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Falling into the All for Fall Menu at First Watch

Posted by CMH Gourmand on September 18, 2022

Long time readers and anyone that has dined with know knows that breakfast is my fourth favorite meal with a rare few exceptions: Starliner Diner, Tommy’s Diner, Skillet and Egg (in Rehobeth Beach, DE). I have no ill will against breakfast as a meal. I’m not a morning person and I don’t find most breakfast foods exciting. I prefer to save my calories for lunch, second lunch and dinner. However, when I was contacted by First Watch about their new fall breakfast / brunch menu I was immediately all in.

Fall is my favorite season. The colors and flavors of fall were well represented in the sample menu included with my invitation. I did not see one menu item that I was apathetic about. I was exited to try this out as their guest, however, due to the size of their All For Fall Menu I know I would need a lot of help so I made this a family affair. My evaluation team included my wife, my son, my mom and my mother in law. We picked a Saturday morning to visit our neighborhood First Watch (Upper Arlington) and we will all in.

Even with the excuse of the Covid Era, there is no good reason for us not to have visited this First Watch earlier, we have lived in the neighborhood over three years. We were very impressed as we walked through the doors. We noticed a well organized area for pick up orders, we were seated quickly at a very large, family friendly table and our server was fast, friendly and efficient. My wife and I quickly decided we need to add First Watch into our future rotations. I had no problem parceling out the menu items to different family members – everyone quickly identified which item they were most interested in with almost no overlap. The biggest challenge was my desire to order at least one item that was off the regular menu so I could get a sense of how First Watch delivers dad to day menu fare. My mom opted to be our team player by ordering the Floridian French Toast (in honor or my visiting mother-in-law) as long as she could sample the Caramel Crunch Cinnamon Roll. We made that easy by ordering two since that seemed to be the most intriguing item for all in our all for fall party.

Everything was served fairly quickly en masse to our posse. After chatting with the ladies in my party I looked over to my son to ask how he was liking his pumpkin pancake breakfast – and saw that there were only two bites of pancake left on an empty plate. So that let me know that he liked his meal. Fortunately for me, I took a photo before I passed the dish to him. The Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast included: two cage-free eggs cooked any style (he opted for scrambled) a very large spiced Pumpkin Pancake with a cone of butter dolloped in the center and a Jones Dairy Farm grilled all-natural savory chicken sausage patty. My son loves breakfast and while this might be considered too fancy for many seven year olds he said he loved it all. For the one bite of pancake I did get to try, I found it had enough subtle pumpkin flavor to be enjoyable but not so much that it tasted like an over the top pumpkin spiced (everything) which is ubiquitous for the season.

My assigned dishes were the Pomegranate Pear Punch, Butternut Squash Bisque and the Modern Croque Madame. I’ll lead with the punch. It was a pleasant pairing of flavors that bordered on tasting healthy. The ingredients are simple: Pomegranate, pear, cane sugar and lime. There is just enough pear to pair down the intensity of the pomegranate.

The drink was a good lead in to my sandwich, the First Watch Modern Croque Madame, their take on the French Classic. Their Croque Madame starts with grilled Buttered Challah bread then adds on layers of Cheddar and Monterey Jack, freshly sliced tomato and strips of hardwood smoked bacon. The concoction is topped with a sunny side up egg and an Alfredo-esque sauce of Parmesan cream sauce and fresh herbs. On the side, for the sake of balance, the dish includes a pile of organic leafy greens dressed with a hint of lemon. For a quick aside. the Croque Madame is the better half of the Croque Monsieur, a classic ham and cheese sandwich which appeared on French menus before World War One. The Madame is often known for its cardiac challenging extravagance. The First Watch interpretation makes bacon the meat of choice and I can find no fault in that. It is a good sandwich, and as with other croques I have consumed over the years, the egg makes the sandwich, much like the woman makes the man.

I end for recitation of selections with what I tried first, Butternut Squash Bisque. This soup resonated with the flavors of fall for me. The pureed butternut squash base was complimented a hint of carrot for sweetness and a touch of nutmeg then garnished with all-natural sour cream and a dash of fresh herbs. The origin of bisque is French as well, just think of it as a thick, creamy soup. This is the premise that First Watch delivered.

My wife gladly volunteered for the Brisket Corned Beef Hash. She was very happy with the perfect combination of shredded /pulled corned beef, seasoned cubed seasoned potatoes, house-roasted sweet potatoes slices, onions and red bell peppers topped with two cage-free eggs (we opted for scrambled) Parmesan cream sauce and fresh herbs. She was kind enough to save me a bite. We both agreed, that this was our favorite dish out of all we sampled and we would love to see this move to the main menu come wintertime and after. While is reads like a very heavy dish, it tasted quite light with all of the flavors blending well for a tasty meal any time of day.

My mother in law choose the Caramel Crunch Cinnamon Roll as her selection – which was pretty amazing since she is the most health conscious of our entire crew for this outing. We collectively shared the second roll we ordered for the rest of the table. These giant cinnamon rolls were topped with cream cheese icing, brown sugar caramel sauce, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and cinnamon streusel with a dusting of powdered cinnamon sugar on top. The rolls were light and flakey. The dense, flavorful sauce coasted my tongue like a bear skin rug in front of the fireplace on a chilly fall night. It tasted heavy and I wanted more after each heavy bite. I am fairly certain it added one pound per morsel.

While not on the fall menu, my mom’s order of Floridan French Toast was perfect for her. It appears on the year round menu. It consists of thick-cut brioche bread with wheat germ and powdered cinnamon sugar, with fresh banana, kiwi and seasonal berries piled on top. All in all, the Fall into Fall Menu was a fine meal for all of us and I am glad there is still time to go back and sample several of these fall themed menu items again.

Thank you for the invitation First Watch, I’m happy to come back again in the winter, and the spring, and the summer.

To find our more of the fall menu, the year round offerings and where to find your nearest First Watch, visit them on line anytime -> FIRST WATCH.

Posted in breakfast, Brunch | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Paulaner Biers Pair Well with a Bavarian Focused Father’s Day. Prost!

Posted by CMH Gourmand on June 11, 2022

Father’s Day gift giving is no small task. Typical and non-typical fathers are challenging to buy for, offering no hints or preferences about what they might want to have. I my case, I am very clear about my desires, I don’t want any presents and I don’t want a card unless it is homemade. What are sons and daughters and maybe mothers to do? For me, I want experiences and father/son time.

A conflation of ideas, events and opportunities inspired me to create this post. This is my sixth rotation being on the father end of Father’s Day. I love being a Father, it is been the greatest gift of a lifetime and I can not imagine a more fun son to help me learn about what it means to be a dad. However, I harbor a dread of Father’s Day. My dad died on Father’s Day in a foreign country while I was talking to him on the phone thousands of miles away. There was nothing I could do. He died alone with the phone in his hand There are no words for that circumstance. This year is the tenth anniversary of that moment. So I had a need for distraction.

Fate stepped in at the just the right time. The distributors of Paulaner beers contacted me to see if I was looking for any Father’s Day content. I was not planning on a Father’s day post but I was certainly interested in an opportunity to drink a beer. My dad was always up from a free beer (as long as it was not one of those fancy hipster beers). Earlier in the year, the company contacted to write about new sustainable packaging they have in the pipe line for Paulaner. As a recycling nerd, it was hard to say no, but the earth friendly packaging had no beverages to fill it so I reluctantly had to decline (quid pro….no). Even though I am now out of the beer and pop business it is still a stretch for me to write about non local beer. I crossed this Rubicon (<- read about my earlier Paulaner musings) before, plus I am a master of rationalization so second time around was no problemo or kein problem (bitte schön). The prize was an opportunity to try three Paulaner beers I have never sampled. So other than free beer, how do I tie this together into a theme? Here we go.

My dad was no drinker of craft beer. He did drink a lot of beer. It was usually Bud Light but in his final days it was likely Honduran Cerveza Salva Vida. However, sharing a Paulaner would have been an easy sell to Senor Senior CMH Gourmand-dad. While the Ellison’s were kicked out of Scotland about 1690, his mom’s side of the family was first generation German. When my dad was in the army, he was stationed in Germany and most likely drank many a Paulaner Pils to explore his heritage. Sliding that Paulaner down the bar would have had a 110% acceptance rate. But what about the other three beers in my bounty?

Paulaner Münchner Lager ABV 4.9%, This beer drinks crisp with notes of malt, a touch of hops and a slight sweetness. This is a popular beer in Germany even outside of Munich which says a lot in a very competitive field where most citizens stay true to the beers of their city or region.

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen ABV 5.5%, Consistently ranked as the #1 Wheat beer in Germany, you will find this as a highly ranked beer on any rating site. This is a perfect example of this style, so you will pick up aromas of banana and clove. If you are not a hop head, you won’t find the bitterness of hops in this hefe-weizen (but it has hops because that is the law of the land). This beer pairs well with the summer and fall. Hefe-weizen’s were cloudy before hazy beers were cool. Don’t forget that.

Paulaner Grapefruit Radler ABV 2.5%, Last year, I was smitten by the Paulaner Weizen-Radler (Non-Alcoholic). The Grapefruit Radler left me wanting more as well. This has an extra 2% ABV but does not drink like a beer. It is perfect for hot summer days, mowing the lawn, sitting on the beach or any other scenario when you want flavor, and less alcohol means more of everything else. I was impressed with this combination of grapefruit flavoring with a Münchner Lager. It was refreshing but not too sweet.

The first two beers would be an easy pitch to my dad while giving him a better flavor experience and a bit more ABV. I’d have a harder sell with the radler but telling him it a cooler choice than White Claw would get at least one into his system before he started worrying about his cronies poking fun at him.

Now that the beer is covered let’s jump the Bavarian Shark with some localization. If I was going to do something with my dad today, we would stick with the Bavarian theme. I’m an experience oriented gifter (not grifter) so as an alternative to his daily rounds with the groundlings at El Dorado’s Food and Spirits (beware there be monsters), I’d drag him out of that watering hole for a day on the town. We would start with a pre-game of Paulaner beers at lunch, paired up with an assortment of encased meats from Hungarian Butcher and Thurn’s. The beer of choice for this carnivore’s feast would be the Paulaner Münchner Lager.

(I have not had an opportunity to write about Hungarian Butcher yet and that is my failure. If you have not been, stop reading this drivel and go now. Dan Varga is a superior chef that had a dream of running a true butcher shop showcasing family recipes. The passing of his wife added fuel to the fire to make this dream happen and he delivered. I’ve known Dan for a decade. I think the world of him. I think even more highly of what he crafts in his shop. Before I knew him, he cooked at 90% of my favorite restaurants from 1991 to 2011. Go see him and buy as much as you can carry. (As for the Bavarian connection it is only 639 KM from Munich to Budapest). Thurn’s should be a secret to no one, but if you have never been – go, knowing that the same family has been practicing the trade for over 130 years. Enough said.

Next, we would head to Gemut Biergarten for a few beers on the patio. There is a lot to like about Gemut. What I like the most is that in a world overly focused on IPA’s or what is the new beer the week, Gemut chose a style, owns it and delivers a great experience.

(More back story here. Many of the folks at Gemut practiced their craft at Four String. A few became friends and were always there when I needed a favor or a last minute tour stop. It was devastating to see them loose their jobs with no notice in 2018. It is great to see many of them working together at Gemut and doing well in an industry still taking hits from a global pandemic and supply chain challenges.)

Our final destination for the day would be Germania, which is a true hidden gem not just in the Brewery District but in Columbus. I spent years telling the story of Germania in a tour I created about the Brewery District. Germania is a club with so much to offer, but in this case, our target is their curated menu of hard to find German beers as well as the notoriety being the only place in Columbus that consistently has a Wooly Pig Farm Brewery (one of the best breweries in Ohio) beer on tap at prices that seem like charity. I encourage you to seek out a public event at Germania and/or become a member of the their beer club. There is nothing pretentious about Germania, it has been a local club at the same location for a lifetime. It riffs a bygone era of camaraderie that is lost in our society. I’d have a hard time pulling my dad out of Germania at closing time. That is amazing because the Venn diagrams of our preferences and personalities never had more than a 2% overlap. We don’t suffer fools gladly and we (would have) both enjoyed Germania.

If you are looking for Paulaner beer for Father’s Day, here is a -> beer finder <- to facilitate your own Bavarian feast.

If you are looking for me, I’ll be with my 6 year old on Father’s Day, enjoying every second of it and maybe an occasional sip of Paulaner Grapefruit Radler.

