Monday, April 14, 2014

The Leptologists Eat at Ethyl & Tank

Candice: We're on our way to Ethyl & Tank, a new joint near campus.
Paul: Seems like it should be Tank & Ethyl.
Candice: I wonder why they didn't consult you.
Paul: The oversight is glaring. In any case, here we are at this new campus hangout.
Candice: It is just off High Street, across from two tobacco shops. It's a good location.
Paul: We seat ourselves. The place is half full downstairs, empty upstairs. I bump my knees when I sit.
Candice: Because of your immensely long appendages.  I suppose I could just say you're tall.  You are tall, Paul.  The place has a coffee shop, a bar, food, and video games.
Paul: And a goat on the menu.
Candice: That all?  Maybe a sauna and some cots for naptime?  .

Paul: They have their demographic picked out, don't they.
Candice: This close to campus, they must. Caffeine, alcohol, comfort food, TV, WIFI, and video games.
Paul: What happens in summer when campus shuts down? I don't see many people from the suburbs coming down to campus to eat here.
Candice: Good question.  Maybe, their fans from The Crest Gastropub will find themselves over here. Or maybe, food reviewers will stop in.  Who knows? Anyhoo - I order the Chicken and Waffles. You get the Chicken-fried Steak.
Paul: For appetizers, we get the Potato Skins and Pork Rinds, something I've not seen on a menu before.
Candice: The patio will be nice in summer. I take a stroll upstairs: another bar and a couple walls of video games.  Sweet.
Paul: The appetizers take a while, but finally arrive.

Potato Skins
Candice: Very pretty.
Paul: You are not a fan of skins, are you.
Candice: Nope. Never.  What those I have tried have always been greasy or mealy or just plain icky, but these aren't bad: smooth, spicy skins, with soft potato and nicely seasoned shredded pork.
Paul: Very good skins, fresh, not crunchy, but nice and meaty. So, Potato skins are American sushi.
Candice: Uh, sushi is American sushi. But, if you're trying to make some correlation between finger foods and a particular culture's love for them, then, uh, okay. Now, these pork rinds...are just wonderful.  I have never experienced a fresh pork rind before.  I now understand the desire for mass distribution of the same.  Light, crispy with a deep flavor and barely any grease on your hands. Not oily and overly salted like the packaged brands I grew up on.

Pork Rinds
Paul: Phenomenal. Fresh and lightly seasoned. What a great appetizer. I don't think I can eat pork rinds from a bag ever again.
Candice: That is a vow you should take seriously.
Paul: Two great appetizers. Lets hope the entrees compare.
Candice: Here they are, a lovely presentation for both.
Paul: Mine comes without a knife. It's hard to eat a steak without a knife.
Candice: And the owner brings your crown out late as well.  Your crown being the lovely grill crusted jalapeno topped cornbread. Yum.

Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy
Paul: This plate is ridiculous! It spins.
Candice: It's like the food is running away from you!
Paul: This is a big cut of steak. The gravy is very good.
Candice: Yes, it makes the steak.
Paul: The potatoes are tasty as well. This is a good chicken-fried steak. And it's far more food than I can eat.

Chicken and Waffles
Candice: This waffle is good, but it gets too sugary after a while.
Paul: Nice presentation.
Candice: I have my crown.
Paul: Yes, we know.  It may be invisible to the rest of the world, but I recognize the sparkle of a Queen's head ring when I see one. Your chicken is tasty, but I am not a fan of the cornbread.
Candice: I like it. But there's more here than I can eat.  They put a lot of food on these spinny plates.
Paul: So, what do you think of this place?
Candice: It's cool.  Still feels fresh. If it holds out, I think a little tarnish to its varnish would do it some good.  And, maybe put some felt on the bottom of these discuses otherwise known as those spinny things, also known as 'wow, am I shiny, please smother my brightness with the yumminess of massive food'.
Paul: Food, alcohol, coffee, video games, and free WIFI. What else does a college student need?
Candice: Tuition? Friends? At least one black-out? A bicycle? A lesson in jaywalking? Some solid academic advice?
Paul: Uh, uh..okay, okay.  Fix the tilt on that head ring of yours, and let me know how you really feel.
Candice:  Fine, Tall Paul, back to business. Uhhmm, okay - The design is great, the portions are huge. If it wasn't for these silly spinning plates, the place would be just about perfect.
Paul: Yeah, but I wonder if it's going to catch on. Does it have the coolness young, hip people are attracted to?
Candice: Really?  Young, hip people?  You might as well be wearing a sandwich board saying "Old Geezer" on it.  One doesn't have to be young and hip to appreciate this place.  It could be an erstwhile delusional 40-something woman with a Giant Crossfit Junkie Gollum as a friend.  But, time will tell. So, green check marks all around.
Paul: Worth the price, worth the wait, and worth coming back.
Candice: And, worth the time spent.  It really was a nice meal, food and otherwise.

Candice   Paul   

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

Ethyl & Tank on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Leptologists Eat at Bakersfield

Candice: Bakersfield in the Short North?
Paul: Yes, my brother recommends it.
Candice: If Mark likes it, lets go.
Paul: It's just a short walk up High Street from the Arena District, at the corner of Buttles and High.
Candice: Go on, say it.
Paul: Buttles! Hee hee!
Candice: Are you six?
Paul: Mentally?
Candice: This place has a nice feel to it. Old cowboy movies are playing on the TVs.
Paul: But without sound.
Candice: Rock and roll is blaring from the speakers. The place feels new, if a bit kitschy.
Paul: And forced or manufactured.
Candice: Compared to, say, Talita's?
Paul: Now Talita's was all hard plastic and too bright lights, but they owned their ambience. Not so sure here.
Candice: We sit at one of the ginormous barrels by the windows.
Paul: It forces us to sit with splayed legs. This might get uncomfortable.
Candice: The waitress informs us that 2 to 4 tacos make a good lunch.
Paul: And the soup of the day is a Corn Chowder.
Candice: We'll get two Tacos a piece plus the Chips and Queso.
Paul: And I'll try the chowder.
Candice: I choose the Raja and Short Rib tacos.
Paul: And I the Fish and Mole tacos.
Candice: This water has no taste.
Paul: And that's...?
Candice: Good. It means they have a good filter.

Chips and Queso and Corn Chowder
Paul: The Queso and Chips arrive as does the Corn Chowder.
Candice: And only 1 spoon for the chowder. How am I supposed to sample it?
Paul: This tastes incredibly fresh. The kernels of corn are crisp and crunchy. The cheese atop the middle is light and not too strong.
Candice: Where's my spoon?
Paul: It's got just a bit of a kick to it.
Candice: Here's my spoon! Ah, you're right. This has a richness of flavor and a lightness to it. It's not heavy at all. What a delight.
Paul: The chips are unnoticeable.
Candice: The Queso is brown atop and lumpy underneath. The top is awesome... the underneath not so much.
Paul: The Chorizo within tastes a little stale. But it has a nice fire to it.
Candice: These two sauces are a winner. The green is fresh and delicious, just the right kick. The red is sweet and smokey. Together they form an amazing flavor.
Paul: I'm having trouble with the subtlety of the red sauce, but I do like the green.
Candice: The tacos! What an adorable, beautiful presentation!

Paul: The Mole Taco -- braised chicken, pickled onions, queso, and cilantro -- is wonderfully sweet, with a final heat. It tastes smokey and burnt.
Candice: That is a unique taste, one I haven't tasted before.
Paul: The cilantro gives it a nice flavor.
Candice: The Rajas Taco is nice. Inside is cheese, peppers, beans, and cilantro. The veggies are cooked perfectly, the queso gives it substance, and the lime adds brightness. I just wish the lime wedges were easier to handle.
Paul: Easier to handle?
Candice: I need a lime fork!
Paul: I don't think they make those.
Candice: Someone should.
Paul: The Fish Taco is... disappointing. It's a fish nugget in tartar sauce. It's supposed to be crispy mahi with lime sauce and slaw.
Candice: Hmmm. I can taste the breading more than the fish. You're right. I love the Short Rib Taco. It's tasty and better than the Mole.
Paul: It is good, but I prefer the chicken to the short rib.
Candice: I like this restaurant. I like the concept.
Paul: It's got some appeal. But what the menu needs is a carne asada taco with grilled onions and queso.
Candice: Or a chicken lime with a light cilantro sauce and roasted garlic encrusted peppers.
Paul: Yum.
Candice: Well, it was certainly worth the price. Around $25 for that much food for 2 people.
Paul: The Fish Taco and Queso were dubious.
Candice: Yet the other three tacos were delicious, as was your Corn Chowder.
Paul: The house table salsas were also very good.
Candice: Worth the wait?
Paul: Yep. Even on Valentine's Day.
Candice: I'm glad that poor man's date finally arrived. He's been sitting alone for ten minutes.
Paul: I hope she was worth the wait. Worth coming back?
Candice: Yes. There's still four tacos we haven't tried.
Paul: Agreed! Let's go!

Candice   Paul   

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

Bakersfield Short North on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Leptologists Eat at The Elevator

Candice: We only have a short time for lunch today, so we'll go someplace local.
Paul: How about the closest restaurant to our workplace? The Elevator.
Candice: One of our favorites. How come we haven't reviewed it already?
Paul: We've been waiting for the perfect occasion?
Candice: Could be! Let's go!
Paul: Here were are! A short walk, but, darn, it's cold out.
Candice: We're the only ones here at 11:00 AM and they sit us by the door. Brrrr!
Paul: We didn't drive so I can't get the blanket for you.
Candice: I may just be a tad hangry.
Paul: The waiter arrives for our drink orders and lists the specials.
Candice: I order the in-house root beer.
Paul: The loaded baked potato soup sounds good. There is no other lunch special, which is odd.
Candice: For the appetizer we choose Ryan's Corn Brats.

Ryan's Brats
Paul: I'm gonna get the Rock Filet.
Candice: That means I can't. And I'm not getting a burger.
Paul: Sorry. How about the meatloaf?
Candice: That does sound good. I'll get that and the Tomato and Artichoke Soup.
Paul: I'll get the Rock Filet and the Loaded Potato Soup.
Candice: This water tastes horrible. Good thing I have this awesome root beer.
Paul: Maybe the water is linked to the mildewy smell that pervades the place.
Candice: I think it's just city tap water. The smell is old building smell.
Paul: The soups arrive with some table bread.

Tomato Soup
Candice: And the Brats.
Paul: The coating is corn-doggy and good, but there is an odd aftertaste to the brat.
Candice: I like the batter too, but the bratwurst isn't as bratty as I want it. The spicy horseradish sauce adds a nice kick.
Paul: How's the sauerkraut?
Candice: Try some. It has a mild first taste, followed by a nice flavor afterwards.
Paul: I don't like--
Candice: Just eat it.
Paul: One bite.... Not bad. It put a kick on the tongue.
Candice: I could eat sauerkraut and pickles all day. I come from Germanic people.

Potato Soup
Paul: Sauerkraut and pickles probably keep them from being hangry. This soup is very fresh. It's chunky, hearty, and earthy. This last taste makes it seem too fresh.
Candice: Let me try. I see what you mean. But it's a good soup.
Paul: It's growing on me. At first the earthiness was distracting, but here I am finishing the whole bowl.
Candice: I love the sweet and cheddary flaky flavor of the Tomato and Artichoke Soup. Try some.
Paul: I like that a lot.
Candice: Want to trade soups?
Paul: No, I'll stick with the potato.

Table Bread
Candice: Earthiness? That's just plain freshness, and you like it!
Paul: Guilty.
Candice: The bread is fresh and delicious. The tide of appetizers and soup has stalled my hanger.
Paul: Thank goodness.
Candice: But I'm still cold.
Paul: We're being used as the token couple up front.
I guess we should have come later than 11:00 AM.
Candice: The entrees have arrived, overwhelming our small table.

Rock Filet
Paul: The Rock Filet comes on a hot brick, the meat rare, so that you can cook it to your desired temperature.
Candice: There are three sauces with it, the double demi-glace, the creamy peppercorn, and the bearnaise.
Paul: The fungi is yours.
Candice: Brown them up for me on your brick.
Paul: Your meatloaf is as tall as my meal is wide.

Meat Loaf
Candice: Indeed. But for all its height, the meatloaf is just hamburger. It has the texture of hamburger and the taste of it.
Paul: It is a bit bland.
Candice: The rosemary they used tastes stale.
Paul: My steak is as good as usual. The meat is flavorful and fresh. It cooks quickly to medium-rare on my rock. But my mashed potatoes are lukewarm. Wow, what a disappointment.
Candice: I can beat you on that. The potatoes at the bottom of my tower of meatloaf are uncooked. This spud is a dud.

Raw Tater
Paul: I can at least heat my mashed potatoes on my hot rock.
Candice: You can cook mine too.
Paul: And waste my heat on your tater?
Candice: Fine! Be a heat miser.
Paul: The demi-glace sauce is tasty, but the creamy peppercorn is too peppery and the bearnaise sauce is too creamy.
Candice: Let me have that peppercorn sauce. I think I can de-bland the loaf with it.
Paul: How is it now?
Candice: Not bad.
Paul: What are you doing over there?
Candice: I pressed the wrong button on the camera app! What is this thing doing?
Paul: You just took six selfies. This is about the food, you know. Not you.

Candice Selfie
Candice: It's about me...and it's about you.
Paul: Good point. Check out this article on us in the Columbus City Scene Magazine.
Candice: That's us outside the Elevator on a different day.
Paul: Well, what do you think? Worth the price, worth the wait, worth coming back?
Candice: Your steak was excellent, as it usually is. The soups and bread were very good. The appetizer was decent. For some reason, the potatoes were just plain bad. Uncooked and undercooked.
Paul: Maybe the tater chef was out today.
Candice: This lunch is too expensive to include undercooked potatoes.
Paul: It seems an odd gaff for an otherwise good restaurant and lunch.
Candice: The wait was nonexistent, even if they did sit us near the door and in the cold. I will be back because I know they are better than this.
Paul: Agreed, worth the wait, worth coming back, but questionable on the price for you. The cool mashed potatoes aren't enough for me to mark them negative on price.
Candice: Really?  For our next lunch then, we'll go to my place and I'll just throw some raw potatoes at you and charge you for them.  You could own a red X then, eh?

Candice   Paul   

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

Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Leptologists Eat at Talita's

Paul: On our way to one restaurant, we spy Talita's Tex-Mex.
Candice: We veer into the parking lot on a whim. Try not to hit anyone.
Paul: Roger that. Talita's has been on our list for a while, so yay for spontaneity.
Candice: The waitress tells us to sit anywhere.
Paul: She seems tired, yet happy.
Candice: Apparently lunch is usually express. Dine-in is new this week.
Paul: That explains it. Things must be pretty hectic.
Candice: She gets us hot sauce before she gets us drinks.
Paul: They have their priorities here.
Candice: Amen to that. Wednesday is Southwest Wednesday, so the Wet n' Cheesie Burrito is the special.
Paul: Let's get those. I'll take mine with beef, beans, and cheese.
Candice: Make mine chicken, beans, and cheese. And an order of the baby flour nachos.
Paul: There's a picture of Talita on the wall.
Candice: I think one of the employees just prayed with that couple who left.
Paul: This is a place with... character.
Candice: It is unabashedly what it is.
Paul: The nachos arrive and look exactly as they sound, cheese between two tortilla cut into fourths.
Candice: Sometimes we're just too hungry to pause for a photo. Sorry, folks.
Paul: Picture it in your mind's eye instead.
Candice: These two sauces are fantastic.
Paul: The red salsa tingles the tongue. What a fabulous flavor.
Candice: The jalapeno salsa lingers. They are both fresh and excellent.
Paul: Here are the burritos.

