CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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Archive for the ‘bakery’ Category

Kennedy’s Cakes and Donuts “A Full Line Bakery” and An Odd Emporium (Cambridge OH)

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 18, 2013


Let me begin by providing a disclaimer for the Dining Duder. While donuts will be briefly mentioned in this post and they were sampled, this is not an additional installment as part of the Ohio Donut Trail Series.

There are two bakeries with the name Kennedy in Cambridge, OH. One is located in downtown Cambridge and looks like a classic small town Ohio Bakery from the 1920’s to 1940’s. I thought that was on the only one. I was wrong. While on my way to the 25th Annual Ohio Bigfoot Conference, I happened to drive by the other Kennedy Bakery while looking for an ATM. Looking at the exterior, I wondered if it was an abandoned building or a converted flea market, but curiosity got the best of me as is my nature, so I pulled into the gravel driveway to investigate. Based on the locations having different websites and my intuition, I do not think the two Kennedy Bakery locations share anything other than a name, at least in the present.

I was still not convinced this was an actual bakery. Through the windows I could see many things that did not look like baked goods. However I saw this (see below) and decided I would venture inside anyway. Against the better judgement of my Designated Diner for the trip I proceeded through the door. Afterall, only thirty minutes earlier we had visited Donald’s Donuts in Zanesville so other than exploration, there was no need to dine on more donuts.


Walking in, I spied a lot of used restaurant equipment on shelves. Then I saw display cases of McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys and others similar trinkets. If the old Hobart mixers on the floor had not caught my eye I would have done a quick about face….but then, I saw a man walk out with an overflowing box of buns. I headed opposite the direction he was going and found shelves of discount baked goods (some looked like they might be from Valentine’s Day or Easter). At this point, I continued on.


Walking by more showcase encased Happy Meal Trinkets, I finally found the Bakery part of the building. Having visited a few too many bakeries in my day, I can say that the length of area that the display cases of baked goods at Kennedy’s is more expansive than anything I have encountered in my days. However, I was hindered by a couple or more circumstances. I was saving my $22 of cash for the Bigfoot Conference. The Designated Diner continued to look at me with the expression of “Oh my god I can’t believe we are in yet another donut place after having the best donuts of my life at Donald’s Donuts what is this dude’s problem.” In emoticons that would be written as :-(crap. And, I was not hungry. Not in the slightest. What was a fella to do? Then the game changer happened. I saw a sign that said: Pepperoni Rolls and Meatball Rolls. Press on young Gourmand. Press on.


Walking back and forth looking at the displays at Kennedy’s it is quickly confirmed that this is indeed a “Full Line Bakery”. Among the items noted were: cookies, cakes, pies, Gingerbread Houses, various breads, bagels, donuts, fried pies, giant blue fish shaped cookies and on, and on, and on. A few donuts were purchased. There were no fewer than twenty varieties to choose from, including some infrequently witnessed flavors. There was a small sample tray for trying bites of donuts. Later in the parking lot, we did try a few and they were respectable, not Ohio Donut Trail noteworthy, but respectable. I was most intrigued by the Raised Glazed donut. Interesting, very interesting. I pressed on.


Then my attention was caught by a sign for Paczki. Huh? What is that you might ask? It is a Polish pastry in the spirit of a donut but not quite a donut. In one of the most lightly populated counties in the fair state of Ohio. In an area not cited for a large Polish population or enclaves of Poles and possibly, not so open to diversity in general, this place had Paczki. Not just one variety but six….maybe more, the place is big, there could have been Paczki hiding anywhere. And then I saw the sign.


In my head I heard (I don’t often hear voices, but when I do they are always in an accent), in the style of DeNiro. You want Paczki? I’ll give you some #*^%$#* frickin’ Paczki. I did not try one. I was too full. I continued on and found the pepperoni rolls. One was purchased and then sampled by myself and the Designated Diner. The DD has only had one pepperoni roll ever and that was from Omega Bakery at North Market so this entry stood no chance. I have consumed a much wider range of the Hillbilly staple so I was inclined to evaluate this pepperoni roll on the wide spectrum of the genre. It was wretchedly horrible. I had hoped that the proximity to West Virginia might add a certain terroir to the pastry, but alas no.

There is another shout out I should give this place in the arena of full line bakery. Some of you who grew up as one of the 99% may be familiar with the staple of McDonald’s and Hostess (RIP?), the fried pie. Rarely seen outside of a fast food franchise, Kennedy’s had enough to feed a small army or militia. The flavor choices of the fried pies was more extensive than the Paczki’s (at least fourteen flavors counted) including lemon, peach and blackberry. I would be interested to see what the Kennedy version of short line bakery would offer.


My final thoughts? I did not sample enough to know if this is or is not a place I would want to go. I can say, it is not just a bakery, it is an adventure. And now, for the first time ever, a new feature: “When Blogs Collide”. Near the bakery, in an overgrown lot, located in a pile of rubbish, I found this. Will I go back? I think so. Why might you ask? First to try a fried pie and second because in addition to offering what seems like 1001 types of baked goods the place has over 1 million milkshake flavors.


Kennedy’s Cakes and Donuts
75 Southgate Parkway
Cambridge, OH 43725
740 439 2800

Kennedy's Cakes & Donuts Incorporated on Urbanspoon

Bonus Content: What happened after the bakery? Being unable to get into the Bigfoot Conference because it was sold out, it was decided to drive a mere 100 miles away to Athen’s to dine at O’Betty’s. Along the way we attempted to visit the Shenandoah Museum (closed), attempted to find the Shenandoah crash site (secretly hidden in the area I believe Deliverance II will be filmed in), stopped at Marietta Brewing Company for a root beer, found an Indian Food Truck from Parkersburg serving students in Marietta and finally dined at O’Betty’s – the best hot doggery in Ohio. And you wondered why the Designated Diner would ever glare at me with a :-(crap.


Posted in bakery, Ohio, Road Trip, Travelfoodalogue | 2 Comments »

Time To Make The Donuts – Part 1: Destination Donuts

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 9, 2013


With all of my hubris about the death of the cupcake and my pontificating about the merits of the classic donut, one might think I was building up to something. That is correct. Readers of CMH Gourmand are bright, astute go-getters who can see a preamble from long across a long counter. Time for the ballyhoo!

It is high time for the donut to go gourmet. The right gal for the job is Heather Morris. She is not some fly by night money grabber, this donut dame had her sights set on donut dominance for quite some time. She loved donuts as a kid. She saw a hole in the local donut market: independent shops making the treat by hand. And she knew she needed to find a niche, grocery stores and large chains sell donuts cheap. There are incalculable costs we pay for a lower price tag on a donut: less flavor, more preservatives and a loss of creativity among them. Heather wondered if people would “get it”. Would they pay more for a mere donut? She knew she needed to make her products different and memorable, so she named them Destination Donuts.

But if you fry them, will they come? Heather had faith that the common man in Columbus would pay a little more for a much better product. But she need she needed to get her donuts in row first. Heather did her homework. She dusted off some lesser used culinary skills and training before she got started. Spent a lot of time perfecting her recipes and craft at home – testing, retesting, tweaking, tasting, etc. She even shadowed a place called Dynamo Donuts in the city by the bay to get a sense of how to make a good donut better. And, like me, she read about, studied and stalked donuts shops and trends around the country.


Instead of going out of the frying pan and into the fryer, she decided to start slow. She secured commercial kitchen space she could rent by the hour. She set her sights on the North Market and arranged to be a guest vendor there on alternating weekends. She launched in November of 2012. She kept her day job while staying up late and getting up early to make the donuts then transporting them to sell at the market. In spite of sleep deprivation and little word of mouth other than social media, she kept a smile on her face, asked customers and others for feedback and kept tweaking the art of donutery. She sold out. And then she almost sold out again. Then she started leaving no donut behind consistently. After that she added more slots at the North Market while forging a relationship with the Hills Market (prime or uptown) and Hills Market Downtown. She recently added Luck Brothers Coffee…because coffee goes well with donuts and everyone can use a little luck in a new business. She is now crafting her treats over 100 hours a month and looking for more places to sell her doughy love bombs.


What gets people interested and keeps them coming back? Her flavors combinations are inventive, some combine complimentary tastes while others compare and contrast ingredients. Examples include: Blood Orange and Dark Chocolate, Butterscotch Sea Salt, Pink Grapefruit, Lemon Blueberry, Strawberry & Rose Water……. You get the idea. The flavors vary from occasionally bold to mostly subtle but never unbalanced.

