A Hocking Hills Treasure: Fresh Ingredients and Charm at The Inn at Cedar Falls

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My family was looking for an adventure spot where we could be free in nature but not have to travel too far. The day after school was out we rented a cabin in Logan, Ohio. While the popular Hocking Hills State Park won’t open until June 15th, it was still a great escape to be in a cabin in the woods together. Other local parks like Clear Creek, Lake Logan, and Rock Bridge kept us more than happy for the weekend.

Food can be difficult for me when traveling. As a person with autoimmunity, specifically SIBO, I find great relief in a specialized diet. Super clean, real Ingredients are paramount. Along with that I follow a dairy free Keto plan while also keeping low fodmap foods in mind. All of this can be so complicated on a good day, but when I leave the safety of my own kitchen it gets trickier.

While Logan, Ohio is a picturesque area, most visitors and residents are searching for home grown country cooking. My southern roots respect a taste for biscuits and gravy, but my body rejects the aftermath. Just when I had resigned to living from my cooler for a few days, my mom discovered a treasured hide away that would save me from a night of cooking.

We twisted and turned our way through the hills with little cell service and a prayer that the GPS would take us to the right spot. Just when I was convinced we were lost, a clearing opened over a hill and there I saw a charming old world Inn. Walking up to these original wooden beamed walls set the tone for what was sure to be a beautiful dinner at The Inn and Spa At Cedar Falls

As soon as I walked into the door, a host and a server greeted me by name before I could introduce myself. My gem of a sister called earlier that day to check on my allergies before we went. She and my other family members are so supportive, God bless them! This phone call set us up well for the evening. The staff had been well versed in my needs and assured me they were ready to make a beautiful meal with great care.

Our table had about 1,000 questions about ingredients, and two rowdy kids under five years old. Patient and knowledgeable, our server Melissa handled our table with grace and ease. When you cook as much as I do, having another person deliver your food is a real treat, I was in heaven.

One look at the menu told me these chefs really know their craft. The menu was subject to rotating dishes simply because they relied on fresh local ingredients! This passion for quality, real ingredients was made even more apparent in the flavors.

Since we were allergic to the typical side dishes, the chef substituted a small house salad. The flavors were so bright I’m sure these veggies were harvested from a local garden. Jonathan, who usually doesn’t like fresh tomatoes couldn’t get enough of the sun gold mixed with the greens. With the house vinaigrette, this salad was the prelude to a perfect meal.

For our main meals, Jonathan and I couldn’t decide between two different dishes, so we ordered one of each and split both. The pork chop with maple chipotle glaze was lick your plate delicious. Perfectly grilled pork with a maple sauce paired beautifully in flavor. The chef steamed my broccoli making sure no dairy made it on the plate. The flavors were a balance of hearty, fresh, sweet, and a slight undertone of spice.

Our second choice was one of the specials, a steak filet with caramelized onions and mushrooms. It had a beautiful reduction sauce which brought the depth of flavors together perfectly. This plate showed me the chef must be a super star. You see, its one thing to make incredible food. What separates the masters is the ability to read my unbelievable list of allergies and come up with something new and spectacular. Most chefs just remove the allergy items from an exsisting dish so I’m left with plain grilled meat and steamed veggies. While I respect that I’m hard to cook for, the chef at The Inn at Cedar Falls figured out what I could eat, and invented a new way to make a reduction sauce without butter or flour. Bravo to you chef for sitcking to my safe foods list without sacrificing flavors!

With such a beautiful setting, we lingered with tea cups, and ice cream for the kids. The comfy setting, wrap around porch, and rooftop garden were so enchanting, it was hard for us to leave. As we drove away the charm of this place followed me into the woods. I dream of not just eating there again, but going for a weekend hiking the trails, then finding my way to the spa for a good pampering. Even if you don’t wish to stay the night, the beautiful drive would be worth it just to enjoy such a special meal.

The Gurneys can’t get enough of outdoor adventures and good food. Want to see our journey? Follow us on Instagram @GreenGurneys or like our Green Gurneys Facebook page. Tag us on your own adventures. We love to celebrate with you and discover new special places in this world.

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