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Archive for the ‘30 Mile Meal Restaurant Week 2011’ Category

Every July has thirty one days, but this year’s also featured five Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 30 Mile Meal Month was packed with weekend activities and much more. Here’s a video that captures some of the highlights:

30 Mile Meal Month 2011

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This afternoon, Jenna, Emily and I walked up Athen’s West Washington Street to Restaurant Salaam – our 30 Mile Meal lunch destination. Once inside, the day’s hellish humidity gave way to cool air wafting about a room a riot of vibrant colors. We were hungry and ready for a lunch showcasing local ingredients.

Once we opened the menu, we discovered two 30 Mile Meal specials…

Menu

Black Turtle Bean Dal made with beans from Shagbark Seed & Mill Co. and vegetables from Shade River Farm and the Chesterhill Produce Auction. Wild raspberry iced tea.

Mediterranean Spelt Salad, a lovely cold dish of spelt berries from Seed & Mill Co., goat cheese from Integration Acres, spinach and microgreens from Green Edge Organic Gardens, fresh herbs from Salaam’s rooftop garden, and summer squash and other seasonal vegetables from Shade River Organic Farm and the Chesterhill Produce Auction.

We also ordered soup and salad from the usual menu…

Gazpacho with an orange, greens and nut salad - with some locally sourced ingredients

Later this week, Salaam will be offering another 30 MM special: Rustic Tomato Stew, a lovely Tuscan-style dish, packed with flavor from local tomatoes from Chesterhill Produce Auction , their own roof-grown basil, and croutons of house made bread. You can learn more here.

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Our mission today at the Athens County Convention & Visitors Bureau: Go forth and eat a 30 Mile Meal Lunch.

O'Betty's chef Ryan Stolz and owner Bob Satmary

Jenna Dill headed for O’Betty’s Red Hot! on West State Street here in Athens. Given the narrow facade of the building, you’d never guess just how much is inside. Like, um, a museum. According to their website, “O’Betty’s may not have the only Hotdog Museum in the World but we certainly have one of the LARGEST, VARIED, and MOST ENTERTAINING – and still growing! You will be amazed by the countless objects devoted to America’s favorite food – the wiener!” We agree!

The King Kong

Back to Jenna’s quest for lunch. Her choice?  The King Kong, featuring a chicken bratwurst from King Family Farm, basil pesto and tomatoes from Green Edge Gardens, Chase Cheddar from Integrations Acres, roasted garlic from Starline Organics, and a whole wheat bun from Fluff Bakery! Jenna says, “It was very tasty!” and notes that Chef Ryan has other 30 Mile Meal dogs barking in the kitchen. One features our state’s native fruit, the pawpaw, and another, locally made sauerkraut. You can learn more about their menu for 30 Mile Meal Week here.  Tasty Dogs + Museum = Cultural Bliss.

Lunch Time

Emily Maluski also headed Uptown for lunch, choosing Fluff Bakery on Court Street. This very sweet eatery is owned by Jessica and Jason Kopelwitz. Both received their Ohio U degrees in 1999 – Jess in business administration and Jason, in chemistry. They moved to Columbus where Jess went to cooking school and, ultimately, became general manager of Lucky’s Cafe. But family ties drew them back to Athens.  They moved in with Jess’s sister, Angie, and her husband Matt, who farm and operate Starline Organics.  When a retail space opened up on Court Street last summer, Jess and Jason jumped. Five exhausting weeks later, Fluff was born as both a bakery and catering business.

BLT - Fluff Style

Emily ordered the Fluff BLT and reports, “This filling sandwich features house-made garlic rosemary foccacia topped with peppercorn mayo, Shade River Organic Farm tomatoes, Starline Organics greens, and King Family Farm bacon. The bacon was thick and crisp and paired wonderfully with the fresh greens and perfectly ripe, red tomatoes. Combined with the flavors of the mayo and the always delicious Fluff foccacia, these local ingredients made for one tasty lunch!”

Village Bakery & Cafe

I headed to The Village Bakery, here on East State Street. Owners Christine Hughes and Bob O’Neil also operate three other local foods related businesses: the Undercover Market inside the bakery building; Della Zona, in the building next door and where they recently added a wood-fired oven; and the Catalyst Cafe on W. Union Street. Bob and Christine were early supporters of the local farm and food community and continue to do so.

I’m pretty much a regular, but there’s always something new to try. Despite today’s heat (approaching 100 degrees), a bowl of the Spicy Peanut Soup sounded good. And it was! ( Sadly, I didn’t bring my camera.) Shade River Organics and Green Edge Organic Gardens supplied the vegetables: onion, sweet potato, mushrooms, cabbage, potato, tomatoes and bright yellow summer squash. I liked the satisfying balance of the smooth tomato broth (enhanced by miso and peanut butter) and the tender chunks of vegetables. Accompanied by two slices of the bakery’s whole wheat sourdough bread, it made for a very satisfying lunch.

30 Mile Meal Lunch Mission Accomplished! Tomorrow is another day…

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For the past few months I’ve talked with a lot of restaurant owners about their menus for 30 Mile Meal Restaurant Week (30MMRW). Today I got to start eating! I headed down East State Street to the Market on State mall, bound for Kiser’s BBQ Shack.

Sean and the sign

 

Before I even got inside, I could see that owner Sean Kiser was actively marketing his participation in 30MMRW. Each of his sources for local ingredients got their own shout out…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it was time for lunch. I ordered the 1/4 pounder BBQ’d pork  (King Family Farm) with the sweet and hot sauce (Cantrell Honey and Patterson peppers), cole  slaw, and a Mint Green (Herbal Sage Tea Co.) iced tea. Yum! The pork was incredibly tender and juicy, the sauce a perfect blend of heat and sweet, and the slaw well seasoned and crunchy. The tea was wonderfully refreshing on a day verging on 100 degrees.

Sean came by with one more thing for me to try – mac and cheese. Whoa – excellent execution of a favorite comfort food – this one made with Snowville Creamery milk.

Sean is an Ohio University grad. Originally from Chicago, with  experience in the restaurant trade, and a family supportive of his desire to fill the BBQ niche in Athens, he started Kiser’s in the spring of 2009.  His father helped create their recipes.

Today the place has a substantial and affordable menu, and has lots of regular customers. The service is really fast – great if you are in a hurry to get back to work or too hungry to wait. Kiser’s is also a business with a conscious – all of their food containers and silverware are biodegradable and any tossed food is composted. Sean says he’s “loco4local,” whether it’s 30 Mile Meal Restaurant Week or not. Sounds good to us!

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While 30 Mile Meal Restaurant Week officially began yesterday, we were delighted to find Avalanche Pizza‘s John Gutekanst jump starting things with his 30 Mile Meal Bread at  Saturday’s Athens Farmers Market. Our 30MM table was just a few spaces down the aisle from his and we were quite happy when he gave us a loaf (can a loaf be less than 2 inches tall?) to put out as samples along with some blackberries from Vest Berries and brownies from Casa Nueva and Shagbark Seed & Mill Co. (made with black beans).

As usual we were located next to the live music spot. This week’s musician was a grandfatherly type, playing some fine Appalachian tunes on his guitar. It wasn’t long before his granddaughter, perhaps 6 or 7, found her way to our table. Standing just a foot or so above the platter of 30 Mile Meal bread, she asked if she could try it. “Of course,” we said, though we did mention that it contained some hot peppers. She took a bite and smiled. “Is that corn, too?,” she asked. Sure was, along with bacon from King Family Farm, parsley and cornmeal from Shagbark Seed & Mill Company. Pretty sure she came back for seconds. Good work, John!

We’ll be by to try your 30 Mile Meal Pizza, made with local vegetables and cheeses, later this week.

John must have been up all night baking...

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