August 8, 2011 § 1 Comment
Since last week so unproductive in regards to this blog / my bucket list, today I’m proud to report just the opposite. Two more things crossed off the list!
Not sure how I feel about this… my time in Cbus will be over before I know it.
So anyway, Bodega is a bar that has a killer beer list. I think there are always 50+ beers on tap, and they change weekly, depending on the season. Top that off with a killer happy hour and $1 grilled cheese on Monday nights, you have a hipster heaven. Tiffany and I aren’t exactly hipsters, but I think we did a good job dressing the part.
Tiff said it best – it felt like we were wearing Halloween costumes! Between my fedora and her knit vest and hippie headband, we really outdid ourselves.
We walked down to the Short North and finally ended up reaching Bodega to be met with a huge crowd. After a few minutes of waiting, we both ordered beers. I got the Weasel Boy Mango Wheat, it was yummy but I don’t think I’d order it again. Tiffany got a grapefruit infused beer (if you know her, you aren’t surprised) and it was so fruity and fresh, a perfect beer for such a hot day.
Since Bodega was so packed, we decided to skip out on the grilled cheese for dinner and ended up going to Surly Girl Saloon a few doors down. Surly Girl is a Liz Lessner restaurant with a kickin’ cowgirl theme. I loved it! It has the same kitschy feel that sister restaurant Betty’s has; there are countless frames, mirrors, and western themed decorations on every wall.
My favorite was this chandelier though! It was absolutely amazing in person.. I really love chandeliers for some reason, and this one was beautiful.
So, we did eat a delicious dinner, but it was so dark in there that the pictures didn’t really turn out.
Will you survive if you don’t see a picture of my wrap and Tiffany’s sandwich?
I sure hope so!
July 31, 2011 § 2 Comments
Yesterday, I ran 5 miles for the first time ever!
To celebrate, Tiffany and I got dressed up and headed to the Short North for a drink. We planned on going to Surly Girl, but instead we decided to hit up Mouton. I’m so glad we did, because it’s on my bucket list, and time is seriously dwindling!
Mouton is a fabulous little bar with a relaxed and classy vibe. They specialize in old fashioned cocktails, but they do have beer and wine offerings as well. It’s not your typical bar, it’s more of a quiet place to have a drink and some conversation. No loud music or sweaty gyrating frat boys here.
In other words, I loved it!
We both got champagne cocktails, and they were perfect!
The champagne was accompanied by angostura bitters and a sugar cube. I love that the drinks were served in these old school champagne coupes.
After that first cocktail, Tiffy and I had champagne on the brain. Since we were in the Short North, I knew just where we should go for our next drink… Hubbard’s!
Last time I went, I ordered a glass of champagne, but to my surprise it came in a can with a sippy straw. It’s from the Sofia Coppola vineyards, and it’s actually really great! Definitely something you should try if you like champagne.
After we ordered our champagne, the bartender told us the bar was going to close in 20 minutes – at 12:30! Since it was still so early, we decided to venture even further into the Short North to Bar 23. Bar 23 was fun, but it’s basically the post-college version of Gateway bars.. think McFadden’s, Tuna, etc. just with 24-30 year olds, not 18-23 year olds.
We only got one picture last night.. but there is a funny story that goes along with it. Tiff and I were sitting outside on the patio, and this freaky girl was sitting on the inside, dancing like a weirdo, sticking her tongue out at us, etc. She came up to the window when we were getting our picture taken, and I tried to put my hand up to block her face, but at the last second she scooted down.. so there she is!
It was such a fun night out! I’m really going to miss the Short North when I move back to Florida. There’s just so much to do there and it’s such a fun neighborhood!
July 28, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The cravings for fried food, rickety rides, and people watching were building up for so long that we had to hit the Ohio State Fair on opening day!
I’d never been to a state fair before, so I was really excited. After grabbing a map, Bethany and I hopped onto the gondolas that run from one end of the fair to the other. Since we wanted to hit up everything, we figured it would be smart to ride to the far end and work our way back towards the exit.
Since it was only the first day, there weren’t too many other crazies to contend with. No worries, we still got some good people watching in though!
Once we got off the gondola, Bethany spotted a fried smores stand. Of course, they were amazing. The melty marshmallows were the best part!
While the smores were getting good and fried, a ride blew up!
Okay, it didn’t explode or anything, but there was a super loud popping sound. The two carnies working the fried smores stand were even freaked out, so we knew it had to be bad.
Turns out, one of the tires popped. Yep, scared me off of riding any rides that day!
Rides were a no, but we couldn’t resist the giant slide! I was more scared than the little kids, I won’t lie, I did let out a little yelp on the way down!
Of course, we had to pay the giant cow made out of BUTTER a visit.
We got a lesson on weaving. It was actually really neat, the system that this particular woman uses is pretty much fool proof. I can’t imagine living a life like hers though.. it was almost like she was a pioneer! I told Bethany that between the weaving and the show animals, I felt like I was in a foreign country.
Lots of walking around, watching a hypnotist show, seeing all the baby animals, and paying a visit to the giant marketplace and smokey the bear, we were beat.
We couldn’t leave the fair without me fully completely crossing off my bucket list. I had to order something that “really shouldn’t be fried.” As it was the Ohio State Fair, I knew that it had be a buckeye!
Warm peanut butter, rich chocolate, sweet, fried batter, doused in powdered sugar… ummm yeah. Good thing these are only available once a year!
The fair is still going on for two more weeks. If you’re in Columbus and have never made it out there, I really suggest it! It was a lot of fun, and I mean.. they have fried kool-aid!
July 24, 2011 § 2 Comments
July 23, 2011 § Leave a Comment
It’s clear to anyone that has spent a summer in Columbus that we love our festivals here. Everything from the Columbus Arts Fest, to the local favorite Comfest, and many food based festivals, we have got summer plans covered.
This weekend was the Jazz and Ribs fest.
I had heard about the Jazz and Ribs fest via twitter earlier in the week, but what really sealed the deal on me going was my manicurist. In between the filing and painting, the girl got my mouth absolutely watering telling me about all the delicious food she had the night before. I’m not a huge bbq fan, but I knew this was something I didn’t want to miss.
There was a huge main stage overlooking a small park, and tons of people had campsite like setups on the lawn. The music was great background noise to have when walking around the festival.
There were tons of different bbq vendors set up. Since it was packed, we just chose a random booth that had a short line.
Willingham’s was a Mempis based bbq joint, and it was great!!
I got a brisket sandwich that was smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce. I’m not one to lick my fingers, but this sandwich gave me no other choice. The sauce was just too good!
July 21, 2011 § Leave a Comment
One of the best parts about Restaurant Week (besides the great food) is getting together with a group of girls for a special midweek dinner. I mean, how often do you find yourself enjoying a 3 course dinner of super fresh fish on a random Wednesday evening?
If your answer to this is “often” email me. I’d love to be friends.
Columbus Fish Market is a Cameron Mitchell restaurant with outposts in many other cities had been on my bucket list for a while. I put it on before I realized that we have a Mitchell’s Fish Market in Tampa, so technically it isn’t something that I can only experience in Columbus.. but oh well!
The first course was a choice of salads, I went with the house salad that included fresh greens, pine nuts, dates and tomatoes dressed in poppyseed vinaigrette.
For the second course, I chose the macadamia crusted tilapia with mango salsa. It was so flaky and fresh!
Almost everyone else at the table went with the crab and lobster stuffed cod. I tried a bite and it was also great!
For dessert, I went with the strawberry shortcake. It was cool and refreshing, a perfect ending to such a great meal!
Most importantly, I had a great time with my girlfriends catching up on all sorts of things! It was such a treat to go out like this in the middle of the week.
