Tag Archives: Ohio


21 Nov

If happiness isn’t an entire Troyer’s pumpkin pie in front of me, then I don’t want to know what happiness is.  I spent my first 9 years in Wooster, OH just a few minutes away from what I consider to be the best pumpkin pie ever.  I’ve never tried my hand at making my own pumpkin pie because there didn’t seem to be much of a point when the Amish down the road had already made the best.  Sadly it’s a recipe probably as closely guarded as the Coca-Cola recipe so, there’s that.  I picked up 3 of them for my mom before coming home for the holidays — it took every ounce of my self-control to keep from sneaking a piece for a day and a half.  Since first posting this, as of last night my mother and I put away the 3 pies in 3 days.  Not too shabby.


16 Nov

Nona — Italian for ninth — is a modest enoteca/osteria/ristorante in Granville (home to our rival school, Denison University).  Located right on the “main drag” of the town, Nona offers a small portal back to Toscana with an Italian/English menu, the feel of an authentic Italian enoteca and a wine list that includes the famous Brunello di Montalcino and other DOCG wines.

The service was excellent and friendly, the atmosphere muted but warm and bustling and the food was life-saving.  To start my roommate ordered the vegetable soup which made her eyes roll back in her head and for me the braised fennel with blood orange vinegar infused onions.  Ummm ok so that all rocked pretty hard but then came our primi: for my roommate, the Sundried Tomato and Asiago Ravioli with Arugula pesto and Toasted Almond Butter and for me, the spinach and ricotta tortellini with ragu — TO DIE FOR.  All the pasta is done in-house so the freshness can’t really be beat.

For the dolci, we split a gorgeous flaky pastry nest of roasted apples and balsamic gelato.  Whatever, we basically had a roommate date but we had so much fun and you could not have slapped the grins off our face.  I think our waitress thought we were slightly insane because we gushed at every special she told us about but whatever.


13 Nov

I’ve visited the Great Lakes Brewing Co. two or three times and taken the tour each time in hopes that the next will be better than the last.  Alas, alak they insisted on being a full 15 minutes long.  Highlights included talking about the history of the place, looking at sealed bags of barley and malts and empty mashtuns, then popping out a quarter for a quarter sized sample of their most lack-luster beers.

great lakes

I’m confused and disappointed by this, the largest regional brewer in Ohio presenting such a downer.  Even Sam Adams in Jamaica Plain, Boston can put on a tour that shows you the difference between various hops and barley – taste, smell and feel them – then wind up the tour with communal and bountiful samples of multiple beers.  Why must the largest Ohio brewer be such a bummer?

New Haul

18 Oct

Got a new haul today from Grapes of Mirth at North Market where I was also picking up veal shanks from Bluescreek Farm Meats.  Very happy with my finds and the service at Grapes of Mirth.  The selection is starting to get slim for me so I’m looking for new spots since I’ve had almost everything there at this point.  Also, after a quick stop at home for fall break I ran up to the Beer Engine and grabbed some Viking’s Blod!!!  Gahhh, can’t wait to crack all these babies but for now it’s nose to the grindstone for school work and beer dinner fundraiser preparations.

yum yum

Pictured above from left to right:  Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw/Blue, New Holland Charkoota Rye, Fantome Pissenlit, Bell’s Java Stout and Bell’s Double Cream Stout.

The hilarious part about the Fantome is that this saison is brewed using diuretic dandelions found in the region: “The yellow flowers are removed and dried in the sun, then soaked in water for a few days. The thick, dark dandelion “tea” that results is the basis for the Pissenlit, which is made also from traditional barley malt and hops. It resembles a classic saison beer – golden spritzy brew, strong and very flavorful, with a good hop bite. You may have to strain to taste the dandelions, but you know they’re in there.

It should be noted that uncooked, the dandelion has a diuretic effect and is known in France as Pissenlit (literally, “wet the bed” – this also happens to be the British folk-name) for precisely this reason” (http://ratebeer.com/beer/fantome-pissenlit/10959/).

Dear Pork Belly,

27 Aug

How I love thee. You are smokey, tender, fatty, delicious.  You are lovely in a risotto which is the first way I had you.  You are also nice with a glassful of St. Bernardus 12.  You were cared for and prepared by the genius trio at Downtown 140.  Let’s be friends for always.  K thanks bye.


A Hoppy Pipper

Festival Fans

8 Aug

Let it be known that beer festivals and tastings are some of the most enjoyable social gatherings on the planet.  Today I spent a solid 2 hours at Stan Hywet Hall for a brew fest imbibing some of the best Ohio has to offer — and there is a lot.  I also met some great people, including the sales rep of Cavalier Distributing with whom I intend to start a hard cider journey, pairing his homebrewing knowledge with my ample supply of fresh cider and eagerness to learn.  I’ll keep this short: here’s a few pictures from the Stan Hywet Hall Blues&Brews Festival – never seen happier people on a rainy ass day.

welcome wagon

Gotta have a welcome wagon!

Thirsty Dog Van

Thirsty Dog Van equipped with all the goodies.

Main Street

Main Street never looked so good.

Hoppin' FrogHoppin’ Frog always brings the good stuff, and some interesting accoutrement such as a coffee filtering beer tube to give their Silk Porter a caffeine kick.

CornerStone Brewing Co.A big thank you to Jay for talking to me about his Cornerstone Brewing Co. — turns out blind faith can be a good thing.

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