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!

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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!

The Thurman Cafe

Before Joelynn had to move home for her ACL surgery she wanted to knock some things off of her own Columbus bucket list, one of which was eating a Thurman burger.

Thurman Cafe is in German Village, is super small, and ALWAYS has a wait. They serve these giant hamburgers and subs including the famous “Thurmanator” which Adam Richman tackled on Man vs. Food. None of us were up for that but we did eat more than we expected. My friend Shilling had the afternoon off work and our friend Mack had just moved back from AZ so they came with us too.

Like I said, there is ALWAYS a wait, literally the waiting area is bigger than the dining area, so even at 3pm on a Tuesday we waited about 20 minutes. The lighting is pretty dark so it’s hard to get a good picture but I was standing at the far end of the restaurant when I took this pic. That’s the whole dining area plus some booths along the right wall.

The place is iconic, they have been around since 1942 and have “decorated” with tons of signs/memorabilia/pictures/Budweiser cases/and dollar bills collected over the years. It’s a very random, fun theme.

Now to the food. We [obviously] ordered our drinks first and Joelynn pointed out that they had Mellow Yellow, which is a rare find apparently (I don’t drink pop but I guess that’s exciting.) Jo and Shill also ordered the jalapeno popper appetizer with ranch. They were pretty good, your typical poppers with cream cheese.

Then we ordered our burgers.

Mack ordered the A1 (which I almost got) It was their giant burger cooked in A1 with swiss, lettuce, tomato, onion, and onion straws. I didn’t try any but he said it was really good.

Shilling ordered the Chicken Club Sandwich but they somehow mixed her order all up and brought her this Turkey Club Sub. She didn’t really care though and ate it anyway. It was massive and came with sliced turkey breast, bacon, swiss, lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers, mayo and italian.

I ordered the Cheeseburger Deluxe, with cheddar, fully dressed- which includes  lettuce, tomato, pickle, raw onion, & mayo with chips and a pickle on the side. It was massive, juicy, flavorful, delicious, and I’m shocked (and slightly embarrassed) to say I ate it all. I have no idea how it happened but I didn’t eat all day in anticipation of going there and just killed it. I also felt like I was going to explode, couldn’t eat anything the rest of the day and had to run with Creal that night. But it was all worth it. So good, but definitely something to save for rare occasions.

Even though the Thurmadelphia was literally calling her name (it’s a cross between a gyro and a Philly cheesesteak, her favorites) Jo wanted to get the Thurman burger. Loaded with ham, mushrooms, onions, mozzarella, american cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, banana peppers, and mayo, it was monstrous. She ate half of it which is impressive in itself but it really blows my mind that people manage to eat the Thurmanator which is twice as big.

Once she picked it up she couldn’t really put it down because it was so big and falling apart in her small hands. I tried to quickly snap a pic of her holding it up in all its greasy glory. The best part of this lunch may have been the checks because everything on their menu is over $10 and you get all that food! To anyone living in C-bus who hasn’t been here- Theres no exscuse- get there ASAP ;)

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!!!

Press Grill

So for breakfast/lunch this morning I went down to the Short North with some friends. Apparently, so did everyone else. I’m not sure if it’s always like that on Saturday or maybe just because of Red, White, & Boom last night but everywhere was packed. We really wanted breakfast food but when I saw the Press Grill “open” sign I tried convincing everyone it was good stuff and they agreed to try it. It’s located just north of Lincoln on the West side of High St, opens at 11:30 for lunch, and the kitchen stays open until 1:00 am (bars open until 2:30.)

The atmosphere is very low-key. It’s dimly lit (which is why my pics kind of suck) and there’s a big bar that takes up most of the space. They also have some high-top tables and smaller short tables with an open kitchen in the back where you can see them making the food. I had been there once before blogging and had been wanting to go back. The owner is also always there working which shows he really cares and I think its evident by the good experience he’s created.

I also have to mention how good the music was- while we were there they played 2 Death Cab for Cutie songs including “Such Great Heights,” 2 No Doubt songs from their “Return of Saturn” album which is one of my favorites, and Dashboard Confessional’s “Screaming Infidelities” and “The Best Deceptions.” Basically if I had a restaurant, there’s not much I would do different from what you can find at The Press Grill.

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The menu is mostly sandwiches and pizza with a decent amount of a la carte sides. They also have daily specials including Thanksgiving dinner every Thursday, and Steak dinner on Sundays. The sides include mac and cheese (that I haven’t tried but saw on the way out and I couldn’t stop staring it looked so yummy) as well buttered corn, coleslaw, etc. Separating the side makes the prices really great too for the quality and size.

Joelynn ended up getting the Loaded Cottage fries as a side/starter. They were thin-cut potato rounds that had been fried and topped with tomato, sour cream, cheese, scallions and bacon. Kind of like a deconstructed loaded baked potato and needless to say they were de-lish!

20110702-021100.jpgSince we had originally been going out for breakfast food most of us ordered the Fried Egg Sandwich. Thick cut toasted bread with nice warm eggs was the perfect way to start the day. It was made with 2 fried eggs, bacon, tomato, lettuce, american cheese, and mayo. I ordered mine with light mayo because it’s not my favorite thing, but it has been growing on me lately, and it went really well with this sandwich.

The portions were perfect, I don’t like sandwiches that are just loaded with layers of the same ingredient but this had just the right amount of egg, cheese, & veggies. All of this came on 2 thick slices of Texas Toast that perfectly balanced all of the layers and I was even still able to bite into it. It was a big sandwich. I didn’t think I’d eat both halves. But I did. And so did everyone else- it was just too good too put down!

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Market 65 and Columbus Arts Festival

Caroline and I ride down to Market 65 more than any other restaurant so I don’t actually blog about it every time. I usually will take some pics though just in case I decide to write about it. So anyway, this time I tried the Hungry Vegan which comes with Spinach, Spring mix, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Tomato, Carrots, Zucchini, & Sunflower Seeds. Sunflower Seeds are my favorite thing to put on a salad- I have no idea why, but I have always loved them and they were perfect with all the other fresh ingredients on this salad. What really made this worth blogging about though was the creamy tomato-gorgonzola dressing. Seriously Amazing. I’m fairly picky about dressings and I don’t like a lot of it on my salad but this dressing made the salad. I couldn’t stop talking about for the next two days, its one of those things that you want to tell everyone about and then force them to immediately go try.  

Since it was Friday, we also got the added bonus of Cupcake Yum.Yum (who btw recently overhauled their website so it’s now super-cute and definitely worth browsing through!) This time I tried the cookie dough cupcake. Of course it was de-lish. Not as good as the Raspberry Lemon or Maple Bacon but I don’t think its possible to mess up cookie dough.

After lunch we rode our bikes over to the Columbus Arts Festival. Caro had never been and I hadn’t been in a few years. It was smaller than I remembered and near the CSCC/CCAD campus’ instead of on the bridge. Regardless it was still a fun little trip, we saw some cool art (mixed media are my favorite). Caro tried her first Lemon Shake-Up (weird, I know), but she didn’t realize it’s supposed to be chunky with sugar so to my amusement she was quite surprised. Unfortunately it stormed really bad on Saturday and a lot of artist tents were ripped down and their pieces were destroyed. You can see some of the images here, and a fund was also set up to help those who lost money here.