Thursday, June 16, 2011

Betty's Fine Food & Spirits

Honesty time: I don't understand the hype about Betty's.

According to my friends at Urbanspoon, Betty's is the fifteenth most popular restaurant in Columbus. Like, in all of Columbus. After our visit, I wondered if maybe its popularity stems more from its bar/nightlife side than the restaurant side, but, no, if you read the user reviews, everyone else really likes it. So either everyone else is really dumb, or Boyfriend and I really got cheated.

One of Boyfriend's friends had recommended Betty's to us, so we decided to head over to the Short North for dinner one evening. Betty's is a cramped little restaurant with an interesting bar-like atmosphere, if the bar were actually been run out of your alcoholic grandmother's living room. It has weird wallpaper and cheesy ceramic figurines everywhere and the whole place is arranged to highlight the bar, which allegedly has exactly umpteen billion beers on tap but I wasn't particularly impressed with the selection.

We ordered the spinach-artichoke dip for an appetizer, which was delicious; and our beers were perfectly beer-y, if nothing special in terms of selection or price. Dinner, however, was downright disappointing. Boyfriend had the fried chicken...which, when it arrived, was clearly baked, not fried. Not being much of a carnivore myself, I was excited to see that Betty's had a tofu steak on the menu. For the non-vegetarians amongst you, I should probably mention that tofu can be tough to cook really well, so when a restaurant has the balls to put straight-up tofu steak on the menu (as opposed to a dish that just happens to have a bit of tofu in it) it's generally pretty safe to assume they know what they're doing, and that the tofu is going to be really good.

Yeah, well, you know what happens when you ass-u-me things? You end up with a crappy piece of tofu that tastes like curry sauce without the spice. Also a side dish of completely dry, unseasoned broccoli.

I suspect that if you're drinking at Betty's and just happen to get hungry, their food is excellent when compared to your typical bar food. But if you're having dinner at Betty's and just happen to get a drink, that's when you're disappointed. Good bar food, not great food-food.

Betty's Fine Food & Spirits on Urbanspoon

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