Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Leptologists Rest Their Forks

Paul: What restaurant sounds good today?
Candice: ...uh, have a meeting, can we reschedule?
Paul:  Sure thing....and, done!
Candice:  Thanks.
<...the rescheduled Leptology date arrives...>
Candice:  Hey you!  Where do you want to go today?
Paul: Can't, offsite, reschedule?
Candice:  But, of course.
<...and, the re-rescheduled Leptology date comes to pass...>
Paul:  Hiya.  Which place would you like to go to today?
Candice: ...uh....

Paul & Candice: 

Hello, dear readers:

Thank you so much for your interest over the past two years.  We've enjoyed sharing our thoughts with you during our journey through Columbus to find great places to grab something for lunch.

As it stands, our lives have taken on different interests and hobbies (Paul is a Tae Kwan Do Black Belt, Cross Fit Cult Member, Science Fiction Writer, Pun Master...and, Candice is...uh, otherwise occupied?), so we're going to take some time to delve into our other desires with the same passion and energy we've tried to bring to the table here.

This hiatus isn't necessarily a surprise (or indefinite) as the very nature of our efforts here have been built on this simple concept:

Lep`tol´o`gy. (lĕp`tǒl´ô`jŷ). n. 1. A minute and tedious discourse on trifling things. 

We've had a great run.  We were featured in an awesome magazine article; we've eaten a great deal of delicious food, met some wonderful folks, and hopefully, given a few of you some laughs and some ideas on where to take your next work lunch to banter, vent, and ... breathe.

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Effort?
Worth the Time?
Worth Coming Back?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Leptologists Eat at Due Amici

Candice: Here we sit in Due Amici, our first and second choice were too busy and too casual for us.
Paul: Maybe we'll hit Tip Top next time. But we'll mark The Carvery off our list.
Candice: I do not stand in line to order. Well, not for this blog.
Paul: We've been to Due Amici before, but never to review it.
Candice: Translated from Italian, it means "Two Friends."
Paul: How apropos for us. Which reminds me: Happy Birthday, Dear Candice!
Candice: Why thank you so much!
Paul: John, our server, promptly lets us know the specials.
Candice: I go with the lunch special, an Eggplant Pasta, and the soup of the day, Vegetable Chicken.
Paul: I get the Meat Lasagna and the soup as well. As appetizer, I choose the Spinach and Artichoke dip.
Candice: That is so suburban.
Paul: If I don't order the dip, we'll end up with the Steamed Mussels. It's a pre-emptive apperitizer order.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Candice: Very true and well played.
Paul: The dip arrives... and it looks like Stonehenge!
Candice: The crostini slabs are very good, but this dip is no different than any other such dip.
Paul: I like it quite a bit. The flavor is subtle, not strong. The crostini are structurally sound and get a good dollop of dip on them.
Candice: Are you describing dip or Stonehenge?
Paul: Yes. Here's the soup.

Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Candice: The lighting makes the soup look bland.
Paul: But how does it taste?
Candice: It's bland.
Paul: I'll add some salt.... That didn't help.
Candice: I don't find much sublety here. I appreciate the dark meat, but not the bacon.
Paul: The white corn is nice. It adds a little sweetness to it.
Candice: But not enough. The potatos are uniform and have rounded corners. They may be from a can.
Paul: Yet you have eaten it all.
Candice: Good point. I needed energy to power my critique.

Eggplant and Pasta
Paul: Your pasta arrives. That's pretty.
Candice: It's a wonderful arrangement of cheese. The flavors are very well done. The spice kicks in after a moment. My only complaint is the eggplant, which is chewier than I like it to be.
Paul: The cheese is melting from the heat of the pasta.
Candice: The cheese has a good flavor. There's chicken in here too, but it's so smokey that the flavor is overpowering.
Paul: I'll try it. Wow. That is strong.
Candice: It's ruining it for me.

Meat Lasagna
Paul: There's enough of my Meat Lasagna if you'd like some. It's a block of cheese, noodles, and ground meat.
Candice: I like my lasagna wthout meat, but for a Meat Lasagna, yours is very good.
Paul: It is the best such I've ever had. Wow.
Candice: I think you've won this round.
Paul: On your birthday. That seems unfair. Maybe you should get dessert.
Candice: You talked me into it. I order the Tiramisu.

