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Day of Gluttony, Columbus Style - Part 2

(Note: This is Part 2 of a blog post proposing our 24 different dishes from 24 different venues inside of 24 hours quest within Columbus, Ohio, based on the Tastemade TV Show "Day of Gluttony".  For details on the challenge and the first 11 spots on this quest, please check out Part 1 at this link.)

1:15 PM - With our Las Maravillas tacos (stop 11) leaving us with a nice spicy feel in our mouths, we figure it was time to find some beverages to cool things off a bit. We head across the Olentangy River to the 5xNW neighborhood and stop at 12) Bonifacio, one of two Filipino restaurants in the area. This eatery from Krizzia Yanga has proven to be a successful trailblazer of sorts, introducing the public to their combo of modern and traditional takes on the cuisine. This includes some very delicious fancy cocktails, so we grab an Oooh Bae! (featuring plenty of Ube/Purple Yam) and a Lychee Martini for some pleasurable sipping.

2:00 PM - Creeping into the Northwest neighborhood, we decided to up the spice level back up again by stopping at one of the numerous Indian restaurants in the South Indian/vegetarian-oriented 13) Dosa Corner.  By now, we've actually earned back some space in our stomachs, so we go for a double-appetizer of the Mirchi Bajji (spicy green peppers stuffed with masala) and Dahi Wada, deep fried lentil doughnuts dipped in yogurt & cilantro.

Day of Gluttony, Columbus Style (Part 1)

If nothing else, cutting the cable cord and going to streaming has increased our viewing options several dozen times over.  At times, the sheer number of options overwhelms, but at other times, something unexpected gets us both intrigued enough to invest our viewing time, or when we have an unexpected bunch of time to burn on the couch (such as recently, when the cold bug hit us both.)

Admittedly, both of us are well past our prime food gluttony years (our waistlines still seem to think we're being pretty gluttonous, but that's a whole another future blog post.) Thus, a food show like "Day of Gluttony", originally produced by Tastemade and currently showing on Hulu, didn't hold much promise when we clicked it on a couple weeks ago, but it turned out to be a more fun way to blow an hour than we ever figured.

Bruce Aguirre and Harry Yuan, hosts of Tastemade's "Day of Gluttony",
is available for viewing on the Hulu streaming service
First, the hosts were Asian (Harry Yuan and Bruce Aguirre, of Chinese and Filipino descent, respectively) something that I just don't see all that often.  Second, the first episode was shot in a place I know pretty well in San Francisco, where I worked and lived for a number of years before moving to Ohio. Also, the show's concept was pretty simple - finish 24 dishes at 24 different venues in a span of 24 hours or less.

We dove in and found ourselves entertained, with great chemistry between the hosts, rapid-fire coverage of places visited, efforts (intentional? perhaps...) of various venues to derail the hosts with extra dishes, and liberal use of old-school arcade graphics, enough so to put it on our current rotation to get through its ten-episode run (we found no indication of a season two as of now.)

Loafing Around Encouraged: The Whitney House

The humble meatloaf has graced numerous household dinner tables
around the world in one form or another
Many dishes come to mind when it comes to American classics: hamburgers, apple pie, chocolate chip cookies, and so forth. Often times, these dishes are adaptations or variants on more traditional dishes, like American spaghetti or Tex-Mex creations like Fajitas or Chile con Carne.

A dish that in many ways reflects the melting pot that is this country lies in meatloaf. While meatloaf has competing origin stories, its concept is pretty clear cut - a collection of culinary odds and ends combined into something not necessarily elegant, but assuredly comforting.

And indeed it was; my parents’ rendition was fairly standard (ground beef, onions, stale bread, eggs, and seasoning) but one my favorite things to eat with ketchup and rice. In addition, many parties hosted by relatives, friends, and family allowed me the chance to eat another favorite variation in the Embutido, a Filipino take which mixes a variety of meats with somewhat unique ingredients such as raisins, carrots, bell peppers, and hard-boiled eggs.

Ambassador Magma, Sulu, and a Damn Good Bowl of Ramen

Figurines from various Japanese Tokusatsu serials, as displayed at
the San Francisco International Airport in December, 2014
Like many who qualify for the description, "Asian-American" has always been a little been problematic for me. Firstly and mainly, Asia is a huge and diverse continent, covering 48 countries and 17+ million square miles. And in the larger and/or more geographically spread out countries (for example, China and India for the former, the Philippines and Indonesia the latter), the cultural differences can be quite distinct.  However, this categorization, whether wanted or not, led me to dive into other Asian cultures, especially when my family moved to San Francisco.

Our time in this city brought us two initial "Asian-American" centers of activity - one was Daly City, which still may be the most Filipino-centric city in the Bay Area, and San Francisco's Chinatown, which was frequently visited whenever my grandparents would take us into the city. Although I knew of San Francisco's Japantown, I never ventured there until well after my college years.

My experience with things Japanese in life came throughout life in bits and morsels of food, pop-culture and sports. Early examples include the 1976 Summer Olympics, where I marveled that Shun Fujimoto finished two routines with a broken knee (including the rings) to clinch the gold medal for the Japanese Men's Gymnastics Team.

One of my favorite diversions lay in Tokusatsu TV serial productions like Godzilla, Ultraman, and Ambassador Magma (released in the states as Space Giants), and later anime series like Star Blazers and Battle of The Planets. The original Star Trek, with Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu played by Japanese-American George Takei. Also, the Yellow Magic Orchestra's debut album, whose "Computer Games/Firecracker" was played heavily on the local R&B/Soul station and earned them an appearance on Don Cornelius' "Soul Train"(!) TV Show.

Seekh The Unique: Everest Cuisine (Worthington, OH)

Lithopolis, Ohio and its roughly 1,600 people have a pretty nice
Mexican restaurant within city limits in El Pedregal
Almost every small town seems to have at least one.

One what, you ask? In this case, I refer to the random international restaurant or two that provides a prospective diner a break from the plethora of fast food, diners, and pizza joints that tend to dominate the landscape. The food, when judged by other similar eateries in bigger cities and towns, may not match up. But as a resident of that town, you take a bit a pride in knowing that something is your hometown Chinese, your local Mexican, or even something even a bit more uncommon.