Brunchin’ it Up: Double Comfort

Double Comfort

Double Comfort
505 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43215
http://www.doublecomfortrestaurant.com/

Top Tastes:
1. Chicken and Waffles/Pork and Waffles
2. Ham and Egg Breakfast Biscuit
3. Firestorm cocktail
4. Breakfast Mac and Cheese
5. Ancho Blueberry Salad

Stacie from Little Adventures Await and I recently went on the Columbus Food Adventures brunch tour, hosted by Breakfast with Nick. We had so much fun, and one of our favorite stops was at Double Comfort, just across from the Convention Center on High Street. As we noshed and looked around at the local barnwood decor, I wondered how crazy I was that I hadn’t eaten a full meal here yet. My husband, a lover of all things gravy, and I decided to resolve this issue immediately.

Ham and Egg Breakfast Biscuit from Double Comfort

Kick your day off right by ordering up the powdered sugar-dusted beignets, or check out a biscuit sandwich for a smaller meal. For the sammies, pick your filling of griddled ham, egg, and cheddar, or fried chicken with house pepper jelly. The Breakfast Mac and Cheese was a fun dish you don’t see frequently, a heaping helping of cheesy noodles plated with two sunny side up eggs, bacon, and generous amounts of hot sauce. I rarely pick a salad for the top tastes section, but take note: the Ancho Blueberry Salad is fabulous, especially for a restaurant with a fried chicken focus. If you’re looking for a lighter meal, the greens are tossed with caramelized onions, blueberries, ancho chili granola, blue cheese, and a superb lemon vinaigrette.

Pork and Waffles from Double Comfort

For bigger appetites, the tender waffle dishes are a must. The Chicken and Waffles consists of a thigh and a juicy leg, plus the delectable 3 Sins syrup (maple syrup simmered with coffee, bacon, and bourbon) on the side. The Chicken Fried Pork Cutlet was a showstopper too. This cutlet is dredged and fried to such crispy, flavorful perfection that you have to try to believe. Once placed atop the waffle, the pork is smothered in thick “3 Pigs” gravy. Next visit, sweet potatoes will be on my mind – I’ll be trying the Duck and Sweet Potato Hash or the Sweet Potato Pancakes with praline crumble.

Bourbon Firestorm from Double Comfort

For brunchy cocktails, stick to Double Comfort’s good bourbon list or try a coffee concoction with Bailey’s, served warm or cold. On our brunch tour, we sampled Bloody Marys, but that’s just not my thing; however, the people that tried them really enjoyed the restaurant’s house mix. I’ll stick with the Firestorm, reminiscent of a pink mint julep.

Culinary Clue: Double Comfort also strives to give back to the Columbus community, with a “buy a meal, give a meal” donation policy, and use of local ingredients like cheese and chicken.

I’m always on the quest for more brunch spots. Where is your favorite Short North brunch locale?

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Double Comfort Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sweet Carrot

Sweet Carrot

1417 W 5th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43212
614-488-7151
http://sweetcarrot.com/

Top Tastes
1. Pulled Pork on Corn Cakes, Loaded
2. Roasted Carrot & Coconut Cookie
3. Fried Artichokes on Mac’n Cheese
4. Carrot Tomato Soup
5. Carrot Cake

Fast-casual is currently reigning supreme in Columbus, as consumers crave meals that are fresh, quick, and tasty. Sweet Carrot’s unique spin on this concept fits the bill, with a from-scratch focus and reasonable prices. Don’t be intimidated by all the carrot menu items – I’m not the biggest fan of the orange veggie and loved each item. In fact, I was so eager to try the grub served up at this Grandview locale, that it made this year’s restaurant bucket list.

Sweet Carroy

 

Let’s start with some background information. Sweet Carrot’s name comes from an anagram of “Two Caterers,” the company which evolved into a food truck and then the current eatery. They still have an extensive catering menu available, which would be a great way to feed a large group. Everything from the meats, which are smoked daily, to the baked goods and the barbecue sauce are made in-house. The dining space is light and modern, with wooden stools and tables carved with renderings of rabbits and carrots. There is also a selection of local beer and craft soda, ready for your consumption.

