I spent a lot of time in previous blogs detailing food in cities along the west coast. After I returned home, it occurred to me that I’ve never highlighted the food city in my back yard–Columbus, Ohio. But where to start? I could tell you about Cameron Mitchell, a self-taught chef turned entrepreneur who flipped the town upside down and singlehandedly started the high-end restaurant craze with his mix of well-thought-out concept restaurants. Or perhaps I should spend some time at the North Market, downtown Columbus’s mish-mash of artisanal foods. Hmm, where to begin? I know, how about here:
Okay, this has nothing to do with food. (Well, almost nothing. It is across the street from my favorite cupcake bakery in the entire world, The Pink Moon.I’ll feature them in another post some other time, perhaps.) I threw this in to start the blog because it’s where we started our day and because it’s free. After surviving on one salary for most of my married life, I have come to appreciate free things. Especially free things that are awesome. This particular gem is in Powell, Ohio, home of the Columbus Zoo. (Yes, the Columbus Zoo is as good as you’ve always heard and worth a visit from anywhere.) Moving on.
I think we can all agree that the best part of any fair/festival/carnival is the food. (Unless you’re in love with a carnie and the fair is the one time a year you get to see him. In that case, may I suggest a little thing called a background check? You’re welcome.) What if there was a place where all the best food from the carnival came together? A magical Nirvana of grilled onions, tater tots, and melty cheese.
Did you know Columbus has food trucks? No? Well, Columbus has food trucks. Today we attended an annual event that features said trucks and carts along with some local crafters and musicians.
The hardest part of this concept is the torturous indecision of where to eat. Finally I picked the longest line and ended up with a Philly pita.
My husband chose a burger with fried egg and smooshed tater tots.
Finally, no foodie sojourn is complete in Columbus without stopping here.
You can’t talk food and Columbus without mentioning Jeni’s, mostly because it has become a national phenomenon, receiving recognition from celebrities and critics alike. I’m the first to admit that Jeni’s is expensive. In her defense, have you priced heavy cream lately? How about heavy cream from a local dairy that only feeds their cows grass? Because that’s what Jeni uses, along with a bevy of other local and top-quality ingredients. This is my dark chocolate and brown butter almond brittle waffle cone. It was 6.50. (Next to it is my husband’s White House cherry cone.)
Is it worth it? A simple yes or no won’t do. Every day? No. Every week? Maybe. Once a year as we go? Definitely. This is the best dark chocolate ice cream I’ve ever tasted, and you know I’ve tasted a lot.
Traveling the country was a wonderful experience I hope to repeat someday. In the meantime, I’m heartened by the knowledge that there are treasures to be found in my own back yard.