July 18, 2011 § 1 Comment
So it’s Restaurant Week again here in Columbus!
My friend Bethany won a free dinner for two to The River Club at Confluence Park from 614 Magazine and invited me to be her guest. I was really excited because I’d never been to Confluence before, and heard good things about the amazing view of the city. Plus, it was a free dinner with a good friend – what could be better?
The restaurant is kind of tucked away off of Spring St, but it was pretty easy to find and luckily Bethany was driving so we didn’t get lost!
Once we arrived we were greeted by overcast, yet beautiful views of the city.
B had made reservations for the patio, but there was a last minute private event, so our reservation was moved inside. It ended up being for the best because in the middle of our dinner, the skies opened up and it absolutely poured.
As soon as we were seated, we were given a basket of warm bread with butter and pesto on the side. Any restaurant that brings out warm bread is a winner in my book. The pesto was very flavorful and had whole pine nuts in it, it may have been one of my favorite parts of the meal.
For my first course I chose the mixed green salad which included candied pecans, cranberries, and apples dressed in a light raspberry vinaigrette.
My second course was a center cut strip steak with a side of mashed potatoes and summer squash. The steak had a nice carmelized crust on it, and was covered in a delicious demi glace that I kind of wanted to swim in. I usually don’t care for mashed potatoes, the mushy texture reminds me of babyfood, but these were great.
Finally, I ordered the chocolate Jeanette for dessert. It was a brownie topped with chocolate mousse, raspberry sauce, and whipped cream. Of course, no dessert is complete without coffee, so I enjoyed that on the side as well.
Thanks to 614 magazine, my grand total for this meal was a whopping $3.15!
Of course, since 614 was so generous to give Bethany and I a free dinner, we were generous with our server Taylor who did a great job taking care of us tonight.
Dining at The River Club was such a great experience. The food was yummy, the views were outstanding, and the company couldn’t be beat!
July 17, 2011 § Leave a Comment
So the other day I was on twitter, and I saw a tweet from Richard Blais, winner of Top Chef All-Stars, saying that he was going to be here, in Columbus this weekend. Excited, I made plans with Bethany to go to the event put on by Giant Eagle. We were looking forward to it all week, and today was the big day.
Unfortunately once we arrived at the store, we learned that we got there a little bit too late. Turns out, even though the event was slated for noon, you had to be there by 11:45 am or else your tickets were forfeited. Since the tickets were free, I couldn’t really be upset about it. Plus, since Richard was doing a demo in the middle of the store, we still got a chance to peek in from the sidelines.
He was just like he was on tv! Maybe even better.. he was interacting with the audience the whole time, welcomed questions, and his passion was truly inspiring. Nothing makes me happier than getting to see a person in their element, doing what they love.
This weekend was fabulous. I got in a few good workouts (Pure Barre + Bodypump), saw HP7 with Rob, did a decent amount of studying, spent some time poolside, had sushi with the girls at Haiku, went to the Nordstrom sale, had brunch with the girls at Tasi, got a pedicure and of course, celebrated national ice cream day!
This week is going to be very busy! My biochemistry class is almost over since it is just a first term course, so my final is coming up on Friday. I’ll be busying myself with the finer points of metabolism for the new few days, and it will feel so good once this class is over!!
July 11, 2011 § 2 Comments
Rob keeps his bike locked up to the railing on the outdoor stairwell to his apartment. A few weeks ago, his front tire was stolen off of his bike. That’s pretty common, especially on the type of bike he has. You just have to pinch a part to remove the front tire, no screws involved.
What isn’t so common?
The culprit feeling so guilty that they came back a few days later and put a tire back on. But a different, smaller tire.
I know what you’re thinking, wtf Columbus?
It’s also worth noting that this isn’t the first shady incident with Rob’s bike. Last winter, a bum attempted to steal his bike that was chained to the fence with a U-lock. Since he couldn’t get through the U-lock, he just ripped the fence apart. Just imagine, a bum riding down High St on Rob’s bike, a piece of fence attached! Too funny.