The patio at Sweet Carrot

To make a Sweet Carrot meal, first choose your protein from pulled pork, brisket, Ohio chicken meatballs, smoked turkey, and fried artichokes. This main selection can be plated as a sandwich in a yeasty, homemade roll, on a salad, with mac ‘n cheese, or a griddled corn cake as the base.  I opt for the pulled pork or fried artichokes atop the macaroni or corn cake for maximum deliciousness. The dish is then finished with a scoop of slaw for crunch, tangy house sauce, barbecue sauce, and corn salsa. Finally, make sure you if you didn’t order macaroni as the main component of your entree to ask for your meal “loaded.” This leads to the perfect addition of a scoop of macaroni and cheese to your order – mixing in such cheesy goodness can’t be wrong. Add some flavorful carrot tomato soup or chips with corn salsa on the side, but warning: you may not have room for anything else.

Dessert from Sweet Carrot

The desserts are just as worth a visit. You would expect carrot cake to be a staple here, and it is! As I mentioned, even the non-carrot cake obsessed will love the soft texture and the piped carrot atop the icing. But the cookies are where I think Sweet Carrot really shines. The large Roasted Carrot & Coconut cookie, covered in a tasty glaze is one of the best cookies I’ve ever had; the chocolate sandwich cookie and the lemon sugar cutout treats were divine as well. Cake pops and more solid cookie varieties round out the baked offerings.

Culinary Clue: I got a tip from one of the employees on my most recent visit that a new Sweet Carrot location is in the works. Here’s to more Coconut Carrot cookies for everyone as the business expands!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

PS. I’ve done an entire series of posts about places to visit in Grandview Heights.  You can check those out here.

Sweet Carrot Casual Cuisine Food Truck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fall Flavors 2016

Goumas Candyland offers up Caramel Apples

I totally get it: flavors like pumpkin and apple have become synonymous with the start of fall, and sometimes it can be overkill. But let’s face another reality: when all is said and done, we still find ourselves buying or ordering menu items with these ingredients because the dishes simply taste heavenly. So buckle up for a buffet of all the autumn eats I’ve enjoyed so far this season! Don’t forget about squash, sweet potatoes, and warming spices too. 

Pumpkin-palooza

Snickerdoodle Cooki Sammies with Velvet Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Snickerdoodle Cookie Sammies with Velvet Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Cashew Cream Toast and Beet Juice from Alchemy

Pumpkin Cashew Cream Toast and Beet Juice from Alchemy

Basic Fall Staple Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles

Basic Fall Staple: Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles

Apple Extravaganza

Goumas Candyland offers up Caramel Apples

Goumas Candyland offers up caramel apples

Donuts with maple apple compote from Wolf's Ridge Brewing

Donuts with maple apple compote from Wolf's Ridge Brewing

Brothers Drake Bourbon Barrel Apple Mead

Brothers Drake Bourbon Barrel Apple Pie Mead

Acorn squash stuffed with apple and sausage

Acorn squash stuffed with apple and sausage

Street Thyme Burger with brie and apples

Street Thyme burger with brie and apples

More Fall Fare

The new Rockmill Taverns comforting Duck Pot Pie

The new Rockmill Tavern's comforting Duck Pot Pie

Akoori Eggs from The Table on the Columbus Food Adventures Brunch Tour

Akoori Eggs from The Table on the Columbus Food Adventures Brunch Tour

Chili by the Fire

Hot chili by the fire

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams seasonal offerings Sweet Potato Eclair and chocolatey spicy Xocorosa

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams seasonal offerings Sweet Potato Eclair and chocolatey, spicy Xocorosa

Caroline’s Picks: 5 Avocado Dishes to Try

photo-sep-15-6-41-14-pm

It’s an avocado extravaganza! Everyone’s favorite green food is trendy, tasty, and totally nutritious. I’ve rounded up some of the most crave-able dishes in town that make use of nature’s butter in creative and delicious ways. Avocado is great for more than just guacamole!

Avocado Toast: The Angry Baker

http://theangrybakerote.com/
Avocado Toast: The Angry Baker

It seems you can’t find a spot that doesn’t serve avocado toast for brunch anymore, so I had to include one here. What sets the Angry Baker’s offering apart is its quality and simplicity. With housemade wheat bread as the base, the toast is topped with just lemon, salt, red pepper, and alfalfa sprouts, and that’s all it needs to shine! Plus look at the generous slathering of avocado they serve you – this is one heaping helping of the good stuff.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding: Alchemy Juice

http://alchemyjuicecafe.com/
Chocolate Avocado Pudding: Alchemy Juice

Who knew that avocado could be so scrumptious in sweets? When whipped up into a satisfying chocolate dessert, you’d never know avocado is a main component of this treat. It adds a richness and a creamy, silky texture that is simply divine and relatively guilt-free. Vegans and vegetarians – head there now!

For more info on Alchemy Juice read my post here.

Breakfast Tacos: Katalina’s

http://www.katalinascafe.com/menu
Breakfast Tacos: Katalina's

When paired with scrambled eggs, avocado can be the best part of the morning, as proven by these Breakfast Tacos. To make this dish, supersized slices of avocado are nestled atop tortillas filled with housemade chorizo, scrambled eggs, tomatillo sauce, queso fresco, crema, and pico de gallo. What better way to pry your eyes open?

For more info on Katalina’s read my post here.

High Wire Act Dog: DareDevil Dogs

http://www.daredevilhotdogs.com/

Ok, you’re thinking I’m crazy at this point, right? But please just trust me – this pork brat dolloped with pineapple guacamole and bacon is seriously addictive. The salty bacon and sweet pineapple totally complement the cooling avocado, and it’s the ideal late night snack to pair with beer and tater tots.

Patacon: El Arepazo

http://elarepazolatingrill.com/gahanna/
Patacon: El Arepazo

Avocado comes standard on many of the entrees at this Latin joint, but none is more droolworthy than the patacon. Consisting of El Arepazo’s famous cilantro sauce, a fried plantain, cheese, banana peppers, mojito, lettuce, meat, and naturally, multiple avocado hunks to pull it together, this is one special (and filling) meal.

Where do you love to get your avocado fix in Columbus? Let me know on Facebook here!

Keep Connected.

Caroline

Rockmill Tavern

Rockmill Tavern

Rockmill Tavern
503 S. Front St.
Columbus, OH 43215
http://www.rockmillbrewery.com/tavern/

Top Tastes
1. Cask Aged Saison Noir
2. Tavern Burger
3. Duck Pot Pie
4. Petite Saison
5. Cheesy Biscuits and Spicy Honey

I’ve never kept my love affair with Rockmill Brewery a secret. I adore the pristine grounds, the taproom’s cozy restored barn filled with wood and flickering fireplaces, and of course, the Belgian-style beers. So I couldn’t have been more ecstatic to learn that Rockmill had acquired the old World of Beer space. With this development, Rockmill can attract some downtown clientele who may have been wary of making the trek to Lancaster, and also add food to their repertoire to pair with those fantastic beers. In many ways, the new digs mirror the original property. There is a two story loft setup, rows of Rockmill bottles,loads of barn wood, and the brewery’s logo horse motif on every surface. The vibe invites you to linger and gather with friends, just like the farm does.

Inside the Rockmill Tavern

I won’t cover the beverages too extensively, since I’ve written about the brewery operation previously, but two of my favorites are worth mentioning. For a bright and mellow brew try the Petite Saison – it specifically instructs you to pair it with sunshine, but just about any food will do. I also really enjoy the Saison Noir, a style you don’t see very frequently. The Noir has rich, malty tones without being too heavy, making it perfect for cooler weather.

