The Historic Inns of Ohio #3


The Red Brick Tavern


America is and has always been a nation on the move.

In the eighteen hundreds as the young United States of America began moving and settling west the need for roads, inns, and restaurants was a necessity.

The east to west National Road was one of the first major roads paid for by the federal government. It was authorized by that incredible man, raconteur, inventor, writer and the third President of the United States of America, Thomas Jefferson, in 1806.

Construction of the new road began in 1811 at Cumberland, Maryland and eventually ended at Vandalia, Illinois.

In his book, Dining in Historic Ohio, Marty Godbey wrote:

The National Road not only facilitated western expansion, but improved communication and unified the country. Mail coaches sped back and forth, manufactured goods reached the west more quickly and at lower cost, and cattle and other western produce moved rapidly eastward on its crowded surface.


Much of the National Road still exists. Today it goes by the name, U.S. Highway 40, which still follows most of the original historic route.


Today U.S. Highway 40 is on the National Scenic Byways list.

A National Scenic Byway is a road recognized by the United States Department of Transportation for one of the six “intrinsic qualities”: archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and/or scenic.

The program was established by Congress in 1991 to preserve and protect the nation’s scenic but often less-traveled roads and promote tourism and economic development. The National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP) is administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). [Source: Wikipedia]


Like night follows day as sections of the National Road were completed inns and restaurants sprung up like weeds. In its heyday there were inns and restaurants about every ten miles along the route. Ten miles was about the distance a horse and buggy could travel in one day.

The Red Brick Inn in Lafayette, Ohio, Madison County is on U.S. Route 40. It is twenty-seven (27) miles from where I live in Columbus, Ohio. It only took me just a little over 30 minutes to drive there. We’ve come a long way baby!

I met up with my niece, Leslie; her daughter, Sammy; and her gentleman friend, John for dinner and lively conversation a few weeks ago.



Our meals were fantastic!  And although we were stuffed we all had dessert too!

My niece, Leslie had salmon, asparagus, and red skin potatoes. Leslie’s friend, John, had pork chops, asparagus, and red skin potatoes. My great niece, Sammy had a Caesar Salad with a side of french fries. And your truly had a petite prime rib with asparagus and red skin potatioes.

For dessert Leslie and Sammy  had Turtle Cheesecake. John had Pecan Pie. And I had Banana Cream Pie.

We left stuffed!

The only thing better than the food was the company and the conversation!

The Red Brick Inn was built in 1837 by Stanley Watson, who came west from Connecticut. It is a stylish two story brick tavern with an attic in the Federal style.

It was known as the Red Brick Inn then because there were hotel rooms available then. The name was changed  from an Inn to a Tavern in the 19th century since there are no more hotel rooms. The inn rooms are now dining areas for dinner meetings or large crowds.

In its heyday there were twenty-four (24) over-night rooms that rolled out the red-carpet for Presidents John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Warren G. Harding. Other visitors of note include Henry Clay and P.T. Barnum.

It is still well known for its good food and lively bar.


They have a web site and are on Facebook too.


Featured Recipe    Red Brick Tavern Pan Fried Chicken



Under the watchful eyes of the Food Police and the Government, fried chicken is frowned upon these days. That is sad. Fried chicken is very budget friendly and is delicious as a cold left over for family picnics or picnics for two.

While the Red Brick Tavern offers a variety of delicious food from chicken to steaks and everything in-between, they are well known for their pan fried chicken.

The current Red Brick Tavern does not have fried chicken on their menu any more. They have adapted to current mores and grill their chicken.

Nevertheless, I would be remiss if I did not make Fried Chicken as today’s Featured Recipe. As regular readers here know I think the Food Police and the government are wrong about their recommendations about what foods we should or should not eat.

Pan frying was my mother’s way of making fried chicken. I remember sitting at the kitchen table watching her pan fry. Sometimes I helped her out by dipping the chicken pieces in the flour, eggs, and cracker coating. I loved the sizzling noise the chicken made when it hit the hot oil. The aroma as the chicken fried always made my mouth water.

This recipe is similar to my mom’s with the biggest difference she used buttermilk, not plain milk as this recipe does, and she used cracker crumbs instead of only flower to coat the chicken.

I loved my mom’s fried chicken so much. I was not sure if I would like the coating to be just milk and flour. However, I was very pleasantly surprised at how delicious this chicken is. Very tasty!!!! It had loads of flavor. That may have been because I used Lawry’s garlic powder which does have some parsley in it.

The chicken was also very moist.

For today’s recipe I used one whole chicken cut up into pieces. The recipe can by doubled and tripled.

This is what you will need for 4 servings:


1 whole chicken cut up into serving pieces

1 egg

2 cups milk

Pinch of garlic salt

1 to 1½ cups flour

1 tablespoon garlic salt

¼ cup peanut oil for frying

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Place the chicken pieces in one layer in a large, flat roasting pan.


Beat the egg, milk, and pinch of garlic salt until well blended.



Pour the milk over the chicken.


Soak the chicken pieces in this mixture about five (5) minutes. Turning once or twice to make sure the chicken is well coated.


While the chicken is in the milk place all of the dry ingredients in a flat pan.


Mix the dry ingredients together.


Now dredge the chicken in the dry ingredients making sure to coat all parts of the chicken very well.


Pour the oil into a skillet over medium high heat; heat until very hot.


Pan fry the chicken in the peanut oil, turning frequently for 45 minutes or until the chicken is crisp on all sides.


NOTE #1: I found the 45 minutes a bit long. My stove has a turbo setting that cooks things very fast.

After about 10 minutes.


I used a thermometer to make sure the chicken was fried to an internal temp of 160 F.


NOTE #2: I do not have a skillet or pan large enough to hold all the chicken pieces. So I fried in batches. When batch one was done I placed those pieces in a pan and placed in the oven on Hold-Warm setting.



When Batch 1 was done I added a bit more oil to the pan and proceeded frying the remaining pieces of chicken.


All done.


Serve with corn-on-the-cob and tomato slices. Nothing says summer like fresh tomatoes and corn on the cob. Don;t you agree?


Bon appétit!!!

1 whole chicken                     $7.91

1 egg                                    $0.12

2 cups milk                            $0.56

Pinch of garlic salt                  $0.01

1½ cups flour                         $0.75

1 tablespoon garlic salt           $0.06

¼ cup peanut oil                    $0.24

Salt and pepper to taste

Total Cost = $9.65
Cost per person = $2.41

Quote of the Day

The best comfort food will always be greens, cornbread, and fried chicken.

Maya Angelou


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6 comments to The Historic Inns of Ohio #3

  • cindy

    Very enjoyable! Never knew about Rte. 40.. 10 miles a day.. We have “come a long way baby!” Always a treat to eat in a place imbued w/ history. Thanks for sharing!

    • Roberta

      You never knew about Route 40? WOW! It is a great road to take west when you have lots of time too stop and eat and or visit some historical places, some antique shops or see Indian Villages. Always nice to find another lover of history, Cindy. 🙂

  • I have got to take that scenic drive! One of these days. My mother made pan-fried chicken like this. It’s going on my to-do list. Thanks, Roberta.

    • Roberta

      When you do take this scenic drive, Julia, please stop by and we can go to lunch. Interesting your mother sued this recipe. I had never known it till now. Has become a fave. 🙂

  • That chicken looks outstanding! It seems like forever since I’ve set foot in the US. I get more and more homesick by the day. 🙂