Posted in food | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Pizza Gourmand = Aficionadough on Columbus Underground

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 12, 2022

Hello my loyal three fans. You may have noticed my posts are few and far between. But have heart, you can still get a fix of my infrequent adventures with my Aficionadough monthly feature on Columbus Underground. The one year anniversary of my column is in May. If you have missed out, you can catch up on articles both old and new -> HERE.

I’d like to say that I came up with the name. I gave Columbus Underground one stipulation when I came on board and that was I wanted the column to have a name. I submitted several possible names that I was not thrilled with to generate the brainstorming process and the gang delivered a good moniker. The articles have been well received and have generated a lot of click bait. My story about Dover style pizza resulted in a deluge of emails (some started initially as deeply offended). The feature I did about Pepperoni Rolls may have placed me in the sights of the Steubenville Mafia. While just writing about one type of food my seem limiting so far I have not struggled to find some new take for each article I craft. And yes, there is a Columbus Style Pizza.

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A Review of the Reviewers of Columbus Pizza: A Slice of History – A Special Festivus Edition

Posted by CMH Gourmand on December 23, 2021

Hello Loyal CMH Gourmand Reader(s)!

My book, Columbus Pizza: A Slice of History has been out in the world for 13 months.  I am happy to report that I have crossed the $1 per hour threshold for profits.  The book has garnered largely 5 star reviews on Amazon.  Reviewers in other venues are not as generous but still fair.  The toughest reviewers are on GoodReads which makes sense since that is a cadre of book nerds that frequently read books. None of the sites allow me to provide feedback to the reviews so I am using this Festivus blog as my venue to respond to reviews to date.  To those that provided 5 Star reviews, thank you for being kind.  For those of your that provided any review, thank you for helping the inter-web algorithms that sell books.

Columbus Pizza A Slice of History Image

Now to answer the critics.

This is a review from the Columbus Metropolitan Library listing for the book.

Fascinating history of pizza in Columbus. I had to subtract half a point for not including an index; this makes it very difficult to refer back to specific restaurants. I would have enjoyed more reviews on the food, but unfortunately that is not the focus of this book. Looking forward to checking out some new pizzerias!

Dear CML Patron,

Yes, I wish there was an index too, however, History Press is a small company and indexing well costs a fortune.  It also creates a nightmare of extra work when you need to update the book on a shoestring budget and tight timeframe.  The bibliography for the book serves many of the functions of the index by listing what pizzerias were featured in each chapter.  And yes, no reviews of food in a history book.  Opinions on food tend to not be as evergreen (and are much more polarizing) than just stating the facts. For reviews and opinions, please read my Aficionadough column in Columbus Underground.  Thank you for reading the book.

On Amazon, there are a lot of reviews.

Dominic (who later changed his name to Nick)
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, needed an editor though
Reviewed in the United States on July 8, 2021

Really great book to talk about the history of Cbus Pizza. A lot of names I recognized or know. Biggest complaint was that the author isn’t the best at organizing his information. Tended to jump around and overall could have used a better editor. Also he failed to uncover that ________ pizza (who prides themselves in their homemade sausage), bought their dough frozen for years! Might still do it.

Dear (Domi) Nick,

The book is organized in chronological order and chapters list out what years are covered,  you can’t get more organized than that for presenting information. As for jumping around…. again the book is in chronological order by pizzeria. Finally and what puts your review on the Festivus list, it is poor form to take a dig on a local restaurant in a book review, I appreciate your purchase but you get 1 star for the unneeded slight of a local pizzeria.

The other irksome review on Amazon comes from O – So – Fluffy.

osofluffy
3.0 out of 5 stars good but
Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2021

i was disappointed that there wasn’t any info on more of the osu campus area places i remember from college. perhaps they were chains and not local so they didn’t qualify for the book? and unfortunately, all the pictures were black/white. that said, i don’t regret buying it but would not give as gift

OMG, WTF OSOFluffy.  Thanks for the purchase.  Your own review answers your questions / concerns – Yes there are countless pizzerias that resided on OSU for 0 to 10 years I did not write about.  There have literally been 100 on or near campus since 1950, most have come and gone and many were chains.  OSU spots that were mentioned were: Adriaticos, Catfish Biff’s (RIP after the book was published), Papa Joe’s and Tommy’s, that is good representation.  There were a few OSU pizza places I would have liked to include but there was not enough information available.  The one place I wish I could have included, because it was dear to so many, was the Venetian. I do have enough details now, that if I get to update the book in the future, it will be included. I don’t regret you buying the book and I would not trust you buying a gift for someone based on your fear of capital letters and punctuation.  Keep an eye out for my book, Every Pizza Place that Ever Existed, followed by, Every Place OSOFluffy Ate at OSU: A Comprehensive Guide to Mediocrity.

In Goodreads, two reviews mention the word redundant.  All I can say to that is, there is certainly redundancy in the book, but please keep in mind, it is a history book and one can not assume that readers will read the book cover to cover, so on occasion some information was repeated to make sure the context was understood.

I will be the first to admit that the book is good (B), but not great (A).  I outlined some of the challenges I had in writing the book (try writing a history book during Covid sometime and get back to me) in this post when it was released.

I know the book has inspired some positive actions over the last year.  I am aware of at least six groups of people that have decided to try a different place from the book each week until they complete their quest (that is 50 plus places!). Many people have emailed me with fond memories of pizza in Columbus.  For those of you that look down on the pizza offerings Columbus has to offer, let me offer you a cautionary tale.  Countless people who have moved from Columbus to Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and all destinations west of the Mississippi, long for even the most lowly of a Columbus Style Pie and they recognize and appreciate the difference between a classic Columbus Style Pizza and a lackluster pizza that just happens to be cut in squares.

Although Covid has limited my ability to promote the book in the traditional way, I have had the opportunity to discuss it on WOSU twice, online with the Bexley Public Library and in person at the Grandview Public Library as well as a sports podcast and online forums. For those of you that read the book, thank you.  For those that gave it as gifts (even with the shame of black and white photos) thank you.  Most importantly to those that emailed me with your own history, thank you for sharing your stories.

Now for regular Festivus.  My main grievance is directed at the large minority of humanity who made a conscious choice to make a global pandemic worse than it needed to be. They are why we can’t have nice things.  To those that disdain safety protocols, treat service workers like shit, disrupt airline flights, and feed the beast of Fox News I bid you a gigantic fuck you and an endless supply of black coal.

