2 Year Anniversary Spectacular: My Favorite Posts So Far

I’ll be writing more about this for the March newsletter (Click here to sign up for the newsletter), but this week Columbus Culinary Connection celebrated its 2 year anniversary! 131 blog posts, 4,200 Instagram (@cbusconnect) followers, and 8.3 million pounds of cheese later, I’m still enjoying being a food blogger. It’s forced me outside my comfort zone in tasting new cuisine, but also in making new relationships. It’s been a creative outlet, and given me a greater appreciation for Columbus and all things Ohio. I’ve enjoyed looking back at the posts I’ve written over the past two years, and daydreaming about the places I’ve visited, and of course the food I’ve devoured up to this point. Here are some of my absolute favorites!

Rockmill Brewery

http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/rockmill-brewery-review/
Rockmill Brewery

One of my very first posts, Rockmill is still a place that has a certain magic for me. The countless good times on the brewery’s grounds and in the idyllic horse barn-turned-taproom make this a spot I’ll always go again and again.

Kittie’s Cakes

http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/kitties-cakes/
http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/kitties-cakes-bexley/
Kittie's Cakes

The original German Village location and the new Bexley Kittie’s cafe have some of my favorite treats in town. Bacon cheddar scones, immense Facecookies, and shop mascot Linus the Golden Retriever make Kittie’s a must-try bakery.

My Family’s Christmas Cookies

http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/christmas-cookie-recipe/
Christmas Cookies

My mom was the guest writer for this post, and she’s the reason I am crazy about cooking. It’s one of my all-time favorite family traditions, and it’s been fabulous seeing so many other people take her recipe and incorporate it into their own holiday customs.

A Visit to: Biltmore Estate

http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/biltmore-estate/
The Biltmore Estate

I love exploring, and have embraced my inner history nerd. Our mini vacation to Biltmore Estate let me combine my admiration for both fine dining and Downton Abbey, and I loved every second of it. I also used this post as a template for my Charleston Gazette article, another writing opportunity that blogging has afforded me!

Fox in the Snow Cafe

http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/fox-in-the-snow-cafe/
Fox in the Snow Cafe

The effort put into blogging is worth it soley because I learned about Fox in the Snow through blogger friends. What had I been missing? Only the cutest animal logo in town and some heavenly custard-filled donuts.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Grandview Heights

http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/neighborhood-spotlight-grandview-heights/
Sweet Carrot and Zauber Beers in Grandview

It’s been great seeing so many new foodie destinations pop up in Grandview recently, and there are some classic oldie but goodie spots as well. There’s something for every palette in this Columbus ‘burb. I need to get around to making another neighborhood dining guide soon.

Por’Ketta Food Truck

http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/porketta-food-truck/
Porketta Food Truck

I love the ease and variety that food truck dining brings, and I tend to seek out my favorites time and again. Por’Ketta’s family business is doing some really fun things, and my adoration has not waned even after eating that chicken sandwich a hundred times.

Top Secret Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/chocolate-chip-cookies/
Chocolate Chip Cookies

The secret is the cheesecake pudding! Trust me on this – it’s been my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe for years. It makes the softest, tastiest cookies imaginable.

5 Queso Dishes to Try

http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/carolines-picks-5-queso-dishes-try/
Bodega Columbus: Loaded Truffle Fries

I have to end this round-up with another round-up! When you can list some of your most beloved restaurants in one cheese-laden post, i.e.  Hudson 29, Condado Tacos, and Bodega, what isn’t to love? I have a whole category on the blog of 5 to Try posts, when you’re in need of a quick reference guide.

Thanks for being on this journey with me! Cheers to another year of bacon and blogging.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Watershed Kitchen & Bar

Watershed Kitchen & Bar

Watershed Kitchen & Bar
1145 Chesapeake Ave, Columbus, OH 43221
(614) 357-1936
http://watersheddistillery.com/kitchen—bar.html

I was ecstatic to hear that Ohio changed its laws in 2016, allowing distilleries to open restaurants and make cocktails on-site at their production facilities. With some wonderful local spirit-makers calling Columbus home, the race was on to for distillers to open attached eateries. Last week, Grandview-area Watershed Distillery achieved that goal. Since I already loved their bourbon, nocino, and visiting their tasting room with Columbus Brew Adventures, when Watershed’s Kitchen & Bar opened last week I was itching to check it out.

Whiskey Lullaby | Watershed Kitchen & Bar

First recommendation: get reservations. We strolled in right when the space opened at 4, to learn all reservations were booked already. We happily ate at the bar, but it’s clear that the buzz around Watershed’s restaurant is huge. The space itself is well-appointed and simple. A glass wall connecting the dining room to the distillery allows you to peer at the gleaming tanks while you nosh, a fun touch, and the plenthora of candles and dim lighting makes this an intimate date night locale.

The cocktail menu is printed in a playful booklet with photos of each drink and trivia tidbits, which lets you see what your drink will look like before you select a choice. No more asking your seat neighbor, “what are you drinking?” For a winter warmer, the Bon Apple Tea (Watershed vodka, apple, lemon, dry curacao, honey, ancho chai spice, winter potpourri) is poured into a floral mug. Harken back to your childhood with the Nostalgia & Moxie: bourbon, ovaltine, cream, chocolate bitters, and more, all topped with torched marshmallows. Fans of libations on the rocks will adore the Improved Whiskey Cocktail, an effective blend of bourbon, luxardo, angostura & peychaud’s bitters, and of course, absinthe. There wasn’t a disappointing drink on the menu, from my perspective. Local draft beers are also on tap, as are a generous selection of wines.

Lions Tail | Watershed Kitchen & Bar

The food offerings are a mix of comfort dishes and eclectic bites. Options include buttermilk fried chicken accompanied by whipped pig butter, house hot sauce, and pickles, or we loved the fried Brussels sprouts, crispy brown and swimming in a peppery-sweet sauce with mint and citrus. The main selections are twists on classics as well, such as the Watershed Burger, a beautifully messy concoction of bourbon-glazed onions, tomato jam, and Brie. Dip the fries on the side in the addictive aioli. It seems like every restaurant has short ribs on the menu lately, but the dish stands out here with punchy pickled cabbage, cauliflower, and miso polenta. My pick for the next visit? The Duck Confit, plated with celery root, potato gnocchi, walnuts, and prune demi-glace.

FRIED BRUSSELS SPROUTS | Watershed Kitchen + Bar

Culinary Clue: Don’t forget to catch a distillery tour or pick up some merchandise in the gift shop. Their pre-mixed Old-Fashioned blend is great for lazy people (me) when you want a fabulous cocktail with minimal effort. The other bottled spirits like the bourbon-barrel gin and nocino are also available for sampling and bottle sales!

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Watershed Distillery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kindred Artisan Ales

Kindred Artisan Ales

505 Morrison Rd.
Gahanna, OH 43230
http://www.kindredales.com/

Until very recently, the craft beer scene in the Gahanna area was severely lacking. With the addition of Crafted Drafts, Pigskin Brewing, and 101 Beer Kitchen, the northeast-area ‘burb has started to transform. Another major factor in the change: Kindred Artisan Ales. The business was recently selected as one of the best local start-up companies by The Metropreneur, with good reason.

Kindred Artisan Ales

Opened in April 2016, Kindred’s bar is outfitted with plenty of woodwork, white subway tiling, and ample seating. There is no food made in-house, but some of my favorite local food trucks make regular stops here, including Aloha Streatery, Street Thyme, and Sophie’s Pierogies. You can also find entertainment such as live trivia, bands, and contests going on throughout the month at the taproom.

Kindred Artisan Ales

The brewery’s collection of pints are approachable varieties, often straying from the typical hop-forward ales offered by other brewers. Sample the Hawaiian Shirt (white ale brewed with hibiscus and mango), the Berliner Weisse (tart wheat), or the Kindred Wit, a spicy and drinkable witbier. Kindred also has a sour beer line in production, so stay tuned for more details and developments on that front! They also have liquor available for the non-beer drinker in your life.

Culinary Clue: Kindred is part of the Columbus Ale Trail. Pick up a passport at a participating brewery, then get to traveling! At every location, ask the bartender to stamp your passport. When you visit 4 breweries, you will receive a Columbus Ale Trail pint glass. If you check in at all 20 breweries on the list, you will get an awesome deck of playing cards featuring the breweries on the trail!

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

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.

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

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.

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing Taproom

The Taproom at Wolf's Ridge Brewing
215 N 4th Street – Enter off Hickory St.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
http://www.wolfsridgebrewing.com/tap-room-1/

Top Tastes
1. Cinnamon Toast Brunch Cream Ale
2. Salted Potato Chips with Onion Dip
3. Dire Wolf Imperial Stout
4. Driftwood Grapefruit Session IPA
5. Clear Sky Daybreak Ale

Wolf’s Ridge Brewing puts out some extraordinary brunch food, as I’ve written before, gorgeous plates piled high with mounds of colorful and delicious food. But don’t forget about their spectacular beers! WRB has added a taproom fairly recently which focuses on just the brews, and it’s a wonderful addition as local watering hole. The taproom itself is attached to the main restaurant, but has a separate entrance, and those looking for a more casual vibe will be right at home here. The building housing the taproom is industrial and bright, with original windows and long, spacious tables waiting to accommodate your group.

Wolf's Ridge Brewing Tap Room Menu Board

The best thing of all about the WRB taproom is, naturally, the beer. Even considering the variety of drafts on tap in the restaurant, this bar area has stepped up the game with an impressive selection of beverages not for sale elsewhere. The 20 taps range from old WRB standbys to funky infusions. On a given day you can sample sips of robust Dire Wolf Imperial Stout, or try the drinkable and mildly hopped Driftwood Grapefruit Session IPA. There are also a number of takes on a specific beer; during my most recent trip, they had Clear Sky Cream Ale in Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Clear Sky Coffee Vanilla, and Creamsicle Orange Cream varieties. Your best bet is probably a flight to taste them all. For non-beer lovers, there are some excellent possibilities too, like the Sorbet & Tonic with housemade cherry sorbet and Watershed Gin.

Wolf's Ridge Taproom

With this much imbibing bound to occur, snacks are a must. The menu for small bites is short but not lacking in flair or flavor, and also is at a more approachable price point than regular meal choices. The Salted Potato Chips with Onion Dip were my fav, a dangerously tall mound of chips, served alongside a cute jar of savory onion spread; they were an ideal compliment to my beer. Other items include homemade BBQ pork rinds, spiced mixed nuts, and olive and pickle jars.

Culinary Clue: Grab some friends and mix up your drink spot by checking out Wolf’s Ridge Brewing’s Taproom this summer! Don’t miss the happy hour: it lasts ’til 8 and includes major discounts on many brews.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Wolf's Ridge Brewing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Caroline’s Picks: 5 Drinks to Try this Summer

Last year I made a list of 5 beers to try during summer, so this year I added some cocktails into the mix. Without further ado:

Seventh Son Brewing: Nimbus Iceberg

Seventh Son Brewing: Nimbus Iceberg

Nothing says “I’m a true adult” like a beer slushie! Seventh Son’s offering consists of their own Humulus Nimbus Super Pale Ale, topped with a frozen scoop of a homemade Paloma slushie. It’s bitter, citrusy, and drowning in tequila, guaranteed to cool you down once warmer temps hit.

http://seventhsonbrewing.com/

Condado Tacos: Margarita Flight

Condado Tacos: Margarita Flight

The only thing better than one fruity margarita? Three! Wash down Condado’s guacamole and salty chips with your choice of 3 mini margs, and you’ll be ready for sunshine. Choices include typical flavors such as strawberry and peach, but blood orange, prickly pear, and kiwi are wonderful selections too.

http://www.condadotacos.com/

Brothers Drake: Summer Apple Mead

Brothers Drake

I love Brothers Drake’s Apple Pie mead as much as the next gal, but it can evoke fall more than summer. The solution? Give their Summer Apple mead a whirl! This new offering is made with crisp, tart Granny Smith apples and no cidery spices. The result is all the apple goodness you want in your mead, in a much lighter version.

http://www.brothersdrake.com/

Land-Grant Brewing: Greenskeeper Session IPA

Land-Grant Brewing: Greenskeeper Session IPA

Since session IPA’s are the ideal summer beer, I had to include one on this list. Land-Grant recently started canning this drinkable brew, and it’s available in stores all over the city. With the Memorial Tournament coming up, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the start of patio season than by cracking open this 4.7% beer.

https://www.landgrantbrewing.com/

Rhubarb Sunrise

Rhubarb Sunrise

Rhubarb is one of those rare Ohio garden items that is ready early in the season. Track some down at your local farmer’s market or in the freezer section, and whip up a tangy-sweet syrup that is delicious for cocktail-making. I like to mix a few tablespoons of rhubarb syrup with Watershed vodka, a splash of orange juice, and top it off with sparking water for a perfect summer sipper. The natural pink hue can’t be beat!

See my recipe for rhubarb soda:
http://columbusculinaryconnection.com/rhubarb-soda/

Guest Post For: Little Adventures Await

Mothers Day Brunch

Mother’s Day is one of the best holidays of the year – the weather finally starts to turn, and it is so important to take time to celebrate the special woman in our lives. Everyone has their own Mother’s Day dining traditions, but you should definitely consider taking mom out for brunch! When Stacie from Little Adventures Await (http://www.littleadventuresawait.com) asked me to guest post for her Mother’s Day roundup, it was the perfect opportunity to pick my Mother’s Day brunch favorites. Below, you will find my restaurant ideas for Mom’s big day, but you MUST check out Stacie’s full article here: http://www.littleadventuresawait.com/2016/04/mothers-day-in-cbus.html. She has tons of gift inspiration, and also multiple giveways! Plus if you are looking for fun things to do with kids in our capital city, she is your go-to girl.

The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek

http://thebarncolumbus.com/
Mothers Day Brunch at The Barn
For a traditional brunch that the whole family will love, book a table at The Barn. This Cameron Mitchell spot is serving up a bounty of dishes, ranging from eggs benedict to peel-and-eat shrimp, plus two carving stations. The enormous patio in the back also boasts cozy chairs, its own bar, and multiple fire pits to gather with your crew afterwards. Hurry though, because reservations are filling up fast!

Dough Mama

http://www.dough-mama.com/
Dough Mama
Treat the special mama in your life to a slice of heaven at Dough Mama. The inviting Clintonville bakery is the ideal place to nosh on savory low-key treats such as seasonal quiche, fruit hand pies, and bread pudding, all paired with Thunderkiss coffee. Best of all, every mom that comes in the door gets to take home a free slice of pie!

Lindey’s Restaurant & Bar

http://www.lindeys.com/
A Columbus classic, check out Lindey’s in German Village for an upscale and satisfying dining affair. Lindey’s is offering a buffet as well as a special a la carte menu for the occasion, so you have the best of both worlds. You can gorge yourself on dishes like beignets or a Monte Cristo with maple blueberry jam, mother-approved!

Zen-Cha Tea Salon

http://www.zen-cha.com/
Give mom the gift of a unique and tasty experience at Zen-Cha. The lady in your life will adore sipping every variety of tea under the sun. Nibble on plump Chinese dumplings and Earl Grey pancakes, or order the miniature scone sampler to share with the table. Brunch doesn’t have to be fussy to be beautiful and scrumptious.

101 Beer Kitchen

http://www.101beerkitchen.com/
Pretzels from 101 Beer Kitchen
If you are a procrastinator like me, some of the fancier spots might be booked before Mother’s Day creeps up on you. 101 Beer Kitchen to the rescue! Seating is first come, first serve, and there are Dublin and Gahanna locations. My mouth is already watering over the 101 Twinkie, a pastry cream- stuffed take on French toast and the pretzels with beer cheese. For the craft brew-loving mom, this should be your pick.