Bodega; a rainy afternoon with a Russian

Bodega's Bar
Bodega's Bar

Today my friend Wes and I went to lunch at Bodega in the short north of Columbus. I’ve been hearing a ton of racket about this place, 50 different beers on tap, tons of imports and local brews, so obviously the best time to go was in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday. Did I mention it was raining?, I want to really set the mood here.

I walk in to the obviously well decorated short north locale, with fun contemporary lighting and a nice bar, sit down with Wes and demand exactly what I wanted “Give me an excellent imperial stout”.

I don’t know if it’s because I spent more time at Jackie O’s in Athens, Ohio (one of the best bars, ever.) then I did in my actual college classes, but something about Imperial Stouts gives me a sense of being. Dark, creamy, nitrate based…the word Russian? Ok i’m none of these things, however the experience of drinking a smooth, dark and thick awesome draft stout, makes me miss the black footed, bluegrass totin’ folk of Athens, Ohio. My Alma Mater- Ohio University.

I ordered a 9% North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout- perfect.

Russian Imperial Stout, MmMmmmm
Russian Imperial Stout, MmMmmmm

We went on to order food that was very good, but clearly an afterthought. You would think a place called Bodega wouldn’t be serving Panini’s and specialty pizza’s and cheese plates. However that just shows a little bit of my ignorance, Bodega’s are usually grocery store like businesses, so maybe they should have corndogs and slurpies. I’m kidding!

Grilled Cheese
Grilled Cheese
I ordered a small baby green salad of prosciutto and figs and was not disappointed. Wes ordered a grilled cheese and a Smithwick’s. The grilled cheese was decent but a little dry. My salad was fantastic. They also had a small plate of Tandoori Chicken that was dry but the spice was delicious.
Fig and Prosciutto Salad
Fig and Prosciutto Salad

They had a pretty good wine selection, a collection of liquor, but clearly the emphasis here is not wine, food or cocktails, but beer. Good old fashioned beer. Some local, some foreign, but very well selected. Speaking to our bartender, he told us that most of the business is done after 5. The food should not be disregarded, both of us left satisfied and happy with what we had eaten and our bill. The food is really affordable.
Clean Cup Club
Clean Cup Club

Outdoor seating is available, the place is very comfortable and clean. The waitstaff is friendly and helpful. My overall experience was a very good one and I can’t wait to go back to try some more of their fabulous beer list. They change the draft menu about three times a week so there is always something new to experience.

Columbus Clipper’s join Columbus Breweries? A What-If

After reading an article in the NY Times discussing the appalling fact that the Met’s stadium carries Brooklyn Brewery beers and the closest thing the new Yankee’s stadium carries is Stella Artois. Apparently you practically have to suck someone off to get a Guinness at the new Yankee stadium. So as the little wheels in my head start to turn as they often do I began thinking, Columbus+New Stadium+ Emphasis on Community= Local Marketing Aspect at Hunington Stadium?
columbus_clippers-1
Think of all the wonderful opportunities this could create! What if you could have Jeni’s Ice Cream and a locally brewed Russian Imperial stout? What if you could get your own personal Columbus Clipper’s take home beer growler?! Maybe a little snick snack from your favorite North Market stand? The options here are endless.

A little touch of community, why not? The tickets are cheap, so spend a little extra on beer and food!

I’m about to twitter the marketing department over there and ask for a job.

Support local farmers, support local business, support Columbus and that will help ease the burden of the economy while continuing to put our name on the map. That and I really want a Columbus Clipper’s beer growler.

Ohio Deli

Half of the Notorious Dagwood
Half of the Notorious Dagwood

After seeing Travel Channel’s Man vs. Food Columbus, Ohio, I had to try this ridiculous behemoth of a sandwich. When you pick this thing up, it weighs a ton, (2 1/2 lbs is close to a ton), it is also completely impossible to bite into. The novelty of this thing is that it is absolutely huge and perfect for gorging on some cold cuts or to satisfying emotional eating. As fun as getting this massive sandwich was, I only ate six bites, prayed for forgiveness and called it a day. When I left I couldn’t help but look over my shoulder and make sure that guy from the movie Seven wasn’t going to make me eat until I died.

The record for eating one is 5 1/2 minutes. Yeah, that’s it. I couldn’t eat this in two days, but a family of six might be able to finish it in 30 minutes or less, mmm gluttony and gastrointestinal discomfort is the price you pay for a free Dagwood. Did I mention you get a really cute T-Shirt too?!

The one thing that does bother me about Ohio Deli is that it is dirty, i.e. the menus stick to the table. The staff there is pretty intolerable too. I have gone there a few times with my boyfriend Brian and we always leave ripping out our hair. I will allow the waitstaff one warm fuzzy, they all look like they are hairdressers. For a place with so much recent media hype that has probably tripled it’s profits since the Man vs. Food airing, an investment in the overall experience might be a good idea.

The rest of the menu contains a lot of different sandwiches and most of them are relatively good, Ohio Deli’s french fries are pretty slammin too. If you find yourself on the south side of town with a taste for victory and a couple pounds of deli meat, check it out.

Ohio Deli
3444 South High St
Columbus OH, 43137

Sick Piglets

Pigapusses

Good news according to the center for disease control:

“Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit kills the swine flu virus as it does other bacteria and viruses.” — Key Facts About Swine Influenza (Swine Flu), CDC

Being that it is national tell a story day (i’m not making this up) i’m telling you that it is ok to eat pork, end of story.

Well i’m declaring today national eat bacon day, because what else is more innappropriate during a swine flu epidemic?

Let’s Celebrate! Drinking highly recommended. You really need carbonation from a beer to wash down all that grease.


Frankfurters!

I don’t know what this is made of, but Sandra Lee would just die of awe if she saw this on a table scape, therefore honorable mention to pork hotdogs.

Franks!
Franks!

http://www.candyboots.com for more beautifully inspired weight watchers recipe cards

A BA-K-47 an A-K-47 made of bacon…. I love this..

Bacon Gun, shoot your arteries out
Bacon Gun, shoot your arteries out

Thank you


One of the coolest and actual recipe bacon inspired creations, the bacone

From Bac’N

They actually have a bacon camp..mmm, now there’s a camp I would not send my fat kids to, if I had a fat kid, or kids at all.

from http://blog.bacn.com/
from http://blog.bacn.com/

There is country gravy inside, and that on top there? Thats a biscuit, up your ass Paula Dean, up your ass.
The recipe for the little bacones are at the website.

Boston Bacon Eating Competition, these people are serious

Chicken Fried Bacon!

Enjoy The Holiday! If you didn’t get SARS you are not likely to get swine flu either. Just some more panicky white people action.

The Lost Shepherd: Baaahahaha! That’s some good shit.

Lost Shepherd Tavern
Lost Shepherd Tavern
The Lost Shepherd in Powell, Ohio is seriously awesome.
Where do I start?
1. It’s in my neighborhood
2. It has a great bar with wonderful beer (see #1)
3. The food is great
4. The menu is well thought out and has an emphasis on organic products and quality ingredients
5. The food is AFFORDABLE!

In the land of milk and honey and boob jobs and housing developments known as Powell, Ohio, a star has been born. Not like Miley Cyrus, but this restaurant is incredible. I don’t know who this Chris Newton guy is, but he’s pretty awesome. Self described as “part tavern, part upscale restaurant”, the Lost Shepherd combines my two favorite things, classy well-made food, and a lot of dark n’ tasty beer. Plates range between $8-$18.

The Portobello Pizza, made with boursin cheese and roasted red peppers, has a surprisingly mild flavor. When considering a flavor combination of portobellos and red peppers I would usually think a more bold cheese selection like feta or gorgonzola, but the boursin gives it a smoothness only to be compared to the Fonz or John Stamos.

They even use pink pepper on their menu for christ’s sake! I haven’t seen pink pepper anywhere except for the fantasy food world of the internet. Pink pepper scallops grilled on lemon rounds….um? wow.

To elaborate on my interests in their beer selection, they carry a lot of Great Lakes brewery beers, which is always nice to see. Eliot Ness…need I say more?
Here is a partial beer list from http://www.thelostshepherd.com
(affiliated numbers are prices)

Draft
Great Lakes- Burning River 4.
Saint Bernardus 6.
Murphy’s Irish Red 4.
Dogfish- 60 Min IPA 5.
Sam Adams- Seasonal 4.
Stella Artois 5.
Guinness 5.
Harp 4.5
Bells- 2
Hearted Ale 5.
Blue Moon 4.5
Smithwicks 5.
Miller Lite 3.

U.S. Micro Brew
Anchor Steam 4.
Sam Adams 4.
Sam Adams-Light 4.
Great Lakes- Eliot Ness 4.
Great Lakes- Porter 4.
Wild Blue- Blueberry Lager 4.
Shiner Bock 4.
Sierra Nevada- Pale Ale 4.
Stone- Pale Ale 5.
Stone- IPA 5.

Check out the website for a full menu, hours and location. I would highly suggest making a trip!
345 West Olentangy St. Powell, Ohio 43065
http://www.thelostshepherd.com

Jicama and Fruit Salad; Curiousity Rewarded

Jicama, Jicama the magical fruit...
Jicama, Jicama the magical fruit...
Thanks to StumbleUpon toolbar, I have not only vastly expanded my interest and awareness of the world but have also lost a lot of productivity, time and friends. Regardless of it’s toxic abilities it did lead me to discover something incredibly interesting; Jicama. Jicama is like a potato, starchy hard to cut, with a lighter texture. I decided “hmm, this sounds foreign, I should make something with it” and thus the experiment commenced.

I make dinner for my family quite often, they are usually pretty pleased with my ability to create interesting concoctions. This one however was an absolute treat.

Kiwi
Kiwi

The jicama’s starchy flavor seems like it would be off-putting in most fruit salads, considering the taste and the texture. But what the jicama does create is an incredible crunch. It also absorbs flavors quite well. In fruit salad it works really well to absorb lemon and lime flavors. To make it even more exotic and interesting I added some grated jalapeno and coconut.

So I created this monster and now that i’m thinking about it, I wish I had some right now.

I’m not real big on specifics- quantity and amounts are up to you as far as fruit goes, but like music, cooking is a creation to your own tastes and rhythms so please don’t hesitate to “play a cover”.

Jicama Fruit Salad

serves four

2 Kiwi
1 Lg mango
2 Bananas
1 Qt Strawberries
1 Qt Raspberries
1 Qt Blueberries
2 Oranges Peeled
1/4 julienne Jicama
3 tbsp Lemon juice
3 tbsp Lime juice
1/2 cup honey
grated fresh ginger
Sprinkle of Coconut flakes to taste
1/2 tsp grated jalapeno

Cut up as desired bigger or smaller pieces to fit your tastes. I would let this chill in the fridge for a couple hours before serving. The flavors really blend together. The jalapeno provides heat- and it’s awesome but not the spice you would think. I was really hesitant to add it also. This is also INCREDIBLE blended and frozen. A great summer side.

How I Learned to Cook

Book Review:

Img file from Amazon.com
Img file from Amazon.com

How I learned to cook

As I embarked on my quest to find my true passion for cooking, I, being the nerd I am, did some research. I was looking for mentors, for people to inspire me in my journey to the culinary field. I found this book through the library search engine and I have to say it is one of the most incredible collections of essays I’ve read in quite some time. It contains several essays from incredible chefs all over the world, from Anthony Bourdain to Tom Colicchio to Mario Batalli. Living and working in places all over the world, in Italy, France, and Spain. These stories are not for the faint of heart to say the least. The culinary world is full of freaks and mistakes and hard lessons to learn. Some of the stories are quotable, some memorable and some absolutely inspiring. Most of these culinary deities fell in to cooking, as destiny would have it, however, most of these stories are more appalling then inspirational. I would highly suggest this as a great summer by the pool read. 40 Chefs, 40 stories and one sunny afternoon with a water bottle full of crystal light and vodka sounds like a good afternoon to me.