In the latest issue of Food City, in-the-know locals share their favorite cheap, rich and sweet eats around Columbus. Here are Barrak’s and mine:
A platter of golden fried plantains with side of cilantro yogurt sauce from Starliner Diner. Or a single-serving of cold poached salmon from the prepared foods case at Earth Fare. Or the One Red Door burger at Flip Side, with comes topped with melted brie, crispy fried shallots, and a little silver ramekin of applewood bacon aioli. A billionaire’s burger for $10. I’ll stop now.
If it’s cold outside, I’d go to G. Michael’s for a bowl of steamed mussels in an aromatic tomato-cream broth or Spagio for a $20 bowl of wood-fired seafood stew with garlic aioli. If it’s summertime, I’d go to Matt the Miller’s for their insanely good Ahi tuna flatbread and a blueberry basil limoncello martini, or to Alana’s for whatever she’s serving.
On a sweltering night in late August 2007 when I was 32 weeks pregnant and there was a heat advisory, we were having dinner on the under-appreciated patio overlooking a ravine at La Tavola on Riverside Drive and in no hurry to get home. It was still 90 degrees at 9:30 p.m. and the power was out in Clintonville. Dessert? Why not? I had a slice of homemade blueberry pie — supposedly the owner’s mother’s personal recipe — with vanilla ice cream. The pie was buttery and tender and falling apart, the blueberry filling spilling out glossy and dark as midnight. I attribute Greta’s extraordinary specialness to this pie.
But since La Tavola is closed (although I recently read it’s reopening in Grandview), I’ll go with the warm and bubbly-from-the-oven Mexican apple pie with brandy-butter sauce from Cantina Laredo, served with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream, which will already be melting a little bit by the time it gets to your table. Great way to end, for example, your sister’s birthday lunch, which started with made-to-order guacamole and margaritas.