Saturday, April 24, 2010

Reader's Review: Verso's Casual Italian Bistro & Pizzera

I really enjoy that my readers take an active interest in the blog, and I always appreciate tips, suggestions, and reviews from the loyal c-bus-eaters.

I haven't left Columbus since I went to Scottsdale last (ok, I guess I have gone home to Celina a couple of times, but we never go out to eat at home) so I really appreciate it when my friends across the state give me the skinny on delish grub.

I got a review tonight from a reader in the great state of Cuyahoga County.  Pizza is a favorite on this blog, and I feel like there is no distance too great for a good slice of pie.  Tonight's guest picture  and review is from Verso's Casual Italian Bistro and Pizzeria.

Verso's menu looks pretty good, reminiscient perhaps of the old Iacono's in Columbus. And the best part about the pizza menu: SHEET PIZZA! I haven't had that since elementary school, or for my Celina fans out there, from West Side Carryout.
Tonight, my guest readers ordered up a large pepperoni, sausage, and mushroom pizza (that seems to be a favorite here?), a caesar salad (also a favorite), and the Verso chips, which I think sound the most delicious item on the menu: house made chips  with garlic ranch sauce.  Uhh, talk about heaven on a chip.

The consensus on Verso: strong.

Worthington: Otani Sushi

Otani Sushi is apparently a legend in Columbus.

Tucked away in the outskirts of Worthington, you wouldn't think that Otani was anything special.  I actually was quite afraid to try it...sushi in an office building, really?

Anyway, Friday night I headed up to Otani with some friends. Surprisingly, the parking lot was pretty full; I guess there is quite the loyal following for Otani as there are for most restaurants in town.  

Um, may I just say, that the most amazing thing about Otani is? KARAOKE!

Wednesday through Saturday, Otani has karaoke in its front bar.  I was a little skeptical at first, but after a saketini, I was  brave enough to belt out Billie Jean and bust out my sweetest Michael Jackson dance moves.  The song book is pretty extensive at Otani as people were singing songs from country to Destiny's Child.

We sat down at a cute little booth and ordered an appetizer: potstickers.  Potstickers are pretty standard fare at Asian restaurants.  Some steamed, some seared, some vegetarian, some filled with meats I can't eat, these gyoza were actually pretty tasty and set the tone for the meal.  Small, great searing on the outside, and not greasy, these potstickers were filled with pork and different spices.  The dipping sauce was also equally amazing, and it wasn't salty at all. Definitely would recommend these.
Miso Soup: is miso soup the way to judge a sushi house? it may be so.  And I must say, Otani's miso soup was really tasty.  A lot of places have very salty miso soup which is rage filling.  Especially because I've been trying to watch my salt intake.  And, there are extra bits of seaweed in it which is very tasty to me.  Check plus for Otani's miso soup!

Sushi: lately, my number one spot has been Kooma, in the Arena District.  The Miahuru roll is phenomenal, you should definitely go try it.   Anyway, last night at Otani,we stuck to the basics: Spicy Tuna roll, shrimp tempura roll, Philly roll, and California roll.  I feel that those rolls are good standards to judge a sushi restaurant by.  I mean, if it's sold at Kroger, then it's a pretty universal roll.

The rolls were pretty small, actually.  Although, they were a nice change from Haiku's collassal rolls that break after one bite from your chopsticks.  The spicy tuna rolls had some funky tasting sauce though. Check minus for the spicy mayo.  But the philly rolls were really tasty.  

Nigiri: nigiri is really a nice change from the rolled sushi.  especially for people that really do enjoy fish, but not enough to take the plunge of sashimi.  Otani offered a nigiri dinner with three types of fish: tuna, salmon, and whitefish.

This is the first restaurant that I have seen lemon slices next to the salmon.  It definitely added a nice complement to the salmon.  But the real deal on this plate was the tuna.  Um, delicious, fatty, toro tuna. Beautiful and pink.  So tasty.  I would back just to get pieces of this fish.

CONCLUSION:  I am definitely going back to Otani and I hope that my friends will join me on stage for karaoke.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I know I've been negligent...

EVERYONE who reads my blog and tells me about it have asked where the posts are.

(ok, maybe it was just white ninja and fancy pants who asked why i haven't posted in a while)

I'm sorry! I haven't been out to eat in a while.  And have been trying  to eat in this  week.  And all of the places I went this weekend were places I've already blogged about (Tai's Asian Bistro...I ate it on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday)...

Hopefully this weekend I will go somewhere new, as Friday is pay day as well.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Campus/Upper Arlington: Tommy's Pizza

Tommy's Pizza is considered a staple of pizza places in Columbus.  Open for over fifty years, Tommy's is a favorite of many in Columbus.

I gotta tell ya, when I attended Ohio State, I was more of a Hound Dogs kind of girl.  I never really went to Tommy's, although there is a restaurant on Lane Avenue.  I just never really tried it.  My friends were all Hound Dogs fans, and when I lived up on Bethel Road, I would frequent Iacono's (which, I am understanding from reading up on Tommy's and from word-of-mouth, was a pizza establishment by the same family.  As you can see from Tommy's website, Tommy's last name is Iacono so there must be some relation, right? Although that's like saying all Patel's are related, which I know clearly isn't true...I digress).

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Columbus.  Bright, blue skies, puffy happy clouds, and lots of sun.  Good day for pizza, right?

My buddies Geoff and Connor and baby Jack ventured out for a good pizza pie.  We traveled to the Tommy's on Lane Avenue, next to the Taco-Bell-turned into a-Pho restaurant which i must try sometime.  Tommy's is very family friendly which is great as we had Jack in tow (although he is a very good little boy).

When you walk into Tommy's, you see old-school fire ovens.  The employees make the pizza in assembly line order; one for dough, one for assembling dough on pan, one for putting toppings on, one for placing pie in oven, one for taking pie out of oven, one for cutting pie with gigantic knife, one to yell to the server to pick up the order.

We sat in the back of Tommy's in a nice booth.  It's great walking into a restaurant where you see families sharing a meal, sharing stories, and plenty of people on date night (including some  grandmas and grandpas that were smitten with baby Jack).  I was put in charge of ordering so I ordered a pepperoni, sausage, and mushroom pizza.  Large of course, as  I was with two dudes with good appetites.

I think that the crust at Tommy's is the best part of the pie.  It is very thin, and crispy like a Ritz cracker.  However, it is sturdy enough that it is able to hold up all of the ingredients.  When you bite into the pizza, you get the nice oozing warmth of freshly baked mozzarella cheese, but that crust, man, it is like crispy, crunchy, and soft.  All of the ingredients together make a nice combination, both with flavor and texture.  Needless to say, our pizza was destroyed, consumed, and the cardboard sheet on which it came on was completely empty.  Even Jack had a piece.

CONCLUSION: I will be putting Tommy's into my rotation.  The pepperoni are kinda wussy though, so I may do without them from now on.