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Nostalgia Brewing – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series

Back on the town, what an odd thing.

Emerging from the dingy darkness of our hole after almost a year of staying inside, we grabbed dinner with some fully vaccinated friends at Nostalgia Brewing in Gahanna this week. With a large patio area (both covered and uncovered), there’s plenty of room to spread out and start soaking in the summer sun and really just being outside. While we weren’t here to partake in anything spicy, something caught our eye that made Nostalgia noteworthy in our Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series (more on that later).

Nostalgia boasts a 20-tap draft menu with over half being made by Nostalgia themselves, with flights for those that aren’t great at making decisions. A benefit for Nostalgia and any other restaurant with dranks in the Gahanna area, there’s a DORA zone called CORA because it’s creekside, meaning you can wander around the area, drink in hand to check out the sights, fountains, and creek….things.

The food menu ranges from standards like pretzel bites, buffalo chicken dip, and tuna melts, to unique mashups like their mac ‘n cheese skillets and what we’re considering a fancier KFC Famous Bowl with their M.A.S.H. dishes with potatoes, cheese, meats, and other toppings. I would still like to go back and try one of these at some point since I was talked out of it and into some Mac ‘N Cheese instead (still plenty happy with that choice). If you want to get real crazy, Nostalgia even has two hot dog variants, the Frito-Frank and the Chili Cheese Hot Dog.


The Lady of the Farm went for the Tuna Melt and it’s honestly one of the biggest Tuna Melt’s I’ve seen in Columbus. It’s hard to tell from the above, but if you lay your hand flat on the bread, the bread is still going to extend around the outside of your hand. Side-wise she also got the potato salad (creamy with a bit of mustard) and chips which automatically come with each sandwich.

nostalgia mac and cheese

I want to be clear about something before I go further. I enjoyed my food, beverages, and the service was solid, but this was the least spicy item on our list. To the point where even The Lady of the Farm said “oh, that’s not spicy at all!” And I already hear some of you saying “not everything needs to be spicy,” and I hear you, I truly do, but when a dish gets teed up like below, I at least expect it to be in the middle-range of other dishes or even in the lower fifth, not dead last.

nostalgia mac and cheese

The Braised BBQ Beef Mac and Cheese Skillet at Nostalgia Brewing has a small note next to it on the menu that reads “try it spicy!” Intrigued, I asked what that meant. The waitress was kind enough to let me know it was the addition of a spicy sauce, potentially habanero-based that used to come in a little skull and bones bottle. The curious capsaicin-chaser I am, of course I agreed to go the spicy road less traveled, expecting some sort of light habanero kick or ghost pepper BBQ sauce.

A few bites in (and after dumping the remainder of the beer cheese from my pretzels on top) I’d found nothing. Less heat than an Ohio April. The waitress returned and kindly asked how I was liking the heat. Mentioning there was none (nicely of course, I’m not a monster), she kindly offered to grab a side cup of the sauce. Trying the side cup straight, still no heat. I poured the entire cup on, and finished up the skillet, scratching my head wondering if I’d been in quarantine too long to remember what an “out in public” level of spiciness was like.

If not for The Lady of the Farm agreeing with the heat not being there I would have thought I was crazy. As it was, we’re placing the Spicy Braised BBQ Beef Mac and Cheese Skillet at #108, at the bottom of our list. Even lower than the Borgata Spicy Sausage Stuffed Peppers. We’ve still not found a spicy mac ‘n cheese in the city, so if you find one, let us know!

You can find Nostalgia in Gahanna at 81 Mill St STE 150, Gahanna, OH 43230.

Look below for more on our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!

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