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Tastebud Trip: Food of Philippines in Grandview

Mike Thomas

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Welcome to our ongoing feature highlighting the best international cuisine in Columbus. Consider this your challenge to try something new!

After centuries of Spanish rule followed by decades of insular governance under US authority, the cuisine of the Philippines is like a living record of the nation’s complicated history. The colonial past of the archipelagic South Pacific nation has resulted in a unique cultural synthesis, combining aspects of Asian tradition and western influence.

Colonialism is a word that carries many negative connotations. Likewise, no one word in the culinary sphere may be regarded with more disdain than “fusion.” Nevertheless, the remarkable Filipino cuisine at Grandview’s Bonifacio shows that a collision of cultures can, it certain cases, yield very great things.

When I visited Bonifacio on a mid-week afternoon, I was treated to a trio sampling from the bar’s stock of fresh-squeezed juice, including familiar topical favorites like mango and guava. The star of show was the juice of the calamansi, featuring a hybrid citrus fruit that is a ubiquitous in Filipino cuisine (think lemon/lime flavor, but with the tartness dialed way down).

Guava, calamansi, and mango juices

The first course served was Tinola, which is a Filipino chicken soup prepared with ginger, garlic, onion, green papaya, and spinach. The rich broth was deep with flavor, and came with two succulent pieces of bone-in chicken thigh hiding beneath spinach leaves. The chicken was somewhat unwieldy in this pool of broth, but for a soup this satisfying, there are worse problems to have.

As a special main course, I was served a mixed sampling of all of the protein choices available in the restaurant’s primary lunch offering, the Bonibowl. Whichever protein you choose, the accompanying side is a sous-vide egg atop a heap of garlic rice. Once you’ve had rice this way, it’s hard to go back to anything else.

Bonibowl

Meat-wise, the Spanish influence on Filipino cuisine shines through in Bonifacio’s Longanisa sausage, which is more reminiscent of a teriyaki preparations in flavor than its latin cousin.

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For the more adventurous, there’s the Sisig: tender chunks of pork shoulder sautéed with garlic, onion, ginger, and bell pepper, finished with lime juice and chili pepper. This spicy creation is traditionally prepared using meat from the face of the pig, but this Americanized version still packs plenty of flavor.

For first time visitors to Bonificio, or those new to Filipino cooking in general, the adobo is requisite eating. Another word borrowed from the Spanish, adobo refers to a preparation of meat (usually chicken) marinated and simmered in a mixture vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and black peppercorns. Bonifacio’s adobo chicken is tender and juicy. Remarkably, the adobo process manages to create some novel flavors (to the western palate) for America’s go-to protein.

With a full bar, including South-Pacific-inspired craft cocktails and draft beer from Ohio mainstays like Rhinegeist and Brewdog, Bonifacio is just as well suited to a night out as a fast and tasty lunch. Be sure to save room for dessert, whether its in the form of ube ice cream sandwich or leechee flan (talk about east meets west). For the total dessert package try, Halo Halo, a creamy mix of shaved ice topped with with a medley of preserves, ube ice cream, and leche flan.

For anyone who thinks fusion is just another played-out trend in cooking, the OG culinary mashup found in Filipino food may make you reconsider. The fare at Bonifacio combines familiar aspects of Asian, Spanish, and American cooking traditions to create flavors that are truly original.

Is there an international restaurant you’d like to see us cover? Let us know in the comments!

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No foolin’: your 614NOW April Horoscope

Amber Falter

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Being April 1, you’re bound to come across some deliberately misleading info on the internet today. That’s simply not the case for your monthly Horoscope, care of Amber “best comedian in Columbus” Falter. Join Amber as she divines the wisdom of the stars (or some shit) for another month, and be sure to catch her at the The Growlin Gremlin’ comedy showcase TOMORROW, April 2 at 7:30pm at the Daily Growler.

Aries (March 21 – April 20)

Trust your gut this month and SPIT IT or QUIT IT! The solar eclipse in early April will bring you lots of room for opportunez. Its a real ‘will-they’ or ‘won’t-they’ of whether or not you’ll f*ck your future self over, so take your time! Should you keep producing Garage Band folk albums in your brother’s garage or move onto something bigger like selling knives?

Taurus (April 21 – May 21)

Breakfast at Epiphany’s! You will realize your fear of listening to voicemails is irrational and this month will be FREEING! Go through your phone and laugh and laugh at the robots and real people that are mad that you may or may not owe money to. They will never catch you and you can’t afford to let them. Your college debt has become your most reliable friend – and you deserve friendship!

Gemini (May 22 – June 21)

Get ready to shop for cream. Pluto’s Seasonal Affective Disorder is wrapping up, which means there is a possibility of a new and exciting allergy coming to haunt you forever. By summer, you’ll either be coping with your new forever rash or struggling to run the pie stand you inherited from that cousin you never met. No matter what happens, you’re going to need cream.

