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Restaurant Review: Ritzy’s

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Ritzy’sAll photos by Lauren Sega.
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The return of Ritzy’s has introduced the most epically anticipated restaurant opening in recent memory. The hype surrounding Melt’s debut is the only thing that even comes close. Of course, the two establishment couldn’t be more different. Melt is a massive mega-chain with a commitment to insanely large sandwiches worshiped by a committed fan club. Ritzy’s is a Columbus-based burger bar that was popular back in the 80s.

Another difference between the two, with respect to grand openings: Ritzy’s lines are kinda long, but they’re not the two-hour experience people queued up for at Melt. Things at Ritzy’s are more streamlined.

As someone who never went to the old Ritzy’s, it’s not hard to compare the new digs with the original eatery — it’s downright impossible. So, as a pure newbie, it comes off like a Chipotle burger place. Choose a base (single/double/triple), move down the line and choose some burger condiments, get some fries, go eat. It’s not difficult, and the line moves pretty fast.

So, burgers are the obvious starting points. Just go ahead and make it a Double ($6.49) right away, as modern sensibilities lean toward more meat in the middle. The burger itself is good, with meat texture and an almost crispy grilled finish. Pay the up-charge (50 cents) for cheese, too. Burgers are better with cheese, generally speaking. The buns are super-soft, and the nice people across the counter will slather mayo, ketchup, chunks of lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions — the normal stuff –on it. Ultimately, Ritzy’s delivers a burger that’s a couple steps above drive-thru fast food. It’s not really a gourmet burger, but you don’t hate yourself after eating one either.

Or, there are Hot Dogs ($3.49). There’s nothing terribly special about them, even in an up-charged version with bacon ($1) and cheese (50 cents). The bacon used is weird on a hot dog, because it’s a big crunchy piece. It doesn’t really sit in the bun. It just teeters loosely, barely hanging on in the combo.

And finally, the Fries ($1.99). They are, as promised, both skinny and crunchy. And, because the only thing better than fries is loaded fries, they get even better with chili and cheese (50 cents each). You can add that house chili to your burger or hot dog, too. Or, order a straight bowl ($3.99). It’s okay, and will be more appreciated when the weather gets cooler.

Ritzy’s is also home to an ice cream counter that can stand on its own merits. There has been some consumer hullabaloo about shake prices ($5.99). Shakes are somewhat labor intensive, so the price seems potentially justifiable.

All the same, the scoops feel like better value (around $3.49). Available in lots of interesting flavors, both the S’mores and the Strawberry got the call. The scoop size is generous and the S’more flavor is built on super-chocolatey ice cream with chocolate covered marshmallows and grahams in the mix.

Meanwhile, the strawberry is pale, and laden with big chunks of sweet strawberries. Totally worth repeat trips, if not for the dang lines.

You can find it at 4615 N. High St.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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