Columbus 2014 | Top Food & Drank
2014 was a big year for Nom Life. Really, it was the only year, since we started in January. But it was the best first year we could ask for! Here are some of our favorite things from 2014.
Favorite Coffee Spot
Fox in the Snow Cafe
Fox in the Snow is a cafe that opened in the Italian Village in the Fall of 2014. So far, it has enjoyed a big wave of success. They offer a wide range of artisan coffee and fresh baked bakeries. There's also a small breakfast selection. Fox doesn't offer wi-fi, instead inspiring visitors to enjoy conversation and the atmosphere.
Must try item: Drip-brew coffee
Tucked away in a little shopping center off Kenny Road, Belle's Bakery is somewhat of a hidden gem. You can enjoy their selection of fresh bakeries and desserts. They also offer custom cakes for any occasion.
Must try item: Green tea ice cream
Favorite Staple Spot
Around the corner from Belle's, Tensuke Market is our favorite anytime spot. Tensuke is half Japanese grocery shop, half dine-in cafe. They offer tasty Japanese street meals such as udon, curry rice and yakitori. However, where they really shine is the sushi. They get their fish from Akai Hana (the neighboring Japanese restaurant which they also own). The fish is high-quality and affordable -- 2 things that go really well together.
Must try item: Any of the sushi rolls really. You can customize your order at the sushi window.
Favorite Lunch Spot
(tie) Cravings Carry-Out/El Arepazo
This was a tough decision, so we decided to go with 2 places. The first is Craving's Carry-out, now located downtown on Front St. They offer a small menu of a few sandwiches and bakeries. However, each item is packed with a ton of unique flavor. The menu changes semi-frequently so you'll want to check in on the offerings.
The second pick is El Arepazo (specifically their original location in the Pearl Alleyway off Gay st.). This is another place that packs huge flavors in their dishes. You'll find authentic South American taste that is accessible to the lay person. The portions are very generous for the price.
Must try item: Pork torta sandwich (Cravings), Carne Asada (El Arepazo)
Favorite On-the-Run Food Spot
Bibibop had a huge year. Starting with their first experiment in Grandview, the franchise quickly opened several new locations including a prominent spot at Easton Town Center. Bibibop offers an American take on the Korean Bibimbop dish with a Chipotle style self-creation line.
Must try item: Make your own Bibimbop bowl
Favorite Happy Hour
Ethyl & Tank
Ethyl & Tank offers something that is rare in the bar landscape, a happy hour that runs until 9pm, Monday - Friday. This fits perfectly with their location on Ohio State's campus. Enjoy 1/2 off all drinks with your meal. The food is also very good. E&T offers an extensive culinary menu, but is very aware of it's location/demographic served -- they are priced accordingly. If you are looking for a delicious (and sizable meal), but don't want to spend $$$ at Bareburger, then this is the place for you.
Must try item: Ohio bison burger
For being a "shitty" bar in the Short North, Oddfellow's is pretty damn good. The place has no airs about it as it trucks on firmly in the most glamorous part of town. They offer a nice menu of quality cocktails and an above-average craft beer selection. They have a selection of tasty snacks to go with your drinks. They also partnered up with Katalina's to offer some heftier fare, or you can go to Mikey's Late Night Slice next door. Secret: There's a hidden champagne button that, when pressed, bequeaths the lucky partron with a free glass of champagne. The button moves after every time it's found, so happy hunting!
Must try item: Pickle back shot
Favorite Columbus Restaurant
(tie) The Rossi/Arch City Tavern
When it comes to our favorite restaurant, we need somewhere that is well-rounded. It should be a good spot for impressing, while also possessing a comfortable quality for the regular occasion. In this category, we have a tie. Our first choice is The Rossi, which lies closer to the impressive side of the spectrum. This has been a favorite of ours for a long time, and rightfully so. They offer a unique take on modern American cuisine. The menu is precise and masterfully done. The cocktails are superb and very fulfilling.
Our second pick is Arch City Tavern which is right across the street. Arch City falls more on the casual end of the spectrum. They are the very definition of a gastropub. They offer a nice selection of craft beers and cocktails. The menu is well-crafted -- plenty of juicy burgers, salads and shareable plates. The atmosphere here is very accessible. You'll find a good range of people from party groups to couples enjoying a fun night on the town, and everything in between.
Must try item: Romaine Salad (The Rossi), Arch City Burger (Arch City)
Favorite Non-Columbus Restaurant
Off the bat, one of the best dishes we've had all year was at Sotto. The tagliolini with truffle shavings was AMAZING. The pasta was perfectly chewy, the sauce was light enough to allow other ingredients to shine and the truffles were insane. Sotto is an Italian spot located in a basement in Downtown Cincinnati. While a bit dark for our taste, the ambiance helps top create an intimate and exclusive atmosphere. The menu is small and precise but heavy on flavor. Everything is on the heavier side, so be sure to bring an appetite. There's also a nice selection of wine, cocktails and craft beer. Save this place for special occasions.
Must try item: Tagliolini con tartufo
Favorite Nom Life Moments
(tie) Reaching 1,000 fans/Columbus Alive article feature
And of course, what kind of year-end wrap up list would this be without sharing our favorite moments? This category also features a tie -- both related to our fans. The first was when we hit 1,000 fans during the Autumn. This was totally unexpected but showed us that we were really on to something with Nom Life! We love interacting with our fans. Our goal is to highlight some of the delicious foods that we eat so that you guys can give it a try too. Now, we're almost at 2,000 and we thanks each and every one of you for the continued support.
The 2nd pick was for our Columbus Alive article feature (many thanks to Ellin for reaching out to us). The article came out on December 25th, just in time to cap 2014. It's awesome to have the support of one of our home city's biggest publications. This type of feature definitely helps us bring more attention to Columbus' food scene Hit us up if you guys every want to get together for a meal!
- E & J