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#61
Posted August 3rd 2009, 3:37pm
The shawarma at Pita Hut n Grille is fantastic - on par with Salam, in my opinion. The sides are great too. Lunch today was WAY better than I expected to find while randomly driving around in search of something non-chainlike.

Shawarma sandwich, side of roasted cauliflower salad
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The cook told me that the shawarma is 80% lamb and 20% turkey. It was juicy, flavorful, and had plenty of charred, tasty bits. Tahini, cabbage, raw onion, and chopped tomato all tasted fresh and added brightness to this superb sandwich, which was served on fresh pita they said is baked and delivered daily. I got a terrific roasted cauliflower salad on the side, with beautiful caramelization that lent a sweet, smoky flavor that was contrasted nicely by mild but briny chopped green olives.

The Rotisserie:
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My kind of neighbors:
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No idea what the middle eastern scene in Columbus is like, but if there are other places putting out food this good, the town is very lucky to have em.

Pita Hut N Grille
4965 N High St Edit
Columbus, OH
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...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

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#62
Posted September 4th 2009, 6:17pm
Being from Columbus and simply to make a contribution to the board - Columbus certainly isn't Chicago in terms of the culinary scene, but we do have some gems.

For the vegans, Dragonfly is excellent and Pattycake Bakery is amongst the best baked goods (vegan or not) that I've ever tasted - it bests Bleeding Heart for certain, IMO. Kihachi is home to some wonderful authentic Japanese food (not just "sushi.") Alana's is doing Farm-to-table quite nicely, with a French Twist.

There are others - http://uhockey.blogspot.com/search/label/Columbus
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#63
Posted June 21st 2010, 9:38am
Latest report from my Memorial Day weekend film festivalgoing:

Japanese is oddly big in Columbus. I don’t know if there’s really a Japanese population there or if they’re just especially fond of the 1970s Benihana-type steak places. But I heard there was a good izakaya (bar food, basically) place on the far northwest side and so I hunted it up. It’s called Kihachi and, indeed, it’s a really pleasing place that feels like an authentic family restaurant, not tourist bait, and made me some very nice simple dishes. I basically ordered off the specials list, with a little guidance from my waitress, and I was very happy about a plate of tender grilled pork cheek meat; an eclectic combination of things like mountain yam and baby octopus in soy sauce; “box sushi” (sushi pressed very very square in a box; it reminded me of the Thingmaker I had as a kid) made with mackerel; and a very interesting special in which a shrimp paste was pressed in between pieces of lotus root and deep fried. It was sort of like a cross between Chinese restaurant shrimp toast and eating a bar of soap, but past the first, Avon-y bite, it was quite good.

When I last posted about Nancy’s Home Cooking it was a few days from closing. About six months ago a woman with a catering business reopened it and if it’s not quite the place it used to be, either in terms of dead-on country diner food or the crowds that once thronged there, well, it’s still a perfectly fine place to have breakfast in a town surprisingly short on such. I also visited Buckeye Donuts one morning, the place that every college town has where you can get your late night post-drinking carbs (at least until you realize you’ve put on a double helping of the Freshman 15), and the doughnuts are pretty good old school examples of the art. As for the greasy spoon breakfast— well, the clientele is probably in exactly the right state to appreciate it, most of the time.

One of the things I’ve been meaning to check out for a long time is Columbus’ North Market. Though the new building it’s in doesn’t have the charm of Cleveland’s West Side market, the food choices are exceptional, a handpicked selection of meat shops, bakeries, ice cream makers, Vietnamese banh mi stands and all kinds of stuff that really represent the best of Columbus. My only chance to go there was after a lunch, so I only managed to try the locally-acclaimed Jeni’s Ice Cream, but I was pretty much wowed by it. There are lots of gelato and sorbet makers out there doing interesting things with exotic, tart and pungent flavors, but it’s much rarer to find someone doing flavors like Thai Lime-Cilantro in an ice cream. Yet Jeni’s does great things with these flavors that take full advantage of the mouthfilling creaminess of dairy as well; I loved the Thai and very much liked a lavender berry one and a salty caramel as well.

