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Posts Tagged ‘King Family Farm’

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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Last week’s spring-like temperatures had me imagining all the garden bounty that will be ripening in the coming months. But with this week’s return of drab and chilly weather, I remembered how lucky we are to have access to fresh foods any time of year, thanks to the year-round Athens Farmers Market.

Inside crowd

Every Saturday (between 10 am and 1 pm) I grab my 30 Mile Meal canvas shopping bag and head off to the Market on State Mall on East State Street. During the winter months the market’s vendors can be found both inside and outside the mall building. Usually 20-25 vendors offer their goods in the mall lobby.

My first stop last week was to say ‘hi’ to Becky Rondy from Green Edge Gardens (wow, nice Belize-induced tan). I filled my bag with their micro greens (green and purple radish), mixed leaf lettuces, spinach and shiitake mushrooms.

The pawpaw guy

Next I headed over to see Chris Chmiel from Integration Acres where I purchased some of their goat milk cheeses – chevre (the BEST I’ve ever had) and their luscious, creamy blue cheese rolled in ash. The week before I couldn’t resist some delicious cookies (the baking assisted by Chris and Michelle’s kids) with pawpaw and spiceberry jam sandwiched between two melt in your mouth whole wheat and rolled oats cookies.

King Family Farm sign

Across the lobby, I visited with JB and Charlene from King Family Farm. Before my move to Athens County, I didn’t eat much meat or fowl, but once I learned about the way the Kings raise and feed their animals, I gave their chicken a try. It is so tender and tasty. This week I bought some of their Italian chicken sausage.

Just down a few tables I purchased some pretty carrots (some orange, others purple) from Star Hamilton’s Shade River Organic Farm. She also has fantastic cilantro that keeps for at least two weeks in my frig.

Crumbs' Jeremy Bowman

My last indoor stop was Crumbs Bakery. This worker-owned business makes everything from tofu pasta to cookies. The line around their table is often 4-5 people deep, but worth the wait. I usually buy a few pastries and especially like their apricot and cherry rolls. I also recommend Crumbs crackers. Many are made with local grains, including spelt.

 

Outside crowd

Then it was back outside. On this Saturday a dozen vendors braved the cold.

Hola, Michelle

I was delighted to see that Michelle from Casa Nueva was back after a few weeks off and gladly bought a half pint of guacamole and some of their zippy bbq sauce.

Pizza Goon extraordinaire, John Gutekanst

Knowing I’d be hungry by the time I headed home, I stopped at Avalanche Pizza‘s spot and got one of their eight inch pies – mine made with plenty of mushrooms and cheese.

Matt Starline makes some change

Which got me thinking about Sunday breakfast and replenishing my dwindling supply of Starline Organics fabulous crunchy Maple Spelt Cereal – a million times better than Grape Nuts!

Another hearty farmer

Nearly done, I couldn’t resist getting some fresh green onions for the soup I planned to make with the Italian sausage, spinach, carrots and cilantro.

Cold and crisp apples

 

Oh, and a few apples from Cherry Orchards, because their apples are so good anytime of the day (or year).

One for the road home

 

 

My final stop, Brew du Soleil, for a Cappuccino.

Many thanks to all the farmers that make mine and others’ 30 Mile Meals possible!

 

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inside the new oven

Over the last year Christine Hughes and Bob O’Neil have been making substantial changes to their side by side restaurants on E. State Street in Athens. Solar panels now grace the roof of the Village Bakery & Cafe and work was just completed on a new brick oven and remodeling of the dining room and kitchen for Della Zona.

 

Christine keeps watch, ready with the next pizza for the oven

Last week Christine and Bob invited staff, several of their suppliers, and a few friends to sample their pizzas as they fired up the new oven and tested some recipes.

 

Della Zona (Italian for from the region) lives up to its name, with a menu fashioned from ingredients produced nearby. Their pizza crusts are made with organic flours, including an Etruscan one made with 100% spelt flour which has fantastic flavor and is a great alternative to wheat. DZ’s marinara sauce marries locally farmed organic Roma tomatoes with onions, garlic and basil. Toppings include fresh mozzarella and ricotta made with milk from Snowville Creamery, naturally and humanely raised meats, and organic vegetables and fresh herbs, as Christine notes, “without bar codes.”

 

Last week’s crowd devoured dozens of pizzas that will soon be on the menu. Whether a vegetarian, vegan or meat-lover, the choices abound. Guests enjoyed pies loaded with greens and other veggies, mushrooms, cheeses, as well as sausage, ham and other meats. My favorite was topped with King Family Farm chicken sausage, onions, and a tangy barbecue sauce.  All had the subtle, but lovely flavor of the wood-fired oven.

pizza perfection

Della Zona also offers house made pasta, so tender it melts in your mouth. Eggs from locally pastured chickens are kneaded into freshly ground organic durum and Kamut wheat, stone milled in house. The dough is then rolled, cut and cooked to perfection as part of their daily and seasonally changing menu. Be sure to check out their great wine and beer selections, too.

Della Zona re-opens this Thursday (February 17th). The restaurant will be open Thursdays through Saturdays from 5 to 9 PM.

 

All three of Hughes and O’Neils’ eateries (the third is the Catalyst Café) hold our highest 30 Mile Meal partner ‘something to crow about’ designation. This uber 30MM status is reserved for those eateries that when given the choice between local and at a distance ingredients, buy local first.

 


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