Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe

Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe
Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe
625 Parsons Ave.
Columbus, OH
http://alchemyjuicecafe.com/

Top Tastes:

1. Chocolate Avocado Pudding
2. Snickerdoodle Smoothie
3. Carrot Noodles
4. Dragonfruit Lemonade
5. No Bake Bites

Listen, I love bacon and queso as much as the next girl, and will happily gobble up ice cream any day of the week. Sometimes though, it’s good to push the reset button and eat food that is light, fresh, and delicious. Say hello to Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe, which totally fits the bill. This Parsons area shop is bright, modern, and filled to the brim with treats that are good for you. Every item at Alchemy is colorful and beautiful, making their Instagram feed a veritable work of art.

I really struggled narrowing down the top tastes list, because Alchemy’s menu is surprisingly large and diverse.  For main meals, many of the offerings can double as morning or lunch dishes. I’d be happy to devour one of Alchemy’s bowls any day of the week, in varieties such as Purple Coconut (organic acai, grapes, flaked coconut, almond milk, banana, granola, and peanut butter) or Cherry Cheezecake (organic acai, cherries, vanilla cashew cream, almond milk, granola, almond butter, and a crumbled cranberry no-bake bite). I’d never had dragonfruit before I started going here, but quickly fell for the tropical taste and cheery pink hue. Now, the cravings I have for Dragonfruit Lemonade are constant, and there are many other juices available. The simple but effective Strawberry Avocado Toast is a perfect treat no matter the hour, and there are tons more “toasts” toppings as well.

Alchemy Juice Bar

One of the other great things about Alchemy is the grab-and-go prepared food section, where you can pick up some fabulous fare for later. The Asian Carrot Noodles are my favorite, drenched in a ginger sesame dressing with just enough zip of spice. There are also salads, sammies, and all kinds of hummus, just waiting for you to snap them up. I’ve got my eye on the Quinoa Fried Rice for next visit though!

Don’t be fooled into thinking your sweet tooth won’t be satisfied in a place focusing on nutrition. You won’t believe there’s green stuff in the creamy, dreamy chocolate avocado pudding; it’s the ideal guilt-free dessert. For a quick sugary pick-me-up, try a no bake bite. These glorious nuggets are sweetened with maple syrup or fruit, and come in flavors like cranberry pecan, coffee, and matcha green tea. And don’t forget about that beloved creation, the Snickerdoodle smoothie. This blended indulgence is chock full of bananas, almond butter, flax seeds, cinnamon, and house-made almond milk, and truly captures that signature cookie flavor.

No Bake Bites from Alchemy

Culinary Clue: You may have seen some recipes floating around the web from Hummusapien, who is one of the Alchemy founders. If you’re looking to recreate some Alchemy-esque plant-based foods at home, head to her blog for some healthy inspo.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Caroline’s Picks: 5 Queso Dishes to Try

Photo Jul 16, 7 02 51 PM

If you follow this blog at all, you’ve probably picked up on my queso obsession. If I see a menu item with queso at any restaurant, I’ll probably order it; it’s not the fanciest choice, but it sure is delicious. I feel as though there’s a lot of other people that share this passion with me, so I’m rounding up some of my top tastes in Columbus’ cheesy goodness here!

Bodega Columbus: Loaded Truffle Fries

http://www.columbusbodega.com/#home
Bodega Columbus: Loaded Truffle Fries
The only thing that could possibly outshine Bodega’s diverse beer selection is liquid cheese, and you can find it in the form of their loaded fries. Think crispy fries topped with queso, bacon, scallions, and Parmesan, served with a fabulous tomato aioli. You will NOT want to share this starter. They also feature a queso-drizzled pork belly nacho app on their menu that you shouldn’t neglect either!

Balboa: Sampler

http://www.balboagrandview.com/
Balboa: Sampler
The three dip sampler at Grandview’s Balboa highlights two other pretty scrumptious choices, but the only one you need to know about is the crock of queso. So creamy and savory you can eat it plain with a spoon, the generous helping of cheese could be your main meal if you wanted it to be! Wash it down with a signature margarita and your inner dairy-lover will be delighted!

