Sporting the same smiling staff since it opened in 2007, Dena's Diner dishes up a delicious menu of homemade comfort cuisine in quaint, family-friendly surroundings. Homemade soups such as Dena's award-winning sweet-corn chili ($2.95–$3.95) along with fresh salads ($2.75–$8.85) and slow-roasted meat dishes transport diners to halcyon childhood meals brimming with savory flavors and gravy-faced relatives.
A Forkable Feast provides an array of restaurant-quality meals packaged in microwave- and oven-safe containers, ready to be taken home, reheated, and devoured with all the ferocity of a sun-swallowing Fenris wolf. Signature entrees include savory veal and ricotta meatballs ($6.95), mac 'n' cheese with herbed goat cheese ($4.95), and lemon-rosemary chicken ($6.95). Assemble a full meal by partnering a lonely entree with a winsome side dish, such as succotash, creamy mashed potatoes, or lemon-orzo salad ($2.95 each). Glowing obediently behind the cashier, the brick pizza oven ushers forth crispy, wood-fired pies such as the minimalist margherita or the roasted-vegetable varietal, which employs a delectable cast of portobello mushrooms, onions, zucchini, pesto, and mozzarella ($7.50). A Forkable Feast also cooks up a reputable variety of gluten-free meals to share its edible accomplishments with the gluten averse.
Chef Rima had a lot of luck with the homestyle recipes at her restaurant The Porch. So when an opportunity came up to expand, she took a cue from Hollywood executives and created a spinoff restaurant, Rima's Diner. The diner has a 1950s feel, with photos of Elvis and Marilyn looking over guests as they dig into plates of crusty chicken pot pie or country-fried pork tenderloins. Her desserts are just as traditional. She decorates german-chocolate, strawberry, and coconut cakes with simple yet beautiful layers of creamy frosting and slices of fresh fruit. When the sun is out, guests can take their fare to the outdoor patio to enjoy the sunshine and be better informed when talking to strangers about the weather.
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.
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.
Breakfast is served all day long at DK Diner, where guests choose from a variety of housemade eats. Forks slice right through light and fluffy pancakes, and french toast made with texas toast satisfy morning cravings better than a croissant doused in barbecue sauce. Customers flock to the painted brick eatery for the house-special donuts and can even order a burger with the bun subbed with a sweet round treat. For lunch and dinner, sandwiches are served with kitchen-crafted chips, and guests can take their plates in the comfortable home restaurant or be served on the sunny patio out back.