Today’s Friday Five could easily have a million titles. Things I Crave Right Now. Things to Eat on a Rainy Autumn Evening. Why Columbus is Delicious. Browse below as you take a trip through my recent culinary adventures in the Capital city.
1. Pho at Buckeye Pho.
The city’s newest pho and bahn mi joint is only a couple of miles from my house, and I couldn’t be happier. Is it as good as my beloved Mi Li Cafe? I’ve only had one visit and feel unprepared to make a verdict. My first encounter was pretty damn good, though.
2. Earl Grey Pancakes at Zen Cha Tea Salon.
My first bite of baked apples and cinnamon of the season came from the Short North Zen Cha. (It appears that they’ve recently opened a new location in Bexley.) Perfectly paired with a steaming pot of smoky tea, these pancakes were a wonderful way to welcome autumn. I hope to visit the new location soon, to try their take at dinner. (They’ve got ramen!)
3. Slow Poached Lobster at DeepWood.
Each time I go to DeepWood, I stare at that $42 menu item: the slow poached lobster, removed from the shell. And my heart sinks a little bit. I’m all for paying for quality, especially when it comes to food, but there’s always been something less expensive on the menu to tempt my taste buds. Luckily for Ben and I, his grandparents practically insisted that we order the lobster on a recent visit. As not to insult them by turning it down, we did our good deed. (Thanks, Sherrie and Henry!) As with most dishes at the restaurant, the sides and sauces (in this case, the orzo and perfectly-cooked peas) were as incredible as the main attraction. And while I must say that it felt perfectly decadent to eat all that lobster without one ounce of work, I feel like this dish is one that will no longer taunt me. Not while I have the rest of the menu to try.
4. Turkey Marzetti at Knead.
I burned my tongue not once, not twice, but three times when I ordered Knead’s new take on a classroom classic. I’ve never been good at patience, especially when tempted with a plate of meaty, cheesy goodness. My favorite part of this dish? The handmade mini lasagna squares. The folks at Knead do not skimp on anything. Lucky us.
5. Hot Dogs at Jimbo’s Haute Dogs.
This past Sunday, I was lucky enough to receive a trial run of what I hope will become a neighborhood staple: hot dogs from Clintonville’s own CMH Gourmand. Not unlike those fancy pop-up restaurants in New York, Jimbo’s Haute Dogs (at this point) remain an exclusive culinary event, open only to those who know the secret words and proper hot dog etiquette. (Hint: I think that the secret word is Slut Sauce.) Here’s hoping for another (more public) version of this food cart.