Columbus Food Adventures: Dessert Extravaganza!

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.

Columbus Food Adventures Dessert Tour

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.

Yule Log (chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, orange chestnut frosting), 62% special amazing dark chocolate, carmel pecan parisian macaroon

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).

This is nowhere near the number of samples they gave us. I dug in so fast that Kelly and husband had to remind me to take a picture after I'd eaten half the stuff. The square is cheesecake with a brownie crust, the blondie is cinnamon streusel, the brownies are various chocolate something or other.

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.

Again, I dug in way too fast, but luckily Kelly still had everything on her plate. You can see some bar thing on the top (tasted like a dog treat, so I gave mine to my husband), a vegan version of a Hostess cupcake (amazing), a maple frosted cookie (it was not my favorite, I blame the raisins), and sticky bun. I wanted to marry that sticky bun. Sorry the picture quality sucks. Stupid iPhone.

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.

Kelly and husband. I don't know why he's giving her the creepy letch eye.

I was feeling boring and got salty carmel (bottom) and Ugandan vanilla (tastes like genocide?) in a waffle cone. I almost pooped my pants when they told me I could have waffle because waffle is the best and usually costs extra.

There's a chalkboard for the children. Of all sizes. He was very proud of his drawing on the right of his head.

Believe it or not, this was before the alcohol.

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.

The drink was not my thing (too much milk), but I loved the candy cane rim. The alcoholic version was pure alcohol and husband was no longer able to drive.

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.

Cookie samples from a local online only bakery (Rogue Bakery). We also got to choose two take-home brownies or blondies from Sugar Daddy's. I got the mint filled brownies (it's a sandwich) and the Tahitian blondie. Husband got the fiery brunette (a chili cinnamon brownie) and a strawberry blondie. We have not tried these yet, because the thought of more sugar makes me want to die.

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?


About Sarah S @RunningOnWords

Married 20-something in flux and trying to cope by running and occasionally crafting.
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16 Responses to Columbus Food Adventures: Dessert Extravaganza!

  1. Army Amy says:

    “tastes Iike genocide.” Bwahahaha!

    This looks so fun! I’ve never done a food tour, so I’m very jealous of you right now. I’m impressed that so many of the places sell their goodies online!*

  2. It tasted like bacon? Did you want to puke? I totally wish I had arranged to do this with you! Any of the tours sound like fun to me!

  3. April says:

    I lol’d at tasted like genocide too.

    Sounds like you had an awesome time. I’ll have to see if we have anything like that around here. Can’t wait to hear about the next one!

  4. Elle says:

    I have never done anything remotely like this and it sounds wonderful and horrible all at the same time! I think your peppermint milk drink looks beautiful but not sure about the taste of those things together! Did baby like it?

    At what point does the gestational-diabetes usually appear?

    Fun post!

  5. Kara says:

    I have a deep need for genocide flavored ice cream now.

  6. Andy says:

    Hi Sarah!

    I’m Andy, your tour guide from yesterday… thanks for joining us and thanks for the great write up!*. Did you go to Knead for the burgers?

    *Columbus Food Adventures does not endorse the notion that any of the food served by any of our restaurant tour partners bears any resemblance to the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of any ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. :-p

  7. OK, so people drove you around to eat dessert all day??? I’m moving to Columbus!!!

  8. That sounds like such a fun way to go into complete sugar shock! I am going to have to look around to find something like that by me. They probably have something in NYC.

  9. Terzah says:

    Anything actually named “influenza” would freak me out and be avoided. That sounds great! If I’m ever in Columbus, I’m in! (We just had a cookie exchange party yesterday so for once I’m actually off dessert, a state I expect to last about one day.)

  10. Laura says:

    Hi! Thanks so much for your comment! And congrats on your pregnancy! I was just reading your bucket list… looks good to me. I’m glad movies out (date nights in general) and sleep were on the list! I look forward to following your baby journey. 🙂

  11. Mandy says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun!!! We have to do the walking one in German village!

  12. Megan says:

    Man that sounds like a blast! I want to go on a dessert tour!

  13. michelle says:

    What a great time! I’d love to do something like that. 🙂

  14. Oooooh! I want to do the alt eats tour and a taco truck tour. Let’s go together!

    I just went to Jeni’s for the first time this summer and I don’t remember what it was called, but I had some kind of spicy ice cream. It freaked me out b/c I wasn’t sure if spicy and ice cream went together (even though I do love all things spicy) and it was PHENOMENAL! I have been craving it ever since. And, I also thought the goat cheese was surprisingly good.

    I didn’t know these things existed and it looks really awesome! I was thinking one of them might make a good gift for my Dad someday, he might like it. Did you have to do a lot of walking?

    Thanks for telling us all about it!

  15. Kim says:

    Sounds awesome! I love Pattycake Bakery!! 🙂 Pistacia Vera & Rogue also do GF (Rogue has some amazing spicy chocolate cookies). Oh, and Jeni’s – YUM!!! I think I drooled on my keyboard reading this. 🙂

  16. Pingback: Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties Giveaway! | Running On Words

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