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Ice Cream Chronicles - New Interactive Map

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Motor City Eating: Parker's Hilltop Brewery/Bigalora

The Village of Clarkston, MI, where beauty is in the eye of the Beer-holder
A quick little weekend jaunt up to the Detroit area found my spouse and in the company of long-time friends. Even as short as this visit really was (not much more than 24 hours), we as a group got to feast quite nicely, not only on home-prepared Indian delights courtesy of our hosts, but also a couple of culinary jaunts on the town to a popular area brewpub as well as Italian eats from a James Beard nominee chef.

South x Southwest (Pt. 2): Creme Clouds and Gringas

A metal die-cut plaque details the family roots of Columbus' Merion Village
As mentioned in my previous post, my coffee at Das KaffeeHaus was meant to put some caffeine into the system to get me fully awake for the day. It also had a secondary purpose of slowing me down so I could digest the rich Beehive Bite sweet treat that I had acquired from My Old World Bakery, an old-school neighborhood shop located in Southwest Columbus. By the time I departed the space, I was ready for some more exploring the city's south and west sides.

South x Southwest (Pt. 1): Bee Hives and Blitzes

The Big Room at local favorite/independent radio station CD102.5 in the
Brewery District, which provided a nice stopover point in my latest crawl
As it turned out, my cinnamon-quest food crawl turned out to be a wonderful experience for me, both in the treats I found and in the places in finding new places to explore. As I figured out shortly afterward, I enjoyed the experience so much that I wanted to repeat the quest to another part of the metro. On this latest journey, south and west were the watchwords, with a general goal of trying out the best that each of my destinations had to offer.

Firkin Awesome for 25 Years: Barley's Brewing Ale House

For both my spouse and I, the venerable Barley's Brewing Company, the oldest brewpub in the Columbus area, acted as a gateway into craft beer.  For me, this brewpub, which opened its doors in October of 1992, was my first real introduction to Columbus-area craft beer, when a growler of their Scottish Ale (an unusual beer in that they take pale malt and actually scorch it in the mash tun before brewing the beer to achieve the caramel notes) went up with us to take to my wife's family for Thanksgiving Day libations.

As for my spouse, her brother, who made the brewpub a regular destination when it opened its doors, introduced her to its craft beer charms. That very same Scottish Ale was also her first Barley's brew back in 1994, followed by a brew she thought she would never enjoy in the future in the Alexander's Russian Imperial Stout (this notion was proven to be quite wrong, as we shall detail later.)

Life on a Cinnamon Whirl (Pt. 2) - When the 'Ssants Come Rolling In

Yes, nice layers of cinnamon lie underneath the icing in these
beauties from Italian Village's popular Fox in the Snow Cafe
My cinnamon/new places in the metro quest mentioned in my last blog-related post brought me to a coffee cafe I hadn't visited since my early days here (Olde Towne East's Upper Cup Cafe), the granddaddy of bakeries in the metro (Resch's), and the only full-service Kosher bakery in the area (Matt's Bakery.)  But I was only halfway done on this day, as my travels took me into the tony community of Bexley and to another city bakery institution whose original location I had never visited prior to this day.

I Could Be Happy The Rest of my Life on a Cinnamon Whirl (Pt. 1)

The Moravian Sugar Cake from Laughlin's Bakery, topped with
cinnamon, one of my most favorite spices ever
When it comes to sweet treats, those that have cinnamon are hard to beat in my book. In fact, one of the first sweet treats I enjoyed here during one of my first visits to Columbus was the rather substantial (and tasty) rendition put out by the North Market's Omega Artisan Bakery. A recent "Best of Columbus" article by Columbus Monthly provided me some inspiration to try something that I hadn't done in awhile in the form of a food crawl. Add in a desire to seek out parts of the metro I hadn't necessarily wandered much into, and you got yourself one sweet journey indeed.

Lovin' The Oven: Forno Kitchen & Bar

If Corso Ventures isn't one the hottest restaurant development groups in the Columbus area right now, it certainly ranks in the top tier. Their Short North area ventures such as The Short North Pint House (their first) and Standard Hall (their latest to open) are popular destinations to grab brews and food. Down the road, their Food Hall concept, featuring a full bar and four kitchens meant for rotating culinary experiences, is one that we and other area diners are anticipating.

The funny thing is that despite all the good things we have heard about the previously two mentioned eateries, we find ourselves still working through the menu at their second Short North eatery in Forno, and really there's nothing wrong with that.

Going for the Whole Grains: Return to Yellow Springs (Pt. 2)

A few of the memorial cobblestones you can find at The Women's Park
located in the southern reaches of the village of Yellow Springs
After ingesting our daily allotment of fiber with a little bit of a sweet treat (courtesy of the 22nd Annual Wool Gathering at Young's Jersey Dairy, the subject of my last blogpost) we ventured further down US 68 into the downtown area to grab our whole grain allotment for the day, in the form of some finely distilled spirits and brewed beers at two Yellow Springs institutions, conveniently located at the same light industrial complex just north of downtown.

Plenty of Fiber and a Little Dessert: Return to Yellow Springs (Pt. 1)

Yellow Springs is one of the intriguing places in Ohio for me, in that there's a little slice of what I regularly encountered in places like Berkeley and San Francisco in this village of around 3,500 people. In fact, this hamlet holds the distinction (in southwest Ohio, anyway) of being at the forefront of various social causes such as the anti-war and anti-discrimination movements, as well as sporting large arts-oriented and LGBT communities.

Street performers from the 2015 summer edition of the Yellow Springs'
bi-annually held Street Fair, a rite of passage for many area residents
As I discovered, these leanings don't stop folks from all walks of life from coming in and enjoying the charms of this small Southwest Ohio hamlet, especially during their bi-annual Street Fairs, if one were simply to judge from the myriad of T-shirts I saw worn the day of my visit. Of course, there is much more to Yellow Springs than these fairs, as we uncovered on a recent return visit to get our share of fiber, whole grains, and a little dessert to boot.