Yum!

Yummies in Ashland

Ashland

It’s a good thing that there are so many outdoor activities in Ashland because the eating activities could easily take over.  It’s probably a good idea to walk to and from restaurants to at least burn off a few of the calories consumed…Yes, it would be fair to say that exploring Ashland’s eating options is, in fact, one of our favorite pass times.

Borscht from Pangea Grills and Wraps. Iím Russian so you can trust me when I say their Borscht rocks. Warm in winter, cold in summer. Yum.

There are a few things that make eating in Ashland so fantastic.  One, is that the service is always, without exception, friendly and warm.  It’s like everyone is happy to be there and focused on ensuring that everyone, including our kids, has a great dining experience.   I don’t know how you feel, but, for me, the service is half the experience.  Even if the service is simply about handing me a coffee cup over the counter, the attitude of the person serving is important to me. 

Same thing goes with answering our 15 questions about every menu item, bringing extra napkins after spills, and the friendliness with which the food is served.  It all makes eating out fun and memorable and Ashland seems to have an unwritten code that the restaurants abide by – “Be friendly and genuine and love your guests.”  Yup, we feel the love…

Side note: We haven’t done a lot of the fine dining in Ashland yet, but mostly because the casual dining is so good we can’t pull ourselves away.  And also partly because our 6 year old is not much of a “sitter” in these lovely white table cloth establishments.  So you’ll see a lot more about our fave casual spots that you will about the beautiful upscale ones.



But I digress…back to the other reasons we love to eat in Ashland…

Smores
Home-made símores, & the reason
we donít do fine dining.

 

Two, the food is fresh, fresh, fresh…and usually local.  I actually never bought into the whole “local organic” thing before coming to Ashland.  Yes, I know… But Ashland has converted me.  The food is real organic – not the “big farm flown in from Chile” organic, but the “I grew this in my personal garden” organic.  Or, “that was my pet cow, yes, he’s delicious” organic.  Really, the produce and meat are amazing.  And if you’re a vegetarian, just pretend I never said that thing about the cow and focus on the local produce.

 

Three, we could eat out every meal for weeks and still not try every restaurant, but sometimes it’s nice just to stay in and cook.  And cooking is never better than when we’ve just returned from a farmer’s market with bags of local produce, or from the co-op with huge steaks, fresh organic (see above) ribs, or ridiculously fresh fish.  I have to admit, we always have a bit of sticker shock because we’re not used to paying for organic food.  But once we start chopping, cooking and, most importantly, eating, any concerns we had about paying more are gone.  It’s worth it.  Every penny.  Food should taste this good.

 

Four, the bread.  It’s worth the carbs.  Yes, I’ve said it (and for those of you who know me…you know I really don’t like carbs…).  The bread is amazing.  There’s a bakery on Main St. that sells these HUGE loaves of HOT bread.  If we get there really early the selection is really nice of all the various types of breads.  But it doesn’t matter.  Whatever we get, we love.  And we show our love by ripping chunks of the bread right out of the bag before we get it home.  And then we continue to show our love by cutting huge thick slices, topping them with piles of butter, and then proceeding to finish of the entire loaf.  “Buttered bread for dinner!” is a common request in our house in Ashland.

Martinis

Five…the drinks are good.  We haven’t yet mastered the local wines, but I can tell you the bartenders know how to mix the real drinks. It takes just one to really bring a little extra fun to the meal.   I’d tell you which ones are our favorites but don’t think I can remember.  Yet another great reason to walk to and from the restaurants!

Great drinks from "Martinis" right off "the bricks" by the OSF gift shop!