Posted by: bettyb | May 27, 2011

Discovering Darke County, OH

Last weekend, a few of us from the group known as Weekend Retweat got to go explore Darke County after being invited by the Darke County Visitor’s Bureau. I had previously visited the area briefly and remembered it as a place that I wanted to go back to sometime. I am so happy I got to see so much of the area – it is beautiful!

Our host for the weekend was Roy Brown at the Inn at Versailles. We were treated to recently remodeled, beautiful luxurious rooms with jacuzzi tubs. Check out the pictures of the Rooms and the very reasonable rates!  After a refreshing night staying at the Inn, Roy was our tour guide to some of the places in Versailles on Saturday morning.   There is a large Conference Center called Riverwatch.  We saw the  Stillwater Valley Golf Club and one of the many sculptures around the area.


One of the most enjoyable stops for me was at the Sycamore Bridge Farm. The restaurant at the Inn uses the food and herbs grown here.

Sycamore Bridge Farm

Roy then took us to Midmark and explained how the company (which owns the Inn) is such a great asset to the community. It’s an obvious case of a company giving back in many ways. Quite impressive. We saw the town’s football field and as in many small towns, football is important. The field also has a sculpture.

Perfect Catch

Here is another sculpture that is just too cute not to post.

Jumping Rope

In the afternoon, we ventured out on our own to do more exploring with Rose doing the driving. The first stop was The Winery at Versailles. They were in the process of getting ready for a major event but still took time to talk to us. We would love to go back some time to be able to fully appreciate what they offer.

Next on our agenda was to find Greenville and food. Tiffany had done some research and led us directly to Montage Cafe. What a great place!

Montage Cafe

We got to choose from several varieties of salads and soups. They sell all kinds of things and Michele, who always finds good wine found some there which was enjoyed then and then again later. Greenville is home to the Kitchen Aid store and it was fun to see the different colors all lined up.

So many colors

In the museum downstairs, they have a Gold Mixer.

Gold Mixer

There were several other shops we wandered through and then we stopped at Sweet One O One for some dessert. Everyone was so friendly.

Sweet One O One

We hit the road again and went to Bears Mill  It is a working water powered mill with some interesting collections inside.

Lots of glass shoes

Old Posters

I took a trail to see the dam and on the way I found a Viet Nam War Memorial.

War Memorial

The Dam

We ventured back to the Inn to make use of the jacuzzis and enjoy some wine before dinner. There were more sculptures to see in the Town Square across from the Inn so we did that before dining.

Monet the Impressionist

January 1st: Heralding The Millenium

Dinner at Michael Anthony’s was outstanding. Roy and his wife Elaine joined us.


Roy selected excellent wine and a variety of appetizers.


Bruschetta di Michael Anthony

Roasted Baby Beets and Goat Cheese Salad

Asparagus Wild Mushroom and Spring Field Greens Tart

Strawberry, blueberry, and Sycamore Bridge Farms rhubarb tart.

Chocolate Decadence

Michael Anthony

A wonderful time was had by all!

A LINK to the rest of my Sculpture pictures

A LINK to all of my Darke County pictures.

Posted by: bettyb | December 4, 2009

Tastecasting – The Columbus Sandwich Company

The Columbus Sandwich Company

201 Clint Dr.
Pickerington, OH 43147

Last night the Tastecasting gang and the Meet-2-Eat group were treated to a variety of the selection of items offered at The Columbus Sandwich Company. They have been open for one year – their anniversary was yesterday!

Lad Dilgard comes from a logistics specialist background and uses that to run a very organized operation. In addition to serving walk-ins, they also do catering in Fairfield and Franklin counties and they provide food to 12 different coffee shops in Columbus and surrounding areas. They offer a 10% discount to Pharmaceutical and Medical Sales reps, and to teachers and school administration officials for catering orders.

Their biggest seller by far is a wrap called the Columbus Metro Chicken Salad. It was a big hit with people last night, myself included. It’s homemade chicken salad made with basil mayo, lettuce, tomato, cashews, and a hint of spicy Thai sauce. Very tasty with a nice little kick! They also serve toasted wraps which were wonderful on a cold rainy night with melted cheeses. They offer a couple of soups to help warm you up too. There is a Tomato Bisque and a Creamy Chicken Noodle.

The sides offered are Homemade Potato Salad, which LAD said is addictive and I can see that. It’s made with sour cream. The other side is a Bowtie Dill Pasta Salad.

They use only high grade meat in their products and you can taste the difference.

The menu items are all listed with a Columbus reference.

They offer some veggie options that I look forward to trying. For example, there is the Scioto Trail Vegetarian toasted wrap which has Swiss and Monterey Jack, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, roasted red peoppers, mushrooms, spinach, green peppers, dill dressing and sunflower seeds. This sounds like a step above usual veggie options at other places!

There will be a few changes in January, which will highlight toasted foccacia. A few more changes will be the addition of a lot of fresh fruit and they will start ordering in desserts to sell.

Employees Nate and Katlyn did a great job preparing the food for us! Be sure to check out The Columbus Sandwich Company which is located off of 256, south of I-70 next to Swan Cleaners. My husband found it by knowing it was near Turnberry Golf Course. Thanks to Lad for hosting us!

Posted by: bettyb | September 17, 2009

Taste the Future 2009 – Tastecasting

What a great night at Taste the Future! This is the annual event that is held at Columbus State and the proceeds provide scholarships and special programs that help hundreds of students every year. Over 50 of the area’s fine food establishments were there to show their stuff. The weather was perfect! As you will see from my sample of the event, the food was amazing. I was assigned the “blue” section of the event. There were 6 sections so there were 6 times as much as what I am blogging about!

My first stop was Cameron Mitchell Catering where they were serving a braised pork wonton taco with kimchi slaw, avocado and cucumber mousse along with a milk chocolate and chili flake truffle.
Pork Wonton Taco

My next stop was at Posh Nosh/Katering by Keni. They were serving a lime mojito flavored ceviche with apples and shrimp along with a Cincinnati chili shooter.
Mojito ceviche

From there it was on to Trattoria Roma. Here my treats were some Sante Fe Bison chili on roast corn polenta and some Tiramisu.
Bison chili

Next up? Pasqualone’s La Plaia Ristorante and Daviducc Cafe and Catering. They have catering and a restaurant, which is located at 5766 Columbus Square Shopping Center. Call 614-890-2070 for info on days and times. The catering phone number is 614-301-6423. They were serving Tomato Basil Cous Cous and Marsala Chicken.
Tomato Basil Cous Cous
Chicken Marsala

The Elevator was serving their Crab stuffed scallops as mentioned in a previous post. Judging by the long line there all evening, many people like them as much as I do.
Lots of good scallops

Moving on to Worthington Hills Country Club and their offerings of Asian Chicken Salad and Cinnamon dusted pork tenderloin with peach balsamic reduction on sweet potato polenta.
Asian Chicken Salad
Pork on Polenta

And finally there was Barrio’s and their tapa of the evening.
Barrio's tapa

The wine served is from the winery of Bill and Roxanne Wolf of Napa Valley. Bill is a graduate of Columbus Technical Institute, which is now Columbus State.

I also liked that they did everything possible to make sure nothing went to waste. There were numerous bins marked either recycle or composting and they were clearly marked as to what went where. Kudos.

There was some great jazz music playing as we tasted and tasted and tasted. I had a wonderful time and would like to thank our hosts Matt and Elissa! I can’t wait to go to some of the restaurants I have not been to before and to return to the ones that I have.

When the Tastecasting blog post is ready, I will edit this to add a link to it so you can see everyone’s pictures and here about the rest of the food.

At the preview we had a couple of weeks ago, Cheryl Harrison said she would take on the challenge of trying something from every vendor. How did she do? Check it out here! That will also show you all of the participants 🙂

Posted by: bettyb | September 14, 2009

Fine Dining at M with the Tastecasters

M Restaurant is Cameron Mitchell’s marquee restaurant. Let me show you how wonderfully the Tastecasters were treated!

Wasabi – tuna, salmon, avocado, cucumber and wasabi peas.

Tartare – tuna, pickled cucumber, yuzu vinaigrette, wasabi tobiko, white miso aioli.

Crab – Maryland blue crab cake, hass avocado, plum tomato gazpacho

Green – organic little gem lettuce, roquefort cheese, creamy bleu cheese dressing, candied pistachios

White tuna – porcini dusted, spring peas, wild mushrooms, lobster emulsion. This was my personal favorite and I plan to go back especially for this!
White Tuna

Steak-N-Eggs – Filet mignon, goat cheese hashbrown, dippy egg, caviar, sauce bearnaise.
Steak - N - Eggs

Lobster mashed potatoes – mashed potatoes with a Maine lobster? Oh yes, it was as awesome as it sounds 🙂
Lobster Mashed Potatoes

All of these are the creation of Chef Erin Chittum, a grad of Columbus State culinary school.
Chef Erin Chittum

Dessert was chilled apricot moscato soup, fresh berries, and organic yogurt sorbet.
Chilled Apricot Mascato Soup

I was still full the next day.

M is open Monday through Saturday for dinner. If you’d like to plan a holiday lunch there, you can contact them at (614) 629-0000. They have two private rooms, which can accommodate 8 or 15 guests. You can order from the menu or have a customized menu for your event.

Starting October 1 will be a Happy Hour on Monday through Friday – $5 Selected wines by the glass and $5 martinis. Friday Happy Hour will also feature half-price sushi!

For a limited time, make reservations at M for any Thursday evening and enjoy half off of any wine priced at $100 or less.

There are lots of reasons to try a great place if you haven’t been there before or to go back and treat yourself to a wonderful evening. It’s located on the first level of the Miranova office tower at 2 Miranova Place. Valet parking is available. I found plenty of street parking on Mound and Short street.

Posted by: bettyb | September 6, 2009

Taste The Future

It’s almost time for the 21st Annual Taste The Future event! This is a great tasting fund raising event for Columbus State which will be held on Sept. 15th from 5:30-9. All proceeds from ticket sales go to a scholarship fund. Taste The Future will have over 50 chefs offering a sample of great eats. Want to see a list of participants? Look here. Now do you want to see a list of menu items that will be offered? This will certainly entice any food lover!

I was one of the fortunate ones to be invited as part of the Tastecasting team to a preview hosted by Elevator Brewing Company where Chef Nate gave us a cooking demonstration of what he will be serving at Taste the Future. Check this out.

Blog pics 026 This is his Crab Stuffed Scallop and I can say it tasted as wonderful as it looks!

Some chefs will be serving their most popular item, like the scallops, and others choose to try something new or to serve their personal favorites. It was said that it’s impossible to try everything available because there is so much. Cheryl Harrison said she will take on that challenge. That should be interesting to watch 🙂

I am really looking forward to the event and I’ve heard that once you have gone to this, you don’t want to miss it! This is adults only and dress is business casual. I was told by someone who knows that if you’ve hesitated to go to something like this because you think it might be stuffy, don’t worry! This is very relaxed and fun. Great food and a great cause – I hope to see you there!

My pics from the preview.


Located at 33 E. College Ave. in Westerville in the Historic District. It’s not far at all from State St.
33 E. College Ave

Debbie Mitchell, the owner, invited a small group of Tastecasters to sample what she has to offer and I was fortunate enough to be one of the few. She opened up in October 2008 and has done quite a lot in that amount of time. They are open long after many other places in town are closed to accommodate the college students. While we were there, we saw people of all ages coming and going.

Artwork from the local college students decorate the walls and the tables have made use of old cds.
Nice decor
Decor in the community room

There is a nice outdoor patio in the back that’s not visible from the street, so feel free to wander back there.

She keeps a couple of guitars around so if someone gets the urge to play, they are more than welcome to. Dan The Man got the urge!
Dan strumming

But Betty, what about the food? Of course I have pictures of food, and it all tastes as good as it looks! 🙂

Caprese Salad
Caprese salad

Grilled Chicken Salad
Grilled chicken salad

Panini. These are made to order and you have the option of filling out your own order form and handing it to them. She said that’s very popular. Tofu is one of the options! I always like to hear that – I actually like tofu. Debbie said this a vegetarian friendly place. I always like to hear that too.
Panini - big panini

Here is Debbie with an order form.
The order form


Breaded fried spicy pickles. My personal surprise of the day. Ray likes friend pickles but I have never been fond of them. I really liked these! The breading stayed with the pickle and it was spicy enough to make you go “whoa” for a second 🙂
Fried spicy pickles

But wait, this is an ice cream and coffee house! Unfortunately, my pics of those items did not do them justice. Here is a pic of a poster that was located in the bathroom of their soft serve with flavor bursts. They aren’t kidding when they say flavor burst!
Flavor Bursts

To hopefully give you a better idea, I have some pics of the menu that are mostly readable.

There are many neat touches like all of the mugs are made by a student and when you order a drink, you pick the mug you want to use. They are all different. She thinks green by using no styrofoam and recycling. You can feel Debbie’s heart in the place and that in itself means it’s worth going back to for me.

Posted by: bettyb | July 22, 2009

Destination – Indiana

This was my first time that Indiana was a destination for me. There were a few things Ray and I wanted to do so he came up with the Indiana idea. It turns out it was a great idea except that the weather was freakishly cold for mid July.

One of the things on my list was water. Here I am at The River Walk in Portage.
Me at the River Walk

The River Walk

The next day we went to Indiana Dunes. Yay, more water! We sat and walked on the beach watching the storm until it started raining. Chicago is behind the clouds.
Indiana Dunes

If death occurs, then they tow your car.
After you die there they tow your car?

Chicago style pizza was on The List. Here is my veggie version.
Chicago style veggie pizza

On the way there, Ray agreed to drive by Michael Jackson’s childhood home since we were close and it was kind of on the way to getting some pizza. I don’t have a picture of the house though. Some neighborhood guys had the street blocked off and were selling t-shirts. Ray didn’t feel like dealing with all of that so we didn’t stop, but there are plenty of pics of it on the web if you’re interested. One example is Geofftech’s. He was there the day after we were. He was also staying in Lafayette the day after we did. I hope he’s not following me! Ha ha.

We went back to The Riverwalk to see the Chicage skyline at sunset.
The Riverwalk

The next day we went to Mt. Baldy. Wow, is it gorgeous! I had no idea that such a pretty beach was as close as this is! If only it had been a typical July day instead of a cold July day.
Mt. Baldy

Mt. Baldy

Blueberries – the initial reason for planning a trip. This place was awesome and blueberries are organic.
We picked just over 20 lbs, which is about all the cooler would hold. I’d like to have more. The Blueberry Ranch
Picking the blueberries!

Ray found the neatest place for dinner in South Bend – Tippecanoe Place. It’s a former mansion and you are free to walk all over the place – all 4 floors. Each room is set up as a dining room but we were there so early I didn’t disturb many people with my wanderings.
Tippecanoe Place

Tippecanoe Place

Tippecanoe Place

Here is a site for more (and better) pictures. This place was beautiful!! A tour

Posted by: bettyb | July 3, 2009

Colorful summer day

My first taste of homegrown tomatoes purchased at Dublin Community Market, now happening on Wednesdays from 4:30-8pm at the Dublin Community Church. I got the cherries there too. The fresh basil came from our back yard.

These were extra bright today.
Yellow flowers

Today I went black raspberry picking at Champaign Berry Farm.
Black raspberries

I picked until my back told me to stop.
Black raspberries

Posted by: bettyb | July 2, 2009

Dirty Franks Hot Dog Palace

Here are a few pics from opening night at Dirty Franks.

I had the Chicago Style Veggie Dog. It tasted as good as it looks!
Dirty Frank's Chicago Style Veggie

Ray had a Chicago Style regular and this Chili Dog

These are the Double Fried Fries. I probably won’t get them again because I prefer my fries less cooked and they were pretty salty, although since I have eliminated most salt when I eat at home, when I eat out, things tend to taste too salty to me.
Dirty Frank's twice fried fries

What I will order are the onion rings. They were great and I rarely eat onions.
Dirty Frank's Onion Rings

There are several more varieties of hot dogs I want to try. I know this seems contrary to my usual talk of trying to eat healthy, but every now and then I get to be bad 🙂

The place was packed but the service was friendly and calm. People were lined up out the door as we left. Parking was a breeze on Main street at the meters during the 4-6 no parking time frame on Fourth. The drafts weren’t ready yet so I settled for some root beer that tasted like root beer used to taste. There are a lot of drinks on the menu I want to try sometime when I’m not driving.
I’d say Liz Lessner has another huge hit here in Columbus.

Posted by: bettyb | June 29, 2009

Whetstone Park of Roses

My knitting group has been meeting at Whetstone for a few weeks now so we can get some fresh air and be outside.
Each week we see the raccoons emerge from their places in the trees.

Raccoon waking up

We haven’t seen anything in here, but there’s plenty of room.

Big Hole in Tree

At some point in the evening, we usually take a stroll through the rose garden.

Park of Roses




Nifty Tree


It’s a great way to spend a summer evening. I hate to think about the sun setting earlier. The daylight hours of June suit me just fine.

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