Skillet

Skillet
410 E Whittier Street
Columbus, OH 43206
614-443-2266
http://www.skilletruf.com/

Skillet isn’t a new hot spot. It isn’t even in a trendy part of town. But this teeny cafe on the outskirts of German Village hasn’t been getting the buzz it deserves lately. In my humble opinion, Skillet is dishing up one of the best brunches in town. Plus, the menu changes daily, so even the staples like scones and gravies get a new twist every time you visit. Even better, the rotating offerings allow for Skillet to utilize local ingredients from purveyors like Honey Run Farms, Blue Jacket Dairy, and Hirsch Fruit Farm. I also love that Skillet serves brunch every day it’s open (Wednesday-Sunday). It’s always so disappointing on a Friday when you’re off work and craving brunchy goodness, only to find that most restaurants limit that joyous menu to weekends only.

Skillet Cheese Blintzes

The aforementioned scones, along with morning buns, cinnamon rolls and coffee cake varieties are generally offered in some form. At the time of this writing, the current scone selections included chocolate pecan, blueberry, Amish cheddar thyme, or raspberry white chocolate. Cheese blintzes (comparable to crepes if you’ve never had them) are a typical option as well, stuffed with ricotta and creme anglaise and topped with fruits ranging from blueberries to raspberries to tumeric-cherry preserves.

Savory breakfast from Skillet

Seeking savory over sweet? Skillet has you covered there too. The biscuits and gravy will always aim to please; my husband loves the mushroom version, or try the house-made chorizo gravy when you spot it. Or let your stomach steer you towards the scallops and grits, a scrumptious play on a Southern stand-by. Even the often blasé chicken and waffles has pep here: Crispy panko chicken is tossed in a spicy red curry with a savory popcorn rice and coconut milk cornmeal waffle. Add some bacon, brined ham, or lamb and fig or fennel sausage on the side and you’re set. There’s a small lunch-focused section to the menu in addition to brunch as well. For fall, the joint is cooking up jalapeno bacon corn chowder, fancy grilled cheese, simple salads, and a pumpkin concoction with roasted apples and cider.

Skillet Bourbon Barrel Cold Brew

And I can’t forget the house bottled cold brew coffee, sweetened with a touch of bourbon barrel maple syrup. This glorious creation deserves a paragraph of its own. I normally have admittedly embarrassing coffee tastes, and will cram as many syrups and glugs of cream as possible into every cup. I drink Skillet’s cold brew black, over ice – it’s that smooth and flavorful. The little bottles are available for purchase to take home as well; I had to ask because I wanted more to enjoy later!

Culinary Clue: Sometimes the menu sells out and the restaurant is not large. So drag yourself out of bed early to make sure you get the best possible selection!

Have you been to Skillet lately? Let me know on Instagram or in the comments below what your favorite dish to order is.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Apple Pie French Toast

When I opt for a sweet brunch over a savory one, French toast is one of my go-to selections. But who has time to make French toast through the week? Not this girl. So discovering overnight French toast in casserole form has been a breakfast lifesaver. This recipe is almost like a bread pudding (with syrup as the topping) and the addition of a favorite fall flavor: apple pie. Top this creation with some local Middle West Spirits bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup for an extra tasty treat.

Apple Pie French Toast

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

1 loaf of thickly sliced cinnamon bread (I use Great Harvest cinnamon chip, but one of the thick-cut Pepperidge Farm varieties will work well too)
1/2 c. brown sugar
6 eggs
2 c. milk (i used 2%)
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 20 oz. can of apple pie filling
Optional: 2/3 c. salted caramel or butterscotch chips (I found the caramel ones at Kroger)
Syrup, for topping

Apple Pie French Toast

Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Next, tear or cut bread slices into 1 inch chunks and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Then fold in the apple pie filling to the egg mixture. Spread bread cubes into casserole dish in an even layer and pour egg mixture over top, making sure to distribute apple chunks evenly throughout dish. If desired, top the casserole with the butterscotch or caramel chips for a caramel apple twist. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top of the casserole is golden and center is set. Cover casserole with foil during baking if the top begins to brown too much.

