Yesterday was pretty much the worst Friday ever. I woke up at 4:30 AM absolutely convinced it was Saturday. I started to realized something didn’t seem right so I asked my husband what day it was around 5 AM and was given the bad news. I was just so excited for Saturday because we had awesome plans.
Yes, a 3 hour tour of 6 locations in the city for dessert. It’s like I died and went to heaven. Sugary heaven.
Our tour guide was awesome (and I feel like a jerk for forgetting his name, but I suck at names). He drove us around in a 12 seater van. I totally pulled the pregnant card and took shotgun, but honestly, I would have died trying to get in and out of the back because I got even huger last night.
We started at Pistacia Vera (has an online section for those of you out of town), a little bakery that is renowned for their pastries, especially macaroons (and apparently has awesome breakfast as well). We got to back to a table in the kitchen and sample while watching a woman make candy and speaking with the pastry chefs.
Did you know macaroons are good for 5 days in the fridge? The pastry chef told us they actually taste the best on day 5.
Our next stop was Sugardaddy’s, which is a local company that started as a mail-order purveyor of brownies and blondies (they also have online sales). They actually beat Bobby Flay on “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” with their Tahitian Blondie. I normally hate coconut, but I swear, I tastes like a samoa. They gave us more samples than I can remember the name of, but Tahitian was by far my favorite (the cinnamon struesel blondie was a distant second).
Next was Cafe Brioso, a coffee shop across the street from Sugar Daddy’s. I didn’t take any pictures because coffee isn’t that exciting. We sampled french press coffee and pour something coffee from the same Ethiopian coffee beans which are roasted on site. Honestly, the coffee (I’m allowed sips) was lukewarm and the french press one kind of sucked. The hipster giving us the lecture was adorable and talked about coffee the way a wine connoisseur talks about wine. It was fine, but I think they probably could have done better from what we heard about the coffees there. I also got what may have been a good swift punch to the ribs from baby girl who was active before we left and was going crazy for the first half of the tour. Kid loves sugar.
We then moved on to Pattycake Bakery, a vegan bakery in Clintonville (also have an online shop for your hard to buy for vegan friends). I love that they are vegan because I used to be a vegan (more on that in my next confessions post). They also have a dedicated gluten free area (cough, Kim) and will make custom desserts for anyone with food issues. Considering my food allergies, that makes me happy. Honestly, besides the dog biscuit tasting thing, I would never have guessed the treats were vegan. That was one of the best sticky buns I’ve ever eaten and their version of a Hostess cupcake makes Hostess seem like chocolate colored styrofoam.
The penultimate stop was Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (they actually ship their ice creams all over the country). For those of you not fortunate enough to live in Columbus, Jeni’s is a local staple. They have the wackiest flavors, such as vanilla cedarwood (tastes like bacon), cumin and honey butterscotch cake, influenza sorbet, frankincense and almond cake (it tastes like patchouli-soaked hippies smell), and goat cheese with cognac fig. And yes, I tasted all of those except the cumin and influenza. They let us sample as many flavors as we wanted and then we could get 2-3 scoops in a cup or any kind of cone. The idea of 3 scoops made me almost vomit.
Jeni’s also has a cookbook if you want to make any crazy flavors at home. This place is a serious institution in Columbus.
Our final stop was cocktails at M at Miranova. I’ll be honest, husband and I went here for New Year’s one year and had such an awful experience that I’m not sure we’ll ever go back. It was abysmal and I’ve never been so disappointed about a restaurant in my life. On the tour, however, we had the restaurant to ourselves and the head mixologist came out to talk to us. She made a virgin cocktail for me, the underage girl, and Kelly.
Is anyone still reading? I hope so. Anyways, overall, we LOVED the tour. A few of these places were on my to try list, but I probably would never have gotten around to it on my own. The tour guide was knowledgeable, the stops all had cool people speak to use (including a few owners), the food was mostly amazing, and we had a blast. The tour is reasonably priced considering it included a knowledgeable guide, transportation, and all of the food (we bought one bottle of water along the way and that was it). We also got a sweet goody bag.
Columbus Food Adventures offers 2 tours of restaurants in local neighborhoods (the Short North and German Village), an alt eats tour (ethnic restaurants), and a taco truck tour. We’ve decided to do the German Village tour next. If we do four tours, the fifth is free and my husband seems to see that as a challenge. Hopefully we’ll be less sleepy after a real food tour because we are both just beyond zonked after all that sugar. And yes, we stopped for burgers on the way home because we had to have protein.
Have you ever done a food tour? If any of you come visit me, I will take you on this tour. What flavor of Jeni’s ice cream freaks you out the most. Goat cheese was surprisingly good. Anyone else think I’m going to get gestational diabetes after this?