Tip Top Kitchen & Maybe Not The Cocktails…

Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails

73 East Gay Street, Columbus


The first dinner in a while we’ve had together as a family was located in the heart of downtown. The concrete jungle paved opening to a tiny hole in the wall restaurant named “Tip Top” (you’ll know it by the cherries). I was recommended here by UrbanSpoon actually, and another friend who told me I HAD to try the Grilled Cheese. It seems my Vegetarian friends eat the same thing all the time, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. Well I ‘m getting off topic already aren’t I?

The place is small, gives the feeling of a pub. The staff gives it that feeling too: very friendly but relaxed and front. I enjoyed it. After discussing our week and vacations, we decided on some appetizers. I eyed down the Corn Fritters, which were pretty good. The texture was nice although I would have liked a little more corn flavor. It’s a tiny one too so don’t expect to share it with too many people if you do enjoy it. The Slap Your Bottom Red Bean Hummus was a popular choice from Surly Girl Saloon that I missed out on so we re-ordered. Again, very tasty but nothing too out of the ordinary. The real winner in the beginning was the Eggplant Fries with a Bloody Mary dipping sauce. I’ve never tried eggplant before and because of my aversion to most veggies I was nervous, but these crispy little things were delicious. They reminded me of deep fried cucumber but with a little more squishy texture. I realize “Squishy” doesn’t sound appetizing but I assure you it is. The sauce was alright, but we ended up devouring the fries without it. Hands down, if you go to Tip Top grab some Eggplant Fries.

A side plus was there were many options for Vegitarians here. Although no one in our dining party follows that lifestyle, it’s nice to point out. The dinners were all pretty par. I grabbed the Ohio Style Monte Cristo – to compare it to my Claddagh Irish Pub style favorite. It was unique, and the honey mustard added gives the sandwich it’s own flair but nothing to write home about. All the meals were the same. Devon grabbed the Grilled Cheese, “good but just a grilled cheese.” Dad grabbed the Brautwerst, nothing fancy, and Shayna tried the meatloaf (we’re really becoming meatloaf connoisseurs) to the same extent: fine. I think we came in expecting the food to be as eclectic and unique as the location, but even the reviews say it’s a simple and sweet american menu. So although there was no dinner to rave about, that may just be their goal. It was good.

And of course, we are the Days, we save room for our dessert (two s’s because you go back for seconds). We sampled the brownies and apple pie, no special names. The Brownies were in form with the rest of the food, fine, but the apple pie was DE-licious! One of the best I’ve had in a long time. I don’t know if it was just a good night for the bakers because it almost didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the food, it literally was amazing! Highest Recommendation. So if you go to Tip Top, what do you get? You get the hell out. No, you get the Eggplant Fries and Apple pie.

Oh but wait Days, it’s called Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails. Well to be quite honest, don’t bother. The beer selection was decent but the names of the cocktails far outweighed the flavor. The girls sampled two, “The Jungle Jack Hannah – with Tiger (while in stock)” they were out of tiger, and “The Alex P. Keitch.” No clue. The funniest was the “SkyBus – comes with a courtesy Thrown in Your Face if you wish.” Funny names, average drinks.

Overall this place seemed to emanate Ordinary. The staff was friendly and eager to find us a table, and there was nothing really to complain about. It’s a nice place to go, but don’t expect more.

Tip Top Kitchen and Cocktails on Urbanspoon

Cap City Fine Diner

Cap City Fine Diner

1299 Olentangy River Road


A fresh start to a fresh quarter brought a new dining experience that I’ve heard a lot about. Cap City has been spoken of by my friends both for the great value and the delicious food! I’m not going to lie either, they were horribly mistaken (just kidding) they weren’t joking. The restaurant is larger than it appears and hosts a beautiful patio dining area which was on a darned wait which was too popular for us to sit at, for good reason. The staff was very intelligent, especially the host staff. That’s saying something because most hosts I come across are dimmer than a rock.

