Sunday, August 17, 2008

eating adventures in chillicothe

chillicothe. ohio's 1st and 3rd capital. home of the chillicothe paints, sumburger, and three (yes, count them, three) large correctional institutions. not exactly a culinary mecca.

not sure what to expect and having been promised 3 free meals per day from the va, i arrived in chilli with limited provisions. which i stored on top of the radiator.

i soon realized i would not eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily in the dining hall with all the patients. even if it is free, i could not deal with hospital food. and since one cannot survive on luna bars alone, i made my way to kroger's, but also out to see what the chillicothe restaurant scene could offer.
the first stop was the old canal smokehouse. i have to start by saying, i do not like barbeque. i (yes, this is blasphemy) do not like montgomery inn. sloppy joes, also out. so this is kind of a funny first choice, but it is a really cute looking place and i have been trying to expand my horizons. plus, the pharmacy resident who was taking me out to dinner for my birthday suggested it.
for an appetizer, we ordered the onion rings. coated with coconut. and they were huge. the combination of coconut and onion was oddly satisfying, although there were way too many even for two people.

for dinner i ordered the pulled pork and brisket combo. i had never had brisket, so i wanted to give it a go. the plate was heaped with food, and there was cornbread and veggies (over cooked and nasty) on the side. while i steered clear of the barbeque sauce offerings on the table, i thought the both meats had a good, light smoke flavor. the meat was pretty dry, but that's fine with me because i don't like greasy meat. for my first brisket experience, i liked it well enough to order again sometime. and i was totally stuffed. not even room for dessert.

while i was taking this photo, the people at the next table said, "excuse me" and i could feel my face starting to turn red, worried that my fear would be realized and i would be interrogated about my food photography. fortunately though, they just wanted to know what i was drinking because they thought it looked so refreshing. it was a blue moon, and i guess any beer with an orange floating in it looks refreshing to people eating barbeque and clearly drinking too much wine.

next up - the taste of chillicothe. we saw the advertisement for it and just had to check it out. i'm envisioning something similar to the taste of cincinnati; lots of booths, beer, rides, bands, people. yeah. there were exactly six restaurants represented at the taste of chillicothe. one was mcdonald's. not very promising. the offerings were as follows:

mcdonald's: sweet tea

red lobster: shrimp (actually the best shrimp i've ever had from red lobster) and some kind of soup i threw away.

old canal smokehouse: pulled pork or brisket sandwich.

rooster's: wings. the hottest sauce offered was called donkey. i don't eat wings. i gave mine to matt, the pharmacy resident.

dakota's roadhouse: wings. matt ate mine.

mona lisa cafe: the mediterranean restaurant in town. hummus or baba gannouj. there weren't many takers of the latter, so that's what i had. it was spicy and really not very good.

there was a good cover band at the taste, and there was a crowd of about 200. a friend of mine from chilli said she had never heard of it, so maybe it's the first year and they are just getting started. kudos to them. one bonus over cincinnati's - cover charge was $5 and you could get a taste from each place, rather than paying separately at each one. although given how little i ate, i guess really that didn't end up being a plus.


Curt McAdams said...

It's a pity you don't like bbq... But if you want some good examples of bbq, which would not include Montgomery Inn, come to the Jim Dandy BBQ competition in September (12-13) and look up Bucky McOinkum's Barbecue when you're there. I'll make sure you get to try some real bbq that I think you'll like. (come on the 13th after 1:30, and you can try all kinds of good stuff!)

k said...

i will definitely be there. thanks!

~Jessie C~ said...

My husband and I are also wannabe foodies stuck in Chillicothe. We spend our afternoons drooling over reruns of No Reservations on the Travel channel... I've been looking for a real butcher in town since we moved here 5 years ago. The BEST meal we've found in town is actually the potato soup and Cozy-burger at the Cozy Inn on Western Ave. Nothing too fancy, we can get in and out for 15 bucks which is 2 soups, 2 burgers and a beer for each. If you find anything interesting in this town, be sure to let us know! :)