FOOD/DRINK

New Rose Hill Farm Stop: A Farmer-Owned Co-op

There have been talks of a farmer- owned agricultural cooperative in Bloomington for more than a decade, and with the opening of the Rose Hill Farm Stop storefront at 912 W. Kirkwood in August, the community finally has one.

Bloomington & Vine: The Grab-and-Go Wine Store

We are awash with wine. The U.S. produces 9.4% and imports 17.6% of the world total. And we drink a lot of it—more per year than any other nation at 966 million gallons. That’s about 14 (750 milliliter) bottles a year for everyone in the country.

Recipes from Gourmet Chefs At the Stone Age Institute

Kathy Schick and her husband, Nick Toth, founders and co-directors of the Stone Age Institute, have traveled the globe and sampled food in more than 40 countries, developing a “great appreciation for international cuisine,” Schick says.

Crumble: A Tasty Success Story

Laura Edgar wasn’t planning on making a career out of coffee and pastries when she opened Crumble Coffee & Bakery in 2013.

Capisce: A New Italian Market

Quail eggs, dry-aged steaks, microgreens, hickory-smoked wild boar bratwurst—these are some of the delicacies carried at Capisce Catering & Market, an Italian delicatessen that opened in March at 217 W. 6th St.

The Elm: New Upscale Eatery Scheduled to Open in Summer

Most of the American Elm trees in the Elm Heights neighborhood are lost to disease, but one remains at the corner of East 2nd and South Fess streets, where its branches shade the patio of a new restaurant bearing its name.

World Foods Market: New Name, New Owners, New Wines

Local grocery store Sahara Mart experienced several changes in 2020— including name and ownership—but new owner Sara Noori says international offerings will remain the focus at the store, now known as World Foods Market.

For Foodies: 9 New Places to Indulge!

The throes of a pandemic might seem an inauspicious time to open a new restaurant or food store, but Bloomington has seen a healthy number of new such venues launch in the face of considerable obstacles.

Award-Winning Chili Recipe + Tips for Making Good Soup

For soup-lovers searching for a good chili recipe as winter approaches, Bloom reached out to Neville Vaughan, a battalion chief with the City of Bloomington Fire Department, who created the award-winning chili recipe at the 2019 Freezefest Chilly Cook-Off.

PopKorn! New Store South of the Square

Now located at 122 S. College, PopKorn! Kernels with a Twist offers over 30 sweet and savory popcorn varieties flavored with real foods like cheeses, peppers, nuts, and banana chips.

Bloomington & Vine: Keep It Fine, Cellar Your Wine

Where do you keep that special bottle of wine, the one gifted on your birthday or brought back from a European vacation? It’s probably forgotten on top of the refrigerator or under the stairs. One day you’ll remember that bottle and wonder if it’s still good.

Soups & Starters to Swoon Over

When I eat out or order in—and that’s frequently—I’ve often thought the best dishes are not the entrées or even the desserts, but what comes first: the appetizers. Here are a few that I crave.

One World Catering: The Focus Is on Fresh

Chef Corbin Morwick was honing his culinary craft in Boston when One World Catering owners Jeff Mease and Lennie Busch hired him as their first and only executive chef 11 years ago.

Bloomington & Vine: Visit Wineries Far & Near

Old friends in San Luis Obispo, California, are avid fans of the wines made in their county, so when we visit they enjoy introducing us to new wineries. And wineries there are—more than 300 in this part of the California Central Coast.

Tapped Into Bloomington: Explore Beers that Are Bourbon Barrel-Aged

One of the trends taking a firm foothold in craft brewing is aging beer in bourbon barrels, which add richness and complexity. Some of these beers can be pricey. That’s because of the need to procure bourbon barrels in an increasingly competitive market, then store the beer for months of aging without any guarantee of a successful end product.

Fat Dan’s: A Chicago-Style Deli Not for Dainty Eaters

The first thing I did when the food arrived at our table at Fat Dan’s Chicago-Style Deli, 221 E. Kirkwood, was roll up my sleeves to my elbows. With three locations in Indianapolis, the restaurant now brings its version of Windy City flavor to Bloomington.