Well let’s move onto the important things, me the food. Back from Panama my belly was craving more than seafood and Taco Bell. Although we were short a member, we still ordered enough to feel like a quartet. We started off with some of their Pepperoni Flatbread and Pell n’ Eat Flatbread. I consumed most of the Pepperoni, and it was delicious! The crust was very thin and very crispy, and the cheese was light and perfect for a starter. I didn’t partake in the other because of the vegetable content, yuck! However Shayna and Mike thoroughly enjoyed it, giving it a Saturday rating! Now would also be a great time to mention their drinks. They had Guinness and Blue Moon so my family was pleased and I, being 20, ordered their Fresh Raspberry Lemonade… to die for. (Unfortunately the waitress never refilled it *sad face*)

The main courses were fine and great. I chose a traditional Chili Dog. Tasty, but nothing special. The real winner was the friends’ recommendations: The Cap City Diner Meatloaf. Served like an open face sandwich, this meatloaf was a great portion size and one of the better meatloafs I’ve tasted (and we try meatloaf at every stop if they have it). Since t his post is a bit delayed I can’t quite remember the palate it gives, but I can definitely remember it was Yummy. Highly recommended by us now too.

For desert my sister and I chose the Cherry Cheesecake and Peanut Butter Pie. The pies they house at Cap City are a Mom & Daughter thing, so it’s a nice back story to your tasty treats. The cheesecake was good, but cheesecake is hard to screw up or make better than everyone else. The hands down winner (and maybe best dessert yet) goes to the Peanut Butter Pie. It’s rich, but amazing! If you don’t save room for it, you’re crazy.

When you go grab the Roni Flatbread and some Rasp Lemonade to start off with. Dive into the Meatloaf, almost literally. And finish with a combo dessert of peanut butter and chocolate to make any evening a special occasion (for your stomach). Great work Cap City, you’ve got our support!

Cap City Fine Diner and Bar (Grandview Heights) on Urbanspoon

Buck-I-Bagels and Deli

Buck-i-Bagels (and Deli)
1990 North High Street

Alright, so not an actual dinner place and I didn’t go with the family but I haven’t posted in a while (although I still have a lot of restaurants to write about) so here’s a little make up.

Located on OSU Campus and “Home of the Hot, Steamy Bagel,” this tiny dive has everything you could ask for… on a bagel. Ten different bagels, including French Toast and Sun-dried Tomato, and seven different creme cheeses give enough variety to the standard Bagel-n-Creme. However they also turn bagels into “Bagelwiches” and numerous yummy breakfast selections.

I went with a few friends and we each got a breakfast bagel. I got the Southern: Scrambled Egg, bacon, and American cheese heated and wrapped in foily goodness. My friend got the same with Lettuce and Tomatoe (gotta have your veggies) and the other lady got a Western: the same thing but with Ham. They do have sandwiches though with soooo many combination choices it’s almost endless. (Actually if you got a Bagelwich with one meat, one cheese, two toppings and a single bagel the options are upwards of 39,000 different options)

It’s a nice mom & pop feel usually staffed with friendly college kids. And at only $5 for a Baglewich and a Soda it’s a nice cheap lunch alternative to my usual Subway. I highly recommend this new spot!

Buck I Bagels on Urbanspoon

Surly Girl Saloon

Surly Girl Saloon, 1126 North High Street, Columbus Oho

Rated as having the best “bar food” in Columbus in 2010

This week we were 3 – one of the brood was at spring break in Panama City, Florida. (what, you think he’d go to the real Panama on a college expense account?) Tough assignment but as the only one still in college it was required (unless nursing school counts as college except that is too intense to allow a week of brain-cell-killing indulgences required at spring break)

Nice beer selection and most listing Alcohol By Volume (ABV). We sampled several different beers including Harpoon UPO Wheat (un-filtered offering), Brasserie de Rocs Grand Cru (9.5% ABV and brewed by a woman-owned brewery in Belgium) and Piraat Belgian Strong (triple IPA 10.5% ABV). All were interesting but the Grand Cru was the favorite.

Appetizers included the Slap Your Bottom Rean Bean Hummus and Frito Pie (Oh, did we mention they had some fun naming items on their menu). Frito Pie was good. However it was not served in a Frito bag like those I first sampled from Woolworth’s on the plaza in downtown Santa Fe in 1968 (when Taco Bell still had the Bellburger on the menu). The Red Bean Hummus is a clear winner that had great flavor and a nice little kick (nothing to scare off if you have a sensitive mid-western palate). The hummous is served with celery, baby carrots, sliced tomatoes and cucumber and wedges of pita bread.

