I-O

Happy Halloween! Before we begin Ohio Part Deux, I just wanted to let you know that cake balls are still exhausting to make. Also, white chocolate does not coat as cleanly as candy coating, so if you were thinking you might try it… just buy the right stuff :)

In addition to raining for the entire time that I was in Ohio, the rain also decided to follow me to the desert. What a jerk, right? On the up side, I got to see a rainbow right over our house. So I guess that makes it worth it? … No gold though. Bummer…

So back to the second installment of WHAT TO EAT IN COLUMBUS …

To review, the places we’ve discussed so far are:

Pistacia Vera – french macarons

Pattycake Bakery – sticky buns (saturdays) & whoopie pies, and sugar cookies

Jeni’s – ice cream

Northstar Cafeeverything… especially cookies, cloud pancakes, and burgers; NOT flatbreads (thanks, bff)

 If you missed part 1, you may view it here

Since people need real food, too, check out Happy Greek. It’s the best (that I’ve had) in Columbus. I mean, maybe next to the gyro cart that hangs out near the gateway in between the bars and BFF’s apartment… but that’s another story altogether.

Happy Greek is located in short north. On top of having an amazing happy hour with $4 martinis and super cheap apps, their spicy chicken pita is amazing and their gyros are pretty solid, too. Actually, all of their dips are great… except the eggplant one, but I’m sure that people who love eggplant love that one. It’s just not really my thing. My fav is the spinach feta dip (which I have yet to recreate and I have not been able to find anywhere else), skordalia, which is garlicky-potato dip, and they have a pretty solid hummus and tzatziki as well, served with their warm, fluffy pita bread. They also have saganaki (flaming cheese) which is next to impossible to find in Phoenix. I’m going to spare you guys because we forgot about taking it before we smashed the food, and it’s all half eaten by the time we took the picture… oops?

Thanks to Serious Eats, I had to try a new place this trip too. A hole-in-the-wall pizza place called Rubinos. They serve a pizza with a cracker-thin, yet surprisingly crisp, crust adorned with the usual suspects of pizza companions – pepperoni, sausage, etc… We got there like 8 minutes before they closed and had to get it to go – it’s not the kind of pizza that really travels well so BFF and I sat in her car and ate it like savages. Worth it. Needless to say, no pictures available… Actually, maybe SE has one I can borrow…

photo from seriouseats.com. NOT MINE.

In fact, since I was feeling a little “under the weather” when we went, and we were forced to eat it in BFF’s car in the rain, while trying not to make a mess or burn myself with the molten cheese, you can check out SE’s much more romantic sounding dissertation here.

Another new place I tried on this trip was the Rossi, which is a cute little bar/restaurant right on High Street. A little pricy, but not bad. BFF LOVED the pizza, which I didn’t really see anything amazing about. I must’ve been missing something though because she really really loved it… maybe I’ll have to give it another shot. Our dining companions got a glorified ham and cheese sandwich and some AMAZING braised short ribs. They do have an interesting, fancy-pants cocktail menu, though, and it’s a cute little place that’s probably worth checking out. Again, a little bit on the pricy side… just sayin’.

Not to regress to pastries, but La Chatelain in Upper Arlington has AMAZING french pastries, fresh fruit tartlettes, baguettes, mousse, etc… also killer french omelets in the morning.

No trip to Columbus is complete without a stop at North Market, which has fresh produce and food vendors galore (and a Jeni’s booth). I missed it this trip, maybe that’s why I left Ohio feeling so unfulfilled…

I totally forgot to photograph, and tell you about, China Dynasty (also in Upper Arlington) – get the sesame chicken, szchuan green beans, and potstickers. So yummy. If you visit their website, don’t hold their jingle against them. Just give them a try :)

Last, but not least, my one honorable mention in Toledo is Cake-in-a-Cup. You may recognize them from Food Network’s cupcake wars. I was expecting this to be just another overrated bakery, but these cupcakes were seriously good. Of course, my favorite was the peanut butter… the frosting on top was DIVINE. Although the snickerdoodle cupcake was good, I didn’t think the marshmallow frosting was the right match for it. The cookies-and-cream cupcake was another winner, with a whole Oreo cookie hiding inside! $2.50/ea is way cheap in the gourmet cupcake world, so definitely give this place a try if you ever find yourself in Toledo, OH.

 

wee eats nyc

Zabar's - just a short walk from our hotel

For our first local breakfast (since the first day we were fueled on Starbucks alone… until we found the BEST PIZZA EVER) we hit Zabar’s. Just a couple blocks north of our hotel, bagel w lox & coffee (New York enough?) and then we hit the museum… we didn’t mean to… it just happened that way.

Zabar's Bagel + Lox

Side note—don’t run through the NYC museums. Also, the planetarium is inside the Museum of Natural History, so if you think you’re just going to the planetarium, plan for a long day, because you will discover that you are actually in the history museum and henceforth obligated to check out the rest of it… just sayin…

Half my sandwich, half BFF's... didn't quite last without a bite

So continuing our short stint in NYC, we also had to hit Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, of course. The food was great, the atmosphere was a little jarring though. At first, we thought it was a bakery, then upon realizing it’s actually in the upper level of Time Warner Center (Keller’s more formal restaurant ‘Per Se’ is also located in the same building, one level up from Bouchon) – set up almost as a food court restaurant would be.

Dessert Duet

Slightly bewildered we sat down and looked over the menu. Not at all what we had expected, but hey, let’s go with it. We each ordered sandwiches (being that it was lunch) and of course we couldn’t leave without dessert… I ordered the mini bouchons, which are like 2-bite brownies almost, while BFF ordered the crepe cake… layers upon layers of crepes and crème bruleed at the top served with some pistachio ice cream. To Die For.

BFF's crepe cake -- notice the bruleed top

Upon leaving Bouchon, I happened to notice a mere 20 feet away was the actual Bouchon Bakery counter that we had been looking for! They had an extensive collection of baked goods: TKO’s (which I made this past Christmas—and will make again for you, of course!), croissants, and giant macarons to name a few…. as well as the very same sandwich I’d just ordered for $3 cheaper! Those bastards! Good thing it was delicious and I had a case full of sweet delicious in front of me or else I might have been upset…

Katz's deli

Of course you can’t go to NYC without stopping at Katz’s Delicatessen for pastrami or corned beef sandwich… being the indecisive one that I am I decided to just get a sandwich with both on! (Thanks.) The sandwich was great, the people though… not so friendly. Maybe it was the crappy weather, or maybe they just don’t like tourists, but they were not at all warm or welcoming… also good to note that when you enter here they give you a tiny ticket for no apparent reason. DO NOT THROW IT AWAY! If you don’t have this when you go to check out the world will most likely implode… also they don’t take credit. Which was a not so pleasant surprise, but luckily I had some cash on me to cover BFF & I.

Katz's Pastrami + Corned Beef

Our trip’s end was tragic. It was the only clear day since we’d arrived, and neither of us was ready to go… I’d like to thank the Met for this accurate portrayal of how it feels to leave NYC.

This is how it feels to leave NYC

 

View the full album here :

NYC

also, my old home eats… Columbus, OH

wee meets nyc

Some months back, my BFF and I took a trip to NYC. You see, we’d been reading all this stuff about all the delicious treats that were exclusive to the Big Apple, and we just couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve … Continue reading