My sis and I have spent the past week back home in Granville, Ohio in the same house we grew up in. It’s a wonderful time to be here, with the farm fields green and lush, the day’s light still holding strong well past 9 p.m. We’ve kept busy between playing with the family dog (Harry, the labradoodle), walking/running/golfing, visiting family and friends, and, of course, eating.

Eating in Ohio in the summer is a special kind of eating. It fluctuates between the incredibly healthy (fresh produce from gardens and farm stands) to the absurdly unhealthy (fried everything, a la The State Fair Diet). We’ve tended to stick to the former, though a few stops leaning toward the latter have also been fun.

The past few days have been particularly fun. Friday night, Mom, Dad and I did the downtown trio of Nona (wine bar) for wine and apps, Brews (beer bar) for beer and pizza) and Whits (frozen custard… bar?) for dessert. It was the perfect combo. Downtown Granville has come a long way since my childhood.

There was no rest for the weary, though, as we continued on Saturday morning to a fantastic new breakfast place called Early Birds about 20 minutes north in St. Louisville. It’s the kind of place that gets a 25 for food in Zagat’s and a 10 decor — i.e. the food is reallllly good. The highlights were fried oatmeal (see, we fry EVERYTHING in Ohio!), grits, and cinnamon rolls. Service was fantastic, we were even greeted after our meal with a loud “we got four clean platers here” from our waitress, prompting scattered applause from the 20 or so in the spot. They also had a white board posted for customer messages. When I saw one that said “Best fried oatmeal I’ve ever had,” I, being a complete novice to this mind-blowing creation, wrote “ONLY fried oatmeal I’ve ever had!” Has anyone had this before? Here’s a pic of me leaving very satisfied:

Fried Oatmeal? Yes, please!

Fried Oatmeal? Yes, please!

After Early Birds, it was back to Granville for the weekly summer farmer’s market. What used to be a few booths 5-10 years ago has grown into a full-fledged, 20-vendor event. The sweet corn had already sold out by 11 or so when we arrived, but we found zucchini, summer squash, organic stone ground whole wheat flour, and peaches! Luscious, wonderful, locally grown peaches. In fact, these peaches were grown by the Branstool family, a well-known local clan known for farming and Democratic politics. One of the sons, David, who serves as a Licking County Judge, was boxing up the fruit. What a guy and what a place! And what peaches! This picture doesn’t do them justice (pardon the pun, Judge Branstool), but they are near-perfect:

A peck of Licking County's favorite peaches

A peck of Licking County's favorite peaches

Suffice it to say, last night’s dinner was fresh and well-enjoyed outside under the stars.

Today, after more tennis and a trip to the driving range, we took our grandmas to Gahanna (east of Columbus) for brunch. We went to Cap City Diner, a neat place that’s part of the Cameron Mitchell empire in Columbus. It was another great meal. Notice a trend here? After omlets and sandwiches, we ordered one piece of cake to share… because the cake was as big as my head:

A "piece" of cake in Columbus

A "piece" of cake in Columbus

We have a few more days here, so more posts to come about life back in the Heartland. Tonight, we dine with Darryl and Bob, who have just moved from Somerville for Darryl’s job at Kenyon. As you can guess, sweet corn is most definitely on the menu.

Advertisements