Main courses included 2 pizza’s and a sandwich – we did say the Surly Girl was rated best bar food. All pizzas are generous personal size 8 inch diameter pies. We samples the BLT and The Surly Girl pizzas and The Cool Columbus Veggie sandwich and tried a bowl of the Traditional Meaty Chili. Favorite for all 3 of us was the Surly Girl pizza which, direct from their menu, is “crumbled gorgonzola, 6 cheese blend, dried cranberries, red onions and pecans drizzled with our balsamic vinaigrette”. It was served on a thin crust and was almost sweet – FANTASTIC. Probably should have opted for the companion piece, the Surly Girl Salad with the same base ingredients instead of the chili. While the chili was good and had plenty of meat it had very little bite and was almost too sweet for chili. Recomendation on the sandwich would be to NOT toast the bread. It was great but the wheat bread was so thick-cut and solid (both good) when you toast it you need a mouth the size of a cartoon character to eat it gracefully (the Tasmanian Devil comes to mind)

Dessert offering is Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and their “cupcake of the day” which for us was carrot cake. The Red Velvet cupcake was good but the carrot cake was even better, great spice choices by the kitchen staff.

Place was small but very comfortable – most of the tables are “high tops” which saves space and we personally like for a night out like this. Go to their web page to get a full range of activities and entertainment offerings (aerobics and open mic nights) in their back room, The Parlour. Surly Girl’s Homepage

Great place, great food and sprits and up there with Chili Verde on the Day-ly Fare ranking.

Surly Girl Saloon on Urbanspoon

Quick Update and Apologies

Alright so this past Thursday we weren’t able to do dinner because our Father, Mike, was out of town on business and unfortunately (and fortunately) I’ll be on spring break this week so this week will be a no go also. I may post some reviews on previous restaurants but since I’d want them to be fresh and informative I don’t know if I can remember that much about them to be honest. Anyway thanks for understanding everyone! And we’ll be back soon enough with some new reviews. Happy Munching!!

The Movie Tavern…

… putting a new meaning to dinner and a show!

Firstly let me start off by alerting you all Devon was not able to attend tonight’s dinner, but she has been here many times before so she didn’t miss out too much.

The Movie Tavern

3773 Ridge Mill Drive

Hilliard, Ohio

We will discuss the show but the more important point of this blog is the food so let’s dive in, shall we? The menu was as expected: Pub Food including some pizzas and handy desserts. We started off with a round of Deep Fried Pickles and some Southwest Chicken Egg Rolls. The pickles were fine but I’ve had better. They seemed too detached from the breading, although I’m not a deep-fried pickle expert I think it shouldn’t slide off like melting ice cream. Do not fret too much though for they are only for a limited time. The Egg Rolls however were phenomenal! The combination of black beans, corn, chicken, and probably something else was great even without the sauce. In fact they were so good they influenced Mike’s decision on his dinner.

He had the Southwest Chicken Salad which was good, but again what we all expected (Bar Food). Shayna had the Fish & Chips but didn’t like the sweetness to the batter (The real Fish & Chips are at Claddagh Irish Pubs). I had the King Kong Burger, another I believe that was there for a limited time, also just as expected. I guess what we’re trying to say is that the food definitely isn’t bad but you’re not going to rush to the Movie Tavern to pick up some grub. Although it’s not like I’m going to go there after dinner to avoid the meal. It was fine. The food was a Wednesday for us all.

Oh, and we closed off with some milkshakes which were actually quite good for what we were expecting. (I recommend the strawberry)

Alright now let’s talk about the experience because I’m sure a lot of you, like I, haven’t been to a Movie/Dinner place before. The movie theatre is almost like any other except you have small tables in front of you and some more space in between you and the person in front, so you don’t have to worry about spilling on them. Your order is taken ahead of the movie start, although not necessary, and the food is brought out to you throughout the show. In case of an emergency, like you’re low on Coke, there are tiny red buttons that alert a server to come to you at which point you can possibly order dessert or ask for a side of mayo. The waitress we had was extraordinary and very polite although we were never introduced so I can’t tell you her name.

As far as the distractions during the movie, very minimal. Although small children may be a different story, everyone was very good about ordering quietly during the show and I hardly noticed anyone eating around me. The largest distraction was honestly myself and wanting to look down at my food during a pivotal part (I chose not to eat at those moments). As for the lighting, don’t worry you can still see what you’re grabbing. There are dim lights recessed above your tables, allowing just enough light to make sure you’re not eating a straw wrapper.

For the movie we chose Alice and Wonderland in 3D. Oh yes they have 3D! It’s by no means an IMAX theatre but I was impressed with the quality. In the end we give the food a Wednesday but the experience a Friday. Nowhere else, that I know of, can you get a movie with your dinner and have the food tasting good at a fair price. We will definitely go back at some point, most likely on our own though with our own set of friends. Good work Movie Tavern.

Happy Munching Everyone!

Movie Tavern on Urbanspoon

First Post, Not the First Restaurant

Dirty Frank’s Hotdog Palace

248 South Fourth Street

Columubs, Ohio

Walking into Dirty Frank’s the first thing I noticed was the lack of room. The quaint site features a very eclectic design with only about 10 tables to it’s name. Don’t let the tiny shop fool you though, the menu is anything but tiny (more on that later). The wait for us was roughly 15-20 minutes or so. Although there isn’t a true waiting area, again this isn’t a TGIF, it does have a decent size bar area where you can sit if you can find a seat. The wall offered enough interesting art and photos to keep our eyes busy while we waited, which was fun. The downside to Dirty Frank’s is the inability to call in reservations, so don’t bother.

As soon as you sit down the menu blows you away. On a tiny 5×20 inch pamphlet is loaded back and front with their food, one page completely filled with specialty dogs. What’s more interesting than the concoctions they put on the hotdog, are the names they’re given. Mike got the Ohioana and Amy’s Big Boston Dog, Devon the Classy Lady and Fancy Pants, Shayna the Timmow, and I the Fancy Pants and Amy’s. On top of dogs we ordered our a la cart apps consisting of TaterTots loaded with Cheese and Bacon, Mac&Chz, Fresh Cut Chips, and some O-rings. Alrighty so let’s dive in shall we?

The Dogs were great! Devon gave her Classy Lady, covered in cheese and crushed potato chips,  a solid Whole Week rating! The Fancy Lady, with whole gerkins, was a Wednesday for her but let me tell you it was a Friday for me. The whole gerkins gave the dog a vast crunch that I couldn’t help but enjoy. Mike’s Ohioana, ingredients forgotten, was a Saturday favorite for him and him and I both agreed the Amy’s Boston was a solid Friday. The Boston Dog consisted of Baked Beans and Onions: very tasty, but pretty standard. Overall the winner for the night was the Fancy Lady. Potato chips on hotdogs seems ridiculous, but shocked us at how amazing the combination was! “Simple, but simply perfect” – Devon. The apps were good. The taters were the table favorite, but they were all pretty standard. Although I wouldn’t recommend the fries.

Now let’s talk about drinks for a moment. I’m not yet 21 so I’ll have to leave the tastings to the rest of the Days. The draft beers were low on selection, about 7, but the variety was great. They were as eclectic as the walls, which is a bonus for us since we love to try new things. They had a stout that was good, some Great Lakes bottles, and one of Devon’s old favorites: Troggs.

Down to the “Dayssert”! Although Jeni’s Ice Cream was offered, we went the baklava and funnel cake route. The Baklava was a standard serving. Somewhat small but only about dollar and since Baklava is so sweet it was more than enough. The Funnel cake was where it was at though. They do it different at Dirty Frank’s and instead of a cake they serve it as fries. Not only was it new to us, it made perfect sense. The fries were easy to share and just as great as the Fair Funnel Cakes we all remember. Save room for the Funnel Fries, we gave them a Friday!

Overall the place was great. Near enough meters so whenever you go the walk isn’t bad, and the food was great (also great for sharing). The downside was the wait and the fact you can’t call in reservations, but apparently it was an abnormally busy Thursday night so we can’t hold that against them. The value was great too! Each person gets a beer, an appetizer, two dogs, and dessert for about 15 bucks! (not including tip) Great work Dirty Frank’s, we give you a Friday!

(No review on the Bathrooms, none of us needed to use them)

Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace on Urbanspoon