Click here to read my review of Balboa

Hudson 29: Chorizo con Queso

http://www.hudson29.com/

Heatseekers will love the Cameron Mitchell take on queso. With just the right amount of spice coming from the blend of cheese, chorizo, roasted peppers, and a touch of pico de gallo, this is a perfect happy hour snack for your table. At a more upscale restaurant this wouldn’t necessarily be your first choice, but this is not a dish that should be overlooked!

Click here to read my review of Hudson 29

Tortilla Street Food: Nachos

http://www.tortillastreetfood.com/
Tortilla Street Food: Nachos
I’ve shared about my husband’s Tortilla addiction before, but it’s the queso that I think really makes the nachos at this Columbus food truck stand out. Anyone can melt some shredded cheese on chips and call it nachos, but to have queso on there too is something special. Who can resist the combo of guac, carnitas, salsa, and all your other favorites piled high with a ladle full of queso?

Click here to read my review of Tortilla Street Food

Condado Tacos: Tres Amigos

http://www.condadotacos.com/
Condado Tacos: Tres Amigos
Like Balboa, Condado boasts a sampler platter of dips, but with an important distinction – you can get three kinds of queso if you choose! You read that right. Pick from varieties of guacamole, salsas, and queso to make the appetizer of your dreams. For the queso, there are original, corn with spices, balck bean, chorizo, spicy diablo, and “dirty” (chicken, onions, and secret recipe dirty sauce) options. You can also sandwich a hard and a soft taco with queso for an entree!

Click here to read my review of Condado Tacos

Do you have a favorite spot in town to get your cheesy fix? Send me a tweet (@cbusconnect) and let me know!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Columbus Food Adventures Tour: Worthington

Photo Jul 16, 1 12 00 PM

I’ve been dying to see my city through a Columbus Food Adventures Tour, so when one of my out-of-town friends came to visit, it was the perfect excuse to take the plunge. I chose the Worthington tour because it was newer, so I knew we’d see some spots I’d never visited yet, plus I loved the idea that there were some history tidbits on this itinerary. It didn’t hurt either that The Whitney House is one of my favorite restaurants in town, and I knew we’d be heading there!

Here is a brief overview of our stops:
• Worthington Farmers Market
• House Wine/North Country Charcuterie
• Worthington Inn
• La Chatelaine
• Sassafras Bakery
• Igloo Letterpress
The Whitney House

Our group met at the Candle Lab, which was a good place to increase your hunger for the tour by inhaling candle scents like lemon and cinnamon. We then headed outside into the depths of the Farmers Market. The time our tour began was at the tail end of the market, so crowds were starting to die down. From Honeyrun Run Farm, we compared and contrasted the flavors of 4 different honeys. Next, at Blue Jacket Dairy, we gobbled up garlicky cheese curds and feta, as well as sampling some freshly grilled cheese – those slightly burnt, crispy edges were divine. Our last market stall was another delicious cheesemonger, Kokoborrego.

Photo Jul 16, 11 42 42 AM (1)

Stop 2 was a visit to House Wine, for a sample of rosé paired with more Blue Jacket cheese curds (hooray!) and crackers, in addition to three samples of North Country Charcuterie. North Country makes sliceable salami that are made with local products like Rockmill Brewery beer, and we learned about the process in making these delicacies. The owner of House Wine also spoke with us a little about their wine catalog, and gave some more details about the specific rosé we were drinking.

Photo Jul 16, 12 36 04 PM

At Worthington Inn, we received an enormous “taste” of Worthington Eggs Benedict, a small mimosa, and a healthy dose of history. You’ll have to take the tour to hear the spooky ghost stories accompanying the meal – they are worth it! A brief walk to the following location helps give your stomach a break to make room for more goodies, before landing at the quaint and beautiful French café La Chatelaine. I’ll be back to try the pastries on display as they looked mouthwatering, but in the meantime we dined on mini tuna salad sammies on brioche and gazpacho.

I’m obsessed with the donut muffins and the egg sandwich at Sassafras Bakery, but when we made our next break here I found some new menu favorites. The cherry pie was heavenly, as was the mini-scone laden with local ramps. Even the teeny dish of salad was tasty, and greens are so not my cup of tea. By this time, I was glad to stop at Igloo Letterpress for a short respite from stuffing my face. Igloo is a unique place for gifts, paper-printing workshops, and an all-around good time. We were lucky enough to print our own coaster on the old-fashioned press with a Julia Child quote, and the talented owner Allison shared some of her artistic creations and printing stories with us. With a final stop for chilaquiles (nachos with scrambled eggs, savory sauce, jalapenos, creamy guac, and more) at the always-excellent The Whitney House, our tour was complete and our stomachs were full.

Chilaquiles from The Whitney House

Overall, I have to say that I’ve done food tours in other cities, and with this one, you get a serious amount of samples! I was expecting 4 or 5 stops with tastes, but some of the locations pretty much gave us a meal, plus a small drink, and I wasn’t the least bit sorry about it. Furthermore, my inner history nerd loved learning about the founding of the city of Worthington, as well as some of the prominent residents. This would be a really fun thing to do with a group of friends or family too, because who doesn’t love eating? I highly recommend that both native Columbusites and visitors alike give Columbus Food Adventures a try – it’s a fun way to see a suburb you may not have examined too closely.

Keep Connected,
Caroline

A Visit to: Nashville

Nashville, TN

Neither my husband nor I had ever been to Nashville, so we were eager to scope out the local food and drink scene in the Music City. We ate biscuits in some form every day of our trip, and despite the heatwave, did an extensive amount of exploring! Below, you’ll find a collection of photos and the low down on our dining journey.

The first stop was at Belle Meade Plantation, where we soaked up some history on a guided tour, followed by a wine tasting at the on-site winery. Wine and an antebellum home? My inner history nerd couldn’t resist! Afterwards, we headed to Pinewoood Social (on a Columbus Food Adventures recommendation) to observe some casual bowling and eat snacks. The toast tasting was divine, consisting of 5 mini crostinis topped with different goodies ranging from mascarpone + berries to deviled eggs, and the bartender made a perfect Ramos Gin Fizz. For dinner, we had to hit up Husk, one of my favorite restaurants in Charleston, SC. There’s no shortage of Southern charm here, from the decor down to the food. I am still swooning over the dessert, a twist on streusel coffee cake, and the fried chicken skin appetizer drizzled with white BBQ sauce.

Nashville Dining Day 1

When in Nashville, checking out a hot chicken joint is a must. Sorry I cheated on you, Hot Chicken Takeover. Hattie B’s delivered with perfect, cayenne pasted-rubbed fried chicken. Tip: call ahead to order so you can skip the round-the-block line! The side of pimento cheese macaroni was tasty too. If brunch is your style, make sure to nosh at Biscuit Love. I can’t say enough good things about the menu. Think chocolate pretzel gravy on biscuits, bonuts (fried and filled biscuity doughnuts), and even a ham tasting platter – heaven! I love discovering new breweries on vacation, and Southern Grist Brewing exceeded my expectations. They specialize in sour beers, and we brought back a crowler of the Nashville Mule, a lime and ginger beer-inspired delight. At night, we prowled around the Johnny Cash museum and enjoyed some Broadway bar-hopping while listening to some ridiculously talented live music acts.

Nashville Dining Day 2

Before heading out of town, we went to Centennial Park, a wonderful place to stroll. There is a really cool recreation of the Parthenon inside the grounds, as well as some beautiful ponds and landscaping. Breakfast was Barista Parlor iced coffees and you guessed it, more biscuits. Because how can you go into a cafe with sausage and egg biscuit sammies slathered in peach jam and not order it? Our final impromptu destination was Five Daughters Bakery, to buy some doughnuts to take home. These aptly named “hundred layer” doughnuts are more like croissants, in the best possible way. It’s a toss up as to whether the maple bacon King Kong variety or the peanut butter cup version was better, but I’d definitely devour either again.

Nashville Dining Day 3

Nashville was a fun place to uncover some new food gems. Plus, I loved that there were so many Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams around too; it felt like a piece of home. Where is your favorite place to dine in Nashville? Let me know below!

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Caroline

Sausage & Gravy Breakfast Skillets

Video Post

Sausage & Gravy Breakfast Skillets

I loved the sweet and salty cookie skillets recipe so much that it’s time to bust out those mini cast iron skillets again! This time though it’s for breakfast, and it’s super easy to make. The dish is completely customizable, so add your own flair with additional veggies or swap the sausage gravy for bacon pieces. This is one of my go-to lazy weekend morning recipes!

Sausage & Gravy Breakfast Skillets

Ingredients:

Skillets
2 cups cubed bread
1 c. sausage gravy (recipe below)
4 eggs
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. chives
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Hot sauce, for topping

Evenly distribute the cubed bread inside of two mini cast iron skillets. Place the skillets in the oven to toast the bread until just browned; then remove them from the oven. Add 1/2 cup sausage gravy on top of the layer of bread. Next, crack 2 eggs into each skillet and place the skillets in a 350 degree oven until the eggs are cooked as desired, about 10 minutes.

When the eggs are cooked, remove the skillets from the oven and add the chives & cheddar cheese. Place the skillets back in the oven until the cheese is just melted.

Finally, remove the skillets from the oven and place a dash of hot sauce on each. Enjoy!

Gravy
1 lb sausage
1/3 cup flour
3 cups 2% milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Brown the sausage
2. Sprinkle in the flour and cook mixture until flour is absorbed
3. Slowly whisk in the milk and seasonings and let mixture thicken

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Caroline

A Food Lover’s Road Trip to Columbus, Ohio

Downtown Columbus
(Note: this post was originally posted in the Travel section of the Charleston Gazette-Mail on July 10, 2016. It was an honor to be featured and share some of my favorite places to dine in Columbus.)

Ohio’s tourism slogan might be “The Heart of It All,” but the capital city of Columbus is quickly becoming the heart — and soul — of the state’s culinary scene.

You can find this surprising dining metropolis just a quick, three-hour jaunt from Charleston, making it the ideal weekend getaway this summer. Columbus is a known haven for breakfast fanatics and ice cream enthusiasts, but there are plenty of options for every taste and budget.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how a weekend might go:

Upon your Friday arrival, head for the historic neighborhood of German Village for a casual dinner with drinks. Harvest Pizzeria is the perfect place to unwind after the drive, followed by libations at its sister spot, Curio.

Harvest Pizzeria

The focus at Harvest is on local ingredients, and the pizza shines as a result. Don’t miss the Spicy Yuma pie, on a blackened and chewy crust topped with a chipotle-spiked sauce, corn, chorizo, roasted peppers, cheese and jalapeños. Add an optional egg on top and let the runny yolk ooze and enhance every bite.

To fight off the heat, head next door to Curio for innovative Prohibition-era cocktails like a Silver Dollar Pony, swimming in bourbon and bitters.

The next morning, venture over to Fox in the Snow Café for breakfast in Italian Village. This newer spot boasts excellent pour-over coffee, tantalizing custard donuts, and an arugula-crowned egg sandwich that will have you raving. Make sure to get there early or you might miss out on some of the best of the baked goods.

Fox in the Snow Cafe

To stock your pantry at home, make North Market your next stop. Here you can purchase everything from colorful macaroons to crusty marble rye, and it is also the best way to get a taste of Columbus for lunch.

Hot Chicken Takeover is a personal favorite, specializing in fiery fried chicken and cool house-made ranch, but don’t forget about renowned Katzinger’s Deli Reubens, Brezel’s jumbo chocolate chip pretzels or healthy quiches from Little Eater.

Hot Chicken Takeover

To enjoy a sunny Columbus afternoon, shopaholics can journey to Easton Town Center, an outdoor fashion mecca, while families and animal lovers can spend the afternoon at the award-winning Columbus Zoo.

At dinnertime, there are many mouthwatering choices, but for road trippers Wolf’s Ridge Brewing is an easy winner. Such beautifully plated dishes aren’t typically found in a brewery, but this restaurant excels at both food and beer. The bright and modern interior is the perfect place to indulge in dishes such as corn bisque and scallops, all paired with craft brews in every imaginable style.

Wolf's Ridge Brewing

Banish your sweet tooth by heading to the area’s most beloved ice cream purveyor for dessert: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. There are various locations around the city, so stop into the shop nearest you, and experience the wide array of seasonal flavors. Opt for the mini scoops to try all the varieties, like salty caramel, pistachio and honey, or biscuits and peach jam.

Jeni's Ice Cream

Before leaving town, brunch at Katalina’s Cafe is essential. The Breakfast Tacos and the sweet-and-spicy glazed bacon are fabulous, but the must-try items are the pancake balls. Plump nuggets of pancake batter are filled with your choice of Nutella, dulce de leche caramel or pumpkin-apple butter, and these bites are ready for dunking in maple syrup.

Katalina's Cafe

Fresh-squeezed juices and hot coffee will help kick-start your day, and the umbrella-filled patio laden with picnic tables make for a cozy morning experience. Katalina’s alone is worth the journey to Ohio.

With its short distance from Charleston and wallet-friendly lodgings, Columbus is the ultimate road trip destination for local foodies.

Balboa: Grandview

Balboa in Grandview
1312 Grandview Ave
Columbus, OH 43212
614-745-1201
http://www.balboagrandview.com/

Top Tastes
1. Dip Sampler
2. Buffalo Shrimp Tacos
3. Blueberry Basil Margarita
4. Short Rib Bowl
5. Baked Dorito Mac and Cheese

I didn’t need another reason to come to Grandview Heights, honestly. I’ve written about my love for this hip ‘burb already! But then Balboa happened, and its queso, and now I’ve got a new happy hour obsession. This SoCal-inspired spot has a huge patio and a cool interior that is ideal for any season. Furthermore, since it’s brought to us by the owners of Bodega, the food was bound to be impressive.

Dip Sampler from Balboa

You MUST get the sampler trio of dips to start. This platter of dunkable goodness comes to your table in adorable mini bowls and crocks, with three mouth-watering options for your dining pleasure: salsa, queso, and guacamole. The housemade chips served up on the side are salty and addictive, and by the time our entrees arrived, I begged the waiter to remove the chips from my reach so I would quit gorging on the queso, no lie. The queso is that ridiculously good. Is it the chorizo? The addition of queso fresco cheese? I’ll never know, but I will eat it again to find out. The Buffalo Shrimp tacos were equally as sensational, consisting of three tacos piled up with spicy buffalo-sauced shrimp and cooling bacon blue cheese slaw, and the Short Rib Bowl (beer-braised meat, rice, avocado, pepperjack, cilantro sauce and more) also delighted my taste buds. The Doritos Mac and Cheese has the most fun topping you could imagine – the cheesy crust on mac n’ cheese is the best part, right? Other great options: the smoky, grilled Street Corn and the chocolate-dipped frozen bananas for dessert.

Cocktails from Balboa

Balboa’s drinks don’t miss the mark either. You won’t leave thirsty with an extended happy hour that lasts from 4-7, Californian and local brews, and alcohol-laced adult smoothies.  My favorite drink was the Blueberry Basil Margarita, a pink confection of blueberry basil-infused tequila shaken with lime, orange, and agave and poured on the rocks. Little Adventures Await also clued me in to the fact that they have enormous pitchers of sangria in red, white, and rosé (!!!) varieties for just $25.

Short Rib Bowl from Balboa

The bottom line: for fun cocktails and delicious Cali cuisine, head to Balboa soon. And maybe don’t bring friends if you don’t want to share your queso.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Culinary Clue: Looking for more to do while you’re visiting Balboa? Download my Grandview Guide here!

Balboa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Caroline’s Picks: 5 Local Treats to Try

Rime Time Pops

We are lucky to have access to some great creators of gourmet treats right here in Columbus. I’ve rounded up some items that I’ve been loving lately, and listed them here for your snacking pleasure.

Rime Time Pops

http://www.rimetimepops.com/
Rime Time Pops

In summertime, nothing can beat a popsicle. But when that icy dessert is carefully crafted with quality ingredients, it makes all the difference. Rime Time creates flavors that are familiar with a hint of something new, and can appeal to both kids and adults alike. My favorite of Cody’s concoctions is the peanut butter and raspberry jam, but I’ve got to get my hands on the newest twists: watermelon habanero and juicy Georgia peach.  Just follow the bike with the snowflake sign!

Middle West Spirits OYO Bourbon-Barrel Aged Maple Syrup

http://middlewestspirits.com/
Midwest Spirits Maple Syrup

Is there a better barrel-aged combo than bourbon and maple syrup? Rich, dark, and guaranteed to step up your pancake game, this syrup will absolutely blow your mind. Made by sourcing maple from Ohio farms and cask-aging it in the Middle West Spirits barrels, the syrup is packed with flavor and begs to be put in a cocktail. I picked up this bottle at STUMP plants, and it’s made for some heavenly chocolate French toast.

Katie’s Beef Jerky

http://www.katiesbeefjerky.com/
Katie's Beef Jerky

There’s a great story behind Katie’s Beef Jerky, in that Katie left her job in the corporate world to pursue her passion in the kitchen. I was lucky enough to sample some of her available flavors, and had fun taste-testing! There are varieties such as teriyaki, garlic, ghost pepper, and even pineapple jerky. I have to recommend picking up a variety of flavors and sharing pieces of each with friends, to compare and contrast the heat levels all the way up to ultra-fiery Scorpion XXX! Our favorite was the Half Heat, but I’ve got to try the Black Cherry Bourbon next. You can find Katie’s at the North Market, Celebrate Local, and various Columbus events.

Santo Brigadeiro

Check out their Facebook page
Santo Brigadeiro
Brigadeiros are a kind of Brazilian truffle, which are super soft, made with condensed milk, and rolled in more goodies such as nuts, sprinkles, or coconut. I’d never had them before until Santo Brigadeiro came along, but when my husband and I were nibbling on these delicacies we kept trying each new flavor and saying, “this one is my favorite.” Then we’d eat another, and change our minds. The cycle continued until we gave up and just accepted the fact that each one of these delights is just as tasty as the last. Bonus: the packaging of the treats is very pretty and ideal for gift-giving!

Root 23 Simple Syrups

http://www.root23.com/
Root 23 Simple Syrups

I’m an admitted addict of Root 23 syrups, because this stuff is just so ridiculously versatile! It comes in flavors like Cherry Almond (hello, bourbon on the rocks), Pear Rosemary, and Vanilla Ginger. Each can be made into a refreshing soda  when paired with a glug of tonic water, or stirred into lemonade. Even ice cream, cocktails, and baked goods can be dressed up with a drizzle of Root 23.  Sip on each kind and then purchase your favorite at the New Albany Farmers Market.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Disclosure: Some products were received free of charge. This in no way impacts the nature of my opinions or writing.

Mai Chau Food Truck

Mai Chau Food Truck
Mai Chau Food Truck
maichaustreetfood.com
(740) 920-4680

Top Tastes

1. Sweet and Spicy Cauliflower Noodle Bowl
2.  Saigon Sliders
3. Sriracha Pulled Pork Banh Mi
4. Lemongrass Chicken Lettuce Cups
5. Shrimp Spring Rolls

Looking for fast-casual Vietnamese-style grub in Columbus? Stop searching and seek out the Mai Chau food truck! It’s the easiest way to “eat Viet,” as Mai Chau says. The menu at this truck is simple, but there is no shortage of flavor here.

The Banh Mi sandwiches and the noodle bowl are always on the truck, while the other items rotate in and out. For both the Banh Mi (a Vietnamese take on a sub with a baguette bun and pickled veggies, spicy mayo, and cilantro) and the bowls, start by selecting your filling from sriracha pulled pork, sweet and spicy cauliflower, lemongrass chicken, and sometimes, chili-lime tofu. For the Banh Mi, I love to get the pulled pork – it’s easiest to eat, has the right amount of heat, and pairs best with the heaping handful of cilantro. The noodle bowls begin with a generous helping of rice noodles, topped with bean sprouts, cucumbers, pickled carrots & daikon, cilantro and peanut sauce, on a bed of lettuce. Let me just have a swoon moment over the peanut sauce – I’m obsessed. I am a wimp about spice sometimes, but I make an exception for the mild heat of the peanut sauce and ask for extra. I go for the sweet and spicy cauliflower for the bowls, it’s something you can’t get anywhere else, plus vegetarian-friendly!

Banh Mi from Mai Chau Truck

One of the most commonly featured alternative options on the truck are the Saigon Sliders. These little sammies are piled high with pork dripping with umami sauce and crisp Asian slaw. If they’re available that day, indulge in them! The spring rolls, dunked in that heavenly peanut sauce, are another fresh and light choice, or sample the lettuce cups. For this low-carb dish, Bibb lettuce acts as the base for lemongrass chicken, cucumbers, sprouts, and more.

Slider from Mai Chau Truck

Don’t miss the brick and mortar Mai Chau spot as well. It opened last year in Granville, and has an expanded menu with killer steam buns and shrimp pops. They are also currently brewing their own beer for a new brewery, Three Tigers Brewing. For now, the connected tap room is serving up local brews and crunchy wings.

Culinary Clue: Catch Mai Chau when they are scheduled to be at the new Market Street Soda Works at the Canal Market District in Newark. The soda shop’s wide range of root beers and fun-flavored pops are the ideal way to cool all that spice!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Mai Chau Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites with White BBQ Sauce

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites with White BBQ Sauce
Cornbread in all its forms is near and dear to my heart. There is nothing better than a piping hot wedge of cornbread, just removed from a cast iron skillet, and I love a breakfast of leftover cornbread mixed with milk and brown sugar, just like my dad taught me. And nothing is better than a meal of cornbread and BBQ. But have you ever used cornbread as a base for appetizers? This recipe is super simple, and it starts with City Barbeque (or your favorite pulled pork) and Jiffy corn muffin mix. A quick drizzle of some homemade white BBQ sauce jazzes up these tasty bites.

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites

Ingredients

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 c. milk
1 c. of your favorite pulled pork (I used City Barbeque)
1/4 c. store-bought sweet BBQ sauce
1/4 c. homemade white BBQ sauce, recipe follows
Chopped chives, for garnish

Yield: 16 mini bites

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Mix up the package of Jiffy cornbread mix according to directions, adding the egg and the milk as directed. Pour the batter into a mini muffin pan, dividing the mixture between 16 holes. Do not over-fill.  Bake the mini cornbread muffins until just golden, about 12 minutes.

While the cups are still warm, take the end of a knife or a spatula and press into the cornbread, wiggling in a gentle circle to create an indentation. This will create a well to hold the pulled pork. Let cool completely.

Mini Corn Bread Cups

Next take the cup of pulled pork and stir in your favorite red BBQ sauce, completely coating the meat. I like to use a sweet BBQ, but spicy sauce would be great too! Stuff the BBQ sauce and pork mixture into the center of the cornbread cups. Sprinkle with chives and drizzle of white BBQ sauce on each cornbread bite.

Pulled Pork Cornbread Cups

White BBQ Sauce

1/2 c mayonnaise
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. sugar
1 dash hot sauce
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Combine all ingredients with a whisk until well-incorporated. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.  This sauce is also great on burgers or french fries!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Pulled Pork Cornbread Bites with White BBQ Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ c. milk
  • 1 c. of your favorite pulled pork (I used City BBQ)
  • ¼ c. store-bought sweet BBQ sauce
  • ¼ c. homemade white BBQ sauce, recipe follows
  • Chopped chives, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Mix up the package of Jiffy cornbread mix according to directions, adding the egg and the milk as directed.
  3. Pour the batter into a mini muffin pan, dividing the mixture between 16 holes. Do not over fill.
  4. Bake the mini cornbread muffins until just golden, about 12 minutes.
  5. While the cups are still warm, take the end of a knife or a spatula and press into the cornbread, wiggling in a gentle circle to create an indentation. This will create a well to hold the pulled pork. Let cool completely.
  6. Next take the cup of pulled pork and stir in your favorite red BBQ sauce, completely coating the meat.
  7. Stuff the BBQ sauce and pork mixture into the center of the cornbread cups.
  8. Sprinkle with chives and drizzle of white BBQ sauce on each cornbread bite.