My other grievance is to those that consciously opt out of recycling.  It is not difficult to recycle in Columbus and it is not rocket science to recycle correctly.  If you can make one positive pizza change in 2022 remember that the box top of the greasiest pizza is still recyclable so cut it off and put it in your blue can.

For those of you not in the above categories, I wish you a happy holiday and better 2022.

Posted in food | 3 Comments »

My Magnificent Memorable Meal at Ray Ray’s Meat + Three

Posted by CMH Gourmand on September 12, 2021

It was 6 pm on a Wednesday. I had just wrapped up a client meeting at the Downtown Newark Library and I was ready to hit the road west, back to Columbus. (By the way, the library is a beautiful building well suited to the task). A common theme in many support groups is H.A.L.T. = don’t make decisions when you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired. I was hungry. I am pretty much always angry (in an existential sort of way), I have not been lonely in this century but I was alone, which is a rarity and I was definitely tired. The rays of the sun relentlessly tried to blind me through my sunglasses and visor as I tooled along SR 161 when I recalled that Ray Ray’s Meat + Three was nearby. In fact the exit to it was about 4 seconds away. A quick tap of the breaks and short lived turn signal found me on target to Ray Ray’s.

I plied my way through the door knowing exactly what I wanted to order, a sampler. I then paused a bit while I pondered on my side choice options. Here I decided to go for that bridge too far. The sampler showcases multiple meats so good sense would dictate one or maybe two sides. I opted for three. I did show restraint by getting one dessert instead of two. Then just as I was completing my order, I decided that I would live it up by having my monthly alcohol allotment with a Rockmill Brewing White Ale.

The sampler including the following: Brisket, BBQ Chicken, Sausage, Pork Belly, Pulled Pork, Pickled Onions and Pickles. Three sauces, to use as I see fit were included. As a Kansas City BBQ Society Certified BBQ judge, professional food judge and lifelong eater every single item on this samples was perfect. My sides were macaroni and cheese, corn pudding and a Scotch Egg. Once again, each was excellent, the dishes showcasing the epitome of perfect for what I prefer about these sides. I will expand more on the Scotch Egg as the end of this dispatch.

I sat in silence, at a picnic table by myself literally sucking all of this in. I wanted to enjoy the moment but I also wanted to get home in time to tuck in my son and share a few of the best bites with CMH Spouse. The weather was perfect, on this final day of August it was neither hot nor humid, there was no threat of rain and a light breeze kept me cool and blew most of the insects away and kept them at bay. It was also refreshing not to eat from my kitchen counter/office or out of a bag. I soaked in the peace, the quiet, and the food. In my mind, my sole thought was a recurrent, “this is so fucking good”. I’m not often prone to profanity but the quality of this meal warranted more adjectives while the pleasure centers of my brain blocked my ability to think of anything more eloquent. In this altered state of consciousness, I think I may have started to mouth, then mumble and finally, possibly audibly articulate “this is so FUCKING GOOD!” over and over again, when a figure appeared in my peripheral vision.

It was not figment of my imagination, it was Jamie “Ray Ray” Anderson himself. I waited for him to say “Sir, can you please stop scaring my guests”. Instead, he said “I thought I saw you, I have not seen you in forever, where have you been?”. My stock answer to this question is I got married, I have a six year old son and also, Covid. He asked if this was my first time visiting and I, much to my shame since the place is well established now, said yes. He asked why I did not call ahead for VIP treatment and I shared that this literally was a spur of the moment trip. We talked briefly about the food. However, since my brain was still fogged by pure joy, I could not produce any fan boy assessment. All I could jumble out was, “the chicken is great, the pork belly is great, the brisket is great…..” I was too out of clinical practice to go into to detail about how the brisket was the perfect. Neither too tough nor too tender. Sliced to the optimal thickness. Just enough of a smoke ring to add to both appearance and flavor. I did not tell him that I have not had a better serving of chicken in my recollection, and on and on.

What Jamie and I did speak of was happiness. The joy of being able to spend time with our families. The joy of after a very long journey feeling that this project and his assorted businesses were hitting the mark he wanted them to without taking away from family or lowering the high bar he sets for what is served. We spoke of the dream team that has created at Ray Ray’s Meat + Three including, of course, Chef Bill Glover. Jamie also spoke of the how this business threw in a new variable – being a property owner. Buying / investing in property is a different dynamic as well as a choice/act he is proud of.

Jamie mentioned that he was doing a special tasting menu for Scott Woods, local writer and poet whom we both follow with an interest. Scott was kind enough to give my book an unsolicited shout out a few months back, which was much appreciated. Since Scott and I were unlikely to cross paths again in the near future, I was happy to be able to drop by his table and thank him both for the endorsement and for his contributions to our community.

In short summary, my meal at Ray Ray’s Meat + Three was magnificent! That was no surprise but why is this blog worthy? I have written about my most memorable meals before, most recently in June of 2019, and this ranks within the top seven without hesitation. The Meat + Three concept is a blend of some menu items you have seen on the Ray Ray’s food trailers for years, with specials and extra dishes a full kitchen and meat cutting area can provide in a fusion of best parts of Central Texas BBQ joints (think Lockhart Texas) and classic Nashville Meat and Three eateries.

I had no plan to write about Ray Ray’s Meat + Three because my decision to dine there was spur of the moment. I just hoped to have a good meal. Don’t get me wrong, apathy and Ray Ray’s are words that will never be paired together for me. I have been dying to eat there since it opened in June and I heard about the eatery’s development since shortly after birth of the concept. What made this meal magnificent is the same thing that drives me to write (much less now that in the past), which is the human component. I was not Jamie’s first customer but I was among the first. I might not be the first to write about him, if so, then I was second to write about him and what he set out to do years ago. I have watched that journey and eaten the results along the way. What made this meal magnificent was being able to see the arc of Jamie’s story land where he is today and see him experience joy first hand. In the world of food, Ray Ray’s Meat +Three is the equivalent to shooting a three pointer to win a national championship in the last second of a game. As Jamie departed he noticed I has set aside a few choice bites to take home from my wife. He insisted on making a VIP to go bag for Mrs. Gourmand. It was an honor to have him curate a trophy for me carry into my home. I really lucked out here. Not only was I the hero when I walked through the door but his care package included the two things I wanted to eat but did not order – greens and homemade bread! I asked Jamie, many years ago what his go to item was at Ray Ray’s and he said without hesitation, it was greens, he eats them everyday. So there you go kids. If you eat your vegetables everyday good things may happen.

