After recording the video this afternoon for Old World Whiskey Society I needed some food so I headed to my favorite spot for a quick lunch, 9Dang at Orenco Station in Hillsboro.
I recently came across a new game that was seeking funding on Kickstarter with a unique concept. Educating people about the values and economy of a local indigenous people by playing a game. Potlatch, the game, was developed as a community effort with local elders and language experts. The game is written in both English and Lushootseed, the indigenous language of the Pacific Northwest. Game mechanics are based on sharing resources to meet other players’ needs for food, materials, technology, and knowledge.
Your goal is share your Resource Cards as Gifts to other players’ House Card needs so that each player meets all of their needs. Each House Card represents a human house that needs resources for everyone in their community to survive over time. A unique dynamic to try and achieve in a card game to be sure.
You can find Potlatch - The Game on Kickstarter, and learn more.
I'm a backer now, and I hope you'll consider helping this group bring Potlatch and other native population games to market.
The Original at 300 SW 6th Ave. in downtown Portland is rich in hometown diner nostalgia, with more modern takes on some old favorites combining with traditional diner fare to round out a great menu.
We were there for Sunday brunch, and sampled a variety of there menu. Overall it was great, with just one low point out of four meals.
I had the grilled polenta cakes with candied bacon. The preparation was great, with big thick slices of polenta that had obviously been cooked and formed in a loaf pan then sliced and grilled for service. The flavor was bold and wonderful, with lots of sharp cheddar cheese and milk giving it a smooth and rich texture. Served with 3 slices of candied bacon and then drizzled with real maple syrup it was a wonderful take on the old fashioned Johnny cakes my grandmother would make for Sunday breakfast when I was young. A definite hit.
My wife had the "Red Flannel Hash" and wasn't as impressed. The potatoes were undercooked and seasoning was non existent. For a dressed up corned beef hash with beets, red peppers, and potato it should have had flavor to spare but clearly something was missing. It was the one low point for the table.
Our niece Megan ordered their house chicken& waffles, taken up a notch with chicken confite instead of fried chicken, and the combination of a great malty waffle and the chicken was scrumptious.
Her husband Jeff had the bacon cornmeal waffle topped with a boneless fried chicken breast. I'll have to take his word for how amazing it was because he inhaled it, but it looked fabulous. He said the waffle was full of flavor and the chicken cooked perfectly.
If you are looking for a terrific brunch and great character, forget Mother's next weekend and give The Original a try.
Being named runner-up in a newspaper's "readers poll" of new restaurants may not seem very prestigious, but when the paper is Willamette Week and the city is PDX it's really saying something special. Portland has more than it's share of amazing chefs and fabulous dining experiences opening every year. One of those chefs is Vitally Paley, and when he opens a new joint people will always show up. To keep them raving and coming back takes skill that few chefs possess, but Chef Paley has been doing it for years, and his 4th restaurant is truly something special.
When the Heathman shut down their lobby restaurant in 2016 there was a lot of attention, and it went up a few notches when it was announced that Chef Paley and his wife and business partner Kimberly Paley would be opening a seafood restaurant there.
I finally had a chance to visit this week, and it definitely lived up to it's reputation. Featuring a few staples like fresh clams and mussels, an amazing seafood tower, and an amazing 14oz steak would be enough to keep people coming back. Adding amazing catch-of-the-day specials and live crab and lobster along side a "Russian Tea Experience" on Sunday afternoons makes it a must visit. Chef Paley has another winner and the city is better for it.
I had the amazing 14oz ribeye from Brandt Farms, served simply rubbed with roasted garlic before being grilled to a perfect medium rare and accompanied by a wonderfully creamy Sauce Bernaise. The steak was perfectly cooked and not choosing to clutter the plate with a lot of side dishes or garnish shows the understanding of the ingredients that the staff has in the kitchen. It's surprising how few chefs in this city are willing to let a gorgeous steak be a steak without dressing it up too much.
I ordered the braised market greens and sweet corn grits as side dishes, and both were great if not what I expected. The greens had a decidedly asian flavor with the combination of coconut milk and chilies. The sweet corn grits I expected to be ground sweet corn grits, but ended up being whole kernel corn prepared the way grits would be. It was a surprise but perfect in it's flavor profile and simple presentation.
