Ohio Street Food

Check out www.ohiostreetfood.com.
Founded by some friends of mine I grew up with in, you guessed it, Ohio, these guys are taking on the task of covering Ohio’s mobile food industry. From what we saw on a recent trip to Columbus, it looks as though street food is on the up and up there just as it is down here in ATX. They’re smart guys, smart with impressive senses of humor, smart with impressive senses of humor and fun, too. So support them. The end.

-Elizabeth

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The Anti Tourist on National Geographic: Columbus’ Local Food Scene

Oh my. Oh my, oh my, oh my. We have not told you very many stories lately, have we? We have been eerily quiet over here on The Anti Tourist front. This you must know. But know this as well: our silence can be undeniably credited to our relocation. From New York City to Austin, our headquarters have traveled with us as we’ve migrated and sought a warmer winter for 2010/2011. And warmer, it is. We like it that way. Meanwhile, we’re brainstorming the makeovers for the site we have in mind and we’re making more thrift store shopping trips than Ikea ones in an effort to furnish our office space with more spirit and less cookie-cutter. In the meantime, I put together this piece for National Geographic recently on the local farm-to-table food scene in Columbus. Shockingly, Columbus has got it all over many other cities who try and fail to support each other. Amazed at the success Columbus is having with this movement, I wrote this piece.

Growing up in Marietta, Ohio, Columbus was the “big city.” My mom would force us all into the car on Saturdays and we’d head to the JCPenney outlet store on the outskirts of the town. I remember dozing off to the soothing voices of NPR storytellers on the drive to Columbus. I dozed off on the drive back home usually, too. But that was because my entire family had just binged at the nearest all-you-can-eat buffet. The freshness or origin of the food at these joints wasn’t ever really in question. We were a family of five on a budget and food was food.

As high school graduation neared, most of my peers had already chosen to stay in Columbus and attend Ohio State. I however went to New York City, in step with the “Midwestern Girl Follows Dreams” cliche, and dismissed Columbus as a slow-lane college town, cookie-cut from the same dough as every other town between New York City and Los Angeles. And of course I thought that. I was 18 and uninformed.

The unfortunate thing is that it took me the better part of a decade to blink an eye at the city of Columbus again. After a recent thorough touring of Columbus’ culinary delights, however, I now know there was plenty else to eat. Plenty.

Read the rest of the piece on the National Geographic blog. Read it, comment on it, let the folks over there know you like it when The Anti Tourist’s voice is heard.

Be back soon with content.

By: Elizabeth Seward

THE ANTI TOURIST CARE PACKAGE CONTEST 1

Here at The Anti Tourist, we explore. We explore all the time. We pick up little things here and there from our travels and out of the goodness of our collective hearts, we’ve decided to give you a chance to get shipped a big ol’ box of treasures we find along the way the first of each month. We’ve gathered some neat stuff in our most recent travels, put it together to form a sweet care package, and want to give the care package it to one of y’all.

HOW TO ENTER: Pay attention, this part is important. To enter this month’s contest, simply comment on this post with your personal definition of ‘the anti tourist’. What does it mean to be an anti tourist? Tell us what you think. The person with the answer we like best, or maybe the answer everyone else tells us is best, will win. NOTE: You’ll have to provide us with your address if you win. Otherwise, well, you know, we won’t be able to send you the prize. Contest ends at NOON on Thursday, Sept. 2

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

Printed-by-hand tote bag sporting The Anti Tourist logo

Handmade Rosemary Mint soap from Sunny Meadows Flower Farm

An individually wrapped Blonde Sweetie from Sugardaddy’s

Cup O Joe coffee beans:  Ethiopia Moka Harrar

A box of chocolates from Pure Imagination Chocolatier

Assorted art-heavy postcards found in NYC

Homemade spelt crackers from Stutzman Farms

A classical electric guitar cd bought from subway musician, Matthew Nichols

A gift bag from Faina European Spa in NYC including a Shira Omega 3 Nourishing face mask and a soothing gel mask with plant extracts

Herbal Surrender Hand & Body lotion from Ohio Herb Education Center

Abita Beer koozie from Bonnaroo, held in Manchester, Tennessee. (Elizabeth loves Purple Haze)

YOU WANT? You should want. Enter! Comment! Tell us what it means to be THE ANTI TOURIST!

