Sunday, August 31, 2008

the world tastes good cause the candyman thinks it should

my final stop in chillicothe had to be lloyd's sweet shoppe. i'd been eyeing it since my arrival, and i can tell you, it did not disappoint.

i had the immense pleasure of speaking to beth todaro. her and her husband jim bought lloyd's around last christmas and have been building on the candy purveyor's history ever since.

one of their additions, besides the historic photos of water street when it was a canal, is the sale of local chocolatier ranny and maude's confectionery concoctions. she (i think her name is lisa) is a prodigious chocolate dipper and uses her skills to create everything from chocolate covered brownies, twinkies, and pretzels to truffles.pictured here is a hazelnut truffle (center); two chocolate covered cherries with fondant, stem and all; chocolate covered graham cracker; chocolate covered caramel pretzel; and the owner's recommended favorite, the toffee pretzel sticks. particularly impressive is that mass to the left of the photo, an opus known as the wooly bear. it's basically rocky road on a stick - marshmellows, caramel, nuts, chocolate - you get the idea.

another staple at lloyd's is a myriad of chocolates by waggoner, out of canton, ohio. waggoner chocolates is operated by the family of the late harry london. their portfolio of delicious decadence includes dark raspberry or orange creams, white key lime chocolates, buckeyes, and chocolate covered peanut butter sandwich cookies. pictured below are a few of my purchases.

lloyd's also has chocolate covered potato chips, a wide variety of sugar free chocolates from asher's chocolates, and a whole counter of 'penny candies' by the pound. i bought some gummy vampire teeth.

besides all these incredible offerings, lloyd's participates in the gallery walks on the second saturday of every month by displaying a local artist's work. in speaking with the owner, beth, she was enthusiastic and creative, full of ideas to promote lloyd's and the community in chillicothe, including horse drawn carriage rides and lloyd's mini melts ice cream cart on the sidewalk on hot afternoons. lloyd's really is a gem.

the best part? they ship. just check out their website for contact information.

new system

i would like to introduce my new favorite donut in the universe: the bismarck.i'm usually pretty noncommittal about donuts, since i never feel like anything lives up to the idolized pastries of my childhood from this fantastic bakery that closed. but the bismarck, from the new system bakery in chillicothe, is marvelous. the dough and cream create this ying and yang of sweetness and butter, a perfect balance for a breakfast delicacy. it's a grown up donut; i don't think it's sweet enough for a kid's refined palate. and on fridays, they make chocolate bismarcks, with chocolate dough and chocolate icing on top. those didn't last long enough to get photographed.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

the final week in chillicothe

i have to admit something, something that may revoke my status as a foodie wannabe. one night for dinner this week i ate at the golden corral. brian didn't believe it, so he asked for photographic evidence.that drink isn't actually mine. it's in the picture simply because it says 'golden corral' on the cup. and that is my plate of three desserts, including banana pudding. pharmacy resident matt insists the best chefs in chillicothe work at the golden corral. the mashed potatoes were pretty good.

aside from the golden corral, we also noshed on the local legend, jerry's pizza. located by the mead paper mill (which gives chillicothe a lovely smell on stifling summer mornings) and serving up thin crust pizza and a bevy of fried foods, jerry's is your typical dive. the type of place where you can't tell what time of day it is because it's always dark inside - full of ambiance.

they have tubes of beer with taps for your table. there's a baseball, bowling ball, etc. we opted for the racing themed table keg, filled with amberbock. it hit the spot after a hard day on the psych ward. while regular pilsner glasses are used for the draft beer, bottled beer is served with tiny glasses like my grandmother used to drink orange juice out of every morning.

so we started off with what we came for - the pizza. it's got thin crust and is light on the cheese, a blend rumored to include swiss. it was pretty good, a little mushy in the middle. although i don't know if it lived up to all the hype. great bar food, though, sliced in strips so it was easy to eat with one hand while holding a beer in the other.
after we finished the pizza, our curiosity was piqued by several other menu items, including the fried mac and cheese and the potato munchers. a few minutes of greasy gurgling from the fryer and this basket appeared at our table.

i have the distinct impression that if anything sits still for long enough in chillicothe, it ends up in the fryer. it's really pretty admirable. i am beginning to suspect that morning stench may be discarded fryer grease. but i digress. the potato munchers turned out to be mashed potatoes, cheese, and jalapenos fried up and served with ranch for dipping. both these and the mac and cheese were pretty amazing. as fried foods tend to be.

stuffed (of course), we paid our ridiculously small bill. the service was great at jerry's; very friendly and very patient. the social workers with me, liz and amanda, live in chillicothe and said they would make jerry's part of their regular rotation.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

here we go again

yes its true. i was given a cheese making kit from Lehmans. the 30 minutes mozzarella and ricotta kit was actually what i had received (not the hard cheese making kit as pictured above).

here is what the website says;

Mozzarella Cheese Kit - For authentic-tasting Italian recipes like pizza and lasagna. Includes ingredients to make Ricotta cheese. Takes 30 minutes using any kind of milk (use skim for low fat). Includes recipes booklet, cheesecloth, vegetable rennet, thermometer, citric acid, flake salt. Makes up to 15 lb.

seeing that when we tried to make cheese this summer it took days and certainly did not produce 15 lbs of cheese, this should be quite interesting. reading through the directions to appears to be similar to what we had followed except only 30 minutes.

needless to say, updates to follow.

Monday, August 25, 2008

everyone else is doing it, why shouldn't we?

i've seen this a number of places, so here is my omnivore's hundred:

Here are his rules for the game:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (tomato, pomegranate)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini LOVE THEM
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

hmm. i have some eating to do. and i guess there isn't anything i wouldn't try once...although i'm still debating on the roadkill.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

top 5 favorite patios to while away hours drinking and eating

these are in no particular order, because how could i choose? it depends on my mood and company.

- gajah wong. we've discussed how the food is hit or miss, but their cocktails are good and cold and their patio is like being in a fantastic eastern fairy tale. i love the stone statues and all the lights in the trees.

- mecklenburg gardens. my grandparents had their wedding reception here way back in the day and i don't think the bier garden has lost it's charm. i graduated to here from christy's when i became aware of how much older i was than everyone else at the bar.

- cabana on the river. sure, they have neon palm trees, but spending a hot summer night down by the river never hurt anyone. the menu is regular bar food. my favorite appetizer is this bread with cheese and olives...i can't remember the name right now. and if you're from the westside, on any given night you are bound to run into your cousin, your mom's best friend from high school, and a dreaded ex-boyfriend.

- honey. it's just so cute. and the food is good.

- arthur's. the old standby.

movin' to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches

hollmeyer orchards, located deep in the westside on fiddlers green, has some absolutely phenomenal peaches. we always used to go down there when i was a kid, but we hadn't been in years until yesterday. we picked up some peaches, pears and apples (the really crisp, tart kind). they also had tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, honey, and jams. from what i remember, they also will have some delicious apple butter coming up here in the next couple months. in the spring they have asparagus. my family has always felt, though, that the peaches are the real reason to visit hollmeyer. firm, juicy and sweet, with not too much fuzz. i haven't tried the ones we bought yet, because they are not quite ripe.
does anyone have any favorite recipe for peaches (or pears or apples, for that matter) that you're willing to divulge? i would hate to not be able to eat them all and to see them go to waste.
fun fact about peaches: the peach was a sign of immortality to the ancient chinese. giving it as a gift was a sign of friendship. so make sure you share.
if you are going to go to hollmeyer, go soon. they only have peaches for another two weeks.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

that's sumburger!

this week in chillicothe, i visited the hopewell culture national historic park, which contains reconstructions and one original burial mound of the hopewell indians. most of the original mounds were destroyed when camp sherman was built. it is an interesting little park, hidden by trees and nestled among correctional institutions. very peaceful.

my other historic visit was to sumburger, a drive-in operational since 1953. we opted to eat inside rather than do the drive-in thing. civics are not well equipped for supporting trays and establishing a comfortable eating environment. plus, they don't rollerskate anymore because of the liability, so it's not quite as much fun.

the very unique thing about sumburger is that inside, you use the phone at the table to order. it's a strange situation to be sitting in a booth and calling the kitchen.

they have a variety of sandwiches, but of course, i was there for the sumburger. available are a double sumburger, regular, and a junior. as a platter, there are two choices of sides, which are mostly the standard cole slaw, fries, etc, but they also offer fried mushrooms with a side of ranch dressing. i opted for the regular sumburger with fries and mushrooms. i also ordered a root beer, which is unusual for me because i rarely drink pop. this root beer turned out to be extra fabulous however, because it had the ice that's shaped like little cylinders with ridges, you know, that looks like it's been pushed out of a pasta maker? those tiny cans of coldness are the perfect complement to fountain drinks; they keep the pop really cold and make a satisfying swoshing crunch when i pump my straw up and down. the food arrived and the portions were huge. see that mountain of mushrooms in the photo? that's the amount considered a SIDE. stacy, who was eating with me and is from chilli, commented that all the meals are huge around there. apparently, when the olive garden opened in town, people complained that the portions were too small. the sumburger special sauce is somewhere between tartar sauce and thousand island dressing. it's kind of sweet. actually, the burger reminded me a lot of a big boy, only with a bun disproportionately larger than the beef. it was good though. i would rate it a 4 on the burger rating scale. it gets major points for the unique atmosphere.

even though i was way stuffed, i had to try a piece of the strawberry pie with whipped cream. dessert goes to a different place, afterall. the pie had delicious whole strawberries, but i would have to say the filling was a little too sweet for me. i just couldn't finish.

Sumburger Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

point of discussion

a friend of mine who travels to new york frequently on business commented that jean-robert's restaurants (pigall's in particular) were over-priced, shoddy imitations of similar food in ny (i'm completely paraphrasing). she thinks it's because restaurants believe cincinnatians don't know any better. i became unreasonably incensed by this, and i really hope it is not the case. i realize we don't necessarily have the diversity of offerings that ny provides, but i hope that we are also not enjoying poor imitations.


Monday, August 18, 2008

better late than never, right?????

So a few weeks (err many weeks) ago i had the pleasure of attending a rehearsal dinner hosted at the Art of Entertaining in O'Bryonville. Its located next door to Chateau Pomije Wine Store & Bar. I can't say enough wonderful things about this place. We were the first of the party to arrive, which is always a bit socially awkward. We were greeted at the door by Julie one of the owners. She showed us around the store and into the kitchen area, after serving us a beverage. When entering the building you enter in the store front area, where tons of wonderful dinnerware and other serving needs are shown. This is a place to find unique serve ware. Once arriving in the kitchen we were greeted by Chef Jacob who was taking asparagus in puff pastry out of the oven. One of the most delightful people i have met in a long time. Not only is he great at what he does, cooking and teaching, but he is wonderful and easy to talk too. The kitchen area had several large tables for eating and socializing and a large counter area where you can watch the food preparation take place. In this case you had the opportunity to determine your level of involvement. If you know me at all you can naturally assume that i was pestering Jacob with 1000's of questions.

The menu of the night included --

asparagus wrapped in puff pastry -- simple and delicious -- i was the first to try, but that's the perk of being the first to arrive
caponata bruschetta -- equally as tasty and prepare
grilled fresh mozzarella and bread skewers with tomatoes, red onion and pesto vinaigrette

green salad with manchego, apples and caramelized walnuts
- or-
pacific rim ceasar salad -- i did not try this salad but seemed to be a favorite amoung the crowd


chicken sates with red curry peanut dipping sauce

coffee rubbed new york steak -- this is one of those steaks where they don't cook to order but you have no complaints either. i'm pretty particular about how i like my steaks and i no one else did either.

side dishes;
baby vegetables in a balsamic glaze
crunchy roasted rosemary potatoes


ok anyone who knows me knows that i don't really prefer dessert as i would often prefer to have another drink instead. in this case i happened to have several desserts. yes i had two of the chocolate kona coffee mousse. i then preceeded to have the mixed berry, white chocolate and lemon cream trifle once. making the grand total 3 desserts. drinks -- i'm not quite sure.

Everything flowed very naturally and smoothly. Julie introduced the place under the concept of the "mi casa es su casa" and made all guests feel welcome. Each dish was introduced as it was being served. Everything was displayed on several different buffets and guests were welcome to taste as they felt approrpiate. At the end of the evening each guest was given a booklet with receipes on each item we had at dinner this evening. I have to admit I have not tried to replicate any of them, but as i read through it again as i FINALLY finish this post, they all seem to be fairly to make. That evening was one of the more unique dining experiences I have ever had and consider it a pleasure to have met the staff at the art of entertaining

Sunday, August 17, 2008

new feature

beth and i are both big fans of john cusack and (most) of his movies, including high fidelity. in homage to this, we are introducing a weekly food-related top 5. please comment your own responses...we'd love to hear them. note - the views expressed in the top 5 pertain to the poster and are not a consensus.

this week: top 5 gastronomical guilty pleasures
5) little debbie snack cakes: oatmeal cream pies, zebra cakes, strawberry shortcake rolls. need i go on?
4) salami and cream cheese rolls. these are always the perfect snack for any situation. they're fabulous.
3) cold pizza. i'd rather have leftovers cold than reheated. especially for breakfast.
2) butter. lathered on bread, whipped with sugar in the first steps of cookie-making, sauteing vegetables. mmm....maybe i shouldn't give paula deen such a hard time.
1) white castle. anytime of day. and i don't even have to be drunk.

eating adventures in chillicothe

chillicothe. ohio's 1st and 3rd capital. home of the chillicothe paints, sumburger, and three (yes, count them, three) large correctional institutions. not exactly a culinary mecca.

