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Behind the Handle: @BreakfastWithNick

Kelsey Lawrence

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Welcome to Behind the Handle where we go behind the likes and hashtags to see what makes Columbus bloggers tick.

Everyone loves breakfast but Nick of @breakfastwithnick lives it. Exploring the best breakfast spots in Columbus and beyond, he’s generated over 14.3k followers and created a brand that is recognized throughout the city. Such a following is no easy feat though, so we connected with Nick to get some insight into how he was able to create and maintain his brand.

A writer at heart, Nick began his online ventures through his blog in 2007, before Instagram was a thing. Once Instagram started taking off, he got onboard.

“It didn’t take me long to recognize that social media is an important extension of blogging,” he revealed. “Especially since food and drink is such a visual world in how you engage people with it. It made perfect sense.”

Although he had prior blogging experience, Instagram was a completely different world. The nuances of Instagram had to be learned which he admitted to struggling with in the beginning.

“For me there was the early question of ‘Is this a private vs a public profile?’ Initially, I was just sharing everything around me, which was family related things and as I’ve grown and realized the power of Instagram, I began to find the balance of how to genuinely share about your life while also not providing details that people don’t need.”

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After navigating the murky waters of Instagram, he began gaining more followers. When asked about the moment he felt his Instagram had reached success, he said “For me the mark I would deem somewhat successful is when I would run into people on the street and they would say ‘Hey, you’re @breakfastwithnick, I follow you on Instagram. So that would tell me yeah, people are making the connection between who you are and people are interested enough to follow. That, and when people would say “Oh we found this spot because you posted about it on Instagram.” That’s kinda the mark of success for me.”

Nick noted that success is difficult to define and depends on one’s personal goals.

“I think the mark of success for anyone is when you can do it in a genuine way, so you’re honest and truthful about who you are and your experiences. That more than anything will make people want to follow along and stick with you.”

But how did he do it? He explained that while Instagram is largely visual, he employs other elements in order to develop a connection between the himself and the viewer.

“Me and my wife Beth, who runs @breakfastwithnick with me, we are both believers that Instagram shouldn’t just be about pretty pictures but being an activation point. It’s fun to share a beautiful picture of my breakfast. It’s even better when I share info about it or a description of it that  helps people decide if that’s somewhere they would want to go or encourages them to check it out or have an adventure of their own.”

Nick is also a big believer of giving credit where it’s due.

“When we think of using Instagram from the food angle, especially with restaurants, we look for a way to humanize it. So pictures of great food is awesome but pictures of the restaurant owner or chefs are even better. You know, highlighting people who deserve the credit for making that look so awesome. That’s a big thing for us too. Being able to show that side of the industry too.”

Being so active on Instagram, as well as his other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it can get overwhelming. He talks about the importance of taking time to step back.

“There are definitely times where we do give ourselves permission to say ‘we don’t have to be on the phone posting about this.’ There are a lot of times when i’m excited to share things but i will share them after the fact.We’ll just get pictures done really quickly and then  go on and actually be present in the moment.”

As a final piece of wisdom, he gives some much needed advice to all the Instagrammers out there who get caught up in the amount of followers or likes they get.

“It can be super stressful if you’re tying your self worth to how many times someone pressed the heart button on a photo you have. That’s not what that’s supposed to be about.”

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Keep calm: Geordie’s English restaurant announces opening date

Mike Thomas

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No, we aren’t talking Geordi LaForge, chief engineering officer of the USS Enterprise. As it happens, “Geordie” is a slang term referring to people from from the Tyneside area in northeastern England.

Geordie’s is also the name of an English restaurant coming soon to the city’s south side at 1586 S. High St – the former location of Columbus Explorers Club.

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After months of red-tape and construction-related delays, Geordie’s co-owner Glenn Hall-Jones has confirmed an opening date of May 31 for his establishment, which seeks to replicate the true English pub experience right here in Columbus.

