Bodega + Surly Girl Saloon

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.

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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.

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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.

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My favorite was this chandelier though!  It was absolutely amazing in person.. I really love chandeliers for some reason, and this one was beautiful.

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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! 😉

Short North Night Out

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!

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The champagne was accompanied by angostura bitters and a sugar cube. I love that the drinks were served in these old school champagne coupes.

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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.

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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!

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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!

The Ohio State Fair

July 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

On Wednesday, Bethany and I decided to cross a major item off of my bucket list.

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.

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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!

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Once we got off the gondola, Bethany spotted a fried smores stand. Of course, they were amazing. The melty marshmallows were the best part!

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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!

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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!

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Of course, we had to pay the giant cow made out of BUTTER a visit.

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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.

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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!

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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!

Columbus Fish Market

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.

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For the second course, I chose the macadamia crusted tilapia with mango salsa. It was so flaky and fresh!

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Almost everyone else at the table went with the crab and lobster stuffed cod. I tried a bite and it was also great!

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For dessert, I went with the strawberry shortcake. It was cool and refreshing, a perfect ending to such a great meal!

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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.

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Biking Taco Truck Tour

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.

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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.

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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!

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The group was pretty big, about 60-75 people, I think. We rode on the street, taking up a full lane.

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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.

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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.

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The “ambiance” didn’t really do much to help our appetites..

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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.

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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!

German Village Coffee Shop

June 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

With my time left in Columbus dwindling, it’s time to get serious about the Bucket List.

Last night, Rob and I decided that we would tackle something on the list today, which brings us to breakfast at German Village Coffee Shop.

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It’s in German Village (obviously) located right next to Bakery Gingham and Thurman’s for any Columbus readers.

It’s a very small, old school diner, serving up typical greasy spoon food. When we walked in to give our name, there was a huge crowd with every seat filled and the smell of bacon was permeating the air. We knew we were in for a good meal.

After a short wait, we got seats right in front of the grill, which provided some entertainment while we waited for our breakfasts. More entertainment came from the placemats, which were full of trivia questions. Rob and I had fun reading the questions to each other, even though we didn’t know many of the answers.

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After waiting for a good amount of time, we finally got our food. I got a blueberry pancake and a veggie omelet. Both were great! I love a good blueberry pancake, this one had warm, fresh blueberries that burst open with every bite. The omelet was typical diner fare, greasy, hot and delicious.

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Rob and I both enjoyed our breakfasts and were really happy that we got out and tried a new place!

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Nida’s Thai on High

June 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I spent all of today doing nothing except reading The Help on the couch. When Rob called me after his long day at work asking me about dinner, I knew there was no way I was going to cook, and it was one of those rare times where I didn’t feel like eating in a restaurant either.

Enter: takeout.

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I had been thinking of an occasion to try Nida’s Thai, a restaurant on my bucket list, and tonight seemed to be perfect. Lucky for me, Rob didn’t care what we ordered, so I got to choose the two dishes for us to share.

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We split Sriracha fried rice with beef and chicken Pad Thai. Both dishes were tasty, but I preferred the Pad Thai. It had a perfect mix of textures, chewy noodles, crisp peanuts and bean sprouts, and the sauce was the best pad thai sauce I’ve ever tasted. I loved that it wasn’t overly peanutty like some other pad thai I’ve tasted. The fried rice was pretty basic, but the addition of sriracha sauce gave it a nice kick.

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This meal definitely left a great impression on me + Rob. We can’t wait to give Nida’s a try again!

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