Apple Pie Overnight French Toast

Refrigerate the cooled, baked casserole. The next morning, cut into squares and microwave individually for a decadent breakfast. Add a syrup drizzle for a meal that even your most autumn-obsessed friend will enjoy!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Apple Pie French Toast
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf of thickly  sliced cinnamon bread
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 c. milk (i used 2%)
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 20 oz. can of apple pie filling
  • Optional: ⅔ c. salted caramel or butterscotch chips
  • Syrup, for topping
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Next, tear or cut bread slices into 1 inch chunks and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Then fold in the apple pie filling to egg mixture.
  5. Spread bread cubes into casserole dish in an even layer and pour egg mixture over top, making sure to distribute apple chunks evenly throughout dish.
  6. If desired, top the casserole with the butterscotch or caramel chips for a caramel apple twist.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top of the casserole is golden and center is set.
  8. Cover casserole with foil during baking if top begins to brown too much.
  9. Refrigerate the cooled, baked casserole.
  10. The next morning, cut into squares and microwave individually for a decadent breakfast.
  11. Add a syrup drizzle for a meal that even your most autumn-obsessed friend will enjoy!

 

Columbus Day Trip for Fall: Utica

Moonshine, ice cream, and juicy peaches – these are just some of the offerings brought to us by way of Utica, Ohio.  So many of my favorite local products hail from the small town that it was long overdue for me to head to the source. Situated just an under an hour northeast of Columbus proper, Utica has plenty to tempt the food-lover. Plus road trips are the wonderful, so let’s get to it: the best treats to enjoy while you’re visiting Utica!

Mill St. Distillery

http://millstdistillery.com/are-you-of-age/

Mill St. is churning out bourbon, moonshine, and grappa for the masses, and looking to expand soon. Grappa is something you don’t see often, but definitely imbibe in the tasty grape-based spirit. If you’ve been to the big-name bourbon distilleries, this experience is much more personalized. You can ask plenty of questions and learn more about the moonshine-making process, plus taste up to 4 mini samples of Mill St. products. Take home some merch or Mansfield-made apple pie mix to add some a fruity zip to your liquor.

Velvet Ice Cream

http://www.velveticecream.com/

Nothing can make me happier than ice cream (I’ll just go ahead and get that out of the way). So the selection at Velvet Ice Cream makes my heart skip a beat: elephant ear, raspberry fudge cordial, pumpkin pie, cookie dough extreme, and Dutch apple pie, to name a few. And the best variety of all? Buckeye, with chocolate swirls and real mini buckeyes in every scoop! My friends and I were fortunate enough to do a fall flavor tasting of all of the above – so much dairy goodness. The Velvet and Ye Old Mill complex boasts a duck pond for the kiddos, factory tours to watch ice cream being made, a restaurant, a museum, and more.

Branstool Orchards

http://branstoolorchards.com/

Branstool’s peaches are beloved in Columbus farmers markets, but have you considered picking your own at the orchard? With 26 peach varieties, all kinds of apples (Honeycrisp included), and pumpkins all available for picking depending on the season, your autumn itinerary is set. The onsite market sells other fruits and veggies, in addition to Ohio-made items like maple syrup, pancake mixes, jams, and more. Also be on the look out for Jack, the resident farm dog; he often pops up in Branstool’s Instagram posts.

Fill up on the loaded taters at Nick’s or the home cooking at Watt’s Restaurant before you head out of town to complete your Utica adventure!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Getting to Know: Jana Douglass from Jana Lee’s Bake Shop

One of my absolute favorite things about blogging so far has been connecting with the interesting folks behind the Columbus dining scene. With this new series, I will be getting inside your favorite maker’s minds so we can soak up a little of their greatness. Plus, let’s face it – we are all a little nosy! So without further ado, the launch of the Columbus Culinary Chronicles begins with Jana Lee’s Bake Shop.

You’ve likely seen the pristine cut-out cookies from Jana Douglass on Instagram, presented in themed sets ranging from cheeky sayings, Disney characters, baby showers, and everything in between. Jana has managed to build a following of over 45k in just a few short years, and has some exciting things in her future. Learn more about Jana Lee’s recently launched bridal line (so much monogrammed cuteness!) and how to order your own treats by clicking on her contact info below, then scroll through to get the scoop on the cookie queen.

Web: https://www.janaleesbakeshop.com/
Instagram: @janaleesbakeshop
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/janaleesbakeshop/
Twitter: @Jana_Lees

What motivated you to start a cookie-making business and how did you transition into full-time baking?
I was about to graduate from The Ohio State University in December of 2014 without a job lined up. I was feeling uninspired and I picked up cookie decorating as a creative outlet. Let me tell you… they were awful! But I fell in love with the creative process and kept at it. I started posting pictures on my personal Instagram and within 9 months I had created a separate cookie Instagram and had enough business to do it full time.

You bake so many shapes of cookies; how many cookie cutters do you own? How do you keep them all organized?
Wow! I would guess I have about 700 cookie cutters. You would think that would be plenty but every week we get new requests with cutters we do not own! We keep them organized by category on a peg board. Even with all the different shapes and options I would say we still reach for the same basic 20 shapes week after week.

Photo Credit: Jana Lee’s Bake Shop

What is your favorite themed set you’ve ever made?
How am I supposed to choose?! The amazing part of this business is the creativity around it. My favorite sets always end up happening when clients provide the theme and they trust my creative process.

Can you tell us about your worst kitchen disaster?
I was wrapping up a great day in the kitchen and was going to make it home at a normal hour which was pretty rare at the time. I had just finished up 6 dozen purple cookies (which is a difficult color to make) and quickly checked on them before heading out the door. The icing was still wet, not good! I instantly knew I did something wrong… I over whipped the icing!

I had to toss the cookies and start from scratch. My early evening home turned into me leaving the kitchen at 2 in the morning!

You’ve had the opportunity to work with high-profile clients like Draper James. How did this come about and what actions did you take to make it happen?
Honestly, I just ask! I am fairly brand loyal and decided to start reaching out to companies I love and for the most part have had great luck. What’s the worst that can happen?! They say no and you move on.

Which Columbus establishment do you frequent more than any other?
I enjoy my morning walk for coffee to Cafe Brioso downtown. I am addicted to their coffee! It is also a hidden gem for lunch, the turkey pesto sandwich with a lemonade is Ah-Mazing! We enjoy brewing their beans at home as well.

Photo Credit: Jana Lee’s Bake Shop

What is your favorite Columbus-based product?
Lately I have been addicted to Darista Dips! You can always find a container or two of their sweet potato coconut curry hummus in my fridge. The best snack!

What is your favorite adult beverage?
Hendrick’s martini, dry and dirty! You can usually find me sitting at the bar at Hyde Park with one in hand.

Can you share your favorite recipe to cook at home?
To be honest ever since starting a business my home cooking has been a little pathetic. Somedays the only time I spend in the kitchen at home is making bulletproof coffee in the morning. However with fall right around the corner I have been craving soups and chilis. This curried potato soup from Minimalist Baker (talk about a girl crush!) is a staple!

Curried Potato & Lentil Soup (1 Pot!)

Do you have a favorite charity that you would like to promote?
Columbus is great city full of wonderful charities and nonprofits. We personally love working with Ronald McDonald House; kids and cookies are the perfect fit! I encourage everyone to do a little research and get involved in something meaningful to them!

I see that you recently launched a bridal line. Can you tell us more about that and what else is coming up for Jana Lee’s Bake Shop?
Jana Lee’s Bridal Line launched in June! We are thrilled to be included in so many bridal events across the city.
There is a lot happening behind the scenes here, mostly things we can’t share with you just yet! Stay tuned!!

Make sure you follow Jana and see what’s next – fall=lots of Halloween themed deliciousness.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

A Visit To: Asheville

This summer, my husband and I returned to Asheville for a much-needed long weekend. We were able to re-visit some old haunts and uncover some new favorite locales in the Blue Ridge Mountain town. A photo diary of my culinary explorations seemed to be the easiest way to approach this post; there were too many tasty spots to reduce the experience to words. Take a peek at some of the cuisine we loved best during our Asheville jaunt:

All things gravy at Tupelo Honey in dowtown Asheville
Brunch at Biscuit Head – complete with a jam, honey, and butter bar
Can’t get enough of this view of the Biltmore Estate
Chocolate Stout Cake with Mocha Frosting at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Every Taco combo you’ve ever dreamed of and some more you haven’t at White Duck Taco Shop
Hot Pimento Dip and more at the Stable Cafe, just outside Biltmore Estate
Lovely farm-to-table happy hour at Rhubarb, including this delightful gnocchi dish with pickled carrots
One of the trip’s highlights: the Battery Park Book Exchange. It’s one part bookstore, one part champagne bar, and a maker of extraordinary cheese platters.
So much wickedness in hops form at Wicked Weed
Watching tubers float down the river at the New Belgium taproom
Sampling all the honey at Asheville Bee Charmer

Have you been to Asheville? What were your favorite spots to dine and drink?

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Rambling House Soda

Rambling House Soda and Music Bar
310 E. Hudson St.
Columbus, OH 43202
614-468-3415
http://www.ramblinghousesoda.com/

Craft beer and craft spirits are currently monopolizing the market, but don’t discount craft soda! Lately, I can’t get enough of Columbus’ own Rambling House Soda. A tiny spot sandwiched in the south Clintonville/University District region, Rambling House is a music venue with a tasty “pop.” The interior has an antique saloon feel, and has the unhurried aura of a bygone era.  The bar hosts live music every night they are open, varying from bluegrass to local bands. Sundays lend themselves to the “Old Time Jam,” an open session where anyone with musical chops can bring an instrument and play with the group.

Most importantly though, Rambling House produces a few soda staples that are always on tap, and rotates a few special flavors in and out. Typically, the ginger beer (delightfully zippy), Columbus Cola (so much better than that other cola), sarsaparilla, and lemon lime soda are always on tap. However, past varieties when I’ve visited have included: orange-cardamom, cream soda, chocolate-mint, or coconut lime.  I also loved the strawberry soda that Rambling House brought to Jeni’s Strawberry Jam at the North Market this summer – hands down, the best bubbly beverage at the event. The drink menu offers soda-cocktail suggestions, or get creative and make your own. There are also a number of Ohio beers available on draft if brews are more your fancy. Don’t forget too: the bar fills any clean growler with their soda, so take home your favorite pop and make a crave-able concoction at home. My current combo is house cream soda and bourbon! But most of all, Rambling House stays true to its namesake Irish “rambling” roots – it is a refuge of foot-tapping tunes, well-crafted sodas, and communal spirit.

Culinary Clue: Don’t miss out on Rambling House’s bottled Moscow Mules. The libations are made with Rambling House ginger beer and Watershed Distillery vodka, ideal for end-of-summer sipping. I picked up a bottle at The Daily Growler but Kroger stores also carry the mixes. You can also find Rambling House soda on draft at some of your favorite local joints, such as Brothers Drake Meadery, Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza, and Homestead Brewery.

Have you sampled the soda from Rambling House yet? Let me know in the comments below.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Trillium Kitchen & Patio

Trillium Kitchen & Patio
2333 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43202
614-369-4888
https://www.trilliumkitchen.com/

The closing of Alana’s left a little hole in the hearts (and stomachs) of Columbus diners last year. So after being invited to the soft opening of Trillium Kitchen & Patio, I was eager to sample the new offerings in Alana’s old space. While it is still early in the life of the fledgling eatery, our meal was very enjoyable and I’ll be back to try more. In the meantime, here is a brief overview of our first foray into Trillium.

The interior of the building is totally revamped, and there is also a generous amount of patio seating. My husband and I opted for the outdoor area, since it was a beautiful day and there was live music. We started with the Pork Cheek Poutine, a dish that is often more trendy than tasty. Not the case here; this treat was flavorful at every layer, from the peppered pork gravy to the local cheese curds and tender chunks of meat. Definitely go for the optional soft egg on top, because drippy eggs are always a good idea. On the menu but not yet available during our visit were two phenomenal-sounding appetizers with Asian flair. First, I spotted Duck Confit Spring Rolls on the menu, served with Serrano black vinegar dip, spicy aioli, and a sesame salad. But I’m also drooling over the description of the Lump Crab Wontons: rhubarb bbq, avocado crema, pickled red onion, and Napa cabbage.

