Thursday, January 31, 2019

Cincinnati, OH Edition: 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab


But first, coffee.

1215That's been my motto as of late.

12151215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab is a pretty neat place in Cincinnati because by morning, you can get your cuppa joe. And by evening, you can get a glass of wine.

1215The vibe here is just pretty cool - it's cozy and I could see myself pulling up a chair to do some work.

1215Instead, though, I just got a coffee - this time!

1215I went for an iced caramel macchiato.

1215I wanted a snack, but I abstained. Those pastries looked so tasty!

1215And my macchiato was delish. Strong. Tasty. Perfect for a pick-me-up for a busy day!


1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

DoorDash comes to Charleston

It's the same scenario for me every Sunday: I'm exhausted. I don't feel like cooking. I'm browsing my phone to see what I can get delivered.

And I know I'm not alone - since there has been a rise in food delivery services like Postmates, GrubHub, and UberEats.

But these services are limited in West Virginia. Until now.

DoorDash has burst onto the scene - delivering to Morgantown earlier this month and starting in Charleston today.

They feature cuisine like Italian, Mexican, Pizza, and Thai. My stomach is already growling.

And, if you add in the promo code "CandaceLately," you can get $5 off your $15 (or more) order!

Let me know which restaurant you're excited to try and tell me how it goes!

Cincinnati, OH Edition: Allez Bakery


Allez Bakery was not on my planned itinerary. Rather, it was along the walk we were taking, and I thought the name was cute, and it had a little sloth mascot, so we went inside.

AllezWe all need encouragement. It took lots of it from Tom’s wife and friends to stop riding bikes every day and get to work baking. Allez Bakery is what happened when he took all the best parts of his friends and applied years of baking in Cincinnati to starting a bakery that would provide for the community. We focus on making sourdough bread, and sandwiches wrapped to go. Allez!

AllezThe bakery has fresh-baked loaves of bread.

AllezAnd some really lovely fresh-baked pastries.

AllezI got this focaccia, chive, cheese piece of heaven, and I still dream about it.


It was savory and cheesy and amazing. I recreate it in my mind daily. I can't wait to get this one again!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Cincinnati, OH Edition: Holtman Donuts

Holtman Donuts

I think every city has ~that~ donut place that is a favorite. In Cincinnati, it's Holtman Donuts.

Holtman DonutsHoltman Donuts had a quick line, so I'm glad we beat the crowd.

Holtman DonutsHoltman's Donuts, located in Loveland, Over the Rhine, West Chester and Williamsburg, is a family shop that opened in 1960 by Charles Holtman. Holtman's Donuts is now owned by Charles' daughter Toni and her husband Chuck (Loveland & Williamsburg). Their son Danny has continued the family business with his wife, Katie, with the opening of the Over the Rhine location. Their daughters, Lorrie and Becky, also works in the shops, making  this business a family one.

Committed to the old fashioned way Holtman's Donuts are created from scratch using the highest quality ingredients. From a family shop to your family's table, enjoy a scrumptious donut. 

Holtman Donuts

We strive to retain our old fashioned ways. Recipes are not written down in a book or on a bag but engraved into the minds of the three generations of bakers. There is an art form to the type of baking that we still use. Each dough is hand weighed with a bakers scale. The dough, while mixing is not timed but watched with a trained eye for the right texture and appearance. Along with the doughs, our icings, glaze, custard, white cream are also produced from scratch. Needless to say, a lot of time and patience goes into creating our family legacy.

Holtman Donuts

They had all sorts of creative donuts - ones topped with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruity Pebbles or Lucky Charms.

Holtman Donuts

I went for a maple bacon one, which is one of their top sellers.

Holtman Donuts

Which would you choose?

Holtman Donuts

Holtman's Donut Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, January 28, 2019

Cincinnati, OH Edition: Quaintrelle Confections S'more Bar

Quaintrelle Confections

I have two words for you: S'more. Bar.

Quaintrelle ConfectionsI really, really love s'mores, so when we came across a s'mores BAR, I knew we had to check it out.

Quaintrelle ConfectionsQuaintrelle is (n) A woman who emphasizes a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and the cultivation of life's pleasures.

Quaintrelle ConfectionsThis shop focuses on their homemade marshmallows, which are toasted and topped with your choice of chocolate and your choice of topping.

Quaintrelle ConfectionsI built my own s'more with a vanilla mallow, milk chocolate, topped with Star Crunch and caramel!

Quaintrelle ConfectionsThis is now my preferred way to eat a s'more. So good!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Appalachian Christmas candy with unique ingredients

Potato Candy-2

My column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail:

’Twas the night before an Appalachian Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring — not even an opossum. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that the Mothman would soon be there. With potato candy.

Or something like that.

Making candy in the mountains is a traditional holiday activity, and some favorites found in cookbooks include black walnut fudge, molasses taffy and potato candy. That’s right — candy made from potatoes.

Potato candy came to the region around the turn of the century, reportedly from Germany, according to the website of True Treats Candy in Harpers Ferry. The recipe arrived with immigrants — possibly memorized instead of written — and consisted of two main ingredients: potatoes and powdered sugar. It later took on the addition of peanut butter, which swirls through the middle like a jelly roll.