So with the concept proven and the sell outs persisting what is next? More flavors…of course. More locations to sell at… yes? But what am I waiting for the most? More cake donuts. So far most of the cake donuts have been holes. I waiting for the full size, deluxe cake donuts. And maybe some type of apple, bacon, sausage and something fritter. If things go well, maybe Heather will get her own donut bakery some day soon. If she does, what part of town do you think would be the best fit?

Find out more:
Destination Donuts
HeatherDonut on Twitter

Destination Donuts Heather Morris

Posted in bakery, culinary knowledge, desserts, donuts | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Small Bytes: Pistacia Vera – Brunch and Other Stuff

Posted by CMH Gourmand on December 17, 2011

I had an axe to grind regarding brunch at Pistacia Vera. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pistacia Vera and I think the world of Spencer and Anne. Here’s the thing, as you know, I am not a fan of breaking fast (reasons outlined logically in previous posts). I might even be the Grinch of breakfast. I was miffed during the most recent Dine Originals Week. Historically my Dine Originals Week ritual is to get the $10 Pistacia Vera tasting box to cap off the week. Well, last time there was no box just a brunch deal. Hrumph!

I started to hear high praise for the brunch options from many credible sources. I am not a fan of quiche (only because it is so often prepared poorly) but quiches as well as Shirred Eggs and a Cottage Ham & Brie Sandwich were repeatedly mentioned in my presence. Hmm. Sandwich on a Pistacia Vera Croissant….I could do that and sniff out these other offerings in the process.

I went on a reconnaissance meal with my diner-in-chief. I was happy to see Jim Budros sweeping the front walk at the German Village shop (Jim is a BBQ Master, Pizza Purist and father of Anne and Spencer). Looking at the menu, I was hooked so we committed to two dine in brunch options.

We tried the Shirred Eggs: two eggs, baked in cream with parmigiano, oregano, garlic, herbs, and tomato fondue. This is served with a toasted, sliced croissant and house-made preserves.

The verdict? Superior, perfect, excellent. This now on my top three breakfast/brunch picks (the other two being the Pattycake Bakery Orange Sticky Bun and the Egg Sandwich at Explorer’s Club).

Selection number two was the Cottage Ham and Brie Breakfast sandwich: smoked cottage ham, fromage d’affinois, Dijon mustard, cornichons, fresh greens on a toasted whole wheat croissant. Thoughts on this one? Also excellent, easy to share and conveniently, could hold its own in the lunch category.

These two entrees made for a great meal, but there is much more than makes brunch at Pistacia Vera special and well worth the effort. Columbus is fortunate to have several excellent coffee roasters. One that tends to stay off the radar due to a consumer unfriendly approach to opening hours is Cafe Brioso. Pistacia Vera serves several Briso blends and sells bags of ground Briso coffees. Having access to this coffee to drink and buy at more customer friendly hours is a boon. Pairing Pistacia Vera with Brioso is genius.

Maybe this is starting to read like a commercial or product endorsement? Well, this paragraph is brought to you by Pistacia Vera Preserves. My modest serving with the Cottage Ham and Brie sandwich was good enough to inspire me to purchase two jars. If you are reading this before Christmas, a few purchases at Pistacia Vera could cure your own Grinchness or make you the hero of a holiday gift exchange.

And, let’s not forget the primary reason to visit Pistachia Vera – chocolates, macaroons, tortes and more, oh my! We opted for a pre-brunch appetizer of a Buche de Noel (Christmas Log). A slice of log is a great way to celebrate the season and Pistacia Vera makes the best in Columbus.

Humbug? I am now the Grinch who ate breakfast. Thanks Pistacia Vera. One final, but vital note. the Hot Chocolate at Pistacha Vera is the best in town. Better and less expensive than Northstar and Jeni’s. This proclamation may be sacrilege to these two culinary holy cows but if you charge $4.50 for hot chocolate it should be orgasmic, Pistacia Vera hits the mark at $3. Now I am off to put antlers on CMH Tobias.

