Local Partners Board at Market 65
Last year, Columbus Food Adventures offered only one tour during Local Foods Week, and it sold out like that. Back by popular demand, Bethia Woolf offered three tours this year and once again, sold out. Luckily, I scored a spot. When I attend food events, I love to have someone special by my side to enjoy it with. Usually it’s Beast, but this time, I chose to invite my dad. As soon as I read the itinerary for the tour, I knew it was something I wanted him to experience. Being in the restaurant biz himself, it’s a given that he lives for food and appreciates the work that goes into running a successful restaurant. Not being a Columbus resident, he was definitely unfamiliar with the popularity of raising awareness of the value of locally grown foods here. The guy knows everything there is to know about food. ‘Locally grown’ food? Not so much. And, that’s where I came in!
Our first stop on the tour was Skillet in German Village. I had been DYING to go, so I was happy to hear that my empty stomach would be filled with their deliciousness first. It was nice to easily walk right into the comfy 32-seat restaurant without having to worry about waiting. (I will make it for their crowd-pleasing brunch one of these mornings, I promise!) It also happened to be Skillet’s 2nd birthday, so everyone was in great spirits. My dad and I shared a booth and enjoyed a cup of Pumpkin Black Bean Soup. There wasn’t a drop left in either of our bowls.
Pumpkin Black Bean Soup with Sunflower Seeds
Once the slurping stopped, Chef Kevin Caskey came from the kitchen to speak to our group. The menu at Skillet follows the seasons as best as they can for living in Central Ohio. 70% of what is served on your plate is grown within a 50-60 mile radius of Columbus. You should have seen my dad’s eyes when he absorbed that fact. The size of their restaurant and daily table turnover isn’t important to them. It’s about cooking exactly what they want to cook and making relationships within the neighborhood, and it shows through their food and service. For the past year, all I’ve been hearing is how crazy in love everyone is with Skillet. I may have hopped onto the Skillet bandwagon a little later than I should have, but I’m certainly never getting off.
Harvest Pizzeria was our second stop. I had the pleasure of tasting their delicious pizzas the week they opened, and I was so excited to be going back. Owner Chris Crader has a passion for pizza, and an even bigger passion for pizza made with locally grown ingredients (some even from his own garden). Our meal began with a very local Arugula Salad. It’s topped with fresh ricotta, Ohio bacon bits, roasted red onion, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil and lemon dressing. I can say I’ve never tasted Arugula that fresh.
Very Local Arugula Salad
Next, Chris placed a small Heirloom Radish in front of us. He picked them from his garden that morning! The radish was drizzled ever so lightly with sea salt and olive oil. Finally, two different pizzas were placed in front of us. The Fennel Sausage Pizza with Canal Junction Gouda, smoked provolone, onion, and fennel pollen was the crowd pleaser.
The Fennel Sausage Pizza
I chose this exact pizza the first time I went to Harvest and here, a couple months later, it tasted even better than I remembered. We also got to have a slice of The Margherita Pizza, which is made with fresh mozzarella and basil.
Look at that gooey goodness!!
Harvest Pizzeria is definitely one of my favorites, if not my favorite pizza spots in Columbus. It’s not just the bubbly crust I love on the pizzas, I love the atmosphere.
I’ve noticed the downtown-working crowd has been lovin’ some Market 65 lately. Unfortunately, I don’t work downtown so I’ve been living vicariously through my Twitter friends every time they go for lunch. I was surprised to see Market 65 on the tour itinerary because I thought they were only open for lunch. Not true! They’re open until 8pm Mon-Fri. Co-owners Patrick Katzenmeyer and Anthony Micheli spoke to the group about their vision. It all started one night when they left the gym and wanted something fresh, healthy, and quick to eat. They felt there weren’t any options. Since opening Market 65, I have a hunch they’ll never run out of healthy and fresh options.
When you walk into Market 65, you have a choice of a salad, wrap, or soup. It’s simple. And so are the ingredients: simply fresh. Most of the produce, meats, and cheeses come from Ohio farms. The big difference I noticed between Market 65 and all the other sandwich/salad shops around is this: We all know the drill. You go down the line at Subway and pick your vegetables. Sure, it’s semi-fresh and you could be eating worse things. But Market 65 takes it one step further and chops everything right there in front of you.
You want carrots in your salad? They’re not picking up a handful of shredded carrots from a plastic container and throwing them in. They’re grabbing a huge carrot with the roots practically still attached, and chopping it just for you. They shuck an entire ear of corn just to put a handful in your soup. Same process goes for the peppers. Eggs. Tomatoes. Onions. I think you get the point! They’re chopping and releasing the flavors immediately. And that makes a huge difference in the taste.
We enjoyed two salads at Market 65. The Blackened Cobb (blackened chicken, romaine, egg, red onion, tomato, avocado, and feta) and The Capitol Apple (bacon, baby arugula, butternut squash, goat cheese, dried cranberries, apple, and walnuts topped with caramel apple vinaigrette).
The Capitol Apple
My dad said they were some of the best salads he’s ever tasted. Since the tour, I’ve taken Beast for a healthy salad post workout and he loved it. It’s a great feeling when you find something good for you and tasty all at the same time! Market 65 is what I think of when I hear “fresh.”
Our next stop got me extra excited. Latitude 41 is one of my favorite restaurants in Columbus, and I had a hunch my dad would love it just as much. From the moment we walked in, he was impressed. He’s all about atmosphere and Latitude does such a great job in creating the perfect, downtown mood. I started off with a refreshing Pear Passion Bellini (pear vodka, simple syrup, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and champagne).
Manager of Latitude, Roger Vivas spoke to the group about how they keep a local focus. One of the best ways is their rooftop deck for herbs. So cool! Their menu is constantly changing (sometimes even daily) to keep up with the seasons and locally-sourced ingredients. To prove to the group just how fresh the food is, we were served their house-made cavatelli with oxtail (ricotta, braised oxtail, and Dijon infused oxtail jus). If I wasn’t on the tour, I would’ve definitely ordered more. To tell you the truth, it was very challenging being on the tour with my dad, especially at Latitude 41. When we’re together, we order the menu. And if we love something, we order more. Previous to the tour, I had been ranting and raving to him about the Lobster Mac & Cheese at Latitude, so I wasn’t surprised when he leaned over to me and whispered, “Hey… should I order a few orders of it for the group to share?” Um, Dad.. stop. No. You are NOT in charge of the tour and you’re not going to embarrass me! I know it was killing him to read the menu and not order what he wanted and what he’s heard so much about from me. I promised him we’d go back, and sure enough, Latitude was my first choice to celebrate my birthday the next time he was in town. And let me just say… I think we made up for everything we were craving while on the tour.
Last but certainly not least, we stopped at Knead for dessert. We were each served a cool plate of their homemade Panna cotta, which is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, and letting it cool until set. It was delicious! It’s important to Knead that they support local and sustainable agriculture. Knead to know exactly which farms? Check out the huge map that is displayed on the wall right where you eat. Looking at it just gives a feeling of relief.
Knead is definitely the spot where I’ll take my dad the next time he’s in town. Sure, the dessert was an understood end to the food tour, but Knead’s Motherclucker Chicken Sandwich is where it’s at! It’s so good that I actually felt guilty leaving without having it. Good things come to those who wait, Dad. But, until then…
The famous (and my favorite) The Motherclucker at Knead
Thanks again to Columbus Food Adventures for showcasing five of our local restaurants who do it best!
Ps- If you want to see how much we finally got to pig out at Latitude 41, check out
my birthday post…
Beauty's Feasts, Glorious Gatherings
| Bethia Woolf, Columbus Food Adventures, Food Tour, German Village, Harvest Pizzeria, Knead, Latitude 41, Local, Local Food Tour, Local Matters, Market 65, Skillet