09 July 2008

Wendell's Pub

Pub grub isn't always the safest option for vegetarians. People getting their drink on prefer all kinds of dead animal delicacies, deep fried and made to order. Many Columbus staples (Betty's, Surly Girl, Carabar, Tip Top) are exceptions to the rule, but veggie-friendly bar eats are a little tougher to find in the 'burbs. Wendell's Pub in Westerville breaks the flesh food mold by offering a couple of tasty vegetarian items to be enjoyed while knocking back a cold brew.

Wendell's Pub is hardly a vegetarian destination. They are, however, very particular about the quality of their menu. They take the same care with their limited vegetarian menu items as they do with everything else on the menu.

The restaurant and bar are replete with a great deal of wood, and every inch that isn't covered in hard wood is covered in photos of American icons, from James Dean to Marilyn Monroe to Chuck Berry to Dr. Indiana Jones (a.k.a. Harrison Ford). The restaurant has a golfing theme, and sports are on every television screen.

There are a few vegetarian appetizers available. There are portabella fries, spinach artichoke dip, enormous cheese sticks and (my personal favorite) fried macaroni and cheese balls. Classic elbow macaroni and gooey cheese are breaded and fried, served in a dish of marinara sauce with shaved fresh parmesan cheese on top.

The portabella sandwich features marinated, grilled mushroom caps thinly sliced on rosemary herb focaccia bread with feta cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and red pepper mayo. I typically hate mayonnaise, but in this sandwich it elevates the flavor to another level, giving it a rich, mildly spicy boost. Sandwiches come with a choice of sides, which include fries, homemade chips, onion rings, asparagas, a fruit cup, roasted apples, salad or a cup of soup.

Wendell's also makes thick and thin crust pizzas with a variety of toppings. This is the end of vegetarian entrees on the menu. While they only have a few options, everything at Wendell's is good enough for me to let them slide.

The service is always pleasant and prompt. They are very helpful and courteous in identifying vegetarian items.

The bar offers good deals on beer, with $2 domestic drafts and $3 imports that include Guinness, Bass, Harp and Stella Artois. They have a limited wine selection and a variety of specialty cocktails. The latest batch is made from the 800 or so varieties of Three Olives flavored vodkas.

Another interesting quirk about Wendell's is that they won the title of "Best Restroom in America" in a contest with a sickening type of intrigue. Apparently the sports posters, televisions and mouthwash elevated Wendell's water closet above its competitors at the Borgata in New Jersey. If the menu and the beer isn't enough to get people in the door, I'm sure the prospect of using the nation's most prestigious bathroom most certainly will.

Wendell's Pub

Wendell's Pub on Urbanspoon

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