Pistacia Vera
541 South Third Street
German Village

Pistacia Vera on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, beverages, breakfast, chocolate, desserts | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

New System Bakery, Chillicothe: Back on the Donut Trail

Posted by CMH Gourmand on October 17, 2011

As October starts to wane I must to make sure your Pumpkin needs are met in full. Let me introduce you to New System Bakery in Chillicothe.

When an avowed foodie, wine expert and elite eater says that New System donuts are to die for, I listened. The downside is that the New System Bakery has some old school hours. They are closed Saturday and Sunday so being impaired by employment as well as the bakery’s hours (5 am to 5 pm) it took me nearly a year for the stars to align to get myself down SR 23 to Chillicothe for a donut. By donut I mean a box of a dozen or so. It is a tough drive since I passed previous Donut Trail spots.

On a previous donut run, I was close to The New System Bakery at (very) nearby Crispie Creme donut shop. My team and I were happy with Crispie Creme and I wondered if Chillicothe could really have two stellar donuteries. It turns out the citizens of Chillicothe represent quite well on the Ohio donut food chain.

New System is busy by report of customers and employees. The woman serving me said she was worn out and it was only 10 am. She said it was a slow day. The employee also mentioned they frequently run out of most items before they close the doors. What are fan favorites? By report cakes, seasonal holiday cut out cookies, cinnamon rolls, breads and…….

It seems everyone likes everything at New System Bakery. At New System baking comes first and donuts are just part of the spectum of production. The end results are still very good in the donut category. My focus was donuts and I was in luck, there were still some left. At ten in the morning pickings were sparse. I had lucked out, there were still a few Bismarck’s left.

The Bismarcks appear to be the local favorite. While smaller than others of the ilk, the weight of sugar alone in these ticking time bombs of fried doughy goodness would outweigh a Tim Horton’s box. Chillicoth/ians/ites/ers (?) tend to order in advance and in mass, most people steering past my glazed over eyes and senses were picking up boxes. The counter people seemed to know each visitor by name and order. I was clued in to a secret – whenever a glazed holiday cookie appears grab as many as you can and don’t make eye contact with anyone as you leave the establishment.

I did get the last Pumpkin glazed pumpkin donut. It was by far, without a doubt, the finest, pumpkin based donut I have consumed… ever.

The New System itself deserves a mention of two. I am not sure what the system was but it is very old now. The bakery opened in 1920. The interior, cabinets and counters look untouched since the pre prohibition era. Spelled out in large pink letters above the counter is the phrase: Make Your Day Better With Donuts. Okay, no argument there (just try to bake more please). I did not sample a pie but looking at them my instinctive sweet-o-meter indicates they are good. The initials used to identify the pies are a definite plus one on my pie scale as well.

If I had to choose between Crispie Creme and New System, which would win? It depends on the donut. If I could only get one donut, it would be the pumpkin donut at New System, if there are any left.

New System on Facebook
75 East Main Street
Chillicothe, OH 45601-2507

Posted in bakery, donuts, Ohio Donut Trail, Road Trip | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Lindsey Bakery: A Roundtown Adventure on the Ohio Donut Trail

Posted by CMH Gourmand on May 17, 2011

The donut tasting team arrived in Circleville just after 9:30 on a blustery Saturday Morning. My two tasters had not been to Circleville before. It had been a while for me too. Driving down Main Street all three of us were super smitten by the small town feel at the same moment. It felt like stepping back into time. It felt good maybe even giddy. If we were not at the beginning of a long day of researching, we would have stayed to sit on a bench to talk to town folks, stroll the streets and explore the mom and pop businesses on the stretch. It felt good to feel at home somewhere after just a few minutes.

We liked Lindsey’s just for being in Circleville and we had not even gone through the door. The outside is classic small town Main Street frontage with several handwritten signs on the windows. There is a sign indicating a drive thru – I could not quite figure out how that worked or were it was but I was happy to see the option for donuts on the run. Walking through the entrance, we loved the place. Lindsey’s opened in 1950; it still feels like the fifties inside. The display cases and counter are set up to form a deep U. There were five or six people on the service side ready to answer questions and serve up baked goods. Behind them we could see more handwritten signs and photos of famous politician figures who have come to Lindsey’s to show their endorsement for this home town favorite. Regardless of their politics, it is easy to agree with their taste. Lindsay’s has a wide assortment of all things doughy including cookies, rolls, cinnamon buns, pepperoni rolls (rare in Ohio but ubiquitous in West Virginia so quite a surprise…and pretty good too) and more. It is clear the bakers in the back stay very busy and productive here. Every customer present was a regular with their names and typical orders well-known by the Lindsey’s crew.

