10TV's Tracy Townsend
My family and I have called Central Ohio home now for five years. We moved here from the north side of Chicago, a city we adored.
Leaving behind our "big city" life was not easy. My husband, Murv, our son, Ian, and I had built quite a list of "favorites" including the Cubs, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Garrett's popcorn, and Gino's pizza. The prospect of moving to the middle of Ohio - even for a great career opportunity - went over like the proverbial lead balloon.
I had a bit of a head start on getting settled here, having been born and raised outside Cincinnati and having graduated from Ohio State University. Convincing "my guys" to embrace our new home took some work, but as you'll see from our list we've come up some favorites we're sure you'll enjoy too:
• The "Best Baked Goods Not from My Kitchen" are from Schneider's Bakery in Uptown Westerville. Our introduction to Schneider's came during the closing meeting for our house. As we signed, we also learned nothing helps soothes you after signing mortgage papers like a good melt-in-your-mouth, chocolate-chip cookie.
We've also discovered the bakery does doughnuts the old-school way, too. Murv is partial to the glazed twists, Ian favors the chocolate iced and I think their cake doughnuts, especially blueberry and pumpkin, are worth the indulgence.
• My family is passionate about pie - Italian pie. Our favorite pizza comes from Antonio's Pizzeria, which is also in Westerville, on Sunbury Road. It is a great neighborhood spot with wonderful food and a Friday night staple in our home. We like it because there's no pretense but plenty of flavor. You'll see lots of families - of all sizes - there enjoying the atmosphere, the food (especially the Buffalo chicken pizza), and each other.
• One other family favorite is ice cream. Ian and I had a hard time narrowing it down to one. In a nod to my hometown of Cincinnati, I do enjoy Graeter's Ice Cream, which started there. Ian has a thing for the Blue Moo flavor they sell at United Dairy Farmers, and just try tearing me away from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams' Salty Caramel.
• While I do value family time, I know one reason our family "works" is because of couple time. Even after 20 years together, my husband and I still look forward to date night. Our "Best Worth the Price of a Sitter Restaurant" is Mitchell's Ocean Club. Even in the hustle and bustle of Easton Town Center, an evening there has the feel of a grown-up getaway.
These are just a few of our family's go-to spots here in Central Ohio. We do enjoy other activities besides eating - which you might wonder about after what you've read so far. In fact, I am most happy about the fact that we do get out to enjoy many of the area's offerings from the Circleville Pumpkin Show to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
While the family misses afternoons at Wrigley Field, it is clear we have discovered many reasons to consider Columbus our adopted hometown.
Tracy Townsend is a news reporter and anchor with 10TV News HD.