Overall it was a great dining experience, and one I will have again soon. Headwaters is definitely "Fat Boy Approved"
I get a lot of products to review here at Fatboy HQ, but pens are fairly rare. This one is rarer than most in quality and design.
Ian Schon at SCHONDSGN has been making these for a few years, but just launched a version with a pocket clip for the first time and it makes it much more useful than his earlier design for me.
As you can see, packaging is pretty well done, with the pen arriving in a nice folding box secured to a card with your ownership information and a custom fold-flat pocket notebook.
The pen has a great weight and feel, with a Fisher space pen refill providing exceptional writing on any surface and at any angle.
Ian sent me two pens, one anodized black and the other polished aluminum. Both are exceptional pens that would fit anyone's EDC needs.
You can find them online now at the SCHONDSGN website.
Many hours of news coverage and commentary by "experts" was spent this weekend discussing the comments made by President Trump regarding fact that a few athletes decided to take a knee rather than salute the flag during a football game.
While I understand the initial reaction, and personally would never even consider this level of disregard for the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform I'm finding myself forced to admit to some hard truths that make me wonder what the President was thinking.
This kind of protest and more importantly the right to exercise it is exactly what so many of our friends and family members sacrificed so much to defend. Just off the top of my head I can name more than 30 people who I grew up with that went into the service after high school, at least two of whom are still on active duty more than 20 years later. My father, two cousins, two uncles, a great uncle, and now two nephews have made the same sacrifice.
I am forced to consider that sacrifice in acknowledgment of a deeper truth: that the ability to do stupid and disrespectful things like insulting our Nation, it's flag, and even it's Commander in chief is one of the fundamental freedoms that set America apart from the other nations of the world, and exactly what they all gave so much to defend.
My personal opinion, and even that of the President can't change that any more than it can stop the disgust I feel as the descendant of Jewish immigrants when seeing a Nazi flag carried down the street by teenage idiots with no concept or concern for the visceral response it provokes not only in people who share my heritage but from the Veterans who were in Europe during the 2nd World War fighting to make sure that symbol of hatred never flew over any nation again.
While I will continue to salute the flag when appropriate, and certainly have raised my children to do the same, we as citizens need to realize that one of the costs of Freedom; that the people who we disagree with have just as much right to exercise freedom of speech and expression as you, I, and yes even the President. For better or worse that right does not carry with it a requirement to be thoughtful, considerate, or intelligent.
There are some childhood memories that are nearly universal, but definitely cultural. In many parts of America including the south, family dinners at Grandmother's house is one such childhood memory most of us share.
When I sat down at my seat in the backroom of Old Salt Market on NE 42nd in Portland where chef Maya Lovelace hosts and prepares dinner on Monday and Wednesday evenings in her pop-up joint simply called , it was memories of those family dinners around Grandma's table that came to mind. Pitchers of water and sweet tea on the table with Mason jars in place of water glasses and gingham napkins helped complete the setting.Read More
Saturday the first franchise in the Killer Burger chain had their "Friends and Family" night, and my wife and I were on the guest list. Located at 147th and Sunnyside Rd. in Happy Valley this newest location is sure to bring local diners to the Killer Burger bandwagon.
With a Killer new design esthetic and a full bar this is my kind of burger joint!
A fresh faced young crew works the main food counter, but grizzled veterans run the bar and keep the peace. With a great selection of punch drinks and beer on the menu and a full bar for those over 21 it's a burger joint concept for a new generation.
With burgers ranging from the basic "Purist" (with just onions, pickles, lettuce, mayo, and ketchup adorning the 1/3rd pound patty) to the "Barnyard" (which adds bacon, ham, egg, and a second patty along with Smokey house sauce in place of mayo) these burgers are built to appeal to every craving. Every sandwich includes unlimited fries as well.
I went with the above mentioned Barnyard, and overall was impressed. The burger itself was juicy and full of flavor, with plenty of fat to deliver the flavor you would expect from a premium burger. Constructed with a great balance of toppings there wasn't too much lettuce or too little sauce, and the tomatoes were firm and flavorful. I would have preferred a fuller flavored pickle, but no burger is perfect. In my opinion, an egg on a burger should be runny so that the yolk creates a sauce for the burger and this was served over medium and firm, again a matter of preference not a deal breaker.
