For my Columbus To Do List, I have chosen to explore the local food favorites of Columbus. I am the most excited to eat at Portia’s Cafe, because I have Celiac disease and a dairy intolerance, and Portia’s has a diverse range of gluten and dairy free options. I am especially excited to try their waffles, quesadillas, and dairy-free cheesecake.
From engaging in my Columbus To Do list, I hope to gain experience navigating urban environments, and I hope to learn about all of the cool and unique restaurants in Columbus. Also, I would like to become more acclimated with the city in general.
Experience 1 – Ted’s Montana Grill (Arena District)
Recently a group of HES students and I traveled to downtown Columbus to eat at Ted’s Montana Grill. I realize that Ted’s is not necessarily a local food favorite of Columbus, but it provided us with a great opportunity to explore the depths of downtown as we checked out the arena district. I ended up getting the Bacon Jam Bison burger and it was really good.
From my trip to Ted’s, I learned a few valuable things. First of all, I learned how to navigate the COTA bus system, and I learned that the #1 bus will take us from Torres hall all the way to the arena district. Also, I learned that Ted’s is not actually in the Short North, but that it’s right outside of it, within the financial district of Columbus.
I would definitely recommend going to Ted’s, and I would also recommend exploring the surrounding area.
Experience 2 – Condado Tacos (Short North)
Condado Tacos is an amazing restaurant located in the Short North area of Columbus. While there I tried both their chicken and their carnitas tacos. Both were good, but I definitely enjoyed the carnitas more than the chicken.
I would certainly recommend Candado’s too a friend, and I hope to go back in the near future. One interesting aspect of the restaurant is that you do not order through a waiter, but rather, you fill out a sheet of paper with your desired order, then give it to a bartender to place your order. It was different from what I was used to, and it was a nice change to have so much freedom in choosing my meal. Also, I was surprised when I saw how packed it was after the Michigan State game. Overall, I enjoyed my time there, and I hope to go back soon.
Experience 3 – Basil Thai (Short North)
Basil Thai is a nice little restaurant tucked away in the Short North district. It is a little hard to find, but upon entering, we were welcomed into a warm and lively environment that set the tone for an enjoyable meal. I order the chicken red curry, and I was not disappointed by the flavor of the dish. I greatly enjoy Thai food, especially curry, and Basil Thai provided us all with a good meal.
I went to Basil Thai with four of my friends from HES over the veteran’s day weekend. We had a nice time walking around the Short North, and although it was fairly cold, we were able to successfully navigate the COTA bus system to avoid the weather. in the end, we had a good night, and I would recommend Basil to any of my friends. I hope to get their curry again soon.
Overall, I had a very good time exploring Columbus, and I am very glad that I had the opportunity to see the Short North. My favorite experience from my to-do list was eating at the Basil Thai restaurant. Not only was I able to eat an enjoyable meal with my friends, but I was also able to try some delicious Thai food that stood up to all the other curries I have ever tried. Also, by venturing out into Columbus, I learned more about both navigating an urban environment and effectively using a public transport system.
Looking ahead, I would now like to attend a Columbus Blue Jackets game to further gain a feel for the city. I believe it would be a very fun game to watch, and it would also be my first time seeing an actual NHL game.
Lastly, if I had to make any recommendations to a friend who wanted to explore Columbus, I would recommend starting in the Short North because it is a dense and exciting area, and becoming comfortable with Google Maps because it can be very helpful for finding smaller restaurants and lesser known stores. Also, the COTA transit system is connected to Google Maps, so you can find bus stops, locations, and times through the app. Anyways, I am excited to continue exploring Columbus, and I hope that I am able to find just as good of restaurants through the rest of the city.