We're getting out of the office - and touring Ohio - with our #FHroadtrip travel series. Tag along as we explore what there is to see, do and eat across the great state of Ohio!In this special edition of #FHroadtrip, Bryan focuses exclusively on one aspect of Marion, Ohio: food!Where to EatAs a Marion native, I was pleased to see a new initiative - The Eaterarian Trail - shared on the Marion CVB website. Of the nine restaurants featured on the Trail, I can speak directly to my experience with four of them as my favorite places to eat when traveling through my hometown.An eaterarian is a person who is not a connoisseur, gourmet or foodie - it's just someone who enjoys eating great food at out of the way places in a casual environment. I think there's a little "eaterarian" in all of us, right? (Plus, it happens to rhyme with Marion!)Here are my own reviews for a few of the stops on the Marion Eaterarian Trail.
G&R Tavern, Waldo
Where's Waldo? It's just inside southern Marion County off U.S. 23, an easy half-hour jaunt from the north side of Columbus. It's known for its world famous bologna sandwich, complete with cheese, onion and pickle. But there are other things I like about the G&R that aren't as well known. It has the best piece of pie you can get anywhere - your fork has to slice through seven or eight inches of meringue and filling before it hits crust on their cream pies, and the fruit pies are always chock full of more fruit than filling. They're all beautifully displayed in the pie carousel when you walk in, a not-so-subtle reminder to leave room for them. The other thing that is unique about the G&R is its unassuming, inexpensive menu: grilled cheese for $2.00, a hamburger for $2.75, or fried mushrooms (my favorite) for $2.00. If you've never been there, you're truly missing something special.
Stewart's Root Beer
This place is closing in on 100 years in business, and I remember it fondly from my childhood where I'd find myself in the family car after Little League baseball games. Now, just as then, you'll have delicious root beer and other menu items delivered to your car by a carhop. Some things should never change. This is definitely one of them.
Every town has a favorite diner where the parking lot always seems fullest at breakfast. That's been my experience with Marion Diner, located on Marion's south side off State Route 423 (Marion-Waldo Road). The breakfast menu there is "yuge," with 15 different omelets and a variety of pancakes with strawberry, blueberry and pecan options. The Diner has a great lunch and dinner menu as well (featuring things like fried frog legs, beef brisket salad, baby back ribs and "Not Just Baked Beans"), but I have to admit I'm partial to starting the day with breakfast there.
Located just west of Marion's historic downtown, this gem is located near the former location of Marion Power Shovel, a company that helped put Marion on the map with construction equipment used to build the Panama Canal and specialized machinery that brought Apollo rockets to the launch pad. It's hard to decide what to "shovel" into your mouth - they have great char-burgers, including a 100% prime rib burger, along with walleye dinners and sandwiches, homemade soups and tons of traditional bar food items.
Put Marion's "Eaterarian Tour" on your itinerary - whether it's these four places or the other five stops on the tour, you'll find yourself enjoying comfort food, great people and a less hectic pace in one of Ohio's great communities.We can't wait to see where our #FHroadtrip adventure will take us next. We'd love to hear about your favorite Ohio getaways in the comments below or on Facebook - we're open to ideas for our next stop!