Columbus, Ohio--help, please
I tried to think of a title that would help describe what I'm looking for, but ended up with something pretty broad. Thanks for checking anyway :).
My brother and his girlfriend are moving to Columbus, and I'd like to get a couple of gift certificates to help them explore their new neighborhood, which is called German-something, and is near downtown. I hope that's enough info to figure out the location I'm talking about! I'd like to stick with really "local"places, so that neighborhood or maybe the ones that directly border it would be best.
I'm not looking for special occasion spots, more Friday-night or "I can't deal with cooking on a Tuesday" sort of things. They are coming from Boston (so anything that's a local specialty would be great....German, maybe?) and I believe like all kinds of food. I'm happy to Google phone numbers/addresses, of course, but if 'hounds could give me an idea of average entree cost, that will help me figure out what $ gift certificates to buy.
It sounds like they're moving to German Village, which is a cool little neighborhood south of downtown. Luckily for them, there are some decent restaurants in the area worth checking out. I know you said you're interested in Friday-night spots, but let me put in a plug for Barcelona. It's a great Spanish joint in German Village that can be expensive (up to $30 for entree), but the times I've eaten there, the grub has been great.
The place, though, that matches most of what you laid out is called the Mohawk Cafe, I think. It's on Mohawk in German Village. It's a small friendly place with good food, good beer. And it's very affordable. Every time I've gone, it's been good.
On the chilled out side of things, check out Schmidt's. It's a sausage place. German all the way. Also Jimmy V's is a local bar that does Greek food. I think it's got one of the two best gyros in town. Both of those places are good and cheap.
Katzinger's was one of my favorites when I lived in Columbus. The last time I was in town I remember a disappointing lox and egg salad sandwich. However, prior to that I remember many truly fantastic sandwiches of all kinds. Corned beef, pastrami, tongue, chopped liver. They also have a gourmet grocery. Coffee, salami, cheese, olive oil, etc...
Tony's was another favorite. I can barely remember but I'm sure I thought highly of them at the time.
Also, when I went to confirm that these restaurants were actually in German Village I came across this website:
It mentions these, most or all of the ones that maafrank named and others.
475 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43215
16 W Beck St, Columbus, OH 43215
I like the Easy Street Cafe - kind of a neighborhood bar with good Greek (and bar) food. Entrees are usually about $9-12. Tony's wasn't that great the last time I went, but it does have a nice atmosphere. Barcelona is really nice for atmosphere, although if we were talking fancier food I'd recommend G. Michael's or Lindey's for consideration, too (www.gmichaelsbistro.com). Banana Bean Cafe on the outskirts of German Village is a very small, Key West-style place that has creative dishes in the $10-12 rance, but I don't think they have a liquor license.
The Mohawk is a great little restaurant in the heart of German Village where they cook tasty food for a reasonable price. Their burgers are in the $6-8 range and most dinners are <$10. They do breakfast on the weekends. Down the street is Lindy's, way more upscale and more $$, but worth it.
It's not local cuisine, but a good "I can't deal with cooking" kind of place is Happy Dragon on Livingston... They have delicious Chinese food, and the crab rangoon is to die for!
I also vote for Lindys - they have a great brunch (gotta get the Croque Madame), Planks on Parsons (great pizza!), Schmidts for the creampuffs, and Banana Bean for the unique food. I had a great Oyster Po'Boy there. Brown Bag Deli on either 3rd or Mowhawk has really good sandwiches for less than Katzingers. The Village Addiction is my favorite to get and go eat at Schiller park :)
Just moved out of the village a couple of weeks ago and am missing it already...
I just wanted to second the Thurman Cafe - a friend of mine wrote a pretty good review here: http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_...
Katzinger's and Schmidt's are some of my old favorites, too, but Thurman's really in a class my itself.
Also, though it's a bit farther into downtown, definently tell them to check out the North Market! It's one of the best places in town to eat a cheap, tasty lunch.
Thanks all--you've given me a great list to choose from. I think I'm leaning towards Old Mohawk (assuming they'll mail a gift cert), Banana Bean, Katzingers, and...one more of your recs, but I haven't been able to pick which one yet. I appreciate the help.
I used to love La Tavola but have to say that their service has been just dreadful over the past year or so. We've been there a few times recently and have had a variety of issues...slow service, snotty servers, disregard for special requests (dressing on the side), etc. I've heard this complaint from others who truly love LaTavola's food. The Columbus Dispatch consistently rates it as one of the top 10 restos in town but I have to believe that they know the critic by sight and he does not suffer the same lack of service that normal diners do. I've heard that it's because the chef/owner is away a lot more often since it moved into new space on the river. It's really a shame.
Living in Powell, we discovered La Tavola years ago but won't go there anymore. We went twice since it moved and were extremely disappointed in the service and the food. They had always seemed to favor some patrons over others even at their old location but since they moved it seemed to just get worse. Its really too bad.