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Taste Profile: @eatplaycbus

In Columbus, it’s not just the chefs and cocktail artists and writers pushing our palates forward, it’s the everyday folks who via social media are leaving a trail of crumbs for the rest of us to follow. Taste Profile, a new monthly feature in (614) will introduce you to the local handles and give you the low-down on what’s good in the capital city.

What’s the last great dish you had?  I am a huge fan of brunch. I finally got to Tasi in the Short North and it lived up to everything I’d heard. I ordered the poached eggs and black bean cakes with jalapeño butter sauce. Perks of having a husband who loves food just as much as you do? You can snack on his plate, too! He ordered the cinnamon-challah french toast with bananas and Ohio maple syrup. Not only was the food absolutely delicious, the crew working was so excited and genuinely wanted us to enjoy the food and atmosphere as much as they enjoyed creating it. Since my husband and I love to meet people wherever we go, we loved that they had a community table where we could enjoy our meal alongside other diners.

What’s the last great dish you cooked? I’m not quite as adventurous in my own kitchen as I am when I’m out to dinner, but I am pretty proud of my most recent dish. I tossed some avocado in tempura and fried it up to make some tortas with a spicy turnip, cabbage, and carrot slaw. I used chipotles in adobo to spice up the turnips and make it a little more flavorful.

What drives you to be a tastemaker in Columbus? I have an honest desire for people to adore the city of Columbus as much as I do, especially the thriving food scene. There is such innovation, creativity and excitement about food that I want to share with everyone. It’s a common ground that can motivate you to create connections and conversations with strangers. A low-key meal at a slow restaurant can turn your evening into a memory that you’ll remember forever because of the food and the story it can tell.

What is the most significant way food and drink has changed in Columbus in the last five years? Have you seen the Short North lately? Grandview, German Village, Italian Village? They still have some of their grounded staples but all of those neighborhoods have blossomed with restaurants, food trucks, cafes, bars, pop-up restaurants and a strong community that shows nothing but support for this collaborative food scene. I firmly believe the residents of Columbus have had a new sense of connection and wonder how and where their food or drinks are coming from; the food industry has answered those calls.

Favorite Filter: Does sitting next to a window count?

Put together your perfect night on the town, from pre-meal cocktail, to dinner, to nightcap: I’d start the night off at the original best happy hour in Columbus, Marcella’s in the Short North. No matter how many other cocktails I try, my favorite will always be the Grapefruit Basil Fizz and during happy hour, they are half off which means you can have multiple and not feel guilty, right? Next, I’d pop over to El Camino Inn down on Fourth Street and order The Cubano and maybe a paloma to pair with it. After hopping around the other cozy spots on Fourth, I’d head back to the Short North and finish off the evening at Oddfellows with a boozy slushie, a movie and maybe a slice of pizza from Mikey’s Late Night Slice.

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Travis Hoewischer

I've been working in journalism in central Ohio for more than a decade, and have been lucky enough to be a part of (614) Magazine since the very first issue. Proud to live in a city that still cares – and still reads.