Connect with us

Food & Drink

Gluten-Free Gluttony

There’s a fine line between crunchy and crumbly, even for the best baker. But consider food allergies in your recipes and those cupcakes can easily go from moist to mush. Luckily for those who need to be gluten-free, Central Ohio is quickly earning a regional reputation for treats without the wheat. “We don’t try to [...]
J.R. McMillan



There’s a fine line between crunchy and crumbly, even for the best baker. But consider food allergies in your recipes and those cupcakes can easily go from moist to mush.

Luckily for those who need to be gluten-free, Central Ohio is quickly earning a regional reputation for treats without the wheat.

“We don’t try to recreate gluten products with gums and flour blends,” said Geri Peacock, owner of Cherbourg Bakery. “Our focus has always been on creating the best baked goods with minimally processed ingredients—pure, good, raw.”

Just around the corner from the Drexel Theatre in Bexley, a step inside the bakery transports eager eaters to another time and place. In her travels to France, Peacock discovered the city whose sweet and savory fare inspired her. Upon learning her grandfather helped liberate Cherbourg following the Allied invasion of Normandy, the connection became clear.

“I didn’t go to baking school, but I come from a long line of bakers,” Peacock explained. “My mother used to bake wedding cakes at home, and we made our own pizzas on Friday nights.”

That personal touch is part of the process at Cherbourg. There are no mixers or designations between bakers and cashiers. “Gluten-free recipes ‘feel’ different. That’s why everyone here does everything, by hand,” she explained.

“Our double lemon bars and espresso brownies are still our best-selling items,” Peacock said. “But our seasonal specialties are very popular.” Cherbourg also offers a “Savory Sunday,” a decidedly French “brunché” of soups, quiches, and sweets.

“Our bakery is free of the eight major food allergens…My family has food allergies, just like many families do. So I started with our own recipes.”

New to the gluten-free scene is Bake Me Happy in Merion Village, with a balance of sophisticated sweets and childhood treats to satisfy any age or appetite.

“Our bakery offers gluten-free goodness for everyone,” said Wendy Miller-Pugh, co-owner of Bake Me Happy with her partner Letha Pugh. “I’ve always been creative, but Letha is the entrepreneur.” Bake Me Happy’s signature sellers—creme-filled sponge cakes and oatmeal cookie sandwiches—aren’t simply nostalgic knockoffs. They’re more like a gluten-free tribute band. “People tie so many memories and emotions to food. We wanted to recreate that experience for children and adults,” Miller-Pugh said.

Those craving complex flavor combinations will also find savory scones, sweet and salty dark chocolate chip cookies, and peanut butter “burners,” unique reimagined recipes. “It feels like we ate a million peanut butter cookies to get the mix of heat and sweet just right,” she explained.

Beyond the bakery, Bake Me Happy also operates a food truck of sorts for area festivals—a branded, vintage VW Microbus.

“The bus was a whim we found on Craigslist, and we bought it for less than a billboard,” Miller-Pugh said. “We don’t bake in it, but it allows us to do deliveries and community events in a more memorable way.”

Sometimes gluten isn’t the only problem. So those with dairy, egg, and soy allergies will find Soodles Bake Shop in Worthington a welcome addition to serve that selective sweet tooth. “Our bakery is free of the eight major food allergens—though we do use coconut in some recipes,” explained Amy McCrea, Soodles owner. “My family has food allergies, just like many families do. So I started with our own recipes.”

Customer rapport is big with any bakery, more so when allergies enter the mix. “Our bakers know our families and often share the same food sensitivities,” she said. “Our customers know they can trust us.”

Cinnamon coffee cake, baked doughnuts, and handmade graham crackers are big sellers, but Soodles also supplies several area restaurants with staples and seasonal favorites. From pizza crusts and dinner rolls to dainty delights and decadent desserts, you may already be a fan of Soodles and not know it.

“We work with Mama Mimi’s, Taranto’s, Yabo’s Tacos, and Cameron Mitchell,” McCrea said. “If you’re planning a birthday party at the American Girl store, you can also request our allergen-free cupcakes.”

Sometimes gluten-free greatness is thrust upon you, as was the case with Holiday Baking Company of Worthington.

“We hadn’t been open that long, and a customer asked if we could bake a carrot cake for his wife who was gluten-free,” said Lisa Schaber, the bakery’s owner. “She loved the cake so much, she recommended us to her gluten-free friends and requests grew.”

Within six months of opening, at first alternating gluten-free baking days to avoid cross-contamination, Holiday Baking Company became an entirely gluten-free operation. A career pastry chef before she even started her own bakery, Schaber adapted her mother’s recipes one by one to match the taste and texture.

“People aren’t always sure, especially when they’re buying a dessert for a family holiday,” she noted. Saturday’s breakfast and special events offer curious customers comfort food and gluten-free rarities like biscuits and gravy, pizza by the slice, and pies like apple crumb and sweet potato.

There are seasonal selections like pumpkin and cranberry pecan bread, but also year-round favorites—like their variety of breads, dessert bars, and hand-painted sugar cookies. “We’re known for our sticky buns,” she said.

Holiday Baking Company’s catering menu has supplied plenty of family celebrations and events, but perhaps none so meaningful as the funeral of Schaber’s inspiration, her mother. “My family was so surprised that I’d made my mother’s recipes taste the same, despite being gluten-free,” she said. “Being able to keep sharing them, that was the icing on the cake.”

Continue Reading

Food & Drink

Rémy Cointreau presents: The Sidecar





We teamed up with Rémy Cointreau and local bartender, Ben Griest, from Giuseppe’s Ritrovo to bring you an icon of cognac cocktails. Ben's previous videos featured the art of margarita-mixology, and now we are moving on to another tasty cocktail. This timeless, opulent drink is well-balanced and fresh.

With National Cognac Day coming up, we figured it would be great to share, Rémy Martin 1738 presents The Sidecar.

Continue Reading

Food & Drink

National Brisket Day is Today!

Julian Foglietti



Photo by Brian Kaiser

With meat shortages starting to take their toll and National Brisket Day here at last - we've gathered a roundup of some spots you can go to to get your brisket fix.

Legacy Smoke House

With their main location in Hilliard and a food truck moving throughout the city, Legacy Smoke House is a solid choice for brisket on National Brisket Day, just be sure to get there while supplies last. Enjoy!

Pecan Pennys

Just off Main Street, Pecan Pennys is ready to fulfill your brisket needs. If your looking to feed a family though be sure to get your orders in advance as they're requesting 24 hours notice on dinner bundles.

Ray-Ray's Hog Pit

With locations in Franklinton, Westerville, Clintonville and Powell Ray Ray's Hog Pit is open for business with brisket stocked at all locations. #NationalBrisketDay is the best day!

Hoggy’s Restaurant and Catering

Located on Bethel Road, Hoggy’s will be stocking brisket for both dine-in or carryout. Feel free to stop in or stop by!

The Pit

With a new location opened up on Parsons Ave. The Pit BBQ will be offering brisket for the National day. Celebrate with some tasty brisket!

City Barbeque

City Barbeque will be offering brisket for the National day! So get excited and get ready for some yummy BBQ brisket!

Continue Reading


{UPDATED} Indoor Dining: what’s NOT opening?




Los Gauchos

PINS Mechanical Co.

View this post on Instagram

Hey Pinheads. We're so excited to hear that our world is beginning to reopen! Many of you have reached out asking about our opening plans so we wanted to provide a brief update on Pins Mechanical Co. While we fully trust and support the decisions of our local leaders, it’s our responsibility to ensure the health and safety of our team members and guests, while not sacrificing the experience that makes Pins, Pins! With that in mind, none of our locations will be opening in May. There are many unknowns with COVID-19 and we hope that taking this extra time will help our guests and teammates feel better about the measures we’ve put in place to keep all of us safe. For example, on top of our already stringent cleaning procedures, we’re installing UV technology at all locations (ensuring you always have clean balls to play with). We’re looking forward to welcoming back our kick-ass team to train and adjust to this new normal. Once our people feel comfortable + confident, we’ll know it’s time to get rollin’ again! Thank you for your incredible support, online sales, photo shares + kind words over the last two months. Even when you couldn’t show up, you showed up and we’ll never forget it! We’re hopeful that everyone will be safe and smart as we begin to reopen the doors to the small businesses that make our communities so special. See you soon, Pinheads!

A post shared by Pins Mechanical Co. (@pinsmechco) on

Old North Arcade

View this post on Instagram

Dear friends, . As you are most likely aware, Governor DeWine has permitted the reopening of bars and restaurants for dine-in seating effective 5/21. We are very grateful that our leadership is now offering businesses the choice to do what they think is right. We offer no judgment for the bars and restaurants that are/have chosen to open. However, for our particular business, and for our staff, we still think it's too early. We are going to remain closed this week and next but do hope to open soon. Your understanding and patience is greatly appreciated and we cannot wait to see you all. It is important to us that we apply an extra layer of safety and precaution on top of the govermental recommendations. Tentatively, we are looking at the end of May to reopen in a very limited capacity but we're following local and national developments very closesly so will be quick to bail if things turn south. Your continued support has been quite humbling. Thank you. Stay healthy, support local, and be more than kind to one another. . Cautiously optimistic, . ONA Staff

A post shared by Old North Arcade (@oldnortharcade) on

Watershed Kitchen + Bar

101 Beer kitchen

They are delaying opening dine-in service until May 26th.

Matt the Miller's Tavern

Stay tuned on social for patio and dine-in updates!

J. Gumbo's

J. Gumbo's will continue to stay open for online ordering for pick up and delivery - stay tuned for dine-in updates.

Mouton on High

The Whitney House

The Whitney House will be opening Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 11 am.

The Guild House

Stay tuned for opening dates!

View this post on Instagram

Stay safe everyone 💕

A post shared by The Guild House (@theguildhouse) on

Smoked On High

Dirty Frank's Hot Dog Palace

The Woodbury

The Woodbury will be opening its doors for dine-in service on June 1 2020.


Roosters are not opening dine-in until May 26th 2020.

The Eagle

The Eagle is temporarily closed - stay tuned on social for updates!

View this post on Instagram

In light of the government mandated closure of dine-in business for an indeterminable period of time, we’ve made the incredibly hard decision to temporarily close The Eagle Columbus. . Given the truly unprecedented and quickly evolving nature of this health crisis, we’ve been forced to make the best decisions we can, with the information we have. As the true scale of this crisis has been revealed, it’s become impossible to deny the impact this mandate will have on our business and team members. This decision was made as all of our decisions have been: with the health, happiness, well being and best interests of our guests and team members in mind. . The state of Thunderdome Restaurant Group is strong and we look forward to seeing and serving you all on the other side of this. Truth, courage, and be well.

A post shared by The Eagle Short North (@theeaglesn) on

Lavash Cafe

Tiger + Lily

Tiger + Lily is sticking to carry out for the time being. Follow them on social for updates for dine-in!

Yats Grandview

Red Lobster

Red Lobster is continuing to stick to curbside pickup, delivery, or touchless pick-up.

Harvest Pizza

Bareburger Columbus

Bareburger is opening for dine-in on May 26th, 2020.


City Barbeque

Local Cantina - Creekside, Grandview, Dublin, Westerville, Hilliard Locations

Creekside Local Cantina is delaying opening indoor dining until May 26, 2020.

OH Pizza and Brew

Continue Reading