Lately there has been much talk about the Weinland Park food desert. A food desert is a place where people cannot access healthy foods. In addition, it can also be defined as an area where people don’t want healthy food items due to educational constraints concerning nutrition. Consequently there is concern that in the local carryouts there is a dearth of healthy fruits and vegetables. Last year the Veggie Van from Local Matters, a pusher of healthier foods, tried to sell more fruits and vegetables in the neighborhood but quit after repeated requests for only apples, bananas, and iceberg lettuce. I did patronize them a few times and they had excellent apples as well as things like okra and greens so some of the problem must be the educational aspect. Unfortunately I was usually the only customer there too.  It may be as much a cultural factor too between the healthy food advocates and the people in the neighborhood.  I’ve exchanged nori roll ideas in line at Kroger’s as well as bacon fat fried pork chops, with the same group of people.  It’s not that people are unresponsive to new food ideas. Sometimes the whole food desert concept seems unduly elitist and I wonder when a social service agency will get a grant to start a shuttle to Whole Foods.  I’m hoping we can ease into it and have Woody and Jo’s  bbq and deep-fried quinoa at the next civic association meeting.

Weinland Park has a Kroger grocery store, roughly ten restaurants, and a number of corner stores. Let’s explore the food desert together.

Buckeye Pizza, or pizza from the gas station as it is popularly known. Thin, chewy and cheap. This is sometimes called New York style in some quarters. They do not deliver in the neighborhood.  Adriatico’s Pizza is one of the few that will deliver in Weinland Park, a fact that will always endear them to my heart. Bucheye Pizza, not bad though and usually very friendly.

Tweeter’s Chicken Crib

Newly opened and located across the street from Buckeye Pizza. It’s in the same space as the very missed Xalisco restaurant. Tweeter’s replaced Bohemio’s Mexican restaurant which takes the prize as the worst restaurant I have ever patronized. The food was utterly inedible.  The fact that it lasted two years can only attest to the fact it must have been a front for a cartel.

There is a Tweeter’s in Dublin, that means it has to be good? It seems to be predominately wings and other chicken by-products. Tweeter’s advertises delivery until 4:00 A.M., an experience that has to be a future blog post.

Woody and Jo’s Ribs

Located at 5th Avenue and North Fourth Avenue Woody and Jo’s is the gold standard for WP dining. Sure, the South Campus Gateway is in Weinland Park but nothing there compares to the real thing found here.

Already lovingly described by CMH Gourmand it turns the food desert concept on it’s head. Maybe. It is true that the refrigerated greens look like green Crisco the next day. Not vegetarian friendly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the carrot cake contained some type of meat product.

http://cmhgourmand.com/2007/11/11/the-woody-and-jos-experience/

If you’ve not been you should run, not walk.

Next in the food desert series, South Campus Gateway and the West Weinland Park dining experience.

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