Our weekly roundup of bites and bevvies we can’t stop thinking about
Story by Kristen Schmidt
Welcome to Cravings, our weekly roundup of stuff we cooked, ate, drank, ogled, read about—basically anything we love and want to share with you. We hope it opens a few doors for you to new restaurants, recipes, websites and other ways of embracing and experiencing the Columbus food and drink scene.
At Rooks Tavern just south of campus, the Coal Miner’s Daughter is a Moscow Mule turned black as night with a dusting of charcoal. When I saw this on the cocktail list, my initial reaction was like a dog hearing a strange noise—full-on head tilt, followed by the need for further exploration. Charcoal is having a bit of a moment, praised in some circles for its detoxifying properties. And at a spot like Rooks, where every seat in the house has a full view of its blazing red and orange Argentine-style grill, I can see how using charcoal to add smoke to more than just food can draw a cohesive line across the menu. So I bought in, ordered the drink and was pleasantly surprised. There’s a choice of base spirit: traditional vodka or Kentucky-mule-style with bourbon. Given my surroundings, I went with the latter. It has all the trappings of a traditional mule—easy drinking with refreshing lime and bracing ginger—but with a bit more smokiness. Definitely worth a try if you’re in the mood for something different (and Instagram-able).
I braved the “feels like 14 degrees” chill on Friday to hit up Little Eater at the North Market (it had been way too long), and opted for the daily frittata, made with Yoder Farm spaghetti squash, last summer’s tomatoes, Turkey Foot 7-month aged Gouda and Holistic Acres eggs. It was a filling lunch that didn’t make me feel full. Between bites, I realized Little Eater’s my best bet for being good and a little indulgent. And let’s be honest, Friday lunches are supposed to be a bit indulgent.
Whether you’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or both, do it with some alternatives to the traditional conversation heart. I picked up this timely “She Persisted” cookie at Sassafras Bakery on Saturday, and you can easily DIY (check out other crafty ladies on social media) treats with your own messages of empowerment. “Gal Pal” and “Girl Power” are still bipartisan salutes, right? Or throw that out the window with “Resist” and “Riots Not Diets,” “Nasty Woman” and “Not Your Babe.”
I have a thing for Brussels sprouts. (Seriously, if they’re on a menu, I can’t NOT order them.) So the choice was clear as I perused the Vegan Monday menu at Hadley’s Bar + Kitchen this week. I’ll have more to praise later, but the Warm Salad, a compilation of shaved Brussels, baby kale, almonds, apples, farro and golden raisins tossed in a maple and mustard dressing, was incredibly satisfying. All the necessary flavors and textures were there: a little tang, a touch of sweetness and a bit of crunch. My only complaint? Not enough Brussels. Figures.