Worthington Food Tour

Yes, most of the activities I post about are kid-friendly. But, this one is reserved for adults. Pick your tour buddy (or go solo!) and get ready for a Columbus Food Adventure, this time in Old Worthington. In January, I went on the Breakfast Tour and it was fantastic. I was excited for the inaugural Worthington tour because it is where we live and I wanted to know it a little better. So, off my mom and I set one CHILLY afternoon in May (literally, it was colder than the January tour).

We started by walking through the Worthington Farmer's Market, which is one of our weekend favorites. I was excited to see the first strawberry harvest (Rhoads Farm), and we definitely brought home a pint for my little strawberry lovers.

Inside The Candle Lab, we met our tour group, led by Columbus Food Adventures owner Bethia Woolf. Here, we learned about the history of the first planned community in Ohio (it was all blueprinted out before they even came--those type-A pioneers!) Names like Thomas Worthington (who advised the settlers on where to make their community) and James Kilbourne (the founder) were explained and Bethia noted that Worthington is actually older than Columbus.

I got to explore The Candle Lab for a few minutes and must go back soon. You can pour your own candle based on the smells that attract you (from their huge wall of candle scents) and even bring in your own repurposed container and pay by the ounce.

From there, we caught the end of the farmers market. We started with Honeyrun farms, which is a market mainstay. The owner gave us some fun facts about their bees. They actually take them to pollinate Lynd Fruit Farm trees and then those smart little bees are able to find their way back to their hive and come home to Honeyrun!  We learned that honey takes on different flavors based on the season and the flowers they pollinate, and we got a sample honey stick.

We tried cheese curds from Blue Jacket dairy and sheep's milk cheese from Kokoborrego, then it was time for some wine!

I have been wanting to try House Wine since we moved to Worthington 2 summers ago. Oh, have I been missing out. First, the owner is nice as can be. They have an enomatic machine, you can have parties there, and they team up with Candle Lab for events too. Today, they picked a fresh little rosé for us. It was paired with salami from North Country Charcuterie and Weed Knob breadsticks (which were addictive). Great things are happening for the North Country guys, and you'll soon be able to find their products in stores. I loved the local refurbished wooden tabletops and all the available seating in the store. Who's coming back with me?

Time for our first meal, across High Street in the Worthington Inn. Have you ever seen a more beautiful building design? My mom and dad took me for a fancy dinner when I was young enough to take my American Girl doll along...so it's been a while. We heard about the ghosts who smoke cigars on the "staircase to no nowhere" and the restaurant's rich history as an Inn halfway between the Ohio River and Lake Erie.

And then our amazing Eggs Worthington came out. I've never had eggs benedict and wasn't sure about it, but seriously? I could eat this egg/spinach/potato hash once a week and be happy. The Prosecco mimosas were the perfect addition! I was impressed by the restaurant's emphasis on Ohio-made products, and excited to learn about their awesome Happy Hour when drinks are half-off and Pub Menu items are $2 off. Also, every Tuesday night is Trivia Night!

We needed something sweet after that amazing savory start, so next was La Chatelaine to be treated with Pan Aux Chocolate made with dark chocolate ganache, as well as the quiche of our choice. I've been here before and have tried the spinach quiche (which is great), so this gave me the chance to try quiche Lorraine (ham) for the first time. That's what I love about these tours; so far I had already samples about 5 things I wouldn't have chosen for myself and liked all of them. The patio at La Chatelaine is divine...not on this particular day, but try it one beautiful morning even if you just get a breakfast drink and a pastry.

These drinks were not part of our tour, but I highly suggest them for your next brunch cocktail: peach ice wine, orange juice and grenadine. 

We took a walk down High Street and down New England Avenue to learn about some of the buildings I regularly pass but never knew the history. There are 29 Worthington buildings on the Historical registry, including The Snow House (fondly known to us as the Crooked House), Ripley House, and the Masonic Lodge. 

I could tell our group was getting excited as we saw the Sassafras Bakery sign up ahead. The kids and I have stopped in for their Milk and Cookies happy hour (Wednesdays 3-5), but I've only ever tasted their awesome sweets. Owner AJ prepared samples of fresh farro salad, a warm ramp and cheese scone, and tangy-sweet rhubarb walnut crumble. She has been a lifelong baker and a success story of baking out of her own kitchen and growing into her space on High Street. That was my first experience with rhubarb and certainly not my last. If someone could tell me how to cook it, that'd be great. 

To our north, we took a creative break to do some letterpress printing at Igloo Letterpress. Everything about this business (including Swoonful Gifts in the front half) speaks to my heart. The local artisan products, the stationery supplies, just everything is so carefully selected and I want to buy IT ALL. Anyway, Allison showed us her beloved letterpresses and told us a little bit about the process. Then, we got to make our own coasters (which I have photographed no less than 20 times; sorry mom). If you want the prettiest invitations or business cards in the land, check out Igloo.

told you. They deserve to be photographed, though. 

We took a walk through The Village Green, where we learned about the two beautiful churches on the corner (one of which was my parents' marriage site, so that was special too). The Village Green is active during the warmer months, so check it out for live music and community events. 

Last stop: The Whitney House. I have been for late night drinks and I have been for my birthday lunch, but never for brunch. And I haven't stopped thinking about the Ohio French Toast ever since. It is brioche, battered and topped with a blueberry sauce and served with Ohio our maple syrup. For someone who thought she didn't like blueberries, this recipe knocked it out of the park.

There's the famous Chef Max! Also-- I am obsessing over their lighting. 

I had so much fun getting to know my neighborhood a little better with my mom. The only problem is deciding where to go back first. The Worthington Food Tour runs on Saturdays from May-October, and is the perfect birthday present for anyone who loves food and learning a little more about Columbus' history.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had such a wonderful time! I thoroughly enjoyed each stop in our journey and would be delighted to go back to any one of the stops along the way. It was a great surprise to this mom for Mother's Day! Thank you, Stacie

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