The entrees had a local focus as well, with lots of Ohio cheese, corn, meats, and Athens-based Shagbark Mill products. The BBQ Chicken had a nice char and a dollop of bacon jam, plus equally savory Southern-style sides: creamed corn, pickled cabbage, and molasses BBQ pinto beans. We also were pleased with the peach-jalapeno jam glazed on the Pork Chop, accompanied by bacon-cheddar Shagbark grits, andouille sausage, red-eye gravy, and braised greens. The trout and the spelt pasta selections caught my eye too, but save room for a donut ice cream sandwich!

Culinary Clue: Are you a horrible parallel parker like me? Then look for the dedicated lot behind Trillium for some dedicated spaces for the restaurant. I also learned that the space is named for Ohio’s state wildflower – apparently we have one of those?

If you give Trillium a try, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! I’ll share more upon a return visit.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Brie Burgers with Bacon-Date Aioli

At my house, summer equals grilling multiple times a week. Burgers are especially easy to pull together for a weeknight meal, so I had to add a burger recipe to this collection. Shout out to one of my favorite burgers in town, the One Red Door burger at Flip Side, as the inspiration for this dish. This concoction hits all the notes you want with a burger: cheesy, salty, crunchy, juicy, and just a dash of sweet. The bacon-date aioli will make you swoon, and why aren’t more restaurants using brie on their burgers? It melts beautifully and pairs with so many garnishes. I used the leftover aioli to make the best grilled cheese ever, so save a little extra if you can manage it. I can also think of about a dozen more things I’d like to slather the bacon spread on – it’s that mouthwatering!

I used Jennie-O’s turkey burgers for the recipe, since if the burger is healthier, you can pile on more toppings. Also, because the patties are pre-seasoned and can be grilled straight from frozen, no thawing or prep is required. Get the scoop below:

Brie Burgers with Bacon-Date Aioli

Yield: 6 large burgers

Ingredients:

For the aioli:
10 pitted dates, I used Medjool dates
5 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
3/4 c. mayo

For the burgers:
1 c. fresh arugula
6-8 oz. brie cheese, sliced
1/3 c. French’s Crispy Fried Onions (you know, the kind that goes on green bean casserole)
6 cooked patties of your favorite burger recipe or Jennie-O turkey burgers
6 burger buns, toasted

Start by making the aioli. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, blending until well-incorporated. Refrigerate and set aside to assemble burgers.

Cook your burgers according to package or recipe instructions. Right before the burgers are finished cooking, place strips of brie cheese on top so the cheese is melted; this helps the cheese act as the glue for assembly. Place cooked patties on bottom burger bun. Top burger with fried onions, then arugula. Smear desired amount of aioli on top bun, then sandwich together the two burger halves and devour.

Get your summer grilling on, and find out more about Jennie-O frozen turkey burgers here: https://www.jennieo.com/products/collection/22-burgers.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Disclosure: Jennie-O sent me these burgers to try. Any opinions expressed within this post are my own unbiased views.

Brie Burgers with Bacon-Date Aioli
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
For the aioli:
  • 10 pitted dates, I used Medjool dates
  • 5 slices bacon, cooked until crispy
  • ¾ c. mayo
For the burgers:
  • 1 c. fresh arugula
  • 6-8 oz. brie cheese, sliced
  • ⅓ c. French's Crispy Fried Onions (you know, the kind that goes on green bean casserole)
  • 6 cooked patties of your favorite burger recipe or Jennie-O turkey burgers
  • 6 burger buns, toasted
Instructions
  1. Start by making the aioli. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, blending until well-incorporated.
  2. Refrigerate and set aside to assemble burgers.
  3. Cook your burgers according to package or recipe instructions.
  4. Right before the burgers are finished cooking, place strips of brie cheese on top so the cheese is melted.
  5. Place cooked patties on bottom burger bun. Top burger with fried onions, then arugula.
  6. Smear desired amount of aioli on top bun, then sandwich together the two burger halves and devour.

 

5 More Bacon Bites to Try

I might be a little obsessed with bacon. One of my favorite wedding gifts was a bacon of the month club, in which Michigan’s own Zingerman’s Deli delivered a different variety of bacon to my door every four weeks. I’ve also already written about 5 bacon dishes I can’t get enough of here, but limiting myself to such a small number was HARD. So here we go again – I’m listing 5 more must-try meals where bacon is the belle of the ball.

Breakfast Tacos – Balboa

http://www.balboagrandview.com/#home

Tacos for breakfast are pretty much a dream come true, especially when you pair it with a blueberry basil margarita at Balboa brunch (tongue twister). An order includes three mini tacos, bursting with queso, avocado, scrambled eggs, veggies, and of course, a crispy slab of bacon.

Click here to read my full post on Balboa

Hounddog – Angry Weiner

https://www.theangrywiener.com/

I always thought that people who ate hot dogs with peanut butter deserved the electric chair. But now…I’m a convert. Food truck The Angry Weiner is serving up the component that convinced me: bacon jam. When a toasty bun meets melty peanut butter and savory bacon jam, trust me, it’s amazing!

Click here to read my full post on Angry Weiner

Morning Sliders – 1803 Bacon

http://1803bacon.wixsite.com/1803bacon

Every Saturday from 10-2, Platform Beer Co. is hosting 1803 Bacon for brunch. I’m crazy for the sliders: teeny sammies with poached eggs, 1803’s signature blended curry bacon, and a good old Kraft single. Buy a pack of Maple Espresso or House Bacon for the road too.

Bacon Cheddar Scone – Kittie’s Cakes

https://www.kittiescakes.com/

This item is a more traditional use of bacon, but certainly not less tasty. Salty from the generous chunks of bacon and crammed with plenty of cheddar, these treats will kick your morning off right. Plus, they are available at both the German Village and Bexley locales.

Read more about Kittie’s Cakes here – German Village | Bexley

Fried Green Tomato BLT – Grandview Cafe

http://www.grandviewcafe.com/

Sure, anyone can make a BLT. But only the recently revamped Grandview Cafe can layer it up in Southern style. Country white bread is sandwiched with dill pickle aoili, arugula, crunchy fried green tomatoes, and ample strips of bacon. You’ll be hard pressed to eat a plain Jane BLT again.

Bonus bacon sneak peek: next week’s post will be a burger recipe, featuring bacon-date spread. Check back next week for the scoop!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Canal Winchester Beer Trail

Canal Winchester Beer Trail

Loose Rail Brewing
37 W. Waterloo St.
Canal Winchester, OH 43110

BrewDog
96 Gender Rd.
Canal Winchester, OH 43110

Something big is brewing in the southeast suburb of Canal Winchester – at not one, but two breweries. Both BrewDog and Loose Rail Brewing have settled into the small town, making the area an ideal day trip for hopheads. The breweries could not be more different, but each is worth a visit. It just figures that my hometown would get all these cool businesses after I leave…

Loose Rail Brewing falls on the “micro” end of the craft brewery spectrum, and inhabits a structure near Canal Winchester’s historic downtown. I’m a sucker for a good building history, and my dad clued me into the tale behind the brewery name: Columbus used to have an electric railway system, and the building served as a power station for the enterprise. The interior isn’t large, but the attached outdoor space boasts a cozy patio with fire pits, the ideal spot to catch some live bluegrass music. No food is served but trucks like Sophie’s Pierogi and Star City Sliders are frequently parked nearby. Even the beer names stick to the train theme; think Full Steam Saison or Freight Hopper IPA. I fancied the Coal Burner imperial stout.

Scotland’s BrewDog also chose to put down roots in Canal Winchester, picking the city for its production headquarters in America. A massive operation with a potential beer-themed hotel in the works, BrewDog’s complex offers pond views, corn hole boards, and plenty of eats. Punk IPA is the flagship beer, but definitely opt for a flight to find your favorite. Pair your suds with hot pretzels, Prosciutto and arugula flatbread, or the Identity Crisis burger, crowned with tortilla chips, avocado, a drippy egg, and more.

Culinary Clue: On your way out of town, make a final stop at Blystone Farm to pick up bottles of local craft brews and maybe a cookie or two for the road. Also, they have bacon breakfast sausage – it’s a thing, and you should be eating it. Or dine at Harvest Moon Cafe, it’s owned by the same folks that run Loose Rail.

Keep Connected,

Caroline