Today kicks off the beginning of Dine Originals Columbus Restaurant Week. This is the second one this year. The first was in the spring and caught us up short without much time to participate. Bob was traveling and we were only able to take in one meal at The Top, on the last night. So this time around we have our game plan. Hopefully you will get to see something this week that will speak to you. And you'll crave it until you just say "What the heck?" and go get it for yourself!
I have been dying to try the "Parisian Macarons" at Pistacia Vera. At the last restaurant week their offerings were top rated. So we were all set to trek on down there (in the pouring rain, I might add) and my dear husband had the brilliant idea to make sure they were open before we left; what with it being a holiday and all. So he called and yeah, you guessed it. Closed. Dang. This game plan thing wasn't working so well.
We regrouped and decided that instead of just getting dessert today, we would begin our dinner adventures. We looked over the offerings, and while it was not easy to weed them out and narrow down the choice, we finally decided on Surly Girl Saloon. I’ve never been there, but I know L3 likes it a lot.
Surly Girl Saloon is located on North High. Very popular. Very fun. Your basic neighborhood bar in the short North.
As with most of the restaurants this week, they offer a 3 course menu, with choices on each course.
We were in a saloon. We needed drinks! They have 24 beers on tap. Bob began with Great Lakes Brewing Company’ s Elliott Ness. I chose to go with a Surly Cider.
For our choice of appetizer we decided on the "Slap Your Bottom" Red Bean Hummus served with toasted pita and assorted fresh veggies. This was really good! I have never thought of making hummus with red beans before, but you can bet I will now. The hummus was creamy with hints of cumin and cayenne pepper. It finished in the back of your throat with some heat so I spread it thinly. This was served with slices of really fresh cucumber, ripe tomatoes, celery sticks and carrot sticks. There was way more than plenty for the two of us. We enjoyed that quite a bit.
For my entree I chose the Cajun Meatloaf with poblano mashed potatoes and cornbread stuffing. This was pure comfort food. It was food for the soul. A thick slab of meatloaf served with cornbread stuffing that was good consistency and not gummy (which I think stuffing can easily be). Alongside were poblano mashed potatoes. All were given a healthy drizzle of brown gravy. The only drawback for me was spiciness of the mashed potatoes. I was surprised because I didn't expect this from poblanos. But then again we all know what a wimp I am when it comes to spicy. So certainly don't let my opinion hinder you from ordering this. I'd order it again in a heartbeat!
Bob's dinner was the Gorgonzola and Bacon Rotini baked with broccoli, tomatoes, bacon, gorgonzola cheese and a sprinkle of french fried onions. This was served with two long slices of toasted multigrain baguette. And it was truly delicious! The hot pasta and broccoli with the cold tomatoes on top were a contrast that really worked! Gorgonzola is an Italian blue cheese that is salty but not overpowering. Its presence here works to pull this dish all together. We both liked it quite a lot.
The dessert choice was Surly Girl's signature Chocolate Cayenne cupcake or the cupcake du jour. We said, "YES!" We'll take one of each. Bob and I are very good at sharing. The cupcake du jour was Pina Colada. When they came we split them down the middle so we each had a taste of both. While the chocolate was good (there was that spicy thing happening again) I clearly leaned toward the Pina Colada...but then of course we all know I've never been one to turn down any cupcake!!!
Surly Girl Saloon
1126 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Hours: 11am-2am Daily