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Published: Sunday, 9/30/2012

Morsels: One of Toledo's mysteries is solved

BY DANIEL NEMAN
BLADE COLUMNIST

After more than two years in Toledo, I have finally learned the answer to the area’s biggest question.

Intellectuals at salons, strangers on the street, and even hipsters in tattoo parlors gather to ask each other why reservations for meals at the Terrace View Café at Owens Community College have to be made at least a week in advance. They only serve lunch twice a week, right? Why can’t they take a reservation, say, two days before the lunch?

The answer, which comes to us from a highly placed source in the school’s Culinary Arts program (we’re not going to name her in order to maintain an unnecessary sense of mystery), is that it has to be done precisely because they only serve lunch twice a week. The café is really a teaching lab where students learn and practice their skills, not an actual restaurant, so it does not have the space, the equipment, or the business to stock an ongoing pantry. They need a week to order precisely what they need to serve at the next lunch, and no more.

And what they serve is awfully ambitious. This semester, they will be featuring American regional favorites on Tuesdays and international foods on Thursdays. To wit:

• Oct. 18, Green curry chicken (kaeng khiao wan kai)

• Oct. 23, Panko-encrusted tilapia with pinot noir glace

• Oct. 25, Duck with apple dressing (Ente mit Apfelfullung)

• Oct. 30, Grilled salmon with berry barbecue sauce

• Nov. 1, Seared cod in yogurt sauce and spicy green beans (dahi machi with basmati rice and masaledar sem)

• Nov. 6, Jamaican jerk chicken

• Nov. 8, Beef Stroganoff with egg noodles

• Nov. 13, Country captain chicken

• Nov. 15, Moroccan-spiced Atlantic cod ceviche

• Nov. 20, Roasted chicken breast in apple cream

• Nov. 27, Deep dish flaky pastry chicken pie

• Nov. 27, Tapas

• Dec. 4, Omelets, made to order

Chicken burgers and a lacto-ovo vegetarian entrée will also be available each day, as will an assortment of bakery items.

The student-run café is in College Hall Room 148 on the Toledo-area campus. Seating is limited and is available from 11:30-12:15 p.m., with the restaurant closing at 1 p.m. Take-out meals will also be served until 12:15 p.m. The cost is $8.50, and reservations are required by 3 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to the Tuesday meal and by 3 p.m. on the Thursday prior to the Thursday meal.

For reservations or information, call 567-661-7359 or visit owens.edu/terrace.

Frittering

When the frost is on the pumpkin and the fodder’s in the shock, whatever that means, the crowds head to MacQueen Orchards for the annual Apple Butter Festival and Craft Show. This year’s festival, the 31st, will be Saturday and Oct. 7 from 10-6 p.m.

There will be live music, magic, and polka dancing, plus face-painting, pony rides, and all the kinds of foods you’d expect from a festival (gyros, funnel cakes, bratwurst, barbecue, ribs, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, etc).

But this is an apple-specific festival, so the focus will be on apples: apple fritters, caramel apples, apple dumplings, and even, at noon on Saturday, an all-American apple pie contest. If you register at the MacQueen Orchards market by Friday, you can bring in your pie between 11-11:45 a.m. Saturday to have it judged in the contest. The top four places pick up cash prizes. Fifth and sixth place each get a peck of apples.

If you want apples without having to go to the trouble of making a pie, you can pick them yourself (for a fee) in the orchards. If you’d rather have them in another form, the fresh-made cider — you can watch it being made — and apple butter are always popular.

Admission is free. The orchards are at 7605 Garden Rd. in Holland.

Cooking for diabetics

Diabetes is no fun. And eating with it is even less fun.

A healthy diet can help. So the Ohio State University Extension is offering a three-class cooking school in Napoleon called Dining with Diabetes, to help navigate your way around foods that can be safely and healthfully eaten by people with the disease. The Extension Service promises the foods demonstrated will be healthy, easy to prepare, and will taste good. Recipe pamphlets and related handouts will be given to each participant.

The series is open to everyone, including people who are just looking to improve their eating habits. The classes will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, 810 Scott St., Napoleon. The cost is $25 for the entire series, and pre-registration is required by calling the Fulton County OSU Extension Office at 419-337-9210 by Oct. 12.

Pizza. Good.

When you sit down to a pizza or other Italian specialty in an increasingly large number of states — 16 at last count — you are likely to find yourself in front of something that came from Sofo Foods.

The Toledo-based restaurant distributor claims to be the largest ethnic-foods distributor in the Midwest, offering restaurants an assortment of everything from olive oil to flour to meat toppings to pasta. They even sell products used to clean restaurants.

A couple of weeks ago at a big exposition at the Seagate Centre aimed at restaurateurs, the company held a pizza contest among 10 of their randomly chosen clients from around the country. This is a fairly big deal, with top pizza makers competing against each other at an event full of pizza makers.

The big winner was Frank Mancino of Cavoni’s Pizza & Grinders in Hillsdale, Mich. Second place went to Anthony Gordon of the Casa Restaurant Group in Fort Wayne, Ind. And the still-impressive third place was picked up by Ronald T. Erich of the Warrior Gourmet Pizza and Ice Cream (also known as the Warrior Drive-In) in Ontario, Ohio.

In other Sofo news, according to marketing specialist Angie Lazzaro, the company recently received a Superior rating from the American Institute of Baking, an organization she said is “the gold standard for food safety.” And so did the cheese processing facility the company owns next door.

If find yourself in Hillsdale, Fort Wayne, or Ontario, you can take comfort from the fact that at least some of the food you’ll see there was kept impeccably clean.

Items for Morsels should be submitted up to two weeks before an event to food@theblade.com.



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