Posted by: tonkatsudelights | June 7, 2007

Dining in Easton Town Center, Columbus


The first time to try the thing called Mongolian Barbeque. What the heck is that?

The place itself is a very casual dining place. Come in your t-shirt and shorts type of thing. The concept is semi self-service dining. We picked our own stuffs —- meats or seafood and veggies at the respective stations. Then take our sauces and spices. I picked the New York strip cut beef. Add mushrooms, onion, and carrot slices. Plus barbeque sauce with a spoonful of chilli powder. Hmmm…


 –> The spices…

 …and the sauces. They look like paint!

The next thing is basically to turn it over to the guys on the counter who will help us to stir-fry it. Yes, correct! I didn’t write it wrongly. The ingredients are to be stir-fried, not barbecued. As to why the name is barbeque, that is completely beyond me.

Chop-chop-chop! Stir! Turn!  

   The end product. Hmm… the appearance doesn’t look too good. The taste itself is pretty standard and acceptable for such a casual place. Will it become my favorite or the places I’m after the next time I’m in the area? Maybe not. To me, the taste isn’t all that great.

To close it, I ordered a Mongolian mudpie. Which basically looks and tastes the same as any other mudpie — only the size is pretty big. American size. I’m just wondering why they have to name it Mongolian mudpie. I am not being skeptical, but I am somehow pretty sure if I go to Mongolia I won’t find mudpie as a popular dessert there. Hehe.

Interesting experience, at the least. It’s the first time for me to see such concept.


The 2nd night we went to a more upscale place, though still casual. I guess —- this is what they refer to as ‘upscale casual dining’.

The Cheesecake Factory, again, is a popular restaurant chain in the US. And it’s not surprising that they are popular for their… cheesecakes? Hehe. The place has a number of cheesecake varieties whose recipes can be attributed back to Mdm. Evelyn Overton who founded the restaurant with her husband, from a cake shop back in 1971.


The interior looks interesting. Cool earth colours, with fresco paintings on the ceiling and the walls that smells ‘Egypt’. The place was packed when we came. And it was only on a Tuesday night! No wonder they are quite strict about the reservations. They actually called us to come over soon as there are so many people waiting in line to get the table.

The menu is huuuuge. I don’t mean the size of the book, though. I mean, there is a long list of menu items listed. You may be tempted to order many of them, but remember… this is America, man! The portion is gigantic.

 –> The appetizers platter. If you come in a big group, you’d better order something like this.

 –> My barbeque ribs. Very good. But it’s just too big for me I can’t finish it. I actually asked them to pack so I can da bao and eat in my room.

Even when I already da bao my bbq ribs, at the end of the dinner my stomach simply can not handle anything more. Same as everybody else. Which is too bad as I think their cheesecakes should be nice. I wonder — who actually gets to eat the complete dinner course, with appetizer and entree… and then get to eat the cheesecake as well? They must really really have big capacity!

Just the thought of it makes me shudder…

And I consider myself a medium-to-big eater already. At least for an Asian female.


The last team dinner in the US trip this time. And may I say, … the nicest of all.

I am not saying this because the place is more upscale than the others. Though, yes… the place itself is very nice. Classy. And the feature that I like is their private tables. Basically those tables are still located in the same dining hall, not in separate rooms, but they have curtains that people can draw if they want a more private setting.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the place and the food. I did take pictures, but of the people. This team dinner is only for what we call as the leadership team. And I sat beside our GM —the big boss— the whole night. Less freedom, you know. If I started taking pictures of the food, for sure it will generate questions and discussions. And I will have to explain about my blog. Which I did not intend to do this time.

McCormick and Schmick’s, again, is also a chain restaurant in the US. 50 branches, more than 5,000 employees. Founded by, who else if not, Mr. McCormick and Mr. Schmick in Portland, Ore., in the early 1970’s. The restaurant printed their menu twice daily. Once for lunch and once for dinner. They change their fresh items list everyday. Depends on the catch of the day, eh?

The staff who attended to us was very knowledgeable. He explained the fresh items and the preparations one by one. I guess the staff in this restaurant must certainly have good memory and good understanding. They gotta be able to explain the menu that changes twice daily.

The highlights. A small sampler of six different kinds of fresh raw oysters. OMG… they are just heavenly. Divine… Try them if you have the chance to go to the place. And my entrée for the night is… Canadian black mussels in red curry soup. Slurrrp…. I ate all of them. ALL 40 pieces of them! This is actually an appetizer, not an entrée. However, I felt like eating good mussels, since I’ve been missing those mussels in Wine Garage. The mussels menu that are long gone and will never come back. Hiksss…

Our bill that night came to around US$1,300 for a total of 17 people. Which is not bad! I personally think that it is fairly reasonable for the quality of the food that we eat.

A trip back to the place is a definite yes! Next time. The good thing is they have an outlet at the Westin Cincinnati so it will be easy to visit them!

(Columbus – June 4-7, 2007)


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