Twenty years ago in Columbus Monthly…
You know it's the 1994 edition of "The Bests & Worsts of Columbus" when you're greeted by a picture of Bill Clinton having lunch at Katzinger's (Best Presidential Visit). Other still-familiar faces that made appearances: Lindey's (Best Alfresco), Skully's (Best Change in the Campus Bar Scene), Spagio (Best Place to Be Seen) and Bravo! (Best Upscale Meet Market).
The editors had this to say about a new bistro called Cameron's, declared the Best Restaurant Opening: "Good food, good presentation, good strokes from Cameron. Only problem: It's too small." To see how Cameron Mitchell outgrew that initial problem (and then some) check out the profile in the July 2014 issue of Columbus Monthly.
Perhaps anticipating the thriving craft beer scene that would also bubble up 20 years later, the cover story included "The great microbrewery beer tasting." Columbus Monthly's taste-testers visited the city's three brewpubs-Barley's, Hoster and Gibby's-and declared Hoster's Amber the best local beer, followed closely by Barley's Scottish ale.
Trend alert! Roller hockey was so hot (fueled by interest in the minor-league ice hockey Columbus Chill) that parks, playgrounds and tennis courts were turned into ad-hoc asphalt rinks. The Sportsite rec center on Henderson Road even ripped up the turf from an indoor soccer field to create a roller hockey rink on the rubber subfloor. Sportsite's roller hockey league grew from 300 participants in 1992 to more than 650 in 1994.
In a rather earnest, full-length review of Chili's (yes, that Chili's), Columbus Monthly's restaurant critic noted that "three pluses" make it worth a visit to the Tex-Mex chain's first Columbus outpost: "First, there are several menu items not readily available elsewhere, including a fine version of veggie tacos in whole-wheat shells … and the appetizer of melted cheese mixed with chili. Second, the place makes liberal use of flavorings such as hot peppers, cumin, onions, etc. Third, Chili's offers several healthful, low-fat items …"
Someone finally brought cumin to Columbus and was daring enough to mix cheese with chili?! We'll raise a glass to that!
Or, as the ad on the back page asked, "Why ask why? Try Bud Dry." Did we mention it was 1994?