Cancer (June 22 – July 22)

Winner, winner, Moon wants you to be King Corn. Don’t let the moon pressure you into anything you don’t want to do – YOUR husk, YOUR choice! Be sure to do your research on what it takes to be King of the Crops. Even though outside pressures will demand that you are knee-high by the Fourth of July, explore all other options and follow your corn gut.

Leo (July 23 – Aug 21)

My, my, you’ve been a difficult sea monster! We know March was being rude to you, but look at you now! You have eight lengthy tentacles and a school of fish to boss around. Moving forward, you need to be more forgiving when mermaids steal your precious rocks. Free yourself from material possessions this month. Seriously, those are just rocks.

Virgo (Aug 22 -Sept 23)

I ain’t sayin’ you’re a grave-digger, but you sure know how to use a shovel! Dig deeper than you ever have this month and you’ll be sure to find something very special underneath it all. Your decision to keep what you find in a jar or as a pet could have a large impact on your relationship with your partner. They won’t like it and they don’t want it to replace them.

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Libra (Sept 24 – Oct 23)

Prepare for handful of great losses this April. Sure, you’re going to lose your hairstylist to a salon you can’t afford, but you’ll also lose your baggage at the airport before an important meeting with your mean boss. This incident will actually lead you to get fired and then the ball is in your court until June 3rd, when everything will somehow get MUCH worse. Have fun while you can!

Scorpio (Oct 24 – Nov 22)

A very merry Scorpio to you! Your fate and success are on the line this month but its a thick line and odds are nothing bad will happen! Great dangers like a debt collector or an asteroid will come at you but you will know exactly what to do (hint:  Marry Bruce Willis, quick!). This phase of your nothing-can-kill-me will be a fun time to get adventurous and do scary stuff – like meet new friends!

Sagittarius (Nov 23 – Dec 22)

Someone you love owes you a lunch. Be patient with them but send a few texts to remind them that you are hungry! The debt will be repaid, but once your hungry hole is finally filled with friend-lunch, you will get a minor toe injury. After the initial shock, you will remember that karma is just trying to remind you to be a good roomie and refill the Brita pitcher. Please, we are so thirsty.

Capricorn (Dec 23 – Jan 20)

Stop feeling sorry for yourself and start feeling sorry for your car. All winter you have really neglected the floor trash and the smell is beginning to ripen. This new moon phase will inspire you to call your mom to see if she has any Moo Moo Car Wash Coupons scattered about, and boy does she! Take your mobile pigpen for a cleanse and start a new hate-layer of 2019 depression garbage!

Aquarius (Jan 21 – Feb 19)

Uranus is in planetary jail this month as you need to control your urges to join clubs or the law will get involved. You hate running and you shouldn’t do it just because that tall glass of water from book club was born with the legs of a gazelle. There will be a point where you realize that the money club you are in is actually just a gambling problem. Go all in, baby.

Pisces (Feb 20 – Mar 20)

Ew! Someone needs a new profile picture! Neptune is begging you to go that dance party this month. Even though you don’t want to be there and you hate the music, there is a photographer documenting everyone getting sloppy drunk. By the end of the month someone will tag you in a pic that will become your new profile picture that could be your last.

Illustrations by Ryan Caskey.

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Proposed bill would end daylight saving time changes

614now

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Thanks in part to some unofficial polling on social media, The Ohio Senate is considering a proposal to make daylight saving time permanent.

The “Ohio Sunshine Protection Act” was proposed by state senator Kristina Roegner after she asked her friends on Facebook if Ohio should stop taking part in daylight saving time changes:

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Apparently, the result was a resounding “yes.” In response, Roegner announced her proposed bill in a second post on Facebook:

Roegner’s bill will get its first hearing in the State legislature on Wednesday, April 3.

Should Ohio join other states in opting out of the time change? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

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Should you need a permit for concealed carry? New bill says no

614now

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Earlier this week, Ohio State made the decision to allow concealed carry permit holders to store guns in locked cars on campus. If a new bill proposed by Ohio house Republicans passes, the need for a permit in the state of Ohio could disappear altogether.

House bill 174, called the “constitutional carry bill,” would permit anyone age 21 or over to carry a concealed firearm – no permit required. Restrictions such as felony convictions that disqualify a person from owning weapons would still apply.

The bill was introduced Wednesday by Republican representatives Ron Hood of Ashville and Tom Brinkman of Cincinnati, gaining support from 27 co-sponsors – all House Republicans. The proposed legislation is also supported by Governor Mike Dewine.

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Under the current law, Ohioans who wish to carry a concealed weapon must obtain a permit from a sheriff, pass a criminal background check, and complete eight hours of firearms training under a certified instructor.

The proposed legislation would allow Ohioans to conceal and carry handguns, as well as rifles and shotguns. The bill also would repeal a current requirement that concealed-carry owners notify police officers they are carrying a gun when stopped.

What are your thoughts on this proposed legislation? Please let us know in the comments.

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