Brownie Mix Cookies Recipe Gooey chocolate insides and crackly tops make this brownie mix cookies recipe the ultimate combo of brownies and cookies. Try mixing in your favorite candies or eating a scoop of ice cream sandwiched in between two fresh-from-the-oven cookies. You’ll be in heaven! Related Recipes: Better than Box Mix Brownies Ultimate Cake […]
The BEST Chocolate Mint Dessert Recipes Get more than 50 of the BEST Chocolate Mint Dessert Recipes right here, including Grasshopper Poke Cake, Thin Mint Muddy Buddies, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, and more! Related Recipe Collections 75+ Girl Scout Cookie Recipe 50+ Mini Cadbury Eggs Desserts 50+ St. Patrick’s Day Desserts Mint Chocolate Recipes […]
Made with mostly pantry staples, this chocolate cobbler comes together quickly for a warm and comforting dessert. Serve with generous scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Chocolate cobbler is one of those old-school recipes that has endured for decades because of its genius simplicity and seemingly magical transformation in the oven. It is also one of the most deliciously warm and comforting desserts you'll ever find. It's easy enough to throw together on a weeknight, but you'll want to make it for company. It's good any time of year, but it's especially good to tuck into on a cold winter's night.
Ah, 2020. A year that started with such hope and purpose, then quickly skewed into a year like no other. This devolved into a difficult year, but one not without its bright spots. Beth and I mobilized what resources we had through our jobs to support local businesses where we could. At times it felt like we were having an effect, at other times it felt like we watched helplessly from the sidelines.
One of my strengths is writing, and so write I did. In addition to regular blog posts for Experience Columbus, TourismOhio, and Experience Worthington, I wrote for Ohio Magazine, Columbus Monthly, Columbus Alive, and other travel publications. I’m grateful to have the work, and to use my voice in any way possible to support small businesses!
So let’s look at what happened on BreakfastWithNick.com in 2020!
One of my goals for 2020 was to start an interview series, helping folks get to know the hardworking chefs, restaurateurs, coffee roasters, bakers, brewers who make our culinary scene so great. My goal was one a week for the first three months, and I made it through early March before everything got shut down. If you have the time, listen to these stories from local makers:
- Jimmy Barouxis, owner of Buckeye Donuts
- Eric Bean, owner and brewmaster at Columbus Brewing Company
- Luke and Annie Williams Pierce, owners of Lawbird
- Kevin Crowley, owner of The Lox Bagel Shop
- Matt Heaggans, former co-owner of Ambrose & Eve, owner of Preston’s
- Sangeeta Lakhani, co-owner of the now-shuttered The Table
- Hans and Joelle Hochstedler, owners of Florin Coffee
- Laura Lee, owner of Ajumama food truck
- Brandon Bir, Director of Education and Sustainability at Crimson Cup
One of my goals for 2020 was to write more essays for the site. I got off to a good start, but then turned my attention to (hopefully) helpful lists highlighting local spots to support:
As usual, breakfast is still the name of the game here. Just look at the morning meals we (re)discovered in 2020!
- The Original Pancake House: highlighting OPH’s holiday favorites, which added a second location in Westerville
- Clifton Mill: giant pancakes at this historic mill in Clifton, Ohio
- Fox in the Snow Cafe: a visit to their third location in New Albany
- Early Birds Breakfast: a surprise hit, a small town gem in St. Louisville, Ohio, with creative breakfast dishes
- Katalina’s, Too: visiting the second location of the beloved breakfast spot
- Heirloom Cafe: great breakfasts to be found at the Wexner Center’s in-house cafe
- Founding Farmers: a lovely morning meal in Washington, D.C.
- Cafe Elena: an international array of breakfasts from this mother/daughter-owned cafe
- Fay’s Crepes: a woman-owned crepe stand inside Polaris Fashion Place
- Winston’s Coffee & Waffles: a terrific food truck in Clintonville serving coffee and creative sweet + savory waffles
- Cap City Fine Diner: this Grandview Cameron Mitchell spot invited us to weekend brunch!
- Basic Biscuits, Kindness, & Coffee: a new family-run shop serving all things biscuit-related
- Emmett’s Cafe: another much-anticipated addition, a full service coffee shop with creative breakfasts to match
- Kolache Republic: I was very sad to lose one of my favorites in February, but overjoyed when they reopened a few doors up
- The Syndicate: a creative brunch in downtown Bellefontaine
- The Almond Sisters Bakery: a favorite discovery of the year, with incredible baked goods and coffee in downtown Hamilton
We certainly kept caffeinated this year with new and updated coffee shops:
- Brioso Coffee: one of the city’s OG roasters opened an updated location at Gay and High downtown
- Florin Coffee: after roasting for a couple years, they added a new retail shop in Linden
- One Line Coffee: a look at One Line’s new Franklinton location
- Crimson: Crimson Cup Coffee opened this modern new concept at Easton
- The Parable Coffee: a thoughtfully run coffee pop-up inside Comune
What more can I say?
This year we also cooked up meals at home and checked out lots of non-breakfasty goodness:
Prior to COVID lockdowns we took some fun trips. Post-COVID we postponed bigger travel plans, but managed smaller, safe trips, especially those highlighting local eats, safe shopping, parks, etc.
- Travel to the Moon in Cincinnati: the first weekend of 2020 had us exploring the Queen City for a day, with markets, museums, coffee, beer
- The Holidays in Pittsburgh: a look back at a lovely big-city Christmas celebration in downtown Pittsburgh
- A Treehouse Stay in the Mohicans: a delightful overnight in, yes, a treehouse in the woods!
- Making Our Way in Washington, D.C.: I explored DC during a conference at the end of February, the last big trip before shutdown!
- Safe Trips & Activities Within Three Hours of Columbus: I worked with some of our previous travel partners to highlight safe activities in their regions
- A Trek to The Wilds + Donuts, Coffee, & Ice Cream: finally making it to a safari at The Wilds, and of course pairing it with old school eats like donuts and ice cream
- A Weekend in Springfield: a fun family time in Springfield, exploring food, markets, bike trails, coffee, donuts, museums, pumpkin patches
- Biking, Beer, & Brunch in Bellefontaine: we turned an invited brunch into a full day trip!
- Dining in Downtown Delaware: a look at local dining options around Delaware
- Holiday Fun in Hamilton: safe local shopping, dining, and holiday fun in the Butler County seat
- A Staycation at the Worthington Courtyard Marriott: a little invited overnight focused on pool-time, games, local eats
Thanks again to everyone who’s followed along, interacted, and supported us during this difficult year! Here’s hoping 2021 features more genuine growth and better times together.
Happy New Year from Nick, Beth, Will, & Owen!
We’ve enjoyed our trips to Butler County over the past few years, checking out local restaurants and breweries, working our way through the ever-expanding Butler County Donut Trail, hiking through different parks and exploring museums. I’ve compiled all of our past adventures on the Butler County travel page.
The folks from BC invited us back in November to Hamilton, the Butler County seat, to see how they’re doing safe and socially distanced holiday shopping through a program called Holly Jolly Hamilton. I wrote about the highlights for Ohio.org’s blog, but wanted to share more details here!
Like many small downtowns, Hamilton has worked hard to adapt to life in a pandemic while still supporting its local businesses. In addition to Christmas lights draped over trees, they’ve set up picnic tables for more social distancing room along High Street.
If you’re not familiar with the city, yes, Hamilton IS named after our country’s first treasury secretary. It was established first as Fort Hamilton in 1791, and today features a statue of him WEARING AN AMERICAN FLAG AS A CAPE in the center of High Street. The sidewalks around it are embedded with famous quotes from him.
We stayed in the Courtyard Marriott Hamilton, a newer hotel just a block off High Street and close to the Great Miami River, within walking distance of parks, public art, a pavilion, a brewery, dozens of restaurants and shops.
