Under the Table

A chronicle of gastronomic adventures by G.A. Benton

Jul 24

Pies & El Camino

Pies Gourmet Pizza Bistro is restless chef Bill Fugitt’s latest destination. It’s located in the unglamorous suburb of Reynoldsburg —  which means, as a good 20 to 25 minute cruise from my Clintonville house, it is a destination. So is it worth the drive? You bet. 

On the left is Pie’s creative take on the Bloody Mary. Not so bloody, huh? That’s because muddled heirlooms stand in for tomato juice. This makes it a much lighter cocktail with blasts of spice and citrus arousing garden-y garnishes such as that fresh dill sprig and those bobbing ’maters. 

To the right is the almost pie-like (not pizza pie, from whence this place gets its name, but dessert-y pie) Peach Sangria with lotsa flavor from cinnamon and cantaloupe.

In the background are the terrific free macadamia nuts they ply you with in the upstairs bar — my preferred place to dine here. 

Up close and personal with that not-so-bloody cocktail

These meaty charred dates were popular and earned raves from every table near me (they were recommended by the waiters, who, BTW, would eagerly engage in conversation with diners over menu items and ingredient sourcing)   

The Brussels sprouts were also widely lauded — check out their enticing color. 

Below is the veggie pizza, which I liked fine, meaning I think Pie’s other stuff is actually more interesting 

El Camino Inn was my other story this week. It’s another Corbin project, and like other members in that restaurant family (The Rossi, Club 185, Little Palace), it’s built for fun.

EC’s decent-enough tacos son muy barato (only $2!) and buddy up great w/the place’s cervezas

I’m a sucker for fried masa, and this gordita (L) and tostada (R) werepretty fun to munch on (especially the gordita) and also stoopid cheap ($3 apiece — you cannot go wrong w/ that price)

If you’re really hungry, go for the mess-tastic Cubano torta (note: Cubano is shorthand for “throw everything in there!”) which, weighing in at $8, is the most expensive thing on the menu 

This dark (obscura) beer is from a newer Mexican brewery and its one you don’t run into often. As I recall (I drank it during that crazy 4th of July weekend) it had dark chocolate and even coffee aspects to it.

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