Traveling about 200 miles to get our hands on peanut butter, beer and ice cream. Totally acceptable.
Tamre and I have several food obsessions in common, many of which she instilled in me – my love and acceptance of craft beer, the thought that it’s okay to throw a party just to make a lot of food, and our love for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.
I mention Tamre a lot in my blogs because we spend a good amount of time with or talking to each other, sharing recipes and always looking for the next culinary project. She’s a resource I can rely on when I have questions (can I substitute this for this and do I really need to do this for it to be okay?) and she was more than happy to share her knowledge of food adventures in Columbus, Ohio with me this weekend.
And she has an adorable toddler, Holly.
Tamre planned this trip with three places in mind: Schmidt’s Haus in German Village for lunch, Krema Nut Company and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. In order to get it all in, we’d have to leave Tamre’s house at 8am. There’s few other people I would get up at 6am on a Saturday for, just sayin’.
Coffee was in order.
We made good time, so Tamre drove us through Cincinnati and this gorgeous district called Short North. Imagine several blocks of art galleries, boutiques, taverns and breweries, restaurants and retail shops, all under large arches that hugged the atmosphere. Lofts and apartments were scattered throughout the area, making it feel a lot like Fountain Square in Indianapolis. Only more expensive.
Schmidt’s Haus in German Village opens at 11am and we were some of the first customers who made it through the door. Tamre spent several weeks in Germany and you all know by now that I’m slightly obsessed with German culture and, most importantly, their food.
After snagging a booth in the bar, we went for the gusto and ordered the Autobahn Buffet and an Oktoberfest. 2.5 hours in a car can make you really hungry.
Garlic knockwurst, Bahama Mama sausages, German potato salad, green beans and mashed potatoes with gravy made up a mountain on my plate. To top it off, we split a vanilla creme puff that might as well been a meal in itself.
Next up was Krema Nut Company. Funny thing, I’m allergic to cashews, pistachios and pine nuts but not peanuts. I’ll say I got the better end of the deal on that one! This place had tons of salted, unsalted, roasted, raw, sugary and sweet options that I knew I’d be spending some money here. I picked up Spanish peanuts, cheesy corn nuts, cajun corn nuts, spicy sesame sticks and something else I can’t mention because it’s a gift and that person may be reading this.
Stop #2 – success.
Then came what we had both been waiting for.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.
We couldn’t very well drive two hours just to go to Jeni’s, but let’s face it – we both knew it was the most important stop to make.
Tamre introduced me to Jeni’s and homemade ice cream. She pulled out about 6 or 7 different kinds from her fridge one day and made John and I taste all of them. Made = I couldn’t stop myself. Jeni’s ice creams are egg-free and follow the Philadelphia style ice cream recipes. Her all natural ingredients and local food focus mean that ice creams vary by season and taste home grown.
Then, she told me about Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams recipe book. Later, I would get the book and a Cuisinart Ice Cream maker and nothing would be the same…
Indiana has no Jeni’s, unfortunately, but there are several scoop shops in Ohio. Here you can see how happy I am that I finally got to try ice cream made by Jeni instead of myself.
Suggested by the scooper behind the counter, I mixed Uganda Vanilla Bean with Root Beer Ice Cream. Heavenly.
Jeni’s has plenty of sundae’s and wild flavors, but I knew I could only try so much per visit. Needless to say it didn’t take me long to devour the whole thing.
After we emerged from our Jeni’s coma, we walked up to a liquor store with a great craft beer recommendation. We picked out a few pumpkin ales and the Dogfish Head Bitches Brew, inspired by Miles Davis. Dogfish Head is no longer distributed in Indiana so it was a must to bring this back with me. I’m also a huge fan of the artwork in the bottle and plan to keep it.
By now it was about 2:30pm and we needed to get on the road in order to get home by dinner. On the ride back I noticed that Jeni’s had tweeted to me after I checked in on Foursquare and mentioned how much I was freaking out about there. Swoon…
All in all this was definitely a successful and much needed mini-trip. Tamre was a great host and gave an awesome tour of the city and many of it’s food highlights. I can’t wait to go back
just for more ice cream and spend some time wandering the city, maybe during Oktoberfest so we can practice our German