Yesterday Dr. Science and I were supposed to have lunch at a restaurant on the south side of town. When noon rolled around, however, the rain was absolutely pouring down, so we needed a central destination to minimize the downpour effect. Let’s see — he’s just south of the Statehouse, and I’m just north of the Statehouse. Hey, how about the Statehouse? You can’t get more central than that!
Fortunately, there is in fact a place to eat at Ohio’s seat of government. It’s located in the “basement” of the Statehouse, reachable through the Third Street entrance. You walk past the map room and the shouts of schoolkids on a field trip, turn right at the main hallway, and then look for the place where the staffers are heading, tucked away in a few rooms on one side of the hallway.
The restaurant is a breakfast and lunch spot called GRAZE. As the name suggests, GRAZE is all about farms and pastures — specifically, the “farm to table” concept in which Ohio eggs, dairy products, and proteins are featured. The menu includes breakfast items, sandwiches, soups, salads, wraps, and bowls, and the goal is for customers to obtain “a protein packed and nutritious lunch for less than $10.” You start in the room with the kitchen area, place your order at the counter, watch the food preparers go to work, move down to the cashier’s station, and settle up on your order, and by the time you get your tray and water cup your freshly made food has appeared. You then head into one of the adjoining rooms to find a table and eat your lunch.
I went for the lamb gyro bowl — without the romaine, tomato, and cucumber, of course — and it was really quite good, with moist, shredded lamb, tasty pickled onions, brown rice, lots of feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce. It definitely hit the spot, and at $9.50, it also met the “under $10” test. I gladly consumed it all.
As I sat relishing my meal, I thought idly about the name “GRAZE,” its clear bovine connotations, and its suitability for a restaurant name — but then I realized that horses also graze, and I obviously needed fuel for the afternoon’s race. I concluded that GRAZE was a pretty good place to tie on the old feedbag.