Dessert is my favorite meal. Luckily for me, I live in Columbus, home to excellent dessert shops, ice creameries and bakeries. There’s just one thing though: how to visit all of these places in one day without making myself completely sick? The answer: a dessert tour with Columbus Food Adventures.
Run by a British-born foodie and a little over a year old, Columbus Food Adventures offers several themed minibus tours of the city. There’s a taco truck tour, ethnic foods tour and walking tours of the Short North and German Village.
The dessert tour starts at Pistacia Vera, a French-style dessert boutique in German Village, famous for its macarons. Our guide took us through the small café, past the pastry jewels in the glass counter and into the kitchen where two pastry chefs explained their work while we munched on a nutella macaron and bite-size pieces of lemon tart, cherry cognac pâte de fruits (fruit jelly) and valrhona chocolate.
As we finished up our samples, one of our group asked the tiny pastry chefs the question that was on my mind: “how do you keep so thin?” Lots of running around, they answered.
Our next stop was Sugardaddy’s downtown. Winner of Throwdown! with Bobby Flay and green room supplier for the Ellen show, Sugardaddy’s serves fresh-baked round blondies and brownies. After trying samples of their brownies and cheesecake, we were handed bags and instructed to choose two items as well as a bag full of chewy brownie corners to take home.
Even my sugar tolerance was starting to be pushed by this point, so I was grateful that Columbus Food Adventures chose to include a stop at Café Brioso, an artisan coffee roaster and coffee house just across the street from Sugardaddy’s. After a short talk on their coffee roasting process and sampling their different roasts, I was ready to hit the next stop.
At Pattycake Bakery in Clintonville, we sampled the cherry bar, snickerdoodle, sticky bun and ho ho. If they hadn’t told us, I would never have guessed that everything at Pattycake is vegan. Pattycake’s environmental ethos goes beyond even their food products: all packaging is compostable and they provide deliveries by bicycle. “Even though it's a sweet treat, you don’t feel bad afterwards,” one of the bakers assured us.
All milk and cream is from Ohio’s Snowville Creamery, which uses grass-grazing methods and minimal processing. Seasonal flavors change every month or two – this summer’s menu includes lots of Ohio fruits, along with ingredients you don’t often find in ice cream: sweetcorn, goat cheese and whiskey for example.
I had had about enough of rich tastes by this point, so I opted for a cup of coriander raspberry with wildberry lavender and Riesling poached pear sorbet.
Our final stop was M at Miranova where we were offered a lemon frost, a crisp and tart cocktail of crushed lemon and champagne. Sipping my cocktail, I caught a glimpse of M’s dinner menu. Anticipating an uncomfortable sugar crash, the steak, seafood and lobster mashed potato began to look quite appealing.