Betty’s Fine Food and Spirits

The adorable pin-up girl theme at Betty’s perfectly sets the scene for the American comfort food they serve. With dishes such as Meatloaf, Tuna Noodle Casserole and their famous Mac & Cheese, it’s like going home to your mom’s for dinner (ala June Cleaver) and food is just as delicious as you remembered.

Betty’s also offers plenty of tasty vegan and vegetarian options.There is always a wait (because it’s worth waiting for!) but when my mom, sister, and I went in for dinner on Tuesday we managed to get a table within ten minutes.

For drinks my mom and I ordered off the lengthy, cleverly named cocktail menu- I had a Betty White Russian and she had the Beach Betty Bingo which was made with OJ, peach schnapps, cranberry, and Finlandia Mango vodka. It was just as sweet and citrus-y and as it sounds, so of course she loved it.

Next we ordered the “Crabby Patties” crab cakes. They were lightly breaded, perfectly seasoned, and came with a jalapeno mayo sauce. With a mild crab flavor and crispy coating, they almost tasted like a hush puppy, and the mayo was really good, just a little kick of jalapeno.

We all agreed we needed to try the infamous Betty’s Mac & Cheese, so we ordered one to split. It is made with Rotini noodles, a really creamy house made cheese sauce, and then some poblano peppers, corn, and red onions that add a subtle southwest flavor to the pasta. Very good. There’s no question as to why Columbus loves this dish.

I also had the Green Goddess salad which comes with greens, cukes, pita chips, carrots, roma tomato slices, red onions and this Avocado Cesar dressing that is amazing. I considered trying something new, but I had this dressing before and couldn’t resist. It has a really strong parmesan flavor which is balanced out by the creamy avocado. So yum. I also added grilled chicken, which goes really well with the dressing.

WARNING: In anticipation of eating my yummy salad, I hurriedly passed off my phone to my mom and sis to take pictures of their own meals, and didn’t bother check if they were good pictures. So, I apologize because they both took terrible pictures that do not do any justice to their de-lish dishes.

My mom ordered the Surly Girl Turkey Wrap which came with turkey, dried cranberries, pecans, gorgonzola, lettuce, red onion, and balsamic in a grilled tortilla. The turkey was really flavorful and tasted like actual sliced turkey breast, not just lunch meat turkey. So basically it was Thanksgiving in a wrap. My mom really liked it and I think my sister ate more of it than her own sandwich. As a side, my mom ordered the warm asian slaw which was pretty good, but I’m not a big slaw person.

My sister had the Falafel Sandwich. I love falafel so while she was reaching across the table to eat my mom’s wrap, I was eating her sandwich. The falafel had a fresh crispy coating, and came in a grilled pita pocket with red onion, roma tomato slices, alfalfa sprouts and a cucumber-dill yogurt sauce on the side. The combination of flavors was just perfect and the yogurt sauce just perfectly topped it off. For her side she ordered the Homemade Potato chips which were thick and crunchy like a kettle chip. De-lish!

Like I said before, Betty’s is well worth the wait!

 

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I finally went to Katzingers! ::and back to Pistacia Vera::

So Caroline and I had planned a lunch date at Skillet today, but once we got there we saw they were closed for a private event :(. Since she had a Dine Originals gift certificate we looked up other close restaurants that accepted the certificate and decided on Katzinger’s Deli. Caro has been there many times (and loves it) and I, for whatever, reason still had never tried it. So we drove over there-around all the detours and construction- which I’m SOOO sick of this summer.

Anyway, I already knew I loved this place when we walked in and first thing you see is fresh bread, butter, jam, and dipping sauce samples. Of course they were all delicious- challah, rye, sourdough, and a creamy dutch butter. After the distracting maze of butter, bread, and cheeses I saw the massive menu. They conveniently organize it by category- turkey, ham, vegetarian, Jewish classics, etc. and they mark which ones are best-sellers.

I decided to go with the best seller “#70 Kahrl’s Killer Club” which came with oven-roasted turkey breast, honey ham, Applewood smoked bacon, Vermont white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and Hellmann’s mayonnaise with 3 pieces of toasted poppyseed challah bread. Ohmygod SO good. I love challah and honestly picked this sandwich because of it but everything else was perfect too. All the flavors literally melded together into one perfect flavor. A little of the bacon’s saltiness was really the only distinctive ingredient. And I loved it.

I also ordered a side of the macaroni salad that was staring at me from the delicious deli display cases they have at the counters. It was pretty good. I’m not actually big on macaroni salad (I think most places make it with way too much dressing) but I could tell this was a little dryer and it was made with cavatappi noodles and red peppers. mmmm.

After a discussion on the latest crazes planking, owling, and (my favorite) horse-maning, we had our leftovers wrapped up and walked down to Pistacia Vera. Caro was craving some iced coffee and since they brew Cafe Brioso coffee I couldn’t say no. We also each got a macaron for dessert (strawberry amaretto and caramel pecan) and as expected they were so so good.

I can’t wait to go back- actually now after writing this I think I’m going to have to break into my leftovers!

Tahoe Tuesday

As customary on our (and probably most) family trips, the boys woke up early and went golfing. They have been planning and practicing all summer for their two tee times this week so we (the ladies) have been making plans for when they’re gone.

So today my mom, sis, aunt, and I decided to go on a bike ride. We drove over to Anderson’s Rental to get bikes and then took off on the trail from there.

We rode on about 5.5 miles each way and stopped at most of the attractions along the way. First was Pope Beach where we had a great view of the lake and couldn’t resist dipping our toes in the water!

I had to put this pic in because it’s too funny. You know your short when your taller little sister is taking a picture of you and cuts half your face out haha

Next we rode to the Tallac Historical Site  which included a museum and a huge, century old estate that has been preserved. It was built in the 1890s and  three different families lived there, but the second owners built it up a lot more in the 1920s. It was very cool. We got to see the huge main house, multiple guest homes, and servant quarters (there were about 35 workers.) They even had their own blacksmith workshop so they didn’t have to buy horseshoes, nails, etc. MY favorite part was probably the boathouse which held a tour boat from the 20’s called the Quic-Chikidin (Quit your Kiddin!) Get it? Hah I’m obviously easily amused.

Yeah we couldn’t resist taking a cheesy picture in this old car :)

On the way back to the bike rental we stopped at this old ice cream parlor on the trail where my mom got a scoop of Butter Pecan and my sister went next door to get this huge cheeseburger on Texas Toast. It was really good, juicy, fresh veggies, and (not) surprisingly she killed it. She’s been begging for a burger all week and really wanted to try In-N-Out but there aren’t any close. I’m sure this satisfied her craving though.

After turning in our bikes, we went home and the boys got back right after us so we made a big lunch to share. To start I made myself another fresh spinach salad with feta, red onion, dried cranberries and champagne dressing. Restaurant quality if I do say so myself.Then my mom took some of the leftover bowtie pasta, grilled asparagus, and grilled chicken from last night and threw them into the skillet with some of that new Philly cream cheese pasta cream sauce (Italian Herb flavor) and a jar of Red-pepper pesto mix. It all mixed up perfectly and literally as I type this everyone in the house is passed out in a food coma.

After lunch and a little down time, we ventured out to run some errands. We have been looking for a copy of the book “The Help” but didn’t have any luck. We also stopped at the Stand Up paddle board place to buy some sweatshirts. My sister and I had noticed these super comfy zip-ups when we went the other day and decided we had to have them. They’re cute and made with a really thick cotton. I cant wait to wear it this winter!

Once we got home we saw that our Lou Malnati Chicago style pizzas and Vienna hot dogs had been delivered. My aunt and uncle love to order these and have them shipped from Chicago. They had sent the pizzas to my parents before so we knew they were good and couldn’t wait to dig in! Tonight we made the spinach and the pepperoni. Their really deep dish with a thick layer of sauce and cheese. I love a thin crispy crust, but this dough really is great. I also had another beer from my Pyramid variety pack. This time I tried the Blonde Ale which I think I like the best. Its smooth and fruity and not too heavy.

We also ordered Vienna hot dogs and upon opening them we realized they had sent us some of their Chicago fixin’s too. We thought it would be fun to look up the suggested directions on the website and found they had step-by-step directions for dressing your weiner. First you take the poppy-seed bun, put the dog on it, add some mustard, a scoop of the bright green (literally) relish, some onions, tomatoes, 2 peppers, and a dash of celery salt. Normally I just prefer mustard but this combo was pretty good!