This is not a story I set out to write. But it is a story I felt compelled to write about as I walked to my car after my meal. As I looked down at the parking space by my car I saw two pennies waiting for me to plunder. Those that know me well know that I love to find loose change and that I will one day die picking up a penny from the street. It was at that moment of everything coming together for me, that I felt the need to turn around a take a photo so I would have an image to go with the story I knew I needed to write.

Ray Ray’s Meat +Three Details

Sidedish: The Scotch Egg, The Bee and Me.

The first photo you see below was me trying to emulate the photographic styling of Mr. Tony Layne – The Man, the Myth and the Legend behind Porketta and the creator of high end food pornography. This bee was fascinated with the Scotch Egg I ordered at Ray Ray’s Meat + Three. I was happy for the bee to focus on this while I focused on the rest of my meal. By the time I circled back to this round orb of cardiac concern, as the last item of my meal, the Bee was gone. I took one bite of the Scotch egg and was instantly beyond full. At this point, I noticed the bee was now prone by the tray. Unmoving but not dead. I believe he overdosed on the sweet sauce of the Scotch Egg. His inability to move and absolute lethargy turned out to be a prelude to how I would feel about 30 minutes later. I understand and respect the bee’s bliss and hope he was able to fly away on his own power by the next day.

Ray Ray’s Meat + Bee

Posted in food | 4 Comments »

Covid Confessions: Confections, Crackers and Corporate Food

Posted by CMH Gourmand on August 22, 2021


One score and 500 days ago a global pandemic brought froth a new plague to this nation.  It could have been an opportunity to unify to fight a common foe, but it quickly devolved into another offshoot of the culture wars.  So here we are today, few of us sadder, very few of us wiser and so many people gone before their time.

I have had this post on the back burner all of 2021.  I was waiting for the right moment to drop this to my 43 fans.  Well, the criteria kept changing.  End of the pandemic….nope. The date Ohio hit herd immunity – negative. Griffin completing a whole week of Kindergarten….not even close.  The day we used up all of our pandemic meat supply…..I just found some sausages buried at the back of the freezer. So today, I have decided that it is the week that CMH Spouse and CMH Griffin have two negative Covid Tests in a row so we can end quarantine a bit sooner.

The year 2020 started out with great promise.  After years of running Columbus Brew Adventures, I was ready to go to new adventures and very much looking forward to spending more time with my family.  Brew Adventures created many opportunities and connected to me to countless wonderful people. It also allowed me to do what I enjoy which is study a new culture, learn it’s mores and traditions and eventually hope to be accepted into yet another tribe, this time the community of craft brewers, distillers and their ilk. Brew Adventures gave me the flexibility during the week to make my son school and other schedules work. The trade off was most weekends away from my wife and son and that much time away had become untenable and less profitable. So as 2020 dawned, I was looking forward to more family time.  I certainly got that.

In mid March I sat alone at the bar of Rockmill Tavern. The first elements of the lockdowns were getting ready to be implemented which canceled guide training for a tour I created, the Brewery District Walking Tour.  I had planned to help start things off right for the season then ride off into the sunset.  That did not happen.  I did decide to pass out old Hoster Brewing bottles as thank you gifts for my veteran guide team.  I figured it could be a month or two before I saw them again (wrong) and I wanted to complete my hand off’s so I could feel I accomplished something for the weekend. I wore a new mask my wife made for me the night before when I headed down to the rendezvous.

I sat at Rockmill’s bar talking to John at the bar. He comped me a my favorite sandwich (to celebrate a hoped for return of tour season) of the era, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich so I bought a beer and tipped more than appropriately.  It would be my last meal inside a restaurant.  (John would go on to be the manager at Rockmill working many a 100 hour week, then Rockmill closed for summer of 2021 but has a planned return in the fall). Between bites, I handed off the bottles – mostly on the sidewalk.  When I finally walked out the door around 2 pm that Saturday – I looked down Front Street to the right and saw no cars or people.  I looked to the left and saw the same.  One thought came to mind.  We are fucked.  This was clearly going to last more than a month.

I drove home along empty highways and looked for more stay in place supplies as I pulled off 315 getting ready for the lockdown after I closed the garage door.

I’m sure I’m adding to the cliches of Covid but it did change the lives of myself and my family. We are now well beyond a year of the strange, surreal days of the beginning of the shutdown. I recall coming home from work and never going back, being excited to find a pack of napkins when all the paper towels were gone, calling my friends when I found disinfectant wipes off the beaten path at Lowes. We partnered with our neighbors to maximize grocery runs and shared supplies. My wife made over a 1000 masks in record time. I watched friends lose their jobs, businesses and outlook on the world.

I also watched people dig in, double down, reinvent themselves or their businesses while keeping calm and carrying on. The moment that made the pandemic the most…real…. to me was when we had to cancel our joint family weekend in the Hocking Hills with our old neighbors.  No O’Betty’s, No Little Fish, No West End Cider House, No Avalanche Pizza, No fun, No (Lake) Hope.

If you want to read the diary of the restaurant that white-knuckled it through the downs, speed bumps, and more downs of the last 500 plus days, check out the Instagram feed of Smokehouse Brewing which provides a daily play by play of what it is like run a restaurant and brewery when all forces are focused against you.

As the contrarian that I am, in 2020 when everyone else was gaining the obligatory Covid ten pounds, I dropped thirty.  I then put on much more than that when restaurants started to reopen in 2021.

There were some unusual and unexpected things that were good for the morale of our family.  The best decision of record in the Covid era was 100% from my wife – a giant inflatable swimming pool which she bought the second the lock down was announced, they were unavailable a few weeks later. It ensured we all had a little exercise and a lot of recreation and it became the only effective way for CMH Child to engage in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy – there is a lot you can do with Zoom, two parents and a pool with our outstanding team from Bridgeway.

As a family we had worked hard to get Griffin to the right school for him and Covid took that off the table quickly just after the positives of that decision were starting to kick in – online school sessions were an effort in futility for us.  We had worked hard before Covid to limit his screen time for many reasons, but eventually as spring started to wane, we had to relent.  This was a difficult and stressful pill for me to swallow.  And this meant much more exposure to childhood programming which I despise.  I’d rather watch four hours of Fox News than one episode of Ryan’s Playhouse, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, or the ilk.  One night as I was in the other room in a deep mental fog, I heard some familiar Australian accented phrases in the background.  I wandered into our living room to see a family of cartoon dogs.  I was saved by Bluey which I view as highly as Calvin and Hobbes. This is an absolutely perfect cartoon for children to watch.  The writing is good.  The humor is universal.  I never feel pandered to and the associated merchandise is very limited. The show models functional family behavior without feeling like someone reviewing the script said, “Oh, shit, we forgot to throw in an insincere 10 second value lesson in this episode.”  For me, it reminds me of an earlier era when I was a wayward traveler roaming Australia as often as I could.  There are many episodes of Bluey I have watched at least thirty times and I gladly look forward to watching a hundred more times. For those inclined to “give this show a go” my favorite episodes in order are: 1) Sleepytime, 2) Dunny, 3) Baby Race and 4) Ice Cream.

I listen(ed) to a lot of Pandora while working from home, not uncommonly with a sick child in the next room.  My very unexpected Pandora station which accounts for 90% of my listening time is Rox Radio which is almost exclusively British Female R&B singers of the last last two decades: Rox, Sade, Duffy and the like.  Strange to most, but true.  Have no fear, I still get Metallica and Iron Maiden in sufficient, although occasional, doses.

Now on to food, which is what we are here for.  What is my truest Covid confessions? Skittles.  I had forgotten about Skittles, those round little bursts of fruit flavor.  I’m not sure how the first bag found it’s way into our locked down home.  It could have been a left over from a neuron mapping exercise my wife does with her AP Psychology students but I can assure you over the last 500 days, we have never been a Skittleless home.

Next and this is specifically for me, Hershey Special Dark with Almonds Nuggets. The Special Dark Bar became part of the Hershey’s line up in 1971.  My first exposure to it came among the piles of Halloween candy during my youth.  The Hershey’s miniatures were always a mild disappointment when found among regular sized Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, Mini Almond Joys, Popcorn balls and bullseye candies.  The small, bite sized bars where viewed as the cheap man’s way out of bringing joy to the preteen masses.  However, I always hoped for mini Mr. Goodbars and  during those not so wonder years, the Special Dark Bars.  I would gladly trade 2-3 of the standard Hersey Miniature chocolates or offer an even one on one exchange of a Krackle for a Special Dark with my prepubescent peers. I liked the exotic nature of the Special Dark and I would save them to savor as the last of my Halloween loot. I also figured out these were great dipped into a jar of Skippy peanut butter. In my twenties, when I discovered dark chocolate was not so hard to to come by, the Special Dark became an afterthought. However, during Covid shortages, I found that Kroger was never short of Special Dark Nuggets because most people did not discover what I did in their misspent youth.

I then realized, I had never put any thought into what made Special Dark special. It is not like Hershey has a Regular Dark, Undervalued Dark bar or Cleveland Browns Bar. As it turns out, from 1939 to 1971, the bar we know as Special Dark was called Hershey’s Semi-Sweet bar. Clearly the name change was needed.  The Special Dark Bar has higher percentage (45%) of  cocoa solids, chocolate liquor and cocoa butter than milk chocolate. So it is indeed special.  Add in a sliver of an almond as found in the nuggets and it is practically a health food.  

What I found I missed the most during our restricted interaction with the world of restaurants was Taco Trucks and authentic Mexican Food.  In my last in store shopping run at the beginning of the Pandemic I picked up a discounted bottle of Herdez Guacamole Salsa.  It quickly found itself buried in oblivion in our pantry until one day when I was desperate to eat something remotely different from our standard fare.  I hoped for the best when I dumped the Guacamole Salsa on a pile of hastily made nachos.  I was instantly surprised by the flavor and light, spicy heat of this product.  Then I decided it was worth trying again so using the power of online ordering at Kroger I looked for other Herdez salsas I might like as well.  I tried several and never felt any were a bad decision.  In fact, when I look at the very important quality to price ratio that I apply to all mass produced products, I think Herdez is hard to beat. Tied for first on my Herdez Hierarchy is the Queso Blanco Dip. The price is right.  The heat is just enough without overpowering anything else and in a dire emergency it goes great on potato chips.

Not featured in the photo with this post but a rediscovery nonetheless, Wheat Thins.  We always have a box on hand.  They don’t go stale, they don’t break easily and they are never hard to find at a store. They were not a pre pandemic staple but in our house there are now a few things we always have a spare of: loaf of bread, toilet paper, paper towels, peanut butter, Parmesan cheese and Wheat Thins.

There have been other discoveries along the way.  For pick up meals, we have yet to find anyone that does better than Iaconos Pizza and Cuco’s for ease and speed from order to pick up. Kroger and Giant Eagle curbside services have been a valued asset to our family and something that will persist after the pandemic is really over. The biggest discovery is not mind shattering but important.  I have been embedded with my wife, son and my wife’s dog almost 24/7 for well over a year and I would not trade that for anything.  I don’t want to kill them and they don’t want to kill me (however my wife does watch a lot of Dateline episodes and listens to an insane number of true crime podcasts). I don’t think all families, pods or domestic partnerships feel that way after 500 and counting days embedded together.

What are your Covid discoveries, confections, connections or conundrums you care to share?

Posted in food | 4 Comments »

Over One Million Served

Posted by CMH Gourmand on June 28, 2021

 CMH Gourmand Logo

Today (June 28th, 2021) is the day, page view One Million happened on or about 10 AM EST. It took just short of fifteen years to get here. My first post was August 28th, 2006. A few years ago, I when checked the numbers I thought I had a long shot of hitting 1 million by the fifteenth anniversary if I could get my traffic to trend back up to their heyday. I knew with life, parenthood, etc., that would be a long shot, but Covid gave this blog a shot in readership as people who were very bored started reading more. So here we are two months ahead of a schedule that I figured was a bridge too far.

The one million page views were made by just over 287,000 unique visitors. The best month for traffic was January 2009 which was pretty much where I peaked in life in general to date. The most page views of one post in a single day was 3685 on April 22nd, 2020 for a pizza post I did. No surprise there, people became really interested in pizza during Covid. And the post with the most traffic over time was a post I did about the history of Pizza in Columbus (October 5th, 2008) – it is also the most copied.

