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Appetite for Adventure

Kids are hardwired to try new things. From the day they are born until apprehension and self-doubt browbeat them into social submission, they are really open to anything. They’re growing up in a world that is always on and always connected. Their friends and interests are far more diverse than ours were because they aren’t [...]
J.R. McMillan



Kids are hardwired to try new things. From the day they are born until apprehension and self-doubt browbeat them into social submission, they are really open to anything. They’re growing up in a world that is always on and always connected. Their friends and interests are far more diverse than ours were because they aren’t limited to a few square blocks and whatever adventure they can find before the sun goes down.

As parents, we often fail to feed that willingness to try new things, especially when it comes to new foods. And most restaurants don’t make it any easier on us. Sadly, there is nothing savvy or sophisticated about the average kids menu. Next time, just skip it entirely and try these tips to satisfy your child’s appetite for adventure.

Small Plates and Daily Specials


Da Levee – 765 n High St.
Small plates are the right size and right price to blow off uninspiring kids menus elsewhere. This perennial favorite creole hole in the wall is famous for them. Their rotating lineup and lunch hours at both locations offer endless possibilities. The black bean and corn Maque Choux, Cheesy Craw Etouffee, or hearty Gumbo, each served with a slab of slightly spicy “Magic Bread,” are just $5. Add a side of Andouille sausage, “Kickin’ Chikin” or extra rice for just a little more, or go with a “half-and-half” plate at only $8 for your eager eater.

Tora – 1330 N Hamilton Rd.
Suburban sushi joints may not be an obvious option for kid-friendly fare, but they should be. Tora’s deep and descriptive menu (with helpful English translations) make their Tuesday specials a great half-price pick for your half-pints. Start simple with a Tora California roll of snow crab, cucumber and avocado, then work up to a more daring Black Spider roll, featuring fried soft shell crab, spicy mayo, and black sesame seeds. Even their eel sauce goes down easy. Weekday specials often include Tako Yaki, or batter-fried balls of chopped octopus.

Dine Family Style


Erawan Thai – 3589 Refugee Rd.
Skip the PB&J and try the Chicken Satay, skewered and served with both peanut and cucumber sauces for kids who like to dip their dinner. Erawan excels as an authentic family style dining destination. The menu is impressive, exhaustive, and the portions are huge. Order a mix of appetizers and entrees and enough plates to go around. The Pad Thai is a sweet and spicy serving of fried egg, sprouts, and scallions with wide rice noodles. Pick your meat and enjoy the heat, or cool it down with the Num Tok, or grilled beef salad served over rice.

SuperChefs – 199 E Broad St
Every kid loves breakfast anytime, and SuperChef’s ups the hero factor with giant-sized, comic book inspired décor to match their oversized menu. There are ample options for over-the-top pancake confections, but don’t let sweet triumph over savory without a fight. Try “The Hulk,” two green waffle sandwiches with eggs, American cheese, sausage, candied bacon, and maple syrup. Or try his evil alternative “The Juggernaut,” two red waffle sandwiches with fried chicken, eggs over medium, and Pepper Jack instead. Both are big enough to share.

Kid Favorites with Adult Attitude


Bono Pizza – 1412 Presidential Dr.
For those who don’t know Bono, they used to operate out of the short end of a Grandview carryout, baking their pizzas in the parking lot. They now occupy a townhouse-turned-restaurant a few blocks away, but offer the same quirky combinations as always. Don’t let the dimly lit diner vibe dissuade you. Stay safe with the San Rolando of pepperoni, crumbled sausage, and mozzarella, or be bold with the Waikiki “Jamie Style,” their regular Hawaiian pie of imported ham and pineapple, plus cinnamon, sliced almonds, and shredded coconut.

El Pollo Perucho – 727 Georgesville Rd.
Forget the chicken nuggets and tired fries. Go for the Pollo a la Brasa, marinated in garlic, cumin, and paprika, then spit-roasted over charcoal until the skin is as crispy as the meat is succulent. Peruvian chicken is ordered by the quarter, half, or you can buy the whole bird. Upgrade your fries to Yuca Fritas, or deep-fried cassava, for something decidedly different. Kick Kool-Aid to the curb and wash it all down with a tall, cold Chicha Morada, a sweet treat made from purple corn and pineapple juice, seasoned with cinnamon and cloves.

Eat with your Hands


Addis Restaurant – 3750 Cleveland Ave.
Channel your own inner child and eat with your hands. Injera is about as kid-friendly as food gets. The spongy buckwheat crepes serve as both a staple and a utensil. “Addis” actually means “new” in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia—so let the owners know if you’re new too, and they’ll prepare you a platter with a bit of everything. The Mahbarawi, stewed lean beef with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic, or the Doro Tibs, simmered cuts of chicken, might require less lobbying than the legumes, beets, and unique vegetable dishes.

Banana Leaf – 816 Bethel Rd.
Dare to go dumpling at Banana Leaf. Sneak in some green things with Pakoda, dumplings made from a South Indian mix of chickpea flour and fresh veggies, or some Kachori, spicy green pea hush puppies. Samosas sell themselves. What kid doesn’t love little fried triangles stuffed with mashed potatoes? Keep it simple and order something from the Chaats menu, street foods that are sweet, spicy, tangy, and crispy. Once your little one graduates to a fork, consider the Grand Buffet. If your kid really digs it, they even offer cooking classes for grownups. •


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Food & Drink

Slice into our top picks for National Pizza Party Day!

Mike Thomas



May 17 is National Pizza Party Day—a celebration that is near and dear to our hearts at (614). And what better day of the week for an office pizza party than Friday?

To help you and your gang decide which pie(s) to go with on this momentous occasion, take a look at this roundup of some of our most primo pizza content. Bone apple teeth!

The best pizza in C-Bus according to Columbest Voters

The results for Columbest 2019 were announced in the May issue of (614) Magazine, with Harvest Pizzeria taking the top spot in the “best gourmet pizza” category, and Mikey’s Late Night winning “best traditional.”

26,000+ Columbest voters can’t be wrong. Let these hometown heroes provide the pie for a pizza party you won’t soon forget!

Pizza – Columbus Style

Did you know Columbus has its own distinct style? Edge to edge toppings, crispy crust, cut pub-style – these are some indications that you’re dining on Columbus’ own signature ‘za. Not sure what we’re talking about? Refer to this list to see what we mean.


In Pizza We Trust

Need to grab a pie on the go? Look no further than a Pizza ATM conveniently located at OSU campus. Fair warning, since reporting on this a few months ago, we haven’t been back to see if this still exists. Something tells us this was either too weird of an idea to last, or too brilliant to ever die.

C-Bus pizza on the big stage

At this point, our fair city is no stranger to coverage in national publications – and our pizza is no exception. Earlier this year, food blog Rave Reviews included Columbus’ own Rubino’s and Mikey’s Late Night Slice on their Pizza Road Trip roundup of the best pies in the nation.

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Hey, @fussbucket… Nice #BINOS! #SausagePizza

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Deep dish (if you must…)

Is deep dish more your thing? We (I) think there’s something wrong with you, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the sauce-on-top monstrosity you crave. Check out our top picks for the “best” deep-dish style pizzas in town.

Celebrating National Pizza Party Day? Of course you are! Let us know your pizza of choice in the comments.

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Food & Drink

Outerbelt Brewing: small town, huge brewery

Mike Thomas



With no end in sight for the craft beer boom, upstart breweries are leaving the city behind for the wide open spaces of the suburbs.

According to a report from Drink Up Columbus, Outerbelt Brewing will be the latest to toss their hat into the central Ohio Craft Beer ring when they open their doors in less than a month.

Located in a former Lowes hardware location at 3560 Dolson Ct. near Carroll, Ohio, Outerbelt Brewing is not far from Lancaster.


Outerbelt is scheduled to open to the public on either June 8 or June 15, depending on construction deadlines. The new brewery will occupy about 25,000 square feet, with about 5,600 square feet set aside for a taproom. Plans also include a spacious 2,000 square foot patio.

Upon opening, Outerbelt plans to offer 10 beers on tap, as well as cold brew coffee.

Look for Outerbelt this Friday, May 18 at the Columbus Craft Beer Week kickoff party at Giant Eagle Market District, where some of their beer will be available to try. Outerbelt Beer will also be on hand Saturday at the Six One Pour Ohio Beer Festival at COSI.

To view pictures and to learn more about Outerbelt, check out the full story at Drink Up Columbus.

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Food & Drink

4 brewers talk past, present future of C-bus beer scene

Mike Thomas



With the rise of craft beer, celebrations of America’s most popular alcoholic beverage are nearly as plentiful as the varieties of suds found on supermarket shelves.

Whether it’s a day set aside in honor of a given style (IPA day is observed Aug. 2) or a pseudo-holiday cash grab from a major international brewery, (Arthur’s Day is not a thing, Guinness) beer fans have plenty of occasions throughout the year to toast their favorite drink.

In honor of Columbus Craft Beer Week (May 17-25), (614) spoke to Columbus brewers Colin Vent at Seventh Son Brewing, Dan Shaffer at Land-Grant, Craig O’Herron at Sideswipe Brewing, and Chris Davison, at Wolf’s Ridge Brewing in order to explore the beginnings of brew in the capital city, where it stands today, and what the future might hold.

(614): When you think of Columbus beer history, what comes to mind?

Vent: The recent history is pretty young. We were 7th or 8th six years ago, and now there’s over 50. Barley’s, Smoke House, Elevator, Columbus Brewing Company—those were around for 10 or 15 years, then all of the sudden, Four String, us, North High, and soon thereafter Land Grant popped up, and from there it’s just been crazy. Obviously all of Columbus [beer] history goes back hundreds of years; there used to be major production. Hoster was one of the largest breweries in the country.

Shaffer: I think of Barley’s, CBC, the people that were there at the beginning. We’re all standing on their shoulders. Obviously it’s all come a very long way. I’m trying to think of what the first craft beer I had in Columbus was. It was probably a CBC IPA.

(614): What are some prevailing trends that you see happening with beer in Columbus today?

O’Herron: I feel like we’ve gotten over a lot of the recent trends. We saw a lot of the New England IPAs, and then Brut IPAs to a lesser extent. I don’t know if there’s a trend that’s happening right this moment, but I’m sure we’ll see something new and wacky come around.

Davison: The national trend has been IPA, IPA, IPA, and I think Columbus is a microcosm of that. Ohio is an IPA state, and Columbus is an IPA city even more so than some other cities in the state. We’ve got a lot of the top-tier IPA breweries right now, a lot of people making really good IPA. I think that’s going to continue to rise, and I think we’re going to continue to see more styles [of IPA].

(614): What does the future hold for Columbus Beer? Have we reached a saturation point on how many breweries the city can sustain?

Vent: I don’t know that Columbus could take another 10 or 20 Land Grants and Seventh Sons, but I think it could take another 10 or 20 [breweries] that just want to have an awesome neighborhood brewpub. As many breweries as an area can sustain, that’s what there will be.


Davison: I think it all comes down to what those breweries are trying to accomplish. Trying to be a production brewery that’s distributing cans across the entire state is going to get harder and harder, not that some won’t continue to grow and do that. I think there’s a ton of room for local brewpubs that don’t even want to sell their beer outside of their own bar. Every bar in this city could theoretically brew its own beer, and there’s no reason the city can’t sustain 500 breweries that are tiny like that.

Shaffer: Obviously people are gravitating towards local. I think it’s really cool that every neighborhood, instead of a watering hole, can have a local brewery. I think we’ll probably see more sours, probably more specialization. IPA’s aren’t going anywhere—there will be more IPA variants. When there is this much competition, you can’t afford to be a generic beer brewery anymore. There has to be something you’re passionate about, whether it’s Belgian or English styles, or pilsners, high-gravity stouts—whatever. There’s got to be something that you can say “this is what we’re all about.”

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