As much as I try to take advantage of the festival’s meal breaks to try new places, though, I also use them to, you know, see other human beings, old friends who I pretty much only know from, and see at, this festival. And sometimes that means I go where they want to go. Frankly, it’s a pleasure sometimes to go off the foodie clock and just enjoy whatever they choose… which is how I wound up at the Columbus branch of Buca di Beppo, the dreaded, Ed Debevic’s-style cartoon concept version of Italian-American cooking. Actually, you know what? I thought the food was pretty decent, definitely better than the travesty of blandness that is Olive Garden. Yeah, the red sauce is too sweet, but that’s true of a lot of Italian grandma’s red sauces too.

But the concept… mamma mia, what a shonda for the goyim! Every square inch is covered with tacky photos, Sophia Loren next to Vic Tayback next to Pope John XXIII; the WASPy Ohio-born servers affect a high school theater My Cousin Vinny-esque chumminess as they try to upsell you (as you might expect, the menu starts out fairly traditional but the newer specials emanating from Laboratory Beppo are increasingly heading into Spicy Cajun Chicken Chipotle Pasta On a Stick territory); and the meal starts with a Goodfellas-tracking-shot-like trek through the warren of small dining rooms and into the kitchen where one family sits at the chef’s table, mortified to learn that their special honor means being displayed like wax figurines for every shlub entering the restaurant, while they sit there wearing the same expression Joe Pesci had in his last scene in the same movie.

I literally physically cringed several times in my first few minutes in the place at the overwhelming shtickiness of the concept… and then I thought, get over yourself, Mr. Foodie Snob, and just enjoy that you’re there with friends. So I did. And silently thanked the gods of Rome that none of us had a birthday, because if the clean-scrubbed college kids had come out to sing Happy Birthday to us to the tune of “Funniculi, Funnicula,” I really would have gone all Luca Brasi on their asses.

Kihachi
2667 Federated Boulevard
Columbus, OH 43235-4991
(614) 764-9040

Nancy’s Home Cooking
3133 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43202-1125
(614) 265-9012?

Buckeye Donuts
1998 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43201-1165
(614) 291-3923?
buckeye-donuts.com

North Market
59 Spruce St.
Columbus

Buca di Beppo
60 East Wilson Bridge Road
Worthington, OH 43085
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#64
Posted June 26th 2010, 11:56pm
I'll add the ump-teenth recommendation for the North Market, especially Jeni's homemade ice cream, Bubbles tea company (hot and cold coffee drinks, teas, milk teas, and smoothies), and Flavors of India.

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Market entrance

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View of the market from the upstairs dining area. This is a nice place to people-watch.

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Berry scone from Omega Artisan Bakery


I will also second Creole Kitchen. Amazing gumbo, etouffees and more hidden away in a tiny storefront in a strip mall. Comparing the cost versus quality of food, I almost feel like I'm ripping them off.

Another interesting place that hasn't been mentioned is the Starliner Diner in nearby Hilliard. It's a family-owned joint that is popular for breakfast. They do somewhat-Americanized Cuban and diner fare. Doesn't compare to the Cuban we have here in Chicago in terms of authenticity, but worth a trip for the atmosphere and kitschy decor. The walls are covered in random 50's and 60's memorabilia.

North Market
59 Spruce Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 463-9664

Creole Kitchen
1052 Mt. Vernon Plaza
Columbus, Ohio 43203
614.372.3333

Starliner Diner
5240 Cemetery Road
Hilliard, Ohio 43026
614.529.1198
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#65
Posted July 1st 2010, 3:53am
Thurman's - Incredible, coma-inducing burgers. Think Kuma's meets RJ Grunts.

The Drexel Cafe - Fantastic build-your-own panini place with great coffee.

There was also a great Chinese place in a strip mall somewhere that had fantastic Orange Chicken. The lady at the counter always greeted us, 'Hello, Friend!"
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#66
Posted July 3rd 2010, 7:11pm
Mike G wrote:Japanese is oddly big in Columbus. I don’t know if there’s really a Japanese population there or if they’re just especially fond of the 1970s


There is a large Japanese population in Northwest Columbus because Honda of America has a huge plant in Marysville, Ohio. Marysville is about 25 miles NW of Columbus, and many Japanese employees of Honda and related subsidiaries live in the Columbus suburbs, particularly Dublin.
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#67
Posted August 4th 2010, 9:01pm
Thurman's - Incredible, coma-inducing burgers. Think Kuma's meets RJ Grunts.

A few nights ago we stopped by for a Thurmanator—their $16+, two-12-ounce-patty signature burger. I can only describe it as a tower of slop, good for amusement but not much else. It was impossible to tell but there may have been good burgers hidden amid all that low-quality ham, liquid-smoke-saturated bacon, canned mushrooms, three cheeses and god knows what else (amazingly, no fried egg!). Sorry for the lousy photo but I think you get the gist.

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A grilled bologna sandwich was really quite good. I wouldn't write off Thurman's but would never consider another one of these monstrosities. Friends don't let friends order a Thurmanator.

Thurman Café
183 Thurman Av
Columbus OH
614-443-1570
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#68
Posted August 5th 2010, 6:00pm
Hi,

Thurmanator is a kitchen sink of a hamburger standing at least eight inches tall. If you will note, there were substantial wood skewers keeping it together. We began to speculate how they assembled it without collapsing in a puddle or tilting. We guessed it was assembled in a tube. This might account for the fillings in hefty layers.

This burger was split three messy ways. We might have appeared wimpy to the younger crowd who ate these clean to the plate. However, they did not eat their way from Chicago as well as sampled heirloom recipe entries at the Ohio State Fair. Every once in a while, we do exhibit moments of moderation.

One curiosity: squeeze bottles of Texas Pete's hot sauce. The bartender watched my inspection of the Texas Pete Sauce. I commented I had never seen one before. He guessed that may the reason why they are constantly disapearing. I didn't not take it home, though it was tempting.

Regards,
_______________________________________

Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#69
Posted August 5th 2010, 6:34pm
Hi,

A visit to Columbus, Ohio had an unexpected delight: my first Tim Horton's visit. This Canadian favorite I have likely passed before, though only in the last few months have I begun to appreciate it. While preparing for a program on Canadian food culture, Tim Horton's was high on people's lists of foods missed.

For those dining in, your order was assembled on a metal tray:

Boston Cream on the left and chocolate glazed on the right:
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Canadian Maple on the left and buttermilk on the right:
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I don't especially like coffee, my donut drink is milk. One friend had iced coffee that she though was on par with Dunkin's Donuts. The hot coffee with no cream or sugar drinker was not as impressed.

I was pleased to observe the donuts are made on the premises. My local Dunkin' Donuts no longer makes them on the premises. Not everything is made at each store, because a manager arrived with a box of bagels.

To visit this Tim Horton's, I gave up a rare Waffle House opportunity. Can't do everything.

Regards,
_______________________________________

Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
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#70
Posted August 5th 2010, 7:13pm
My experience with Tim Hortorn's in the US (limited to one store in Owosso, MI) is that not only the coffee, but also the donuts were on par with Dunkin Donuts, which is to say not very good. Was your experience in Ohio different?
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Steve Z.

"Why should I eat a carrot when I can eat pizza?" - Dan Janssen
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#71
Posted August 5th 2010, 7:20pm
I think beth is too lazy to post this, but her mom (who spends a lot of time drinking Timmy's coffee on both sides of the border) finds the coffee on the Canadian side much better than that on the American side. Dunno how she feels about the doughnuts.

She wasn't too impressed with the Dunkin Donuts coffee we got her here.
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Ed Fisher
my chicago food photos

RIP LTH.
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#72
Posted August 17th 2010, 5:15pm
i was in columbus,oh. today
went to SCHMIDT'S SAUSAGE HAUS
had the buffet of sausage.
the bahama mamas was outstanding
the stewed sausage with noodles outstanding
had veg soup with it also all the german sides that you know

i will stop here any time that i'm near columbus,oh.
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

240 e kossuth st
columbus,oh.
_______________________________________

philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
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#73
Posted August 18th 2010, 12:11am
Cathy2 wrote: The hot coffee with no cream or sugar drinker was not as impressed.

I was pleased to observe the donuts are made on the premises. My local Dunkin' Donuts no longer makes them on the premises. Not everything is made at each store, because a manager arrived with a box of bagels.

To visit this Tim Horton's, I gave up a rare Waffle House opportunity. Can't do everything.

Regards,



I truly love Tim Horton's - IN CANADA. In Canada, or I should say throughout Canada, Tim Horton's is the place where communities gather and you meet up with your neighbors. The place is packed all weekend mornings throughout the mid afternoons.

That "in store" preparation is NOT generally the case in the Columbus area. The donuts that I have been served in recent trips in several of the Columbus area stores have all been boxed. Ditto on both the bagels and muffins. Only the muffins are pretty good. Their muffins in Canada are a lot better (or they would not sell).

The coffee is excellent.
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#74
Posted August 18th 2010, 9:52am
philw- for the love of god, please tell me you got the cream puff! That's why you got to Schmidt's isn't it? Ok, the bahama mama is one outstanding sausage, but oh, oh, oh the cream puff. At least get one to go the next time you stop. :P
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#75
Posted August 18th 2010, 4:58pm
Tim Horton's loses some Essential Virtue in crossing the border. Dunkin' Donuts just hasn't made any headway in Canadia against Tim's--most likely bcz Tim's is better quality. But on this side, they're only DD's equal, not its better. Too bad.

Geo

PS. C2, last Friday night (13 Aug), I went to the WH on Westbelt in Columbus--it was *not* up to my usual expectations. Sigh.
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#76
Posted August 18th 2010, 6:59pm
nicinchic wrote:philw- for the love of god, please tell me you got the cream puff! That's why you got to Schmidt's isn't it? Ok, the bahama mama is one outstanding sausage, but oh, oh, oh the cream puff. At least get one to go the next time you stop. :P



no ,i did not .
i was not exspecting to go ,kinda just fell upon schmidt's
i will be stopping again forsur
thanks
_______________________________________

philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
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#77
Posted February 26th 2011, 9:24am
going to be going through columbus in 2 weeks
got to stop at schmidts :mrgreen:
_______________________________________

philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
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#78
Posted June 14th 2011, 9:58pm
Kennyz wrote:The shawarma at Pita Hut n Grille is fantastic ... It was juicy, flavorful, and had plenty of charred, tasty bits. Tahini, cabbage, raw onion, and chopped tomato all tasted fresh and added brightness to this superb sandwich, which was served on fresh pita they said is baked and delivered daily.
I can't argue with Kenny - it's a great shawarma sandwich. The side order of falafel I got was good as well - fried to order, crisp on the outside, moist and pleasantly herbaceous inside. The only downside was that the one guy working there was painfully slow, and my to-go order took almost 20 minutes to prepare (he was also preparing a combo plate for the one other patron).

On the ride back to my hotel, I spotted Just Pies and quickly pulled off the road to grab a pie. I tried the chocolate silk pie, which was solid. The filling itself was rich and chocolaty, but too sweet for my taste. The crust was nice and flaky, but being lard-based, lacked the butter flavor I prefer. It also appeared to be mechanically pressed in to the tin, which gave it a machine-made aesthetic. All-in-all, a great pie if you're in the area, but not destination-worthy.

Silk Pie
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Just Pies
5212-B N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43214

-Dan
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#79
Posted June 17th 2011, 3:05pm
Spain Restaurant.....think they are moving, so don't have new address.....but if you are a fan of New Jersey-style Spanish restaruants....i.e, GIANT steaks, chops, lobsters, plates of sausage and garlic shrimp..the exact opposite of tapas......you will love this place...owner is in fact from Jersey.....
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#80
Posted October 8th 2013, 9:19am
Any new Columbus discoveries? We haven't been to Columbus in about 15 years. We are looking for Sunday evening and Monday morning meals. There are some good suggestions here already, but if there are others, please post. Thanks.
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#81
Posted October 9th 2013, 9:58am
I'm not quite as in tune with new Columbus restaurant discoveries, but I'll run down a couple of the exciting places that should be on visitors' radars.

Unfortunately, this place doesn't fit your bill because it's closed on Sunday evening, but the next time you're in Columbus, Harvest Pizza is a great joint in German Village. Nice little outdoor seating area, really high quality local ingredients, and perfect execution on the crust with a little char (typical pizza: fennel sausage, local gouda, smoked provolone, onion, fennel pollen). An ideal place for visitors (German Village is a charming place for a walk), the closest Chicago comparison would be Spacca Napoli with a little local flavor.

The most impressive thing I've eaten in Columbus recently was from a food truck, Ray Ray's. They've been operating and refining their product for a couple years now, and goodness is it refined. They have two trucks parked next to one another (one to handle overflow) in a parking lot just north of Ohio State's campus. There should be seating available in an outdoor patio at the bar the trucks are parked behind, but if you're looking for ambiance, this isn't the place. If you are looking for tender brisket whose flavor easily rivals Smoque (I can say this with some confidence), Ray Ray's is worth trying. As I recall, they have some very interesting beer tinged sauces as well, and Sunday they should be rocking the special grass-fed brisket, which is the can’t miss thing to order.

If you have specific things you're looking for in a Sunday dinner in Columbus (price range, cuisine, etc.), I might be able to provide more suggestions, because place closed on Sunday evening and a food truck may not be what you’re looking for. As far as a Monday breakfast is concerned, there are plenty of solid breakfast places in Columbus, but none that are can't miss. If you're looking for an offbeat but quintessential Columbus breakfast, you could seek out a Somali restaurant on Cleveland Avenue, such as the excellent Darbo, or one of the taco trucks on the west side, some of which will be open in the early morning. Columbus is one of the best food truck towns in the world, and not only do they have higher concept trucks hawking their food at a food truck warehouse called Dinin’ Hall, but the number of terrific Mexican food trucks on the outskirts of the city is staggering. Enough that there are a couple that serve breakfast as well—go to http://www.tacotruckscolumbus.com for a comprehensive guide to taco trucks in the city, but Otro Rollo and El Mananero are just a couple you could check out. If you're driving out of Columbus Monday, you might be best off stopping in small town Ohio for a slice of pie and bottomless cup of coffee for breakfast. Most every town in Ohio has one of these that you can sniff out (whether you follow the water tower, or ask directions for Main Street/downtown), and you’ll be in for an experience you can’t beat. See this thread on Balyeat’s in Van Wert for a great example of this: http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=36812. Balyeat's is indeed a special place, but it seems like an Ohio diner as old as the town and steps from the county building pops up more often than not.
-TK

Harvest Pizza
495 S 4th St
(614) 824-1769

Ray Rays Hog Pit
2619 N. High St (behind Ace of Cups)
(614) 753-1191
Hours: Fri-Sun, 12-8

Dinin’ Hall
400 W Rich St
(614) 427-3560

Darbo (just one of many worthy Somali places to check out)
3764 Cleveland Ave
(614) 475-8004

Otro Rollo
3866 Sullivant Avenue
(614) 278-2339
Open 7 days a week. 7am-11pm

El Mananero
To the West of 3700 Sullivant Ave.
(614) 747-7051
Open 7 days a week 6 am to 6:30 pm
GNR

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