Stop being a food snob. STOP.
Well, sometimes it’s okay, but right now let’s not define sometimes.
Case in point: sometimes you are wrong.
Over winter break, I went back to Ohio to see my family and while there it snowed fairly heavily the day after Christmas. We decided to venture out into the world to get some lunch. After looking at two different menus online we decided on Café Bella since it looked like they had more options. When we got there, and it was closed we went with plan B, the Wildflower Café, which seemed to have fewer options and therefore we were less interested. Boy, were we wrong!
The Wildflower Café is a restaurant gem of Mason, Ohio. They use local food (from Ohio) where possible, they have a crazy good beer selection, and they do it all out of an old yellow house! Downstairs they have a map with pinpoints of all the different farms and local businesses that provide them with goodies to make their menu.
We started out with truffled mushroom fonduta – a melted cheese and mushroom combination with a hint of truffle oil paired with unique fennel and sesame seed-encrusted bread from Blue Oven bakery. Crusty bread and melty, gooey cheese were all it took to seduce us. Next Caitlin and I shared their house salad of spring greens, shredded carrots, delicious croutons (made from same said bread above), blue cheese, nuts, and dried cranberries. Equally memorable and delicious. (Yes it was just lunch but we decided to have appetizers and salads. My sister and I shared our entrée). For our main course, we ordered the day’s pasta special: butternut squash ravioli with roasted apples, some sort of tasty sauce, and goat cheese. We listened to the dessert listings, but opted to go home and make our own, though we did share a few sips of a bittersweet Crème Brulee beer.
Moral of the story: I thought good restaurants seeking local food only existed in big cities like Boston or NYC. Mason, Ohio did not strike me as the type of place to attempt this kind of culinary feat. But who am I kidding? It is outside the cities where most food is grown and who is likely to cook that food, but the people who grow it or live near it. I confess that I know very little about growing food (despite my various attempts at feigning interest) and that I overlooked the fact that people who grow food were probably the first to be creative in cooking it. So I was wrong to be a food snob about Ohio. Need to work on keeping on open mind.