Cheesy Biscuits and Spicy Honey

On to the cuisine! Our waitress informed us that the chef likes to keep the menu very small and seasonal, so there was a lot of overlap in ingredients like the duck confit and dijonnaise. However, limited doesn’t mean lacking in flavor. This is definitely not your average pub grub, with an emphasis on plating and attention to detail. For starters, a lineup of stellar salads and appetizers await; think decadent Cheesy Biscuits with pats of spicy honey butter, a charred veggie salad with citrus, or colorfully garnished Duck Deviled Eggs . Our favorite item of all was the Tavern Burger, a beef patty dripping with a luscious bacon jam and dijonnaise then stacked high with pickled onions and cheddar cheese on a soft ciabatta bun. A close rival, the Duck Pot Pie, arrives with generous chunks of confit, veggies, and gravy buried in a flaky crust with a crown of crispy kale chips. I’m normally not a meat and potatoes person, but after telling my husband I’d only be eating one bite, I promptly polished off half the entree. There will be a rotating selection of toasts, topped according to the locally available produce at the time, and some from scratch sweets as well. I love being able to say: “I’ll be back for the beer…and the food!”

Duck Pot Pie

Culinary Clue: The Brewery District is on its way to experiencing a culinary revival. Check out some of the other restaurants that are helping to revive this historic area of downtown Columbus, such as El Arepazo, home of the famous cilantro sauce, the beautiful Via Vecchia Winery event space, or perhaps Columbus Brewing’s restaurant or Brick American Kitchen.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles

Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles

Bust out your scarves, firepits, and plaid shirts folks! The season of all-pumpkin everything is upon us. I’ve already sampled pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin spice cookies, and of course pumpkin-infused chai and lattes. But have you stepped up your breakfast game with the addition of America’s favorite fall treat? These Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles are so easy, will satisfy your seasonal cravings, and make you the hero of the kitchen – no trip to a fancy coffee shop required. These are super-tender waffles, not crunchy Belgian-style ones. Learn more below!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles

Yield – 4-6 waffles, depending on the size of your waffle iron

Ingredients

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. espresso powder
1 pinch of salt
1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 c. melted butter
1/2 c. milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. molasses

Dig out your waffle iron and preheat it to a medium setting. Start by mixing together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, combining all items from the flour through the salt.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles

In another large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, from the pumpkin to the molasses. Slowly fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, stirring together until just combined. Do not over-mix the batter.

Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray, and ladle the batter onto the iron, according to manufacturer’s recommended amounts. Cook each waffle until completely set and just starting to brown. Serve immediately.

I wouldn’t hesitate to top these pumpkin delights with whipped cream and caramel, or they’d be equally scrumptious with some apple cider syrup. Cue the falling leaves!

PSL Waffles

Do you have another favorite pumpkin recipe to share? Let me know by dropping me a note here.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. flour
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. espresso powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¼ c. melted butter
  • ½ c. milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. molasses
Instructions
  1. Dig out your waffle iron and preheat it to a medium setting.
  2. Start by mixing together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, combining all items from the flour through the salt.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, from the pumpkin to the molasses.
  4. Slowly fold in the flour mixture, stirring together until just combined. Do not over-mix the batter.
  5. Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray, and ladle the batter onto the iron, according to manufacturer's recommended amounts.
  6. Cook each waffle until completely set and just starting to brown. Serve immediately.

 

Hadley’s Bar + Kitchen

Hadley's Bar + Kitchen

Hadley’s Bar + Kitchen
260 S 4th St
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 222-3022
http://www.hadleysbar.com/

Top Tastes

1. Grilled Cheese Strips
2. Cauliflower Tots
3. Loaded Fries
4. Strawberry Shortcake Shake
5. Avocado Tacos

The culinary revival at the Fourth Street stretch is in full swing, with old favorites like Dirty Frank’s and Little Palace standing strong with new kids on the block Mikey’s Late Night Slice and now, Hadley’s Bar + Kitchen. Hadley’s is a cheese-lover’s paradise, and consequently I left absolutely stuffed. Brought to us by the owners of Bodega and Balboa, I had high hopes for Hadley’s and expectations were met!

Hadleys Bar and Kitchen

With the local-leaning beer list and the same steal-of-a-deal sangria pitcher special as Balboa ($15 happy hour pitchers of rosé, red, or white sangria) this is a perfect spot for post-work beverages. Or if sweeter is more your style, sip on one of the boozy shakes, in flavors such as Strawberry Shortcake and Bananas Foster. For fall, they’re also serving up a pumpkin spice version with a whole slice of pumpkin pie sticking out of it that’s perfectly Instagram-ready.

Appetizer from Hadleys Bar + Kitchen

Appetizers are the spot where Hadley’s really shines. I’m never opposed to ordering apps as a meal, and with so many options to enjoy, I recommend doing the same! I was giddy to see a dish from my cheesy dishes to try post on the menu: the Loaded Fries. This heaping serving of crispy fries is swimming in queso, bacon, and scallions accompanied by an oh-so-savory tomato aioli for dunking. A faux-healthy delight, the Cauliflower Tots are equally scrumptious – cauli florets battered in Columbus Brewing beer, crusted in Parmesan, and dished up with blue cheese sauce. Most fun of all are the Grilled Cheese Strips, a generous portion of that American classic comfort sammie paired with dip-worthy tomato bisque. Also notable: the cute crock of Truffle and Brie Macaroni, $3.50 Avocado Tacos with slaw, and surprisingly enough, the Full of Bologna sandwich.

Culinary Clue: Hadley’s just started offering Vegan Mondays by partnering up with local veggie blogger Whole Living Lauren. Every Monday, gobble up plant-based treats like Tempeh Reubens, Butternut Squash Tacos, and Vegan Boozy Shakes!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Hadley’s Bar & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Columbus Brew Adventures: Craft and Draft Tour

Columbus Brew Adventures Tour

Columbus Brew Adventures
Craft and Draft Tour
http://www.columbusbrewadventures.com/

I wrote recently about how much I enjoyed my first Columbus Food Adventures tour, eating my way around downtown Worthington. So when Columbus Brew Adventures invited me to tag along on their Crafts and Drafts tour, I was raring to go. Even more so once I read the itinerary for this Craft and Draft tour: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing, Mad Moon Craft Cider, Brothers Drake Mead, and Watershed Distillery. This means tastes of beer, mead, cider, and liquor all in one day! As I’m a equal opportunity drinker, how could I not be excited about that level of variety?

First, let’s talk about the logistics. We met up with our group of 11 at Wolf’s Ridge and were driven around in a CBA van to the various locations. Jim Ellison, founder of the CMH Gourmand blog and co-owner of Columbus Brew Adventures, served as both our driver and our guide, and offered plenty of nuggets of insight on the way. He also packed up our appetizers for snacking on the road and had a fabulous sense of humor, both additions that made the tour even more enjoyable!

Treats from Wolfs Ridge Brewing

At Wolf’s Ridge, we received two of their signature munchies, potato chips and pork rinds. Having a base layer in your stomach was important, I later learned, because they weren’t shy with samples! We sipped on 4 different beers, including Pi, WRB’s smoked pumpkin brew, and a spice-infused imperial stout. Next, we strolled downstairs for a behind the scenes look at the bottling area and some of the experimental brews. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Wolf’s Ridge is working on creating some sour beers, that should be ready to roll out in a few months – woohoo!

