Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

May 25, 2014

Tim Preston: Accidental deliciousness, great coffees, treats and tradition: 5/25/14

ASHLAND — It was an accidental effort, although I can safely say my wife and I somehow managed to create the ultimate frozen yogurt treat after a recent visit to the new 7 Below Zero shop between the Kyova 10 Theatre and Callihan’s American Pub & Grill in the Kyova Mall.

I say “after” a recent visit because there was a bit of home-kitchen magic involved with this invention. And, pardon the stolen lyric, but “... I’ll never have that recipe again. Oh, no.”

I was actually just making a blatant attempt to score some good-husband points while out running the roads and searching for stories, including a piece about the new shop. I whipped up a big cup of raspberry yogurt swirled with another flavor (really, I don’t know. Some kind of cheesecake maybe?) and completely crammed the sides and center of the big cup with things like mini M&Ms and chunks of some kind of fudge-truffle somethings for my wife, while sneaking a respectable amount of strawberries and blueberries in there for myself.

I capped it up and dropped it by the house, where my wife was found enjoying the afternoon from the front porch swing — making it an outstanding opportunity in the “Your-Man-Delivers” department. I picked a few of the berries from the top and got back on the road, leaving a happy wife scooping away at the indulgent treat as I departed.

Here’s where it gets good. She ate a bit of it, obviously swirled the remaining fruits and candies in the partially thawed yogurt and stuck it in the freezer, where I found it a few hours later when I got struck by a case of the mid-movie munchies. The timing must have been perfect, because the strawberries and blueberries, now coated in frozen yogurt, literally burst open when you bit into them. The frozen berry bits worked in perfect harmony with the now-frozen mini M&Ms, striking chords with the truffle bits and everything else in there.

It would take a team of food scientists to recreate that specific formula, and I may spend the rest of my days trying to duplicate it. That is, if there’s ever another drop of “leftover” frozen yogurt to work with. With summer coming on strong, I can imagine I will be among the many who make the new frozen yogurt stand “out in the county” one of my regular stops.

7 Below Zero, which takes its name from the celsius translation for the typical holding temperature of frozen yogurt (around 17 degrees fahrenheit), also offers frozen-yogurt push-ups and pies, as well as gourmet coffee selections and other good stuff. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Coming soon

I have been getting reports about a couple of new businesses in the area that expect to be open within a few days. If you happen to have a chance to check any of them out, send me a note and let me know about your experience.

My friends in Paintsville tell me they are super excited about the new Espress-O Cafe, a coffee shop at 347 Main St. across from the historic SIPP Cinema. The Espress-O Cafe will feature “Our own private roast coffee- and Espresso-based drinks including lattes, caffe macchiatos,cappuccinos and iced coffees. Fresh doughnuts made every morning along with freshly baked breads, sandwiches and so much more,” according to the Facebook page, where the chief of staff was seeking applications for a few good employees just a few days back.

For more information, email espress-ocafe@outlook.com or call (606) 264-7044.

Also in the “coming soon” category: The new sign has gone up for Johnny’s Pizza, in the original location of Rajah’s at the Meade Station Plaza along U.S. 60 in Summit.

Locally, you may know Johnny’s Pizza from the Grayson location, although fans of “central-Ohio-style” pizza have known the name for many years. Jeff Mills, owner of the Johnny’s Pizza in Grayson and a native of Grove City, Ohio, gave me a great rundown on the company’s history and you could practically hear the pride in his voice as he noted the company still uses the original recipe featuring the original ingredients made by the original manufacturers they’ve utilized since day one. The dough, for example is made exclusively by the Nagle Flour Co. of Cincinnati, he said, and they use only Ezzo brand pepperoni in their kitchens.

“The dough — that’s what makes our pizza,” Mills said, before adding the Ezzo pepperoni is the best tasting (and most expensive) pepperoni money can buy.

The steak sandwiches, as well as ham and cheese sandwiches, are the top menu items at the Grayson shop, Mills said, noting he is fascinated by the ways tastes can vary from area to area and declining to predict which items will become favorites in the Ashland area.

Mills, however, won’t be running the new Johnnys Pizza in Boyd County. The new owners of the franchise are Dwayne and Stacy Burke. I spoke to Mrs. Burke in the final moments before filing this column and she confirmed the history of quality behind Johnny’s Pizza, as well as her own experiences as a longtime customer, were among the major factors that influenced them to purchase the franchise.

The Burkes will have a staff of 16, now being trained by Mills and crew in Grayson, and the new restaurant could be open as early as the end of this week. I’ll keep an eye out for an “Open” sign and pass along more information soon.

Treats in Catlettsburg

For what seems like weeks, I’ve had a note on top of my machine telling me to make my way to Catlettsburg so I can “Try Anything” (as advised) at Twisted Treats in Suite 5 at 3333 Court St., better known as the little shopping plaza across the road from Giovanni’s Pizza and the nearby elementary school.

So far, the closest I’ve gotten to the bakery is a brief phone call with owner Dawn Holley, when I assured her I would have no problem stopping by “sometime next week.”

If you’re traveling through Gate City in the days ahead and see the “Open” sign is on, stop by and tell whoever is working that the guy from the newspaper hasn’t forgotten them.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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