With my right index finger pointing to the sky, I moved my hand through an imaginary loop and announced, "We'll have one of each." Then, in an instance of ambition not overreaching ability, I and a group of two other dedicated masticators actually managed to eat everything on the menu.
Patting our gleaming faces with cloth napkins at a stylish and comfy bar on an altogether charming patio, we unanimously pronounced Lindey's in German Village to have one of the finest outdoor happy hours in Columbus.
Lindey's classic black-and-brick-themed patio exudes an unfussy elegance. It's really sharp, with a gazebo-like bar trimmed in black and copper, a three-tiered glazed black fountain and lots of plants. A fountain-matching wrought-iron fence encloses the pretty playground, but doesn't seal off the outside world - which is prudent because it's in a lovely German Village neighborhood.
As the hours turn happy in this scenic setting and the sun trickles through shady trees onto bathtub-sized umbrellas above sturdy tables, you'll know you're at the right place at the right time.
And you'll be sipping a right-priced drink. During discount time, beers, glasses of wine and a longish list of specialty martinis are half priced. This means that a professionally shaken margarita made with fresh lime juice, Cointreau and, say, Cabo Wabo tequila (come on, Sammy Hagar couldn't do everything wrong) costs just $5.
The food is even cheaper. In other words, you can get a pretty damn serious slice of pizza for a single buck.
While its obviously homemade dough was on the bready side, it did have a nice yeasty chewiness to it as well as a bit of crispness, too. Topping wise, the oversized wedges come with a rich and zesty tomato sauce (and lots of it) plus slabs of good mozzarella and pepperoni if you want it.
Another single-dollar booze-soaker-upper was the made-here Lindenhauf Chips. Those pure potatoey puppies ate like lacy upscale Lays potato chips. Mine were a bit on the greasy side, but the serves-two portion came with a nifty, super-rich horseradish and blue cheese sauce and a few sprinklings of bacon.
While the Lindenhauf Chips were pretty good, they became superfluous with an order of the high-quality All-American Burger ($3). See, that cute little steaky slider-style patty made with ground filet and brisket and placed on a shiny and dark, pretzel-like bun came with an abundance of terrific stubby little french fries.
The Micro Crabcakes ($5) were certainly well-named. Because the quartet of Ping-Pong-ball-sized, pop-in-your-mouth appetizers was fashioned mostly out of good crabmeat; the de rigueur orbs were served above a frilly and lively Napa cabbage-based slaw.
Lindey's exceptionally well-executed Calamari and Shrimp Fritto Misto ($3) is by far one of the best deals of its kind in town. The garlicky and super-tender shrimp and squid pieces were gently encased in crisp, light and ungreasy jackets and were provided in a very generously sized serving. A must.
Another must, and likely the show stopper here, was a softball-sized "Gigantic Meatball" ($5) made out of pricey ground Kobe beef. That thing ruled. Pliant but sturdy, juicy and oozing bold beef flavor, it was ladled with a dark, rich, racy and clearly long-simmered tomato sauce. When sliced, its middle showed off a secret center of wilted spinach and melted fontina cheese.
That bodaciously big and beefy ball is probably something you ought to share with a good friend or loved one. In other words, someone fun you just met at Lindey's wonderful patio bar happy hour.