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Punk Palate — Anthony Bourdain at the Palace Theater

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Punk Palate — Anthony Bourdain at the Palace 

by Grant Burkhardt


Recently Anthony Bourdain had, as he told the Palace Theater on Saturday night, a dream about being confronted by a convict. The convict was a huge man, with Nazi tattoos all over, just the biggest dude youve ever seen, and as the large man got closer to him, Bourdain realized he knew him.

It was Guy Fieri,Bourdain said, and the first joke of the night landed with a zam bam wham.

Bourdain — visiting Columbus on tour for his new book, Appetites, in which he finds yet more ways to be relatable to the average food consumer by including recipes for scrambled eggs and macaroni and cheese – insisted he wouldnt spend the whole show railing against his former colleagues at the Food Network. He mostly stuck to that promise, although I suspect the crowd wouldnt have minded if he spent the whole show making fun of one of Columbus Ohio’s favorite sons, Guy Fieri and his shows, restaurants, hair color, and everything else. It was an enjoyable 90 minutes spent listening to a very charming man talk about how his relationship to food and the world has changed over time. 

Bourdain’s still very much the familiar, hipster-averse, tasteful vulgarian, but in the 16 years since Kitchen Confidential, his television shows like Parts Unknown have taken him all over the world, and those experiences inform his worldview and much of the material in his Palace show. I know of few better cases for travel as a great empathy machine than Bourdain, formerly the “bad boyof the food industry.

(First, as an aside, I never really understood that title. All you have to do to be a bad boyis have an earring and spew some naughty words and blowjob jokes? He’s always been closer to a punk rocker to me, someone whos authentically himself – he even name-dropped Fugazi as a musical influence later in the Palace show.)

As the show wound around his list of prepared culinary bullet points (hed frequently transition between talking points by simply saying the name of a food thing he wanted to address: Glutenwhat are we going to do about gluten?!), he made an important pitch for food as politics and him as a person worth listening to on topics of the day. After all, he said, hes actually visited – and dined with the natives of – many of the places we talk about in our daily political discussions. He lamented people who tell him to stick to food.He has a unique experience – a wide, educated, cultured perspective – and wants to be heard. We dont all have the Palace stage on a Saturday night, but isnt that what we all want?

He delivered those thoughts about the world and about politics by very punk rock means – intense, straight-forward, real. He was, as always, engaging. His travels have informed his politics and seem to have made him softer,which is only to say less amped to dish trash about his counterparts and more likely to talk about people to whom he relates – those eating normal meals in normal cities and in normal homes all around the world.

And to me thats what we should really take away from Bourdain and anyone who uses their platform to peddle understanding and empathy for depressed cooks in bad airport restaurants, lower-income civilians eating bad meals, and yes, even Guy Fieri: That Bourdain is more than just his vulgar tendencies, that hes more than thebad boy” of the food industry, that hes worthy of the stage and of our attention.

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Food & Drink

Watershed gin stirring up the national drink scene

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Watershed’s greatness is already well known among the spirit-drinking faithful of central Ohio. The Grandview craft distillery took the top spot in this year’s (614)’s Columbest reader’s poll in the “best locally-owned spirit” category.

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Now, thanks to their first-rate gin, Watershed has done it again.

Watershed was awarded Ohio Gin Distillery of the Year by the New York International Spirits Competition 2019. Their double-gold award winning Chamomile Flavored Guild Gin was also included as a “best outlier gin” in a roundup of the 15 best gins to drink right now by Esquire.

Keep up the great work, Watershed! It’s not every company that can raise a toast to their success with the very product that got them there.

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Food & Drink

Franklinton’s Gravity Project getting caffeinated by Roosevelt’s second location

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Franklinton’s Gravity Project just got a little more productive with the announcement of its newest vendor. The Roosevelt Coffeehouse will open a second location in the mixed-use development at 500 W Broad St.

The mission-based coffeeshop will open its doors June 1 at 462 W. Broad Street.

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With the new location, founder, Kenny Sipes, aims to double The Roosevelt’s contributions to nonprofit organizations focused on eradicating unclean water, hunger, and human trafficking. Since the company’s Long Street location opened in 2015, The Roosevelt has donated roughly $30,000 per year to charities.

Additionally, the new space will offer customers on the West Side access the shop’s premier line of coffee roasters, including a new Ethiopia Wenago, as part of the grand opening celebration.

It’s officially official!!! Our second location is here at Gravity at 462 W. Broad Street. Our doors are opening…

Posted by The Roosevelt Coffeehouse on Wednesday, May 22, 2019
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Popular Chicago Italian restaurant lighting fire in Columbus

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A popular Chicago restaurant will be lighting a new fire in Columbus soon. Sono Wood Fired will open its first location outside of Chicago at 4055 The Strand West in Easton Town Center this fall.

Sono Wood Fired serves an authentic Tuscany-influenced Italian cuisine featuring house made pastas, hand-crafted wood-fired pizza, antipasti and an inviting wine bar filled with the warmth of the team members.

Sono Wood Fired has been Michelin Recommended for four years, named “Best Pizza” by Chicago Best, “Best Pizza in Chicago” by Chicago Magazine, received the “Hungry Hound Award, “Top Pizza Restaurant Chicago” by Rewards Network and “Diners Choice Award” by Open Table.

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“Our approach resonates with the true Italian food and pizza connoisseurs,” said Martin Murch of Good Eats Group. “We are eager to open at Easton Town Center, in my home state of Ohio. Guests will have an enjoyable culinary experience at Sono Wood Fired due to our focus on quality ingredients and thoughtful preparation of our food, wine selection and hand-crafted cocktails.”

“Sono Wood Fired offers an array of authentic classics along with unique dishes you won’t find anywhere else,” said Jennifer Peterson, Chief Executive, Easton. “With its popularity in Chicago, a town that really knows pizza and pasta, we knew that it would hit the ground running in terms of popularity for Easton guests. Whether you stop by for a bite during brunch, come to create your own pizza with your kids or to celebrate a special occasion with loved ones, you are going to get a great meal in a great atmosphere.”

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