FOOD FOR THOUGHT: FARM TO TABLE

 In the food world trends come and go. Last year we were all going crazy over our acai bowls. A few months ago we couldn’t stop posting pics of our designer doughnuts. Just like with anything else, food trends are ever changing—they come and go. We have gotten some of our greatest culinary achievements through food trends. Noodles in the first century, soufflés of the early eighteenth century, or the great fondue craze of the 1970’s. Where would we be without all of these innumerable food trends? They all build off of each other and help to create something new. Like a saucier with their 5 sauce bases. Food trends, much like fashion trends, tend to rotate. We’ve all been drinking our kombucha lately, but this is an ancient Asian drink that has been around for thousands of years.

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Oktoberfest

I think when people throughout the country think of Ohio, what comes to mind for them is mostly farmland and a vanilla demographic. Little do they know how ethnically diverse things really are here in the Buckeye State. In the Valley we tend to always gravitate to ethnic traditions of Italy and sometimes Greece which I’m assuming is because of the large population of Italian and Greek Americans in the area. Being of both Italian and German decent, I find myself doing the same thing. I tend to cook more pizzas and pastas than schnitzels and brats. Well friends, there is one time of year when Spade and I get to celebrate our German side— and that time is Oktoberfest.

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Bake Me Treats

It feels as though summer just began, yet as I look around I see leaves falling and pumpkin spice lattes hitting the menu board at the local big-box coffee shop. While this means summer festivals are wrapping up and backyard barbecues are coming to an end, there is a silver lining. First, it means that it’s time to bust out the boots, sweaters, and hoodies. (Which we all know we have been secretly waiting for.) Best of all, what this means is as we approach holiday season we also approach carb season. Whether its fond memories of baking with grandma or the smell of pizzelles on the weekends, there’s something about fall that just screams baked goods.

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“5 Course Interview” Erik Hoover

Love is an odd state. It’s so much more than just a feeling. It may start off as a feeling, but it never resolves to remain in that state. It’s usually ignited by one of your senses. Whether sight, smell, taste, touch, or hearing, that initial feeling must migrate to your will if it wishes to remain love. For example, you may fall in love with a certain city while on vacation. The beautiful sights, the sound of the ocean, the smell of flowers, the feel of fresh snow under foot. All of these things may spark a passion for this particular place. If you are truly in love with this destination you must choose to live there. The longer you stay the more you love your new home. You may have never known you loved gardening until you chose to actually live in such and such a town. Bird watching becomes something you surprisingly find an interest for now that you chose to live in your favorite place. Besides our love for each other, Spade and I have fallen in love with the food in the Mahoning Valley. As we to return to our favorite spots, we have found that we have a certain affinity for the people behind the food as well—which is why we created what we call the “5 Course Interview.” This is an opportunity for us to introduce and connect you to some of the amazing people that we have gotten the pleasure to meet along the way. In this episode we are excited to introduce you to Chef Erik Hoover. He is the man who has brought us one of the best BBQ joints this side of the Mississippi. We hope that you, like us, will fall in love with not only the amazing food but the stories and people behind it.

Enjoy!

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High Octane Coffee Co.

While muscle cars and macchiatos may not seem like a normal combination, we have found a place betwixt the two realms. Much like the Chronicles of Narnia, we have found a place that is a world between worlds. High Octane Coffee is a creation that is anything but common amongst the trendy coffee spots filled with dirty haired, bearded hipsters popping up. This is a place where people of all walks of life are welcome. We had the pleasure of entering this complex café recently and spending some time with owner Joe Sylvester.

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The Youngstown Flea

As summer approaches, there are always memories that flood my mind. Summer vacations at the beach without a care in the world. Adventures at the local park with sunset as the only destination. Long bike rides with no direction, just a desire to ride. The thrills of going to an amusement park. My favorite had to have been all the local festivals and fairs. I think I liked those best because I got to have fun with my friends and eat good food. With millennials slowly creeping towards middle age and a new generation succeeding the throne of young and exciting, I believe we have found the next summer memory maker. The Youngstown Flea will surely be a backdrop to lifelong memories for old and new generations alike. Continue reading “The Youngstown Flea”

Lib’s Market

Well friends, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten the pleasure to talk to all of you. Time seems to be tight lately between softball practices, going to school, work—you know, just day-to-day things piling up. I must say though, I have truly missed having the opportunity to write and express myself to you all on here. That aside, Spade and I recently visited a place that we must tell you all about. Ben Ratner from Lib’s Market invited us down for brunch a couple of weekends ago and it was by far one of the greatest eating encounters we have had thus far.

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Brunch at Barrel33

On this episode of Jimmy and Spade we are going to take you to a local favorite of ours. It is a place we have recently grown very fond of and has been a great back drop for the creation of new memories. Barrel33 is a stone’s throw away from our humble abode in Howland, Ohio. You can find it on East Market in the Giant Eagle Plaza—very accessible location in the center of town. It has all the amenities of a swanky, small plate restaurant with the added bonus of being a wine and beer emporium. Barrel33 gives us that big city vibe right in our back yard. 

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Connections

Have you ever sat and had coffee with a friend while discussing some of life’s most intriguing questions? Have you ever spent time serving in a soup kitchen or enjoyed a family gathering around an array of delicious delicacies? Maybe you’ve had lunch with a new business partner and brainstormed innovative and exciting ideas. We all love the guy in the office that brings in donuts on Mondays when most of us don’t want to be there. There seems to be a certain nuance that food and drink bring to the human experience. Our existence here has many complex facets. One that I believe most of us may overlook or gloss by is the connection we share with other individuals on this planet. C.S. Lewis puts it like this, “Human beings look separate because you see them walking about separately. But then we are so made that we can see only the present moment. If we could see the past, then of course it would look different. For there was a time when every man was part of his mother, and (earlier still) part of his father as well, and when they were part of his grandparents. If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees is, it would look like one single growing thing—rather like a very complicated tree. Every individual would appear connected with every other.” How profound that it is time and space which constricts our view of humanity as a whole. One of the greatest adventures in life is realizing this misconception and reestablishing our connectivity to our fellow man.

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