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A salute to the kernel: 5 ways to enjoy your summer favorite

Mitch Hooper

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Corn —it’s usually the first thing anyone outside of the Midwest thinks of when they hear about Ohio. It hurts, but it’s true. Almost every true Ohioan knows the saying “knee high by Fourth of July,” and anyone who doesn’t shall be exiled to a rural small town immediately for training. But this Midwestern staple originally hails from Mexico and is considered a grain, a vegetable, and a fruit. It’s no wonder that there’s so many ways to do corn. And summer is the perfect time to try a few.

As nature intended

Simple, sweet, addictive. What more can you need? Throw some butter on that ear, add a little salt and pepper (and some Lowry’s, if you’re feeling adventurous), and proceed to munch like a typewriter.

All photos: Brian Kaiser

South of the border corn

A simply buttered ear of corn is tough to beat, but leave it to our friends south of the border to add some flair to our beloved crop. Mexican street corn, also known as elote, is essentially the loaded baked potato of corn, featuring a blend of spices like chili powder and cayenne powder with loads of crumbly cotilla cheese and drizzles of a Mexican crema on top. Katalina’s is a sure-fire spot for your elotes, and their second location in Clintonville opened recently.

Let’s get this (corn) bread

Standing as another southern treat, but more in the vein of barbeques, is cornbread. It’s a simple treat, but it delivers in flavor in so many ways. The subtle sweetness of the corn combined with the flu y and airy bread only needs a spread of butter on top to complete the masterpiece. And at Pecan Penny’s, you can do just that. Whether you serve it straight up, or pile your smoked pulled pork on top for a new creation, there’s really no wrong way to devour this side dish.

Corn cookies! Why not?

We’ve seen corn in chips; corn in breads and puddings; and even sexy south of the border corn, but corn in cookies? That’s where the line is drawn… Or maybe not. At Acre Farm To Table, the sweet corn cookie is corn as a dessert. With some extra sweetness added, the cookie is the perfect balance between enjoying a treat with none of the guilt. Okay, admittedly, some of the guilt. There’s just no way something that tastes this good can be healthy!

Transcorned

Whoever says nachos aren’t a dinner option shall be exiled with the rest of the people who don’t know the “knee high” saying. They’re just deconstructed tacos— open your imagination a little! And making them at home couldn’t be easier. Pick up a bag of OH! Tortilla Chips, grab all your favorite taco toppings, and get your napkins ready. Dealer’s choice on if you should go Modelo or Corona—just don’t forget the limes.

millennial | writer | human

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Food & Drink

Game of Cones: New ice cream contender coming to Short North

Mike Thomas

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It seems a new challenger is emerging in the race to claim the Columbus ice cream crown.

CRMD, a new ice cream spot opening soon at 1190 N. High St. in the Short North, is being teased for a “summer 2019” launch on the company’s website.

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The same site shows the brand’s flavor offerings, which will include matcha, Viet coffee, and cereal + milk. Upon opening, CRMD will also be slinging puffles – a spherical egg-based waffle cone popular in Hong Kong and Macau.

For more information and a full list of flavors, visit www.getcrmd.com.

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Biz + Dev

Update: Cajun food fans disappointed by Ned’s Bayou development

Mike Thomas

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UPDATE: While concrete information regarding the mysterious Ned’s Bayou is still unavailable, signs seem to indicate that the retail space will serve as a popup store for Twenty One Pilots merchandise when the duo comes to town for a double-header at Nationwide Arena on June 29 & 30.

Exhibit A: searching “Ned’s Bayou” on the Ohio Secretary of State’s online database shows an address on Worthington Galena Rd. for the business’ registered owner. The members of Twenty One Pilots are themselves former Worthington residents.

While this in and of itself says little, the group’s de facto mascot (seen here in the music video for the song “Chlorine”) happens to be named Ned.

Mere coincidence? I guess we’ll find out by the end of the month. For now, it seems fans of cajun food might have to look elsewhere to get their fix!

***

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A brand new awning sporting the words “Ned’s Bayou” has appeared over the former Blick’s Art Supplies location at 612 N High St in the Short North.

While initial searches have turned up little information about this forthcoming business, we can only assume that this will one day be the sight of a Louisiana-inspired restaurant of some sort.

Then again, the word “Bayou” carries other connotations. Maybe this will be the Short North’s first-ever spot for gator rasslin’. Only time will tell!

614NOW will keep an eye peeled for more info on this business as it becomes available.

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Food & Drink

614NOW Fried Chicken Trail: Uncle Nick’s Greek Fried Chicken

Mike Thomas

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First came the 614NOW Donut Trail. Then, there was the Mac & Cheese Trail. Now, 614NOW is on the hunt for the best fried chicken this city has to offer. Welcome to the 614NOW Fried Chicken Trail!

Uncle Nick’s Greek Fried Chicken

1333 Northwest Blvd

This unpretentious Grandview-area joint is serving up the same fried chicken that made its first location in Warren Ohio a hit since its opening in 1956.

It’s no surprise that the central Ohio Nick’s location is slinging classic fried chicken worthy of its old-school pedigree. Nick’s Greek is exactly what many people long for when they think “fried chicken” – pressure-fried bird that is crispy on the outside and delectably juicy inside.

Be warned – this chicken is so good, you will be locked in that hopeless balancing act of trying to take bites without burning the inside of your mouth.

The crust on Uncle Nick’s chicken is so crispy, it seems like it would never go soft even if you left it in a closed container for an hour. This also means that the juices inside the meat have nowhere to hide, and are perfectly preserved within.

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Fried chicken places are notoriously tight with their secret recipes, but if I had to guess, I’d say that much this chicken’s seasoning comes care of a generous brining. As a result, the meat is salty and mild, allowing the natural flavors of the chicken to shine. Notably, a motto hanging on the wall of the place states, “If the Colonel had our recipe, he’d be a general.” I find no fault in this statement.

Was there just grease on the lens, or was this chicken actually glowing?

Uncle Nick’s is the kind of spot you’ll want to take a friend who has never experienced “real deal” fried chicken. While I preferred the dark meat (owner/operator Andrew Cleary was kind enough to hook me up with a half-bird’s worth of pieces) all of it was head-and-shoulders above any fast-food chains in terms of texture and flavor.

Ratings:
Aroma:🍗🍗🍗🍗 (4/5 drumsticks)
Flavor: 🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗 (5/5)
Seasoning: 🍗🍗🍗🍗 (4/5)
Crispiness: 🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗 (5/5)
Overall Experience: 🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗 (5/5)

Uncle Nick’s Fried Chicken scores a hearty 23/25 on our rating scale. Get out there and see for yourself why this spot is a favorite catering option for the Ohio State Buckeyes Football squad!

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