The fries were crisp and delicious, cooked all the way through in the center without being too starchy.
Overall it was a great dining experience in a great new venue that will spell a great new future for a PDX favorite. Franchisees Wes and Coral Welterman can be proud of their new project. If what I saw tonight it's any indication they have a hit on their hands.
The final installment of our summer journey covering the drive from Roswell, NM to Salem, OR during which time we discover that Chris Ledoux was right, life really is a highway.Read More
We left St. Louis after a great time catching up with the Golden family and headed south to Memphis. Alongthe way we stopped at Stonie's Sausage Shop for some road snacks. They had a great selection of fresh made smoked meats and sausages, great homemade jerky, and a wide selection of local area products from pickles to pork rinds, wine, and sodas. It was a great find. We picked up some cheese, some snack sticks, and some bologna and sausage to thow in the cooler for the drive to Memphis.
After a long drive we made it to Memphis around 8pm and headed straight to Beale St., starting at the West end at the Hard Rock Cafe. If you have never been to Memphis, TN it really is a trip every music lover should take. The sights and sounds even on a Monday night were spectacular, with live music coming from every juke joint on Beale. We walked "with our boots ten feet off of Beale" taking in the sights and sounds until we reached the end of the entertainment district and were waived into Coyote Ugly by their manager T. It was quiet on a Monday night, but we ended up having a ton of fun and closing the place down with Morgan and Evee.
Left Memphis for Shreveport, LA. The long night had us so tired we forgot to set the alarm and were woken up by the guy at the front desk telling us it was checkout time. Fortunately he gave us a late checkout without a hassle. We had a huge breakfast at Cracker Barrel and were on our way.
It was a long drive, but we made it into Shreveport and got checked into our hotel. It was right next to the Louisiana Downs racetrack and casino, so we walked over there to find dinner.
Fuddruckers was the only restaurant in the casino still open, but they have always made an amazing burger so we had a nice meal. We played the slots for a few minutes after dinner then called it an early night.
After an early night we got up and packed after a decent breakfast buffet at the hotel. After a long drive made it to Austin, TX.
No trip to Austin is complete for me without a trip to Stubbs BBQ. Stubbs Legendary BBQ has been doing pit style BBQ right since Mr. Stubblefield opened the original (and now closed) joint in Lubbock in 1968. He was instrumental in breaking musical talent like Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughn back then and ever since live music has been almost as important as the food to Stubbs' customers and fans worldwide.
After a great dinner at Stubbs we headed for 6th Street to find a party. We walked the North side of the block then crossed to come back to Chuggin' Monkey to get a look at the band that we could hear from across the street.
The Blues Posse were tearing it up! Their lead guitar, Jack Edery was pulling blues licks from all over the spectrum and doing them well. Vocals from Mr. Jamie van Beek were tight and accurate. A great show. On to the next spot.
We left the Chuggin' Monkey and wandered into Pete's Dueling Piano Bar. It was packed, with hundreds of people all singing along and shouting requests spanning the decades.
Another music town, another Coyote Ugly! Rosalyn, Morgan, and Ashley were fun but didn't match the energy or fun of the great ladies we met a couple of days ago in Memphis.
We closed Coyote Ugly down again, and headed back to the hotel.
We got up and moving planning on heading for Amarillo, but plans to see a friend fell through so we changed our routing a bit, heading to Roswell, NM instead. It was a long drive, but we made Roswell about 7:30 local time. We had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant recommended by the girl at the front desk called Los Cerritos.
I had a great stuffed sopapilla with all the trimmings. The recommendation if anything undersold the food. I love New Mexican food, with the great use of hatch green chiles and a unique addition of fried dough.
The Fat Boy Summer Road Trip started out with a day of flight from PDX to Kansas City.
