Sweet Carrot

Sweet Carrot

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

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

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

Sweet Carroy

 

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

The patio at Sweet Carrot

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

Dessert from Sweet Carrot

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

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

Keep Connected,

Caroline

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

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

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

Krema Nut Company

Krema Nut Company

1000 West Goodale Boulevard
Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 299-4131
http://www.krema.com/

Top Tastes
1. PB Apple Cheesecake
2. Buckeye Milkshake
3. The Kicker
4. Cashew Delight
5. Buckeye Cashew Crunch

Now that I finally made it to the Grandview-area Krema Nut Company, I am seriously upset I waited this long to check it out. I am always fiending for peanut butter anything, so it was high time that I give Krema a visit, if for no other reason than to check a box on the 2016 Hot List. I underestimated what I’d find inside, and I will definitely return, with friends, for some nutty treats.

Krema Nut Company Sandwich

Upon entering, you walk into the gift shop. The store sports every snack and sweet you can imagine, many of them house-made. Pick up addictive Buckeye Cashew Crunch popcorn, cinnamon almonds, or Krema’s nut butter sampler pack so you can taste every variety! Glass offers a peek into the production area from the retail section; Krema also conducts tours by appointment, giving a glimpse of the peanut butter-making process.

Treats from Krema Nut Company

But it’s the sandwich shop area to the left where you should head for your dining pleasure. The Cashew Delight, with tart cherry preserves and cashew spread, is simple and utterly satisfying, or gobble up the PB Apple Cheesecake sandwich, combining peanut butter on one side with honey nut cream cheese and chunky apple fruit spread on the other. Heat seekers should snap up The Kicker, made with house hot and spicy peanut butter and slathered with raspberry preserves. You can also mix-and-match your choice of breads, nut butters, and toppings like bananas, marshmallow fluff, or orange-apricot spread for a custom sammy. Wash it all down with a Buckeye milkshake, a thick and creamy take on the beloved PB and chocolate combo in a shake.

Gourmet PB and J Sandwich | Krema Nut Company

Culinary Clue: Don’t miss out on Brothers Drake’s collaborative PB & J mead, made using 300 pounds of Krema’s Spanish peanuts for the PB component. And yes, it actually does taste like your favorite childhood sandwich.

Keep Connected,
Caroline

Krema Nut Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brunchin’ it Up at Third & Hollywood

Third & Hollywood

Third & Hollywood
1433 West Third Ave.
Grandview Heights, OH 43212
614-488-0303
http://www.thirdandhollywood.com

Top Tastes:

1. Iron Skillet of Cheddar Herb Biscuits with Pimiento Cheese 
2.  Croque Madame
3. Chorizo and Eggs
4. Corn and Black Bean Burger
5. Brown Derby Cocktail

One area I haven’t covered yet in my Grandview Spotlight series is brunch. Problem solved with a visit to Third and Hollywood! This little spot is off the main drag of Grandview Ave., but it is one hidden gem that you won’t want to miss. If you love North Star, you will adore Third & Hollywood, owned by the same folks and featuring local and health-conscious options.

The Grandview Hop

The Grandview Hop

One thing that really sets Grandview apart from other neighborhoods is its sense of community. A fabulous example of that is the Grandview Hop, a street merchant extravaganza which promotes local business. The Hop runs from May-September, always from 5-9 on the last Saturday of the month.  Part of Grandview Avenue is shut down for vendors, with wares ranging from jewelry to coasters, or peddling treats like popsicles and cupcakes. Many of the brick-and-mortar shops and restaurants are open too, with sales and happy hour specials. Often you can catch live music and activities as well.

(This is the fourth in a series of posts highlighting the food and drink scene in Grandview Heights. To learn more, click here)

Click Here to View My Grandview Pocket Guide

The Oilerie: Grandview

The Oilerie Grandview

1409 Grandview Avenue
Columbus, OH 43212
Phone: (614) 824-2668
http://www.oilerie.com/columbus.php

Let’s get something straight – samples are amazing. At The Oilerie in Grandview, you can taste until your heart’s content, and you will want to do exactly that. Tucked away in a strip mall off of Grandview Avenue, you would never know that this tiny spot could inspire so many recipe ideas in one visit!

