Restaurant Review: Betty’s In Memoriam
Worst January ever: the lights at 680 N. High are dimming. The closing of Betty’s Fine Food & Spirits at the end of the month will be worse than all the armageddon, apocalypse and polar vortex events altogether. It’s time to pull out hair and scream in agony like a reality star who’s been kicked off the island.
Because if you can’t be a Drama Queen about Betty’s relocation, there’s really no reason to be a Drama Queen, ever.
After all, Betty’s is the queen of the Short North. First, because it’s got a lady’s name. Second, because that lady paradoxically sexualizes and empowers herself in every poster and print on the walls. Freud would have a heyday. What more do you want from a queen?
While Betty’s will be resurrecting itself like Lazarus (the dude, not the place with the Chintz Room) in a few months, there’s still time for a melodramatic farewell tour of the foods that rocked the Short North for almost fourteen years.
Farewell Marge’s Meatloaf ($11), formed and sliced in the perfect shape of a steak. It’s got almost as much beefiness. And the giant slice of the meatloaf is served with a heap of tender green beans that boast grill marks and an ice-cream scoop of mashed potatoes; better than homemade.
Goodbye Chicken Tortilla Soup ($5), so cute with the rainbow shreds of tortilla chips and sour cream on top. Although it’s a brothy brew underneath its crunchy crown, it takes on a filling dimension with big chunks of chicken and corn.
Goodnight Spinach & Artichoke Dip ($8). It’s actually pretty good at a lot of restaurants, but it will be sad to no longer enjoy it underneath vintage Wonder Woman clippings.
You will not be forgotten, Mac & Cheese ($9). Especially Mac & Cheese, it has enough stuff going on in to be much more than a boring side dish. It’s a full-fledged entree with peppers and corn mixed up in the rotini: all the stuff that’s lovable about the comfort food, with just enough pollution to keep it interesting.
And while those were popular favorites, here are a few more shout outs for items like the Warm Three Mushroom Salad ($10). Betty’s knows that the best part of anything with mushrooms is the mushrooms themselves. It indulges fans with a giant heap of buttery, sautéed mushrooms, right in the middle of fresh greens. Plus, the chunks of goat cheese (super creamy and super goaty, the way some people like it) are really big and really easy to pick out of the salad.
And there’s the Cajun Crab Pasta ($12), with real crab and not that surimi stuff.
Even worse will be the regret of the dishes never tried. Because dining ruts are good, and it’s hard to branch out, once you find your soulmate on a menu. Goodbye Blackened Tilapia. Farewell Taquitos, whatever that is.
You have about a week left in January for the last meal. Cue the music, take a bow, pull the curtains; here’s to a heart transplant and a fresh start for a grand dame at 340 E. Gay Street in a few months.
For more information, visit www.bettyscolumbus.com.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.