Paul: Yum. This is awesome. Rich, but not too much so, creamy, and chocolatey.
Candice: Though our picture looks like a close-up of a wolf spider.
Paul: Spiders - Your favorite!  Perfect for a great end to your birthday lunch.
Candice: We should mention that the Tiramisu was provided free of charge from John. That was nice of him.
Paul: Yes, it was.  Your conclusion?
Candice: Decent dip, decent soup, okay pasta ruined by the smoky chicken, but some awesome Tiramisu. Worth the wait, worth the price, and worth coming back.
Paul: Agreed. I loved the dip, could have done without the soup, but found the lasagna among the best I've ever tasted. The Tiramisu was excellent. Happy Birthday!
Candice: Thank you! Now get me to the airport. I need to fly to Scotland.

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Due Amici on Urbanspoon

The Leptologists Eat at Philco Diner

Candice: Notice us...notice us...notice us <eyes squinting in telepathic effort>...
Paul: Never fear! Our hostess comes.
Candice: See?  I'm magic.  I made the line really, really short here at Philco Diner.
Paul: We are the line.
Candice: Duh - magic.  Anyhoo - We choose seats at the bar right next to the classic fan.

Retro Fan
Paul: Someone should turn the fan on. Cigarette smoke is drifting in here from someplace.
Candice: It is a diner.  Maybe, they're going for ultra-retro.  The decor certainly speaks that way. The fan, the clock. It's ultra retro: an uber classic diner feel.
Paul: It does have that. I doubt more than 30 people could eat here at once.
Candice: Standing line only!  The mirrors opposite the bar open up the room enough that we don't feel crowded.

Paul: I see your water has ice.
Candice: I ordered it without.
Paul: I hope your appetite is not put off.
Candice:  I am displeased, not daunted. Besides my dear friend, that is an impossibility, as you well know. I think I'll have the Traditional Breakfast and the Fried Egg Tacos.
Paul: Awesome. I'll have the Eggs and Grits. For an appetizer, we'll order the Sweet Hushpuppies and the Savory Hushpuppies.
Candice: Oh, and I'll have the Ginger Butternut Squash Soup.
Paul: Here are the hushpuppies!

Candice: They have arrived piping hot! Cooked perfectly through and through.
Paul: The exterior golden brown; the insides moist.
Candice: The savory sauce is a little like a tartar sauce, but not really.
Paul: The sweet sauce makes the hushpuppy taste like a corn pancake in syrup.
Candice: Yummy hush puppies. I like both sauces.
Paul: Same puppy, but each with a different hush.

Ginger Butternut Squash Soup
Candice: Have you ever heard anyone tell their puppies to hush?  The soup arrives. It's a perfect balance, salty with ginger. A very nice flavor. The soup was served with crackers again.  I do not eat the crackers.  Crackers are for cheese and pate.  (where's the html accent character? meh.)
Paul: Not bad. But I am not a squash fan. I'll eat the grits that have just arrived.
Paul: Oh, this is hideous. The grits have been burnt, making them inedible. The horrid taste has crept into the eggs.

Grits and Eggs
Candice: That's... just sad.  I love grits.
Paul: I can't eat this. I love grits too. I love eggs. But the chef has managed to ruin them both.
Candice: Luckily, I ordered enough food for two of me, which is three of you, so - please, eat.
Paul: Well, how are your two meals?
Candice: The Fried Egg Tacos are fresh. The salsa is spicy, but not enough for my tastes. It's a degree away from 'Wow'.

Fried Egg Tacos

Paul: Okay, trying them....The fresh ingredients give the egg tacos a wonderful flavor. Nice!
Candice: The bacon on my Traditional Breakfast is too thin and burnt.
Paul: Bacon needs to be thick!
Candice: Yes! and bacon needs to be yummy.  The cakes taste overdone. They are okay. Not light, not heavy. Just not great.

Traditional Breakfast
Paul: Well, what do you think?  I say Philco had some nice items today with a few real losers. I am disappoint.
Candice: Yes, some decent items - the hushpuppies were really good and I really enjoyed the tacos.
Paul: Looks like appetizers win out again for us. Is Columbus the city of appetizers?
Candice: It seems that way to us.  Does Columbus have a restaurant dedicated to just appetizers?
Paul: Uh...yes - the restaurant biz calls them small plates.  Really, Candice? Aren't you supposed to be a meta-foodie? I count on your knowledge and palate.  As it stands, my grits were inedible. They appeared to have been torched by the chef and the result was disgusting.
Candice: Sorry that you had such a horrible experience with your Eggs and Grits.  I wonder if the waitress noticed how burnt they appeared?
Paul: If she did, she should have taken them back or asked me to see if they were okay.  At least, your soup was good.
Candice: Very good, second to the hushpuppies. The Fried Egg Tacos were pretty good too with the Traditional Breakfast being so-so.
Paul: Worth the wait?
Candice: We did stand around a little while before the hostess  read my mind and sat us. And my water took a while to get refilled, but ultimately I think it was worth the wait. The walk here was pleasant and not too long.
Paul: Agreed.
Candice: Worth the price?
Paul: The prices were decent for the portions. How do I rate my inedible grits though?
Candice: Good question. Perhaps with the final question.
Paul: Worth coming back?
Candice: Is it?
Paul: You know, those grit really put me off. I don't want to come back after that fiasco.
Candice: My experience wasn't as bad as yours. We're split on that answer.
Paul: Indeed. You can come back on your own.
Candice: Maybe. Lets blow this popsicle stand.

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Philco Bar + Diner on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Leptologists Eat at Rishi

Candice: Sushi.
Paul: I take it you have a hankering for some raw fish.
Candice: Sushi.  Rishi Sushi Kitchen and Bar. I stopped by for dinner not too long ago. I thought we should try it for lunch.
Paul: You eat without me?!?
Candice: Just enough to survive until our next meal.  No need to fret.  I really like this place.
Paul: It does smell fresh, unlike other sushi places we've dined.
Candice: I love the decor.  Simple, elegant and easy on the eyes.

Indoor Decor
Paul: As appetizer, we order the Seven Seas Edamame.
Candice: I'll have the Lunch Sushi and the It's Going to be Amazing Ramen.
Paul: Lets hope it is aptly named. I'll have the Back in the Day Ramen.
Candice: There are goldfish on the shelf overlooking the sushi prepartion area.
Paul: That's torture for those fish!
Candice: Uncle Hamachi! No!
Paul: That's funny. Sick, but funny. We've been seated by the doors leading to the patio. The wait staff going in and out has gotten annoying.
Candice: You have a big spatial footprint what with the largeness of you, I can see how that could disturb  you.  Luckily our appetizers have arrived and might take your mind off the annoyance.

Paul: The Seven Seas Edamame is served with lime juice and two salts, one a traditional sea salt and the second a garlic and blood orange sea salt.
Candice: The edamame is fresh. I love the garlic and blood orange salt.
Paul: That's a wonderful combination of flavors. I don't believe we've been served edamame with anything but normal sea salt.
Candice: No. The presentation and flavor are fantastic.
Paul: Best soy beans ever?
Candice: In the running. Here's my sushi.
Paul: What did you get?

Candice: Tuna, octopus, white fish, shrimp, and yellow tail as well as tuna rolls.
Paul: It's pretty.
Candice: The tuna is as expected. Salmon is good, and the yellow tail is on par.
Paul: You don't sound excited.
Candice: It tastes suited for a midwestern palate. The sushi flavor seems... sanitized.
Paul: Too bad. Our ramen has arrived.

It's Going to Be Amazing Ramen
Candice: Mine is the It's Going to Be Amazing Ramen, and it's a seafood broth with noodles, scallops, shrimp, calamari, and fish cake, plus veggies including bean sprouts, kimchi, and scallions. I love that it's served with a wooden spoon.
Paul: Stylish.
Candice: Easier to slurp with, ho! The seafood is delicious, though I chose this particular ramen specifically because the menu did not have corn listed as an ingredient. Nothing against corn or corn in ramen, I just didn't want corn in MY ramen.  Despite this misstep, I am enjoying it as the scallops are especially good.
Paul: My Back in the Day Ramen seems to be a chicken broth with ramen noodles. In it is a chicken patty, hard-boiled egg, fish cake, bean sprouts, and... corn.

Back in the Day Ramen
Candice: Makes more sense for corn to be in yours than mine.  You know, because it's not mine.
Paul:  Right, no corn in Candice's ramen, ever.  Never ever.  My dish is piping hot, though and the chicken is fresh and tender. The flavor is unique, strongly tasting of cinnamon. It's overpowering, really.
Candice: Trying it...It seems like it's in the noodles.
Paul: Wow. It's strong. But the ramen is good. Or I'm so hungry, I'll eat it no matter what.
Candice: I say we get dessert.
Paul: You've talked me into it.
Candice: That was easier on the page than it was in the restaurant.
Paul: Candice convinces me after a long argument to get a slice of Spicy Chocolate Tort.
Candice: There we go - truth in reality! Oh My! Dude, they get their desserts from the Angry Baker. We HAVE to try it.

