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• BD's Mongolian Barbeque provides a fun and interactive dining experience. You just stroll to the buffet and select the ingredients for a create-your-own stir-fry. Choices include a variety of meats, poultry and seafood, many different vegetables, selected oils, sauces and spices.
Then it's on to the focal point of the restaurant - the grill - to watch the show as your personally selected creation is prepared by the chef before your very eyes.
BD's Mongolian Barbeque has three locations, 6242 Sawmill Road in Dublin (798-8300), 295 Marconi Blvd. in the Arena District (586-0077), and 3977 Worth Ave. (471-1000) at Easton. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, BD's Mongolian Barbeque accepts reservations from parties of six or more.
• Treat yourself to a delicious dining experience in the upscale casual atmosphere of Bexley Monk, located at 2232 E. Main St. across from Capital University.
Entrees, which range in price from $10-$30, include black sesame crusted Atlantic salmon and blackened rare yellowfin tuna. Or try the grilled flatiron steak or one of Bexley Monk's scrumptious daily specials.
Call 239-6665 for reservations to enjoy the warm, friendly service and incomparable food, or log on to www.bexleysmonk.com.
• Big Subs & Salads is a fun place for fans to eat a meal. Some menu items, based on Buckeye and Big Ten themes, include the Devine Delany and the Wisconsin subs, the Spartan and Citrus Bowl salads, the Fiesta and Snow Bowl pizzas, and the Illibuck and Brutus Melt breakfast sandwiches.
Big Subs & Salads also offers boxed lunches that include a 6-inch sub, chips, a cookie and a soda, as well as catering for your event or tailgating party, which can be delivered with a $100 minimum order.
Big Subs & Salads is located at 3051 Northwest Blvd. in Upper Arlington, just minutes from campus. Call 326-2411.
• You and the gang looking for a large, friendly sports bar to hang out for the big game? Look no further than Brothers Bar & Grille, located at 477 N. Park St. across from the North Market in the Arena District.
You're sure to have a good time while watching the 20 TVs and enjoying the extended happy hour from 4-9 p.m. with half-price "anything that pours" - even on Nationwide Arena event nights. All weekend long, Brothers offers $1.50 drink specials including T-bombs, cherry bombs and new O-bombs and banana bombs.
And don't forget to try the appetizers and entrees, including burgers, chicken and pizza, priced from $4-$8. Call 232-9020.
• The Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe, at 1421 Olentangy River Road, is the place to go for great food and anything Buckeye. Every Friday before Ohio State football games (home and away), 1460 The Fan will broadcast live from 3-7 p.m. with periodic appearances by Paul Keels, Jim Lachey and Jim Karsatos. Also on Football Friday Nights, enjoy the Friday Fire-Up from 8-10 p.m. with Brutus Buckeye and the OSU cheerleaders on hand and the Tailgaters brass band playing OSU songs. That's followed by Chris Logsdon from 10 p.m. to closing.
On Saturday, come back to the cafe for a view of the game on the huge projection screen TV or one of 12 35-inch TVs. For home games, the Hall of Fame Cafe offers round-trip shuttles to the Horseshoe for just $7. Then 1460 The Fan will broadcast live after the game.
The Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe has a full-service menu featuring exceptional steaks, fresh seafood, tantalizing pastas and their signature Ice Cream Buckeye dessert. Or enjoy the outstanding Sunday brunch buffet while admiring one of the largest collections of OSU sports memorabilia anywhere, including the official 2002 Ohio State Football National Championship Display. Call 291-CAFE for more information.
• Tired of the same old thing and looking for something different? Head to Cafe Istanbul, located at 3983 Worth Ave. in Easton Town Center, right across from Nordstrom. Cafe Istanbul serves up Middle Eastern and Turkish favorites in a cozy, Ottoman palace atmosphere.
Get your dining experience started with a cold appetizer sampler including hummus, eggplant puree dip, grape leaves and more. Then try the shish kebab or chicken kebab, or sample some of the delectable Turkish vegetarian dishes. Entrees range from $15-$20.
Cafe Istanbul is open until 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and reservations are accepted. Call 473-9144 or log on to www.cafeistanbul.com to find out more.
• If your taste tends toward American and you want to enjoy your lunch or dinner in a lively atmosphere, try any of the three Champps locations in Columbus. Enjoy entrees like bourbon glazed pork chops, fish and chips or chicken picatta, as well as a wide array of salads and sandwiches, all made with the finest and freshest ingredients in an open kitchen.
Check out happy hour with $1 off drinks and half off all appetizers from Monday through Friday or stop by for Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. On Mondays, you can enjoy all-you-can eat wings while watching the game on state-of-the-art TVs.
Champps is open until 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and until midnight on Sundays. Stop by the Lennox location (298-0833) in the shadows of Ohio Stadium at 1827 Olentangy River Road; Champps Easton (476-2333) at 3993 Morse Crossing; or Champps Worthington (781-1000) at Route 23 and Campus View.
• For some of the finest Chinese cuisine in Columbus, visit China Dynasty, conveniently located about a mile west of campus at The Shops on Lane Avenue. For many years, some of the biggest names in central Ohio have enjoyed this elegant dining experience, and consumers have voted China Dynasty the No. 1 Chinese family restaurant and fine Chinese cuisine for the past seven years.
China Dynasty specializes in Hunan, Szechuan and Mandarin cuisine with over 80 delicious entrees to choose from, including crispy shrimp with walnuts, Szechuan seafood clay pot and Peking duck (first served in Columbus by tableside carving presentation). Or choose from China Dynasty's traditional Chinese specialties such as steamed whole walleye with ginger and scallion soy sauce or imported Chinese eggplant in garlic sauce.
Visit China Dynasty at The Shops on Lane Avenue in Upper Arlington for dine-in, take home or delivery. Call 486-7126 or log on to www.chinadynasty-cmh.com. Also visit the sister location, Dynasty Express (848-0381), located at Polaris across the street from Germain Amphitheater, for quick dine-in or take-home carryout.
• If you're planning a tailgate or a game party, you can't beat City Barbeque, selected as a top-10 restaurant by The Columbus Dispatch and home of the best brisket in Columbus, according to Columbus Monthly. City Barbeque does only barbecue, which is homemade on-site and features three kinds of sauce - red, mustard-based and vinegar-based. Their Pig Up and Go Packs feed four to 24 people and offer your choice of Texas beef brisket, pulled pork or chicken with delicious sides such as cole slaw, baked beans and corn pudding.
City Barbeque, which boasts the world's largest smoker, now has five locations. The Upper Arlington restaurant (538-8890) at 2111 W. Henderson Road is available for dine-in or carryout and has both inside and patio seating in addition to a TV, so you won't miss any of the Buckeye action while picking up your food. City Barbeque also has a Centerville location (937-312-1350) at 5 E. Franklin St., a Gahanna location (416-8890) at 207 Old Johnstown Road, a Reynoldsburg location (755-8890) at 5979 E. Main St., and a fifth location at 6199 N. Cleveland Ave. (823-8890) in Columbus.
• For a total dining experience with a spectacular view of the downtown Columbus skyline, visit Confluence Park, located at 679 W. Spring St. off Souder Avenue near the Main Post Office. Situated on the riverbank at the confluence of the Olentangy and Scioto rivers, Confluence Park is nestled in a beautiful natural setting right in the heart of downtown.
Choose from a variety of gumbo, steak and seafood items ranging from $16.95-$22.95. Or after the big game on Saturday, treat yourself to a scrumptious Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Confluence Park is open from 4:30-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and 4:30-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and the restaurant offers Early Bird specials from 4:30-6:30 Tuesday-Thursday.
Call 469-0000 for reservations.
• If you're planning a party or heading for a tailgate, Easy Living Catering and Delicatessen, run by former Buckeye great Vlade Janakievski, will customize your party trays for any occasion. They specialize in box lunches and generous deli platters with everything you need to please hungry fans. All salads are made on the premises and Easy Living offers a tempting variety of desserts, including their famous Buckeyes.
Located just west of the OSU campus at 1355 W. Lane Ave., Easy Living is the place to go for your next tailgate or game party. Call 486-1694 or 486-2695 for more information.
• Come experience an authentic Irish pub at Fado, located at 4022 Townsfair Way in Easton Town Center. Fado adheres to the principles of founder Kieran McGill, who believes in good food and good drink in a friendly and comfortable environment.
Pair the delicious corned beef and cabbage or shepherd's pie with a pint of your favorite draft beer, or try one of the weekly specials. Entrees range from $6.95-$14.95.
To really get into the swing of things, sign up for English Premier League Fantasy Soccer. Fado is open from 11:30 a.m-2:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and until 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Call 418-0066 or log on to www.fadoirishpub.com.
• If you're in the mood for Italian-American cuisine, you might want to try out the Florentine, located at 907 W. Broad St., two blocks west of state Route 315. The homemade spaghetti has been a Columbus favorite for years, but the Florentine also serves a variety of Italian and American dishes including fettuccine, manicotti and lasagna as well as chicken, veal or eggplant parmigiana, and steak. Entrees are a great value at $8-$15.
For a great deal for the whole family, it's hard to pass up the all-you-can-eat spaghetti Thursday nights. And be sure to stop in to help the Florentine celebrate its 60th anniversary in October.
Although not required, reservations are accepted, and the atmosphere is casual. Call 228-2262 for reservations.
• For economical family dining, try the all-you-can-eat buffet at either Golden Corral location, 3710 W. Dublin-Granville Road, at the corner of Sawmill Road, or 4750 E. Main St. in Whitehall. For just $6.39 at lunch or $8.79 for dinner, you get a 10- to 12-meat buffet, including steaks every night, with all the fixin's as well as a spectacular array of desserts and baked goods.
On Friday and Saturday, enjoy the barbecued ribs and shrimp buffet for just $8.99. From 7-10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Golden Corral has a breakfast buffet for just $6.39 that includes an omelet station, eggs made to order and a wide selection of juices.
With special low prices for kids, Golden Corral is a fast, economical option for families on the go. Golden Corral also offers seniors an Early Bird special of $5.39 from 2-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 799-9579 (Dublin) or 864-3700 (Whitehall).
• Whether you're looking for fine dining, a quick meal or a place to sit and relax with a cocktail, you'll find the Dining Room at the Hilton Easton to be the perfect location.
Known for its exquisite buffets, every Sunday the Hilton offers a Midwest Brunch from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday night, try the one-of-a-kind seafood buffet, or enjoy the prime rib buffet on Saturday.
Unwind after dinner in the upscale Easton Sports Club - which features pool, darts, Golden Tee and nightly drink specials - while watching your favorite sporting event on one of the seven plasma televisions.
• You're sure to find something to please the entire family at Houlihan's, located at 3580 W. Dublin-Granville Road at the intersection of state Route 161 and Sawmill Road. The casual, fun atmosphere welcomes all ages, and you won't have to wait long for a table with Houlihan's call-ahead seating.
Start off with the tempting stuffed mushrooms then move on to the delicious mustard salmon or stuffed chicken breast. Or try the heartland chicken salad with lightly breaded and fried chicken tenderloins, bacon, jalapeno cheese, tortilla straws and toasted spicy pecans.
Houlihan's serves dinner until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and the bar is open until midnight, with happy hour specials from 2-9 p.m. Call 932-9090 or visit www.houlihans.com.
• For a variety of breakfast and lunch possibilities as well as delicious catering options for your next tailgate or party, try Mega Wraps, located at 401 N. Front St. in the Arena District.
At lunch, choose one of the tasty wraps such as the chicken caesar, chicken souvlaki, Philly cheese steak or chicken fajita. Pair it with one of Mega Wraps' delicious soups for a hearty meal. Or get your day off to a good start with one of the tempting breakfast selections including the western omelet and toasted bagels with cheese. A low-fat menu is also available.
Give Mega Wraps a call for your next tailgate. They'll prepare generous trays of pitas, bagels, cheese and fruits, vegetables and desserts sure to please any fan.
Mega Wraps is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday and for all events at Nationwide Arena. At just $2.99-$5.99 for lunch, it's hard to beat the value. Call 849-0110 or visit www.megawraps.com.
• One great option for affordable family dining in Grove City, just south of Columbus, is Plank's On Broadway, which features a wide variety of sandwiches and entrees in addition to the ever-popular pizza. Favorites include burgers, grilled chicken salad and, of course, good cold beer. Patrons can enjoy a large all-the-way pizza for four for just $14 or a burger, fries and a beer for about $7.
Plank's is located at 4022 Broadway, off I-270 west of I-71. For more information, call 875-7800.
• For wings and beer in a fun, casual joint, head to Roosters. Roosters is open until 1:30 a.m. and offers a variety of salads, sandwiches, subs, pizza and - of course - wings, all for under $10.
On game days, head to the Roosters Road Show, a 27-foot rolling restaurant located at Lane Avenue across from St. John Arena.
Roosters has locations near campus (262-3185) at 3370 Olentangy River Road, on the west side at 4650 W. Broad St. (853-0118), in Whitehall at 376 S. Hamilton Road (759-7778), at 1832 Henderson Road (323-0216) in northwest Columbus, and at 2454 E. Dublin-Granville Road (523-0993) in northeast Columbus. You can also visit the Roosters restaurants in Lancaster (740-653-1444), Grove City (539-8711) and German Village (444-8848). Log on to www.roosterswings.com for details.
• Looking for the perfect meeting place for food and drinks on game day? Try Saturday's Sports Club, a casual sports bar with eight big-screen TVs. Saturday's is located just west of state Route 315 off Powell Road.
Saturday's offers original subs, ribs, specialty pizzas, strombolis and a delicious southwest club sandwich. From 3-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, head to Saturday's for happy hour and half-price appetizers and drink specials.
Saturday's is open from 11 a.m.-midnight on Friday and Saturday and until 11 p.m. on weeknights. Reservations are suggested for large parties or for game day. Call 430-3658.
• Schmidt's of German Village is gearing up for another great fall season. The special events department is enjoying their 11th season of selling delicious bratwurst, Bahama mamas and jumbo cream puffs to the Hineygate crowd from their stand in the Conrads College Gifts lot.
Schmidt's restaurant in the heart of German Village is ready to greet all of those pre- and postgame diners who make Schmidt's a part of their fall football tradition. The same great brats, Bahamas and cream puffs await you along with a wide variety of delicious entrees and desserts such as schnitzel, sauerbraten, chicken, German chocolate cake and cherry cheese tarts. The carryout department is on standby, ready to fill your order for the scrumptious sausage you may need for your tailgate.
Schmidt's has been doing German since 1886 and the fifth-generation family members are ready to accommodate you with their hand-crafted, award-winning foods. Call 444-6808.
• Carrying on the Schmidt's tradition is Schmidt's Hospitality Concepts, located at 925 Darby Creek Drive. If you aren't into cooking yourself, let Schmidt's classic catering department take the work and worry away. The catering staff is prepared to serve 10 to 10,000 people and offers a variety of menu options for office luncheons and corporate outings as well as tailgates. Banquet facilities for every occasion are also available.
Offering Schmidt's famous sausage, cream puffs and a whole lot more, Schmidt's Hospitality Concepts can cater every event from a casual backyard get-together to a formal reception. Schmidt's offers all-inclusive tailgate packages.
For details, log on to www.schmidtcatering.com or call 444-5050.
• The Spaghetti Warehouse combines Old World Italian favorites with American abundance in hearty made-from-scratch dishes, such as the incredible 15-layer lasagna and chicken parmigiana to name a few, making it a favorite downtown destination for the last 25 years.
Along with excellent food and service, the Spaghetti Warehouse offers a casual and unique decor for a total dining experience. The restaurant generates its appeal via a collection of unmatched tables and chairs, antiques, roadside advertising signs and stained glass windows and lamps that are used extensively to create a comfortable family environment. What's more, a former Broad Street trolley car serves as a dining area.
With seating for more than 800 people, the Spaghetti Warehouse is perfect for group dining. The facilities, including four private dining rooms, can accommodate groups of 10 to 200 and large parties can select from all-inclusive group packages. The Spaghetti Warehouse is located west of downtown Columbus, next to COSI off state Route 315.
• TAT Ristorante di Famiglia, family owned since 1929, is the oldest Italian restaurant in Columbus and was the first restaurant in the city to offer pizza.
These days, choose from the homemade pasta and ravioli - made right on the premises - or prime rib, chicken, steaks and chops, or pizza. Complement your meal with a soup or salad. Take advantage of the early bird special Tuesday through Saturday with a free dessert or appetizer.
Entrees are priced from $9.50-$22.95, the atmosphere is casual, and reservations are suggested. Call 236-1392. TAT is located at 1210 S. James Rd.
• Treat yourself to a longtime Columbus tradition at the Top Steakhouse. Located at 2891 E. Main St. just outside Bexley about 15 minutes from OSU, the Top boasts some of the best steak and seafood in Columbus in an upscale casual, intimate atmosphere.
The Top is well-known for its scrumptious entrees, including prime rib, chargrilled steaks and giant lobster tails, priced from $17-$33. On Monday enjoy a full prime rib dinner for just $15.95, or try the twin lobster tail dinner Thursday for $22.95. Monday through Thursday the Top hosts a happy hour with special pricing on drinks and sandwiches.
Call 231-8238 or visit www.thetopsteakhouse.com online. Reservations are accepted for any party during the week and for large parties on the weekend.
• Trying to find a restaurant to please all the Buckeye fans in your crew? With two Columbus locations - as well as 11 other locations around the state - you can't go wrong with the Winking Lizard Tavern.
The menu is a cornucopia of just about anything you could want, with wings, pizza, burgers, ribs, wraps, salads, appetizers and more. Every Sunday, Winking Lizard offers a large two-topping pizza plus 12 wings for just $11.99. Winking Lizard also boasts an impressive array of beverages, with a World Tour of Beers and 32-ounce daily draft specials.
With over 40 TVs plus DirectTV, you won't miss any of the game, and Winking Lizard also has party rooms available and can accommodate large groups. Call the Crosswoods location, located at 100 Hutchinson Ave. just off Route 23 north of I-270, at 785-9755. Or phone the Bethel Road location, at 1380 Bethel Road, at 451-2647.
• Experience the ultimate way to celebrate on game day at Woo Doggies Sports Bar & Grille, located at Westpointe Plaza at the corner of Hilliard-Rome and Trabue roads. Woo Doggies is a family-owned business where you will be treated like a part of the family in a neighborhood pub with seven TVs, a big screen and surround sound.
The Saturday Loyal Buckeye Fan Specials include $1.25 domestic draft beer, $1.50 well drinks, $2 specialty shots and half-price menu items. Join them on Monday for 35-cent wings and $3 pitchers, or try your hand at Texas Hold'em every Wednesday night.
With over 80 specialty drinks, an impressive selection of imported beers and over 40 menu items, you're sure to find something for everyone.
Call 876-2147 or visit www.woodoggies.net online.
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