After my arrival we went to dinner at a local spot called Nick & Nino's Pub. I Continued celebrating the #OldFashionedFortnight with a strong but decent Old Fashioned made with Makers 46. For an appetizer we had the Fried Trio, a combination of fried pickles, fried zucchini, and fried green beans. Dinner was a 16oz Rib eye, served with mashed potatoes and fresh sauteed veggies. The rib eye was perfectly cooked and seasoned, in addition to being tender enough that I didn't realize I was using my butter knife until the second bite.
The atmosphere at Nick & Nino's was great, with friendly staff and live music from a decent band. Not a bad start to the adventure.
Our second day started on base at Ft. Leavenworth for Maj. Michael Cooper's graduation from the United States Army's Command and General Staff College. It was great to be able to be here and see Coop reach another milestone in his military career.
The keynote address was provided by Gen. Abrams, Commanding General, U.S Army Forces Command. His address focused on the bonds forged by graduates with each other and with graduates from the 93 nations represented in this year's class, the threats they will face in a faster paced global environment than his generation of staff officers had to deal with, and the relationships that would change to the organizations graduates would return to or be joining.
After graduation breakfast was in order, so we headed to downtown Leavenworth to a restaurant that opened just a couple years ago in the old railroad depot, appropriately named The Depot.
My breakfast special included a biscuit with gravy, crispy and perfectly fried hashbrowns, two eggs, and two slices of crispy bacon. The biscuits were flaky and amazing, gravy was peppery beauty. One of the best classically dine breakfast Atos I've had in a long time. Definitely worth a stop if you find yourself in Leavenworth, KS.
That evening we went out to celebrate before leaving town, and spent must of our evening at DraftCade in Kansas City's Zona Rosa mall. Featuring 60 taps of craft brew goodness, classic pinball and arcade games, and a decent bar menu it was a fun place to hang out.
From there we headed out to local dive Arthur's for karaoke and drinks with some old friends to end the night.
Day Three dawned with a delay after finding that the Uhaul had been stolen from the parking lot over night. After a three hour delay to file the police report and track down a replacement trailer we were finally on the road to St. Louis and a home cooked meal with the Golden family. Bob worked for Coop in New York, and I met them on our last trip West three years ago. Since then they have become good friends.
We arrived to advance amazing meal and great time catching up with the whole family. We stayed up until after 3am laughing and talking around the fire out back. It was the perfect end to a day that started out so crazy.
We woke up and had a light breakfast before heading out to see a little bit of the city. We stayed at Anheiser-Busch's Grants Farm. The historic home if general US Grant's in-laws it became the country home of the Busch family in the early 1900's.
We expected to see the Clydesdale horses so famous for pulling the beer wagons. We didn't expect to find camels, elephants, buffalo, and exotic birds.
From Grants Farm we headed downtown to visit the Arch.
We were all hot and tired so headed back to Bob and Rinku's house for dinner. On the way we grabbed pizza from local favorite Imo's. Featuring a cracker thin crust and light sauce it is unique but a nice might take on a take out staple.
We left St. Louis after a great time catching up with the Golden family and headed south to Memphis. Along the way we stopped at Stonie's Sausage.
Snack stix and sweet bologna were my favorite finds, but a great selection of meat and sausage aft decent prices.
I had breakfast with Stephanie and little Koa at a Spokane landmark today, Little Euro. Featuring old fashioned European staples from Hungarian breakfast goulash to potato pancakes and ableschivers
At 517 N Pines in Spokane Valley, Washington little Euro has such a local following that we were waiting more than 30 minutes to be seated at 10:30 on Sunday when most customers would still be in church. I hate to speculate on brunch crowds.
Their Goulash starts with scrambled eggs, hash browns and cheese. To this is added any number of customized combinations. I went traditional with ham, sausage, bacon, pepper, onions and tomatoes. All of the ingredients were cooked perfectly and the combination made for an amazingly filling and flavorful breakfast. Served with a short stack of pancakes for $13.99 it is one of the best breakfasts I've had in a very long time.
If you find yourself in Spokane, do yourself a favor and stop in. You can thank me later.
For dinner tonight we stopped in at Rockstar Burgers in KC'S West Bottoms. A funky place that seems to be constantly expanding, they serve diner food up right with flair to spare. In an old store front in the Stock Yards, with a pole dancing school called WORX upstairs this 24/7 burger joint has attitude to spare both from it's decor and it's employees.
Rockstar burger with egg over easy is the best burger I've had in KC. Great staff, great atmosphere, and quick service made it one of the best meals I've had in town. Hand formed patties, seasoned perfectly and cooked to order on the flattop. Topped with cheddar, BBQ Sauce, Onion Straws, and an egg cooked to order this is a well constructed burger that will keep locals and visitors coming back for more.
Brian and his team have put together a winning combination at Rockstar, from the atmosphere to the neighborhood to the food this place is doing it right. You can find Rockstar Burgers at 1611 Genessee St. in Kansas City.
Carrie and I spent the weekend in Louisville, and the visit reinforced the fact that I love Kentucky like it was where I was born to live. From the small-town feel of the big city you get in Louisville to the rolling bluegrass fields and horse ranches of the countryside it's an amazing place that reminds me of my real home in Portland, Oregon but adds so much charm and history, not to mention actual seasons. And we can't forget the bourbon. From great bourbon bars to the largest and best bourbon distillers in the world both Louisville and Lexington are amazing whiskey towns.
Mar 3, 2017
Day one of our anniversary trip to Louisville was a long drive, where we checked into the historic Seelbach Hotel followed by a great bowl of Burgoo and cocktails at one of the best hotel bars in the country, The Old Seelbach Bar.
Traditional burgoo was made using whatever meats and vegetables were available—typically, venison, squirrel, opossum, raccoon or game birds, and was often associated with autumn and the harvest season. Today, local barbecue restaurants use a specific meat in their recipes, usually pork, chicken, or mutton, which, along with the spices used, creates a flavor unique to each restaurant.
The Seelbach takes things to a new level featuring pork, rabbit, and venison in their burgoo. This combination of meats with the traditional okra, corn, and potatoes whose starches leech out to thicken this amazing soup create a concoction thick enough to stand your spoon up while still leaving an ample amount of broth to be soaked up by their amazing bourbon bread.
March 4, 2017
We started with a quiet morning and breakfast in bed from the amazing Gatsby's on Fourth Cafe in the hotel. We then took a drive through historic Louisville. We tried to get in for a tour of the Angels Envy distillery that opened across from Slugger Stadium since the last time we were in town, but tours were sold out for the day. Instead we took a drive out Old Bardstown Road through the historic neighborhoods East of Downtown known as The Highlands.
We came back early afternoon and walked down the street from the Seelbach to another historic Louisville hotel, The Brown for lunch. Our favorite spot in the hotel, the Lobby Bar wasn't open yet but I got some pictures before heading down to the historic J. Graham's Cafe on the first floor.
J. Graham's Cafe is the originator of the Hot Brown, the city's signature sandwich which was developed in the 1920's to satisfy late night diners looking for more glamorous than ham and eggs after attending the historic dinner dances hosted in the 4,300 sqft Crystal Ballroom which regularly accommodated more than 1,200 guests per night.
We of course both chose the Hot Brown for our lunch, and as always were not disappointed. The amazing mornay sauce is as ever the centerpiece of this amazing open faced sandwich, combining Pecorino Romano cheese with a perfectly made cream sauce with just a hint of nutmeg to draw out the nutty flavors of the cheese. This sauce covers the base of Texas toast and Turkey before being sprinkled with more cheese and thrown under a broiler. The sandwich is then covered with 2 strips of bacon before being garnished and served. There is no better sandwich in my experience, and I've eaten some amazing sandwiches in my travels.
Mar 5, 2017
Country Ham and Pimento cheese on wheat from Wallace Station is an amazingly well constructed sandwich. The salt and sweet from the ham are the perfect foil for the creamy spice of the pimento cheese. Pimento cheese is one of those southern creations we just don't find most places in Oregon unless we make it like Grandma did.
Carrie had the Turkey Rachel, Roast turkey, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese and creamy slaw. A southern take on the Ruben with house made slaw that takes it to a whole new level. She said it was a great sandwich, and her clean plate said she wasn't just being polite.
Mar 2, 2017
Service was great when I seated myself, and my order was promptly taken at Country Cat's new second location in the E concourse at PDX just as you clear TSA hell. Country Cat's great menu of southern flavored comfort food is pared down a bit for. this venue but loses none of it's quality. I was served a wonderful plate of Beef Hash and my cocktail was delivered quickly.
From then on I became invisible. 40 minutes later waitress checked back for the first time to take my dish and ask if if I wanted another drink. After a 20 minute wait in a fairly empty restaurant my second cocktail is yet to arrive. After 35 minutes it finally got there, but that's not acceptable.
The beef hash was amazing, with soft and tender beef mixed with crisped and deliciously crunchy potatoes and served beneath a perfectly poached egg. Hash is rarely done this well, and it would be worth a return trip of service were better.
When Aircom first told me about their new AiRFLOW headphones I was a bit skeptical. In ear headphones have been designed the same basic way for quite a while, if this idea really worked why hasn't anyone tried it before? They were getting ready to launch a funding campaign on IndiGoGo and we're looking for my support. I was intrigued enough to back the project after watching their video and seeing their founder Ryan Tsui's passion for what they were doing.
The concept was radical but pretty easy to understand. Instead of having a small speaker firing directly at your ear drum like every other in ear headphone on the market, they were trying to replicate the "airspace" of closed back over ear headphones by firing that same speaker into an airtube which would then funnel the sound into your ear. I knew the concept of sound being enhanced by an airtube was viable because I had seen the concept used in microphones, but it still seemed a bit radical to me here.
After using them for a few weeks now, and letting friends and family use them I can tell you there is no question anymore. The sound is so much cleaner and feels so full and rich that I actually can't stand to use my Apple Air·Pods after using these. I'm sold on the concept and the final design. Ryan and his team have a winner.
When I saw the Kickstarter campaign I had to do a double take. Lomography was wanting to take their love of old fashioned photography a step further into the realm of instant cameras ala Polaroid with their new Automat camera. They started it a year ago with the Lomo'Instant, but now were taking it into a new level. Unlimited exposures on a single instant picture? Bulb mode with up to 30 second exposures? A lens cap with built in remote shutter control? How far can we push an instant camera?
It turns out we can push it pretty far, and they did. The Lomo'Instant Automat is a wonderful camera and a great piece of engineering. With modular lenses adding wide-angle and fisheye capability along with the ability to add filters this is far from your Mom's old Polaroid.
The added ability to set the exposure length and take multiple exposures while tripod mounted gives you a lot of the creative flexibility of a medium format or SLR in an instant, something I never would have thought of.
The camera uses physical film, so it isn't as flexible a medium to experiment with as digital can be, but there is something to be said for having that tangible record of the shot, and the serendipitous mistake that can create a one of a kind photo.
The Lomo'Instant Automat is available now from the Lomography online store for $179
Around the start of every year I get hit with new planners and organizers promising to be just what the world needs to help them achieve their goals and dreams in the new year. Some of them last, some of them make just enough of a splash to get funded on Kickstarter and ship in time for people to have them by January. Most of them end up being cast aside by March in favor of peoples favorite apps on their phones or old standbys like Franklin Covey or good old Molskine notebooks.Read More
It just happened to be restaurant week in Columbus, Ohio this week while I was there with Carrie and we had the opportunity to sample some great food from some restaurants that we might not have otherwise tried. We also tried some new pizza places and delivery services to get a better idea of the food options in a downtown area that is pretty quiet after dark.
Our first delivery option was pizza, and we decided to give OH Brew & Pizza a try. It was a Friday night and ended up being the first night of OhioCon which just happened to be a couple blocks away from the restaurant we ordered from. This led to a 90 minute delivery time, which was less than thrilling for us but the restaurant was good about keeping us informed.
The pizza itself was pretty good, with a crisp crust and just enough sauce to add good flavor without overwhelming the cheese and toppings. Meat quantity and quality was great, with even coverage and solid flavor. Overall quite good and we will order from them again. We tried a couple of their side items, both loaded tots and fried crustables. Both arrived a little cold and a lot greasy. The fryer temperature was too low and they took too long to arrive for them to be any good to me. We may try them again at the restaurant but won't order them out again.
The next night Carrie had a working dinner so I had dinner with my cousin and his wife at a popular Mexican restaurant near the OSU campus called MadMex. I went with the carnitas burrito and I was pleased but not wowed. After growing up with so much great authentic mexican food Midwest college town versions of Mexican food don't excite me. There was ok flavor but no heat, and the citrus was nowhere to be tasted in a dish that normally would hinge on it being front and center. Portions were huge and quality was decent but uninspiring.
The only other real meal out that we had was our last night in town. Quite a few restaurants had special three course menus at reduced prices to encourage people to try new places for restaurant week, so we gave BareBurger on High Street a try. Located just across from the convention center at the beginning of Columbus' Short North arts district BareBurger has quickly made a name for themselves serving organic and free range menu items while being careful to cater to dietary and allergy restrictions.
Since I cant have onions my first course was the Pickles & Slaw appetizer. Featuring bread and butter, sour, garlic, and hot pickles along with a brussel sprout slaw it is actually a great sampler if you like pickles (which I do). All of their pickles are made in house and are very good. I love a good bread and butter pickle and BareBurgers offering reminded me quite a bit of the pickles my grandmother used to make when I was a kid. The sour and garlic pickles were about average, and the hot pickles could have used more pepper and less garlic but were quite good as well. In all it was a good start to the dinner.
For my second course I had the Wiki Wiki - a wild boar burger with duck bacon, gouda, and grilled pineapple on a brioche bun. The boar was perfectly seasoned, allowing some of the gaminess of the meat to come through without allowing it to overpower the sandwich. Their duck bacon is a treat. Crisp and just the right amount of fatiness it adds just the right amount of flavor to the sandwich and is cut just right by the acid of the pineapple. This is a well designed and balanced sandwich.
In all our dining experiences in Columbus were again pretty average. Next trip I'll try to hit some of the more trendy spots in the Short North and Downtown, but we haven't had a bad meal in our visits yet.
Most of us watched the introduction of the AirPods during the WWDC keynote this September and were surprised to see Apple miss their shipping date in October. They finally started getting retail production going before the end of the year but are still on substantial back order.
The AirPods are small. Very small. Easy to lose small. So easy to lose that Apple actually assumes that you will lose one of the pair and has listed the replacement cost ahead of time ($69 with AppleCare). The whole pod is the size of a roll of dental floss. Don't let size fool you though, there is some great tech inside that little pod.
At the opposite side of the spectrum are the BB Airs. Big hearty headphones optimized for EDM and featuring both on-ear and over-ear earpads to allow for comfort and flexibility. Custom manufactured in Europe for the German based company that has made a name for themselves sponsoring dance parties and FIFA matches. They didn't have the money to startup manufacturing of the new product line so they turned to Kickstarter and Indigogo for support.
There isn't a lot to say about the sound quality of the AirPods. They sound about the same as the EarPods that ship with every iPod and iPhone. That in itself is pretty remarkable in true wireless headphones at this point but from an audio standpoint these aren't going to blow anyone out of the water.
Blomm & Berger's BB Air's are another matter entirely when it comes to sound quality. Even with the smaller pads placing them on your ears instead of over them these things sound very good. When you increase the size of the soundstage by completely surrounding your ears with the larger ear pads you get one of the best wireless sound experiences we've encountered so far.
As we all have heard, the Air⋅Pods have the same size and fit as the standard earpods, which quite a few people find uncomfortable. I don't mind them usually for short to medium listening, but they aren't comfortable past the two hour mark for me. This is fine, because battery life is only rated at three hours at 50% volume, so getting past two hours without needing to take them out to charge will be rare for most of us.
In contrast, I found the BB Air with the over-ear pads to be comfortable throughout a five hour flight from Portland to Houston without any problems at all. Usually even if they are not putting pressure on my ears (a rarity even for headphones designed to be over the ear given the size of my auditory appendages) my ears are feeling hot and uncomfortable by the three hour mark but somehow this didn't happen.
Overall I think both of these headphone devices are going to make buyers very happy. Apple already is having a hard time keeping Air⋅Pods in stock and I don't see that changing until another true wireless competitors products catch up with marketing. We'll have to wait and see if Blomm & Berger get enough marketing behind their own line to gain any major market share with what is a great product almost no one has heard of yet.