Last Friday was beautiful, wasn’t it? After traipsing around in the mud with Indy at the Scioto Audobon park, we were hungry and required a Friday cocktail or three. Since we live in German Village, we’ve had take out from the Jury Room several times, but I had never actually been inside. This, I decided, had to be remedied immediately. We grabbed our light jackets and wandered our way downtown.
After settling in and selecting our first drafts, husband read my mind and ordered a bucket of fried pickles. I’m a fan of both pickles and fried foods, so this is always a winning combination for me, but these are exceptional. The breading is substantial, but not tough, and so it stands up well to the tartness of the pickle. As always, I’m “watching what I eat” (read: watching fried pickle after fried pickle find its way to my belly), so I swore I’d only eat one, but alas, that was not to be.
Next, we put in our orders for dinner: I ordered the steak and horseradish sandwich (because HORSERADISH), and husband went for the bar classic, fish and chips. The entrees came out piping hot. Husband kept offering bites of his fish, but for a while, I was committed only to this sandwich (again, HORSERADISH). Finally, I gave into his demands that I MUST try this fish.
Guess what. ALSO DELICIOUS. I think I’m just a sucker for the Jury Room’s fryer because it might be the best fish and chips I’ve had in Columbus. His french fries were also obnoxiously tasty (as difficult to limit as those divine pickles). Between the two of us, we had enough food for probably an actual jury. But I don’t do well with sharing.
Am I not talking about the drinks? After our first beers, I decided to try the house drink, Jury Juice. Adorable, yes? Also $3. A delicious concoction of rum, lime juice, and 7-Up, I can see why a shady lawyer would try to pump this stuff into vulnerable jurors.
My seat was facing the bar and I couldn’t stop staring at this giant jug of pepper- and bacon-infused vodka. Husband and I are big lovers of spicy foods, and are always challenging ourselves to try the hottest thing on the menu. Now, it was my turn to insist we try the vodka. I bashfully asked our waitress for a shot (I am too old for shots), assuring her that we just wanted to sample, not shoot the stuff and get rowdy. She was very kind, nodded her head, and said, “great, but I’m going to bring you water as well, because it’s spicier than people think.” We nodded as she left and thought, come on. It’s vodka, not a ghost chili. She quickly brought us our shot (in a respectable tumbler) along with a GIANT MUG OF WATER. See?
I sampled first. You guys. YOU GUYS. It was spicy. Any decent liquor will burn on its way down, but this stuck around, and the heat built as we continued to sip. This is not to say it wasn’t good — nay! it was excellent! — but it was spicier than your average “spicy drink.” In other words, ALWAYS TRUST YOUR WAITRESS.
Since I demanded we go home and watch “King of Nerds” (what, just me?), this was easily the most exciting thing that happened to us that evening. Truly, the Jury Room is not to be missed. The food is wonderful. The drinks are inventive, and equally wonderful. The service was great, and basically that waitress saved my life.
It’s absolutely worth mentioning that the Jury Room is a very old establishment, with a very rich history. Thoughtfully, this history is printed on their menu. Lucky for you, the owner, Liz Lessner, recently posted a history of the building on her own blog, and it is a fascinating read.
But really, do remember. TRUST YOUR WAITRESS.
Jury Room is located at 22 E. Mound Street. Sun-Thu, 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-1am; Sat-Sun, 11am-4pm.