Une Saison en Enfer, or, What I Ate: So Long Summer of 2011

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

(Since the long, hot summer went Rambo on us, I figured I'd go Rimbaud on the summer)

On my walk to the first football game of the season last Saturday, I encountered this mobile feeder, who's a welcome new player to the Lane Avenue line-up of boring brats and cheap gyros.

And with a warm and pleasing Buffalo chicken wrap like this, I'll be back for more. I especially enjoyed its spicily drenched handfuls of good pulled (i.e. un-fried) meat and appreciated how its copious diced bits of blue cheesy celery effectively provided the crunch I love (and otherwise get from a deep-fried crust).

For me, the ragtag alumni band is always a bittersweet treat...

...possibly because the precision of the dark-suited, bass drum doom-heralding real band is a peek into the alumni band's past.

How these kids managed to do their thing in those stifling hot unis and on that surface-of-the-sun, blazing hot field testifies to a kind of crazy dedication. By the way, the stadium was more sweltering than I'd ever experienced it--which was fitting, I guess, considering it was like the cruel summer of 2011 had one more infernal blast in it it was only too happy to unleash upon us on its final, last-gasp weekend.

Keeping with the themes of extreme heat and seasonal change, Mrs. G.A. and I headed to O'Reilly's after the Akron massacre to bookend our summer with the hottest (yet still delicious and still edible) wings we know about. See, we last had 'em on Memorial Day weekend, and those mean things--they're called "Scott's style" and are bursting with a near-addictive, habanero-led fruity chili/vinegar-y sauce--were calling our "one last jump into the fire" names.

Labor Day not only brought a glorious and crashing end to the blistering heat, but it also brought me to the Greek Festival for my traditional meal there--by far the best thing to eat at the Greek is the carved and spit-roasted lamb dinner ($13.50, and worth every drachma)...

...which is best enjoyed with a bottle cheap Greek wine (reasonably fest-priced at $16), which kinda brings out the smokiness in the slow-cooked meat. Afterwards, there should be ouzo and that wacky Metaxa stuff (neither pictured--guess I was too busy slurping-- but both available on the grounds for $5 a pop) plus...

...a mandatory dessert of these killer, honey-dipped, pistachio-dotted Greek doughnut-holes called loukoumades (the beat deal there at $3/6) polished-off with a Greek (think Turkish-style, but don't say it--it only makes the servers scowl) coffee--awesome!