Food Blogs in Greater Ohio

There is no doubt that Columbus, Ohio has a vibrant food scene.  There are countless blogs and Twitter feeds maintained by amateurs and professionals alike that espouse the benefits of eating locally and partaking in the rich food-centric culture that is woven throughout the city.

Ohio is big state, and Columbus isn’t the only game in town as far as food scenes go.  Here’s a look at some other food-related blogs from around the state.

Eating Cleveland calls itself Cleveland’s chubbiest blog and has the tag line of “I shot a man in Reno just to eat his pie”.  The blog is penned by a gentleman by the name of Mark who is proud to say the food scene in Cleveland is seriously underrated and he has made it his mission to root out the very best culinary experiences Cleveland has to offer.  His advice: Never trust skinny people  to recommend good food.

In the same town a blogger by the name of Michelle blogs at the Cleveland Foodie blog. It contains a menagerie of topics, including promoting events, restaurants, and local products .  One interesting feature on her blog is a Chef’s interview link that lists a list of interviews with local chefs, not something commonly seen on other Ohio blogs.

Slow  Food Northern Ohio is one chapter of a larger nation-wide organization established in 1989 to counteract the fast-food culture that is so prevalent in the United States today.  It  has chapters in many American cities and this blog focuses on the northern section of Ohio.  The blog features a large number of topics from events, to food and agriculture awareness events to focus on specific businesses.

Finally, at the other end of the state is the city of Cincinnati.  Hugging the southern edge of the state and just across the river from Kentucky, Cincinnati is home to the Bengals NFL team and the MLB Reds.  The writer behind Wine Me, Dine Me  is Julie Nielson Gosdin, a life-long resident of Cincinnati who loves to share her love of food and culinary pleasures with her eager readers.  The blog also occasionally includes posts from her husband Terry, who accompanies on her foodie-adventures.

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It’s Farmer’s Market season in Columbus!

It’s Farmer’s Market season in Columbus, with many markets opening for the first time at the end of April.  At the Clintonville Market, every stall was filled with a vendor and shoppers were eagerly purchasing their wares as soon as the clock struck 9:00 am on Saturday morning.  Clintonville isn’t the only game in town, however.  Farmer’s Markets are held all over the metropolitan area with a vast array of vendors from bedding plants to chicken, pork and meat-alternatives, cheese and honey.

Several local famer’s markets have blogs that are updated regularly throughout the season to highlight vendors and let customers know what to expect at each week’s market.  They’re also active on Twitter and work hard to keep people engaged so the markets continue to thrive. 

We’re highlighting a few Columbus-area Farmer’s Market blogs this week that will keep you informed of what’s happening the entire 2011 growing season.

The Dublin Farmer’s market runs every Wednesday, May – September.  It’s a relatively short market, from 2-3 hours depending on the time of the season.  Their website promotes 15 vendors that span from herbs and perennial farms to meat producers, cheese producers, jams, honey and produce.  They maintain a blog on the site that  includes interviews with vendors, recipes and promotion of special events. 

The Clintonville Farmer’s market  is in its 9th year and runs from the end of April through the end of October every year.  In 2011, the market will welcome a total of 65 producer-vendors to the market over the course of the season.  The market does not have a blog specifically, but it does send an electronic newsletter and they use both Facebook pages and Twitter to keep in contact with its patrons.

The North Market in downtown Columbus also has a weekly farmer’s market in season that’s held outside the North Market building.  Based on information published on their website, the Saturday morning farmer’s market begin on June 11, 2011 and continue each Saturday through October 22, 2011.  The North Market maintains a blog that covers events and vendors throughout the complex.

The Worthington Farmer’s market in northern metro Columbus  begins on May 7-October 29th of 2011. The market relies on a Facebook page rather than a traditional blog to disseminate information about the market.

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Columbus Food Scene does Twitter

Although  I’ve historically (if two posts can be realistically called a history) focused on traditional Ohio food blogs, there is another micro-blogging format that is teeming with activity from the Columbus food scene.  I’m speaking, of course, of Twitter, the micro-blogging site that asks users to put down their thoughts in 140 characters or less.  Since quietly entering the scene in the middle of 2006, Twitter has grown astronomically into one of the most important social media resources available on the Internet today.

The Columbus, Ohio Twitterverse is full of various bloggers and businesses that use Twitter to connect with their customers and each other.  Here is a listing of just a few.

@streeteatscbus is the companion Twitter feed to the Street Eats Columbus website that catalogues the growing mobile food truck trend in Columbus.  The feed is regularly updated and gives followers notifications of new food trucks, as well as promoting street food and food truck related events around the state.

@hillsmarket is maintained by The Hills Market located at the bottom of Worthington Hills, north of 270. The gourmet market offers locally grown produce and artisan products from all over Ohio as well as other specialty items.  They use their Twitter feed to promote new products and events at the market.

@Weilandsgmkt is the micro-blogging outlet for another Columbus gourmet market.  Wieland’s is located on Indianola Avenue and was started in the early 60s as a meat market.   Over time, the product selection has expanded to include a wide selection of locally produced specialty items, pre-prepared foods, seafood and an extensive beer and spirits selection in their state-licensed liquor store.  The Weiland’s feed is not actively updated, but when they do, they promote new items or restocked items that customers are asking for.

@Jury_Room, @TipTopKitchen, @SurlyGirlSaloon and @BettysColumbus are four Twitter feeds that are part of the growing culinary empire of Columbus restaurateur Elizabeth Lessner.  The four restaurant and bars feature mostly comfort food and serve up a lot of personality.  The Lessner restaurants use Twitter extensively to inform their loyal followers of new menu items, events and specials in their locations.

@DispatchKitchen is a Twitter feed maintained by Columbus Dispatch food editor Robin Davis.  Davis updates regularly with restaurants and information about all facets of the Columbu s and greater Ohio food scene.

@_Bluescreek is maintained by Bluescreek Farm, a local Ohio farm that raises beef, pork, lamb and goat without antibiotics or growth hormone.  Sourced by many Columbus restaurants for their high quality meat, they use their Twitter feed to inform customers not only of upcoming product offerings but often sends tweets about what restaurant partners have purchased meat and how they plan to use it, giving cross-promotion to both.

These are just a few of the Twitter feeds available that allow followers to keep up with the Columbus food scene.  For everyone from the casual restaurant diner to the rabid foodie, there’s something for everyone with every culinary interest.

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Home Cooks and Restaurant Reviews in Columbus

Persephone’s Kitchen is a blog written by a Columbus, Ohio stay-at-home mom.  The blog is about her love of cooking, gardening and local, seasonal eating.  The great thing about Persephone’s blog is that she cooks and photographs breathtaking food her posts make the whole thing seem so accessible.  The writing is as rich and beautiful.  The recipes are written in a refreshing casual, conversational style and she cooks interesting dishes. Recent posts include Galbi Jijm, or Korean short ribs, Orecchiette with leek and pea shoots and Orange and olive salad.  These are not run of the mill home cook recipes, but they make the reader immediately want to jump in and cook!

Bitchin’ In the Kitchen with Rosie is a local Columbus, Ohio food blogger that writes a wide variety of irreverent posts that cover everything from recipes to cookbook reviews to events as well as opinions, such as a recent post called The Anti-Food Porn Rant that talks about stylized food photographs, called “food porn” by some that she feels are mis-leading when it comes to re-creating an actual product.  The blog hasn’t been updated in some time but here’s hoping she’ll get back to posting soon because it’s a hoot.

CMH Gourmand is a staple food blog in Columbus by Jim Ellison.  Writing professionally since 1998, and a lifelong resident of Columbus, Ellison has a good idea what the Columbus food scene is all about.  He is part of the team that makes up TacoTrucksColumbus.com and also runs a blog on ice cream.  The blog is less about cooking and more about food in general in Columbus. Recent posts center around restaurants, including Bezel at the North Market, O’Reilly’s Pub,  and Borgata Pizza Cafe.  His posts are frequent and entertaining, giving the reader a look at sometimes lesser-known restaurants, but he also covers events as well as general musings and philosophies.

Breakfast with Nick is a food blog that focuses exclusively on breakfast foods.  The blog began all the way back in 2007 and is filled with a plethora of information for breakfast lovers in Columbus. Included in the blog is  a map of breakfast spots and a comprehensive list of reviews.  The blog is very photograph heavy  and the blog includes less text than other Columbus blogs.  The large collection of pictures, however, give the reader an excellent idea of what to expect from the atmosphere, decor and food.

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Columbus Ohio Food Blogs

Ohio hasn’t always been known as the culinary capital of America.  Larger cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago get the lion’s share of the press when it comes to new restaurants and talented chefs while smaller markets get less notoriety.  When television personality Anthony Bourdain came to  Columbus with cookbook author Michael Ruhlman to film a segment of Bourdain’s culinary travel show “No Reservations”, the host bashed the Columbus food scene as a  wasteland full of chain restaurants and strip malls.

 

Foodies of Columbus did not take the criticism lightly and invited Ruhlman back to Columbus for a whirlwind gastronomic tour of the mid-Ohio city in  November 2010.  Ruhlman was goaded into returning to Ohio’s capital by the so called Columbus food mafia to get a real taste of the local Ohio food scene.  What occurred in the 24 hours of Ruhlman’s visit was an onslaught of outstanding Columbus based food neither from strip mall nor chain that truly impressed the writer.  He later recounted the visit in his blog and ate his hat for dismissing the city so unceremoniously a year earlier.

 

The fact is, Columbus has a vibrant food scene with a wide array of locally owned restaurants, often sourcing local ingredients and  serving an ever changing selection of seasonal dishes that would rival restaurants in much larger markets.  The key is knowing how to get the dish on what’s happening in Columbus. Thanks to the Internet, you don’t have to look far to find what you’re looking for.

 

alt eats is a blog maintained by Bethia Woolf, a prolific central-Ohio food blogger who writes several mid-Ohio food centered blogs.  Alt eats covers the vast array of ethnic food available in Columbus.  To give the casual reader some indication of the depth of variety available in Columbus, Woolf lists 37 distinct categories on her blog and has an extensive collection of posts about ethnic food of many varieties in Columbus.

 

Another blog edited by Ms. Woolf covers a growing trend in Columbus, Latin American taco trucks.  She writes about these mobile businesses on the blog Taco Trucks Columbus.  The blog includes a comprehensive list of taco trucks in the Columbus area as well as a list of Spanish terms used on taco truck menus and a list of do’s and don’ts taco truck etiquette to make ordering and eating from these mobile establishments more accessible.  Finally, there is an extremely informative FAQ listed on the site that answers many taco truck neophyte questions such as “Are they trucks clean?” “Do I need to speak Spanish to order?” and “Do taco trucks take credit cards”.  A quick study of the blog will give the eager taco eater everything they need to have a delicious, authentic Latin American meal on the cheap.

 

We’ve listed only two local Columbus food blogs here, but there are far more available in Columbus’ vibrant food scene.  We’ll continue to highlight various Columbus food blogs in future posts as well as give some focus to the ways people are getting the word out about Columbus’ foodie culture into Twitter and other social media outlets.

 

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