CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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Posts Tagged ‘#TourCLE’

Brewnuts, Cleveland: The Ohio Donut Trail

Posted by CMH Gourmand on July 19, 2018

I have been an advocate of pairing donuts with beer since at least 2010. Being a peripheral member of the craft beer industrial complex, it was inevitable that Brewnuts would come on my radar. While I wish I could say it was love at first bite, for years I had to be content to love Brewnuts from afar for alas, my life is in Columbus and Brewnuts was born in Cleveland. The description from the Brewnuts website provides some insight as to why I love what they do. I would say I “got them” the first time I heard about them.

Brewnuts is the lovechild of two Clevelanders – Shelley & John Pippin – who gave up their jobs working for “The Man” to pursue their three favorite things: donuts, beer and Cleveland.

Long story short, one night Shelley bolted up in bed and asked John what he thought about the idea of making craft beer based donuts. After a long pause he said “I like that.” The next day we went out and bought a countertop fryer and got busy hatching our plan to make Cleveland’s most unique and delicious donuts

The donuts are made with beer. They are hand crafted, in small batches without pre-made mixes. The varieties are inspired by the local beers they pour into the mix. When Brewnuts started they could be found in limited quantities in select places in Cleveland like Phoenix Coffee. When I saw they were building out a storefront that would also be a local craft beer bar I knew I had to get there somehow, someway, someday soon….but I had to wait a very long time to make my donut Haj. Brewnuts was everything I wanted it to be and more the second I walked through the door.

I had a limited time to explore since I had a child melting down and a spouse that was literally melting from the heat. I had just enough time to explore the place inside and out as well as to order two donuts. Long time readers of the Ohio Donut Trail adventures know I am a cake donut man, but in this case, I was happy to consume yeast donuts….and I liked it.

I tried one cannoli donut. It tasted like some of the best cannoli I have sampled anywhere. It was fresh, flavorful and clearly used premium ingredients. I also tried one Limoncello donut. This tasted like some of the best Limoncello I sipped in Italy years ago. This donut was also super fresh. As the menu board noted, it did contain alcohol. For most of the donuts, the ABV part of alcohol is cooked out in the donut making process but for the high-test stuff, a trace off alcohol remains. It this case it just added more flavor to the donut. Both donuts were exceptional. If I had time (and a budget) to try more I would have gladly studied these in-depth seated at the bar while creating craft beer pairings for hours on end.

Speaking of craft beer, the selections showcased the best of what Cleveland craft beer has to offer and the beer menu would rival any other craft bar in the region with a similar number of taps. Brewnuts does everything right. It is a great addition to the Gordon Square neighborhood. And it is yet another reason why I love the CLE. Donut Mess with Cleveland.

Brewnuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in bar, beer, CLEGourmand, donuts, Ohio, Ohio Donut Trail, Road Trip | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CLEGourmand: The Itinerary and The Challenge

Posted by CMH Gourmand on October 6, 2012

I am at the 1/2 way point in my Palette to Palate Tour of Cleveland with Positively Cleveland. I am touring with writers from LA, Detroit, Baltimore, Toronto and Columbus. Our collective opinion so far, we love Cleveland. Not a big surprise for most of us. What might be a surprise is that in spite of all I am doing, there is so much more to do and see and especially eat, that I am not even scratching the surface of this city. Another surprise, I have now been up here enough times to feel like I can advocate for what is great about this community with some authority. In the back of my mind, I can’t avoid the inclination to compare and contrast Columbus with Cleveland. My track record shows that I am a champion of my city of birth but on this trip, even though not completed, I will say that the culinary community of Cleveland kicks that of Columbus in the ass. Cleveland may have a little more in the quantity, I would say a head to head tie for quality, but where the win occurs in the spirit of collaboration and cheerleading among chefs here for each other and a desire to keep raising the bar. I had similar thoughts two years ago but now I say this notion is a firm belief.

This is my itinerary:

Dinner at The Greenhouse Tavern
Tour of Spaces Gallery
Desserts at Sweet Moses

Breakfast at Muse in the Ritz Carlton
West Side Market tour with Richard Sören Arnoldi from Muse
Tour of the Ohio City Urban Farm
Lunch at Sokolowski’s University Inn
Visit to Aperature in Tremont
Dinner and tour of Crop Bistro
Ohio City Brewery Hop with Sam McNulty (Market Garden Brewery, Nano Brewery, Speakeasy & Bar Cento)

Breakfast at Presti’s Bakery
Tour of Lakeview Cemetery
Lunch at Accent
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Botanical Garden
Dinner at Fire Food and Drink
MOCA – Museum of Contemporary Art
Melt Bar and Grilled (late night snack)

Breakfast at Lucky’s Cafe
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
West Side Market Street Festival (in honor of the centennial of the market)
drive home with car stocked with West Side Market purchases

What else do I bring home with me? I have a too long list of places to visit that can not be done in a weekend. My must dine list includes: Lolita, Spice, Black Pig, Fahrenheit, Dantes, Happy Dog, Momocho, Pura Vida, Bar Cento, Speakeasy (when in session), a return to Tommy’s, SOHO and more.

The question coming up I-71 was how did I fee about going to some of the places a second time. My answer was I was happy to revisit the past when the names were Greenhouse, Lucky’s, Muse and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I can also say that I have another revelation on this trip. As a person that never thought I would always live in my home city, I can can say that I have truly come to love it over the last decade. I have also mentioned that Athens has become my second home. I can say with authority that if fate was to find me placed in Ohio City or Tremont, I would gladly plant my roots and call this area home. That does say something because after 48 states, 16 countries and too many cities to count, there are just a handful that would consider living in for the long-term and Cleveland is now on that list.

This CLEGourmand Series will feature several restaurant reviews but a healthy heaping of philosophy too. There is a different food culture up here (I am writing this post from University Circle) and it is something I want to better understand, dissect and bring back to the Capital city because Cleveland is kicking our ass when it comes to collaborations.

On a final note: If you are reading this late Saturday night or early Sunday morning (Oct 6th or 7th), come up to the Cleveland for the Centennial Celebration for the West Side Market. The planned festivities look amazing.

Posted in CLEGourmand, Locally Sourced, Ohio, Road Trip | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »