Move over City Barbeque, a new spot came into town (even though your sweet tea is delicious). Sweet Carrot in Dublin, OH had its grand opening last month and is the perfect spot to grab some homemade comfort food.
The company’s original location has done super well in the downtown Columbus culinary scene, as the restaurant’s technique to providing deconstructed barbecue food is conceptually pleasing.
The four main base options to chose from are mac n cheese, a sandwich, a salad or a sweet corn cake. From there, you can pick toppings, like chicken meatballs with sesame ginger sauce, pulled pork, brisket, fried artichokes with aioli, or smoked turkey.
I decided to try a sweet corn cake with their homemade chicken meatballs and sesame ginger sauce. The flavor was awesome, it had the perfect balance of sweet and spicy! I thought the meatballs had great texture and the corn cake surprisingly paired well with all of the savory features in the dish.
Last week, I got the opportunity to head down south to Jasper, Georgia for YoungLife camp with 100 other people from my high school. Ready to have some fun, I was also skeptical because I didn't know if my second time at camp would be as fun as the first. My first camp trip was mesmerizing; I loved all of the surprises and the camp speaker was amazing. But this time around, my perspective changed. I'm not sure if it was because the weather was beautiful every day, we were down in the South, or because the worship team was some of the best worship I've ever experienced in my life.
But I do know that when it came to meal time, I wasn't just excited about the delicious food. I was looking forward to all of the great conversation that followed a great meal and the people around me that I got to share breakfast, lunch and dinner with everyday. From Big Cookies to breakfast in bed, you can probably assume that this is not normal camp food. It's prepared and served to us by YoungLife's Work Crew and Summer Staff, high school and college students who want to serve others so they can have the best week of their lives and can experience a relationship with Christ.
My week at camp involved God telling me that it is my turn to be the leader and show younger people what following Christ looks like. I could not have formed relationships or talked to people if it weren't for the wonderful meals we got to share daily for the whole week. The excitement and joy that came with every meal is something we don't always feel back home. For some people, mealtime in their homes can be lonely or end in argument. I am fortunate enough to have a family that continues to sit down at least once a day for a meal and take part in the communion we share.
Spring break calls for random little adventures, and I decided the perfect place to go for a fun day trip is Cleveland! The city has a great sports scene, along with awesome museums and of course, food!!
My my first stop in the city was Mabel’s BBQ, owned by chef Michael Symon. The restaurant is very modern and laid back, with its focus on all things meat. I had The Big Pig with cole slaw and pork rinds on a six inch hoagie bun. It was 10 ounces of deliciousness!! The pork was so tender and had a great flavor. The pork rinds were too salty, so I just took them off, but the coleslaw was yummy with a light vinegar taste.
The sides I chose to try were the cucumber salad, J.W. potatoes and Spaetzle. The cucumber salad was delicious with sour cream, red onion and dill. The potatoes were softly boiled and then fried, served Mabel’s style with green onions (adding Mabel’s BBQ sauce is not a bad idea either).
I absolutely loved my meal and although it was a lot of food, I was able to polish it off no problems because I went in on an empty stomach ;)
The next stop was Brewnuts, a beer and donut shop. This place is very unique and was my favorite stop of the trip (along with the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame). The donuts are made with a beer based batter, and to be completely honest, this makes the donuts so much better!!
They had a variety of donut flavors, including maple bacon, my personal favorite. The bacon was crispy and the maple icing was sweet and had a hint of cinnamon. Brewnuts does the maple bacon donut right, with the perfect amount of sweet and salty! The other donut I decided to try was the blueberry cheesecake, and it was delicious, with a cream cheese filling and a sweet blueberry icing. Both donuts were great (maybe even the best I've ever had) and I love how their donuts are unique, which I guess is the whole concept of the shop.
This weekend, I started off my spring break vacation down in Lexington, Kentucky at the University of Kentucky for a college visit. I absolutely loved the campus, and the tour was the best yet! I can see myself here in 2019 and that's pretty exciting. Not only did I love the university itself, I also enjoyed the downtown area and the scene of Lexington. Of course, I tried some pretty great food too :)
First stop was Great Bagel, a hotspot for most college kids, especially on Saturday mornings when it's 25 degrees and snowing. They sell everything any bagel lover could ever want, including breakfast and lunch sandwiches. They have 17 flavors of bagels, 8 flavors of cream cheese, jam, two kinds of whipped butter and peanut butter as spreads.
I tried the maple bourbon bagel with plain cream cheese and it was delicious! I could tell it was freshly made and they toasted it and put the cream cheese on for me, which I was appreciative of since I am too lazy when it comes to spreading anything on my bagel. The flavor wasn't overpowering or artificial, it had just a hint of maple so it was fantastic!
I also had their organic chai tea, and it was the best chai tea I've ever had!! Starbucks' chai is my go-to, but this tea that I tried was 10 times better. I absolutely loved my bagel, my tea and the shop's environment. It is so adorable, filled with original artwork. If I were a college student, I would love studying there or going for a causal breakfast.
My next stop was for lunch, at The Local Taco, a campus favorite. They serve Tex Mex (my favorite) and everything is Southern made. I got their vegetarian tacos with portabella mushrooms, creamy sage goat cheese, zucchini, tomatoes and crispy fried onions. The tacos were awesome and the tortillas were house made fresh. I also ordered chips and guacamole. And my rule is "If the guac is good, the food is good." The guacamole was so fresh and the avocado chunks were big, which I like more than being completely crushed.
Local Taco is 100% the place for good Mexican food and March Madness fans (or any sports fan really). It's a Kentucky campus favorite and the tour guide even recommended it to us while we were on our tour!
I highly recommend both spots, the people were so friendly at both places and they were great college hangout spots to really get a feel of what it's like to be living on campus. I enjoyed my visit, and hopefully I'll get to visit again!! Thanks for a great weekend Lexington :)
This Thursday, the Short North Food Hall has its grand opening, featuring five vendors of food to fit everyone’s taste. This past weekend, however, I had the opportunity to visit the food hall for St. Patrick’s Day weekend for a sneak peek! It will be opening back up on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 for official business.
The food hall serves mexican cuisine, smokehouse barbecue, ramen, sushi and pizza. It reminds me of a food court, however in a much trendier setting. You can sit wherever, and go up to order the food they eventually bring to your table.
Since it it was my first time trying their food, I decided to try from a few different places to know what I like. I tried a slice of cheese pizza, the taquitos from the Mexican restaurant and “the haystack”- barbecue mac n’ cheese from Legacy Smokehouse.
Everything was delicious and if you’re a fan of any single vendor, I suggest trying it because each restaurant makes their food very well. It’s a very well thought out concept and makes it super easy for everyone to find something they like.
Food halls are an old concept in the food industry, however they’re becoming popular once again, especially with the millennial crowd in. The Short North is a perfect place for a new food hall because Columbus is growing and expanding to fit all ages and reaching new heights for its tourism. The food hall is a perfect spot for date night, a friendly gathering or even a family dinner.
The service is also great and everyone was super passionate about being there. It was a great environment and the music was also super awesome. I loved the atmosphere and enjoyed the sneak peek of the business!
I absolutely loved the whole experience of trying the food hall and will definitely be back for a round two!! Thanks for such a fun evening full of March Madness and good food :)
My blog is all about faith, family, friends, and food:)