Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Sophie's & Ajumama

Part II of  The Happy Day I Got to Try Lots of New Food

On the same day Karla and I had brunch at Skillet, there was a food truck party at a new-ish little brewery in Columbus. The place is called Zauber Brewing, and they occasionally have these events where you can try their beers by the pint and they bring in a rotating cast of food trucks while they're at it. I, like many other self-proclaimed foodie-types, am a big fan of the food truck scene, added to which, not one but two of the trucks I've been wanting to hunt down were both scheduled to be there! So of course, I had to go.
Justin and I headed down around dinner time, and probably would've missed the brewery if it weren't for the food trucks out front because it's so small. We then walked all the way around the trucks because there was a cord around them, not realizing until we got to the other side that we had to duck under it to get in. Ha. It didn't occur to me they were making an enclosed space until I saw people with pints of beer in hand.
Once we finally managed to get inside, we started at one end of the line and perused the menus of all the food trucks they had circled up like a caravan of conestoga wagons. According to the Zauber Brewing website, the line up that night was: Hungry Monkey, Mojo TaGO, Tatoheads, Ajumama, Blu OliveSophie's Gourmet PierogiShort North Bagel, and Street ThymeEvery truck had something (or several somethings) that sounded good, so it would've been hard to decide where to go if I hadn't already been following a couple of them on Twitter and getting hungry from their updates. Plus, Justin wanted pierogi too. So now, on to the food:

What We Ordered:
From Sophie's: Justin - The Vintage, Me - The Soph
From Ajumama: Traditional Hodduk 

Definitions (just in case): 
Pierogi - Similar to a big fat ravioli, but usually filled with mashed potatoes and cheese or onion. Origin: Poland.
Hodduk - Kind of like a chewy pancake, but filled with cinnamon, brown sugar, and walnuts. Origin: Korea.
Why I ate two filled-dough-type things for dinner - They were delicious.

Photographic Evidence:
Me and my delightfully-international, truck-made dinner.
Verdict of the Noms:
All very good! I don't know how Justin's pierogi tasted because he ate them so fast, but he said he liked them. I liked my pierogi a lot too and the pork belly that came with it was super tasty. The flavor of the vegetables reminded me of when my grandma would make stuffed cabbage when I was younger.
As for the hodduk? Just typing that word makes me want another one, if that tells you anything. I've had the make-at-home kind from a box and didn't like them at all. The real thing is so much better. You have to wait a while for the sweet, molten insides to not burn your mouth off, but believe me, it's definitely worth it.

Final Words:
I would get food from both these places again in a heartbeat. I think I would pick something new at Sophie's and definitely get some of their Italian ice next time because that looked really good too. From Ajumama, I would obviously order hodduk again, but it might take me a while to get brave enough to try some of their other menu items. I've never had much Korean food, so I really don't know what I would or wouldn't like. That's the nice thing about these food truck events though; you can sample a couple different things when they're all together like this.

For me, the other good thing about this event was that Karla told me she was jealous we were going and she had to work, so I was able to repay my brunch debt to her by taking her some dinner from the trucks. We got her an orzo pasta salad from Blu Olive (since I figured it would travel well) and took her a hodduk also. And the next time Andrea and I are both in Cbus, we'll have to go find Ajumama, since she's the one who introduced me to hodduk; otherwise, I might never have tried it! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Skillet: Rustic. Urban. Food.

Part I of  The Happy Day I Got to Try Lots of New Food

A couple weeks ago, my friend Karla and I decided to meet up for brunch to try Skillet for the first time. Justin (sad that he had to go to work instead) and I went our separate ways bright and early Saturday morning, and I headed south at the behest of the Australian gentleman who lives in my GPS.
Even with the eternal highway construction, I got to Skillet with minimal getting lost, which is always a happy occasion for me. I found a parking space exactly in front of the tiny restaurant and all seemed to be going well. Then I went to put my GPS into my purse and noticed that my wallet was not in there to keep it company. Uh oh. I had driven to a part of Columbus I could only identify as "near German Village," twenty minutes on the highways, all without my driver's license and now, had arrived at brunch with no way to pay for it.
I happened to have ten dollars in emergency cash, but knew from perusing the menu that would limit my options somewhat. However, Karla arrived minutes later and reassured me that she could handle this and I could get our next meal. Hooray for friends! Now, on to the food:

What We Ordered:
Karla - Heirloom tomato tart with an arugula salad, side of elote, coffee
Jordan - Chicken gravy and eggs over biscuits, side of bacon, coffee

Photographic Evidence:
Karla and I and our delicious brunch at Skillet. (Photo of me by Karla)

Verdict of the Noms:
It sounds cheesey to say this, but everything was awesome. Karla was super excited about the elote (AKA Mexican street corn, if you are like me and didn't know what that was) and the biscuits under my chicken gravy were seriously the lightest, fluffiest, butteriest biscuits I have ever had in my life.  I tried some of Karla's tomato tart which probably couldn't have been better, and we both agreed on the deliciousness of the bacon (not pictured above, but it looked like bacon).

Final Words:
I would absolutely, definitely recommend you try Skillet. The restaurant is super tiny, so get there early and/or be prepared to wait outside for a table. I know I will certainly be back in the near future, maybe for lunch next time to see what other deliciousness I can find there. Oh, and take a friend, especially if you might forget your wallet, and/or because you'll want to try whatever they order too.


To be continued: I was actually lucky enough to try three new food places that Saturday, so check back for my review of two of the many Columbus food trucks!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Food: Zucchini Fritters

A quick recipe for you, since I just made these for dinner and am all fat now from eating almost* the whole batch. Not having a picture is bad, I know I know, but believe me when I tell you this: Zucchini loves Basil. Forever. Now, on to cooking!

1 medium zucchini
1/2 medium onion
2 eggs
Some kind of Italian cheese (maybe a 1/4 cup?)
basil, black pepper, garlic powder
salt (not until the end!)

Shred both the veggies with your shredding device of choice onto a plate. (The biggest holes on the box please, we're not making applesauce out of veggies.) Get a bowl big enough for all your things. Pick up handfuls of your shredded veggies and SQUEEZE (pretty hard, hence the capslock). The goal is to  get as much water out as possible without bothering with that annoying salt-and-wait method that I hate. Drop your squeezed handfuls of goodness into the bowl until you're through all the vegetation. Discard the watery stuff... or drink it, I don't really care, just don't put it in the bowl. Crack two eggs into the bowl, beat them, then mix them into the veggies. It might look like they're barely coated in egg and that is what you want. Their job is to just hold the fritters together, not go making everything taste like eggs because no one wants that. Season with as much basil, garlic, and pepper as you deem reasonable. I like a lot of all those things. DO NOT ADD SALT YET. I mean it. Throw in some cheese- I used the dry shaker parm and some shredded asiago. Mix all the things. Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan to mediumish. Drop forkfuls of goodness into hot oil. Be careful and whatnot; it's hot oil. You may now salt the fritters if you so choose. Wait until they're brown on the bottom, flip them over, wait until the other side is brown too, remove to paper towel covered plate. Let cool enough that you don't burn your face off. Eat now. Thank me later.

Makes: About 12 small fritters.

*By the time I hit publish, I had eaten the last two.