We were here for donuts. It seems that all of our questions, deliberate donut selecting and re-selecting then double backing and upgrading to a second box intrigued the folks behind the counter. Our hosts were amused by our mission and made more suggestions based on years and decades behind the counter. The main thing we came for was pumpkin donuts. Lindsay has had made them for over sixty years for a devoted following. People order by the box and worry about the bakeshop running out. Pumpkin donuts are a signature delight in Roundtown (as Circleville is known). In addition to pumpkin donuts, they make pies. Big pies, as in the world’s largest Pumpkin Pie, for the annual Circleville Pumpkin Show. The recipe goes something like this………

For all of my time and photos taken at Lindsey’s I did not get a single donut shot. The donuts are good. The environment is delightful and Circleville has a charm that is hard to describe. This is case where the whole (or donut hole) is greater than the sum of the parts. Come for the donuts and stay for everything else when you drop in at Lindsey’s.

Also of note, we did take a moment for a little side trip to the Oldest Confectioner in the United States just a few blocks away…….Wittich’s

Circleville is worth the trip with plenty to do in between bites.

Lindsey Bakery aka Bake Shop
127 West Main Street
Circleville aka Roundtown

Lindsey Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, donuts, Ohio Donut Trail, pies, Road Trip | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Milton’s Donuts, Middletown: Plus Ohio Donut Trail Tasting Parties

Posted by CMH Gourmand on May 16, 2011

When one donutery suggests another, I am inclined to listen. Such was the case for Milton’s. A counter person at Bill’s donuts in Centerville suggested we try out this spot. We placed it on the to do(nut) to do list for southwest Ohio. Milton’s was crammed in the middle of a very ambitious day of four donut joints, a Mexican Restaurant, Jungle Jim’s and wholesale bulk frozen meat market.

We arrived late in the day. Looking from the outside we were concerned that the bakery was closed and/or out of donuts. The cupboard was almost bare when we arrived. However even though our sampling was limited we were intrigued by what we did find at Milton’s. The exterior is very strip mall. The interior would best be described as utilitarian. We were impressed by some absolutely gorgeous decorated cakes. Also of note was a self-serve coffee pot. Milton’s had a tray of caramel glazed cake donuts left that caught our attention. We thought these were pretty good. We were able to compile a 1/2 box sampler for donut tasting later. Milton’s also carries apple fritters, donuts holes and the usual assortment of donut standards.

What I found most interesting was that this place has Moxie which was not noticed until we were leaving. Milton’s tag line reads “The Connoisseur in Donuts”…. that alone was worth the drive. They also do a great job doing the ribbon tie on the box. Their bag is pretty cool too.

Middletown itself would best be described as mildly depressing. My erroneous directions to my chauffeur while “Driving Mr. Gourmand” took us to places that were moderately depressing. I believe a return trip, early in the morning for a fully stocked Milton’s is justified as long as we do not linger too long.

3533 Roosevelt Blvd

Since I don’t have a lot to cover for Milton’s, it seemed like a good time to discuss what has been going on with all of these donuts. Typically, we bring back five or six or eight boxes of donuts to Columbus and Gourmand Manor. My tasters and a select group of foodistas then have a donut tasting, trying out and competing various donuts against each other to determine best in show, best fritter, etc. You can get a sense of what happens in the photo below.

Posted in bakery, culinary misadventure, donuts, Ohio Donut Trail, Road Trip | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Tremont Goodie Shop: More Than Just A Bakery

Posted by CMH Gourmand on May 11, 2011

And now for something completely different…… guest commentary.

Columbus is lucky to have a very large and devoted cadre of food enthusiasts with an unconscious agenda to grow good food in our city. Through exploration, education, encouragement, advice, allocating 40% or more of disposable income to the culinary arts and a good amount of twittering around, these people are guiding Columbus into a more food focused town. I am happy to call many of these people my friends. I am also happy that I can not count all of these movers and shakers with all of my fingers and toes. Indeed, there are that many people escalating eating forward, around and upside down in our town.

