Thursday, December 17, 2009

Drinks and Snacks in C-Bus Ohio!

In my mind, Columbus has had a fairly strong reputation for great nightclubs, bars and places to chow down for a good 15+ years. The challenge has been places can come and go  quickly. My hubby and I joke that a big nightclub or flashy new restaurant usually has about a two year run before the fickle people in Columbus move on to something else - and this often ends up being less of a joke and more of a truism. Some places last longer, only to still meet a sad ending: Gottliebs would be one I am still lamenting. And you can see this in whole AREAS dying off: City Center, Northland Mall, Eastland Mall, Brice Rd @ I-70. Like I said - Columbus folks are fickle.

That all being said, on our recent trip to the Cowtown (not so much anymore, huh?) we found some kickass places. Overall, the center of town is the place to be. Starting in Clintonville, Surly Girl Saloon majorly won my heart. Chicken pot pie, red velvet cupcakes, strong drinks, friendly staff and parking! We went in for lunch and were there early - thank goodness - otherwise we'd have been waiting for a table.

Moving on down High Street into the "cap" area by Goodale Park, we went to Eleven, part of the Hyde Park restaurant chain, on the recommendation of a friend. Happy Hour at Eleven is truly, truly a happy thing. The Elderflower Martini is amazing (and cheap at $3 for HH) and the sliders were terrific (and also a happy $4). Loved the decor and ambiance. We tried to get back for another happy hour and just didn't get the opportunity. Sad.

Heading south into the Arena District, you'll find Ted's Montana Grill. Before you get all snarky on me about supporting chain restaurants, I did not expect to like this place. I went in with a perfectly cynical, sarcastic attitude and was pleasantly surprised. The bison short ribs were awesome and the bison pot roast was stunning. Drinks were big and were mixed. The straws (which I did NOT use on my martini, though some people might think I would) were paper and all eco-wannabe-friendly. I'm open-minded: a chain restaurant can be good and Ted's was indeed good!

We also headed over to the Grandview and Upper Arlington areas, and found two new (to us) places and visited an old favorite. Aladdin's Eatery in Grandview was a big surprise! Again, I sorta had low expectations when I saw it was in a sorta strip mall, but everything was good with the exception of the pita bread - it was trending toward the stale side of things. The desserts are huge and delicious! Third and Hollywood gets kudos for having plenty of parking, a big area inside and being open late on a Monday. For the love of all that is good in life, do not order the Prosecco unless you like being tortured. Do order the pimento cheese dip. Yum. Finally, a trip to Columbus isn't complete without a visit to El Vaquero for us. I swear this place probably gets horrible health ratings - the interior has been the same for like 20 years or something and it is always so packed and so busy you gotta wonder if corners are being cut. But - the salsa is still good, the margaritas are still cheap and the whole bill comes in at something affordable.

We went up to Delaware for some vintage shopping (see other post) and dropped into the Mean Bean Caffeine Lounge. Meh. The coffees were OK and they had some pastries there, but just not a good vibe and I was seriously not trusting the couch to be bug-free. The Old Bag of Nails Pub further up the street was exactly what you would expect from a pub - good ales and micro-brews and lots of yummy, fattening, fried food.  

And now our dirty little secret: fast food. Donatos, BW3's (can anyone tell me what the third "w" stands for? I know - do you?) and Skyline Chili. You can bet we visit all three while in Ohio since NONE of these exist in California. BW3 and Skyline continue to live up to memory, but Donatos - not so much.

No comments:

Post a Comment