October 2010 Issue
On the Town
Enjoy two days of non-stop, girlfriend-getaway fun in the capital city.
Contrary to popular belief, Columbus does not shut down when Ohio State football is on. In fact, game days can be some of the best opportunities to explore the city minus the crowds. We’ve found a weekend’s worth of activities for women on the town.
6 p.m. — Urban Spin
Get your bearings and an overview of the city’s prime attractions on a guided two-wheeled excursion with SegAway Tours of Columbus (400 N. High St., 614/222-3005. segawaytoursofcolumbus.com
. $55 per rider). The two-hour tour with energetic owner David Weller delivers the city’s historical and cultural highlights as well as a view of downtown’s major attractions and neighborhoods, including the Statehouse, the Short North and the Scioto River. And don’t worry if you’ve never done this before — most tourgoers are first timers and the 15-minute “how to” will teach you everything you need to know.
8:30 p.m. — Hip Tables
That it was sustainably reclaimed from an abandoned fast food restaurant only adds to the uber-trendiness of Barrio (185 N. High St., 614/220-9141. barriotapas.com
), a chic spot for Pan-Latin tapas and cold glasses of sangria. You can’t miss with any of the staples: serrano ham ($8), ceviche (market price) or paella mixta ($25), or their wine list — an intriguing selection of Spanish, Chilean and Argentinian wines by the bottle or glass.
For a meal that’s easier on your bank account, try Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace (248 S. 4th St., 614/824-4673. dirtyfrankscolumbus.com
) where a Frostop root beer and an Ohioana dog — topped with a mix of sweet corn, pickle relish, jalapeno and a dash of celery salt — will set you back just $5.
10 p.m. — Nightlife
In this town, the ever-growing population of students and alumni keeps the after-hours scene lively. Try the Bar at Rigsby’s (698 N. High St., 614/461-7888. rigsbyskitchen.com
) for a sophisticated setting and generous carafes from the mostly Italian wine list, Surly Girl Saloon (1126 N. High St., 614/294-4900. surlygirlsaloon.com
) for cocktails with attitude or Martini Modern Italian (445 N. High St., 614/224-8259. martinimodernitalian.com
) to wind down the evening with dessert and a decaf espresso.
8 a.m. — Metro Workout
Start the morning with an energizing blend of urban hiking and wildlife watching. The Scioto Audubon Metro Park (395 W. Whittier St., 614/891-0700. metroparks.net
) is the city’s newest downtown greenspace, with 71 acres designated for hiking trails, birding, fishing and other outdoor pursuits. The park’s creators implemented seven wetland cells within its borders, which attract birds such as wood ducks, egrets, herons and osprey. The area also houses the Grange Insurance Audubon Center (505 W. Whittier St., 614/545-5475. grangeinsuranceauduboncenter.org
After your walk, refuel with a stop at the North Market (59 Spruce St., 614/463-9664. northmarket.com
), an eclectic indoor emporium that’s impossible to leave hungry. Get a feel-good cup of coffee at A Touch of Earth, the market’s sustainable gourmet coffee bar, and a delicious, authentic Belgian-style waffle or made-to-order crepe at Taste of Belgium (owner Jean-François Flechet is a Belgium native). The North Market outdoor farmers market is open Saturdays through the end of the month, so stop by and grab an end-of-season apple for the road.
10:30 a.m. — Ethnic Eats
On the surface, Columbus may be just a link in the chain-dining chain. But break away from the high-rent districts and the city’s true culinary colors come out. Food guru and guide Bethia Woolf of Columbus Food Adventures (800/838-3006 for tickets, 614/440-3177 for more information, columbusfoodadventures.com
. $45–$60 per person) has mapped out the best ethnic kitchens in the city, and her Saturday morning Alt Eats van tour takes you on an off-the-grid circuit of the tastiest Middle Eastern, Vietnamese and Somali food, among others.
3 p.m. — Wake Up Your Face
Mukha (pronounced moo-KHA, which translates as “face” in Tagalog) owner Tim Maurer starts each client session with what he calls the “mirror of truth” and a question: “Just how much truth are you willing to hear?” Don’t be shy — for once, honesty is the best policy, since the New-York-trained makeup artist has a gift for making his skin and makeup advice hilariously funny. (And, like it or not, his 20 years as a celebrity make-up artist means his suggestions are usually spot-on.) Mukha offers a range of skin and body treatments, but the real fun is in the custom-blend products. With the help of his expert staff, you can mix foundations, powders and eye, cheek and lip colors that suit you perfectly. (980 N. High St., 614/294-7546. mukhaspa.com
7 p.m. — Dining Redux
Reinventing the familiar has been the dining trend in recent years. Few are better than the light, organic menu and avant-garde, cafeteria-style of Northstar Café (951 N. High St., 614/298-9999. thenorthstarcafe.com
); the eclectic bar food and modern diner kitsch at Betty’s Fine Food & Spirits (680 N. High St., 614/228-6191. bettyscolumbus.com); and the intimate space and familial feel at Basi Italia (811 Highland St., 614/294-7383. basi-italia.com
). Restaurants can be hard to get into when Ohio State plays at home, so plan ahead.
9 p.m. — Fun in Theory
Dueling piano bars aren’t new, but the recently opened The Big Bang (401 N Front St., 614/233-9999. thebigbangbar.com
) has proven itself to be a popular addition to the Arena District. Let loose and sing along with the raucously fun show — no one knows you here, anyway.
10 a.m. — Local Matters
The locavore movement is old hat in Columbus, but few chefs make their sources as visible as Rick Lopez of Knead (505 N. High St., 614/228-6323. kneadonhigh.com
). A mammoth magnetic map of Ohio shows the locations of all the growers and producers in this urban diner’s food chain. They also serve a fantastic brioche French toast.
12 p.m. — Design School
Thanks to “Project Runway,” we all have an inner Tim Gunn. Channel him with a Design Lab™ workshop at Substance (783 N. High St., 614/299-2910. shopsubstance.com
. $29.95 per workshop). The two-hour sessions help amateurs explore their design creativity by inventing and reinventing wearable art. Create your own T-shirt using antique block printing or redesign a favorite old piece from your existing collection. Even if you’re a complete novice, the laid-back, highly talented staff will help you make it work.
2 p.m. — Dessert First
Artisan ice cream maker Jeni Britton Bauer’s Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (714 N. High St., 614/294-5364. jenisicecreams.com
) has a national following thanks to her innovative flavors and farm-to-cone philosophy. Le Chocoholique houses a gallery-like collection of elegant, mostly organic chocolates (601 N. High St., 614/223-4009. lechocoholique.com
). Both are too good to miss.
3 p.m. — One for the Road
Before Bethia Woolf started Columbus Food Adventures, she made her culinary mark with a website about taco trucks in Columbus (there are more than 40). Her site, tacotruckscolumbus.com
, features a list of trucks, an interactive map, reviews and hours (to the best of her ability — sometimes the trucks don’t show). Grab some street food for the ride home. Trucks nearest to downtown include El Manantial Latino (corner of Lane and High streets in the Shell gas station lot, campus area, 614/515-3929, daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m.); Taqueria Davanne (corner of Fifth Avenue and Forsythe Street, Victorian Village, 614/735-5979, daily 11 a.m.–9 p.m.); and across the street, Junior’s Tacos (614/743-7603, Mon.–Thur. 1–11 p.m., Fri. 1 p.m.–midnight, Sat. 9 a.m.–midnight, Sun. 9 a.m.–10 p.m.). n
For more information about Columbus attractions, visit experiencecolumbus.com.
When You Go
The German Village Guesthouse (748 Jaeger St., 866/587-2738. gvguesthouse.com
) has three ultra-modern rooms, comfy communal spaces for late-night girl talk and a daily self-serve power breakfast. Rooms start at $185.
Exposed brick and floor-to-ceiling windows create the aura of a New York City apartment at The Lofts (55 E. Nationwide Blvd., 614/461-2663. 55lofts.com
). Rooms start at $139.