My friend Molly Kurth serves on the board of Slow Food Columbus and is vocal supporter of our food community especially her neighborhood haunts Basi Italia, Knead and Cafe Corner. Today she is sharing one of her favorite places since childhood. Photographs are by our mutual friend Kate Djupe who is a chef, photographer, gardener, canner and person extraordinaire.

Frosted Butter Star Cookies. Those four words evoke memories, flavors, moments and smiles for me in a way that few other foods do. Those little cookies, compliments of The Tremont Goodie Shop, represent more than just delicious little baked treats (and they are delicious!). They represent tradition and community and, for me, my childhood. My grandma would take us there on our weekend adventures, letting us pick out a treat or two and, for me it was always the frosted butter star cookie. Those cookies still bring a smile to my face every time I walk in the shop and I can hardly ever walk out without a few in a bag, eating them as I walk out the door.

If you have not experienced The Goodie Shop, let me give you an idea of what you are missing so you can hurry up and add it to your list of “Things I Must Try in Columbus”. Tucked in the Tremont Shopping Center, in an area one of my friends fondly calls the Bermuda Triangle of Arlington, is a business that is first and foremost a family. And, in case you wondered how a business can be a family, let me share a story with you. Back in 2009, The Goodie Shop was going through a transition that was going to force them to close for a few months. It was emotional for the family who had owned it for more than 50 years and it was a sad moment for those in the community who had gotten their birthday cakes, holiday rolls, weekend donuts or just a simple treat while they were in the area. I became one of the fierce advocates posting on Twitter and Facebook about the closing of The Goodie Shop and our hope that it would be saved by those who loved it most. Soon there were posts about selling t-shirts and coming out to support them as they made their best effort to repurchase everything at the mandated auction, which would occur after a community rally to save The Goodie Shop. The outpouring of community support and love was overwhelming, even to the casual observer and an emotional buoy for the people trying to save the business that had become a family for this community.

During the period of time that the shop was closed, my best friends from college were coming to town for our annual girls’ weekend, which was doubling as a baby shower for one of the girls. I was saddened that I would not be able to get my cake from The Goodie Shop and began the search for where I was going to go. In the midst of the search, the returning owners of The Goodie Shop (whose father had owned it years before) reached out and said “we’ll make it for you at our home – just send us pictures of what you want and we will meet you at the Chef-o-nette to pick it up”. Yep, that is what I mean by family.

So, fast forward to 2011, where I have a few friends who have *never* been to The Goodie Shop – what? I know. But instead of berating them (okay, there was a little of that), I organized a mini-tour of the Tremont Center, where we got to sample some of The Goodie Shops classic treats. Emilie Smith, whose mom Debbie Smith, owns the shop, did an amazing job putting together a tasting for us, letting us sample some of the beloved treats and even bringing in Snowville Creamery Milk for us to enjoy with the sweets. Emilie is successfully carrying on the legacy that was created by her grandfather, one that is rooted in the community and the traditions of so many families who grew up here.

So, I will leave you with a few of my favorite treats and hope that you discover a few of your own too:
Molly’s favorites:

Frosted Butter Star Cookies (buy several, trust me.)

Chocolate Frosted Long Johns and Classic Glazed Yeast Donuts
(get there early or pre-order the donuts, when they are gone, they are gone.)

6-Pan Cinnamon Rolls (a must-have for holiday mornings in our house)

Dinner Rolls
(choose your style, so good and one less thing you have to do for Thanksgiving dinner!)

Cream Horns
(light and flaky, one of the few places that still makes their dough from scratch!)

White cake with white Icing
– Miranda, one of Debbie’s daughters, does much of the decorating (if not all of it) and has made some awesome designs – you can check out the gallery online.

Tremont Goodie Shop
located in Tremont Center
2116 Tremont Center
Upper Arlington
Hours: M-F 7a-6p; Sat 7a-5p; closed Sundays

Writer and Foodista Molly is a Columbus native who loves sharing her passion for the people and food in her community. After many years living away from Columbus, she is back and discovering how much cool stuff the city has to offer.

