Unique Comfort Food

Photos by Megan Leigh Barnard & Chris Casella

Fresh Tastes

6-1-Pho 4386 N High St. | 61pho.com

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Pho’ crazy with the newest Vietnamese create-as-you-go experience. We all know the assembly line set-up by now and at 6-1-Pho, patrons can assemble three types of main dish bowls: brothy, noodly pho, the rice-based dish com, or the cold noodle salad, bun. Pick a protein, such as beef, chicken, meatballs, or tofu and then go to town. The bahn mi sandwich gets the same treatment, with a veggie soy ham option as well. And to keep it real, Vietnamese iced coffee is offered as well. With a hipster sleek interior, think of this Chipotle style experience as getting the Pho-1-1 on a trendy dish.

Stack City Burger Bar 600 N High St

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The latest installment in the Hyde Park group’s takeover of the Short North Cap, Stack City Burger Bar is the Cleveland-based group’s foray into the non-white-table-cloth restaurant milieu that looks to be a success right out the gate. There are currently nine patties on the menu, with a rotating list of at least 30. Some will show up as specials, while others will move on and off the menu with the seasons. There are also non-red-meat burger options such as lamb, turkey, mortadella, veggie, and salmon, with add-ons such as a fried egg and smoked bacon available. Those with anti-carb or gluten issues can get order a burger as a “stripper,” stripped of the bun and served in a lettuce wrap. To wash it all done Stack City offers milkshakes (both virgin and sexed up) and 16 beers on draft.

Tai Tiki 1014 N High St. | taitiki.com

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While the décor might not be all out tiki-tastic, the “classic” drink menu at Tai Tiki certainly is. It’s a thirsty throwback to the days when fruity drinks reigned and there was an ashtray on each table. If you’re lucky, you’re drink will come in a skull cup—the Zombie—or will actually be trailing smoke through the restaurant before it stops at your table—the Smoking Eruption. With notable appetizers including, escargot and ahi tuna wasabi, there is also an extensive sushi and sashimi menu. The main courses hit all the poultry, fish and meat zones—from duck to pork, steak to salmon. The Aloha Porkie came highly recommended by the server and lived up to the hype. Go a little out of your comfort zone for dessert and try the Crazy Monkey on Fire roll. With the proliferation of burgers and pizza in the Short North, Tai Tiki is a much-needed new option for diners.

The Walrus 143 E Main St. | thewalruscolumbus.com

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The Olde Towne Tavern owners have opened the doors at their new project, The Walrus. Where the OTE serves up self-purported ‘pub grub,’ the menu at The Walrus is considerably more adventurous, featuring an abundance of vegetarian options along with decedent fare as well (the menu has 3 different lobster dishes). In addition to the eclectic dining options, there’s a deep assortment of quality craft beers and a very respectable scotch selection to satisfy simpler tastes and a ten-deep cocktail program for those looking for something classic yet complex. Most importantly, The Walrus features live music several nights of the week and has already become a welcome addition to what has long been a somewhat thin and unpredictable downtown music scene.

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