These first chilly weeks in Columbus have me thinking one thing: comfort food. One of the best places to hit up for such fare is Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails .

In addition to the favorites your mom might have cooked - a very tasty pot roast, a simple grilled cheese and a killer meat loaf, there is a nice selection of updated standbys. My favorites are the fries, especially the eggplant and sweet potato varieties. Both come with imaginative dipping sauces and if you share a basket with your table, there won't be any left - of the fries or the sauce (try the Bloody Mary sauce with the eggplant fries). If you decide to indulge in that basket of fries, there is also a nice selection of salads to feel virtuous about - I usually opt for the goat cheese salad.

Food is only part of the story at the Tip Top. The other part is the funky decor of Columbus pride items and the drink menu . In addition to a nice selection of beers on tap (including some CBC options and a couple of seasonal offerings), there is the not-to-be-passed-over whiskey cocktail menu. Those who have studied up on Columbus history will recognize some of the cocktail names, such as the Bottoms' Up or the LeVeque Tower. Staying true to our family's roots, my brother always chooses the Flytown Pick-Me Up, which combines ginger ale, whiskey and maple syrup.

If you save room for dessert, don't forget to ask for the daily pie selection to pair with Brioso coffee. Cafe Brioso , just half a block up Gay Street from the Tip Top, roasts their own coffee beans so the product is always fresh.

From inventive cocktails and tasty fries to that last bite of pie or sip of coffee, the Tip Top doesn’t disappoint if you’re looking for a unique comfort food destination. Take some time to linger over the photos on the wall and try to forget the chill in the air that drove you here in the first place.