We called in an order of calzones, subs, salad, and nachos from All8Up downtown.
Then walked our dinner over to Rotary Park nearby to eat at one of the picnic tables there. Rotary Park, like many parts of Hamilton, is full of public art. I really commend the city on its public art program. Dozens of murals, sculptures, and installations dot the city.
The theme of that night’s Holly Jolly Hamilton was Music on Main, so there were DJs, singer-songwriters, and small brass bands spread throughout the neighborhood.
After dinner we stopped by Municipal Brew Works, housed in the old municipal building on High Street next to the river. It’s a beautiful Art Deco structure that once served as fire station, police station, city council chambers, jail. I got a tour from one of the owners, Jim Goodman, back in 2017.
Municipal has a giant patio and invites local food trucks to park outside. We snagged a couple beers and kept strolling. Downtown Hamilton is a DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area), which means you can take adult drinks to go and walk the neighborhood.
We visited a few shops east of the river first, including InsideOut Studio, a studio and gallery dedicated to adults with development disabilities.
We then followed the bridge over the river to Main Street, another concentrated stretch of local businesses. They installed barriers to widen the sidewalk and offer more social distancing.
Our first stop was Fleurish Home to see holiday decor, artwork, supplies, clothing, and more.
Then it was Future Great Comics, where I chatted for a bit with owner Brian LeVick. We picked up a few Star Wars and Spider-Man comics.
We made a brief “refueling” stop at Village Parlor for ice cream.
There was a lot going on in the district, and it all felt safe. We spied puppies in the window at a pet store, lots of holiday decorations, Santa and Mrs. Claus waving to passing cars, live musicians filling the air with music.
Last stop of the night was Unsung Salvage Design Co., which sells T-shirts, funny knick-knacks, and many other creative gifts.
We finished the night with a visit to one of our favorite stops in Hamilton: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park. When we were first introduced to it back in 2017, we were completely stunned to find this beautiful property with 60+ sculptures nestled in the rolling hills PLUS a museum in the center with ancient artwork.
From now through January 3, 2021, they’re running a drive-through light show called Journey Borealis, set to music performed by the Cincinnati Boys Choir and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra.
Hit ‘play’ here to catch a snippet.
The next morning we packed up and strolled around downtown to see some more of the public artwork, including a whole series of murals along Market Street.
Then it was off to a delightful first breakfast and coffee at The Almond Sisters Bakery. We were impressed with their lattes, almond twists, croissants, cookies – all of it. I’d consider it a must-visit. (Stay tuned for more about them.)
We strolled a bit through Marcum Park nearby to admire more of the sculptures.
Never ones to shy away from just one breakfast, we picked up breakfast sandwiches at True West Coffee. Their High Street location is currently closed, but their Main Street location sports a very narrow but helpful drive-through. If you’re waiting in line, you can spot the signature Hamilton mural.
But what about third breakfast? We couldn’t leave town without checking out the latest addition to the Donut Trail, The Donut Dude. Owners Laurie and Glen Huey shared a dozen of their creations, all creative and crave-able. The perfect end to another lovely trip!
Disclaimer: this trip was hosted by the Butler County Visitors Bureau. Photos and opinions are our own.
We love getting to explore the many cities and towns of Ohio, and we’re never ones to do just one activity at a time, so when the folks from The Syndicate in Bellefontaine invited us out for brunch one Saturday, we turned it into a day trip.
We started the morning with eggs benedicts, boozy coffees, shrimp and grits on the front patio. Read all about brunch at The Syndicate here.
We lucked out with a wonderfully sunny early November day, which proved perfect for exploring downtown Bellefontaine. The city’s center has grown and changed dramatically in recent years, with significant investment in historic buildings and new businesses by groups like Downtown Bellefontaine.
You can see these new steps in large and small ways. One of the small ways, that still has a dramatic impact, is the use of signage on the corners to direct you to local businesses.
I love quirky bits of trivia and odd historic or geographic sites, and in Bellefontaine you get three. The first is right next to the courthouse: the oldest paved street in the United States. Court Avenue was paved in 1893 by George Bartholomew, a pioneer in concrete. There’s a statue of him and a series of plaques to commemorate it. You can still see the original paved sections embedded with a square pattern to keep horse’s hooves from slipping on wet or icy pavement.
We always make coffee part of the itinerary, and already had Native Coffee Co. on our radar from brunch. We strolled down to the shop, ordered a cortado, and enjoyed a lovely chat with the barista.
Then we piled in the van and headed just south of downtown to the Bellefontaine Trailhead of the Simon Kenton Trail. A couple months back we rode portions of the trail around Springfield. The trail extends 32 miles north from Springfield to Urbana and all the way to Bellefontaine.
The trailhead is a funny little spot, a small parking lot in the middle of a neighborhood with a porta-potty in one corner. This portion of the trail (Bellefontaine -> Urbana) is paved in crushed limestone. We found it to be stable and compacted enough to still comfortably ride on, but realize that it’s better suited to bikes with wider tires.
The trail runs alongside unused railroad tracks, offering some very pretty views as you go. We rode a few miles south, then back toward Bellefontaine, spotting snakes and birds and farmland.
Back into town we refueled at City Sweets & Creamery, a long, narrow shopfront serving ice cream, donuts, and plenty of other sweets.
To finish with a slightly larger snack, we reserved a spot on the back patio of Brewfontaine, which is next door to The Syndicate and owned by the same folks. It’s a full service restaurant with an interesting beer list. We ordered up snacks like pretzels, a hummus plate, house-made pickles, and a flight of beers (for the adults).
On the way out of town we visited the last two bits of trivia in Bellefontaine. The first, just west of the courthouse square, is McKinley Street, the shortest street in the U.S. at 20 feet long.
And, just a couple miles northeast of downtown Bellefontaine sits Campbell Hill, the highest point in Ohio at 1550 feet above sea level. The actual high point is nestled on the grounds of a career center, next to some off-limits radar equipment and other buildings. There’s a very tiny park with a placard, a guest book you can sign, and a little certificate you can fill out to prove you stood there!
We’re all saying it, but I’ll say it again: now more than ever it’s important to shop local! I’ve assembled the four parts of my gift guide here – just click each image for loads of ideas.
For ideas like gift boxes, spices, sauces, jams, ice cream, dips, tours
For ideas like hikes, overnight stays in cabins, picnics, holiday lights tours, greenery
For ideas like spirits, coffee, mixers, beer, wine, pop
For ideas like local artists and stores, museum gift shops, take-home kits, books, even a little personal art and pampering
Part two our of 2020 gift guide is here! This is certainly a year like no other, and so we’re sharing ideas for local gifts and experiences. Small businesses all need our support more than ever, and our four-part gift guide follows our travel mantra of Food, Park, Drink, & Art. Read part one, all about food!
So now we present part two: PARK!
An Overnight Stays in a Treehouse, Yurt, or Cabin
Give someone the gift of a quiet overnight in the woods! Curl up, read books, watch movies, make dinner together. There are so many options within an easy drive from Columbus. Read about our stays in a treehouse at The Mohicans or in a yurt at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. Or check out spots like Dwellbox in Dundee, Cherry Ridge Retreat in New Plymouth, or The Cliffs at Hocking Hills.