Spicy Chocolate Tort
Paul: It's beautiful, that's for sure.
Candice: And delicious.
Paul: This whipped cream is amazing, and the chocolate very rich.
Candice: Do you taste the spice?
Paul: Oh, yes, it builds slowly. That's a wonderful chocolate tort.
Candice: Yep. What do you think?
Paul: Wonderful edamame. Wonderful chocolate tort.
Candice: The sushi was pretty and well made, but not to my preferred taste.
Paul: The ramen was decent.
Candice: Agreed. Worth the wait? Worth coming back? Worth the price?
Paul: Yes to all three. We were served quickly. The price was decent. And there are things on the menu I'd like to try.
Candice: Agreed.  This place is great.  I hope it stays and continues to challenge Columbus palates.  I have high hopes that David Kim will push more envelopes.  I will be back.

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Rishi Sushi Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

The Leptologists Eat at Oliver's

Candice: Where are we going again?
Paul: A place called Fin here on South High Street.
Candice: This looks like the same address as Chez du Bon.
Paul: We reviewed them back in April. And yes, it is the same place.
Candice: And it's closed.
Paul: What? How is that possible? We ate there in April.
Candice: We ate at Chez du Bon not Fin. And loved the Cassoulet.
Paul: Well, Chez du Bon didn't last long.
Candice: Longer than Fin, apparently. They've closed too.
Paul: A note on the door suggests sister restaurants Manifesto, De-Novo, or Oliver's.
Candice: We've eaten at the first two. I guess we could try out Oliver's.
Paul: It's back the way we came, in an alley off High Street. Found it.
Candice: It smells like horses in here.
Paul: More like a barn.
Candice: I don't want to know what the specials are.
Paul: Forget the specials. For our appetizer, we'll go with the Steak and Gorgonzola Flatbread.
Candice: I'll order the Ribeye. All this walking up and down High Street has made me hungry.
Paul: I'll get the Southern Fried Chicken.
Candice: The 80s songs playing remind me of my youth.
Paul: Whitesnake? You rolled around a lot on car hoods.
Candice: Nope, but I sure wanted to be Tawny Kitaen. What girl didn't? Ah, look - Here is our appetizer!

Steak and Gorgonzola Flatbread
Paul: There's a good contrast with the sweet onion and gorgonzola.
Candice: Hmmm. The steak is overcooked, a little chewy.
Paul: The flatbread is fresh and precisely cut.
Candice: It needs more parsley, but overall it's not too bad.
Paul: We finish the flatbread and await the food.
Candice: It's taking long enough.
Paul: Finally the entrees arrive.

Candice: This ribeye is bland.
Paul: That's horrible.
Candice: It is. It hasn't been aged or seasoned. It's tasteless.
Paul: How are the potatoes?
Candice: Better. They are a little cold, but mashed well and good.
Paul: My fried chicken tastes like fair food.

Southern Fried Chicken
Candice: Battered and deep-fried.
Paul: Exactly. The chicken itself is moist but tasteless.
Candice: I'm sensing a theme in the food here.
Paul: The Mac and Cheese at the bottom of the bowl is tasty and rich.
Candice: I think it's bland as well.
Paul: The spinach is fresh and full of iron. It feels like the leaves are sticking to my teeth.
Candice: It's comfort food: ample and bland.
Paul: David the general manager stops by and we explain the blandness.
Candice: He offers restitution in the form of corn pudding.

Corn Pudding
Paul: Wow. That's some tasty corn pudding.
Candice: It's lovely. It's the highlight of the meal and we didn't even order it.
Paul: Well, what do you think?
Candice: The staff treated us right, that's for sure. The food was a bit bland, but there was enough of it for four.
Paul: Yep. The flatbread was decent, the corn pudding awesome, and the entrees so-so.
Candice: Worth the price? Yes, with the amount served.
Paul: Worth the wait? The food was a long time coming, but ultimately yes.
Candice: Worth coming back? I think so. I like what the owner of these three restaurants is trying to do.
Paul: Let's hope the restaurant is still here the next time we want to stop in!

Candice   Paul   

Worth the Price?
Worth the Wait?
Worth Coming Back?

Oliver’s Burgers Steaks & Bourbon on Urbanspoon