(This is the third in a series of posts highlighting the food and drink scene in Grandview Heights. To learn more, click here)

The Oilerie

Click Here to View My Grandview Pocket Guide

All of the olive oils from the store come from olives harvested by the same producer, whose picture is hanging on the wall. The store is a maze of tables topped with large metal dispensers called fusti. Each of these containers is filled with a perfect olive oil or vinegar; there are little cups beside the fusti for endless sampling. It is so hard to choose which ones to select – each variety seems better than the last. For olive oils, there are choices such as chili, dill, lemon, and oregano, as well as speciality oils like avocado and hazelnut. The garlic oil is the best seller, and would be perfect for all kinds of cooking: topping grilled veggies, dipping bread, or a simple drizzle on pasta. In vinegars, The Oilerie stocks flavors like blueberry balsamic, pear balsamic, raspberry balsamic and a delicious aged signature balsamic. I can’t wait to make a spinach salad with the pomegranate balsamic vinegar – yum! Once you do decide (after 30 minutes of debate and tasting, in my case) the selection will be bottled and poured in front of you. It is then sealed and labeled with the date for maximum freshness.

The Fusti at the Oilerie

Overwhelmed by all the options? The staff is happy to help you select an olive oil that is right for your needs. During my recent visit, I chatted with Harley, who gave me plenty of tips on how to use the more unusual oils in the best way (cinnamon olive oil on a baked sweet potato? Yes please!). He also told me that The Oilerie does parties, which for around $10 a person, is a great deal. They shut down the store for your group, make a few dishes using their oils and vinegars for you to devour, and then let you go taste crazy!

Tasting Cups at The Oilerie

Click Here to View My Grandview Pocket Guide

In the store, you will also find other tasty products like pastas, sauces, spices, and even olive oil-based skincare items. Any of their offerings would be a fabulous gift for an out-of-town friend too. I also picked up some cherry balsamic preserves that will be amazing on pork tenderloin, but I’ll be back soon for that white balsamic that I’m having insane regret that I didn’t buy.

Cherry Balsamic Sauce

Culinary Clue: Still need ideas about how to utilize that bottled goodness? Check out the Oilerie’s recipe suggestion guide here: http://www.oilerie.com/recipes/index.html

This is the third review post for my Grandview culinary scene series. Sign up here to automatically be informed when new Grandview posts are released! To see my breakdown of the best Grandview spots for dining and shopping, check out the initial roundup post here.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Matt the Miller’s Tavern: Grandview Review

Matt the Miller's Tavern Review

1400 Grandview Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 754-1026
http://mtmtavern.com/Locations/Grandview-Ohio

Top Tastes:

1. Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread
2. Bavarian Pretzel Bites and Beer Cheese Soup
3. Warm Banana Bread Pudding
4. Shrimp and Grits
5. Brunch Buffet

If you are strolling through Grandview Heights and are looking for a restaurant that is casual but still delicious, Matt the Miller’s Tavern should be your destination. This pub is a great place for a beer with friends, and still special enough for a date night.

(This is the second in a series of posts highlighting the food and drink scene in Grandview Heights. To learn more, click here)

Click Here to View My Grandview Pocket Guide

One of my favorite features of Matt the Miller’s is the great bar area. There is plenty of seating, and a gorgeously designed tap handle feature. Sample beers on special from Columbus’ best breweries such as Land-Grant Brewing, Columbus Brewing, and Elevator Brewery. It is a great place to relax and unwind after work or with a group.

The Bar | Matt the Miller's Tavern Review

The thing I love most of all at this Grandview spot, however, is the Bavarian pretzel bites. They must be mentioned early in the post because they are so tasty! These nuggets fall under the appetizer category, but the size of each is so huge, they are more like rolls. They are served with a creamy garlic sauce and a sweet mustard, but I also like to dip them in the beer cheese soup!

Pretzel Bites and Beer Cheese Soup | Matt the Miller's Tavern Review

The flatbreads are satisfying too. Adventurous folks will adore the Ahi Tuna: creamy miso mousse topped with avocado, Asian slaw, tuna, and wasabi mayo. Combine the salad and entree courses with the Pear and Gorgonzola flatbread, consisting of creamy gorgonzola mousse, pears, smoked provolone, mixed baby greens, raspberry vinaigrette and crispy fried tarragon. If there’s greens on your pizza, you can pretend it’s healthy, right?

Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread

Main dishes are solid as well. I am a sucker for shrimp and grits, and this version is stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. Picture plump shrimp on grit cakes with traditional Tasso ham and spicy sauce – you’ll want to spoon it all up.  Burgers are a good choice, like the peppercorn burger, topped with brie, bacon, red onion marmalade, baby arugula, and tomato and ale mustard sauce. Caution: save room for dessert!  The Banana Bread Pudding is heavenly: cinnamon rolls, croissants and brioche bread with banana custard, served a la mode with whiskey caramel sauce.

Click Here to View My Grandview Pocket Guide

Stop in for their brunch buffet too! They have a huge assortment of options so you can pile your plate high. Items range from perfectly poached Eggs Benedict, flatbreads, salads, bacon, omelettes, and waffles. Don’t miss the Ultimate Bloody Mary Bar, where you can pick your mix, then vodka (try pepper or  original), and finally plop in favorites like pickles, celery, and even Slim Jims.

Culinary Clue: Stop in on Tuesdays, for the “2 for Tuesdays” special. Choose from the tavern burger or fish and chips paired with a craft beer or glass of wine for $12 and under.

This is the second review post for my Grandview culinary scene series. Sign up here to automatically be informed when new Grandview posts are released! To see my breakdown of the best Grandview spots for dining and shopping, check out the initial roundup post here.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

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Zauber Brewing Review

Zauber Brewing Review

Zauber Brewing
909 West Fifth Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
(614) 456-7074
http://zbeers.com/

Tap Room | Zauber Brewing ReviewTop Tastes:

1. Roggen Rye
2. Berzerker Belgian IPA
3. Zandy Shandy
4. Vertigo Hefeweizen
5. Columbus Cider

When you step into Zauber Brewing, you instantly know this is your next happy hour hangout. The warehouse-like space is both cozy and casual, filled with long picnic tables and industrial decor. Another great thing about Zauber is that it is located in Grandview, which happens to be a suburban craft beer mecca. (This is the first in a series of posts highlighting the food and drink scene in Grandview Heights. To learn more, click here)

Click Here to View My Grandview Pocket Guide

As I’ve mentioned before, Zauber’s hefeweizen offering, Vertigo, is one of my favorite beers for summertime sipping. This brew is light but full of banana and clove flavor, making for a drinking experience that is both interesting and approachable. Berzerker, a Belgian IPA, is a perfect combo of yeasty, hoppy, and fruity that anyone can love. My favorite of all is the Roggen, a roggenbier with delicate rye notes and a drinkable 5.5% ABV. When the season calls for it, sample the Märzen or the Oktoberfest styles, which don’t disappoint either. For happy hour, check out their $3.50 specials from 4-7 through the week. Or pop in on Mondays, when a liter (!) of Zauber beer is only $6 – this can be a problem, it’s such a good deal!

Vertigo | Zauber Brewing Review

Surprisingly enough for a brewery, Zauber’s cocktails are equally wonderful. Many are made with their beers, which is my own personal heaven. I loved the Zandy Shandy: Domaine de Canton (ginger liqueur), Ginger Beer, Lemonade, and a splash of Vertigo beer. Or try the Columbus Cider for fall in a glass: OYO Bourbon mixed with Mad Moon Cider, Nutmeg, Lemon Juice, Art in the Age Rhubarb Liqueur, Apple Bitters, and Simple Syrup. Ask for the Red Brigade for a fun take on a negroni, which combines Berzerker IPA, Campari, Sweet Vermouth, St. Germain, and Cherry.

Zandy Shandy | Zauber Brewing Review

No food is served at Zauber, but they have one of the most regular food truck schedules of any brewery, with the same trucks often in the same time slot every week. Or, get carryout from one of the other great local eateries and bring it to the new bier garden to munch while you drink. I’ve done this with Bar 145, AAB Indian, and Third and Hollywood, all of which went wonderfully with Zauber brews.

Zauber Logo | Zauber Brewing ReviewCulinary Clue: Are you a soccer fan? Zauber is your dream bar to watch matches! They have a large amount of TV’s that are almost always tuned to soccer coverage. There is also swag from different teams decorating the interior. Look on their facebook page for soccer-related events. Or, if you are a Clippers fan, fill up a glass at Huntington Park, which offers their suds too.

