This will be the final post I make from Massachusetts for quite some time; from here on out, I will be in the DC area. I could use some restaurant recommendations in Arlington and Washington!
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Day one of a five day road trip with my friend Forrest was, to say the least, long. I worked a 12 hour shift the night before that concluded at 7am, leaving me with less than an hour at home to attempt (unsuccessfully) a nap before Forrest arrived and we took off for Columbus, Ohio. Thus, when we finally arrived in Columbus, late for the baseball game we were going to attend (we went the next day, which was fine), we were both starving and exhausted. Eleven hours on the road will do that to you, I suppose. Thankfully, a little internet searching found us Matt the Miller's Tavern, a small local chain with a lot of good beers, and some damn fine steaks.
Forrest and I both ordered beers, then each went with the 10oz Flatiron steak, a piece of meat that came out looking far larger than its listed weight. Each steak comes with one of three "toppers" (garlic butter, Gorgonzola, or fried onion strings), and one side from a list of about ten. Forrest had the fried onion strings and mixed vegetables, and I went with the Gorgonzola and horseradish mashed potatoes, with mine ordered rare of course.
The steaks came out fairly quickly, so clearly the kitchen is on their game, and our waiter did not dawdle with putting in the order, something we greatly appreciated in our near starvation. Both steaks came liberally topped with our respective choices, with mine having so much Gorgonzola that I actually had to scrape some off, though I used it to mix into the mashed potatoes, which made them better. My steak was cooked perfectly, with a cool, deep red interior and slightly crusty exterior. The beef itself had almost a blackened flavor from the spice mixture that had been rubbed on it, which was unexpected but pleasantly spicy and salty, and the steak clearly of high quality. My mashed potatoes were fine, nothing incredibly special, and the horseradish flavor was non-existent, but the addition of the Gorgonzola was delicious. Both of us powered through our meals and, despite how insanely hungry we had been, were quite full and pleased with the meal when we left.
The draught beer list was not huge, but was well stocked with both local and national level brews, including Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale. I was looking for a lower alcohol content beer, and was feeling decidedly anti-IPA that day, a rarity for me, so I went with the Grunion, a 5.5% light-in-color-but-not-flavor type. It definitely is what you go for with a pale ale, very lightly malty, very lightly hopped (contrary to what their website says, quite frankly), and just incredibly refreshing. I think Forrest went with a local beer, but I cannot recall.
The beer was not cheap, but the steak was reasonably priced, just $16.99 for a large piece of very good meat, a side and a topping. The setting is nice, and I suspect sitting on their patio is pleasant when the weather is better, but sitting in the bar area was just fine, as they have a few high tops with real chairs in addition to booths and stools at the bar itself. It never got too loud, was well lit, and there were several televisions showing everything from bull riding to the World Poker Tour to the Crossfit Championships, and some more mainstream options as well. I would definitely go back if I find myself in Columbus again, and I immediately recommended it to my friend who moved there the day we left.