From Bourbon Street to High Street – Creole Cuisine in Central Ohio

Johnny Oak’s Po’Boy Shrimp Shack from the outside

Alongside High Street in Columbus, Ohio lodged underneath a brick apartment complex, is a cavity of Creole goodness.  Johnny Oak’s Po’ Boy Shrimp Shack is purely New Orleans.  Lining the walls of the unassuming shop are awards and articles about Johnny himself and his famous barbecue exploits. Next to the accolades lining the walls is a collage of Po’ Boy inspired art, mainly drawn on pads of paper or even napkins. They almost feel like art projects hanging on the refrigerator, nice and homey.

Original Artwork!

While ogling at a list of over twenty sandwiches, my love of shrimp competed with the homemade andouille sausage as well as boudain (rice in a sausage casing flavored with anything from pig’s hearts to crawfish generally with some standout spices like chili powder or cumin).

Boudain

I chose the crawfish “ah-to-fey” as the menu has it with an apology for not knowing how to spell Eh tu Fe. My fellow corner shop connoisseurs got the boudain and a fish po’ boys . It took about seven minutes for the sandwiches to be prepared all the while the smells from behind the tiki hut wall filled the 10’x40’’ space with Cajun benevolence.

Eh-tu-fey

The cook/host/server/busser swung around the counter to hand us our sandwiches, three six-inch masterpieces wrapped in butcher paper in a plastic bag.

With pieces of crawfish poking out of every inch and dropping out from between the bread, the boudain left a pile of rich sandwich innards that formed itself into a mound on the paper, impatiently waiting for you to just finish the sandwich so you can plunge your face into juicy, tasty Cajun mush.

Oh that tilapia, sooooo flakey and moist. The chewiness of the roll paired with the delicate nature of tilapia was beautiful. The cook tweaked the already sinful Cajun spices to honor that fish with all the respect that it deserves…and damn.

Tilapia

I’ll finish with the “ah-to-fey”. While it is still a mystery to me what eh-tu-fe is I do know that I have had it twice, once in a New Orleans diner in the form of a soup (in that case, spelled étouffée), and now, this sandwich. After my first bite I was shocked to look around and find myself in that same Columbus diner for a moment before I snapped out of mind-altered state. I can’t even imagine the cooking wizardry that it must have taken to transform of flavors found in that soup into sandwich form. It is perfection, perfection of a cuisine that was born a short fifteen hours away and brought to a land that might never be the same again.

By: Jason Baldwin

Bristol Bar: Columbus, Ohio

In Columbus, Ohio at the corner of East 5th Avenue and Summit Street there is a place called Bristol Bar that sells snow cones flavored with alcohol. That notion itself was enough for me to cancel my plans on a Wednesday night and investigate immediately. Upon arriving at Bristol Bar I could feel the creative and open-minded spirit of Columbus’ Short North flowing through me. I was met by a doorman who was genuinely happy to be alive, a trait I rarely see in those guys. I walked in to find a hip modern interior all around me. The place was very clean, the floor was all hardwood, and the side of the building facing the street was almost entirely glass. Just inside to my right was a large bar and to my left was a doorway splashing me with a gout of ultrapop electronica that I guessed was coming from the DJs in the next room. I turned down the rhythmic temptress and descended on the bar to seize my first of many snow cones.

I looked at a paper menu for all of ten seconds and decided on the Nutty DDS. Amaretto, Crème de Coco Dark, and Orgeat Cordial were listed as the pieces to the masterpiece and they rewarded me for my choice. I felt the child in my heart grow as his favorite summertime treat evolved around him. I alternated between eating the flavored ice from the top and using the straw to siphon more liquor up from the bottom of the snow cone cups.

I ventured into the other room which opened up into another smaller bar, a DJ working his craft to a dance floor and the rest of the room filled with leather couches and tables. It was a great set up to either sit and enjoy my drink or dance up close and personal with the DJ as he poured liquid gold from the speakers to my eardrums. During a lull in the music I struck up a conversation with a very helpful waitress named Jillian. I asked her why I didn’t see more people with snow cones. Was it wrong that I planned on enjoying at least three more that night? She explained that many people were eating them and that I must have missed them. When I told her how I thought the two halves of the bar complimented each other she asked if I had been out on the back patio.

Until that point I didn’t realize there was a back patio. She directed me past the bathrooms and through a door that led to the outside. The patio looked like a steam room or sauna and there were tons of people on the benches talking, laughing, and listening to the music coming out through a window to the smaller bar. I found out a bit later that you can also order from the bar through that window. I got the normal bar feel in the first area of Bristol Bar and could dance the night away in the second; this back patio is where I could bring friends and enjoy each other’s company under the Columbus night sky. I was thoroughly impressed with the dynamic layout of the Bristol Bar. Content with my exploration I decided it was time for another drink.

During my second trip to the bar I actually looked over the menu a bit and saw they had plenty of other appetizing drinks that weren’t snow cones. This time I chose the Polamo which consists of blanco tequila, grapefruit juice, salt, and 7-Up. It was a light drink and the citrus flavor of the grapefruit juice proved to be the most dominant, with the occasional saltiness being a pleasant surprise. The bar had filled up at this point and I began to notice how truly diverse and interesting the crowd had become. The DJ had his own scene crowd but there was an outer rim of people that my friend Sean would describe as, ‘people who’ve been indie so long, it’s no longer a label.” Of course there were also the polo shirts and Greek members who frequent the bars in the area. I even noticed a couple people that I’ve never seen outside of a house party. I know of them only because they dress like the Beastie Boys and my brother fits into that group. It was a very eclectic crowd and everyone was very friendly and approachable.

At this point I met with the Bristol Bar Director of Public Relations, Colby Friedman. Colby had a light frame and a friendly tone and seemed to know everyone in the bar. I took this as a clue that he must be very good at his job. He told me Bristol Bar had just reopened after remodeling four weeks prior and the crowd that night was a testament to the fact that they were recovering from a two month hiatus very rapidly. He also pointed out the artwork on the walls and explained that Bristol Bar showcases work from a different artist each month with the help of the Roy G. Biv Gallery in the Short North. This month’s featured artist was a friend of his: Lea Gray.

We made our way to the main bar and Colby had me try two of the more popular martinis and one that isn’t on the menu yet. I started off with In the Land of Milk and Honey, a blend of vodka, honey liquor, half and half, Amaretto, Orgeat Cordial, and Cracker Jacks served with a graham cracker. I had seen this on the menu before and was very interested in trying it. I snatched up the cracker, dipped it deep into the white drink, and slammed it into my mouth. On the 7th day, God rested and tipped back these babies. Second up was the mystery drink. It was a deep purple and tasted of a blend of berries and deliciousness. When this thing gets set loose on the public it’s going to cause a commotion. I knew better than to ask what was in it, and accepted that I’ll have to wait patiently for its target launch date this winter. I left Bristol Bar’s signature drink, Summit Slut, for last. I knew full well I was about to indulge in greatness. Vodka, peach schnapps, white grape juice, and cranberry. Summit Slut created a paradox for me. It was clear and crisp so I wanted to keep drinking it, but it tasted so good I wanted to slowly savor every drop. I was fully immersed in martini goodness and decided I was breaching the outer limit of my professional drinking limit. After taking some time to enjoy the dance floor and saying my goodbyes to Colby and Jillian, I headed home from my successful adventure.

I had been drawn to Bristol Bar by the novelty of snow cones and found myself enjoying their quality martinis and phenomenal atmosphere. It was quite an experience and I found myself compiling a list of friends that needed to know this place existed. A good spot for almost any kind of night, Bristol Bar is one of the places I plan on frequenting when I move to Columbus in September. If you find yourself in Columbus, tired of the usual bar scene, stop by 132 E 5th Avenue and enjoy everything Bristol Bar has to offer. If you see a tall guy passed out on a couch, still twitching to the beat, and surrounded by snow cone cups, wake me up and introduce yourself.

By: Joey Rovinsky Photos by: Drew Slatton

Andyman’s Treehouse: NOT a typical Columbus spot.


Should you ever find yourself in Columbus, Ohio…you might find yourself at a bit of a loss. With all of the Ohio State enthusiasm decorating each corner of each street, it can feel like a frat boy whirlwind in that place. But, believe it or not, Columbus does have something to offer to the prying eye.

Andyman’s Treehouse is one of my favorite Columbus spots. It’s not exactly in the ‘cool’ section of town, but that is actually a good thing if you’re not impressed by college football obsessed maniacs. Aptly named, the bar/venue actually has a giant tree growing through one of its rooms…the room where the live music magic happens. Continue reading