Tapped Into Bloomington: Choose White Ales for Winter

With the arrival of winter, many people turn to dark, heavy beers—almost chewy in their rich, caramelly sweetness. I prefer to head in the other direction and look at this as the perfect time of year for something festive and bright to balance dark winter nights. Nothing does that better than a refreshing, lightly spiced white ale.

The New Lennie’s: Better Than Ever

When Lennie’s opened in Crosstown Plaza in 1989, the goal of its owners, Jeff Mease and Lennie Busch, was to create a near-campus spot that would be home to students, faculty, and staff.

Candy Kitchen: Home of Handmade Candy Canes

Although they keep candy canes in stock year round, the last week of October initiates what the Badger family, owners of the Martinsville Candy Kitchen, lovingly call “cane season.”

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Holiday Entrees

The holidays are upon us, and with it, the season of food. Whether you’re looking for the perfect dish for a family potluck or something warm and cozy to try at home, these holiday recipes for entrees are sure to hit the spot.

Tapped Into Bloomington: Autumn Means It’s Cider Season

While beer seems to get the most recognition on the craft beverage scene, hard apple ciders are riding a craft wave, too, finding their niche between beer and wine. Though hard cider has only recently begun making a comeback in the U.S. after a long post-Prohibition absence, its popularity never waned in the U.K.

There’s More than Port To Be Found in Portugal

From the sheer quantity of port ads, port shops, and port tasting rooms that surround you upon arrival in Lisbon, you might think port is Portugal’s only product. There are even little tasting bottles in the hotel rooms. The Portuguese are obviously very proud of their port and tourists are lapping it up.

Local Farm Stand Offers Food on Honor System

Area farmers’ markets offer consumers the opportunity to buy local foods on a weekly or twice-weekly basis, but those who want to stock up any day of the week and support local farmers have an alternative in the Bethel Lane Farm Stop.

Summer Means Rosé

In the cold of winter we go to our favorite heavy-bodied red and white wines; but come summer nothing beats the heat better than a refreshingly cool glass of rosé.

Reward Yourself With a Lawnmower Beer

One of my favorite summer memories is my childhood task of bringing my dad a beer after he finished mowing our big backyard—a half-acre kickball/soccer/wiffleball field that certainly earned him a cold one. So as summer rolls into Bloomington, I find myself turning to “lawnmower beers”—brews that are light enough to quench my thirst but flavorful enough to seem like a reward after gardening or mowing.

Arepas Venezuelan Gastropub: A New Take on Hispanic Cuisine

Having introduced Bloomington to arepas, traditional Venezuelan corn patties (imagine a tamale crossed with a tortilla) via Juancho’s Munchies food truck, owners Juan Palacios and Darlene Gonzalez are now bringing Venezuelan cuisine and culture to downtown Bloomington with a brick-and-mortar space that opened in April.

Afraid of Grappa? Don’t Be

Grappa is a misunderstood drink in this country and deserves more positive attention than it gets. I ask friends to try it, but after one sniff (the braver ones take a taste) they wrinkle their noses and push it away, the scaredy cats.

Silly Wines & Sexist Labels

In the October 30 edition of The Wall Street Journal, wine columnist Lettie Teague asks “Do Women Really Want Wine That’s Sweet, Pink and Silly?” expressing her outrage at wines that pander to women with their sexist labels.

Brut IPA Craze: Some Like It Dry

Last spring, I wrote about an emerging craze in craft brewing—a hazy, “juicy” IPA that brought a rich mouthfeel and sweet edge to this hop-heavy style. In the spirit of the ever-changing beer scene, this spring I invite you to try the newest IPA craze, which happens to be the exact opposite of last year’s Big New Thing.

Fresh, Local Food Available at Winter Farmers’ Market

While backyard gardens have largely shut down for the winter, fresh, local produce is within reach. Thirty-six vendors offer goods at the Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market, and everything is sourced within 100 miles of Bloomington, according to Jen Laherty, this season’s market master.

Feta Kitchen + Café: Bring the Kids and Eat Healthy

My husband and I have regularly eaten out since the birth of our daughter, Maddie, now 3, but it can feel like choosing between a menu we will enjoy and a venue that will keep her interested. I can tell you the number of times we’ve left a restaurant and heard her shout, “Wow, that was a fun one!”

