Review: Sweet Clove Sunshine Cafe

Sweet Clove Sunshine Cafe Exterior in Columbus OhioWhen my father-in-law said he wanted to take us for breakfast at the Honeybaked Ham Store when we were visiting Columbus earlier this fall, I thought to myself, “Really? The Honeybaked Ham Store?”

One of my faults about food is coming to a decision much too quickly — even before getting to the final destination. This was just one of those times.

Now, I love me some Honeybaked Ham at the holidays. I’ll be hovering over that pork carcass peeling off the sugary coating and licking my fingers of its savory juices. The leftovers are perfect for omelettes and sandwiches in the following days.

The Honeybaked Ham Store runs Sweet Clove Sunshine Cafe in Columbus, Ohio. This sit-down restaurant churns out hearty breakfast sandwiches, towering pancakes and mouth-watering good eggs benedicts.

So, let’s take a closer look at this breakfast mindblow…

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A Conversation with Yuval Zaliouk of Almondina

Yuval and his grandmother Dina - AlmondinaI had the great pleasure of talking last week with Yuval Zaliouk, the owner of Almondina Cookies. His company bakes up some great, wafer-thin cookies that are a versatile snack and healthy, too. Almondina started as a secret recipe from his grandmother, Dina. So, what a perfect tribute right before Mother’s Day than hearing from Yuval about his grandmother’s influence and the story behind how her secret cookie recipe became a cookie sensation.

CR: Tell me how the Almondina company and cookie began.
YZ: The whole idea really started in grandma Dina’s kitchen about 80 years ago in Israel.  She was a fantastic cook and invented this cookie about 80 years ahead of its time. It has no cholesterol, no fat, and is all natural, and she created it 80 years ago. As a tribute to my grandmother, Dina, and because the cookies are made mostly of almonds, we decided to combine the words for our company name. Today, our company has a slogan: “The delicious cookie without the guilt.” And, our mission is: “To put a delicious healthful cookie on every American table.”

CR: Where does the inspiration for the flavors come from? What is your favorite?
YZ: There are 10 flavors. The most popular is “The Original” cookie. This is the one that I recommend that everyone starts with. When you start with that one, you will taste the beautiful cookie that my grandmother Dina invented so many years ago. All of the other flavors are just a derivation of “The Original.” I would say its my grandmother’s inspiration, but my doing.

My favorite is “The Original.” But, I’m a symphony conductor, too. People always ask, “What is your favorite piece?” And I say, “The one that I’m currently conducting.” It’s the same with these cookies. My favorite is the one I’m crunching on at the moment.

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Destination Chicago: Gino’s East

Gino’s East has been a Chicago pizza staple since 1966. And with two convenient downtown Windy City locations, it’s easy to get your deep-dish fix after shopping on the Magnificent Mile or a long day at one of the great museums.

On a recent weekend in Chicago, my husband and I (usually devoted Lou Malnati’s diners) decided to go out of our pizza comfort zone and try another version of the classic deep-dish pizza. We were staying fairly close at the lovely Hotel Allegro and walked about a half-mile to the restaurant on the corner of Ontario and Wells Streets.

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Foodie Destination: Schmidt’s Sausage Haus and Restaurant

Exterior Schmidt's Sausage Haus

I had no idea when we traveled to Columbus, Ohio, last fall to visit my sister-in-law that she lived in a food mecca. Food Network shows like “The Best of…” and Travel Channel shows like “Man v. Food” have all come to the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes to enjoy the food.

One of the many foodie destinations we tried on our long weekend trip was Schmidt’s Sausage Haus and Restaurant. Located in the heart of Columbus’s German Village neighborhood, Schmidt’s has been serving up German cuisine like sausages and spaetzel since 1886. The restaurant is located on the end of a cobblestone street. Diners wait outside for their names to be called. Small shops like a delicious fudge store and eclectic jewelry stores are within a stone’s throw.

Schmidt’s is known for their handmade sausages, huge sandwiches and delightful desserts like the jumbo cream puff. I’m a hard sell when it comes to sausages so I was very excited to try theirs. The restaurant has a large menu but most people seem to opt for the “German Autobahn Buffet.”

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