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.
Michael Petrakis immigrated to America in 1972 from the island of Crete, where dining is an integral part of social life. In opening Michael's, Petrakis aimed to bring the community some of the warm hospitality of Crete, an attitude embodied in his annual Thanksgiving dinners. Every year since 1983, he and his wife Anna have solicited the help of their staff and a dozen volunteers to serve free holiday dinner to everyone who comes through their doors––an average of 1,400–2,000 meals.
The quaint dining room at Michael's relies on homey touches such as stained glass windows and dangling flower baskets. Illuminated by natural light from large picture windows, diner-style tables support dishes ranging from Greek gyros to pizzas and build-your-own pasta. Those dishes are the work of Dino Tsarnas, a veteran of Cleveland Grill. He brings skills acquired there to a selection of Greek appetizers. Between trips to the restaurant's salad bar, guests can sip a glass of wine or connect to the restaurant's free WiFi.
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.
Fresh Start Diner has hallmarks of an American diner such as all-day breakfast starting as early as 7 a.m. Within these traditional parameters, however, the culinary team puts its own spin on the classic diner menu. Into a 14-inch pancake, they stuff vanilla ice cream and fruit or chocolate filling. Ham, crab cakes, corned-beef hash, or portobello mushrooms crown plates of eggs benedict. At 10:30 a.m. the diner introduces its lunch menu, which includes caesar salads with special house dressing and turkey melts. Fresh Start serves pancakes, omelets, salads, and sandwich entrees and bread including gluten-free products from Mrs. P?s Gluten Free Bakery.