This is the inaugural review post for my Grandview culinary scene series. Sign up here to automatically be informed when new Grandview posts are released! To see my breakdown of the best Grandview spots for dining and shopping, check out the initial roundup post here.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Neighborhood Spotlight: Grandview Heights

Neighborhood Spotlight Grandview Heights

Peabody Papers | Neighborhood SpotlightOne of my favorite sections of Columbus is without a doubt Grandview Heights. This quiet neighborhood has beautiful homes to view, drool-worthy restaurants, and stellar shops to meet your every need. It seems as though every day a new spot is opening up here, making Grandview a neighborhood that just keeps evolving. If you are looking for a walkable place to explore, this friendly suburb needs to be on your bucket list! Below is a compilation of a few of my favorite places to visit in Grandview, but the list is by no means exhaustive. In fact, I am doing a whole neighborhood spotlight series on this town!  Sign up here and I’ll notify you as new Grandview-centric posts are released.

For Foodies:

Some of Columbus’ most beloved restaurants are located within Grandview Heights proper. Brunch at Third and Hollywood, where the garlicky biscuits and pimento cheese will keep you coming back for more. For casual pub fare, Matt the Miller’s Tavern is your best bet, or drop into DK Diner for delicious down-home meals and donuts. The Pear and Brie wood-fired pizza at Figlio is always a dish I crave, as is the peanut butter-banana sandwich from Krema Nut Third & Hollywood | Neighborhood Spotlight GrandviewCompany. Score tasty ethnic dishes like the tikka masala at AAB Indian Restaurant or the falafel at Mazah. If an upscale dining experience is what you seek, Spagio has an elegant atmosphere and amazing lobster bisque. For burgers and bourbon, try Bar 145. Don’t miss the festive German vibes at Hofbraühaus Columbus for pretzels and a huge beer garden. Local Cantina and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams both have noteworthy outposts here as well. Put Grandview on your list of dining destinations!

Click Here to View My Grandview Pocket Guide

For Shop-a-holics:

Spend an afternoon strolling around Grandview Avenue, browsing some great local stores. Start at the Candle Lab, where you can make a one-of-a-kind candle by picking out your own custom fragrance combinations. Scents range from classic (coconut, lavender) to quirky (bacon, wasabi) and every smell in between. Your candle will be ready for pick-up by the time you’re done The Candle Labshopping. Head over to Peabody Papers next, where you can choose from a wide range of paper products, including invitations, stationary, and gifts. They offer made-to-order monogrammed thank you cards as well, which I absolutely love. Then, proceed to The Oilerie, where you can sample olive oil and vinegar ’til your heart’s content. Purchase bottles of blueberry balsamic vinegar or cinnamon EVOO to inspire your home cooking. After you’re worn out from all that walking, head over to The Blowout Bar to pamper yourself. Pick up some Stauf’s coffee on the way to help you unwind while you get a relaxing scalp massage and a new ‘do. A blowout here ensures you will have perfect hair for days! During the summer, the last Saturday of the month brings the Grandview Hop, an open-air market on the streets, to snap up some funky art pieces or handmade wares. Fashionistas will adore the selections of dresses and tees at Thread, and the interesting metal jewelry at The Smithery. Cap off the evening with a cooking class at The Commissary!

Click Here to View My Grandview Pocket Guide

For Hop-Heads:

The craft beer scene in Columbus is thriving, but Grandview in particular has established itself as a beer mecca. There are so many breweries here that there is a whole alliance dedicated to promoting it! (See more here: http://grandviewcraftbeer.com/) Four String Brewing on 6th Avenue has an amazing happy hour in their taproom. Zauber Brewing, in my opinion, has some of the best beer offerings in town, coupled with a cozy, industrial bar and great cocktails.  Smokehouse Brewing hosts some awesome events, such as the Mini Real Ale Fest and the biannual Oysters and Stout pairings. Sideswipe Brewing and Knotty Pine Brewing are great recent Grandview additions to the Columbus craft beer scene as well. For growler fills in the area, and to grab a slice of some tasty Honeykiss Bakery pie, drop in to the Ohio Taproom. Maifest and Digfest are fun area festivals to listen to tunes and try some Grandview beers.

Zauber

Make a day trip to Grandview, and then come back again and again, to catch all of the destinations you missed on the first trip. Or to see many of the city’s food and beer hot spots, book a tour with Columbus Brew Adventures or Columbus Food Adventures; both groups have tours focused entirely on Grandview. To learn more about all of the great places to visit in Grandview, check out http://www.destinationgrandview.org/. Their site will give you even more ideas about what to do and see! This is a introductory post for my series on Grandview.  Sign up here and I’ll notify you as new Grandview-centric posts are released.

What are your favorite Grandview locales? Is there another neighborhood you’d like to see featured next? Let me know in the comments below.

Keep Connected,

Caroline

Grandview Series Guide

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