This is the time of year that most of us crave a stick-to-your-ribs meal. We talked about the best meatloaf and macaroni and cheese in Columbus a little bit ago, but if you want
Pho at Mi Li Cafe - Pho is a complex broth of beef, cinnamon, black cardamon, star anise, ginger and coriander seed is topped with your choice of meats (mostly cuts of beef) along with fresh herbs like the familiar cilantro and basil and the exotic culantro, rice noodles, bean sprouts and fresh lime. It's fresh and heart warming at the same time, and Mi Li Cafe serves up what many consider the best bowl in Columbus.
Saag Choley at Aab India - Luxuriously creamy and dangerously spicy, this dish lifts chickpeas and spinach into a meal that is satisfying and filling. Order a side of aloo paratha (potato stuffed flat bread) or garlic naan and raita (a yogurt and cucumber salad) to cool your palate.
Patacon at El Arepazo Tapas and Wine - Though Venezuela and Colombia are equatorial countries, their cuisine has a streak of comfort due to the chip of the elevations of the Andes Mountains. Arepazo, in Gahanna and the Brewery District, has a well-edited menu of regional staples, but if you're looking for comfort, you'll find in a patacon. The dish starts with a base of a split and fried plantain, which is topped with your choice of beef, pork, chicken, fish or veggies, and then finished with lettuce, grilled peppers, cheese and a delicious spicy green sauce.
Roasted goat and lentils from Solay Bistro - Somali cuisine is an unsung hero on the national scene, but you'll find a big variety of Somali restaurants in Columbus. A blend of Ethiopian, Middle Eastern and Indian techniques and ingredients, Somali food is flavorful without being spicy. Goat is a specialty, and if you haven't tried it before, this is the place to do it. Grilled to perfection and served with veggie sides (I love the lentils and chickpeas) it's a heart warming feast.
Tortas Ahogadas and Cuco's Taqueria - Sure, this is a sandwich, but it's elevated into a homey and cozy dish at every step along the way. The roll is crusty and delicate at the same time, the fillings (several to choose from) are rich, flavorful and delicious, and the spicy red sauce that smothers the whole dish is what makes this the perfect food for a cold evening.