“The potato candy soon became popular among the Irish of Appalachia, who were unable to afford more expensive candy, such as chocolates. Potatoes were readily available, the candy was easy to make, and it tasted great,” according to the website.

True to Appalachian culture, cooks during the depression era were resourceful with inexpensive ingredients. Potatoes, which are resilient and could withstand harsh growing conditions, were cheap and could serve as a solid base for many dishes — including desserts.

The addition of peanut butter came during this time, which was another product made with a hearty crop. Potato candy is particularly prominent in Pennsylvania Dutch areas, with many claiming that is where it originated. Wherever its origins, potato candy has been passed down through generations and rightfully claims the centerpiece at many holiday dessert tables in Appalachia.

And it is easy to see why: The dessert simply uses the starch for texture, and the flavors that shine are the sweet sugar and nutty peanut butter, which supplies a lovely contrast. Simplistic in nature, the dessert is a perfectly easy snack and looks beautiful on a cookie tray.

Most of all, I like the backstory on its creation — relying on resourcefulness and innovation to create a pleasant dessert. Many of these same qualities are what I appreciate in Appalachians as a whole. Food often reflects who we are as a group of people, and this one is no exception. At the root, it’s straightforward, humble and creative — that’s my kind dessert. And people.

Cincinnati, OH Edition: Senate


Senate is a trendy pub known for their unique hot dogs and creative cocktails.

There were so many hot dogs on the menu that sounded delicious:


  • Korean - beef hotdog, homemade kimchi, braised short rib, pickled cucumber & sesame seeds
  • Trailer Park - beef hotdog, applewood bacon, american cheese, coleslaw & crushed grippos
  • Spuds Mackenzie - beef hotdog, bacon, duck fat fries, cheese sauce, pickled jalapeƱos, sour cream & chives
  • Chicago - beef hotdog, tomato, mustard, onion, neon relish, sport peppers, pickle & celery salt
  • Mexico City - beef hotdog, guacamole, chipotle crema, double smoked bacon, queso fresco, tortilla strips
  • Lindsay Lohan - beef hotdog, goat cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, balsamic & tons of drama
SenateWhich would you choose? I went with the Spuds Mackenzie: beef hotdog, bacon, duck fat fries, cheese sauce, pickled jalapeƱos, sour cream & chives. It kinda sounded like a baked potato - but in fry form ... and on top of a hot dog. But it was good! Flavor combo was on point, and I love splitting the hot dog so all that goodness literally gets inside.

Which is your favorite?

Senate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Cincinnati, OH Edition: Rhinegeist Brewery


You've probably heard of Rhinegeist - or at least Cidergeiest, the cider offshoot of the brewery.

Rhinegeist is a brewery built within the skeleton of the old Moerlein bottling plant located in the Over-the-Rhine historical district. The tasting room is a giant indoor adult playground with cornhole, ping pong and more. Kids (and anyone under the age of 21) are allowed in the taproom until 8pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Ages 21+ can head up to the rooftop deck for more brews plus cocktails and views of downtown and the surrounding areas. Food can be brought into the taproom and is also available for purchase from the food stand serving items from Sartre OTR located next door.
RhinegeistThis brewery is huge, and it really is more of an adult playground than anything.

RhinegeistThere are tables and the bar area, but there's open space for cornhole and other games.

RhinegeistI happened to be there when they released "existential apples," which is a sour apple with apples.

So, clearly I needed that!

RhinegeistAnd, yes, it was everything.

RhinegeistTart and sweet and flavorful. It's really, really good. Just like all the beer - and cider - here!

RhinegeistWhat's your favorite?

Rhinegeist Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, January 25, 2019

Cincinnati, OH Edition: Taft's Ale House

Taft Ale House

Taft's Ale House serves craft beer, food and more in this brewpub named after Cincinnati's favorite son.

Taft Ale House
Constructed in 1850 amidst the burgeoning Over-the-Rhine brewing industry, St. Paul’s Evangelical Church was once the oldest protestant parish in the Queen City. Young Billy Taft may have even sauntered past, his cheeks still stained with gooseberry pie. Unbeknownst to him, this structure would carry on his own legacy. 
Young Billy would go onto become Supreme Court Chief Justice, Yale Bonesman, and 27th US President,William Howard Taft. He was a collegiate heavyweight-wrestling champion, could bury a two-seam fastball through the backside of a catcher’s mitt, and made the most brazen ham tremble with a single glance. Our city was without its fabled folk hero for too long, but at last the mythos of Big Billy has been restored. 
The legend of Cincinnati’s prodigal son lives on inside the hallowed halls of Taft’s Ale House. Join your fellow compatriots, hand-in-handle, as we toast flawless libations, feast on fine fare, and renew a national pastime of united tomfoolery in the pursuit of muddled happiness.
Taft Ale HouseThey had a whole list of drafts on tap, so I did a flight.

Taft Ale HouseThey also had a good number of cocktails available.

Taft Ale HouseBut since beer is their thing, I went with a few: sour vice, Nellie's key lime, oktuberfest, jerk and gustav.

Taft Ale HouseThe sour vice was by far my favorite - no surprise there - but they were all solid.

Taft Ale HouseWhat's your favorite?

Taft Ale House

Taft’s Ale House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato