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The Random Columbus Five: January 2012

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I thought it would be fun to post a few of my thoughts every month on some of my visits in what is basically virgin territory for me (as a recent transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area.) As much great food as I encountered out there, I look forward to seeking out tasty chowy goodness around the Columbus area.

Taqueria Los Primos: Taco trucks were somewhat ubiquitous where I used to live, and one of the first things I wanted to try when I got out here was a Columbus version. This randomly discovered place turned out to be a very tasty first choice as I was passing through Victorian Village. Bonus was there was absolutely no one around, though the day was one of the colder ones this area has had in this abnormally mild winter. The chorizo and pastor tacos rated favorably with some of the better versions I had back out west, complete with pickled veggies and a decent enough salsa.

Shish Kebab: Not the most creatively named restaurant, but this Bethel Road-located restaurant rates comparably to Cafe Istanbul in the Easton Shopping Center, a place that I have had visited a few times in the past. My partner and I ordered kebabs and enjoyed them immensely; our dining companion enjoyed her moussaka and it was enough of a portion to have for lunch the next day. That was helped by the bread, which is hard not to eat en masse before your main course because it is quite tasty along with a sun-dried tomato dipping oil. One odd thing was the tablecloths, which seemed to be a bit too large in area for the corresponding tables. This almost became a hazard when one of us caught an edge and dragged it (and the stuff on the table) toward them.

Fresh 50: This newly opened C-bus downtown eatery seems to be an Asian-themed Chipotle of sorts, with your choice of noodles/wrap/rice, various meats, and then veggies/sauces to top it all. Staff was friendly, and my wrap was decent enough to put it as an every once in a while no-fuss option for something quick, customizable, and relatively healthy whenever downtown.

Just Pies: Just Pies on the Columbus/Worthington border on High St is just dangerous for a waistline, or at least their cherry pie is. My partner loves a nice sour cherry pie, and their version really rocked her world. As someone who likes but not loves cherry pie, I must say this was darned good too. Later, we bought an apple pie later for general consumption for a family member’s birthday celebration - that version was only slightly better than average, however. We were intrigued by the samplings of the strawberry-rhubarb and cherry-cream cheese (the last day for that seasonal pie). Their pecan pie also looks good; as it turned out, that’s a for-the-future target, as only the birthday boy got to sample a personal-sized version we brought just for him..

Freshstreet Takoyaki: I was looking for something different from what I had been eating of recent as I was cruising the Short North and spotted the facade for Mikey’s Late Night Slice. It looked open, which surprised me, but I hadn’t had a pizza slice since I had arrived in town, so I turned around to have a look.

Unbeknown to me, the owners of the Foodie Cart (which I had read about in the past) were in the space and operating at that time. I looked over the menu and saw they had crepes (which I hadn’t had in quite awhile) and knew this was what I had been really looking for all along.

I ordered a soy chorizo avocado crepe with serranos (as it turned out, I snagged the last bit of chorizo). During the wait (they were quite busy at the time), the owner Kenny (who was really nice to talk with) offered me up one of their signature takoyaki balls with mayo, which had been cooked up by accident for another customer. I’m not a huge mayo fan so the sampling wasn’t my favorite, but there was enough there to make me want to give a non-mayo version a try.

Oh, yeah, the crepe. That was darn good, with a chorizo that I would never have thought was soy and a just-right spiciness with the serranos, one of the better things I’ve had here since arriving in Columbus for good.

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