Wet n' Cheesie Burrito
Candice: Wet and cheesy sums it up.
Paul: The beef is fresh with a slight spiciness.
Candice: The red sauce is excellent and the beans are tasty.
Paul: This may be the best burrito I have ever eaten.
Candice: When it comes to good food, the recipe is always the same: use fresh ingredients in simple recipes for great taste.
Paul: They've done it here. This burrito was good from first to last bite.
Candice: This is not a light lunch. Come hungry.
Paul: Or hangry.
Candice: You're done first. That rarely happens.
Paul: It was the best burrito I've ever had.
Candice: I'm eating past full!
Paul: But now both plates are empty.
Candice: Wow. What a lunch.
Paul: No wait, excellent price, and definitely worth coming back.
Candice: Agreed. Good stuff!

Candice   Paul   

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

Talita's on High on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Leptologists Eat at The Taj Palace

Candice: We're heading to Hilliard today, to the Taj Palace.
Paul: Indian food sounds good. Let's go!
Candice: It smells great. There seems to be a good lunch crowd today, maybe fifteen people eating at the buffet.
Paul: We are seated, order drinks, and proceed to the buffet.
Candice: This looks like normal buffalo chicken wings and an American-style salad bar.
Paul: There's soup, Madras Soup, which is tomato with some grated coconut in it.
Candice: The naan is gone and they've only been open 30 minutes. That's annoying.

Paul's Plate #1
Paul: The soup... tastes like Campbell's Tomato Soup from a can. I can barely taste the coconut.
Candice: They were out of naan, but the waiter brought us fresh to the table. That was good of him. And this is very good naan: light, fresh, and tasty.
Paul: This chicken wing is... just a chicken wing. It seems out of place on an Indian buffet.
Candice: The Saag Paneer is bland. I expect more spice in my creamed spinach. The cheese is solid though.

Candice's Plate #1
Paul: The chickpeas, the Dah Rajrani, is bland as well. There's no flavor, no spice here, and worse yet, it's not heated through.
Candice: Did they not expect a lunch crowd?
Paul: The Beef Korma is spicy, however. And the beef isn't dry.
Candice: I'm not sure I am comfortable with an Indian restaurant that serves beef.
Paul: The Tandoori Chicken however is dry and not flavorful at all.
Candice: This pickled onion is interesting. Try it.
Paul: Um....
Candice: Your face just scrunched up like a five-year-old eating Brussels sprouts.

Paul's Plate #2
Paul: Pickled onions are not my thing.
Candice: I like the mint chutney. It's fresh and with the right consistency. The Tamarind Paste is tartly sweet. The hot sauce is chili sauce and strong.
Paul: It is.
Candice: Yet I'm not happy with anything here, except the naan. Why do you let me pick?
Paul: We have that in writing now.
Candice: It's official. I am not allowed to pick for a while.
Paul: I head to the buffet a third time for the mango custard.
Candice: How is it? On par with the rest of this ghastly lunch?

Candice's Plate #2
Paul: It is cleansing my palate with its bland, slightly mango-ish taste. It's smooth and seems like a basic, bland, institutional custard. Nothing special.
Candice: Bland about sums this lunch up. Nothing provided the zip of what I expect from Indian food. Where is the subtle layering of flavors I expect?
Paul: Americanized Indian food is a bad idea. I want something that excites my mouth when I eat Indian.
Candice: The Eggplant is inedible. The Chicken and Mushroom is uninteresting.
Paul: But it smelled good. Too bad it ended up so badly.
Candice: I don't ever want to come back.
Paul: Let's pay and get out of here.
Candice: It better be cheap.

Candice   Paul   

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

Taj Palace on Urbanspoon