Next stop was Mad Moon Craft Cider, which was a totally different experience since they are still in the beginning stages of expansion. I’d tried Mad Moon’s Unglued caramel apple cider before, but quickly fell in love with owner Sally Moon’s tea and cranberry styles as well. Fall sangria with cranberry cider? I can see it now! Our group learned how hard it is to press apples into juice, in addition to being constrained by local apple demand, and subsequently I have a whole new respect for anyone who produces cider.

Mad Moon Cider

We zipped over to Brothers Drake next, where due to a change in plans Jim gave us a brief tour of the mead-making area. Did you know mead is the world’s oldest spirit? I’d taken the Brothers Drake tour before, but I’m always glad to glad to sample the honey they use, as well as taste some seasonal varieties I hadn’t been able to get my hands on previously. I’m looking at you, Bourbon Apple Pie mead.

Brothers Drake on Columbus Brew Adventures Tour

Watershed Distillery was supposed to be our final stop, but more on this later. Here, we got a quick overview of the liquor’s creation and its history. As a bourbon-lover, the Old Fashioned mix that Watershed churns out is heaven on Earth, and the bourbon barrel-aged gin could actually make me a gin convert. We also discovered that Watershed will be opening a restaurant as part of the distillery due to a recent change in Ohio law; this is exciting news in my book! With enough time remaining, Jim dropped us off at North High Brewing to pop in for a quick taster of a beer of our choosing. A mere 4.5 hours later, in much happier moods than when we started our days, we were delivered back to Wolf’s Ridge to conclude our afternoon.

Watershed Distillery on Columbus Brew Adventures Tour

Taking this tour brought me to some of my favorite alcohol-laden spots in town, and helped me discover some new treats as well. I even learned some secret new tidbits at many of the locations, before the general public! There are plenty of other CBA options for boozy tours in the capital city if this itinerary doesn’t appeal to you. I’ve got to check out the Pitchers and Pizza one that hits up Hounddog’s Pizza (hello craft beer and Smokin’ Joe’s crust) but the Granville/Buckeye Lake beer tour sounds intriguing too. To learn more about the Craft and Draft tour and other Columbus Brew Adventures offerings, click here. PSA: A gift certificate to one of these tours would make a great gift for the adult-beverage lover in your life.

If you’ve taken a Columbus Brew Adventures Tour before, send me a tweet about the tour I should book next!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Disclosure: I was invited on the Columbus Brew Adventures tour. All opinions expressed herein are my own.

Caroline’s Picks: 5 Food Truck Bowls to Try

Hai Poké: Tuna Bowl

http://www.haipoke.com/
Hai Poké: Tuna Bowl

There’s been so much buzz around this newcomer truck, and it is well-deserved. I’m not sure how Hai Poké marinates their sashimi, but I know it’s incredible. Here’s the contents of the tuna bowl: raw tuna, lime, cucumbers, sushi rice, seaweed, scallions, spicy mayo, avocado, power soy sauce, plus a crispy wonton for scooping up all that jazz. Bonus: They have pop-ups every Sunday evening at Zauber Brewing.

Cupzilla: Pork Combo Cup

https://www.facebook.com/cupzillakoreanbbq/
Cupzilla: Pork Combo Cup

This Korean BBQ truck won my heart when I discovered their sauces come in 5 heat levels, so spice wimps like me can still enjoy those tasty flavors. Cupzilla has their layering technique perfected, and they pack so much into one bowl, I often save half for later. On the bottom, there’s a layer of rice soaked in sweet sauce and lettuce leaves, then rice noodles followed by succulent pork, two craveable sauces, and the whole thing is crowned with a crispy potsticker!

Mai Chau: Noodle Bowl

http://maichaustreetfood.com/
Mai Chau: Noodle Bowl

I’ve written about my Mai Chau peanut sauce obsession here, so this Vietnamese spot had to be included. I love that they have sweet and spicy cauliflower as a topping choice (it’s so outside the box) but lemongrass chicken and sriracha pulled pork are available too. Carrots, sprouts, and crushed peanuts add some good crunch to this bowl, and you’ve gotta love the fresh cilantro on top too. Get slurping!

Aloha Streatery: Loco No Moco

https://www.facebook.com/alohastreatery/
Aloha Streatery: Loco No Moco

Aloha also creates some of my favorite sliders (http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/carolines-picks-5-sliders-to-try/) in town, but don’t forget about their Loco No Moco bowl! Your pick of tofu or Hawaiian-style chicken sits atop a bed of rice with decadent cilantro sauce and chunks of fresh pineapple. It’s simple and delicious, perfect for daydreaming about that tropical vacation.

Aromaku: Bakmi Ayam Bakar

http://www.aromaku.com/

This grilled chicken and noodle dish hits all the flavor notes – it’s sweet, spicy, and salty rolled together. The dish consists of thin egg noodles in a savory broth which are topped with fried onions and tender marinated chicken. I hadn’t eaten Indonesian cuisine before Aromaku, and I had totally been missing out. I wish I had a photo, but I always seem to get so excited I forget to snap one. Give it a try!

What’s your favorite food truck where you can dine on a bowl? Let me know by sending a tweet here: @cbusconnect.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Uptown Deli & Brew / Temperance Row Brewing Co.

Uptown Deli & Temperance Row Brewing

I went to college at Otterbein University in Westerville, and I’ve always loved exploring the shops in the “uptown” city center. But when I was a student there, Westerville was still dry, meaning no fun restaurants like Uptown Deli and its sister brewery, Temperance Row. But that hasn’t stopped me from coming back to visit now that things have changed! A nod to the town’s past as the “Temperance Capital of the World,” the cheeky name of the brewery is just one of the things I love about this unassuming joint. The interior is designed around a Prohibition theme, with lots of 1920’s era photographs and dark wood. They also have a sizeable private patio, which is a bonus in any urban area.

Beer Flight from Temperance Row Brewing

When it comes to brewing operations, I like that you can see into the tank and production zone. Many of the beers are named after key figures from Prohibition (which my inner history nerd always loves) and they give a little blurb on the menu about that person. Take for example, Hatchetation Pale Ale – its moniker is derived from Carrie Nation, who wielded a hatchet, which she used to destroy the furnishings inside suspected saloons. Temperance Row boasts a decent selection of beers for a smaller space which is not as focused on distribution, unlike many of its Columbus counterparts. Get a flight so you can sample them all, ranging from a stout on nitro to Scofflaw Scottish Ale and Corbin’s Revenge IPA.

The Uptown Deli portion of this business is no slouch either. I always enjoy the local Blue Jacket Dairy cheese curds, which aren’t overly-battered like some pubs tend to do, and come with plenty of Cajun Ranch for dunking. But my favorite thing on the menu is one of the simplest apps: potato chips sprinkled with spices and Parmesan and dished up with the most heavenly sour cream onion dip. I NEED this recipe. You can also get a side of the dip for the optional chips with your sandwich, something I always do because I want ridiculous amounts of onion dip, apparently. There are more starters, such as black bean hummus, calamari, and cheddar beer fondue for the non-onion obsessed, as well as soups, salads, and charcuterie boards.

The Frenchy from Uptown Deli

The entrees here are all sandwiches, but that doesn’t mean low-quality. The Figaboudit, consisting of grilled ciabatta, prosciutto, fig jam, goat cheese, and arugula is a good option, or try the classic Reuben, roast beef, or pastrami varieties. I have a soft spot for Brie between bread, so I like the Frenchy too: prosciutto, brie, grilled apple, arugula, and spicy Dijon on a baguette. In addition to selling sammies, the deli also has quality meats, cheeses, and snacks available in bulk so you can take them home!

Culinary Clue: Westerville has a ton of restaurants in the uptown area, many of them brand new due to the change in liquor laws. Stop in Asterisk Supper Club or Meza Wine Shop for some divine fare in a great atmosphere!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Uptown Deli and Brew Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato