This post is written by Sandi Matgouranis, marketing coordinator for Experience Columbus. You can follow her on Twitter @Sandi_ExpCols.
Downtown Columbus is home to a group of eateries that make up the Columbus Food League, run by local restauranteur Elizabeth Lessner. Known for their quirky individuality, her self-proclaimed “anti-establishments” serve up new takes on comfort food classics.
Each spot seems to have it’s own (usually unofficial) signature dish. For your dining convenience, here’s a round-up of what to try.
Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace: This place is known for it’s eclectic array of hot dog combinations. Try anything that strikes your fancy, but do be brave enough to go for unexpected flavors. Don’t forget to order your own side of tater tots, and while you’re at it, get the funnel fries, too. Wash it all down with a fun soda flavor, like Red Pop.
Grass Skirt Tiki Room: Locals love this place for the excellent tropical-inspired cocktails, but it’s got a great selection of eats, too. As one of CFL’s newest editions, the menu is continually evolving, but a few of us have been here multiple times and enjoyed the Thai Me Up, Thai Me Down salad. I’d also recommend the Coconut Chicken Bites – yum!
The Jury Room: Last time I was here, I enjoyed a fabulous flatbread with fresh mozzarella. It doesn't appear to be on the menu these days, but, per one Yelp user’s review, Liz Lessner herself recommend the Chicken Parm, so that’s what I’ll order next time, and is my recommendation to you.
Surly Girl Saloon: This Short North favorite home of the famed Frito Pie. Feel free to share or keep it all for yourself, but save room for a “from scratch with love” cupcake.
Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails: The specialty here is the Tip Top Pot Roast Sandwich – “loads of slow roasted beef and Swiss cheese on a toasted pretzel roll.” Pair it with a basket of fries. You can choose from shoestring, sweet potato, green bean or eggplant, with accompanying dipping sauces.
The Torpedo Room: Located in the Gateway Film Center, this spot has been open only for a few months. Catch a movie and stop in before or afterward to try the Frizzled Brussels Sprouts Flatbread, featuring smoked Gouda and mozzarella with a stone-ground mustard drizzle.
Have a suggestion for other entrees to try? Share in the comments!