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Diamonds in the Rough

In late summer, a trusted foodie-in-arms told me that the season wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the newly opened Diamonds on Bethel Road. No, it’s not a strip club or a jewelry store as Google Maps might have you believe. By its description I imagined Diamonds to be a small operation, doling out [...]
Kevin J. Elliott



In late summer, a trusted foodie-in-arms told me that the season wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the newly opened Diamonds on Bethel Road.

No, it’s not a strip club or a jewelry store as Google Maps might have you believe. By its description I imagined Diamonds to be a small operation, doling out a variety of “paletas” (literally meaning “little flat stick,” but Spanish for popsicle) from an unassuming strip-mall storefront in the Bethel-Sawmill cluster, but upon my first visit, the wealth of what Diamonds has to offer was overwhelming.

Painted in loud and bright hues of neon pink and purple, this oasis of culinary esotericism is hard to miss. After devouring three paletas—blackberry and cheese, mango, and pine nut—I could think of no precedent in Columbus, and trying to conjure one (perhaps a “scoop shop”?) would be shirking the basic concept of Diamonds. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

“My nephew has been doing this for a while in Guadalajara,” says Diamonds’ owner Jose Torres, who has spent the last 15 years opening traditional Mexican restaurants in Central Ohio. “He is very well known for having some of the best paletas in Mexico. We decided to open this store because there’s nothing like it in Columbus.”

“There’s also nothing like this because we are using his nephew’s recipes,” adds partner Rene Flores, “and those recipes are secret.”

Indeed, the paletas are the main attraction at Diamonds. Even with a staggering 50 or so “sabores” (flavors) at any given time, on a spectrum from “de aqua” to “de leche” (water or milk based), each paleta is made fresh on-site with all-natural ingredients. So, for instance, the adventurous jalapeño paleta is a refreshing blend of ice and huge chunks of the pepper, while the pistachio paleta goes for a creamier consistency but is still chock full of nuts. After trying another trio of exotic options—watermelon chile (dusted with spicy tajin seasoning), corn, and guanabana—I was gripped by a Pokémon-like addiction in needing to try them all. I returned two days later with a cooler and a handful of cash.

But Diamonds goes beyond being just a simple peddler of popsicles. Many of the same “sabores” appear in ice cream form as well, with oddball pairings like vanilla and grape or butter and strawberry mingling alongside Diamonds’ unique take on the classics. Or if you’re feeling more health conscious there are a number of “aqua frescas” and fresh-squeezed juices to try.

Most intriguing though is the snack bar that lines the back wall of Diamonds. That’s where you’ll find Torres most of the time, slicing through piles of tropical fruit to create what amounts to an edible arrangement of monumental proportions.

“These fruit desserts are very common on the beaches in Mexico, and though we don’t have beaches, we wanted to serve these here,” says Torres.

On my first visit I witnessed a family sharing the “sandia loca” (crazy watermelon) which was half a melon overflowing with mangoes, mamey (a kiwi-esque fruit that has a taste similar to a baked sweet potato), pineapple, guava, and strawberries caked in a tamarind candy. The father proceeded to douse the cornucopia with what looked like ketchup but turned out to be chamoy—a savory and spicy condiment made from pickling apricots and plums. 

For the completely insane, there are the “tosti locos,” an authentic take on Mexican street food made with tortilla chips topped with ample amounts of jicama, cucumber, Valentina hot sauce, and more of the ubiquitous chamoy and tajin. Go over the top by adding “cueritos”  (pickled pork rinds) and “cacahuates” (Japanese peanuts) to this monstrosity, transcending the concept of “snack” in a single sitting.

Be warned. Diamonds is not a place for those who have a hard time making decisions, as the options seem infinite. Diamonds  needs to be embraced as a foodie journey. It will require a series of visits to wholly decipher the expanse of their menu, which serves to satisfy many different palates.

Plan on spending the day there. Gluttony awaits.

Diamonds is located at 5461 Bethel Rd. Call (614) 718-2980
for more information.

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Food & Drink

Clintonville Brunch Crawl: We dare you to squeeze all 3 stops into 1 day




Clintonville is lovely this time of year, especially when you make three separate stops for brunch. 

Whether the weather is gracing the charming little burgh with a healthy dose of vitamin D or giving it a couple spins around the Lazy Susan that is Ohio’s climate, a trifecta of morning food destinations is sure to keep your mood afloat.

BLunch  • 2973 N High St.

Yes, we know that Columbus now is home to a Drunch AND a BLunch.

Snicker all ya want—if you do, you’d be missing out on one of the culinary scene’s welcome newcomers—a half-day cafe that carries the comforts of a First Watch, but with the sophisticated execution of Tasi or Katalina’s.

The White Family has decades of hospitality under their belt—the family owned Galena’s Mudflats until recently, and dad Jeff has been running the OSU Faculty Club for the past 20 years.

Those two were training grounds for son Jeff, once a young, eager dishwasher and now head chef for the White’s new “daylight eatery and bar.” Mom Jane, despite her own admission that in the family’s tavern-running days breakfast didn’t get served until halfway through afternoon, now relishes an intimate spot where people can maintain their own balance between booze and breakfast.

A full-bar at brunch is a rarity in the peculiar little burg, and positioned near Lineage, Old Skool, and Condado, BLunch could be the perfect starting point for a casual Clintonville crawl.

Then again, you may not have another stop after Chef Jeff gets done with ya. He and the White family have concepted a bennies-and-batter focused menu, where you’ll be sure to come back after a healthy amount of indecision. Me? I’ve been dreaming about the Bananas Foster pancakes (topped with ice cream) and the huevos rancheros over masa cake for weeks. – Travis Hoewischer


Dough Mama • 3335 N High St.

Dough Mama is the top of my list for my favorite breakfast joint. I love so much about this place.

The atmosphere is super chill, laid back, and inviting. The food is so so good. I would call it comfort food with an extra sprinkle of love and thought.

From pie to salad, it’s all good.

They use a variety of local and seasonal ingredients and support some of my favorite local delicacies with Dan the Baker bread and Thunderkiss coffee … YUM! They also have a variety of vegan and gluten-free options.

I am smitten with the Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy muffin. This place is my go to for a yummy drippy egg, roasted potatoes, salad, a sweet treat and a perfect cup of coffee.


My husband loves Grammie’s Sammie and a piece of Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie. I somehow manage to splurge here and feel really really good about it.

Their menu has some great staples but they also always have specials that look and are amazing.

Right now they serve both lunch and breakfast during the day and I’ve heard it through the grapevine that they will soon be open in the evening and serving dinner. I cannot wait to see what delicious dishes they create for that menu. – Jana Rock

Baba’s • 2515 Summit St.

Baba’s is my go-to breakfast spot in Columbus. You can grab a breakfast sandwich on their homemade griddle muffins (aka little pillows of heaven), order a rack of ribs, or in the spirit of Alabama Worley, have a slice of perfect pie and a cup of Thunderkiss coffee.

Their delicious baked goods are made in house, they smoke all of their own meats and their produce and coffee are all sourced locally, though their espresso will send you to the moon.

The service is fast, their team is super-friendly and there are never any pretentious vibes in the super chill atmosphere they have created on the corner of Hudson and Summit.

They’ve made a beautiful impact in their short existence in the SoHud neighborhood, fostering local artistic connections and bringing beautiful new mural art that rotates different artist from the community throughout the year. Don’t forget to grab one of their perfect cinnamon rolls for later. — Vanessa Jean Speckman

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Food & Drink

Harvest Pizzeria sowing last seeds in German Village




Eight years ago, Harvest Pizzeria cropped up in a small space in German Village. Today, the local pizza chain announced the closure of its flagship location.

Harvest Pizzeria German Village will open its doors for the final time on Saturday, April 27th.

“Despite the success of Harvest in German Village and our strong ties to the neighborhood, the owner of the property will not honor our renewal of the lease,” wrote founder Chris Crader in an email. “…the landlord’s demands for a new lease at a higher rate would not allow our little pizzeria to remain viable.


Crader added that he is proud of the strides Harvest German Village has made over the years, and thankful for the community that’s supported it. He hopes they can return to the neighborhood when the right spot presents itself.

As far as the employees go, Crader wrote that with the success of the other locations, the German Village workers will be able to join a team at another restaurant.

“Harvest sincerely thanks all of its loyal supporters and we hope to see you at our other locations soon,” wrote Crader.

This news follows the announcement of the Grandview Harvest closing back in February. Read more here.

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Food & Drink

Crawfish boils claw their way into Columbus Saturday

Mike Thomas



What’s the deal with crawfish boils? Sure, they’re delicious, but as a true land-lubbing midwesterner, my knowledge of this particular culinary phenomenon is fairly lacking.

That said, I definitely can’t tell you why there are multiple crawfish boils going down this Saturday. Best not to overthink it—just enjoy the experience!

Pecan Penny’s |113 East Main Street
Saturday at 4 PM – 7 PM

Sponsored by Brewdog, downtown BBQ joint Pecan Penny’s is kicking off patio season with an all-you-can-eat Crawfish boil, complete with giveaways and a DJ.


Rehab Tavern | 456 W Town St
2 PM – 6 PM

Rehab’s own 4/20 crawfish boil kicks off at 2:00. Your $15.75 entrance fee will net you a pint of beer in addition to all-you-can-eat crawfish and fixins’!

Can’t make either of these, or want to try the boil experience before committing to a large-scale event? Check out Kai’s Crab Boil or Boiling Seafood Crawfish—both on Bethel Road —for first-rate seafood experiences you won’t soon forget.

Why are there two crawfish boils on the same day? Why are there two crawfish restaurants on the same road? We may never know, and honestly, who cares? Crawfish is the bomb! Just put on your bib and get crackin’!

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