31 October 2009

Whole World fire

A fire has torn through Clintonville vegetarian outpost Whole World. The restaurant hopes to re-open by December 1 of this year. (Whole World was also written about on my blog back in its infancy). Click here to read more about the fire.

28 October 2009

Rad Dog at Hal & Al's

Event: Rad Dog! Grand Opening @ Hal & Al's Bar"Good Drinks, Good Dogs, Good Times!"

Start Time: Friday, November 6 at 4:00pm

End Time: Saturday, November 7 at 2:00am

Where: 1297 Parsons Ave. Columbus Ohio 43206

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:


27 October 2009

Mo Joe Lounge

Mo Joe Lounge is a coffee house/bar with three locations. I visited the one in German Village, and the other two are located in the Short North and at Easton.

Mo Joe's menu features pizzas, sandwiches and assorted appetizers for vegetarians. Prices are reasonably inexpensive.

My appetizer was the hummus plate. It was made with a red bean and a chickpea hummus with pita triangles, celery, cucumbers and carrots as dipping accessories. The herbal undertones to the standard hummus made it slightly more pleasant than the smokier red bean hummus, although both were quite good.

The black bean veggie burger has a Southwestern character. The patty is akin to the Morningstar Farms black bean burger with beans and corn, but it is softer and it does not suffer the indignity of being frozen. It is served with house-made chipotle ketchup that adds a mildly spicy, smoked flavor to the burger. The black bean burger is outstanding. It comes with a choice of sides that includes corn salad (pictured), salad, rosemary skillet potatoes and spicy cole slaw.

Other vegetarian options on the menu include grilled cheese and cream of tomato soup, cheese pizza, veggie pizza, spicy French fries and various assorted salads. Happy hour specials from 4 to 8 pm include $1.50 domestic bottles, half-priced draft beers including Great Lakes Noseferatu and Rogue Dead Guy Ale, and $4 one-topping 7-inch pizza.

Mo Joe Lounge

Mojoe Lounge on Urbanspoon

Hal and Al's is going vegan?

So Tawd from Rad Dog is taking over the kitchen at Hal and Al's, my favorite neighborhood bar. I'm so excited for the vegan possibilities that I could possibly scream.

22 October 2009

Vegetarian weekly

The only thing in life I enjoy as much as fine dining is fine dining reality shows. I adore Iron Chef-style reality cooking battles. Naturally, that means I am transfixed by the new season of Top Chef Las Vegas on Bravo. Next week's episode features my vegan star crush Natalie Portman, meaning that the episode should be constructed from a battle cooking frame with a strong vegetarian undercurrent. Since I was such a fan of the Zooey Deschanel episode of Top Chef: Masters, I'm expecting more good things from next week's episode.

17 October 2009

Bohemio's Mexican Restaurant

Bohemio's is the new incarnation of the campus Mexican restaurant formerly known as Xalisco. The menu consists of fairly standard fare made by a friendly staff.

The restaurant is small, seating only about 30 people. The interior is bright and festively decorated.

Vegetarian items are clearly marked on the menu. The beans and Mexican rice are both fully vegetarian items.

The dinner menu features about five vegetarian combination platters. The lunch menu features only vegetarian fajitas and cheese quesadillas.

The quesadilla was a large flour tortilla stuffed with a white cheese (either queso asadero, chihuahua or queso fresco). It is served with sour cream and salsa, and the portion is large for $2.50. The quesadilla is delicious, especially with the accoutrements.

The fajita is also delicious. The fajita consists of griddled peppers, onions, mushrooms and zucchini. It is served with a side of guacamole, and this adds a savory note to the smoky accents of the vegetables.

Prices at Bohemio's are reasonable. The salsa is mild with a hint of onion and cilantro. The chips seemed like they could have been more fresh, but they were at least passable.

The staff is very friendly. I had better luck conversing with the staff in Spanish than I did in English. This might discourage some vegetarians, but lucky enough, the vegetarian items are clearly marked on the menu.


10 October 2009


Skillet is a new spot in Schumacher Place that describes its concept with the whimsical yet seemingly contrary banner "rustic urban food." It is located in the old Schumacher Place Banana Bean location.

Essentially, Skillet takes orders at a window a la the neighborhood diner. Much of the menu is designed to be eaten as carry-out, although there is a bit of seating available inside the restaurant.

The menu is mainly sandwiches and soups with a limited array of pasta dishes. Vegetarian options on the soft opening menu included truffled grilled cheese, a potato and cheese pierogi sandwich, and vegan pumpkin soup.

The grilled cheese was delicately delicious. The brioche and mushroom accents added extra layers of flavor complexity to a dish that is a comfort food staple. The pumpkin soup was prepared with pepitas, or toasted pumpkin seeds, and black beans. The soup had a Southwestern character to it, and it worked very well in the chilly weather.

For the soft opening period, Skillet is serving lunch only, although later plans call for brunch and dinner menus following the official grand opening. Prices are reasonable. Since I can walk to Skillet in a minute, I'll be excited to see how the rest of the menu looks when the place gets running at a full head of steam.


Skillet on Urbanspoon

06 October 2009

Krema Nut Company

Few dishes take you back to your childhood quite like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The schoolyard staple shines at the Grandview-based Krema Nut Company, a local operation with wholesale and retail space west of 315 on Goodale.

The peanut butter recipe is admirable for its minimalism: the only ingredient is roasted peanuts. That makes the peanut butter more natural, meaning that sometimes the oil separates when the peanut butter settles.

Krema also makes candies, and there is a retail PBNJ stand in the store that makes sandwiches, shakes, and ice cream dishes.

I made myself a peanut butter sandwich with the hot and spicy peanut butter, cucumbers and white onions on toasted Italian bread. It was reminiscent of Thai peanut noodles (which I also plan on making with the hot and spicy peanut butter). I spiced it up with a hint of sriracha, and it turned out delicious.

Krema Nut Company is a great local spot that might be easy to overlook. I learned about it from an article on a local blog. The write-up profiled a tour of the Krema facilities, and reviewed the (mostly) vegetarian sandwiches and other fare. Both Krema and the blog entry are worth checking out.

Krema Nut Company

05 October 2009

Cazuela's Grill

Cazuela's Grill is a cookie cutter Mexican restaurant north of Lane on High Street. Although the menu features a slightly higher percentage of grilled fare, the menu in most ways is nearly indistinguishable from a myriad of other dull Mexican restaurants (see El Vaquero or Las Margaritas) in Columbus.

The main attraction of Cazuela's seems to be the happy hour specials from 2 to 6 pm. There are mixed drink and beer specials as well as half price appetizers during happy hour. There is a fairly limited roster of vegetarian appetizers that includes bean nachos, guacamole and other chip dips.

The regular salsa that's part of the obligatory gratis starter is fairly bland and characterless. It is improved greatly in the rancho dip, which is a combination of cream cheese, cheddar and salsa.

There are seven vegetarian entrees. The veggie burrito is reasonably sized. It uses a flour tortilla to encase grilled onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers and squash. The combination of grilled vegetables is pleasant if unspectacular.

Cazuela's has voluminous outdoor seating. The season to take advantage of patio seating is coming to a close, but today, most people were eating outdoors. Those who prefer to eat inside can enjoy Cazuela's tastefully appointed interior. Carry-out orders can also be made. Prices are reasonably inexpensive.

Overall, Cazuela's was fairly average. The quality of the food was similar to that of most pedestrian Mexican eateries. They do have a decent number of options for vegetarians, and they feature lots of drink specials, so Cazuela's isn't a complete bust. However, places like Cuco's, Chile Verde and Talita's offer food with decidedly more character than Cazuela's.

Cazuela's Grill

Cazuelas Grill on Urbanspoon

02 October 2009

Yosick's Artisan Chocolates

Yosick's Artisan Chocolates is hidden in the brick streets and alleyways of German Village. In addition to delicious candies, cookies and pastries, Yosick's features a limited menu of vegetarian-friendly kosher food.

The bread and butter of Yosick's is candy. They make old favorites like the delightfully creamy buckeyes and almond bark, as well as more adventurous offerings like the Chinese five spice truffle, which is a bitter dark chocolate truffle with hints of clove, curry and cinnamon.

Yosick's also makes delicious looking cookies and cakes. The items that surprised me most, however, were the pizzas and salads and Mediterranean platter. You expect delicious kosher chocolate from an artisan chocolate maker. You don't expect delicious kosher lunch items to fill you up before you indulge in dessert.

But Yosick's pizza definitely hits the mark. It is a soft, floppy crust cut into four. The sauce is rich. The cheese is yellow and liberally applied. For $10, you get to pick any of three all vegetable toppings (the added benefit for lacto vegetarians eating kosher is that whenever you order food with cheese, kosher laws hold the meat for you automatically). There are many different toppings. I went for spinach, green olives and mushrooms, and it was delicious.

Yosick's also makes coffee and has a few other assorted beverage choices. Proprietor Kristy Yosick often works the counter in addition to making the candies.

There are tons of options for sweets in the German Village area, from Pistacia Vera to Bakery Gingham to Johnson's Ice Cream at Brown Bag. Yosick's is different enough from the others and delicious enough to make it work.


Yosick's Artisan Chocolates on Urbanspoon

World Vegetarian Day

It's World Vegetarian Day. Celebrate by eating no meat. If you aren't a vegetarian, find an herbivorously-inclined individual and kiss them on the lips. Or just give them a hug if you're shy.