BLU Boy Has Special Sweets For Weekend Date Nights

BLU Boy Chocolate Café and Cakery has been serving hand-crafted chocolates, pastries, ice cream, and hot drinks in the little shop next to the Buskirk-Chumley Theater since 2008, and while owner David Fletcher is a practicing physician, he’s spent time over the last 10 years perfecting the art and craft of pastries and chocolate.

The Schmutz in Your Glass

If you’ve ever finished a bottle of wine, you’ve probably had the experience of pouring the last of it out and finding some unappetizing schmutz in the bottom of your wineglass. So what is it, and how did it get there?

Two Sticks Bakery: Owners Are Living the Dream

While working together at Feast Bakery Cafe and Feast Market & Cellar, Kassie Jensen and Amanda Armstrong began to think they just might have the knowledge and skills to start their own place.

Munich Dunkel: Don’t Fear the Dark

Each autumn, everyone who loves beer seems to turn German, celebrating Oktoberfest and drinking its namesake beer. While that style is certainly laudable, another notable beer style that hails from those same Bavarian breweries is often overlooked—the Munich dunkel.

What’s for Dinner? Alpaca, Kangaroo, Camel!

At The Butcher’s Block you can get the standard tailgate and backyard barbecue favorites—steaks and ribs, brats and chicken. But behind the counter, a chalkboard also lists some 20 lesser-known exotic meats, everything from alligator and antelope to elk and kangaroo.

Friendly Beasts Cider Co. — B-town Home of Hard Ciders

As owners of Friendly Beasts Cider Company, Fatima Carson and her husband, Ben Romlein, enjoy creating hard ciders that they say challenge people’s expectation of what ciders can be, tailoring them to the changing seasons and to a wide variety of tastes.

Review: Hive—Healthy Comfort Food and Pie

Start with the pie. Really. It’s all good at Hive but if you don’t save room for the Hive Pie (aka, buttermilk pie) you will have a hard time forgiving yourself. Or, full, you will eat it anyway and pay for it later.

‘The Essential Plant-Based Pantry’

Maggie Green, a Louisville-based chef and dietitian who has written several cookbooks of her own, has had the distinction of editing that trusted American classic The Joy of Cooking. But when she cooks at home, she wings it. The secret, she says, is her well-stocked pantry.

The Lowdown On Organic Wines

As a member of an older generation that grew up with conventional farming techniques and chemical usage, I am skeptical of wines that beckon me with their low sulfite, organic, or sustainable origins.

Autumn is the Time For Irish Red Ales

As Indiana University students return to campus, Bloomington is once again taking on shades of cream and crimson. While I’m an ardent IU supporter, in the fall my favorite place to see those hues are in my beer glass, as my tastes turn toward malty red ales.

These Watering Holes Are for Grownups

Bloomington may be a college town, but the city’s more mature culture is exemplified by the proliferation of adult-oriented drinking establishments.

BloomingVeg: Advocacy Group for Vegans 
and Vegetarians (Newcomers Welcome)

If you’re among those who imagine that vegans lead tofu-based lives of quiet desperation, one way to dispel those illusions is to attend a potluck held by BloomingVeg. This 5-year-old nonprofit advocacy group for vegetarians, vegans, and veggie-lovers encourages compassion for animals through the consumption of a (delicious) plant-based diet.

Quilter’s Comfort: Unusual Teas Made Locally

In the spring, local artist and business owner Patricia Coleman likes to sit down with a cup of her Sagewell tea blend, a combination of Gingko biloba, yerba maté, red clover, elderberry, and (of course) sage. “We all want to enter this awakening time ready to embrace new beginnings,” Coleman, says.

Sober Joe Coffee: To Help Recovering Addicts

For 25 years, Frank Kerker was a start-up specialist in the beverage industry. With a marketing degree from Indiana University, he helped launch Snapple, SoBe, Muscle Milk, and Fuze. Now Kerker has rolled out his own beverage—Sober Joe Coffee.

Alchemy the Bar: Where Cocktails Are King

At Alchemy, graduated cylinders and Erlenmeyer flasks get as much use as traditional shakers, strainers, jiggers, and spoons. “I’m always reading about the science of alcohol and the science of beers,” says owner Logan Hunter, a long-time bartender and self-described science geek. “I like figuring out how and why things are going to pair well, based on their chemical constructs.”

Osteria Rago Aims to Offer Authentic Italian Cuisine

Regular visits with his extended Italian family in Alessandria del Carretto—a small town “in the step of the boot” of the Calabria region—inspired Gregg Rago to bring authentic Italian cuisine to Bloomington. In January, Rago, who co-owns Nick’s English Hut with his wife, Susan Bright, opened Osteria Rago in the converted carriage house that formerly housed the Bloomingfoods Kirkwood location.

The Haze Craze: New England IPAs

The craft beer scene can be trendy. It’s an industry driven by innovation and boundary-smashing. The newest beer craze—the New England IPA—uses plenty of both hype and hops to offer beer lovers a fun new bandwagon to ride.

Review: Cardinal Spirits Distillery–A Chef Who Gets It Just Right

It has become customary for restaurants that pride themselves on their cuisine to leave the salt and pepper off the table on the conceit that the chef has seasoned the food exactly right and the likes of us customers shouldn’t be tampering with the final product. More often than not, that conceit is misguided and one has to go through the lengthy process of acquiring a salt shaker while the food grows cold. 

All About Sherry

At some point in our lives, usually as teenagers, we probably all sneaked a taste of sherry from the cheap bottle used for kitchen recipes. One awful taste was enough to put us off of it for good. But, wait, let’s try again.

New Goods and New Programs at the Winter Farmers’ Market

Visitors to the Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market might be surprised by the variety of produce and other goods for sale by local vendors, especially in the dead of winter. But the market has been around since 2004, and Market Master Bobbi Boos says that long experience has paid off.  

Bodybuilder, Personal Trainer & Artists’ Model

Personal trainer Brian Bourkland is a serious bodybuilder. His clients generally aren’t, but that’s fine with him. “I’m mostly interested in working with people in my generation—40s, 50s, 60s,” Bourkland says. “Everyone should be building strength and bone density to feel better long into their retirement years.”

Help Stave Off Winter’s Chill

As winter settles in, many of us look to heartier foods to keep us warm and satisfied. While filling your plate, consider trying beers to match—darker ales with a richer body and a bit more warmth from a higher alcohol content and accompanying spices. It may be just what you need to get you through a cold winter night.

Warm Up with Port

After dinner with friends, we usually enjoy a small glass of grappa or brandy. But with winter approaching and the holidays in sight, we turn to port for its Old World warmth and cheer. My wife, Jan, enjoys bringing out her precious antique crystal glasses for the occasion.

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Polenta

Check out this yummy polenta recipe by Chef David Davenport. You can top it with whatever you like, but he suggests the mushroom curry sauce listed below. This recipe is vegan!

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Semolina Cake

Planning a party dish for a holiday gathering? David Davenport’s Egyptian Semolina Cake is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory, and a whole lot of delicious!

Recipes for Fall from ‘Earth Eats’ Book

For more than eight years, WFIU-FM has provided locally sourced food ideas via its weekly Earth Eats radio show. A cookbook written by the program’s former host, Annie Corrigan, along with program contributor Chef Daniel Orr, allows foodies to keep Earth Eats at their fingertips.

IMU Gingerbread House Workshop: Create a Candy Holiday Masterpiece

Turning the Tudor Room into something resembling Santa’s Workshop requires a lot of hard work and a little ingenuity. To do so, Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) Executive Pastry Chef Ashley Massie says her staff made more than 1,000 pounds of gingerbread and 100 pounds of icing for the IMU Gingerbread House Workshop last year.

New Bloomingfoods 2U 
Offers Pickup and Delivery

It might be getting more difficult to make your mark in the local grocery arena, but Bloomingfoods General Manager Tony Alongi says it isn’t impossible. That’s why the local co-op has introduced Bloomingfoods 2U, the city’s only grocery delivery service. 

Coffee-Infused Beers Offer Two Great Tastes in One Glass

On a recent trip to the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market, my wife, Carmen, and I had to weave around a long line of people waiting to get freshly brewed coffee. Noting the line, I commented that I don’t understand people’s obsession with coffee. She just stared at me and replied, “Really? Have you ever listened to yourself talk about beer?”

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FOOD/DRINK

New Rose Hill Farm Stop: A Farmer-Owned Co-op

There have been talks of a farmer- owned agricultural cooperative in Bloomington for more than a decade, and with the opening of the Rose Hill Farm Stop storefront at 912 W. Kirkwood in August, the community finally has one.

Bloomington & Vine: The Grab-and-Go Wine Store

We are awash with wine. The U.S. produces 9.4% and imports 17.6% of the world total. And we drink a lot of it—more per year than any other nation at 966 million gallons. That’s about 14 (750 milliliter) bottles a year for everyone in the country.

Recipes from Gourmet Chefs At the Stone Age Institute

Kathy Schick and her husband, Nick Toth, founders and co-directors of the Stone Age Institute, have traveled the globe and sampled food in more than 40 countries, developing a “great appreciation for international cuisine,” Schick says.

Crumble: A Tasty Success Story

Laura Edgar wasn’t planning on making a career out of coffee and pastries when she opened Crumble Coffee & Bakery in 2013.

Capisce: A New Italian Market

Quail eggs, dry-aged steaks, microgreens, hickory-smoked wild boar bratwurst—these are some of the delicacies carried at Capisce Catering & Market, an Italian delicatessen that opened in March at 217 W. 6th St.

The Elm: New Upscale Eatery Scheduled to Open in Summer

Most of the American Elm trees in the Elm Heights neighborhood are lost to disease, but one remains at the corner of East 2nd and South Fess streets, where its branches shade the patio of a new restaurant bearing its name.

World Foods Market: New Name, New Owners, New Wines

Local grocery store Sahara Mart experienced several changes in 2020— including name and ownership—but new owner Sara Noori says international offerings will remain the focus at the store, now known as World Foods Market.

For Foodies: 9 New Places to Indulge!

The throes of a pandemic might seem an inauspicious time to open a new restaurant or food store, but Bloomington has seen a healthy number of new such venues launch in the face of considerable obstacles.

Award-Winning Chili Recipe + Tips for Making Good Soup

For soup-lovers searching for a good chili recipe as winter approaches, Bloom reached out to Neville Vaughan, a battalion chief with the City of Bloomington Fire Department, who created the award-winning chili recipe at the 2019 Freezefest Chilly Cook-Off.

PopKorn! New Store South of the Square

Now located at 122 S. College, PopKorn! Kernels with a Twist offers over 30 sweet and savory popcorn varieties flavored with real foods like cheeses, peppers, nuts, and banana chips.

Bloomington & Vine: Keep It Fine, Cellar Your Wine

Where do you keep that special bottle of wine, the one gifted on your birthday or brought back from a European vacation? It’s probably forgotten on top of the refrigerator or under the stairs. One day you’ll remember that bottle and wonder if it’s still good.

Soups & Starters to Swoon Over

When I eat out or order in—and that’s frequently—I’ve often thought the best dishes are not the entrées or even the desserts, but what comes first: the appetizers. Here are a few that I crave.

One World Catering: The Focus Is on Fresh

Chef Corbin Morwick was honing his culinary craft in Boston when One World Catering owners Jeff Mease and Lennie Busch hired him as their first and only executive chef 11 years ago.

Bloomington & Vine: Visit Wineries Far & Near

Old friends in San Luis Obispo, California, are avid fans of the wines made in their county, so when we visit they enjoy introducing us to new wineries. And wineries there are—more than 300 in this part of the California Central Coast.

Tapped Into Bloomington: Explore Beers that Are Bourbon Barrel-Aged

One of the trends taking a firm foothold in craft brewing is aging beer in bourbon barrels, which add richness and complexity. Some of these beers can be pricey. That’s because of the need to procure bourbon barrels in an increasingly competitive market, then store the beer for months of aging without any guarantee of a successful end product.

Fat Dan’s: A Chicago-Style Deli Not for Dainty Eaters

The first thing I did when the food arrived at our table at Fat Dan’s Chicago-Style Deli, 221 E. Kirkwood, was roll up my sleeves to my elbows. With three locations in Indianapolis, the restaurant now brings its version of Windy City flavor to Bloomington.

Tapped Into Bloomington: Choose White Ales for Winter

With the arrival of winter, many people turn to dark, heavy beers—almost chewy in their rich, caramelly sweetness. I prefer to head in the other direction and look at this as the perfect time of year for something festive and bright to balance dark winter nights. Nothing does that better than a refreshing, lightly spiced white ale.

The New Lennie’s: Better Than Ever

When Lennie’s opened in Crosstown Plaza in 1989, the goal of its owners, Jeff Mease and Lennie Busch, was to create a near-campus spot that would be home to students, faculty, and staff.

Candy Kitchen: Home of Handmade Candy Canes

Although they keep candy canes in stock year round, the last week of October initiates what the Badger family, owners of the Martinsville Candy Kitchen, lovingly call “cane season.”

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Holiday Entrees

The holidays are upon us, and with it, the season of food. Whether you’re looking for the perfect dish for a family potluck or something warm and cozy to try at home, these holiday recipes for entrees are sure to hit the spot.

Tapped Into Bloomington: Autumn Means It’s Cider Season

While beer seems to get the most recognition on the craft beverage scene, hard apple ciders are riding a craft wave, too, finding their niche between beer and wine. Though hard cider has only recently begun making a comeback in the U.S. after a long post-Prohibition absence, its popularity never waned in the U.K.

There’s More than Port To Be Found in Portugal

From the sheer quantity of port ads, port shops, and port tasting rooms that surround you upon arrival in Lisbon, you might think port is Portugal’s only product. There are even little tasting bottles in the hotel rooms. The Portuguese are obviously very proud of their port and tourists are lapping it up.

Local Farm Stand Offers Food on Honor System

Area farmers’ markets offer consumers the opportunity to buy local foods on a weekly or twice-weekly basis, but those who want to stock up any day of the week and support local farmers have an alternative in the Bethel Lane Farm Stop.

Summer Means Rosé

In the cold of winter we go to our favorite heavy-bodied red and white wines; but come summer nothing beats the heat better than a refreshingly cool glass of rosé.

Reward Yourself With a Lawnmower Beer

One of my favorite summer memories is my childhood task of bringing my dad a beer after he finished mowing our big backyard—a half-acre kickball/soccer/wiffleball field that certainly earned him a cold one. So as summer rolls into Bloomington, I find myself turning to “lawnmower beers”—brews that are light enough to quench my thirst but flavorful enough to seem like a reward after gardening or mowing.

Arepas Venezuelan Gastropub: A New Take on Hispanic Cuisine

Having introduced Bloomington to arepas, traditional Venezuelan corn patties (imagine a tamale crossed with a tortilla) via Juancho’s Munchies food truck, owners Juan Palacios and Darlene Gonzalez are now bringing Venezuelan cuisine and culture to downtown Bloomington with a brick-and-mortar space that opened in April.

Afraid of Grappa? Don’t Be

Grappa is a misunderstood drink in this country and deserves more positive attention than it gets. I ask friends to try it, but after one sniff (the braver ones take a taste) they wrinkle their noses and push it away, the scaredy cats.

Silly Wines & Sexist Labels

In the October 30 edition of The Wall Street Journal, wine columnist Lettie Teague asks “Do Women Really Want Wine That’s Sweet, Pink and Silly?” expressing her outrage at wines that pander to women with their sexist labels.

Brut IPA Craze: Some Like It Dry

Last spring, I wrote about an emerging craze in craft brewing—a hazy, “juicy” IPA that brought a rich mouthfeel and sweet edge to this hop-heavy style. In the spirit of the ever-changing beer scene, this spring I invite you to try the newest IPA craze, which happens to be the exact opposite of last year’s Big New Thing.

Fresh, Local Food Available at Winter Farmers’ Market

While backyard gardens have largely shut down for the winter, fresh, local produce is within reach. Thirty-six vendors offer goods at the Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market, and everything is sourced within 100 miles of Bloomington, according to Jen Laherty, this season’s market master.

Feta Kitchen + Café: Bring the Kids and Eat Healthy

My husband and I have regularly eaten out since the birth of our daughter, Maddie, now 3, but it can feel like choosing between a menu we will enjoy and a venue that will keep her interested. I can tell you the number of times we’ve left a restaurant and heard her shout, “Wow, that was a fun one!”

BLU Boy Has Special Sweets For Weekend Date Nights

BLU Boy Chocolate Café and Cakery has been serving hand-crafted chocolates, pastries, ice cream, and hot drinks in the little shop next to the Buskirk-Chumley Theater since 2008, and while owner David Fletcher is a practicing physician, he’s spent time over the last 10 years perfecting the art and craft of pastries and chocolate.

The Schmutz in Your Glass

If you’ve ever finished a bottle of wine, you’ve probably had the experience of pouring the last of it out and finding some unappetizing schmutz in the bottom of your wineglass. So what is it, and how did it get there?

Two Sticks Bakery: Owners Are Living the Dream

While working together at Feast Bakery Cafe and Feast Market & Cellar, Kassie Jensen and Amanda Armstrong began to think they just might have the knowledge and skills to start their own place.

Munich Dunkel: Don’t Fear the Dark

Each autumn, everyone who loves beer seems to turn German, celebrating Oktoberfest and drinking its namesake beer. While that style is certainly laudable, another notable beer style that hails from those same Bavarian breweries is often overlooked—the Munich dunkel.

What’s for Dinner? Alpaca, Kangaroo, Camel!

At The Butcher’s Block you can get the standard tailgate and backyard barbecue favorites—steaks and ribs, brats and chicken. But behind the counter, a chalkboard also lists some 20 lesser-known exotic meats, everything from alligator and antelope to elk and kangaroo.

Friendly Beasts Cider Co. — B-town Home of Hard Ciders

As owners of Friendly Beasts Cider Company, Fatima Carson and her husband, Ben Romlein, enjoy creating hard ciders that they say challenge people’s expectation of what ciders can be, tailoring them to the changing seasons and to a wide variety of tastes.

Review: Hive—Healthy Comfort Food and Pie

Start with the pie. Really. It’s all good at Hive but if you don’t save room for the Hive Pie (aka, buttermilk pie) you will have a hard time forgiving yourself. Or, full, you will eat it anyway and pay for it later.

‘The Essential Plant-Based Pantry’

Maggie Green, a Louisville-based chef and dietitian who has written several cookbooks of her own, has had the distinction of editing that trusted American classic The Joy of Cooking. But when she cooks at home, she wings it. The secret, she says, is her well-stocked pantry.

The Lowdown On Organic Wines

As a member of an older generation that grew up with conventional farming techniques and chemical usage, I am skeptical of wines that beckon me with their low sulfite, organic, or sustainable origins.

Autumn is the Time For Irish Red Ales

As Indiana University students return to campus, Bloomington is once again taking on shades of cream and crimson. While I’m an ardent IU supporter, in the fall my favorite place to see those hues are in my beer glass, as my tastes turn toward malty red ales.

These Watering Holes Are for Grownups

Bloomington may be a college town, but the city’s more mature culture is exemplified by the proliferation of adult-oriented drinking establishments.

BloomingVeg: Advocacy Group for Vegans 
and Vegetarians (Newcomers Welcome)

If you’re among those who imagine that vegans lead tofu-based lives of quiet desperation, one way to dispel those illusions is to attend a potluck held by BloomingVeg. This 5-year-old nonprofit advocacy group for vegetarians, vegans, and veggie-lovers encourages compassion for animals through the consumption of a (delicious) plant-based diet.

Quilter’s Comfort: Unusual Teas Made Locally

In the spring, local artist and business owner Patricia Coleman likes to sit down with a cup of her Sagewell tea blend, a combination of Gingko biloba, yerba maté, red clover, elderberry, and (of course) sage. “We all want to enter this awakening time ready to embrace new beginnings,” Coleman, says.

Sober Joe Coffee: To Help Recovering Addicts

For 25 years, Frank Kerker was a start-up specialist in the beverage industry. With a marketing degree from Indiana University, he helped launch Snapple, SoBe, Muscle Milk, and Fuze. Now Kerker has rolled out his own beverage—Sober Joe Coffee.

Alchemy the Bar: Where Cocktails Are King

At Alchemy, graduated cylinders and Erlenmeyer flasks get as much use as traditional shakers, strainers, jiggers, and spoons. “I’m always reading about the science of alcohol and the science of beers,” says owner Logan Hunter, a long-time bartender and self-described science geek. “I like figuring out how and why things are going to pair well, based on their chemical constructs.”

Osteria Rago Aims to Offer Authentic Italian Cuisine

Regular visits with his extended Italian family in Alessandria del Carretto—a small town “in the step of the boot” of the Calabria region—inspired Gregg Rago to bring authentic Italian cuisine to Bloomington. In January, Rago, who co-owns Nick’s English Hut with his wife, Susan Bright, opened Osteria Rago in the converted carriage house that formerly housed the Bloomingfoods Kirkwood location.

The Haze Craze: New England IPAs

The craft beer scene can be trendy. It’s an industry driven by innovation and boundary-smashing. The newest beer craze—the New England IPA—uses plenty of both hype and hops to offer beer lovers a fun new bandwagon to ride.

Review: Cardinal Spirits Distillery–A Chef Who Gets It Just Right

It has become customary for restaurants that pride themselves on their cuisine to leave the salt and pepper off the table on the conceit that the chef has seasoned the food exactly right and the likes of us customers shouldn’t be tampering with the final product. More often than not, that conceit is misguided and one has to go through the lengthy process of acquiring a salt shaker while the food grows cold. 

All About Sherry

At some point in our lives, usually as teenagers, we probably all sneaked a taste of sherry from the cheap bottle used for kitchen recipes. One awful taste was enough to put us off of it for good. But, wait, let’s try again.

New Goods and New Programs at the Winter Farmers’ Market

Visitors to the Bloomington Winter Farmers’ Market might be surprised by the variety of produce and other goods for sale by local vendors, especially in the dead of winter. But the market has been around since 2004, and Market Master Bobbi Boos says that long experience has paid off.  

Bodybuilder, Personal Trainer & Artists’ Model

Personal trainer Brian Bourkland is a serious bodybuilder. His clients generally aren’t, but that’s fine with him. “I’m mostly interested in working with people in my generation—40s, 50s, 60s,” Bourkland says. “Everyone should be building strength and bone density to feel better long into their retirement years.”

Help Stave Off Winter’s Chill

As winter settles in, many of us look to heartier foods to keep us warm and satisfied. While filling your plate, consider trying beers to match—darker ales with a richer body and a bit more warmth from a higher alcohol content and accompanying spices. It may be just what you need to get you through a cold winter night.

Warm Up with Port

After dinner with friends, we usually enjoy a small glass of grappa or brandy. But with winter approaching and the holidays in sight, we turn to port for its Old World warmth and cheer. My wife, Jan, enjoys bringing out her precious antique crystal glasses for the occasion.

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Polenta

Check out this yummy polenta recipe by Chef David Davenport. You can top it with whatever you like, but he suggests the mushroom curry sauce listed below. This recipe is vegan!

Bloom’s Greatest Hits: Semolina Cake

Planning a party dish for a holiday gathering? David Davenport’s Egyptian Semolina Cake is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory, and a whole lot of delicious!

Recipes for Fall from ‘Earth Eats’ Book

For more than eight years, WFIU-FM has provided locally sourced food ideas via its weekly Earth Eats radio show. A cookbook written by the program’s former host, Annie Corrigan, along with program contributor Chef Daniel Orr, allows foodies to keep Earth Eats at their fingertips.

IMU Gingerbread House Workshop: Create a Candy Holiday Masterpiece

Turning the Tudor Room into something resembling Santa’s Workshop requires a lot of hard work and a little ingenuity. To do so, Indiana Memorial Union (IMU) Executive Pastry Chef Ashley Massie says her staff made more than 1,000 pounds of gingerbread and 100 pounds of icing for the IMU Gingerbread House Workshop last year.

New Bloomingfoods 2U 
Offers Pickup and Delivery

It might be getting more difficult to make your mark in the local grocery arena, but Bloomingfoods General Manager Tony Alongi says it isn’t impossible. That’s why the local co-op has introduced Bloomingfoods 2U, the city’s only grocery delivery service. 

Coffee-Infused Beers Offer Two Great Tastes in One Glass

On a recent trip to the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market, my wife, Carmen, and I had to weave around a long line of people waiting to get freshly brewed coffee. Noting the line, I commented that I don’t understand people’s obsession with coffee. She just stared at me and replied, “Really? Have you ever listened to yourself talk about beer?”

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