For all the time we've spent in Ohio, Mom and I had never really been to Columbus. We always arrived and hit the road towards the middle of the state. This past weekend, we found ourselves with a little extra time. Decidedly a bit the worse for wear, we needed a little lightness, a little time spent nurturing ourselves and each other. So we decided to spend the few hours before we flew our separate ways and poke around the big city a big. A bit of yelp research guided us to North Market, and it was just the thing.
We started our visit at the little coffee stand, a very short americano for me, with crema to rival the best of the best, made clearly with love and heart, and just a touch of barista-snobbery, which you've sort of just got to love, especially when it yields caffine like this.
Mom and I wandered the paradise of good food, heartened by the jovial, milling crowds and local, sustainable ethos that permeated the market. We slowly assembled a lunch, with two Ohio cheeses from Curds and Whey, a lovely little cheese stand manned by a young Ohioan who was way too attractive for his own good. And he fed me cheese samples. Oh my. Next stop was Omega breads, whose focaccia- dotted simply with garlic and rosemary- I found so deliciously addictive. You can watch a video about the baker herself here: http://vimeo.com/5999326. She seems pretty much cool. Lovely.
That tub of green looking things is Leek salad (!) which we picked up along with kielbasa and an ultra-garlicky chicken leg at a Polish food stand, which was also really really tasty. Leek salad is like potato salad, only slices of crunchy, mildly spicy leek instead of potatoes!
Scrumptious as all of this was, never far from our mind as we snacked on cheese and bread was the fact that we knew we HAD to save room for dessert. Arguably the highlight of the entire North Market is Jeni's Ice Creams.
In our initial browse through the Market, we passed the stand and honestly as we read the descriptions it was very difficult not to just go ahead and eat ice cream for lunch! I mean, look at these:
We settled on a modest four scoops: #1 wildberry lavender. #2 was lime cardamom yogurt, juicy with lime and warm with cardamom, this was our hands down favorite. #3 was Thai chile peanut, which, between the peanuts and coconut and chiles was sort of like pad thai ice cream. Scoop #4 was rhubarb rose, which actually tasted like rose wine! All were inspiring and mind blowing- I will be learning to make ice cream this summer, it is decided. Ice cream like this WILL be within my repertoire ASAP because I can't go running to Ohio every time I want ice cream, it just isn't practical.
Mom's expression sums up our experience of Jeni's ice cream.
Nothing a little mother/daughter time can't sooth.