Posted in bakery, Columbus, culinary knowledge, desserts, donuts | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Brezel: (The Power of Pretzels!) New at the North Market

Posted by CMH Gourmand on April 2, 2011

Sometimes the stars line up. If get you get really lucky, maybe galaxies align. In the case of Brezel, maybe, just maybe the universe has put everything in place for this post. Huh? It just so happens that April is National Soft Pretzel Month. I have been following the pretzel making path of Brezel for several years. Maria and Brittany are the chief dough makers and bakers at Brezel. They have kneaded their way into the bread business by being at nearly every event, farmer’s market and party they could find. They also placed their product at bars and grocery stores. The good will, word of mouth and fine tuning they gathered from working hard allowed them to find a home at the North Market. They recently opened their shop (near Clever Crow) so I dropped in to see them.

Brezel (there is a “_” over the e) makes and bakes and creates big, soft, chewy, Bavarian style pretzels. However, these are pretzels with an extra twist. The ladies of Brezel stuff their pretzels with a variety of flavors and top them with good, tasty things. They have standard pretzels every day and they serve several other varieties such as jalapeno, apple cinnamon, everything, habanero and more. If you want to dip your pretzels they have a variety of toppings for dunking and flavor enhancement. Maria and Brittany also bake pretzel buns, bites and pizza shells. A pretzel hot dog bun….oh yeah. I can attest to their pizza crusts as well – a Brezel pizza has a life expectancy of 43 seconds at Pizza Grand Prix. The Brezel gals are constantly tinkering in the kitchen so drop in and sample their latest creation or give them a flavor suggestion, they may just make it and bake it.

at the North Market
59 Spruce Street
Short North

Brezel on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, markets, Short North | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Schuler’s Bakery (Springfield): On the Ohio Donut Trail

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 1, 2011

The Ohio Donut Trail took my loyal band of donut detectives to Springfield, Ohio the home of regional favorite Schuler’s Bakery. Due to some navigation misfiring on my part, we had a nice tour of downtown including the Frank Lloyd Wright designed – Wescott House. Schulers has been in business since 1937 using the slogan “The Home of Homemade.” We hit the original store on Main Street which does not appear to have changed since 1937. I would not doubt that some of the original staff are still working there too. This is an OLD SCHOOL, no nonsense bakery. The color scheme is simple blue and white like many of the old bakeries I have visited on the east coast.

While the taste team and I wandered around the showroom staring at the massive volume of donuts to be had (while snapping photos and chattering away), we were repeatedly asked, with growing urgency…..”Can I help you”. Meanwhile scores of regulars shot in and out engaging in large, complicated orders in record time while we gawked about. Finally, we approached the counter and started ordering to the great relief of all of the staff.

And order we did – a giant box was filled with any interesting donut we could find. The first donut(s) that caught our eyes was what we dubbed the Kabab, five donut holes on a skewer. This seems genius and it tasted pretty good too – the perfect snack while driving on the Ohio Donut Trail.

The bakery has a section devoted to day old donuts which are 50% off. Normally I am reluctant to get a donut more than a few hours old because very few have staying power beyond the morning. Schuler’s is an exception. I did not try some of their donuts until 24 hours later and those sampled were as good as day one. The best donut I had was one I am calling the FUDGIE. I thought is was just a standard chocolate glazed old fashioned donut with peanuts. When I bit into the fudgie I discovered it had a fantasticly good 1/2 inch layer of chocolate fudge on top with an inch filling the center donut hole. DAMN! That is my go-to donut at Schuler’s. Honorable mention also goes to Schuler’s glazed blueberry donut and their sour cream donut.

The bakery has all of the standard donuts as well as a large selection of jelly donuts. As the name says this is a bakery not a donutery so while all my attention was on the donuts the various other baked goods looked good as well. People in Springfield swear by Schulers. I do too – DAMN that FUDGIE is GOOD!

Schuler’s Bakery
457 East Main St.
Springfield, Ohio
937.323.4900 (not open as of February 1st)
Locations on Mitchell St. in Springfield and London, Ohio.

Posted in bakery, donuts, Ohio Donut Trail | Tagged: | 14 Comments »

Schneider’s Bakery: Early Morning Donut Run

Posted by CMH Gourmand on January 11, 2011

Food nourishes the body. When it is really good it nourishes the soul as well. It also creates memories that connects us to people and places that endure longer than the meal itself. Good food can become great if it is paired with a palatable memory. Therefore, a mere donut can be a life defining thing when combined with the bonding that happens best in college. Early in the morning while there may be better things to do such as sleep or study, eating a donut or a box of them with friends is an event that memories and maybe legends are made of.

Schneider’s Bakery is a legendary landmark in downtown Westerville and a late night destination for Otterbein College (now University) students since 1957. Owner Jeff Hamler has been around awhile as well. He bought the bakery in 1987 after starting work there as a teenager in 1974. Several friends mentioned Schneider’s with a sense of reverence and nostalgia and often used the phrase “nothing beats one of their fresh donuts, hot out of the oven at one in the morning.” The late night aspect had me intrigued indeed. It seems that Schneider’s opens at 1:30 am Tuesday to Thursday and 1:00 am on Friday and Saturday. That seemed interesting – but not critical until this happened (see below).

I arrived about noon on a weekday. No donuts. Well, there was one. The nice lady at the counter let me have it for free since she felt sorry for me….and the lonely donut. She told me that they often run out of donuts early in the morning and such was the case today. This was not such a bad thing, since I had time to look at the rest of Schneider’s offerings. Schneider’s is a bakery that offers donuts instead of a donutery that is an exclusively donut maker. These are some of the items Schneider’s can supply customers: cinnamon rolls, muffins, bread (buns, loaves, rolls: butterflake, cloverleaf and Parkerhouse, white, whole wheat, rye, French, Vienna) cookies, brownies, Danish, sweet rolls, croissants, cakes (in any variety serving up to eight people), cupcakes and a few more things. One of those things comes in the form of Coffee cakes (I counted multiple types) with the best looking of the bunch being the sour cream version. I grabbed a couple pecan sandies that were the diameter of a volleyball and left with my culinary tail between my legs vowing to come back at 1 am for donuts.

And that I did. I arrived at 12:50 am on a Saturday morning. The facade was dark as the cold night I was freezing in. I saw no signs of life. I twittered away on my iPhone thinking that perhaps I was a dumbass. I looked up a few minutes later to see twenty-five or so Otterbein students queued up for their sugar fix. Yet still no sign of life or light or donuts inside. At 1:01 am, the lights flashed on, the doors opened and the first wave of sorority girls surged to the counter. I found myself in the second wave, standing in front of a drunk or cognitively impaired (or both) middle-aged fella who seemed to be mostly amusing himself repeating the same joke over and over again until someone would laugh. I only felt slightly less out of place in my very non-hipster warm clothing vs. the jeggings and other warm weather fashions the rest of the kids were sporting. The importance of this moment was best summarized by two young lads standing outside in the cold. (Lad #1) “Dude, why are we doing this?” (Dude) “Because they (donuts) are awesome.”

Schneider’s offers a good late night deal for the kids. For $1 you get a donut with a glass or chocolate or regular milk. Every person (twenty) in front of me opted for that option. Then came me. I threw the whole process out of whack. I was here to get a box of donuts. In between Sophie’s choice level decisions about what and how many of each type of donut I needed, I was asking questions and snapping photos on the fly. To the members of the class of 2013 that froze longer because of me I offer my apologies and a word of wisdom – don’t wear flip-flops in the winter.

(see my selections below)

Schneider’s donut selection is pretty impressive. The guy behind the counter goes out of his way to make sure you get the freshest of the fresh of any donut selected (since you did stay up late / get up early to come see him). The crowd favorites seem to be the glazed blueberry cake donut and the standard yeast donut hot out of the fryer. The donut selection is deep in the raspberry, lemon and custard filled categories so I picked up several of those. I was intrigued by the Davy Crockett a massive, roundish cinnamon fried donut with maple icing. I sampled my donuts later in the day with a twitter based tasting team. We found the donuts to be consistently good. None could be as good as the hot donut I had at one in the morning. If you want to create a memory for yourself, hit Schneider’s for an early morning donut run.

Schneider’s Bakery
6 South State Street

Tuesday – Thursday
1:30 am to 6:00 pm
1:00 am to 6:00 pm
1:00 am to 3:00 pm
(Donuts at your own risk after 6 am)

Schneider's Bakery on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, donuts | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »