Thursday, March 25, 2010

Maribelle's Tavern:

David and I were referred to Maribelle’s by their chef after a Dogfish Head beer dinner at Teller’s in Hyde Park. We were intrigued by his description, and agreed to stop by for an Eastsider article, which you can read here in its entirety. Maribelle's menu is listed on their website, which is helpful.

I wanted the opportunity to post some more pictures, as well as emphasize that I thought I would never like brussel sprouts until I was served them at Maribelle’s. Now my brussel sprout avoidance is a thing of the past. I also find the addition of duck wings to the menu very interesting. They were very tasty—the outsides were super crispy.
Everything was priced well, and a lot of the foods have ingredients and additions that make something conventional like salmon into something a little different.

I feel like the atmosphere is casual, yet nice enough for a first date or to take your parents to without breaking the bank, or for a business lunch or dinner. As I write this now, David is currently at lunch at Maribelle's with his coworkers who came down from the main office in Michigan. Really. He just called me to taunt me that he's getting a burger, and easy access to tasty brussel sprouts while I'm stuck in my cubicle, regretting my decision to eat pop-tarts for lunch.

Pork loin ($17), served with brussel sprouts, and spiced cranberry barbecue

Turkey sandwich ($10) , with St. Andre cheese on pretzel bun served with messy and delicious red apple butter

Duck wings ($10) with housemade chipotle bbq or hellfire sauce--we got three of each

We stopped by right before service got busy. I feel a kinship with the kitchen staff--they were listening to a mix of Pennywise, Antiflag and DKM during prep. +5 points

Maribelle's on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cerberus Trippel

I'm a big fan of Tripels (also sometimes spelled Triple, and this case, Trippel). So when I saw the Cerberus trippel, with its elegant label and gold foil, I took it over to the Dilly Cafe's counter and puchased it without a second thought. For about $11, 4 tasty trippels can be yours too. at 10 % ABV, only having access to 4 at a time is probably a good idea.

This beer smells of spice and sweetness, tastes like banana vanilla and a little apple, not as clove-y as some tripels we've had. This is a very fruity tripel style. The ABV is evident, but it is not unpleasant. A little bitter finish. The mouthfeel is thick, with medium carbonation.

I drank this with our pot pie, but it would be a very tasty beer to enjoy with lightly seasoned pork or chicken.

Chicken Pot Pie

“ugh. Dammit! I can’t even look at this anymore. Here. You deal with it.”

With that, David shoved the pie crust he had been attempting to manipulate into the casserole dish towards me and turned his attention back to the stove.

David and I sometimes like to play chef and sous chef. He’ll have me stir a pot, salt some meat, or ladle broth into a roux.

When I’m in the kitchen, I usually kick him out. Apparently his sous-chef alter ego is obsessed with things I usually try to avoid, like “recipes” and “measurements”.

Chef sous chef role play requires beer, preferably in growler form. Pictured: dry hopped Rye 75

Despite that, I think it is my flexibility and his adherence to procedure that makes us into a good pseudo-chef-sous-chef team. Taking the casserole dish from him, I worked the pastry into it, ignoring David still muttering about the dough, cursing as if it has personally slighted him by refusing to obey. While I did this, he measured out the ingredients for creating a truly tasty chicken pot pie.

We’ve made several pot pies, one with dark and white meat and another with roast turkey, which we had leftover from the night before. With pot pie, your best choices are to either cook chicken breasts just for the pie, or to use leftover poultry from dinner the night before.

A note on pastry crust—while we attempted to be industrious on the last pot pie and make our own, if you are in a hurry, or don’t want to fuss with pastry dough, just buy the Pillsbury ready made sheets.

After you’ve put your pie crust in whatever casserole dish or pie pan you are using, place the cooked chicken in. For vegetables, we usually go with diced carrots and peas. We make a roux as a tasty binder, (corn starch as a thickener -blech) and we can attest that after we have added the sherry to the sauce, the smells wafting off of it are some of the most delicious our kitchen has witnessed.

whenever something is extremely tasty, it's a safe bet butter is involved

Pot Pie Supreme, with Chicken Supreme, in a Cutlass Supreme*
*only Tenacious D fans will get this reference

For the sauce:
1/2 White onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, pressed
2 tbsp Dry Orlosso Sherry
2 cups Chicken stock, low sodium
3/4 cup Milk
2 tsp. Dried herbes de provence

Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the peas and carrots to the sauce.


5 tbsp Butter, Salted
1/3 cup Flour

You can add the sherry and the onion to the roux, or add them both to the sauce. We added both to the roux this time. Add and whisk sauce into to the roux until the mixture starts to flow, then add the thickened mixture back to the sauce.


10 oz Frozen peas and carrots
3 cups Precooked poultry
2 9" Round pastry dough

Place the assembled pie in the oven at 425 for 35 minutes. Once done, take out and let cool for at least 5 minutes.

When you slice the pot pie, it’s not going to be neat. It’s going to be messy—and delicious.

Honestly, by the time the pot pie is ready, and especially if you have made the sauce above, you will have been smelling it cooking and getting hungrier and hungrier at that point; it will be difficult to not tear into the pot pie like a ravenous bear. Just do the best you can.

Garnish with smoked paprika.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Abby Girl Sweets

I dedicate this post to my co-workers. Lots of bloggers have day jobs. I’m no exception (fancy cheese does not grow on trees, despite my birthday wishes of the last few years). My job has absolutely nothing to do with food unless you count the endless quest for better coffee and desired snacks in the vending machine.

Though many of my co-workers don’t really understand the food blog, they have smiled patiently as I regale them with tales of waffles, gelato and Findlay market.

They’ve listened to me talk ad nauseam about camel chili—and even daringly tried some—and the difference between pasilla and ancho chili powder, or how this weeks version leaves out the Mexican oregano. Or when I excitedly babble about how we were planning on opening up a new growler from party town that we purchased. Or the importance of resting meat. They offered their opinion as I agonized about whether to purchase my Le Creuset.

And they don’t judge me when I hover around the chocolate cupcake on my desk, taking pictures for 15 minutes before eating it.

Abby Girl is in Carew tower next to Havana martini club. The window is filled with very picturesque cupcakes that you probably shouldn’t eat unless you have an insatiable craving for plaster of Paris and lots of dental insurance.

The interior, however, displays various cupcakes tucked safely away under plastic domes, waiting for you to make your selection, like some sort of delicious cupcake lottery.

(above) Not for noms

for noms

The average price of cupcakes is about $2.75 per cupcake. They are packaged for you in custom cupcake clamshells that will protect your cupcake from damage. I opted to go with simple chocolate, and carried my cupcake back to my desk.

Abby Girl has many different cupcakes, and a weekly flavor that changes. I recall hearing something about caramel, coconut, and banana in the future.

I thought the cupcake had all the essentials of a good cupcake. Moist, tasty. The icing was creamy and not too sugary—I dislike the really, really sugary icing that makes my teeth hurt--for obvious reasons.

There are some other reviews of Abby Girl up on Urban Spoon, and I also believe that Eastsider Magazine, which David and I are Food/Spirit/Tech editors for (Shameless plug here) did an article on Abby Girl back in November, before the downtown store opened if you want some back story.

If the downtown Abby Girl starts featuring the mini-cupcakes mentioned in the Eastsider Article, I'll definitely be back to try an assortment of flavors. As big as it was, I split the cupcake with some of my coworkers--I figured it was the least I could do.

Thanks, Abby Girl Sweets, for bringing some tote-able, tasty desserts downtown that I can easily transport back to my cubicle. And thank you, co-workers, for listening patiently to me wax poetic about never-ending edible exploits and endeavors.

Abby Girl Sweets on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Taste of Belgium:

I, for one, welcome our new waffle overlords

As David and I prepared for our now weekly Findlay Market trip, I tucked the camera in my messenger bag.

"Why are you bringing the camera?" David asked.

"I want to do a review of Taste of Beligium."

"That's a litttle outdated, isnt it? After all, everyone already knows about the waffles."

"Well, I thought so too, but I was talking to some co-workers and they were totally missing out. So we need to spread some liege waffle gospel."
We both thought that everyone already knew about the waffles. However, after a conversation with some co-workers, I was horrified to hear that they hadn't heard about the waffles.
Jean-Francois Flechet was first spotted with his waffles in Findlay market in 2007. Since then, he has spread his waffle empire across the map, opening an additional location in Columbus, and working with various vendors and stores accross the city to feature liege waffles.

Once that wonderful smell started filling Findlay, word spread fast about this "waffle-man" and his crazy delicious waffles. But simply cornering the waffle market and being able to make Cincinnati foodies begin salivating at the drop of some dough was not enough for Jean Francois. He has seemingly gone mad with tasty power and Taste of Belgium now offers crepes, pastries, calzones, pot pies, quiches and hand tossed pizzas.

....and french onion soup. ($4) In a massive bread bowl. With gooey gruyere cheese, melted via small blowtorch.

iphone picture taken before we dug into the melty cheese.

at this point I stopped stuffing my face and remembered I had brought the camera

eating french onion soup is an embarrasing process, but you get over it.
The waffles are unlike any waffles you've been served on a Sunday morning. Made with coarse beet sugar, they get crunchy and caramelized in the cast iron wafflemaker.

the waffle machine

veggie crepe

Hand-tossed pizza dough--made with beer

"fair trade on steroids"


in this case are mini quiches and pot pies, including locally raised rabbit pot pie on some days ($5). To the left and out of the picture are enough sweet pastries to make your head spin

"What are we going to do tonight, Jean Francois?"

"The same thing we do every night, Laura. Try and take over the world. With waffles."

Taste of Belgium on Urbanspoon