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Ice Cream Chronicles - New Interactive Map

As you may have noticed, a new interactive Google Map containing all the location and links to all my Ice Cream Chronicles posts is now acce...

Food Truck Dossier: A Delicious Escape to the Cape

Big events like the Columbus Arts Festival aren't the only options for the many
Columbus food trucks (like The Cluckwagon and Schmidt's Sausage Truck) these days
As I mentioned in my previous food truck post rounding up some of my summer encounters, the combo of increased numbers of food trucks and increased numbers of places that host them within this city makes it tougher to even try all the menu items on a particular food truck.

That's not necessarily a bad thing - it is rare when any food entity does everything well, and with a food truck, you're usually pretty happy with two or three solid selections. Consider it a bonus when you find a food truck that does everything well; in those rare instances for us, we're more than happy to make trip out to where they're setup (Ajumama and their melding of Korean and Midwest comfort classics comes to mind.)

Then there are those rare trucks that feature something so novel and unique, you're willing to make the extra effort to check out what they have to offer and see how the dishes stack up.  This has definitely the case for me in regard to Hisham's, a newcomer to the Columbus scene.

Fond of Flora: The Franklin Park Conservatory

The Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, one of those
"For The Tourists" attractions I never considered visiting until later in my life
When I still lived in the Bay Area, there were several attractions that came under what I liked to call the "FTT" category, or "For The Tourists" category. Any number of things fell into this category, including but not exclusive to Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf, Cable Cars, Ghirardelli Square, and any number of restaurants. In fact, it wasn't until I began dating my wife long distance that I even thought about visiting "For The Tourist" places like Alcatraz Island or the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.

As I found out, what falls under this category when it comes to Columbus is a more murky affair, as many of the places that are recommended to visitors to the city are actually places that are enjoyed by the locals. Even then, one attraction stuck out in my mind as falling into this category, and a combo of an unexpected day off plus the signs of fall and colder temperatures on the horizon proved perfect for a perfectly enjoyable time sampling what the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has to offer to the public.

Temple of the Dog: Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace

Even the Swedish have learned the value of the venerable hot dog, offering
a dining enticement to those stop by the IKEA Columbus location
Growing up, I thought of hot dogs as something you got at baseball games or at picnics.  It wasn't until later in my life when I thought of it as a regular lunch/fast food option (via Der Weinerschnitzel or the Bay Area's Casper's Hot Dogs mini-chain), and even much later when I discovered of even larger sausages in a bread roll (Polish dogs? Uh, yes please.)

But when it comes down to it, I generally go simple with my hot dogs (mustard for sure, and onions and relish if available). When the mood strikes, the basic hot dog cart (Downtown Columbus sports its own regulars) works perfectly, and I'll always grab a dog whenever I get out to the ballpark.  Occasionally, though, I'll want a little bit of the wild and unpredictable, and that's where an original member of the Columbus Food League of restaurants comes in handy.

First Look: Fadó Pub & Kitchen (Dublin, Ohio)

The support tower of the planned pedestrian bridge from Old Dublin
dominates the skyline from Dublin's Bridge Park development.
When we moved away from northwest Columbus to our current house, the city of Dublin and its surroundings became a less frequent and familiar destination as the years have gone. That (lack of) familiarity made itself quite evident in our first ever visit this weekend to the city's Bridge Park.

Announced in 2012 and located on land that had long been in our mind mere grass and hills, the multi-story constructs that comprise this development were a bit of a mental jolt, as we wandered from residential and retail spaces with names we weren't familiar with (Hen Quarter, Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea, and REBoL) and were (Fukuryu Ramen, PINS Mechanical and Cap City Diner, among others.)

One of those names we were also familiar with was Fadó, though on a limited basis: I knew of Fadó Irish Pub in Easton but had never visited prior, while my spouse had a couple visits there before we were officially a thing. Thus, we were pretty excited to get an invite from the restaurant via the kind folks at Drink Up Columbus to sample their new pub and kitchen concept at Bridge Park.

Spheres of Influence: Bexley Coffee Shop

One of the more delicious spheres in the Columbus metro:
The Nibbler from the North Market's Destination Donuts

Who knew that a humble sphere could be so tasty?  Here in Columbus, we have numerous examples of this, from the Destination Donuts sublime Nibbler to Katalina's tremendously awesome Pancake Balls to the falafel of any number of Mediterranean places like Mazah, Lavash Cafe, and Little Lebanon. And with all the good things we have heard about the meatballs of Carfagna's, a visit over there sometime soon pretty much seems mandatory at this point.

Of course, we wouldn't mention spheres if this blogpost didn't have one as the point of focus, one that we finally got to sample in a cafe located on some of the less traveled roads of one of the tonier suburbs of the metro.