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.
Commence your Cajun- and Creole-laced meal with an appetizer of cornmeal-fried jumbo shrimp with rémoulade ($7.95), cornmeal-fried oysters ($9), or the roulade of house-smoked salmon crème fraîche ($7.95). Low Country barbecue fanatics find solace in Flatiron's made-from-scratch sauciness, such as the North Carolina–style mustard sauce on the pulled-pork sandwich served with coleslaw ($8.75) and the bourbon-barbecue slathering the slab of St. Louis pork ribs (with hand-cut fries and coleslaw, $14.75). For a genuine New Orleans experience up north, try the fried-oyster po' boy dressed with lettuce, tomato, and rémoulade on a baguette ($10, also available with shrimp or catfish). Devotees of pub food can grab a hefty half-pound cheeseburger with pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion, and ancho mayonnaise ($8.50); the Flatiron gumbo with chicken, shrimp, and house-made andouille sausage ($5.95); or the house-made chorizo and black-bean chili ($5.50). Put a cap on your appetite with a finishing slice of homemade sweet-potato pie ($5) or a custard bread pudding with bourbon anglaise and shaved chocolate ($5).
Tee Jaye's founders began preparing homestyle meals in 1970, a venture that spawned a string of 24-hour diners stuffed with delicious country fare. An egg-centric medley of dishes graces the all-day breakfast menu, with options such as the barnyard buster ($5.10)—two biscuits, two eggs, and country fries wallowing in a puddle of Tee Jaye's famous sausage gravy—and the sunshine sandwich ($6.95), grilled sourdough trapped under stacks of cheddar, swiss, ham, scrambled eggs, and hash browns. Turn to the lunch-and-dinner menu to find the answer to the sphinx's riddle ("sweet tea") as well as a spread of classic country-kitchen eats, including the chicken-fried chicken ($8.25), homemade meatloaf and dressing ($7.75), and Granny's grandburger ($7.95), a half-pound beef patty served with fries and a choice of three toppings. A tot-thrilling kids' menu ($2.49/breakfast; $3.49/lunch and dinner) and a crisp collection of summer flatbreads ($6.95+) round out the restaurant's dining selections.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Gallo’s Pit BBQ lives by three words: “low and slow.” Though it doubles as a good tip for limbo, this phrase refers to a Southern-style barbecue method that begins by cooking meat languorously over a pit filled with lump charcoal and wood. Before meat meets flames, grillmasters rub each cut with their signature spice rub to create a flavorful crust that complements its tender insides. Finally, they slather on a tangy and balanced barbecue sauce, which they perfected with more than half a decade of tweaking and tasting.
After settling down in tall booths or long benches in the brick-lined dining room, guests devour platters of brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, and pieces of chicken. They can also stick their forks into sides of made-to-order coleslaw and baked beans studded with bacon, brown sugar, and Kentucky bourbon.