Kristen insisted on taking a picture of me biting into it, so here ya go Kris

Once again we ended the night with some hot tub and a movie. Tomorrow we’re boating so it’s time to rest up!

South Carolina

3 weekends ago Joelynn, Kristen, and I drove down to Columbia, SC to visit USC (where I went my freshman year.) We stayed Thurs-Saturday in Columbia and spent a day in Charleston. I wanted them to have a full USC experience so we had some of my favorite fooods, drinks, went to all the college bars, and spent a day at the beach.

The first night we went to Five Points which is a five way intersection with strips of bars, restaurants, and boutiques. Since it is legal in South Carolina, I had to make sure they tried some Everclear- so, we went to Dr. Rocco’s and I ordered us some Everclear slushies. Obviously they were super strong so we only had one drink each and I would recommend to anyone else not to have more than one. ;)

I had to make sure we ate at IHOP for some of their scrambled eggs with pancake batter mixed in and I also had to get some Pop’s Pizza with cold banana peppers on the side just like I would freshman year. On Thursdays after watching “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Nip/Tuck” with Dan and Jon we’d walk over for a slice of pizza and some fried Oreos (which weren’t on the menu anymore.) I may be a little nostalgic. I didn’t get a chance to have any Carolina pulled pork or boiled peanuts, but there’s always next time!

Anyway after eating at IHOP on Friday we drove to Charleston, which is a little over and hour away. First we went downtown and walked around the shops at King street which is the main strip with restaurants and lots of local and designer boutiques. It was super hot so we went into a fro-yo place called Yogurt Mountain where you can choose from 16 different flavors of yogurt and at least 30 toppings. It was sooo good. I know we have some similar places around Columbus but I have never seen a variety of flavors and toppings like they had.

 

Then we went over to Folly Beach and spent the rest of the day in the sun!

After hanging out at the beach and showering on the pier (we didn’t have a hotel there :) ) we walked over to the Folly Beach Crab Shack for dinner. It was right off the beach and looked like your typical beachy, seafood grill which is exactly what we were looking for! and yes, that is a hammock chair in the picture <3

We decided to sit inside since it was still really humid out and the tables all had cutouts in the center of them where a trash bucket had been inserted! It was genius! They also had their own napkin dispensers which I appreciate and think is essential when eating shellfish.

First we ordered appetizers, I got the fried green tomatoes topped with yummy parm and red tomato and chives. Jo and Creal split the warm crab and artichoke dip with pita. Both were reallly good. I personally like my own fried green tomatoes better but I mean I didn’t have a problem finishing these :) The hot crab and artichoke dip was delicious! Not too strong of a crab flavor, creamy, soft pita. Mmm they literally clean-plated that dip.

Next we ordered our main dishes- Jo went with the Poor Man’s Crab Bucket which was literally a big bucket of snow crab legs which were on special that night for $11. They were ok. I personally like blue crab better, but I still like Alaskan crab and I know that “Poor Mans bucket” is supposed to mean they are the legs that fell off the other dishes and get collected. These kind of tasted like they had been sitting there a few days. They smelled funny and were really sticking in the shell. Jo ate the whole bucket and none of us got stomach aches or anything but I could only have a few bites.

Creal and I decided to order two different sandwiches and split them. I ordered the Carolina Crab Cake sandwich which also came with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and this kind of mayo/tartar sauce on a toasted bun. It was delish- I love crab cakes and this was a little bit mustardy, a little spicy, and so fresh. Creal ordered the Fried Tilapia sandwich which also came with fresh veggies on a toasted bun, as well as actual tartar sauce. It was good, the fish was so fresh and flaky. Even Jo who doesn’t like seafood thought it was good, a little bland though. (I’m not sure how we managed to not get a pic of it, but I’m sure you’ve all seen a fish sandwich)

I opted for the squash on the side instead of fries. I was thinking I was being healthy but I obviously forgot I was in the South because they came out drenched in butter. I mean they were still good but I actually like the taste of zucchini, not mushy butter dripped zucchini. Creal ordered the fries though and they were delicious, not too thick, crunchy, so good. We all couldn’t stop eating them and Creal swears they were the best fries she’s ever had.

Needless to say, it was a successful day!!!

Kristen’s Birthday!!! :La Scala:

June 1 was my little sisters birthday (20 yrs old!) and she requested that I spend the day with her, so we spent the day at Zoombezi Bay and then met our parents for dinner at La Scala Italian Bistro. My sister and I have gotten season passes to Zoombezi every year because we love water parks and it’s really worth the cost.

Her birthday was the first day we went this summer and we were super excited to see their two new slides, the Python Plunge and Big Boa Falls. The Python Plunge is your typical raft slide but at the end your shot off onto what is basically a half-pipe that you slide up and then back down into the landing pool. Its pretty fun, and definitely a cool concept. Boa Falls is a little less exciting but also a cool slide, after going down the initial hill, the slide had a mechanized system where the water propels you UP into a tube and then around and back down into the wave pool. It’s gaged more towards younger kids, but still an enjoyable ride.

The best part of the day though (besides dinner) was that kids were still in school so there was virtually no one there. We rode both new slides and the cyclone (which can have up to a 3 hr line because it’s so awesome) within 45 minutes! No one was in the wave pool either which made it very relaxing. Since I had an exam the next day it was really convenient that I could quickly ride all the good slides and then still have plenty of time to sit at the wave pool and study.

After getting fairly crispy at Zoombezi, we went home to shower and get ready for dinner. Kristen had made reservations at La Scala Italian Bistro in Dublin. I didn’t really know much about it except that it was italian (obviously), used to be a jazz club I think, and that it was moderately priced. All of the above were true and it was very good. The atmosphere is fairly upscale but somewhat dated. Attire ranged from casually dressed to nicer dressed. We sat on the patio which was beautiful but as we walked through the restaurant to get out back, I couldn’t help but notice that we (including my parents) were significantly younger than all of the other patrons there. This could be because it was a Wednesday, or because it’s in Dublin- but either way the food is worth going.

First we ordered drinks- Only being 20, my sis ordered a virgin strawberry daiquiri. My dad ordered rum with orange juice (which strangely enough is his go-to drink), and then my mom and I ordered the White Sangria. I couldn’t find it on their online menu but I believe it came with Malibu, pineapple juice, Pinot Grigio, and fruit slices. Regardless, I’m not even a wine person and I loved it. It was delicious. And strong. But delicious.

Next we were given house bread (yummy ciabatta) with oil and pesto.

We also ordered the Season Tomatoes Bruschetta appetizer and the Wood-Fired Portobello. I’m going to go ahead and say that this was the best part of the meal. The Portobello was a baked in balsamic with mozzarella and gorgonzola cheese and then drizzled in pesto. I do like balsamic, but this was a little much. I mean it was definitely good and my sis who doesn’t like mushroom but loves balsamic loved it. I would definitely recommend it, it’s a good combo of flavors.

Then there was the bruschetta. Whenever my family goes out to eat we order bruschetta, and we make it at home all the time. Needless to say we like it a lot and have tried many different versions, but I think we all agreed this was the best. It was made from large pieces of ciabatta bread baked and topped with garlic, tomatoes, and drizzled with olive oil. Seriously, SO GOOD. I literally can’t look at the pictures or talk about it without getting hungry. It really tasted even better than it looks here. I’ll just let you marvel at its greatness ;)

After Appetizers we got our salad course. Kristen and I ordered caesar salads which were pretty typical but of course good. My parents had the Opera Salad with greens, gorgonzola, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and a champagne vinaigrette . It was so good. I don’t know why I always read these fruit/nut salads on the menu, think they sound good, but don’t order them. They really do make the best combo for a salad and this was no exception. The gorgonzola was also worth mentioning because it was sooo good.

Next we ordered our entrees- Kristen got the Cajun chicken pasta, my mom ordered the Lasagna Napoletana, my dad had the Surf & Turf and I tried the Pasta Valentino. We all tried each others dishes and all liked everything. I think the general consensus was that my dad’s was the best though.

My moms lasagna had beef, provolone, and parmesan as well as a very good sweet red sauce. I’m picky about tomato sauces on pasta but this one earned my (and my moms) approval.

My sister’s Cajun chicken pasta had a creamy sauce, with mild spice (for Cajun at least.)  The chicken was very tender but not spicy at all. She said it was pretty good but not the best she’s had.

