Brews and 'Ques: Rhubarb in the Midwest Pickin' Out Brews

The "World's Largest Rhubarb" lies in Aledo, IL, the self-proclaimed
"Rhubarb Capital of the World" and annual Aledo Rhubarb Festival
I had started a new series of "'Brews and 'Ques" blogposts (link to the original post here) that highlighted some of the favorite antique store and craft beer/brewery pairings that we've encountered during our travels. Well, it didn't seem right to not test out that combo during our recent vacation road trip, and as it turned out, this one included something of a famous one, especially if you're a History Channel fan.

Beer along the National Road: Black Acre (Indianapolis, IN) and Hairless Hare (Vandalia, OH)

The Unofficial Official Map of Breweries Visited: 614ortyniner Edition
Now mind you, we have done our share of brewery hopping (we stand at about 150 breweries visited between the two of us heading into August), but our most recent road trip/vacation was really focused on the Great Eclipse of America.

So the multiple number of breweries we actually ended up visiting in seven different states was something of a happy (and tasty) accident. We thought we'd start looking at our beery contingent with the two breweries that provided the bookend experiences for our big road trip, which both happen to lie next to US Route 40, more famously known as The National Road.

The Great American Eclipse 2017 (Cornhusker Style)

The eclipse in Nebraska (as seen through a special-filter telescope)
Normally I keep the highlight of any of our road trips closer to the end of my series of posts about it, but in this case I thought it was best to go first with it. After all, it's not every day that one gets to experience a total eclipse of the sun.

But that is the experience that my spouse and I, along with millions of others were able to immerse themselves in this last Monday. I'm sure everyone has their interesting tales related to their viewing, but our venue was as unique as any of them.

Brews and 'Ques: Our Favorite Buckeye State Combos (Vol. 1)

This staircase found at Van Wert's Years Ago Antique Mall pretty
is a primer why shopping for the old-school is always so cool

I generally try to stay away from lists on my blog posts, but there's really no good reason for this, because lists can be quite useful for picking up potential destinations and things to do on our travels. Also, it's not like I haven't used the list format before, as noted by Ale Trail Series of posts that I've undertaken twice now.

Combining antique hunting and brewery hopping has turned into one of our favorite past times over the last several years, and I've had a couple people ask me about what antique shops we've liked, or have suggested a couple shops to check out.  With that in mind, I thought I'd toss out a select list of favorite antique stores that we've visited in our travels as well as some suggested destinations to slake that thirst afterward.

Ice Cream Chronicles (Yr. 4) - Toasted Marshmallows and Other Miscellany

The Mitchell's of ice creams (both San Francisco and Cleveland renditions) are
no longer my only case of California-Ohio deja vu after a visit to Cincinnati
Some time ago, I wrote a bit about Mitchell's Ice Cream. However, depending on the part of the country you were from, it could refer to the longtime ice cream maker in San Francisco which married tropical flavors like jackfruit, ube and mango (its most popular flavor, even now) to its dense, old-school, high-butterfat content ice creams to consistently long lines into its cozy Bernal Heights shop. Or it could refer to the Cleveland-area confectionery which spins hand-crafted, locally focused artisanal ice creams that have time and again earned it "Best Of" honors in Northeast Ohio as well as one of the top ice cream purveyors within the Buckeye State.

Social media has been a source of confusion between the two Mitchell's, with people using one shop's media handles to tout their latest ice cream experiences when it belongs to the other (and I won't even mention another Mitchell's Ice Cream in Chicago that I've seen bandied about.)

On a recent jaunt into Cincinnati, I found another Buckeye State ice cream purveyor that reminds me greatly of one of my favorites in the Bay Area, so much so that it's put both of them for visits in the future for more exploration.

Time to Splurge: 101 Beer Kitchen Beer Dinner feat. Jackie O's Brewery

The Rainbow Trout dish courtesy of Graze Restaurant in Madison, WI,
at their November 2013 beer dinner featuring Tyranena Brewing.
Our first experiences with the beer dinner actually happened outside of the Buckeye State: my spouse enjoyed her very first one back in the late 2000s in Grand Rapids with the popular brewpub HopCat and New Holland Brewing. And as a couple, we took the lovely evening backdrop of the Capital Building in Madison, WI, while indulging in the sublime preparations of Graze Restaurant matched up with the brews of Tyranena Beer.

However, it wasn't until recently that we were able to experience this format here, with the incredibly fun Columbus Craft Beer Week "Weird Science" dinner, which mixed food from CBC Restaurant, beer from Actual Brewing, and a dose of science from COSI.

Our second encounter came this week with, a nice celebratory splurge to celebrate a months' worth of special days for us both.  And in this case, we were particularly excited as this dinner paired one of our favorite brunch spots in Gahanna's 101 Beer Kitchen (originally opened up in Dublin in 2012 and now also sporting a Westerville location) as well as one of our favorite Ohio breweries in Jackie O's.

Dough Yay Me! Clintonville's Dough Mama Cafe and Bakery

Granted, as one of the Columbus' main thoroughfares, High Street has plenty of room for all manner of businesses. But for the baked goods and pastry-styled treats fan, this roadway has become the home of more than its share of drool-worthy options in recent years. Starting up in Worthington and ending in the Brewery District, one could theoretically embark on a non-big-chain, brick-and-mortar crawl from north to south that could include:
If one wanted to be even more of a glutton, places like Laughlin's Bakery and the treasure trove in the North Market (Destination Donuts, Brezel Pretzel, Omega Artisan, and Pistacia Vera) all lie within stone's throw of High. Combined together, these places could easily carbo-load the runners for the Columbus Marathon this coming October and have plenty left over for the race volunteers.

Of course, it would be a cardinal sin if you forget the pie. If you're seeking out the pie and only the pie, the long-standing Just Pies near Graceland Mall fits the bill perfectly. If you want just a little more variety, two very similar places are right up your alley: Worthington's Sassafras Bakery, a favorite destination of ours since I've moved over here, and Clintonville's Dough Mama, which holds down the subject matter of this latest blogpost.

Conscience With Your Coffee: The Roosevelt Coffeehouse

I had written about the socially-minded Roosevelt Coffeehouse, founded by Kenny Sipes, early in my blogging career back in November 2014, and well before they actually opened to the public six months later in April 2015.

As it turns out, Roosevelt has done just fine for itself, celebrating a second anniversary this year with much fanfare.  With the addition to the metro of similar coffee-focused/charitable ventures (Bottoms Up, the one-year old cafe in Franklinton focused on infant mortality, as well as the still evolving South Columbus-oriented Community Grounds on Parsons Avenue), I figured this was as a good a time as any to do a followup post detailing how Roosevelt has evolved.