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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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Food & Drink

High Steaks: Jeff Ruby’s hosts Joe Burrow to sample entree named in his honor

Mike Thomas

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Photo by Jeff Ruby

After a landmark season with the LSU Tigers in which his squad dominated seven top-ten ranked teams on their way to a National Championship title, Joe Burrow is used to high stakes. Now, the Heisman-winning quarterback and OSU alum has gotten a taste the other kind of steaks, thanks to restauranteur Jeff Ruby.

During a recent visit to Columbus, Burrow was the first to try a new steak (a 16 ounce Blackened Prime Rib with Creole Crawfish Sauce) named in his honor, according to a Tweet from Ruby.

https://twitter.com/TheRealJeffRuby/status/1219785421355470848?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1219785421355470848&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nbc4i.com%2Fnews%2Flocal-news%2Fjoe-burrow-gets-his-namesake-steak-during-visit-to-columbus-jeff-ruby-steakhouse%2F

Want to sink your teeth into this special cut of meat? You'll have to take a road trip. For now, the "Steak Burrow" is only available at the Jeff Ruby's location in Cincinnati—Burrow's likely future home as the Bengals' first overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

For each of the Joe Burrow steaks sold, Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse will donate $9 to the Athens County Food Pantry—a cause made famous by the QB in his viral Heisman Trophy speech.

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Food & Drink

Polaris Mexican restaurant closes doors

614now Staff

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For all those Mexican food fans out there, we've got some bad news: Cantina Laredo has closed its Columbus location.

The 8791 Lyra Dr. store is no longer listed on the company's location page. Cantina Laredo has also been removed from Polaris' dining page.

The Polaris-area restaurant specialized in "authentic Mexican food inspired by the cuisine of Mexico City with a modern twist," according to Cantina Laredo's Facebook page.

Stay tuned to 614now.com for information about the reason behind the closure.

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Food & Drink

Happy Restaurant Week! Here are the 4 most popular menus

614now Staff

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Restaurant Week Columbus, January 20-25 presented by (614) Magazine and Revolution Mortgage, is finally here!

Eat614.com has been poppin' lately with hungry people around the city researching specialty-priced, 3-course menus from over 200 participating restaurants. We know it can be hard to make a decision, so hopefully this list of the four most-viewed Restaurant Week menus can be your compass.

Happy eating, Columbus!

#4 Eddie Merlot's
1570 Polaris Pkwy., Columbus
$40 per diner

Triple Layer Chocolate Cake

Eddie Merlot's efforts to provide the finest personal service, highest quality foods, and freshest ingredients does not go unnoticed by the Columbus community. Coming in as the #4 most-read Restaurant Week menu so far, the prime-aged beef and seafood restaurant offers king crab bisque, filet mignon, salmon, ribeye, yellowfin tuna, crème brûlée, and triple layer chocolate cake among other options as part of its specially-priced 3-course menu this week.

#3 Lindey's
69 E Beck St., Columbus
$40 per diner

Lobster Bisque

Tucked away on a brick street in German Village, Lindey's has long been one of the city's most beloved restaurants. Tempura Shishito peppers, bison and chipotle chili, marinated shrimp skewer, salmon, filet, lamb bolognese, pumpkin waffle, maple bourbon semifredo, and more will be offered on Lindey's diverse Restaurant Week menu.

#2 Del Mar SoCal Kitchen
705 N High St., Columbus
$40 per diner

Brick Chicken

Recently named one of America's best restaurants by online reservation company OpenTable.com, Del Mar has been receiving a lot of buzz lately, and Restaurant Week is no exception. This new concept from Cameron Mitchell stays true to its Cali-inspired fare during RW with plenty of options from the sea like lobster bisque and faroe island salmon. Brick chicken, beef tenderloin, Hawaiian shave ice, and chocolate valrhona brownie are also among the mix.

Drumroll please....

#1 Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant
4230 The Strand, Columbus
$35 per diner

Gnocchi Carbonara

Out of more than 200 participating restaurants, the menu for Cooper's Hawk has been the most popular on eat614.com so far. While the award-winning wines could be bringing people in, it's certainly the wildly diverse, chef-driven menu Cooper's Hawk's is offering during Restaurant Week that keeps people hanging around. Asia ahi tuna sashimi, jambalaya, crispy Asian pork, gnocchi carbonara, s'more budino, and Cooper's Hawk chocolate cake are just some of the scrumptious items on the three-course menu.

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