So we had a test day in the kitchen Sunday. Just a few of the dishes from the Geordie’s menu. Traditional English Sunday…

Posted by Geordie’s Restaurant. on Monday, May 20, 2019

Once open, Geordie’s patrons can expect beer offerings from the United Kingdom, such as Newcastle Brown Ale, Guinness, and more, along with taps pouring local craft beer. There will also be a full bar and food menu full of favorites from across the pond.

Keep calm and check this spot out on May 31.

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Food & Drink

New, unique brand of ice cream hitting freezers near you soon

614now

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Just in time for summer, a new ice cream company will be expanding into the Columbus market! Perry’s Ice Cream Company, Inc., a Great Lakes regional brand and Upstate New York’s #1 ice cream choice, will begin stocking over 600 local freezers and scoop shops with its unique flavors like:

  • Bad Breakup (Sea salt caramel chocolate ice cream with milk fudge swirls and fudge-filled hearts)
  • Grasshopper Pie (fudge swirls and mint ice cream will tingle your taste buds while the crème-filled cookies add a refreshing crunch)
  • Off the Grid (Chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirls and chopped peanut butter cups)

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The ice cream will be also appear at a number of local events, such as the Columbus Jazz & Rib Fest, Ohio State Fair, and at Huntington Park for Clippers games.

As a result of this expansion into both Columbus and Cleveland, Perry’s has created 49 jobs in Ohio and will directly invest about $6.3 million in the state in 2019.

The Great Lakes-regional and Western New York-based, family-owned company has been making ice cream for more than 100 years and prides itself on its slow-cooked, exceptionally creamy and delicious ice cream made from local ingredients. 

For more information, visit PerrysIceCream.com

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“Cinco stars” for new and improved Cinco Tacos

Mike Thomas

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Located in the heart of downtown Columbus near the intersection of Broad and High, Cinco Tacos has been serving the lunch crowd for quite some time. Like many of its fast-casual peers, it was a decent enough place to grab a quick meal that was just a notch above fast food burger chains.

Now, under new ownership, Cinco is done settling for “good enough.” This means more than just a fresh coat of paint on the walls, but a completely new menu highlighting traditional Mexican preparations, executed with patience and care.

Already a veteran of the food truck scene, Fransisco Garcia took over Cinco Tacos a short time ago, and quickly got to work making the space his own. First, he put together a staff well-versed in traditional Mexican cooking. He and his team got to work, completely overhauling and expanding Cinco’s array of offerings.

The results speak for themselves, with tacos, burritos, and other diverse items bursting with authentic flavors that put their Americanized counterparts in the national chains to shame.

Carnitas taco, “suprema” style. Photos by Kelsey Cowan

The secret to Cinco’s superior fare seems to be in taking the time to let flavors develop. The house-made barbacoa takes up to 8 hours to prepare. The carnitas take even longer, and it’s time well spent – both of these proteins are exceptionally tender and flavorful.

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Small touches also demonstrate the care that Garcia takes in his approach to cooking. Not satisfied to serve just another taco, he sources yellow corn tortillas from a purveyor in Chicago that are simply the best available in the region, and perhaps beyond.

On this menu, classic sides like chips and various salsas (all made in house) are joined by unique offerings like pozole – a rich Mexican soup with pork and hominy that is a rarity even among the city’s many traditional Mexican establishments.

Cinco’s pork belly taco – one of the restaurant’s rotating specials

In keeping with the great flavors found on its regular menu, Cinco features a lineup of killer specials that rotate depending on availability of ingredients. The pork belly taco, made with pork belly hand-trimmed and marinated in house, offers an explosion of juicy, porky flavor. Topped with Cinco’s next-level guacamole, this is one special to look out for.

With the new-and-improved Cinco Tacos open for business, it’s hard to justify visiting chain restaurants. Cinco has everything you would find at those other places (plus much more) but with deep, traditional flavors. Try it yourself the next time you’re downtown looking for a quick lunch, or make a special trip of it – Cinco is definitely worth it.

Cinco is located at 1 S High St, Columbus. They currently serve lunch through 4PM, with plans to expand to dinner service in the future.

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