eat & drink

Restaurant review: Semi-upscale Firebirds flies along a mainstream of proven favorites

Glancing at its food and drink menus, I wondered if Firebirds Wood Fired Grill had been imported from 1994 instead of North Carolina. After a few meals, I began to understand why the Charlotte-based chain has rapidly expanded to 30-plus links.
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Happy hour review: Hey Hey Bar and Grill is a neighborhood hangout with delicious pub grub

After a tough day at work, a familiar face and stiff drink can be the perfect prescription to take the edge off. If you want to avoid the networking crowd and just belly-up to a bar filled with friendly people, fair prices and amazing food, Hey Hey Bar & Grill in German Village has what you need. This no-frills neighborhood hangout, with the added bonus of gastropub-worthy fare, will have you loosening your belt buckle as well as your tie.
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Distilled: Amaro Averna is a perfect option for fall cocktails

Fall in the Midwest — fire on the trees — is my favorite time of year. The weather is perfect, the trees look almost as beautiful as the-one-you-love’s smile, Calvin Johnson (aka Megatron, aka Don Mega) is busy embarrassing foes — his outing against the Panthers aside — and meaty, flavorful cocktails are back. No more of those watered-down vodka/gin drinks.
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Restaurant review: Semi-upscale Firebirds flies along a mainstream of proven favorites

Glancing at its food and drink menus, I wondered if Firebirds Wood Fired Grill had been imported from 1994 instead of North Carolina. After a few meals, I began to understand why the Charlotte-based chain has rapidly expanded to 30-plus links.
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STAFF PICK: Celebrate Oktoberfest a little early at Grandview’s Zauber

Hold on to your lederhosen, Oktoberfest is here. Well, actually, the big, official Columbus Oktoberfest is still a week away, but don’t let that get in the way of drinking some fine German-style/Oktoberfest beers this weekend.
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Bar profile: Cray specializes in infused liquors and sliders in former Wonder Bread building space

Crystal Parks comes from a long line of talented cooks, but it was her love of infused liquor that inspired her to open Cray Eatery and Drinkery (697 N. Fourth St.). Situated in the Wonder Bread building, Cray Eatery and Drinkery brings a plethora of housemade infused liquors and a slew of tasty small plates to the Italian Village in a grown-up sports bar atmosphere.
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Wine: Still summer sippin’

Looks like cran-apple juice. (OK, that was supposed to be flattering.)
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Restaurant Review: Till’s "Taqueria Thursday" tacos don’t disappoint

Till has to be the most versatile restaurant in town. That’s why I believe the remainder of its title — “Dynamic Fare” — describes an ideology/aesthetic instead of a cuisine style. And that’s why Till is willing to tackle any kind of cooking — vegan, meaty, American comfort, Mediterranean, Asian, Jewish, you-name-it — so long as Till can do it in its inimitably own beautiful and from-scratch way. I know what you’re thinking now: Yeah, but what about tacos?
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Downtown Abbey: For All Mankind at Level

Topics discussed: Crop tops. Hangovers. Dancing with fervor.
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Restaurant review: New Taj Mahal serves flavorful, spicy Indian food for OSU campus

Spending a decent chunk of money to dine inside a restaurant should be a fun experience, not just feeding yourself. This thesis, which I believe in, makes New Taj Mahal’s flavorful food OK for take-out.
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Columbus Brewing Company announces expansion

The only thing better than CBC's Bohdi IPA, is more of CBC's Bohdi IPA.
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Distilled: Spirits made from beer need to be sampled

One of the more exciting trends in the booze industry is making spirits from distilled beers. People in Europe have been making spirits from distilled beer for centuries, and now some of the top brewers from around the world are producing interesting spirits using this process.
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Wine: Seriously pretty

Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who found this bottle pretty.
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Restaurant review: Top Thai place Erawan dishes up authenticity and affability

On one side of the cute and tidy room, a muted “Bassmaster” fishing show was playing. On the other side were statuettes of Garuda, a creature featured in Southeast Asian myths. The semiotic message was as potent as the flavors on my plate. Here, blissfully escapist American entertainment seamlessly coexists with a chimerical figure widely known as a symbol for Thailand. Welcome to Erawan, where authentic Thai food is served in an intimidation-free zone.
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Tailgating: Five pro-tips from a campus insider

Just because Braxton Miller’s out this season doesn’t mean upcoming Buckeye gamedays are a waste. Half the fun is planning the gameday outside of the game itself. That’s where these five tips come in — whether you’re attending the game, like the rowdy din of Campus or prefer to watch a televised showing.
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Tailgating: Beer me! Drink the good stuff the way nature intended — in a can, at a tailgate.

Good news, craft-beer enthusiasts: Canned beer is no longer just for step-dads. With football season (read: BYOB tailgate bash season) looming and summer winding down, there has never been a better time to opt for a six-pack of cans of your favorite local brew when packing your cooler.
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Restaurant review: Do the hump-day dance at The Pint House

What’s a good price for a snazzy beer plus a delicious dinner of crispy-skinned roasted chicken (in half-bird form) served with a bunch of terrific hand-cut fries? If you said $20, I’d say that sounds like a deal. Well, how about $10? Welcome to Hump Day at The Pint House.
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Restaurant review: Dog-friendly Moretti’s of Arlington is an enduring classic

For Moretti’s of Arlington, the dog days aren’t just the tail-end of summer, they run the entire al fresco season. See, weather permitting, Moretti’s invites guests to hang out with their pooches in the restaurant’s comfortable and handsome courtyard. It’s a Mondays-only tradition called “Pups on the Patio,” and it’s how I found myself enjoying robust Italian-American food while relaxing to a fountain splashing and a fuzzy face nuzzling my arm.
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Zauber Brewing Company releases 4 new beers

From Belgium IPAs, to Hefeweizens, Zauber releases a brew for every beer nerd
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Distilled: Crabbie’s offers alcoholic ginger beer, and it’s glorious

Ginger beer has quickly become a popular beverage the last few years. Nearly everywhere has a Moscow mule (or Kentucky mule, made with bourbon instead of vodka) on their cocktail menu. And for good reason — ginger beer is a refreshing mixer with a tasty flavor profile. Now let me blow your mind, ginger beer fans.
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