There have been 1861 comments, 785 posts and I have 41 uncompleted drafts which are story ideas for rainy days. I do not know who has viewed the most posts the most often but I can tell you Cindy Leland has commented the most. Thank you Cindy!

One million is a nice milestone but in the world of blogs, one million is exciting if you get that in a month or two, not 15 years. In the heyday of Columbus Food Blogs, some may recall Lisa The Waitress, whose blog hit one million views pretty early. I am the last of the old school, old school bloggers who blog for the sake of blogging and while I may be a bit burned out, I will not fade away quite yet. I am not ready to go gently into that good night, or any night for that matter.

Let’s talk about another food entity that has served millions……..billions. McDonalds.

McDonalds used to maintain a running total of how many billions of hamburgers they served the world over and this number would be updated on their signs at regular intervals.

In 1958, the company reported 100 million served. In 1961, it was 500 million. In 1963, it was One Billion served! The year 1993 saw the official number hit 99 billion. In April of 1994. McDonald’s announced they would change the sign to Billions and Billions Served (because they were tired of updating the signs). Please note – McDonalds counts each hamburger patty as a serving so the Big Mac got those billions up faster than the Hamburglar can get to the drive thru window.

Thank you for your viewing

Posted in food | 2 Comments »

Pearl Valley Cheese Please!

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 27, 2021

I love cheese. I like to support local foods. I’m also proud of any award winning Ohio food. Putt all of these things together and you have, Pearl Valley Cheese. I first discovered the company by accident. In the 1990’s I spent many weekends roaming the back roads of Ohio looking for places to hike and bike. One day while enjoying the hilly roads of State Route 93, I spied a sign for Pearl Valley Cheese Company. I braked hard, back tracked and saw a small red building and a deserted parking lot. I figured it must be a manufacturing facility closed for the weekend but I drove on anyway and saw an open sign so I popped into a turophiles wonderland.

When I arrived it was close to closing time but the staff were generous with samples and suggestions therefore I happily left with several sampler bags and pounds of cheese. Later that day, I had a mini-cheese tasting somewhere along the backroads of Holmes County. Pearl Valley is far off the beaten path in Amish country but it became a mandatory stop for any adventure in that part of the state.

Pearl Valley is not as as well known as the other Amish / Swiss Cheese makers and destinations in Ohio but the company is no less distinguished. It has won countless awards at the state, national and international level for a variety of their cheeses. Pearl Valley is a perennial winner at the Ohio State Fair, which offers stiff competition in all cheese categories.

The company has a almost of century of cheese making experience, dating back to 1928. The company is still family owned and was started by Swiss immigrants. While the company follows traditional recipes and techniques, it has never been reluctant to be innovative and progressive. In 1969 they started a whey drying facility that allowed them to recycle waste from the cheese making process into a useful commodity. In 2010, they built a wastewater treatment plant which uses the waste water from cheese making and the methane created to generate 1/3 or more of the electricity for the operation.

Life, world travels and parenthood curtailed my Ohio roaming but I still sought out Pearl Valley cheese where I could. At this point, I am going to take us on a detour to share the story of my latest trip to Pearl Valley. In the summer of 2020 during the mid point of covid quarantine, cabin fever and a 5 year old with too much energy and too little world exposure prompted our family to get out of the house to do something that would be different, far away and contactless. We typically do a mini adventure every July for CMH Griffin’s birthday. In the summer of 2020, we decided to visit a drive through petting zoo in Amish country. When CMH Spouse presented the idea my face lit up. I made an expression that she is all too familiar with because she saw the wheels turning in my head as I was making a PLAN. I asked if we could tag on a trip to Pearl Valley Cheese since it is on the way and would give us some nice scenery to look at. I proposed that I would maintain distance, double mask and just go in and out quickly so we could cheese up of the afternoon. She reluctantly agreed and the deal was done. (For other plans gone awry, please refer to past posts where I went somewhere with the grumpy old man)

The journey started with high spirits and jubilation until we came across a detour sign on the way to Fresno, Ohio, the home of the cheese company. At this point I “heard” my wife direct a LOOK at me so I averted my eyes and tried to assume the fetal position as best as I could in the passenger seat. As it turns out CMH Spouse has a medical condition that involves vertigo, this makes hilly, twisty, up and down driving a neurological nightmare for her. I could not offer to drive because she gets car sick on long drives if she is not the driver. So we endured about 15 minutes of narrow, gravel-roaded terror as we made our way to Pearl Valley Cheese company. When we pulled into the parking lot there was silence. I very quietly said I would be back in 5 minutes and slinked to the front doors and safety. With great haste and focus I gathered as much cheese as I could carry. As I was checking out I asked if there were any detours for the rest of our journey, I was relieved to hear that we were done with our gauntlet run for the day. I was gifted with a map that highlighted a route that would ensure we had smooth sailing on the way home. I returned to the car, delivered the news and we proceeded on. Our destination was the Farm at Walnut Creek. The Gourmand family highly recommends this drive thru petting zoo with two caveats: 1) Get twice as much animal food than you think you will need 2) Carefully read the instructions that warn you about what animals to avoid on the route BEFORE you start your drive down the road.

In light of the above, it is unlikely I will travel to Pearl Valley Cheese again with my wife in this decade, however, I have a good alternative. You can order online from Pearl Valley Cheese. Here are a couple pointers for ordering from them. First, sign up for their mailing list, they sometimes have promotions that offer 10 to 15% off. Second order in the winter months. In the summer, they include cold packs to keep the cheese at temperature, so this adds weight to the box and thus more shipping charges and extreme heat in the summer could lessen the flavor of your cheese. Lastly, looking at shipping charges, your best value is getting 4 or more cheeses which is the weight point where the price per wheel percentage starts to decline to create a good value. Using these strategies you will get a wider variety of their cheeses for less than you would pay at a store if you can find it (often you can not).

Over the years, I have identified my favorites Pearl Valley Cheeses: Lacey Baby Swiss, Smoked Swiss and Farmers Cheese. I have never consumed any of their cheeses I did not enjoy, but these are the three I always order. The quality is very good. I have eaten Swiss Cheese in Switzerland and our Ohio Swiss cheese is as good or better than what I had in the mother country.

Here are a few fun facts about Swiss Cheese in Ohio:

– Ohio produces 61% of the Swiss cheese in the united states

– All of the large Ohio cheese producers are family owned

– Pearl Valley makes 35,000 pounds of cheese per day, five days a week and all
milk is sourced from ohio dairy farmers

Since our July excursion I have had two boxes of cheese delivered to me and was highly satisfied with what I received. I even shared some.

