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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

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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

tora

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

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

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

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

The End of the Road?

Julian Foglietti

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As the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue, we are beginning to see the effects take their toll on Columbus eateries. Here's a list of some of the changes taking place.

The Sycamore+Cosecha Cocina  

Grow Restaurants, the company which owns Harvest Pizza, has listed The Sycamore and Cosecha for sale. While there hasn't been confirmation that the restaurants won’t make a reappearance in some form, Chris Crader stated in Columbus Underground, “It’s a lot of work to re-open after the pandemic and we have a considerable amount of interest in these two properties so it doesn’t make sense to open and then close again so quickly.”

Miller's Ale House

Both Miller’s Ale House locations are closing. The Florida-based company has removed mention of the Ohio locations from their websites.

Flowers and Bread Co.

In a recent article with Columbus CEO, owners Sarah Lagrotteria and Tricia Wheeler announced the closure of the cafe portion of their business. There are plans to expand the flower and bread workshop portion of the business under the new name Flower and Bread Society.

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Food & Drink

Rémy Cointreau presents: The Sidecar

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**SPONSORED**

We teamed up with Rémy Cointreau and local bartender, Ben Griest, from Giuseppe’s Ritrovo to bring you an icon of cognac cocktails. Ben's previous videos featured the art of margarita-mixology, and now we are moving on to another tasty cocktail. This timeless, opulent drink is well-balanced and fresh.

With National Cognac Day coming up, we figured it would be great to share, Rémy Martin 1738 presents The Sidecar.

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Food & Drink

National Brisket Day is Today!

Julian Foglietti

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Photo by Brian Kaiser

With meat shortages starting to take their toll and National Brisket Day here at last - we've gathered a roundup of some spots you can go to to get your brisket fix.

Legacy Smoke House

With their main location in Hilliard and a food truck moving throughout the city, Legacy Smoke House is a solid choice for brisket on National Brisket Day, just be sure to get there while supplies last. Enjoy!

Pecan Pennys

Just off Main Street, Pecan Pennys is ready to fulfill your brisket needs. If your looking to feed a family though be sure to get your orders in advance as they're requesting 24 hours notice on dinner bundles.

Ray-Ray's Hog Pit

With locations in Franklinton, Westerville, Clintonville and Powell Ray Ray's Hog Pit is open for business with brisket stocked at all locations. #NationalBrisketDay is the best day!

Hoggy’s Restaurant and Catering

Located on Bethel Road, Hoggy’s will be stocking brisket for both dine-in or carryout. Feel free to stop in or stop by!

The Pit

With a new location opened up on Parsons Ave. The Pit BBQ will be offering brisket for the National day. Celebrate with some tasty brisket!

City Barbeque

City Barbeque will be offering brisket for the National day! So get excited and get ready for some yummy BBQ brisket!

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