed-in-house beers and a seasonally inspired menu rotate very regularly. It’s one of the city’s strongest kitchens, and the ambiance makes you feel like you’re dining in a swanky farm house. Don’t miss the duck tacos or my favorite WRB beer, the Ridge Trail Amber. I’m also obsessed with the locally produced soaps of Glenn Avenue Soap Company that are stocked in the restrooms (don’t judge). Needless to say, there is no detail overlooked by the team at WRB.
Sweet: I’m a sucker for a good diner. Philco Bar + Diner is fantastic at everything. Breakfast all day, made-to-order corndogs, and pies. The pies…..oh, the pies. Clintonville’s Just Pies supplies them with the goodness. With a name like Just Pies, they won’t leave you wondering what their specialty is, and served a la mode, it doesn’t get much sweeter than that. See you for breakfast with a side of blackberry pie? (That is a healthy breakfast, it has fruit in it!)
Lily Birkhimer, Columbus Historical Soceity
Cheap: For $10, I love El Manantial Latino. It’s that bright yellow taco truck parked in the lot of 14-0 on Hudson, and it’s pretty much always open. You can get the vegetarian arepas with fried plantains, and still have money for the tip jar!
Rich: I’m usually not a very high roller when it comes to dining, but I can spend $100 easily (and deliciously) on dinner for two and some great drinks at Vino Vino in Grandview. Get the baked goat cheese appetizer and the portabella mushroom ravioli (no prosciutto) to recreate one of my all-time favorite Columbus meals, and spend some time reading their killer wine list and quirky descriptions. I like a Sangiovese, or one of their awesomely curated wine flights.
Sweet: I live dangerously close to Pattycake Bakery, which has my favorite desserts in Columbus. Lately I’ve been way into the Co-Operative Cherry Chocolate Chip Bar, but every single thing I’ve ever had here has been seriously outstanding. Stop by on a Saturday for their fresh-baked sticky buns!
Mitch Underwood, Candle with a Cause
Cheap: Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace! I love this place. I eat there at least once a week. I get a jumbo beef dog with pulled brisket and tsatziki sauce with a side of mac and cheese. Apparently I like wieners. A lot.
Rich: Harvest Pizzeria. Even though Harvest isn’t exactly a high-dollar joint, I could easily drop $100 on all of the amazing pizza, salads, and drinks. The level of service is so high that a $100 tip would easily be justified. I would go more often if German Village folks didn’t always look at me like I’m a psychopath. I hate when people can see the true me.
Sweet: I would make the short 35-minute trip out to my hometown of Granville, Ohio, and visit Goumas’ Candyland. This company has been owned by my friend’s family for generations, and they know candy. Seriously, this place is a diabetic coma waiting to happen. I make myself sick every time I go there. One word: turtles.
Matthew Roharik, Roharik Productions
Cheap: Ten dollars will make you holla building your own burger at Bar 145 in Grandview on Wednesdays. The 145 refers to their suggested meat temperature of 145 degrees, but I like my burger with a pulse, so the chef has been out to see who the vampire is. They provide a burger menu with some exotic combinations and fancy breads – some of which are pretzel! I use that as my roadmap to burger bliss when building my $5 burger from their goodie list. The other $5 goes to the campfire Martini presented on fire with a marshmallow. Holla!
Rich: For a nightcap in the Short North, I would treat a dozen of my best friends to Mikey’s Late Night Slice for a Cheezus Crust with a healthy helping of Slut Sauce. This heavenly pizza is to die for.
Sweet: I once stumbled upon this little scene from the Twilight Zone at the Krema Nut Company. They make fresh-to-order gourmet PB&J sandwiches and milkshakes while you wait in the two tables they have provided. This all happens when the clock strikes noon in the front of their nut factory. At 1 p.m., it’s back to nut-making and it all disappears almost like it was a just a sweet dream.
Jimmy Mak, Shadowbox Live
Cheap: Give me a 10-spot and I’m heading straight over to High Beck Tavern for some hot wings and a beer. The wings are spicy, meaty, and plentiful. If you eat them right, you’ll end every meal with a wing sauce goatee.
Rich: A hundred dollars? I’M RICH! You’ll find me at the newly opened Arepazo on South High devouring all kinds of Venezuelan goodness. Steak, plantains, and more steak. Be sure to utter those three little words that change people’s lives: Spicy. Cilantro. Sauce. Also steak.
Sweet: Actually I’m not much of a sweets eater, which my wife says makes me un-American. However, and I know this is Columbus cliché, I do get cravings for some Jeni’s ice cream from time to time. One scoop coffee, one scoop vanilla on a sugar cone. “Eating ice cream and not exercising is great.” – Jeff Bridges. (From now on, I will end everything with a Jeff Bridges quote.)