This past weekend, the North Market held its 3rd annual Coffee Roast Brunch event which was met with enthusiasm by coffee fanatics from all across the city. With over a dozen local roasters present, distributing samples of their products to the masses and talking coffee with attendees, it was an incredibly enjoyable gala from start to finish. In addition to the samples, the Roast included a home-brewing competition, and two unique discussions/demonstrations, presented by local roasters.
In previous years, the event was held indoors, on the second floor of the North Market, overlooking the vendors. This year, due to increased popularity and an even larger crowd expected than in the past, it was moved outside to the farmer’s market patio/plaza area of the Market’s grounds, just off of the parking lot. I thought this was a wise decision that seemed to work well, especially with the magnificent weather we had. We arrived just before the 10:00AM start time, and just before the crowds started filing in. This gave us just a few minutes head start to get situated with the set-up and discuss a battle plan.
Armed with North Market branded mugs that were provided to attendees, Mrs. Grub Guy, our group of friends and I decided to simply start at one end, and work our way down the row…tasting and chatting as we went.
Roaming Goat Coffee Company out of Worthington, attempted to not only provide delicious coffee samples, but to educate consumers as well with a full rundown for each coffee sample offered, including roast level, profile, and other flavor and roasting notes.
We decided to head inside at that point to find some morning grub. Many of the Market’s venders were offering a special $5 Brunch Bites menu as part of the Coffee Roast event. We browsed the Market for a while, before deciding upon sampling several dishes from Kitchen Little.
Kitchen Little is part of the North Market Poultry and Game operation, and is located at the north end of the market. Their $5 Brunch Bites menu consisted of many of their regular menu items, in smaller sizes. The Bacon, Egg & Cheese Slider w/ lettuce & tomato was a tidy little sandwich with fresh ingredients and big flavors. The only bad thing my friend, Steve, could say about this sandwich was that it was gone too quickly.
A couple of us ordered the Chicken Sausage Gravy w/ Buttermilk Biscuit. I really enjoyed it and thought the flavors were tremendous. The gravy was a little thinner than what I was expecting, but was rich and full of chunky chicken. The biscuit was soft and fresh, and included some seasoning in the batter. I could eat more of these!!
We also tried the Loaded Cave Chips with Brisket from Holy Smokes BBQ. The base of potato chips were seasoned with a smoky, barbeque seasoning, and loaded with tender chunks of brisket (pork and chicken were also options), house-made cheese sauce, jalapenos, tomatoes, chipotle sour cream, and house-made bacon crumbles. As you can imagine, these were unbelievable!!
We attended the “Home Brewing” discussion in the NoMa Kitchen, one of two demonstrations that day. Jamal Beldsoe and Erik Fenstermacher of Boston Stoker presented this 45 minute class on the at-home brewing techniques of brewing with French Press, pour-over, and Chemex systems. It was very educational and informative.
We headed back downstairs to the market, and indulged in some fresh pastries at Omega Artisan Bakery. We tried (clockwise, top to bottom) a Cinnamon Twist Croissant, a Galette (flaky crust with almond filling and fruit), a giant Cinnamon Roll, and an individual Lemon Cake. So good!!
Thunderkiss Coffee Roasters is one of the brightest up-and-comers to the Columbus coffee scene. Their coffee can be found at several restaurants and café’s in town. It was great to see them set up this year.
In addition to the many coffee vendors, Snowville Cremery was in attendance, providing cream for the coffee sampling. They also offered yogurt and milk samples. I love me some Snowville chocolate milk!!
If success were measured by hundreds of happy, coffee-craving consumers walking around with smiles on their faces and half-full mugs of caffeinated liquid gold in their fists, then I think this year’s North Market Coffee Roast Brunch was a winner. It doesn’t get much better than spending a full morning sampling delicious coffee from Columbus’ best roasters, brunching on some of the Market’s best grub, and just hanging out with good friends.
I’m already making plans for next year’s Coffee Roast!