Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum and Library
Cheap: My addiction may eventually cause my demise, but the tacos (specifically the pulled pork ones) at Ethyl & Tank on campus have got to be some of the best I’ve ever had. It may be their special homemade salsa on top that does it, but whatever it is, I could eat ‘em everyday and never lose my taste. They also have a fantastic rotating beer list, which often includes my regional favorite, Rhinegeist – hard to find on tap anywhere else. If you work on campus, this is the place to feast in the daytime.
Rich: You don’t even need to be that rich to eat at The Table on Fifth Avenue, but when you’ve got some spare change and are in the mood for an evening meal on a lovely alleyway-patio, definitely stop in. They do a great brunch as well – especially the cocktails.
Sweet: Clown Cone! This hidden gem is the spot to get pockets-full of forgotten penny-candy and homemade ice cream cones bigger than your face. Beware: not for the clown-phobic, as it’s eccentrically decorated with vintage clown memorabilia.
Wexner Center for the Arts
Cheap: It’s hard to top Heirloom at the Wexner Center for affordable, healthy eats: the Root Down Salad, the Gila Monster, or the Heirloom Tomato Salad, a dish so good it’s made me call a detente in my longstanding grudge against tomatoes. Yes, I work at the Wex, but it’s not shameless promotion if it’s true.
Rich: Alana’s is often the go-to. Consistently great food. Strong drinks. A friendly, funny, terrific staff. And a better than average chance of hearing Yo La Tengo waft out of the kitchen while you eat the surprise dish of the day.
Sweet: I’m not much of a sweets person, but Buckeye Donuts is a legend for a reason. The blueberry cake donut or any of the jelly donuts may not be proof that a God exists, but they go a long way toward it.
Cheap: I’m a sucker for fresh, spicy, and both Latin and Asian dishes, so I have to go with Bibibop. It’s essentially a Korean Chipotle and $10 will get you a side of their fantastically fresh kimchi too.
Rich: Aside from rock star levels of excess somewhere “regular-priced” (that’s 11 bottles of spicy cilantro sauce at El Arepazo, for instance), I tend to like ambience when we’re talking luxury meals. I could easily see this special occasion taking place at Mitchell’s Steakhouse, Barcelona, Rishi, Manifesto, or Vino Vino – all places with great vibes and one can feast for a C-note.
Sweet: I hate almost all sweets, but my girlfriend and I are worshippers of summer, and thereby popsicle FIENDS. The hands-down best popsicles are the generic push-up ones in the plastic that come in a net from Kroger. We probably bought half the skid they put out in Grandview – we’re stockpiling them. We call them “net pops” and eat like three at a time. Addicted.
Now It’s Dark Magazine
Cheap: I live in Clintonville, and Clintonvillians like to walk, so nothing beats hoofing it to a joint. Harvest Pizzeria recently opened up a shop in ‘The Ville and for lunch they have a $9 special for a personal pizza and a salad. I have tried all three salads, and I honestly cannot tell you which one is best. And as for the pie, I am partial to exotic things like oysters on pizza, but there are standards like margherita available as well. You can also build your own. Pro tip: For just one more dollar, add a cage-free organic egg.
Rich:A tie between The Crest and Angry Bear Kitchen. Both use locally and responsibly raised sources of meats and ingredients (this is a theme of mine I suppose), and the execution is flawless. They also both make amazing signature cocktails and carry craft beers which can get your bill to $100 pretty enjoyably. If you get any type of fry with your meal at The Crest, spring for the truffle fries.
Sweet: I’m not a fan of sweets and mostly I don’t get aroused by them. However, there is one dessert that I go ga-ga for. It is the flour-less chocolate cake at Basil. Call ahead to Basil to see if they have the cake. It isn’t always on the menu.
Flat Foot Vintage
Cheap: I started smiling just thinking about my “cheap” option. The Mac N Mornay at Philco is my newly appointed favorite dish. Super-cheesy, light-creamy goodness for only nine bucks.
Rich: If we’re going to ball out, we might as well park the Lambo at Hyde Park. I used to order the Bernie Kosar steak and lobster mac n cheese. These days I only eat seafood. Sorry Bernie.
Sweet: Ask around: I’ve got the sweetest tooth in town. One of the best cookies in the world is at Pistacia Vera. Hint: verde.