not sure what to expect and having been promised 3 free meals per day from the va, i arrived in chilli with limited provisions. which i stored on top of the radiator.

i soon realized i would not eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily in the dining hall with all the patients. even if it is free, i could not deal with hospital food. and since one cannot survive on luna bars alone, i made my way to kroger's, but also out to see what the chillicothe restaurant scene could offer.
the first stop was the old canal smokehouse. i have to start by saying, i do not like barbeque. i (yes, this is blasphemy) do not like montgomery inn. sloppy joes, also out. so this is kind of a funny first choice, but it is a really cute looking place and i have been trying to expand my horizons. plus, the pharmacy resident who was taking me out to dinner for my birthday suggested it.
for an appetizer, we ordered the onion rings. coated with coconut. and they were huge. the combination of coconut and onion was oddly satisfying, although there were way too many even for two people.

for dinner i ordered the pulled pork and brisket combo. i had never had brisket, so i wanted to give it a go. the plate was heaped with food, and there was cornbread and veggies (over cooked and nasty) on the side. while i steered clear of the barbeque sauce offerings on the table, i thought the both meats had a good, light smoke flavor. the meat was pretty dry, but that's fine with me because i don't like greasy meat. for my first brisket experience, i liked it well enough to order again sometime. and i was totally stuffed. not even room for dessert.

while i was taking this photo, the people at the next table said, "excuse me" and i could feel my face starting to turn red, worried that my fear would be realized and i would be interrogated about my food photography. fortunately though, they just wanted to know what i was drinking because they thought it looked so refreshing. it was a blue moon, and i guess any beer with an orange floating in it looks refreshing to people eating barbeque and clearly drinking too much wine.

next up - the taste of chillicothe. we saw the advertisement for it and just had to check it out. i'm envisioning something similar to the taste of cincinnati; lots of booths, beer, rides, bands, people. yeah. there were exactly six restaurants represented at the taste of chillicothe. one was mcdonald's. not very promising. the offerings were as follows:

mcdonald's: sweet tea

red lobster: shrimp (actually the best shrimp i've ever had from red lobster) and some kind of soup i threw away.

old canal smokehouse: pulled pork or brisket sandwich.

rooster's: wings. the hottest sauce offered was called donkey. i don't eat wings. i gave mine to matt, the pharmacy resident.

dakota's roadhouse: wings. matt ate mine.

mona lisa cafe: the mediterranean restaurant in town. hummus or baba gannouj. there weren't many takers of the latter, so that's what i had. it was spicy and really not very good.

there was a good cover band at the taste, and there was a crowd of about 200. a friend of mine from chilli said she had never heard of it, so maybe it's the first year and they are just getting started. kudos to them. one bonus over cincinnati's - cover charge was $5 and you could get a taste from each place, rather than paying separately at each one. although given how little i ate, i guess really that didn't end up being a plus.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


a couple weeks ago i celebrated my second annual 29th birthday. we had a pretty fantastic evening at chalk food + wine. we were in the wine room and had a condensed menu (of my choosing). organizing was a breeze, and my husband did a wonderful job with the help of leslie, their coordinator. i had the prosciutto and melon, the polenta with jalapeno, the barramundi (fish, for those of you who don't know. i didn't until a few days before ordering it), and the peanut butter pie. really i included the prosciutto and melon on the menu just out of curiousity. i'm always intrigued by meat and sweet. i've put chocolate-fountain chocolate on roast beef at wedding receptions before, much to the chagrin of those unlucky enough to be seated at my table. that inspiration came from the movie chocolat. anyway, the combination was quite good. that and the peanut butter pie were my favorite parts of the meal. there was also a lot of sharing going on, and i also thought the fries were delicious, although salty.
the starters
i like the visual appeal. it makes me happy to eat pretty food.

the main event

first is the barramundi. i, of course, was a bad blogger and lost the menu description, so this will be a visual tour and not much more.

the pig with jalapeno cornbread.the lamb. note mushrooms in background.the trout.

i did take some flack from certain friends for not having a beef or chicken dish, but whatever.

finally, the desserts. i thought the peanut butter dessert was fantastic, but one of my friends complained she thought it tasted burnt. it was covered in super sinful dark chocolate, so i think that is where she got the taste of char. doesn't it look like fun?

strawberry pannacotta. the silver swirly sugar tickled me pink.
my only complaint: they put the fact i was turning 30 right up there on the menu for everyone to see.

Chalk Food + Wine on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 4, 2008


as part of my pharmacy experiential rotations, i have been exiled to chillicothe for a month, similar to napoleon and elba. i don't have real internet access (ie. not blocked by va constraints) so blogging will be limited to weekends.

so sad.