Working Out with ClassPass + A Bite at Alchemy Juice Cafe

{by alexis} We have been so busy over here at Wander & Whine over the past few weeks! In addition to our usual hectic work and social schedules, we’ve been cramming all kinds of exercise classes in whenever we can, thanks to our shiny new ClassPass! After beating ourselves up for an hour on Sunday, we headed to Alchemy Juice Cafe for a pick-me-up.

With locations in over 20 other cities, ClassPass launched in Columbus at the end of December, and we’re putting them to work! With a membership, you can attend as many classes as you desire at various participating fitness studios across the city, and you can visit each studio up to three times a month. For example, that’s three Pure Barre classes in Grandview, three in Dublin, and three in New Albany, if you don’t mind taking a scenic drive on 270.

So far, we’ve been to a few yoga classes (at Nurture Yoga in Dublin), and even our first hot yoga class at Pai Yoga & Fitness in Dublin (verdict: LOVE). We did some plies at Pure Barre in Grandview, and then last Sunday we took a spinning class at the Fitness Loft in German Village. You guys, that was tough. Spinning is SUCH a challenge. What do you MEAN I’m supposed to up my resistance! I think the bike is resisting me pretty successfully as it is!

I’ll say a few words about the Fitness Loft: It is a beautiful facility with wide open spaces (something LA Fitness severely lacks), and the huge windows bathe the tall rooms with light. It’s a lovely place to spend some time. Their fitness weight machines are upgraded and automatic — no pin jamming here. I’m hoping to attend at least one more class here before the month is out.

In any case, after a punishing hour on the bikes, we headed downstairs to Alchemy. We have been looking to try this place forever, and nothing gives you an excuse to eat like a good workout!

alchemy juice bar | wander & whine

alchemy juice bar | wander & whine

Can you blame me? Juice is so satisfying to the eye isn’t it? And it’s a genius route for someone (LIKE ME) who hates fruit in general. I much prefer this pureed and strained version to the off-the-vine option.

We ordered some delicious avocado toast and cashew milk and made ourselves comfortable.

alchemy juice bar | wander & whine

alchemy juice bar | wander & whine

alchemy juice bar | wander & whine

I also ordered a pumpkin pie smoothie, which was a like a tricksy Harry Potter jelly bean, so similar was it to its namesake. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. The toast was also a delight. Alicia wouldn’t stop yapping about the sprouts, while my focus tended toward the red pepper flakes. It was fresh and wholesome tasting, and I have to applaud their salt application — just enough!

I’m not sure we’ll be back for spinning because OW, but we’ll almost certainly be back for more toast and smoothies. In terms of classes, this week we’re taking a cardio dancing class at Brickhouse and I’m attempting yoga at the Art of Yoga. I’m also taking a barre class back at Pai toward the end of the week.

Interested in ClassPass? There may be a waitlist happening at the moment, but since you so smartly read Wander & Whine, you can go ahead to the front of the line with this link! We have been having such fun getting around the city to try new classes, and I have to say, the booking experience has been a total breeze! Four thumbs up!

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Cravings Carryout

{by: alicia} Every weekend, I try to find an excuse to go to Italian Village. I can’t help it. It’s where my favorite coffee shop lives, and it’s the only place in town you can find a bronut.

No, it’s not some douchey pastry. It’s brioche + donut, and the geniuses at Cravings Carryout serve them up the second Saturday of each month.

Cravings Carryout Bronut

A glazed bronut with gingerbread coffee. To live for. Also, that polar bear. I can’t.

Cravings Carryout is about the size of a shoebox, but if you’re lucky, you can snag one of the few seats indoors. Otherwise, do as the name suggests and take your food to go.

Cravings Carryout

Though it’s small inside, it’s big on personality.

Cravings Carryout

Cravings Carryout

Did Ron Swanson build this table? GIVE.

I went to the last Bronut Takeover with a friend, which is always a bonus because that means I can sample multiple flavors. Maria got the blackberry, which was so delicious, that I forced her to trade me. Sorry friend. I didn’t even KNOW I liked blackberry that much until this happened.

Blackberry Bronut from Cravings Carryout Columbus, Ohio

At this point, you’re probably wondering what a bronut tastes like–it’s more about the consistency, really. I’m not a baker, but from what I can tell, the brioche dough lends a rich and tender crumb. I like airier donuts as opposed to dense/cakey, but this was something in between. Just try one.

Since my motto is “eat all the things,” we ordered breakfast to round things out. I am a sucker for burritos, which is fortunate because this was one of the tastiest breakfast burritos to ever hit my palette. It’s so ridiculously simple: scrambled eggs, cheese, peppers, scallions, salsa, potatoes, and avocado, but it’s executed so well.

Breakfast burrito from Cravings Carryout

Maria was beyond happy with her choice of a breakfast roll. I mean, there’s bacon, so it’s already going to be good, and it positively oozed cheddar cheese all over the place. Since I’m a good friend, I allowed her to eat this without my cries of “tradesies!” (It’s okay, she has a child, she’s use to it.)

Breakfast sandwich from Cravings Carryout

STOP TAUNTING ME.

So, you see what I’m dealing with here? Since you’re obviously amped on going, I must insist you plan your first visit around Bronut Takeover. If you’re already an aficionado, let’s have a moment and stare at these photos together. Oh, and I’ll see you in January.

Cravings Carryout is located at 227 East 3rd Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10a-5p, Saturday and Sunday 9a-3p, and closed on Mondays. Bronuts are only available the second Saturday of the month–put it on your calendar.

Sunday Brunch at Ethyl & Tank

{by: alicia} It has come to my attention that we’re running out of new places to have brunch–we like long, lingering breakfasts, okay? Recently, Alexis and I had to get together to figure out some tech stuff (which meant it was going to be awhile), so deciding to do it over food was easy. The real issue was where and what food. After much thought, it occurred to me that we had talked about trying Ethyl & Tank once or twice, but never actually did it. Decision made, we gathered our laptops and met on campus for a long meal. But first, coffee.

Mocha for me, coffee for her.

Enormous mocha for me, thimble of coffee for her.

I think there was originally some foam art in my cup, so it was a little disappointing not to actually see it. No matter, the mocha was delicious. But if you’re looking for something a tad stronger, there is a Bloody Mary bar to cure what ails you.

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While warming up with our beverages, we glanced over the menu and had the usual argument over who was ordering what (we get food envy quite often).

Ethyl & Tank MenuEver since our taco truck adventure, I have been having a love affair with anything that sort of resembles what we ate, so I immediately claimed the breakfast tacos.

Ethyl & Tank Breakfast Tacos

Egg, chorizo, avocado, lettuce, cheese, and cilantro sour cream on the side.

They weren’t quite as authentic (obvs), but they did the trick. While I’m a sucker for tacos, Alexis can never say no to corned beef and hash. Our server told us the corned beef is made in-house, plus it came in an iron skillet, so I think she made a good choice.

Corned Beef & HashWe stayed for awhile to solve our technology woes (still not solved), and I liked that though we were checked on often, we didn’t feel like we had to rush out. After a hilarious live chat with tech support (holler at Braxton C.), we decided to call it a day, but first we went upstairs to check out the second level.

Birdseye view.

Birdseye view.

There’s plenty of seating on the second level if you want to get away from the hubbub, plus there’s the added benefit of an arcade.

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Real talk: I hate Rampage, but Street Fighter II is my jam–I was always Dhalsim. Those long limbs were unstoppable.

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As you can see, there’s a lot going on here. I’d call it a coffee shop/pub/choose your own adventure. It’s really whatever you want it to be. Want to have a latte and do some work? You do you. Would you rather watch the game and have a brew? Go for it. A quick meal? They’ve got you. Need a stress break in the arcade? I think you know where I’m going with this, so I’ll stop and give you the details.

Ethyl & Tank is located at 19 E. 13th Avenue, Columbus, Ohio. Hours are Monday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

TBT: A Compilation

{by: alicia} I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve last blogged. I don’t have a lot to report, so prepare thyself for a bit of a photo dump/catchup. I’ve been busy with working, life, the usual. Other than focusing on work, I’ve been trying to enjoy these last remnants of warm weather. The high on Saturday is 52 degrees–she says as she sobs in earnest. Fall, you’re pretty but kind of a jerk.

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Deception.

I celebrated the sunshine with a long overdue trip to Coppa Gelato where I indulged in scoops of pumpkin and bourbon meyer. Dear Westerville, why aren’t you closer to me? I need access to this gelato at all hours of the day.

Coppa GelatoI also got motivated to try some other new-to-me eateries. You’ll see, once the cold rolls in, I will never want to leave my house again. So I’ve got to get going while the going’s good. That is, unless Alexis drags me out. She excels at that.

Anyway, Thom and I finally went to Pizza Cucinova (aka the Chipotle of pizzerias) and really enjoyed it. The personal pies start at $5, but for only $8 you can have unlimited toppings. Once you get through the usual assembly-line rigamarole, they toss your pizza into a super hot wood-fire oven for a few minutes until it looks like this:

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Give me all the peppers, sausage, and fresh basil.

That was successful meal number one, or number two if you count the gelato. Amazing meal number two (or three, why do I complicate things) was at a place I’ve been dying to try for weeks. After seeing photos all over Instagram and the local blogs, I finally made it out to Super Chefs. This local breakfast spot is quickly becoming an institution with its out of control combinations, comic-inspired menu items, and outrageous presentation.

Despite us going on the same day a second location opened in Gahanna, there was still a 30-40 minute wait. WORTH IT, GUYS.

The Juggernaut at Super Chefs.

The Juggernaut at Super Chefs.

This beast, or juggernaut rather (X-Men puns left and right!), consisted of red velvet waffles sandwiching fried chicken, candied bacon, fried egg, and two types of cheeses. There was even a drizzle of maple syrup and a side of strawberry compote because why not.

After that life-changing event, I swung by Mission to get my greedy hands on some Intelligentsia coffee. Thanks to the helpful barista, I walked away with a cup of Kunga Maitu. This Kenyan brew has notes of pineapple, pink grapefruit, buttered rum, and hibiscus. It’s a little pricy, but I usually justify everything with shouts of “treat yo self!

Mission Coffee

Unfortunately, my bout of good luck ended about here. After the coffee break, I stopped by my cousin’s house to care for her pets while she was out of town. Wouldn’t you know, I couldn’t find the cat, searched high and low, and in an effort to find it, locked myself out of the house. With my cousin’s blessing, I popped out a screen and proceeded to break into her kitchen window. Naturally, this was the moment the cat decided to reveal himself.

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THIS JERK.

After climbing into the sink and laughing hysterically, I made amends with the jerk and went about my merry way. The rest of the weekend was less eventful, thankfully.

Tuesday night, Alexis and I went to a blogger event at Denmark. Since this is a cocktail bar, you know we had to order some crazy concoction. Correction: Alexis did the ordering for the both of us and struck gold twice.

Denmark Hall

Nightmare on Vine Street and the Bee’s Knees.

She’s been on a massive honey kick lately, so her drink of Bombay, honey syrup, and lemon was a no-brainer. Since I am an indecisive sort, she directed me towards the Nightmare on Vine Street, and I’m glad I listened because it was amazing. I wish Denmark had a description on its menu, but it contained Oyo vodka, vanilla peppercorn, some sort of extract, and something else–dear lord, how I have botched this drink. I’m not doing it any justice, so do yourself a favor and try one the next time you’re around the Convention Center.

Actually, do yourself a favor and get out there before the weather completely turns. It won’t be long before I’m crying about ice and snow and posting 900 photos of soup. I know, much to look forward too.

Blogger Brunch at The Explorer’s Club

{by alicia}–It’s been an interesting summer for us at Wander & Whine. Alexis has been on the prowl for her first house, started a new job, and I’ve left seven years in educational publishing to do the same. My new gig involves marketing at a local mobile app startup, and it’s awesome. Not only do I get to promote a product that I am excited about, but I get to connect with bloggers–something I’ve always enjoyed doing here.

This past weekend, we kicked off our beta phase with a blogger brunch at The Explorer’s Club. It was different being on the other side of a blogger meetup (usually, I’m just an attendee), so I had a lot of fun with the planning. Picking the venue was a no brainer.

Bike rack at Explorer's Club, Columbus Ohio

I’ve always been a fan of Explorer’s Club. Their mission to introduce diners to new flavors and its unique menu offerings (like mofongo! What the what!) have won me over again and again. So when my co-worker Amanda (A2) exclaimed “EXPLORER’S CLUB HAS MAC ‘N CHEESE FOR BREAKFAST,” we were sold–another perk of my job is working closely with someone who is just as insane as I am.

We were working on a short timeline, so we lucked out when the restaurant was able to reserve its private room for us.

Explorer's Club, Columbus, OH

Another thing that sold us? A PATIO CAT. A2 and I are obsessed (half of our conversations involve cats and/or Chris Pratt), so when we found out the private room opened out to a patio, where said resident cat lived, we were all over it. Actually, we were all over the cat, who we accosted from the get go.

The patio cat at Explorer's Club. The patio cat at Explorer's Club. The patio cat at Explorer's Club.Unfortunately, we couldn’t play with our little friend all morning despite how cute. There were bloggers to talk to and mimosas to drink–a fair trade off, however!

Mimosa from Explorer's Club

After some introductions, mimosas, and chatting, we struggled over what to order–everything sounded SO GOOD. I am partial to Explorer’s Club’s huevos rancheros and Cuban French toast, but there were some other stunners catching my eye (mango beignets with salty caramel and whipped cream, I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU). I ended up with one my usuals, but split a side order of the morning mac with someone else. I’m pretty sure 95% of us had mac ‘n cheese to some degree.

