I had Popsicles for breakfast today. A grilled cheese from Melt for lunch, Marcus Meacham’s hanger steak for dinner, and a calimocho (wine and cola) at Ace of Cups for dessert. I am Columbus’s developing palate. Yes, the Editor-in-Chief is a bit less than advanced when it comes to the nuances of food and drink – which, to me, is perfect: we’re gonna do this together. Besides, that’s not really the way this works anymore. Within the pages of our very first Stock & Barrel, you’re not going to find many traditional reviews. How could one person with one tongue tell you how and what to eat or drink? Our army of passionate contributors will help shape your taste collectively, much better than the singular opinion of a man who didn’t eat sushi until he was 26. We’re never going to tell you what the “10 Best Restaurants in Columbus” are. This isn’t BuzzFood. We’d rather tell you who the best chefs in Columbus consider the best chefs in Columbus to be. Or about the bar that’s only open once a month. Or why a Long Island Iced Tea doesn’t have to taste like watered-down Sprite. We’re gonna do things like traipse around in a Marengo pig pen with a bunch of beer brewers who love fart jokes. (As they say, if a cow doesn’t lick your photographer now and then, you’re not doing it right). Stock & Barrel isn’t just a nod to meat, sauce, whiskey, and wine (although we thought it pretty clever). It also speaks to the totality in which these pages will examine the increasingly dynamic food and drink scene in this town. This is about dragging a fork through Columbus, stirring up whatever interesting things we can find. Which, if you haven’t noticed, isn’t hard. After all, we ARE dedicating four extra issues a year to it. In the last five years, Columbus’s food and drink celebrities have become our celebrities, not to mention our flagship businessmen, businesswomen, and most treasured artisans. And it is truly an artistic endeavor. Look at the plating. The careful garnish of a classic cocktail. What’s even cooler is that in Columbus, such polish is no longer reserved for the white tablecloth joints. Today, there doesn’t even need to be a table. You wait in line to eat fried-chicken takeout next to a condemned building; you can slosh down a pint of the best beer in the city, along with locally sourced food, next to a carousel where the mall used to be. There was so much left on the cutting board, we have already gotten started on the next one, out in September. I can’t wait to dig back in. So what are you waiting for? Let the feast begin.
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