This is definitely an historic site. It has been a functioning ice cream parlor since 1900 and it definitely has that old time air about it. From the carved fretwork to the hardwood cabinetry and the marble soda syrup dispenser.
The space is airy with high ceilings and filled with natural light. From the shiny hardwood floors to the pressed tin ceiling you can’t help but feel the history of the place.
Well as charming as the space is we were there to have lunch. Fran; Pat’s wife went with us and she is a Sloppy Joe junkie like me. On their menu is a Gom sandwich, which is their version of a Sloppy Joe. You can get it with or without cheese, they come grilled on white bread. That is what we ordered.
It was really a very nice sandwich. If you like Sloppy Joes then I think you would like this. It is tighter than most Joes and the flavor is mild compared to some but it definitely has that tangy sweetness common to “loose meat” sandwiches. Since this is above all an ice cream parlor that makes its own ice cream some form of frozen confection was required. Fran decided on a Root Beer Soda.
Boy when that glass hit that hard wood floor it went every where. As quickly as they got on the clean up you can tell they had been there before. They even replaced his Malt. For Free. Very nice gesture.
Since I had water with my lunch I was ready for some Ice Cream. I ordered a 2 scoop Sundae with hot fudge. My O My it was delicious.
I ordered a Mint Chocolate Chip and a Raspberry Chocolate Chip. The Mint was very good but the Raspberry was incredible. A true raspberry taste in an ice cream. If anything would make me drive for an hour that might be it. They put the hot fudge sauce in the bottom of the dish and built the sundae on top. They also supplied a small boat with more for the top.
As formidable as the task was I was still able to clean the bowl.
I sincerely hope people have an opportunity to visit. They have a small museum of antique soda fountains in the dining room adjacent to the one we ate in. I took several pictures but they were really of poor quality. The rooms may have had a lot of sunlight but it was too diffused for my camera to get some good shots. I am including a link to their website. Listen to their sample of mechanical music. That played in the dining area. Continuously. This “modern” ear thought less would be better. Thankfully as more people came in the normal conversation took the edge off.
So we had a splendid time in Columbus. We had plans on dropping by Zwanzigz for a beer but we were all too full to even consider it. Imagine that. Too full for a beer.
This place is as American as you can get. The diner was built in New Jersey in 1954 and then shipped to Indiana where it opened along US 40; The National Highway. It served food until 2009 when structural issues forced its closure in 2009.The Historical Society intervened to prevent its destruction. New owners were found and it was moved down the road and re-opened last year. A link to their website is below. There you can find a short video of the move as well as its menu.
According to the reviews on Urbanspoon folks haven’t given a lot of love to this little diner. Of the 3 reviews from this year 2 didn’t like the joint. So I was really interested in eating there.
They do a lot of scratch cooking from biscuits to pies and pastries to gravies. They also make their own sodas. So in that they certainly are following in the diner tradition. And like any self-respecting diner they serve breakfast all day.
We started lunch with an appetizer of fried mozzarella with house made marinara for $6.50.
As you can see they do it themselves. The cheese is cut into triangles and then lightly battered and deep-fried. They were really pretty good. The sauce they serve with it is has a bit of cream added to it, a nice little surprise.
Pat went with biscuits and gravy for $3.50 and I decided on a turkey Manhattan for $10. We also had a side of coleslaw each.
I had a bite of Pat’s food and it was right on and they didn’t skip on the sausage, which is nice.
As for my Manhattan; It was huge.
They also offer a beef Manhattan but the turkey was cooked in-house which is why I decided on turkey. They shred and not slice their meat, which I find interesting. Regardless the meat was both tender and abundant. They toast the bread which imparts a taste like dressing or stuffing to the dish after it sits under the gravy for a while. An effect I like. As for the gravy they sure do use a lot. So much I really couldn’t tell too much about the potatoes. Also they used a bit of chicken or turkey base which made it very salty. That is something I think they can work on.
So Pat and I were both pretty happy with our food. I think they have some room to improve but don’t most joints? The fact that they make their own fried mozz. app. makes me think this joint is capable of following the tradition of the American diner.