The Grumpy Gourmet has never worked under cover of an unlisted telephone number. For the entire world to see, his home city's fat directory reveals it to be 614-538-1822. Also, his phone number was a footnote to all his columns appearing in The Columbus Dispatch and trade publications carrying his columns.

His telephone is two feet from his typewriter. When he is away from that ancient machine, messages and questions are accepted on tape. Over the years the inquiries have been many, interesting, impossible to answer, even threatening.

The following is a collection of the Grump's most remembered questions. Most went unanswered. For those worthy of answers, see the replies.

Why don't restaurants serve Ovaltine?
Possibly because the customer would fall asleep with his face in the plate.

Doogle Pendergast, 1995, on one of my WOSU radio guest appearances.
Can you suggest a restaurant that serves bland food?
Not since the last one closed and was replaced by Bill Knapp's.

Do any Columbus restaurants have restrooms with bidets?
I am not permitted to inspect that side of the facility.

Where is the best pizza?
I will give the answer shortly after the year 2010 when I visit all 556 pizza joints in the city.

Tom Reed, PHD, former neighbor.
Did you know that an Armenian invented the Graham cracker?
I am trying to verify that assumption.

Where is the non-smoking section in Tony's?
Owner Tony Scartz says, "It is wherever you are sitting."

Why do they put expiration dates on sour cream packets?
Call NASA for a detailed answer.

If dates are pitted, why would you want to eat them?
Please repeat the question.

Is there any food value in Pepsi or Coke?
Next question, please.

What's wrong with iceberg lettuce?
Everything. Iceberg lettuce doesn't even make good mulch. Iceberg has the same food value as ceiling tile

Which restaurants make coffee with unbleached filters?
I've called Al Gore's office for an answer.

Where can you get good Swedish meatballs?
Try Stockholm.

Why don't more restaurants serve tripe?
Because it is against the laws of humankind and nature… and if I find such a place, I'm calling the health department.

Did you know that monkey meat is legal in Columbus?
Only if it is USDA inspected.

My mother is 85 and we want to take her out to a five-star restaurant for her birthday can you suggest one that doesn't serve liquor?
Maybe Westerville. Or Salt Lake City.

Is there a legal limit as to how long those convenience stores can keep those hot dogs rolling in those heater ovens?
If the place closes down on Christmas. Even then all leftovers must be removed and sent to a South Carolina toxic waste dump. Otherwise.

Whatever happened to the Wasserman testing for food handlers?
That is a politically incorrect question.

What is the Wasserman test?
See page 1507, Webster's New World Dictionary.

Are wart hogs good to eat?
Maybe in Arkansas.

Marge Breckenridge, my copy editor, The Dispatch
Why do Chinese restaurants serve something called the pu-pu platter?
Research is pending.

What is that smell in miso soup?
See answer to above question.

Where do they serve good finnan haddie?
My computer screen just went blank.

What restaurants serve tripe?
There you go again. Is this some sort of quiz?

Do you know that kippers go well with scrambled eggs?

Why would you pay more for fat-free food when something has been taken out?
This is a capitalist plot designed to torment the masses.

What is kit and caboodle and what does it taste like?
A partial answer may be found on page 745, Webster's New World Dictionary. As for taste, that depends.

Sue Carter Lindsey, Nags Head, NC.
Why do some restaurants leave the fish head on when it is served?
So the single diners will not be lonesome.

What does Jack Hanna eat at wild game dinners?
The official answer is that Hanna is a vegetarian.

Could you pass this (item) to Marshall Hood, fashion editor.
Just as soon as I complete my correspondence course for the priesthood, win an Olympic medal for figure skating, or have a hemorrhoid transplant, which ever comes first.

Luke Feck, former Columbus Dispatch editor.
Will you work for food?

I stand in front of The Dispatch every noon with a sign pleading WILL WORK FOR LUNCH.

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