Friday, 14 June 2013

Dining with Sass at Surly Girl Saloon

Surly Girl Saloon on Urbanspoon

Greetings, Reader! It seems that this is the last blog post I'll be writing from my residence here in Granville, as by tomorrow's end I'll be completely moved out and back in Michigan for a bit before heading to Vermont and then to much beloved France for the majority of the summer. With this being said, I want to share with you my experience last night at the Surly Girl Saloon, located in one of my favourite areas of Columbus, the Short North.

To back track a little: at some point during this past fall semester, I was introduced to the film adaptation of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, one of Marlaine's favourite films of all time. And so, when I learned that a staged version of Hedwig was playing in Columbus, I quickly sent the aforementioned link over to her. The reviews (1,2)  were overwhelmingly strong and after seeing it for myself, I was both thoroughly impressed and in awe of the raw talent that reverberated throughout The Garden Theatre of the Short North Stage.

As noted above, this post isn't about Hedwig (though for my final words on this, I will say that if you're in the area you'd do well to try and see it, Th-Su, until the 22nd) but rather about my visit to Surly Girl, a restaurant which proclaims that it's "cooking up heaping helpings of comfort food made with love and served with a side of sass." Just across the street from The Garden and a few minutes' walk from Brothers Drake Meadery (which I intend to return to in the near future for a fuller review), Surly Girl definitely set the stage for our theatrical post script.

Making our way through the Western meets hipster vibe of the space (which looks smaller than it actually is), Marlaine and I joined Danette, Jennifer, Jess and Janet, an easy going and food-loving group of Columbus diners. We had just apparently caught the tail end of Surly Girl's Happy Hour, a rather prominent and tasty proposition of many a Columbus restaurant. Unfortunately, they were out of my default hard cider, and so I went with one of their specials, the Spring Maiden (in retrospect, a fitting choice for my upcoming trip). Smooth and sweet like a Muscat, the St. Germain's alcoholic content was boosted by a peach vodka, the peach of which was mellow and melded with the citrus and floral notes of the lavender-sugar rim. To finish it off was a touch of champagne to cut into the overall sweetness of the drink and give this monthly special some personality.

For those of you who know me, salads are not usually at the top of my go-to list. However, I went with the BBQ Chicken Salad and absolutely loved it. The chicken was moist and well seasoned, and was served on a bed of freshly crisp mixed greens. Overall, the salad had a distinctive yet nuanced heat to it coming from the sweet and tangy barbeque sauce (really that's all it needed), with the option of adding another dimension via the chipotle ranch dressing that's served on the side. All of this was set against a great sweet corn and black bean salsa blend that also included shredded cheddar and monteray jack cheeses, french fried onions and roma tomatoes.

There's a separate section and specific instruction on the menu to save room for one of their "from scratch with love" cupcakes. I think I was honestly content by the end of my salad, but what's a review without a dessert course? The evening's Cupcake du Jour was a German Chocolate cupcake, which Marlaine got; I eneded up going with the standard offering of Red Velvet. By smell alone, I could tell this was definitely made in house and the exterior of the cake had that perfect slightly golden browned flavour to it, and for that I appreciated the cupcake. I was a tad bit disappointed though by the cupcake as a whole. Perhaps it was too warm in the restaurant, but the cream cheese frosting lacked definition and despite its assertiveness (in terms of flavour) it collapsed into a heavy sauce feel that overtook the tender cake underneath, muddling the unique taste of red velvet. Don't get me wrong, I think this was a good cupcake, but maybe not one I won't be saving room for the next time around. Yes, with bacon in quite a few of their dishes and an SBB pizza special, Surly Girl is definitely a place to try out again. For these and a few more photos from our evening, click here.

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