Posted in cheese, culinary misadventure, Locally Sourced, Ohio, Road Trip | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

gosun Portable Solar Oven: Kind of Cool, but Still Hot

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 14, 2021

Here I am writing about another gosun product. How did this happen? Last summer I was asked if I wanted to try out the gosun Solar Oven for free. I said, yes of course. In addition to being a recycling nerd and zealot, I am also a huge sustainability fan with a trace of survivalist thrown in. There was no way for me to resist this offer, especially since the opening pitch mentioned hot dogs. As it played out, the item was on back order for a while so I ended up getting it in the late fall. Due to the delay I was asked if I wanted to try our the gosun Flatware. I ended up getting both at the same time. I am late on reviewing both products but review the oven I will with no good excuse for the delay other than a lock of no free time until recently.

Let’s start with the cool factor. This oven is portable and lightweight (2 pounds). This is easy and intuitive to use. The oven is the size of a small purse. It also comes with easy to understand instructions and sample cook times based on the amount of sun and the type of food being cooked. There is also a lot of stuff that comes with the stove – a nylon bag to carry everything including a tube cleaner and silicon food trays to hold food in the tube.

The diameter of the tube is a bit more that the typical paper towel cardboard cylinder. You are not going to cook a meal for a family of six with this oven and you are not going to get anything as quickly as a microwave. In this case the journey is more important that the destination. The stove does work! It worked during an Ohio winter (I have photos to prove it!).

The only downsides I have identified for the solar oven in my first uses are tubular in nature. I think cooking 6 hot dogs (as noted in the book) is a bit optimistic and may not be logistically possible. Also, I wish at least one of the silicone tubes was the length of a hot dog. Otherwise, all is good.

How do I see people using this? This would be great for a picnic where you had enough leisure time to add a warm entree or side for two. This would be great for ice fishermen looking for an extra source of hot water. The oven is also a great way to teach kids about the power of solar – this would be a fun experiment for an elementary school science class.

Because I like the Swiss army knife aspect of gadgets, I would love to see the addition of a cell phone or USB charger added to the product. Otherwise, as long as you have reasonable expectations and some time on your hands, this oven will be something you can enjoy for a long time.

P.S. You are probably wondering how you boil water with the oven – set the item vertically with the cap on the top and you have created a no spill container for the water to heat up. It has a boiling capacity of 13.5 fl. ounces.

If you live in the Columbus area and want to borrow this for a a while – shoot me an e-mail. My hope, is that I can lure the Instagram legend, @Seligmansdog to try this oven out in a series of mad science experiments. If so, we will report the outcomes via Instagram.

Posted in Product Review | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

gosun: Flatware – Be the Change

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 7, 2021

An uneducated guess would suggest that your eating habits have changed over the last year.  In the tradition of Carnac the Magnificent, I predict you have experienced a surge of take out eating.  If you are like me, you are more often eating in your car or in good weather, in an outdoor spot distanced from the crowd.  Sometimes it can feel like an epic picnic until you discover, you have nothing to eat with.  This has happened to me at least three times over the last year.  As a professional eater, I am aways ready for this circumstance because I have an “emergency kit in my car with a cork screw, zip lock bags, pocket knife, hand sanitizer and misc. plastic ware.  So I can save my own day. However, I have still had to improvise on my own a few times and when I’m not the driver, I am at risk for the “no flatware blues”. If you do not want to get “forked over” to you, try gosun Flatware.

This handy kit is the size of a credit card, dishwasher safe, and reusable.  A statistic on their packaging states that the average American uses 322 disposable plastic utensils per year.  So in addition to always being prepared to enjoy a meal on the go, you can also help reduce the massive amount of plastic filling our oceans and landfills.  Here is yet another spin for you to consider.  Yes, it can suck when you don’t get the needed plasticware for your takeway meal but in my case, more often than not, when I am eating I home, we get more than we need so what we receive gets wasted (we have an in-house Moratorium on filling our overflowing “emergency” plasticware box with anyone more spares).  When possible I will ask restaurant to “hold the plastic” if they can or they don’t ask themselves.

Many of us have been trying to figure out ways to help locally owned restaurants during the pandemic, it may seem like a small thing but asking them to hold the plasticware is not only good for the environment, it saves them money.  It may not seem like much but each disposable plastic spoon, fork and knife as well as every napkin, sauce pack and straw adds up to a lot of money over time.  I found this -> article breaking down the costs of your carry out meal.  Every bit makes a difference.

So if you are a tree hugger and equal opportunity eater like me wanting to do right by the environment while helping our my restaurant friends just say no to disposable plastic utensils and yes to an option like gosun flatware. It is a win win.

I did receive a complimentary set of gosun flatware for my services.  As mentioned in other posts, I don’t write about something I do not like.  In this case, there is a lot to like about this flatware. I mentioned the size before, and this product makes good use of space by being credit card sized.  Convenience is the key to behavior change so having your own flatware wherever you go makes doing the right thing that much easier.

The flatware set is the thickness of 4 credit cards, so it will not fit into the typical credit card slot in a leather wallet but it does fit snuggly in the the pocket that is typically underneath the slots or in the billfold section of a wallet. If you have a badge for work with a plastic holder, this would fit in with many work ID’s.

The fork works great.  The knife / spoon combo can cover the basics.  The knife does not have much of a serrated edge but it will cut cheese, donuts, and spread butter.  I’m not going to complain because a sharper edge would mean slicing my tongue.  The spoon is good for mashed potatoes, hummus, pudding and the like but trying to eat soup with it would be an exercise of Sisyphean futility.  Overall, this is a good option to have with you at all times.  I also like that the company practices what it preaches.  The packaging and the utensil holder are recyclable. The inside of the packaging has 6 detachable information cards featuring their website and a recycling fact (every day, enough plastic forks, spoons, and knives get thrown away to fill more than 3000 garbage trucks).

In a nutshell: Save your meal, save the environment and help our restaurant friends some money, by saying hold the plastic and using gosun flatware.

Now if they could somehow make a combination straw, ketchup dispenser and salt and pepper shaker that is the same size, I will be ready for any food emergency.

(No plastic spoons, knives or forks were wasted in the production of this post.)

Posted in culinary knowledge, Product Review | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »