Alexis’ Latest Adventures in Eating

{by alexis} We all get busy, right? Sometimes, when life is especially hectic, I forgot to do things, like the dishes, sort the mail, make dinner, take the dog for forty walks a day. Guess what I don’t forget to do? Eat. I’m pretty much always eating. If I’m not eating, odds are I’m planning my next outing, poring over menus, and sending links to Alicia. What follows is a collection of the things that have been tickling my fancy in the food department these last several weeks. Grab a cup and scroll on down!

A few weekends ago, we tricked some friends of ours into having brunch with us. “Dutch babies!” I insisted. Joe was pretty sure I was suggesting a geographically specific adoption, but no! I had my eye on The Table.

The Table | Wander & Whine

This tasty infant came with warm pears folded into the center. Delish! We had cocktails, coffee, and the most beautiful roast beef sandwich I’ve ever seen.

The Table | Wander & Whine The Table | Wander & Whine The Table | Wander & Whine

You didn’t believe me, did you? That a roast beef sandwich could be so…attractive. Well, The Table just proved you wrong! That bun looks pillowy and soft and I want to make it into a sleeping bag.

On a Friday night a few weeks later, I found myself tucked away in a dim booth at Curio with Alicia and Miche, from Buttons & Birdcages. After a clumsily choreographed pizza order, we sat back with our cocktails. And I have to tell you about this amazing thing I ordered: A BOURBON MILKSHAKE.

curio | Wander & Whine

But please promise me you won’t go in and order the bourbon milkshake — that’s not what it’s called. I gave it this delightful nickname after it’s deliciousness knocked me out of my booth and I sent several frenzied, all caps text messages to folks announcing that such a cocktail exists. I can’t tell you what it’s really called because they keep their menu under wraps. What I CAN tell you is that it contains bourbon (shocker, right?) almond, cream, and soda. It is so, so good.

Late last week, one of my coworkers decided we needed a pick-me-up, and HE DELIVERED. Look at these beauties!

wander & whine

They are chocolates! Each is about the size of an egg, and they have unique flavors. I happened to sample the chocolate AND the strawberry (why stop at one!), and they were delightful! He said he grabbed them at Costco so keep your eyes peeled!

This past weekend found Joe and I both of work and without plans, so after bullying him into buying me a new pair of running shoes (I’d had my old ones since 2008!), we took ourselves out to our perennial favorite 16-Bit Bar + Arcade. I finally gave into the siren song of the Hulk Hogan, with its popsicle stirrer. NO REALLY.wander & whine

It was the bomb. And I loved how the flavored changed as the pop melted. And yes, I ate the leftovers.

We live in a beautiful city with so much crazy food to sample. Get out there and eat!

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!

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.

Brunching at Lindey’s

{by alexis}–The best part about hosting out-of-towners is that I get to play tour guide, and usher them to see (and eat!) the best Columbus has to offer. You may remember my good friends Suzanne and Nick from my first blog post ever. This time, they jetted in from Boston to catch the Virginia Tech game (Suze is a dedicated hokie), and after all that football (and maybe a few tears), we were ready for an extravagant brunch the next day. Lindey’s was really the only choice.

We rolled ourselves out of bed late — even Indiana Bones slept in! — and headed out the door. I love surprising guests: they are always shocked to learn we’re walking to the fancy brunch place! Yes, we in Ohio have walking neighborhoods, too!

lindey's

Their building is the picture of charm, don’t you think? The windows, the awning — it all works together. I love the design so much, that I actually used their font as inspiration for our wedding invitations! True story!

I love Lindey’s, but know they cater to a particular crowd. We were hustled out of the waiting area so the host could cheerily sit some of his regulars. Just be aware.

As hungry and tired as we were, we opted to skip the wait and eat in the dining room. The patio is beautiful, but after being exposed to the elements for most of the previous day, I was happy to soak in a little a/c and get out of the sun. We started where you should always start at brunch: Carpaccio. capraccioI’ve had it before here, and I’d be happy to make this a meal on its own. Everything about this dish is a win: the portabella strips are an earthy pairing, the chipotle aioli has an unexpected kick, and the arugula is the perfect crunch and bitter balance. Honestly, I’d like to wrap all this up like a burrito and eat it, but I have a feeling that might be frowned upon.

Suzanne and Nick chose an heirloom tomato flatbread, which was magnificent in its dollops of cheese and delicate vegetable slices. The flatbread is crispy, light, and makes a perfect appetizer. lindey'sOur main dishes were next up, and they did not disappoint. Suzanne went for this beautiful salmon salad, and reported back that the fish was cooked well, with lots of flavor. lindey'sWe all had a bit of a fight over who got to order the huevos rancheros, but lucky Nick won. He loved the pork belly, citing its crispy texture. I love pork belly, but have had more than a few super fatty pieces, but not here! Nick assured me that this was not one of those incidents.

lindey'sJoe went for the classic benedict. Honestly, the man is a sucker for hollandaise, and can you blame him? Hot butter and egg? I mean. Don’t fight it. lindey'sI ordered the crab & eggs, and it arrived in its own charming, little skillet. The potatoes were perfection: not too salty, and not bland, and the egg was cooked to perfection. And the crab was delightful. It’s rich and sweet and why don’t we always have this at breakfast? Mine came with its own generous helping of hollandaise which took the decadence up an extra notch or two. lindey'sFull and happy, we rolled ourselves home. I’m pretty sure I convinced Suzanne and Nick that fine dining exists outside of the East coast, and so do tree-lined cobblestone streets. Lindey’s is a reliable and beautiful neighborhood gem. Just don’t miss the carpaccio.

Lindey’s is located at 169 E. Beck Street. Sun-Thurs, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm.

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.