[Guest Post: Jen Johnson] Acre: Farm-to-Table To-Go

This post was written by Jen Johnson. Jen is a Clintonville resident.

First the building was a KFC, then a Graffiti Burger, then a Mexican restaurant, and now Acre: Farm-to-Table To-Go wants to help transform the way that Central Ohio eats.

When owner Todd Mills was working for Local Matters, a food-focused non-profit, he had the idea to start a restaurant and use as many local ingredients as possible to provide affordable and delicious meals. In fact, a board by the front counter lists all their current suppliers if you want to keep track!

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Like many fast-casual places, you order your food at the front counter and are given a number. Your meal is freshly prepared and when it’s ready your number is called to come pick it up. There is also a self-serve beverage station, where you can get sparkling or still water on tap, and agave or simple syrup to sweeten your choice of beverages. Acre’s interior is bright and sunny, with lots of light colors and lighter-toned wood. The background music is upbeat and eclectic but not intrusive to good conversation. Oh, and did I mention that the drive-thru is functional? Great news for these cold winter nights when we don’t want to cook dinner.

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Todd’s goal was to keep all the entrees on the menu under $9, and that includes either chicken or tofu with the dish with the option to substitute pork or quinoa for an additional charge. There are 4 bowls and 5 wraps to choose from, with Asian, Mexican, and American influences, along with salads, tacos, sides and desserts, and even a menu for kids. Drinks include fresh made sodas, coffee and tea iced or hot, and smoothies.

On my visit, my dining partner and I ordered the Thai Bowl with tofu, Mole Bowl with chicken, a Shrub Fruit Soda, a side of Kale Chips (pictured clockwise below) and a Banana Smoothie (not pictured). The flavors in the bowls were balanced very well, with big, fresh veggies and large pieces of tofu and chicken. Both had just a little kick to them.

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My smoothie, with bananas, peanut butter, and almond milk, was the perfect match for the somewhat spicy coconut/peanut flavors in the Thai Bowl. The Shrub Fruit Soda was a new experience for me-they are sodas with fruit juice but also a bit of mild vinegar. It was a little tart and refreshing. Definitely not too sweet like some sodas can be! The Kale Chips were pleasantly crunchy and seasoned well.

All in all, our experience was great and I look forward to going back to try more of the menu. I am also especially looking forward to using that drive thru!

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