Art Walk + Dinner
Plan a walk to see some public art and pair it with lunch or dinner. Search the free public art database on ColumbusMakesArt.com, and find a nearby restaurant. Think of combos like:
Go to the Movies at the South Drive-In
The drive-in is a fun, safe, and socially distanced way to take someone to the movies! They’re still showing a fun range of movies these days. Check out their schedule here: drive-inmovies.com
A Visit to Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
We always love a trip to Pyramid Hill in Hamilton. The park is dotted with 60+ sculptures across more than 600 acres of rolling hills and woods. They’re doing seasonal exhibitions and light shows, too, all good for social distancing. pyramidhill.org
Franklin Park Conservatory
The warm and lush conservatory offers seasonal displays and light shows, beautiful greenery, an outdoor train display, glass sculptures, and more. Give a year-long gift of a membership! fpconservatory.org
Park + Picnic
Similar to the art walk paired with dinner, grab lunch and take a stroll in a park. Some ideas:
- Brown Bag Deli, Boxwood Biscuits, Kolache Republic, Emmett’s + Schiller Park
- Lox Bagel Shop, Tasi Cafe, Brassica, Barley’s, North Market + Goodale Park
- Arepazo, Smoked on High, Rockmill Tavern, Harvest + Scioto Audubon Park
- Starliner Diner, Center Street Market + Roger Reynolds Park or Homestead Metro Park in Hilliard
- Or build an itinerary like our visit to The Wilds + burgers and ice cream in Zanesville
Pack a Picnic From a Local Market
Lots of park ideas! Create a custom picnic pack by visiting a locally owned market like the Hills Market (Downtown or Worthington), Weiland’s Market, or North Market. Each spot carries loads of local products: cheeses, breads, dips, wines, beers.
Local Coffee Cup + A Stroll
Several local coffee shops sell travel mugs. Order up a mug, fill it with coffee (or add a gift card!), and arrange a lovely stroll at a local park. Local spots like Florin Coffee and Stauf’s are selling great mugs.
Columbus City Adventures Holiday Lights Tours
I love love love Christmas lights, and Columbus City Adventures has revamped its Holiday Lights Tour as a safe, socially distanced walking tour Friday and Saturday nights. Private tours are available, too! columbuscityadventures.com/tours/holiday-lights
Bring the Park Inside: Oakland Green Interiors or Stump
Liven up someone’s home with fresh greenery! This can be especially nice for anyone quarantined, working from home, schooling at home, or just needs a little joy brought to their living space, etc. Visit the experts at a local shop like Oakland Green Interiors or Stump.
Get Active at Play: CBUS
Book a time to in this indoor play park, with 52,000 square feet of ropes courses, climbing walls, and more. playadventureparks.com/location/columbus
2020 is certainly a year like no other, and as we approach the holidays, one of the best things we can do is support local businesses. We need to buy gifts, and they need the support! So we’re putting together a four-part gift guide following our travel mantra of Food, Park, Drink, & Art.
Let’s start off with an old favorite: FOOD!
Columbus Food Adventures Gift Boxes
Columbus Food Adventures makes it easy to support local while mailing gifts around the country. They’re featuring four boxes: Thanksgiving, Brunch (co-curated by yours truly!), Gourmet, and Columbus Classics. Each one is loaded with local goodies. columbusfoodadventures.com/gift-boxes
Worthington Gift Boxes
Same for the Worthington Gift Boxes! They’re in limited supply, but they feature all local products and are themed for spa pampering, guys, foodies, or diehard Worthington fans. Worthington boxes on FlipCause.com
North Country Charcuterie boards
Mrs. Breakfast With Nick’s love language is cheese and charcuterie boards, so North Country Charcuterie’s kits are a regular sight around our house. NCC’s goods are made from all Ohio ingredients, so when you support them, you’re supporting 20 different businesses. North Country Charcuterie on Shopify
Restaurant Gift Cards
Restaurant gift cards are the old stand-by. They’re a great way to treat someone to a meal (help them discover a new favorite!) and support hard-hit local eateries. My particular recommendation: support black-owned restaurants this year, like a decadent Southern feast at Hen Quarter, donuts from Donna’s Delicious Dozen, nostalgic treats from Bake Me Happy, coffee from Upper Cup, Ethiopian fare from Nile Vegan.
Spices from North Market Spices
Many more of us are cooking from home these days. Help a budding home cook by loading them up with North Market Spices’ goods. Let their experts guide you in selecting spices and mixes that are perfect for gift baskets or stocking stuffers. northmarketspices.com
Pasta + Sauce from Carfagna’s
The long-running, family-owned Carfagna’s just announced a big move to a combined market and restaurant off Polaris. While they haven’t moved yet, you can shop local with their sauces, pastas, wine selection, and gift baskets. carfagnasmarket.com
Pickles & Preserves
Perfect to supplement home cooking or as an easy stocking stuffer, locally made pickles and preserves are a fun little treat. We’re always fans of The Crazy Cucumber, or the marmalades from Prospect Jam Co. and the jam and biscotti from Sweet Thing Gourmet. (P.S. You can find a lot of these items by shopping your local farmers market!)
Create Your Food Tour
We’ve already plugged gift cards, but try assembling a collection of them to take someone on a food tour. For instance, go to North Market for drinks at Barrel & Bottle, lunch/dinner at any of the vendors (pho? burgers? lobster rolls? momos?), and then take dessert or coffee to-go. Or create a mini tour of a neighborhood like Grandview, Westerville, Short North, Italian Village, Worthington. Pair drinks with a meal, local gifts, a sweet treat. Need ideas? Contact me!
Chocolates from Coco Cat, Pure Imagination
When it comes to sweets, I love chocolate. So I’m always on board with creative treats from spots like Coco Cat Bakery & Chocolates and Pure Imagination Chocolatier are easy wins. cococatbakery.com / Pure Imagination on Facebook
Jeni’s Ice Cream
Jeni’s has been on a roll this year with some pretty incredible new flavors like pumpkin cake roll and campfire chocolate. Plus, her ice creams have been heartily endorsed by the President-Elect, so you’re really doing your civic duty by ordering them. jenis.com
Shagbark + Darista Dips
Chips and dip are the classic combination, so why not source them locally? Shagbark Mill’s organic, GMO-free chips can be found all over the city in restaurants and grocery stores, and Darista Dips’ hummus (Moroccan carrot? roasted red pepper?) are not to be beat. daristadips.com / shagbarkmill.com
Even though we’ve long been Columbus Zoo members, we still had never been to The Wilds in Cumberland, so near the end of summer we just picked a date and bought tickets. When it comes to traveling, even small day trips, we can never do just one thing, so after ordering tickets I immediately set out planning a small itinerary around the tour.
With an 11 a.m. tour booked, we left Columbus around 8 and made a very important stop at Donald’s Donuts. You can read more about the long-running and much-loved Zanesville donut shop here.
Post-donut frenzy, we wanted a little coffee. I had looked up info on a couple shops in Zanesville, and found one called BrewBaker Cafe just down Maple Avenue from Donald’s. We almost drove by it because the signage is so small, and because it’s located in a large, historic home. The shop itself is a tiny cafe at the back of the building. We ordered a dirty chai and an almond croissant.
And then it was off to The Wilds!
The Wilds is located in Cumberland, still a good 30 minutes southeast-ish of Zanesville, through rolling hills and small towns. I had in my mind the pomp and circumstance of the Columbus Zoo’s signage and parking and entryways, so I was a little taken aback to find a small sign and simple gravel lot awaiting us at the entrance.
We booked the Open-Air Safari tour, which is The Wilds’ standard tour, running multiple times daily. It’s $30/person, or $15/person if you’re Columbus Zoo members. You have to reserve tickets ahead of time, so do that online, and pre-pay your $6 in parking, too. After you park, an open air bus will take you from the lot to the main building.
The Wilds is built on nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed mining land. An AEP subsidiary strip mined it for coal from the 1940s through the 1980s, and in the late 70s a non-profit partnership was formed to create a preservation area on the land as mining wound down. (Fun fact: the mining there was performed by the absolutely massive Big Muskie dragline excavator. Big Muskie was dismantled in 1999, but you can visit his bucket at a park outside McConnellsville, Ohio, about 20 minutes south of The Wilds.)
The land was contoured, topsoil added, and erosion control plants placed, then eventually animals were introduced. There are now close to 300 animals – many of which are endangered – roaming the land.
The Open-Air Safari takes you on a bouncy, two-hour bus ride over the hills of The Wilds. Our wise-cracking guide Rosie was incredibly knowledgeable.
Throughout the tour I kept humming the theme from Jurassic Park, partly as a joke, but also because you felt fully immersed in these animals’ habitats. I can’t even tell you everything we saw, but it was a number of species from around the world.
We kept passing a couple of the Wildside Tours as well. These are smaller tours in a truck that roll you right up – and even let you feed – more of the animals. We first spotted them as they said hello to a snoozing rhino and her kiddo.
The tour includes a couple stops as well, so you have the opportunity to get out, stretch your legs, use the restroom. The first stop put us at the aviary, where Will and I fed the noisy birds. There’s also a small walking trail amongst wildflowers leading to a small lake, where you can feed the giant catfish.
And then we kept rolling, with Rosie telling stories as we saw more and more animals running wild.
Our second stop brought us before cheetahs roaming their large enclosure. There’s an elevated wooden walkway (see the upper right of the above photo) that puts you in the center of their habitat.
Normally there’s a small restaurant that operates here, too, although it’s currently closed due to COVID safety precautions.
Remember how I kept humming the Jurassic Park theme? Well, at the cheetah enclosure we spotted a lab where they’re messing with amphibian DNA!
And there are funny signs throughout the park, too, including ones reminding you not to get eaten by the animals, because it could make them sick.
The Wildside Tour feeding ostriches. Hilarious to see them bolting across the fields toward the truck.
And my favorite part: seeing giraffes striding across the fields. We saw them toward the end of tour.
And that was it! The tour dropped us back off at the visitor’s center, which enjoys spectacular views of the park, and has a small cafeteria, indoor and outdoor seating, restrooms, a gift shop.
Once we were done, we hopped the bus back to the front parking lot and were off! Fun tour, for sure, and we hope to do the Wildside Tour sometime in the future.
Our tour finished in the early afternoon and we were plenty hungry, so I planned a stop at another Zanesville institution: Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl.
I love places like Tom’s. They’re important landmarks for a community. Generations of families have visited it or worked there. Getting to see them is a peek into a city’s history.
Tom’s first opened in 1948 and has been in its McIntire Avenue location since 1950, and has all the benchmarks of a mid-century eatery: formica floors, tiled walls, rows of stools along the counters, display cases of candies and fresh-roasted nuts.
Ice cream takes center stage at Tom’s, but they serve a full (and inexpensive) menu of burgers, sandwiches, fries, hot dogs, you name it.
We dug into burgers, fries, onion rings, and tots.
I was feeling daring, so I ordered the Barnyard Burger: a burger with fried egg and slice of fried bologna.
And you can’t skip the ice cream at Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl, right?!
We ordered a root beer float, ice cream cake roll, a sundae, and an absolutely towering banana split.
Will, our resident sweet tooth, was in heaven. He attacked that banana split with gusto, but after a big lunch – and even with our twist-my-arm assistance – he wasn’t quite able to tackle it all.
All in all, Tom’s makes some quality ice cream. One bite and there’s no doubt why they’ve been in business for 72 years.
And before we left, we picked up a couple bags of roasted peanuts and cashews. For the road.
A big bowl of ice cream wrapped up the day’s adventures… almost. I’m all for finding weird landmarks, and had to see Zanesville’s Y-Bridge for myself.
The Y-Bridge is a long-time landmark of the city, where Main Street (which is part of the Route 40 national road) splits over the confluence of the Muskingum and Licking rivers. It’s one of the only structures of its kind in the world, and Amelia Earhart apparently called Zanesville “the most recognizable city in the country” because of the bridge’s helpfulness in wayfinding.
You can get a good view of the bridge and the city from Putnam Hill Park. There’s a small dedicated overlook to viewing the curious bridge.