July 9, 2011 § 4 Comments
So I can cross something else off my bucket list today!
But I kind of feel like I’m cheating.
Because I didn’t actually eat anything on the taco truck tour that I went on today.
But wait, let’s back up. Let me start from the beginning.
This morning, Tiffany and I set out for an adventure that I alluded to last week. We signed up for a 20 mile bike ride through Columbus put on by our local Yelp team. The bike ride was going to stop at a few of the best taco trucks in the city. Since I’d been thinking about taking one of the taco truck tours that drives around the city, this biking option seemed like a much better way to experience the taco truck scene.
So, we hopped on our beach cruisers and headed down to Goodale Park to meet the rest of the group. Once we got there, I had a realization that we were going to be in over our heads. Everyone else there was a legit biker, wearing spandex outfits, helmets, and using clipless pedals.
We got signed in, paid the registration fee, and were given reusable shopping bags filled with some goodies. Before we departed, one of the leaders made some announcements about rules of the ride. He was riding on the “keg bike” – it was filled with water so that we could refill our water bottles during the ride.
Tiffany & I were so excited about the ride! While waiting for it to start, we were talking about how much we love Columbus and how we are really going to miss events like these when we move after graduation. Little did we know we’d be eating our words later!
The group was pretty big, about 60-75 people, I think. We rode on the street, taking up a full lane.
Since Tif & I were on beach cruisers, it was hard to keep up with the super light road bikes. Plus, we don’t really take our beach cruisers on the actual road, we stick to side walks and the bike trail. We had no idea that this ride was going to take us down a super busy 5 lane street… in the somewhat sketchy side of Columbus.
To be honest, I felt really unsafe. I know that it’s my choice not to wear a helmet, and that I really should, but either way, riding next to semi trucks in the back of the pack was not fun. I really wish that Yelp had made it clear that the route would be taking us down a very busy street for 10 miles.
After a long, scary ride, we finally made it to the trucks.
Now, I’m going to be totally honest here, so get ready.
After riding 10+ miles in 90 degree heat, the smell of grilled meats at the trucks was just not appealing. I’m sure that the food was probably really authentic and very tasty, but I knew that there was no way I would be able to stomach it. After we ruled out the first truck (that was serving tongue!) we headed to the second to see if there was a more appealing option for the hot weather.
The “ambiance” didn’t really do much to help our appetites..
I really hate to say this, but I did not feel safe being in this area. If I had known that I would ride 10+ miles into a sketchy part of town to be greeted with tongue tacos, I wouldn’t have gone. That’s not really the fault of the organizers though, I should have looked into exactly what this bike tour entailed before signing up. I just wish it had been more clear about location, riding on the road with no bike lane, etc.
So anyway, here’s where it gets really good.
Tiffany called her mom when we were at the second truck to come rescue us.
Yes, two soon to be college grads called mama for help.
Thankfully, Tiffany’s mom was in town today for a wine tasting with her boyfriend and they were willing to come get us. We just didn’t feel safe riding back on the street, and that’s the truth.
Once they arrived, we started loading the bikes into the back of their SUV.
This guy who I’m assuming was one of the organizers, came up to us when we were loading the bikes, and was actually pretty rude. This is how the conversation went down.
him: Oh, so you guys are giving up, huh?
me: Well, to be honest, it wasn’t what we were expecting.
him: It’s downhill the whole way back.
me: Well, I don’t feel safe riding 10 miles down Broad St next to semi’s.
him: Riding on the street is perfectly safe!
Maybe he was just joking around with us, trying to cajole us into riding back with the group, but it just left a bad taste in my mouth. I mean, we were loading up our bikes, obviously we weren’t going to ride back. Whatever.
Every time I step outside of my comfort zone, I realize something about myself. Namely, that I have a comfort zone for a reason!