Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: August 2011


Product Review: Blinc M2 Bluetooth Helmet Headset

I had the chance to take the Blinc M2 Bluetooth helmet headset for a test drive for the last week or so in hopes that I would potentially add it as an item at the motorcycle store.

Contents of a full Blinc M2 Headset package.
Here's my independent review:
The Blinc M2 and its counterpart, the Blinc M1 are standalone Bluetooth helmet headsets that are designed to universally fit all types of full and open-face motorcycle helmets through a combination of clip installation or adhesive plate and in-helmet speakers with a wind-resistant microphone. The only difference between the M1 and M2 is that the latter includes an integrated auto-seek FM radio. Blinc also has two additional headsets, the Blinc 1 and Blinc 3 that are exclusively integrated into several models of Torc helmets.


Food Review: Greek Express (Columbus, OH - Polaris)

It's been a bit of time since I've done a review on a fast food Greek restaurant so I decided to stop by this new establishment a few days ago, Greek Express, in the Polaris Shopping Center area across from Kroger. This is one of two locations run by the same company, the other down OH-750 in nearby Lewis Center.

For dinner, I tried their dinner plate of gyros and rice and a serving of fried calamari for an appetizer. The servings were very generous, in fact a little bigger than I wanted for dinner that evening, but I'm not the one to complain about extra food. I was even more surprised by the taste of the actual food. The gyro meat was quite dry and the rice was seasoned very unevenly and over-buttered and salted in multiple areas. The pita bread was the only real good-tasting object on my plate, and even that could have been a bit less rubbery. As for the calamari, it was obvious that it was generic, with a very bland crispy outside and a tasteless squid inside that screamed for sauce. I think that explains why I received multiple packages of the "tzatziki" sauce (I put it in quotations because I really didn't know what the heck that stuff was supposed to taste like).

Looks tantalizing, doesn't it? Couldn't say much about ended at looks.
It's very rare that I'll severely criticize a food establishment, but this one just deserved it. But for $10 or less you can at least fill your stomach so you won't feel as hungry.

And a suggestion for independent food establishments that plan to carry Greek-style food: don't show off the fact that you get your supply of food products from a major distributor. If you ever see the "Kronos" brand emblazoned on anything at a fast food Greek restaurant in the form of signs, posters, and tray liners, expect everything to taste like this. Seriously. Check out That's like saying gourmet food by Sygma and not by the expertise of your high-caliber chefs. Good grief.

If you want to try your luck on "Greek" food, Greek Express is located at 8685 Sancus Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43240. After a quick chat with a relative of one of the employees after dinner in the parking lot (he was admiring by motorcycle), he did admit to me that the chicken was ten times better than the gyros. Some patronage right there.

On a bright note, you won't have to travel too far down Sancus to get to Greek food that doesn't suck. I suggest visiting Crazzy Greek on Sancus/Lazelle to get that strange aftertaste out of your mouth.

Greek Express on Urbanspoon


Hockey Haikus for the Frustrated Goalie

And here's something for the rainy evening.

I was going through some old blog archives from several years ago and had to bring these amusing hockey-related haikus I wrote back to the surface. I produced these in the midst of a 26-game losing streak (I'm not making up that number, by the way) while playing on three teams in three separate leagues. Since I couldn't really control what was happening on the ice, I figured I'd vent a little in classic 5-7-5 syllable poetry. That's my English degree at work, people. Huzzah.


Josh Groban's Straight to You Tour @ Schottenstein Center (August 5, 2011)

And Josh Groban has proven once again why he's one of the top performers of our generation...

When I found out in March that Josh Groban was coming to Columbus for the first time in a several years, I had to make sure that I could secure tickets for his show. My chances for awesome tickets were very high because Josh Groban Fan Club members received first dibs on tickets one day before the general public for major tours. So after debating between seeing him at the new CONSOL Energy Center arena in Pittsburgh or the smaller and more intimate Schottenstein Center at Ohio State, I decided on the latter because of ticket price and the fact that I was getting floor seats. So just on a whim, I decided on smack dab in the middle, section F5.

I brought one of my good friends with me to the show and was quite impressed with the location of our seats in relation to the main stage. She had never seen Josh perform live before so this was pretty exciting for her as well. However, we both realized that our seats were even more special than we had originally thought...


Food Review: Aloha Hawaiian BBQ and Asian Bistro (Grandview, OH)

One of my biggest pet peeves about living here in the Buckeye State is the lack of food chains that don't involve either pizza, burgers, or subs. Being a Californian, I was spoiled by the popular, non-burger dependent food chains out there (Daphne's Greek Cafe, and L&L's Hawaiian BBQ to name a couple) that would occasionally be lunch or dinner after a hectic day of work.

After nearly two years in Columbus (and two months of eagerly passing by the soon-to-open location), a void in my food selection has finally been filled. Hawaiian BBQ is finally here in the community of Grandview with Aloha Hawaiian BBQ and Asian Bistro!

Yep, food choices just got a lot less lame out here.
Unlike the standard Hawaiian BBQ places that I've eaten at on the West Coast, this one has also introduced some popular Asian dishes in the mix including Pad Thai, tempura udon soup, and several Chinese entrees. In fact, Matt and I ordered a small side of crab rangoons to start things off, which disappeared before I could pull out the camera.

So some people would ask, "What's so special about Hawaiian BBQ?" It's all about the taste and the simplicity. Hawaiian BBQ bases itself off the standard plate lunch. It's basically your choice of meat, a scoop of rice, and Hawaiian macaroni salad which tastes far different from your standard supermarket choices. It's simple, it's cheap, and it's filling.

For my main course, I ordered a chicken combo consisting of BBQ chicken and chicken katsu (lightly fried cutlet). Sides were the traditional mac salad and scoop of rice. One bite into the meal and I was taken right back to the South Bay again. Both grilled and fried meats were done well and very juicy. The mac salad still had its mellow and slightly sweet flavoring, and the rice was cooked just right, as I like to say "exactly to spec."

Definitely worth the wait and the 20-minute drive.
I am excited to see a small, culinary piece of home here in Columbus. Thanks to the existence of this store, I no longer have to ride 600 miles east to New York City for L&L's or 2100 miles west to Las Vegas, NV for another restaurant of the same genre. Yes, that's how uncommon a restaurant like this is. So for all you fellow California ex-patriates out there, your fix for chicken katsu, spam musubi, and loco moco has been satisfied. We all can't go home, but we can bring a little of it back here.

Aloha Hawaiian BBQ is family owned and located at 974 W 5th Ave., Columbus, OH 43212. Open 7 days a week. If you've never tried this style of food, bring some friends, have a nice lunch, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere!

  Aloha Hawaiian BBQ & Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon