May 7th, 2009: Taste of the Independents Recap Part II

You can find Recap Part I over here. :)  Recap Part II takes us out of the main building we first entered and through two sections of glorious food.  The first section was a tent and around the perimeter of the tent the tables were set up leaving the middle area free for walking around.  Also in the middle was a large round table where you could set down your glasses while eating.  You have to watch them closely though or they will get taken away from you!

Scott and I had to revise our plan a little bit.  We took so long in the main area that people were already starting to clean up.  I thought we had till 9pm before cleanup started but apparently not.  Yikes!  The first things we tried were from Katzinger’s Deli.

Katzingers Deli

Katzingers Deli

They brought two samples and one that was highly interesting.

Onion tart

Onion tart

The first one was a caramelized onion tart.  It was so yummy!  I love onions anyway and this was right up my alley.  Unfortunately for me I picked one with less filling.  Doh!  I inhaled the whole thing.

Cornbeef and sauerkraut balls

Cornbeef and sauerkraut balls

The next sample was corned beef and sauerkraut balls.  I actually picked these up for Scott because I’m not really a cornbeef fan but in true fashion I did try them.  Oh goodness these were just awesome.  No really, they tasted amazing.  I ate an entire one and when Scott didn’t finish his, I ate that one too!  YaY!  It was so good.  It sort of reminded me of an onion ring actually and I didn’t really get much of a cornbeef taste which is probably why I liked it so much.

After this I needed to go get a drink.  I walked over to a wine station and got the brush off because another patron was taking up a lot of space and attention.  I didn’t get a picture of my wine but I do know what it was! A small pour of Azelia Barolo San Rocca 2003 which retails for $59 a bottle.  Whoa.  I actually thought it was only okay.  Scott went over to get a drink and also got the brush off.

Next in line was La Scala.

La Scala Italian Bistro

La Scala Italian Bistro

They were serving two items, a chicken pesto cup and a mushroom polenta crostini.

Pesto Chicken

Pesto Chicken

I had the pesto chicken cup which actually was just okay.  It seemed like a very basic chicken salad and I had trouble picking up the pesto flavors.  I did not eat the phyllo dough cup though, just the innards.

Luce

Luce

Luce, which is a restaurant we’ve been to before and love, were offering up a dessert that Scott needed to have.

Mango Panacotta

Mango Pana cotta

Mango pana cotta with coconut cream on top.  I had a small bite of this and it was delicious!  Very creamy rich and the mango flavor came through beautifully.

Our last stop in this tent was at Due Amici.

Due Amici

Due Amici

They were serving up a bunch of different things but only one really caught my attention.  It was heirloom tomatoes with smoked rock shrimp and pesto croutons.  I had a wee bit of it and it wasn’t really my thing.  I think for a panzanella salad there was just a bit too much going on and the flavors were competing with each other.

After Due Amici, we headed over to the third and last tent.  It was slim pickings in here.  Either places had already cleared out, were cleaning up, or didn’t have too much left of their samples.

Thai Beef

Thai Beef

One of the first things we tried was presented by Shaw’s Inn, Thai beef with a mango cole slaw.  The beef didn’t really wow me and just tasted like beef.  I didn’t care for the cole slaw at all.

I was starting to rapidly fade by this point.  Despite all the wonderful food, my body was getting cranky at the gigantic lack of rabbit food around.  Too much protein and not enough veggies for this girl.

And then I stumbled on Tip Top Kitchen.  They had two offerings as well.

Corn chowder

Corn chowder

The first one was a vegetarian corn chowder which was fantastic tasting.  Perfectly creamy and seasoned.  However, at this stage it was a bit too spicy for me so I let Scott finish the cup.  I may have to get some though when we visit the restaurant.

Feta cheese dip

Feta cheese dip

Hallejueha it’s veggies!  This is a feta cheese dip with veggies (carrots, cucumber) and pita points.  The cheese dip was okay, I just had a few bites of that but I inhaled the veggies.  No points for me.  Then I went back and had TWO more plates just so I could eat the veggies and that’s all I ate.  By that time, they had cleared out and left the remaining food.  I should have taken another plate!

Scott came sauntering up with a little dessert in his hand.

This is good, you want to try it?

I guess (you all know how I am with sweets). Oh my gosh!  You like this?!! Are you sure?

Yeah it’s good.  Why?

Because you don’t like butterscotch and this is butterscotch.

Oh, it is?

Where did you get it?

From Z Cucina’s.

I bet it’s butterscotch panna cotta!

And I ran over to get a little cup for myself. :D

Z Cucina

Z Cucina

Sorry for the flash, but this building was really dark and I had to use it.  And there my pretties, is a wee butterscotch cup.  So good!  I love butterscotch but I don’t ever make it because Scott hates it.  Or so he did, maybe he’s grown?  It was a great little dessert and the perfect portion.

I had one more sip of wine, another red.

Cabernet

Cabernet

I believe this was a Premier Etage Cabernet Franc but am not positive.  I couldn’t really hear the server as she poured it for me.  It was really yummy though, very light and fruity.  It was a nice ending wine.

And the rest you’re going to have to use your imagination. :)  I didn’t get pictures because I was too busy eating and enjoying greens!

As I was walking around, at Tutto Vino, I spotted a huge bowl of mixed greens.  I asked the server if that indeed was mixed greens and he said yes.  “Can I please just have a big plate of that?”  “Sure!!”  And then I proceeded to stuff my face on a plate of mixed greens with nothing else.  He said there was a dressing on there but it was so light that I didn’t taste it at all.  Then after Scott and I made sure we didn’t miss anything, I went back and asked for another plate.

Guys my body was screaming at me for some veggies by this point.  I thought I might have to go home and make a salad just to get more veg.  I inhaled my second plate of veggies while Scott sipped on some amazing coffee.  Stauf’s was there to provide coffee and help sober people back up.  Well I’m not sure that was their real purpose but that was the case.  I sipped on some of Scott’s coffee to help warm me back up.  All he added to it was cream and that was enough, it was so good.  I was highly impressed.  And since it was the end of the evening and they were cleaning up, they gave us some coffee to take home.  Score!

Skyline

Skyline

After I finished my salad, we decided to call it a night and head home.  I was exhausted and a little dehydrated.  This is the view of the Columbus Skyline as we walked out of the third building of food.

Things we’ve learned:

  • To be on time. We arrived at about 6:20pm and things were already in full swing. Plus it put us behind in making rounds thus some places were already gone when we got to them.
  • Have a plan and stick with it. One person hold a spot while the other goes to get food.
  • Get drinks right away.
  • Bring a bottle of water and a bigger purse to hold menus and handouts from restaurants.
  • Wear warmer clothes and no heels!

Ideas or suggestions:

  • To make things a bit more greener, use real plates and silverware.  When people check in, hand them a glass and one of those cocktail plates that have thumb holes and a little hook for the wine glass. Sort of like these.  They can use that all night long instead of plastic stuff. Plus if they are handed a glass upon arrival, then people won’t be standing around waiting for glasses to arrive at the wine stations.
  • If you’re a brew house, bring some of your beer too.  People want to try it.
  • Don’t be frustrated if someone wants to ask you about your food. Some of us very much like to know what we are eating.
  • Have a bottled water and/or pop station.  Not everyone likes to drink and while some of us do, we would like some water as well.  I saw people with some water bottles but had no idea where they came from.
  • If you meet with some friends and are chatting, perhaps it’s best if you don’t do that right in front of a restaurant’s table. People shouldn’t have to reach around you to get food.
  • If you are sampling wine, remember others want a sample too. Don’t act like this is your own personal wine time.
  • I promise that some of us really love our veggies. More veggies please!

One thought on “May 7th, 2009: Taste of the Independents Recap Part II

  1. All that food looks so good, but between the two posts, I could almost feel myself gaining weight looking at all of it :) I’m with you on needing water, even if I have wine or a drink, as those things don’t exactly “wash the food down.” They’re almost their own course, rather than something that satisfies my thirst.

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