I had a bit of time to kill before a meeting downtown a few weeks ago, so I asked my best friend Kristin if she’d want to grab a happy hour drink and a bite to eat with me. I wasn’t in the mood for anything in particular, so I let her pick the place, and she recommended The Olde Towne Tavern. I’d never been, so I was exited to give it a try!
This was actually my first time in the Olde Towne East area of Columbus. Driving though, you can tell that there’s a lot of history in this area of the city. It’s quite pretty, and I hope to do more exploring that way soon.
The Tavern itself is located at 889 Oak St, and is pretty easy to spot – there’s a big, beautiful mural on the side of the building.
I quickly found Kristin at the bar. This place definitely has a classic tavern feel, with dark wood features and cozy booths built into the walls.
They have some nice happy hour deals, and Kristin took advantage of their 1/2 off drafts by ordering a beer. I, feeling fancy, opted instead for a white sangria.
I was honestly taken aback by how good this was. I love white sangria in general, and this absolutely hit the spot. It was perfectly sweet, summery and refreshing, not too mild and not too strong. The bartender who prepared this (I unfortunately didn’t catch her name) gets an A+ from me!
I’m definitely glad we had the drinks to tide us over, because it did take a while to flag a bartender back over our way to order our food. No fault of theirs, though – the happy hour crowd was keeping them busy.
The menu was also surprisingly robust, complete with salads, soups, pizza and a whole host of sandwiches. The Bartlett Pear Grilled Cheese immediately caught my eye (described on the menu as “sliced Bartlett pear, brie and cheddar topped with sliced almonds & wilted spinach on whole wheat”), although the Red Masher Grilled Cheese (“Red potato mashers, broccoli and bacon bits with melted cheddar and havarti on sourdough”) was a close runner-up, and definitely what I’ll be getting next time.
Kristin ended up getting the Tavern Salad, which was topped with fresh avocado, tomato, hard boiled egg, green onion, bleu cheese and creamy vinaigrette. As a vegetarian, she opted out of the crumbled bacon that normally comes on the salad.
Once we managed to order, it didn’t take long at all to get our food.
I can only speak to my food, although the salad looked excellent as well. The grilled cheese was very good – maybe a little heavy on the spinach (it drowned out a few of the other flavors I’d have liked to taste more of), but definitely something I would order again. The chips were absolutely to die for, and anyone who serves me a pickle with my sandwich is alright by me.
Kristin made sure to point out that The Olde Towne Tavern has a wealth of wonderful vegetarian options, including several types of meatless grilled cheeses, a portobello sandwich, a hummus sandwich, great salads and more. Of course, carnivores are welcome too, and they’ll serve you a burger, Italian sub or some BBQ Pork Sliders if that’s what you’re in the mood for!
Not only were the food and drinks good, but the atmosphere was perfect for a casual dinner date with a good friend. We had a great time catching up, and the Tavern made us feel relaxed and comfortable.
If you’re in the Olde Towne East area, check out The Olde Towne Tavern. Definitely order that Red Masher Grilled Cheese and let me know how it is!