As the cliche goes, sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder, and sometimes returning somewhere makes you appreciate it even more. I enjoy living in Columbus. I love my neighborhood and being able to walk to countless great restaurants and bars in the Short North, Goodale park, the North Market and downtown. I like the ease, the convenience and that there is enough variety, without overwhelming choice. There are obviously some stand-out places and you can hear about some of these in the latest Columbus Foodcast – how to eat your way through 48 hours in Columbus. Brainstorming with the other contributors made me appreciate Columbus. As you can tell, there are way more places than you can fit into 48 hours, (even for someone with the appetite of CMH Gourmand) but hopefully it will inspire Columbus residents to try somewhere new in 2009 and entice some others to come and visit us!
One of the places that was at the top of my list to try in 2009 was Kihachi, a Japanese restaurant that is acclaimed as the best in Columbus but is hidden out in the burbs. I went last week as a belated birthday treat and it really was a treat. It is certainly not your average sushi bar and the food and presentation are exquisite. The sushi was superlative and my other favorite dish was the blazed eel. As well as the excellent food, the patience of our server as she translated all of the specials (written in Japanese) was wonderful, as was her enthusiasm as she waxed lyrical about the persimmon that had been soaking in sake for a week. Of course we had to try it.
One of the things that I am really appreciating about Columbus at the moment is the fact that I can buy local Ohio foods even in January. It is easy in the summer to buy local foods when there is abundant local produce but in the winter it is much more harder to find local foods, and more exciting when you do. Luckily the Greener Grocer makes finding local foods much easier. Over the last couple of weeks, I have noticed the following local Ohio foods: carnival squash (Northridge Farm), potatoes (Wayward Seed), apples (Eschleman Fruit Farm), sprouts (Sunsprout farm) mushrooms & greens (Green Edge), maple syrup (Bonhomie Acres), honey (Honey Run Farm), milk & cream (Snowville Creamery) and eggs (Two Silos) as well as wheat flour, spelt flour and corn meal from the Flying J Farm.
This is in addition to being able to buy freshly baked artisan breads from Omega at the North Market or Eleni Christina at Tasi, as well as Jeni’s splendid ice creams, proudly made in Columbus. As well as countless restaurants and a few food shops I want to try or revisit, something else on my list for 2009 is to visit the Krema nut factory, where they have been making peanut butter since 1898. Anyone else want to come?
Yesterday I attended a Slow Food Columbus planning meeting and heard the wealth of ideas people have for Slow Food events in 2009. It is exciting that Columbus has such a dynamic food culture and I am excited for the culinary delights and discoveries that 2009 holds in store.
Lunch today: Leek, Potato and thyme frittata made with Green Mountain russet potatoes from Wayward Seed and Two Silos eggs both purchased at the Greener Grocer. The thyme was frozen from my summer herb bonanza. Recipe from Peter Berley’s Fresh Food Fast, which continues to be one of my favorite cookbooks. This is one of the best frittatas I have made to date (and you may have noticed I make them quite a lot!) – Leek and Potato is a winning combination, not just in soups!
January 19, 2009
Great post, enjoy your blog a lot. We are so lucky to live in a city with a thriving food culture. The difference from when I moved here a dozen years ago is remarkable. I’m glad to see people taking pride in living in Columbus, rather than making self-depricating excuses for it. It’s about time. Our city has a fabulous creative culture and we’re lucky to be here at a time when we can help form that culture.
Your notes on Kihachi make me drool…am counting down the end of my pregnancy so that I can go enjoy it in all it’s raw goodness. Keep up the good work.
January 23, 2009
I’d love to visit the Krema nut factory – I was eating some of their peanut butter the other day, thinking how nice it was to eat un-recalled food.
There’s a new marmite lover in my house… one of my cats assaulted my toast this afternoon, and seemed to be especially interested in the marmite-covered bits!
January 28, 2009
Hungry Woolf: What is a Marmite Soldier (you had it with your egg)? Also, when is the Krema tour? I am ready! YUM! Grateful not to be one of the peanut-allergic of this world!
February 2, 2009
Yes, yes, yes! I have been meaning to visit this Krema place since I first saw their sign on Goodale! Slow Food field trip by chance?