July 2nd, 2009: Old Bag of Nails in Hilliard

Last night Scott and I made our first attempt at doing the majority of our grocery shopping at Whole Foods.  This is part of my Get a Grip on the Grocery Bill Initative.  My findings and discussion of said trip will be in another post all dedicated to itself.  I will tease you and say that it will also include pictures of me shopping that my husband stealthily took with his phone.  I will also tell you that I apparently look ridiculous when I shop.

Moving along, this post is about last night’s debacle of a dinner.  We got home late and Whole Foods, once again, did not have pizza dough out for purchase.  Since it was after 8pm, I did not have time nor the energy to make dough myself.  We decided to try a little hole in the wall place down the street.

Now here’s the thing, Scott and I are all about trying new places.  And this place already did look a little rough around the edges but what the hell right?  It’s a hole in the wall, we can deal.

And then a lady walked out of the building and she was barefoot followed by a man who was walking a dog.


And then just as we reach the door, a man (who was also very nice! Please remember I just said that!) who probably cut ties with his dentist somewhere around 1937 walked out and greeted us with a smile.  Then we smelled the distinct smell of a bar full of smoke.


It was at this point we turned around and left.  Smoke is not something I tolerate very well and since leaving home, I try my hardest not to engage with it.

Instead we went to Old Bag of Nails in Hilliard.  This is a local chain of “pubs”.  The soul reason for going to this place is because they were supposed to have the Dublin Irish Festival Stout available.  The DIF is a local festival that starts the first of August.  It’s a huge all weekend long event.  They have their own steins and stout created just for the festival and have it shipped to local restaurants.

I love stout and wanted to try it.  So off to OBON we went.

Never. Again.

We had such a horrible time and the food was just ridiculously bad it’s crazy.  Let’s recap it, shall we?!

We arrive and get seated by a lovely hostess.  The server comes over to take our order and Scott asks for the DIF stout.  She gets the deer-in-the-headlights look and asks he what he said.  He repeats.

“Yeah, we don’t have that. Yeah, no.”

In sort of that laughing tone that someone uses when they think you just asked them something preposterous but they have to give you an answer.  And in my head, I was already going, yeah I can see where this night is headed.


He ordered a Guiness for us instead.  Which we had to wait probably 10 minutes for.  She brought water out for me right away and then left. Leaving us waiting and waiting on Scott’s drink.  This was my first time having Guiness. I always stayed away from it because I thought it was thick and syrupy.  But since I now love dark beers thought I would give it a try.

Should have stayed away.  It’s not thick and syrupy, it tastes like flat pop. Ew. I have no idea why it’s popular and considered “one of the best” stouts. Yuck-o.

For an appetizer we ordered the Caribbean Black Bean Dip.

Black bean dip

There is nothing Caribbean about this dip unless they are referring the black beans making it “Caribbean”.  It barely had any flavor.  Just some beans in a cream based sauce with over fried tortilla chips.  Flour tortilla chips, that kind that doesn’t let go of all the grease?  Those.  I had two chips and a few forks of just dip.

I ordered the house salad with my meal.  I order house salads because I’m conducting an experiment.  Results should be tallied soon.

House salad

This salad? Pathetic. The menu description said tomatoes yet somehow there are none on my salad.  I forgot there was bacon or I would have asked for it to be removed.  I tried to avoid it as much as possible but a few tastes snuck in and it tasted like Bac-Os.  EWWW.  I avoided the croutons and also the red onion so basically what I had was some chopped romaine with a drizzle of balsamic dressing. Fun!

Clam chowder

Scott ordered the “house made” clam chowder.  It tasted not house made but from a can.

After the appetizer and soup/salad we sat around waiting for our food to come.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

We waited probably 1/2 an hour.  Not once did the server come over to check on us.  Or to clear away dishes.  Or to say the food was taking a while and would be right out.  Or to ask what was going on or even mention the wait in any way, shape, or form.  She did wait on the tables around us though.  That couple behind us.  Oh and that table over there with the larger party.  Oh and the table behind us.  But not us.

Finally the manager came over and said that there was a “problem with our ticket” and it fell off the whatever and was passed over.  Our meals should be right out and they were on the house.

I told Scott that I think our server messed up and forgot to put the order in or something.  Because she stopped “serving” us and ignored us ever since our soup and salad arrived.  And wouldn’t you think the server would come out and say something about the situation before the manager arrives?  When the food came out, it wasn’t our server who brought it, it was the manager. Strange, right?

Fish sandwich

Scott’s main meal with a fish sandwich, the fish blackened.  No idea what kind of fish because you know, that wasn’t labeled or information they thought was necessary.  Fries on the side.  The fish, although a bit dry, was actually not bad.  I had a few bites.  I also tried a fry which was just silly gross.

Veggie quesadilla

My main meal was the “grilled vegetable quesadilla” that was supposed to come with seasonal grilled veggies.  I asked for pepper jack in place of Monterey jack and was met with a bit of reluctance but then said it was doable.  My thought was, why wouldn’t it be?  Pepper jack is a cheese offered on several other dishes what would be the problem?

When my dish arrived that’s when my crabbiness went straight to hunger frustration.  I was just mad.  My quesadilla with “seasonal grilled veggies” contained way too much cheese, white onion, green pepper, and mushrooms.  All that cheese glistening on top? Isn’t even close to how much cheese was inside the quesadilla.  It was too much and came across like they were making up for lack of “veggies”.

Mushrooms, white onion, and green pepper are standard all year long veggies, where’s the seasonal stuff?  Oh right, it’s just a description to make people think they are getting something fancy when they are not.

This quesadilla was beyond greasy, I’m guessing from the low quality of cheese.  There was oil everywhere.  It had more cheese than veggies, not what I’m looking for.  I had to pick the mushrooms out because I don’t eat them.  I was mad at myself for this because I forgot that when restaurants say “veggie whatever” they really mean “mushroom whatever”. For some reason veggie is equated with mushrooms and lots of them.

Well this Flexitarian who prefers veggie stuff hates mushrooms.  Not all of us like to eat fungus! I’m just saying. I had 1/4 of the quesadilla and one bite of another quarter and decided to just stop eating.   It was too cheesy and too greasy and had no veggies.  I wasn’t going to put my body through having to deal with something it was going to hate. I’ve learned my lesson. Also of note, and you probably realize this, but I did not eat the sour cream or “salsa”. The “salsa” was canned tomatoes, green pepper, and white onion. What kind of salsa is that?!

Part of my frustration here too, and this goes for all restaurants not just OBON. Is that “seasonal veggies” are offered in other dishes.  There was one sandwich listed that came with grilled zucchini.  Why can’t grilled zucchini then be in the veggie quesadilla?  Or some carrots?  Some spinach, which you have on hand because you have spinach salads in the menu.


These are things I don’t understand about restaurants and how they are run.  Because to me, it comes across like you don’t give a fig about your customers and all you care about is money.

The server didn’t stop by again to refill drinks, ask about how we were doing, or to clear plates. She didn’t even stop back by to see if our dinner was okay.  The manager did though.  The next time the server stopped by was to bring the check which she just dropped off not even asking us if we wanted dessert.  Scott had to catch her before she ran away to ask for a box.

We looked the check over and it still wasn’t right.  The manager did take care of our meals like he said, but we still paid for the beer ($5.50, holy hell) appetizer, salad, and soup.  All of which we had no problem with.  However, they charged Scott $3.99 for his soup which should have been $.1.99 because it came with his meal.  At that point we didn’t care and just wanted to leave as quickly as possible.

What a horrible horrible experience we had at Old Bag of Nails in Hilliard.  We haven’t had something that bad for a very long time.  No more OBON for us unless we are in a situation where it can’t be avoided.  This is why it’s better to stick with small non-chain restaurants.  That’s their lively hood, and they care about their customers.

I came home, changed into jammies, and poured myself a glass of raspberry mineral water to cure my woes.

6 thoughts on “July 2nd, 2009: Old Bag of Nails in Hilliard

  1. ugh – im so sorry – i hate experiences like that. i hate all the sneaky shiz restaurants pull on you. “seaonal veggies” – grr, I’ve totally been there and totally understand your pain. :(

  2. I hate it when we pay to go somewhere and then the food sucks and you get horrible service — and all I can think about is what I would’ve rather spent my money on. I actually like Guiness, but only if it’s really cold and I can usually just do one.

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