My Pasta Valentino had tomatoes, pancetta, and a little bit of spinach (a plus to me) and a creamy sauce. It was very rich but I really liked it. Honestly, I was so full at this point I could barely eat any of it though.

 My dad’s entrée was for sure my favorite. He had a petite filet mignon with lobster tail on top and creamy garlic mashed potatoes. The steak was so tender and juicy, the lobster was dripping in butter and the potatoes were perfection. Of course it was all as rich and decadent as it sounds but it was just so good!

As the sun set, we discussed how stuffed we were and they were getting ready to close  but the birthday girl still wanted some dessert to take home. We quickly decided on the tiramisu and rum cake. The tiramisu was kind of deconstructed with the lady finger in the center and two mounds of marscapone on each side. The rum cake was covered in a nice glaze but was a little dry for me. Both were sweet as can be and hard to resist even being as full as we were!

We also took a few family pics before we left!

Bday girl & Dad

(I know, I'm a midge)

 

Local Brews andLocal Foods at North Market

Feeding into my Twitter addiction, I was reading through my timeline and saw a link promising CBC beer and free food that I obviously had to follow. Once a month this summer North Market is hosting a Local Brews & Local Food event. They are featuring Columbus Brewing Co.’s  “Summer Teeth” brew and samples from different local food vendors, as well as music and some local artists (similar to the Artisan Sunday’s event.) After immediately twittering Caroline we decided it was the perfect opportunity for dinner and a bike ride. (Although the bike idea was nixed and we brought along the currently-injured Joelynn.)

The market itself is open during the event, and there was a booth set up outside selling the featured beer and food. For $4 you got a glass of “Summer Teeth” which comes in a cool CBC glass you get to keep. [retracted Joelynn cup-love joke goes here ;)] Anyway, CBC’s “Summer Teeth” is VERY good. It is a paler ale with some citrus notes and very smooth finish. Basically it tastes like summer and there’s really no other way to describe it. So go try some ASAP. 

May’s featured local food was Jeni’s ice cream! Like every other citizen of the city of Columbus, I can’t resist Jeni’s, especially when it comes free with beer. I didn’t actually get the guy’s name working for Jeni’s but he had driven to North Market in the Jeni’s “baj” which is literally a street cart they bought from India and converted into a mobile ice cream cart. Basically it’s barely bigger than a golf cart but street legal and super cute. We of course couldn’t resist taking multiple pictures of it/in it/in front of it because we are just that easily amused.

So the free Jeni’s treat wasn’t the usual small scoop of ice cream but was a mini Sammi! You can buy the regular sized ice cream sandwiches at any of the shops, but the mini’s are only available at events. They are made of 2 macaroons with a delicious Jeni’s flavor of ice cream in between. We chose the Strawberry ice cream between pink macaroons and the Pistachio Honey ice cream between pistachio-almond macaroons. I’m allergic to strawberries so I got the pistachio and it was just as de-lish as I remembered. They also make sandwiches with the vanilla bean and salty caramel ice creams, my mom (being the awesome mom she is) had bought all four flavors of the regular sized sandwiches for my birthday so I was well aware of what a treat they are.

CD101 was also at the event and one of their promoters was walking around passing out free posters/coozies, making sure everyone was having a good time, and challenging them to play her game. Basically she had a big baton-type stick full of beads that she would hold horizontally, and then while you held your hand hovering over top of it, she’d drop the baton and you had to try to catch it before it hit the ground. It’s a lot more difficult than you would think, but even to my own surprise I caught it the first time! Caro and Jo didn’t have the same luck, but we enjoyed trying.

After finishing our beers and ice cream we went inside to get some real food. Jo went for a gyro, while Caro and I decided on Flavors of India. I hadn’t eaten Indian food in a while and had never tried this place. It was no Aab India, but it hit the spot. I ordered the Chicken Makhani which had a semi-spicy tomato-ey sauce and came with jasmin rice and potatoes with green beans. I had told the owner working that I was debating trying the goat but the meat was still attached to the bone and I just couldn’t do it. He did put some of the sauce, which was more of a broth, on my rice and it was pretty good. Of course I had to get a piece of nan as well (they only had plain) but it’s just the best for dipping into all that extra sauce.

All in all, I would call the event a success and hope to make it back another time this summer!