Friday, 28 February 2014

Restaurant Review: Flip Side (Easton location)

Flip Side on Urbanspoon

It's been nearly a year since the doors of Ohio-based Flip Side opened in Columbus. And as it turns out, quite a bit has happened since then. The second of three locations (the third being in Chagrin Falls which opened earlier this season), Flip Side was originally established in Hudson, OH, in 2011, along with neighbouring One Red Door. And come summertime, a location in Cleveland's Flats will complete the currently planned chain of gourmet burger sites. All of these spots are co-owned by central Ohio-raised Michael Schwartz, and long-time Hudson area restauranteurs Chef Shawn and Tiffany Monday, Flip Side of which hopes "to stand out from its 'better burger' competitors by having a 'chef-driven menu but with a middle-market price.'" Well, after watching Pompeii this past Sunday and failing to check out Flip Side despite the number of times I've been at Easton Town Center, I went with Brianne to finally get a taste of their culinary offerings. The final verdict, for those who want to bypass the description and just check out the photos: in this blogger's humble opinion, Flip Side is an area transplant worthy of being considered an accessible mecca for both foodies and non-foodies alike.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Bringing Change to a Familiar Space: The Edit Room

Last week, I attended my first OEFFA conference, held annually at Granville High School and now in its 35th iteration. I went as an exhibitor, sitting at the Slow Food Columbus table and chatting with folks not only about the Slow Food movement and the work we're doing locally, but also about Columbus's diverse, growing food scene. In retrospect, it's the confluence of these types of lived experiences and dedication to the local, regional, and national food scenes that makes being a part of (and researching) Columbus so much fun. It's not all that often I get to catch up with Denison and Granville folks, let alone meet owners and producers of companies that I've known by association (e.g., Shagbark and Kombu-tea), as well as Facebook and blog followers I never knew I had (e.g., Local Food Coordinator Jeff Givens of Sanfillipo Produce). Among those I saw at the conference were Erin Harvey of The Kale Yard and The Going Green Store (who co-presented at one our Food and Culture Colloquium events) and Bryn Bird of Bird's Havens Farms, both of whom invited me to a "Cocktails and Community" happy hour hosted by the Licking County Local Foods Council. (As some context, I had been a part of the early stages of their work during my last year at Denison.) The site of the happy hour, and the principal focus of this post, was in a place which houses a catering business known as The Edit Room.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Dedicated to "Magic Bread"

Da Levee on Urbanspoon

Five words, punctuated with purpose: Magic. Bread. Oh.My.Yum. For those of you who either know me or my food blogging rather well know that the sound of hearing (let alone seeing) the illustrious Magic Bread prepared by Chef Justin Boehme and DaCroux of one of my most blogged about restaurants, Da Levee, makes my mouth water. Hands down, it is the reason (alongside the amazing atmosphere, friendly staff, and of course deliciously well-priced and consistently tasty Cajun food outside of Louisana) I continue to return to this small Short North restaurant packed with flavour, which has more recently been subtitled by "Roux Stews Brews." My self-professed (and perhaps overtly evident) love for Magic Bread (pfft, or all bread for that matter) is the impetus for this post, a post which I have been planning to write for the past many months. Indeed, my initial draft of what should have been this post--my dedication to Magic Bread in so many words--was based on my visit to Da Levee on National Food Day and the 68th birthday of the United Nations. A slightly edited (tense, word choice, general flow, etc.) form of those notes is embedded in this post. Complementing that experience are my general reflections and comments on Da Levee's offerings I've enjoyed (be prepared for a longer post) since that chilly autumn day, including Super Bowl fixings and today's trek for my favourite thing on the menu (next to Magic Bread): cheesy craw étouffée.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

'CityScene Magazine' Release Party @the Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill

Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill on Urbanspoon

Continued wintry greetings, fellow foodie friends! For those among you who have not yet heard (or rather, read), I was contacted last November by CityScene Magazine Community Editor Lisa Aurand regarding a story she was working on about food bloggers. As it turned out, she had learned of my blog via Urbanspoon and wanted to interview me. I naturally jumped at the opportunity to share my story, and the motivations and development of Learning through Food. And last month, her finished article--also featuring the local bloggers of The Breakfast Grub Guy and the Leptologists at Lunch--was published online and in print form. A few weeks later, I was contacted by CityScene Editor Garth Bishop inviting me to their January/February issue release party. Of course, I couldn't pass up that opportunity, and with Brianne joining me (prior to watching Frozen again...for the fourth time), the journey brought us to Grandview's Buckeye Hall of Fame Grill where I also couldn't help bring out my camera and snap some shots for another restaurant review.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Encore! Restaurant Week Round 2, and My Return to The Refectory

The Refectory Restaurant and Bistro on Urbanspoon

A few days ago, I posted a review of my first experience at Basil, as part of the January 2014 iteration of Columbus's Restaurant Week. 70 restaurants participated this time around, and with that many choices and delictable menus, there is in theory a limit to just how far our time, wallets, and stomachs can stretch. Cue then RW encores, whereby restaurants elect to carry on the same (or at least a similar) prix fixe menu for dinners to experience. Last Monday, Brianne asked if I'd be interested in spending $35 on a meal, and upon hearing those words I knew exactly what she was implying. I had practically drooled over the menu proposed by Orsi- and Bocuse-trained Chef Richard Blondin the first time around, and so I was more than ecstatic at the thought of not missing it altogether. With each passing day then, we approached my return visit (Brianne's first) to The Refectory Restaurant & Bistro (located at 1092 Bethel).