The first distant food adventure was to Tip Top in downtown Columbus. While it was full of softball players that night, it had a very cozy pub feel with a varied menu and very friendly and flirty staff. The diners I was with liked the varied beers they had in stock. And the food was pretty good too.
I ordered the meatloaf which came with mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and a piece of whole wheat toast. The most noticeable part of the meatloaf was that it seemed liked it was baked and then possibly seared on a grill because the hubcap shaped piece of meatloaf had a nice char to it. Typically, any meatloaf I've ever had has never been charred, but it was really good. One of the other diners had mac and cheese with chicken which was good and another had some kind of steak sandwich. We all enjoyed the food and the various beers.
I decided on the romano crusted chicken served over a bed of garlic butter noodles and a tomato cream sauce and I opted to try the mashed potatoes as an extra side. The three pieces of chicken were pounded thin and were tender. The tomato cream sauce was divine. And the mashed potatoes...well I could have slapped someone they were so good. The waiter mistakenly thought we were replacing the garlic butter noodles with the mashed potatoes so they were delivered later and they really took the flavors of all the food to the next level. I have the recipe and might try to make this at home it was so good.
8 oz. flat iron steak dusted with spices and it came with creamy garlic potatoes and skillet green beans. Simply put, I was wanting a good steak and I got it. The green beans were good and the garlic potatoes were so good I had to keep people out of them. They were so garlicy though that I was burping up garlic the rest of the night. Not so fun when you're going out to the bars. The combo of beer and garlic burps were a little offsetting and warded off any AA vampires in a 20 mile radius.
When we returned for lunch, I tried the Sweet and Sinful burger which was topped with a sweet barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon, crispy onion straws and an egg over hard. The egg was extra but it really made the burger even better. I also chose the sweet potato fries which came with an interesting dipping sauce. The sauce was a marshmellow and cinammon cream sauce which took me by surprise since I thought it was ranch. It was a little too sweet for my tastes so I used the ranch sauce for dipping. The burger was delicious and as mentioned, the egg gave it an extra little umph.
The staff was fun and friendly and when they called me by the wrong name, I decided to do the same for the rest of the dining experience. The name is on the credit card, just read it Mary. Hehe.
Mikey's Late Night Slice had one of their mobile trucks at the street party and although I had been drinking, it was a really good piece of pepperoni pizza. I liked the size of the slice, the sauce and the cheese and really liked the extra sauces you could put on it yourself like ranch, garlic and others. It took a regular piece of pizza and made it extra special.
And finally, to end off this tour of out-of-town eating spots, I leave you with one of the best ice cream places which is right up there with Glace in KC -- Jeni's Ice Cream. They are a gourmet ice cream place, like Glace, and have many different and unusual flavors of ice cream like salty caramel, pistachio and honey, burbon buttered pecan, brown butter almond brittle and many others - those are just the ones I tasted. Every time we passed by there was a line out the door for this ice cream and it is well deserved. I tried a combination of the salty caramel and brown butter almond brittle. It was very rich and very filling and melted quickly while I was talking - so get it in a cup if you tend to socialize when you have ice cream. They have seasonal flavors as well. Definitely stop by if you like ice cream and want to try something a little different. We had the ice cream before we ate lunch at Level.
I hope this gives you some places to go while you're in town. The locals may not agree with the places I visited but being out of town, they were unique and a good representation of the local food in Columbus. Cheers.