Breakfast at Explorer's Club starring morning mac and veggie burrito.While eating, A2 and I did a quick presentation about the app and what we hope to achieve with it. If you’re interested, it’s a mobile savings app that will combine all of your coupons, loyalty cards, gift cards, etc. in one convenient place–I’m for anything that reduces clutter and saves me money, so I hope everyone else feels the same!

We couldn’t be happier with the way the morning went. The staff at Explorer’s Club went above and beyond to take care of us, the food was delicious, and our first event went swimmingly! I’ve also got to thank the bloggers/vloggers who were in attendance:

Front row, left to right: Morgan, Sophia and Kathy, me, Cherise, and Brittany. Back row: Jessie, Liz, Erin, Tiffany, and Lauren. Big thanks to everyone involved!

If you are interested in trying out the beta version of our app, feel free to sign up (currently only available on iPhone). Plus, the first 100 users to sign up and complete the exit survey will receive a $5 Starbucks e-gift card as our thanks. Please remember that the Shoply app is still in beta, so there will definitely be some kinks, but that is where your valuable feedback will come in! Feel free to message me with any questions!

Angry Bear Kitchen

{alicia}

When Sage American Bistro closed its doors last year, my first thought was “Whyyyy” and my second was, “Maybe something just as good will go in there.” Fast forward a few months later, Angry Bear Kitchen moves in and fulfills the prophecy.

Angry Bear Kitchen

Though I have heard conflicting reviews about this place, I chose to take them with a grain of salt. New restaurants take time to iron out the kinks and get into a groove. For what it’s worth, I wasn’t disappointed with my experience (though this is strictly about the brunch). The restaurant is attached to the same storefront as Ravari Room and Hounddogs, so take advantage of the parking lot behind the building and waltz right in.

The bones of the space should look familiar. The Angry Bear team has maintained the vibe of Sage but with the addition of their own charm.

Angry Bear Kitchen

Charm in the way of mason jar light fixtures that we all wanted to steal or DIY:

Mason jar lights  at Angry Bear Kitchen

And here’s a look at the brunch menu. They get bonus points for the adorable bear logo and typography.

Angry Bear Kitchen Brunch Menu

It’s all self-explanatory with the exception of the Midwest Mimosa–I had to inquire about that. This concoction is a blend of Miller High Life (the champagne of beers, you know) and orange juice. In lieu of this, I went for a concoction of fried chicken, brioche French toast, and strawberries–a winner!

Fried chicken and brioche from Angry Bear Kitchen

Quite a few of us went down the fried chicken/brioche path, but I also heard good things about the biscuits and (huge bowl of) gravy.

Biscuits and gravy from Angry Bear Kitchen

The pièce de résistance came in the unlikely form of a $1 donut that Sarah haphazardly added to her order.

Donut from Angry Bear Kitchen.

This little beauty had us all staring, and when she didn’t have room to finish it, I was this close to volunteering my services. My heroic and selfless act was dismissed in the form of a to-go box. Well then. I could have easily ordered my own, but as you’ve probably deduced by now, I like to make excuses to return.

Angry Bear Kitchen is located at 2653 N. High Street, Columbus. Open Tuesday-Thursday 5p-10p, Friday-Saturday 5p-11p, and open for Sunday brunch 11a-2p.

Brunch at The Table

{alicia}

Another month, another brunch with the book club. This time we read Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace. Well, Maria and Lindsay read it. The rest of us kind of hung our heads in shame. At least we didn’t have any trouble reading the drinks menu. Priorities.
Bloody Mary from The Table, Columbus, OhioWe had some stragglers, so we took our time perusing the menu–a pointless endeavor as the majority of us were gaping at the Dutch Baby.

The Table Brunch Menu

I mentioned the Dutch Baby in my last post, but it’s worth fixating on again. The prospect of a hubcap-sized hybrid between a pancake and a popover was too thrilling for us to deny. There’s even a Dutch Mama if you’d rather something the size of a small child–insert inappropriate joke about a Dutch Baby here.

Dutch Baby from The Table, Columbus, Ohio

Here’s the obligatory photo of something other than a Dutch Baby, which frankly, was the star of the day.

Quiche from The Table

I was assured the quiche was delicious, but compared to the pancake it was of no interest to me. One of our more rebellious members ordered the burger, which is another popular item at The Table. It’s composed of local beef, pickled onions, bacon, cheddar, and lettuce on a brioche bun. If you have your wits about you, you would do as our friend and spring the extra couple dollars for a fried egg on top.

Or, just order a Dutch Baby and call it a day (and victory).

The Table is located at 21 E. Fifth Ave., Suite 101, Columbus. Open Tuesday through Thursday from 11a-10p, Friday 11a-11p, Saturday 10a-11p, and Sunday 10a-10p. Closed on Monday. Parking is located behind the building in designated spots, or at meters along High Street.