Sunday, July 5, 2009


The Columbus meeting location with our friends from Seattle was in the midst of the Doo Dah parade route. I chuckled as we wandered about this strange town looking for parking. Fortunately, it wasn't as bad as we expected.

We slashed our way through the crowds, bag of gifts and camera in tow, making sure not to trip over all the dogs. I was a bit startled by a furry grandfatherly man whom I bumped into, who wore a thin, short no-sleeve flowery white dress, red stockings, and red fishnets. The red stockings were a bit garish with the dress.

I was overjoyed to find them quickly. We exchanged hugs and gift bags, then headed to a restaurant to sit down and talk. Of course, Bug and I were still full from our lunch at Hama and they were hungry having rushed to Columbus. Mo'Joe Lounge was nearby and open.

MoJoe Turkey Corn Pilaf
Turkey sandwich with corn salad and pilaf

The server was probably annoyed with us since we would talk, trying to catch up after being apart for nearly 15 years, instead of reviewing the menu.

After the 5th visit from the server, the order was placed. One order was for a turkey bacon sandwich, corn salad, and a Thai inspired lemongrass pilaf (if I recall correctly). Another order was for a turkey sandwich and another kind of salad. A bean and cilantro hummus platter was also ordered.

MoJoe Bean and Cilantro Hummus
Hummus platter

I don't recall what else was in the cilantro hummus as I didn't eat any of it. Corn? I ordered a root beer float, which was as I expected, so I was pleased.

Apparently, the food was forgettable. What was lacking in their platters, was made up by lively conversation. While we've been in touch via email almost daily over the years, it still astounds me the gulfs of details missed in text that a smile or a pause at the right moment relays instantly.

The parade was already over by the time the leisurely meal was over so we were able to explore the strip after much of the tide of people had cleared.

Tiki Car
Yes, those are real flames on the tiki car, parked in front of That Car

The Short North, reminded me of the area near UC Berkeley with its assorted independent boutiques and restaurants, and variety of people. It's a fun place and I'm glad we met there!

I was surprised at the number of dogs walking up and down this busy strip. There were at least 3 stores devoted to dogs/pets. Three Dog Bakery stood out because it sold a lot of products, as well as a functional bakery piping out that fresh-baked aroma.

Three Dog Bakery
Dog heaven

We were tempted to get a toy for Akemi since there is a one year warranty and a one time trade-in offer if the toy gets wrecked.

The line at Jeni's, a famous ice cream shop in the region, snaked out the door past a couple of shops every time we walked by. We were tempted, but did not bite.

After a couple of hours, we stopped in at eleven to rest and have some dessert.

eleven bar

The soothing amber glow was a welcome contrast to the bright mid-summer sun and busy streets full of people, cars, and music. The booth we sat at was dangerously comfortable.

I didn't realize eleven was a part of the chain of Hyde Park Grill restaurants until I would later see the monogrammed platter we were served and put one and ten together.

eleven Hyde Park Grill
eleven menu

The bar menu consisted of numerous small platters at reasonable prices.

I had a hard time deciding which sweet dish I wanted to try between the banana split and the vanilla crème brûlée, as I had already pegged the truffle chips for the savory dish. In retrospect, I probably should have been more team-oriented and gotten the crème brûlée.

eleven Truffle chips
Truffle chips

The chips were unusual and something I would order again given the opportunity. The pairings of flavors were smartly tailored, between the chunks of buttermilk bleu cheese, candied pecans, fresh sage, and truffle oil with drizzled balsamic syrup; however, I doubt I would have been able to finish an order of chips myself, as the flavors were quite intense. The serving was just right for 4 people.

eleven Filet Mignon Slider
Filet mignon sliders

The sliders came in a pair and had filet mignon chunks with caramelized onions in very soft, grilled buns. I didn't try any, but from the looks of ecstasy, it must have been good.

eleven Banana Split
Banana split

Our two delicious orders of banana splits allowed generous portions between two people each. The banana had a caramelized sugar crust and sat atop 3 scoops of Graeter’s vanilla bean ice cream, with chopped pineapple, orange caramel sauce, and chopped strawberry toppings.

eleven Molten chocolate cake
Not so molten lava cake

Bug wasn't impressed with the assembly of the lava cake, and felt as if the cake was thawed. Not being a chocolate fan, a bite had more than satisfied my chocolate curiosity.

Our conversation was more personal since we weren't sitting outside and had the comfortable sit-down bar area to ourselves.

It felt as if no time had passed as we giggled over almost everything, yet through my myopic vision, I came away feeling more strongly than ever of the sun drawing closer to the horizon. It was sad to say goodbye, but I felt happy that all was well as can be with everyone. I hope it won't be another 15 years before we meet again.

- Cassaendra

MoJoe Lounge (Short North, On the Cap)
600 N High St
Columbus, OH
(614) 225-1563

eleven at Hyde Park Grill
569 N High St
Columbus, OH
(614) 224-2204‎

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