BBQ Restaurants in Merion Village

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At Knead—named Best New Restaurant 2010 by Columbus Monthly—the cooks toss salads with lettuce just plucked from the ground and fry eggs straight from the farm. Valuing farm-fresh ingredients, husband-and-wife team Krista and Chef Rick Lopez based their diner-style eatery's menu on ingredients available in Ohio. Rick and his team rotate in selections of sandwiches depending on the ingredients available from their area suppliers, which include local and specialty farmers and vendors and the nearby North Market. Year-round offerings include Grandwiches, which are embraced by house-baked bread and stuffed with locally procured morsels, such as pork shoulder and ham in the Cuban-OH and hormone-free beef and house-cured bacon in the KneaDaBurger.

The restaurant's commitment to local ingredients extends to its specialty drinks and desserts, all of which are made in-house. The sweet selections include oatmeal cream pie—made with from-scratch oatmeal cookies—and cork-size double-chocolate brownie bites, which give nibblers a sugar rush just long enough to say "cork-size double-chocolate brownie bites" three times fast.

505 N High St
Columbus,
OH
US

When stories of the famed 94th Aero Squadron began reaching American soil during World War I, many of them were about Eddie Rickenbacker. The Columbus native eventually became the most successful fighter ace in the war, earning several awards for his service, including a Medal of Honor.

From its spot between the runways of Port Columbus Airport, beneath the arriving and departing air traffic, 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant pays homage to the late Major Rickenbacker and his compatriots. The dining rooms are furnished just as they might have been a century ago?an early American flag hangs beneath knotted rafters, an antique fighter jet is parked in the backyard, and a fire roars in a stone fireplace, because that's where fires go. On Thursday nights, a 17-piece big band is a perfect complement to the vintage ambience, as are classic American dishes such as prime rib and Atlantic salmon served nightly.

5030 Sawyer Rd.
Columbus,
OH
US

You can hear heels click-clicking in time with the music during each group lesson at Fred Astaire studio. The same wood floor here transforms into a gathering place for the school’s dancers when the studio hosts its regular dance parties. On those nights, students come to practice the moves they learned in class, be they social or ballroom dancers. Instructors also teach private dance classes so you can brush up on moves before a wedding or perform jury duty as a mime.

5227 Bethel Center Mall
Columbus,
OH
US

Gatsby?s offers its patrons plenty of entertainment, from the cheers that erupt from boisterous sand-volleyball games on two courts to the resonating vocals of live bands. Guests can watch live performances from their seats as servers cart around trays filled with ranch-chicken pizzas and jumbo wings deep-fried in housemade Jim Beam barbecue sauce. Other finger-friendly foods include a half-pound Gatsby?s burger piled with saut?ed mushrooms, onions, swiss cheese, and bacon, as well as a deep-fried and breaded pork tenderloin stuffed inside a Kaiser roll. Outside, a fleet of picnic tables provides ample seating, and a nearby sand court proffers games of volleyball to tiebreak sandcastle build-offs. Gatsby's offers two outdoor patios, and hosts a Bike Night on Saturdays.

151 N Hamilton Rd
Gahanna,
OH
US

A whirlwind of utensils hovers over a sizzling grill under the ministrations of a deft hibachi chef, sending morsels of seared meat to diners seated around a crimson-hued circle of polished wood. Guests can request orders of teriyaki chicken, hibachi steak, or shrimp and watch the multitasking chef cook each meal to order while entertaining fellow diners and writing a grocery list to shop for after their shift. Vibrant, rustic murals and dioramas decorate the dining room, and lantern-style light fixtures cast a warm glow on tables and working fountain by the restaurant's entrance.

5755 Cleveland Ave.
Columbus,
OH
US

Nasty's Sports Bar gets its title from a nickname that the clean-playing but hard-hitting Nathan (of the family that owns the bar) earned on the football field. But the only crunching done at this eatery involves a set of teeth and the goodness of fresh Angus burgers. The family of restaurant and sports enthusiasts has put together a menu full of classic American grill fare, such as buffalo chicken sandwiches and boneless wings. They've also carefully cultivated an atmosphere of friendly energy that could power a barge through a river of syrup.

4561 Scioto Darby Rd.
Hilliard,
OH
US