Caroline’s Picks: 5 Food Truck Bowls to Try

Hai Poké: Tuna Bowl
Hai Poké: Tuna Bowl

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

Cupzilla: Pork Combo Cup
Cupzilla: Pork Combo Cup

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

Mai Chau: Noodle Bowl
Mai Chau: Noodle Bowl

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

Aloha Streatery: Loco No Moco
Aloha Streatery: Loco No Moco

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

Aromaku: Bakmi Ayam Bakar

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

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

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Uptown Deli & Temperance Row Brewing

Uptown Deli & Brew / Temperance Row Brewing Co.

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!

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

Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe

Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe
Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe
625 Parsons Ave.
Columbus, OH

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.

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

Caroline’s Picks: 5 Queso Dishes to Try

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
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
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

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
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
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!

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Columbus Food Adventures Tour: Worthington

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.

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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 in Grandview

Balboa: Grandview

1312 Grandview Ave
Columbus, OH 43212

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.

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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

Mai Chau Food Truck

Mai Chau Food Truck
Mai Chau Food Truck
(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!

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

Salt & Pine

Salt & Pine
250 S. High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Top Tastes:

1.Fried Broccolini
2. Crispy Duckleg Confit
3. Ricotta Gnudi
4. Salt & Pine Cocktail
5. Cookie Plate

When I made my dining bucket list of restaurants to try this year, Salt & Pine might have been the one I was looking forward to most of all. Why? The new downtown spot is the brainchild of Harvest Pizzeria creator Chris Crader so it was bound to be wonderful, and every photo I saw of the menu items were drool-worthy. I finally made a visit, and the experience was one I’ll repeat. Soon!

Cheese and Charcuterie | Salt Pine

The restaurant space itself was modern and airy, with lots of natural light and (of course) pine cones lining the walls. Every dish was colorful and plated with an eye for style. The amount of small plates I ordered instead of a single entree embarrassed my dining companions, but I couldn’t decide on just one. Don’t judge.  We started with the Charcuterie and Cheese plate, complete with pickled veggies and a dreamy black bean hummus. The Fried Broccolini was a hit, one of the most unique appetizers I’ve had. The florets were lightly battered and sprinkled with salty bonito flakes, and dished up with a spicy umami sauce.  Other great small plates were the Crispy Duckleg Confit, fried until perfectly crunchy and topped with molasses and leeks, and the Ricotta Gnudi, cheesy dumplings browned and served with herbs and Parmesan. Our table also loved the grit-laden Short Ribs, the Spring Pasta, and the Potato Leek soup. We weren’t nearly as talkative once all this food came, since we were too busy eating.

Crispy Duckling Confit | Salt and Pine

I’ve been raving about the food, but the drinks and desserts are not lacking either. The Salt & Pine theme carries throughout the menu as well, with the signature cocktail called the Salt & Pine: Watershed Four Peel Gin, salted honey, citrus, vermouth, and orange blossom. I’m not a huge gin drinker, but this one was refreshing. For a sweet finish, pick the Brownie Sundae (vanilla ice cream, malted pretzel crunch, miso butterscotch, roasted salted peanuts) or my favorite nostalgic choice, the Cookie Plate. According to our server, the varieties on the plate vary, but they come served in a logo tin with a glass of milk. I got a chocolate chip, a dried fruit granola, a chai spice, and of course a Salt & Pine cookie, a buttery delight sprinkled with salt, pepper, and pine nuts!

Milk and Cookies | Salt and Pine

I need to make it back to Salt & Pine for brunch, which predictably sounds amazing, and to try the raw bar offerings. I had no room for sushi after all those small plates. If you’ve tried either of these, let me know on Instagram or Twitter!

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Salt & Pine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

On the Road: Rhode Island

Rhode Island
Road-trippin’ is one of my favorite ways to discover new culinary destinations, so I was eager to head to Rhode Island to visit my best friend who now lives there. America’s smallest state is not lacking in dining options, and we indulged in some fabulous food, with my friend as my knowledgeable tour guide. A couple of fun finds that Ohioans may not be familiar with include Autocrat coffee syrup (a tasty treat mixed with milk to make “coffee milk”) and uncovering a new love of pepperoni and broccoli pizza – don’t knock it ’til you try it!

Providence was our home base during the trip, and we explored the historic neighborhoods as well as Brown University’s campus. I fell in love with the raspberry bars at Seven Stars Bakery ( I love that the Northeast is so walkable, especially since I have yet to master parallel parking! We also headed to the coastal city of Newport, the perfect mash-up of seafood joints and rambling Gilded Age mansions. Count me in for another round of lobster (Lobsta!?!) rolls at Flo’s Clam Shack ( any day! Walk off your meal by strolling along the Cliff Walk or touring Marble House or The Breakers, where the Vanderbilts had their “summer cottages.”

Because we were so close to Boston, we had to check out Fenway Park while the Yankees played the Red Sox. It was a little chilly, but the atmosphere at the game was electric, and hey, they don’t offer clam chowder at Clippers games! If you watch A&E, you may be familiar with our dinner spot  Wahlburgers, ( a burger bar owed by the Wahlbergs of acting fame. No Marky Mark sightings, but I was mollified by a savory bacon and avocado burger and a Frosty-esque chocolate frappe.

The bottom line: the Northeast really isn’t that far of a drive from Columbus, and has some foodie gems! Below, find some shots of my quick getaway to Rhode Island!

Fenway Park

Yankees vs. Red Sox at Fenway Park


Dinner at Wahlburgers

Rhode Island Sky

Flo's Clam Shack

Flo’s Clam Shack

Lobster Roll

Lobster Roll

Marble House

Marble House

Seven Stars Bakery

Seven Stars Bakery

Autocrat Coffee Syrup

Autocrat Coffee Syrup

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