She couldn’t walk to Whataburger, so she built her own with chickens
Sometimes, you just want something you can’t get. It’s human nature.
I’m like that a lot with food. I’m Georgia-born and moved to the Columbus area from northwest Louisiana about three months ago. I love Columbus and its food scene.
From the scrambled dog at Dinglewood and Minnie’s fried chicken to County’s barbecue pork platter, I’m a happy camper. And there’s still so many places I need to try.
Still, is it wrong to miss things I can’t get here? I don’t think so. It’s no knock against Columbus. Sometimes, the stomach wants what the stomach wants.
Here are five restaurant chains I wish we had in Columbus. Sorry if I snub your favorite.
This is probably the one that hurts the most: Whataburger.
Few things are better in this world than a Sweet & Spicy Bacon burger or the famed patty melt on a late night. They’ll ask you if you want “spicy” or “fancy” ketchup with your fries. Get both. And that honey butter chicken biscuit is — sublime.
The Texas-based fast-food chain has locations across the Southeast but none within 100 miles of Columbus. The chain’s only branch in Georgia is in Thomasville, about two-and-a-half hours away. The closest Whataburger is about two hours away in Clanton, Alabama.
There are a few locations in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa too if you’re heading that way.
I recommend you stop.
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers
I prefer Zaxby’s. The Wings & Things is perfect. I can get wings and chicken fingers, and honestly, that is a wonderful thing.
Still, there’s something beautifully simplistic about Louisiana-based Cane’s, and I miss it. Here are your options: a three chicken finger combo, a four finger combo, a six finger combo or those chicken fingers on a bun as a sandwich. There’s a kiddie meal, too.
But that’s about it. The toast is buttery and garlicky. You’ll want extra. The chicken tender is crispy. Some people love Cane’s sauce so much that they might want to bathe in it. I won’t go that far, but it’s deserving of a passionate following.
There are locations in Athens, Georgia, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but that’s a close as it gets.
That’s a shame.
Joe’s Crab Shack
I like buttery crab legs and crab buckets and crab steampots and, well, you get it.
Joe’s Crab Shack is a natural choice. The beach-themed, Texas-based chain has locations throughout the nation but not here in Columbus. The closest is about two hours away in Morrow, Georgia.
So, looks like I might have to make a drive to put on my bib and act on my Joe’s craving.
When I was growing up in Augusta, my family would go to Logan’s Roadhouse every now and then. We’d eat from the buckets of shelled peanuts — and we’d throw the shells on the floor.
I always thought that was kind of cool. It was a restaurant, and I’d been conditioned to think you weren’t supposed to do that.
There’s a little overlap between Logan’s Roadhouse and some places already here like LongHorn Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse, but so what. I know the Logan’s in Columbus closed suddenly, but it’d be great if it would come back. I just want to eat some free peanuts, throw the shells on the floor and eat a ribeye steak.
There’s a running joke, both in the newsroom and in Columbus, that the city really, really wants a Cheesecake Factory. It’s repeated with varying degrees of seriousness depending on who says it.
So, I thought I’d play along. Why not?
The chain’s menu boasts more than 250 options made from scratch daily. There’s plenty of options, though I’ll probably just end up getting the “Bacon-Bacon Cheeseburger” that features both crispy bacon and thick-cut slow roast bacon.
The closest locations are in the Atlanta.