The new food hall is here, the new food hall is here! If Steve Martin was making The Jerk in 2018 instead of 1979, this might be his reaction. Frankly, it is about time this city got a damn food hall and the good people at Corso Ventures (Pint House, Standard Hall, Forno) have made this happen. And because no good idea goes unpunished, Cameron Mitchell is opening a separate food hall this fall at Budd Dairy in Italian Village. However, for this entry we are going to focus on the great experience The Wetlis, Stollers and Irvins recently had on a Soccer Saturday Morning.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, a Food Hall is a big open dining area with a communal bar and different concepts to choose from. You can go to the bar or have a seat at a table. If you are at a table, you have a cocktail server and at the bar you have a bartender. Either way, you have to place an order at the counter of the concept booth of your choosing.
The Short North Food Hall presents five different options: Tortilla, Vinny’s, Shokudo, Short Grain and Legacy Smokehouse. Arriving directly after opening , we found seating for our party of ten and decided to try something off of every menu.
Well, I decided that. And I did that. Because I’m a winner.
First things first.
After a long morning of cheering on the Dino Sharks (of which Henry Stoller and Madison Irvin are BOTH members) in the children’s Clintonville soccer league, Megan and I decided to treat ourselves to a Bloody Mary. The mix was light and flavorful and the pour was decent, but the best part was the caprese salad garnish. This is a great accouterment and more bars should offer this garnish.
There is also a bottomless Mimosa option. I have to be honest. I feel like Chrissie, Erika and Megan all chickened out. Sure, it was only 11 AM and there were children present and we all had to drive home after. I get that, but still…
While we were looking over the menu, the fine fellows at Vinny’s Italian came over to our area and offered the kids small strips of cheesy bread and marinara sauce. The kids loved it. I loved my pizza.
It is always refreshing to find SLICES of pizza in Columbus, and Vinny’s offers a slice as big as your head. I ordered the Four Meat, which I BELIEVE consisted of pepperoni, bacon, sausage and ham. The slice had the perfect amount of cheese, a warm spicier sauce and high quality meats! At $5, you can’t go wrong.
Vinny’s also offers small plates, sandwiches and salads.
Based on a great experience I had the previous day, I suckered Megan into ordering some BBQ from Legacy Smokehouse.
Megan chose wisely and ordered ‘The Haystack’. Consisting of Mac and Cheese and topped with Brisket, Pork and Fritos, this dish was rich and hearty. The pulled pork and brisket have an argument for the best in the city and the side sausage link (my wife is a kraut…it’s like me ordering potatoes. Some things are ineviteable) was juicy, spicy with a crisp casing.
If you see Legacy around town, get some. They are obviously at the Food Hall, but also have a truck on Thurman & High as well as a brick and mortar location coming to Hilliard in June.
At this point, the group was starting to reach maximum food capacity. We were sharing food and ordering drinks all while discussing the DinoSharks breathtaking win earlier in the morning and as the clock approached noon, the Food Hall was filling up quickly. It was time to get the Delorean to 88 MPHs and flux capacitor myself into a food coma.
Chicken Potstickers now, Chicken Potstickers forever. Shokudo‘s potstickers were meaty, tender and not at all greasy – which is always a nice surprise. The texture was more crispy than doughy and at $7 was another value laden pick.
Shoduku also offers delicious ramen dishes as well as JFC – which stands for Japanese Fried Chicken. Kyle ordered these bit sized, flavor packed gems and everyone loved them. Sorry, no photos. Kyle has better manners than I and doesn’t annoy friends and family with constant food photos.
Did someone say Sushi? Probably not, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway.
Short Grain, simply put, is high quality, no frills sushi. There are not a ton of rolls (nine in total) to choose from, but the rolls available all looked delicious. I ordered the Spicy Tuna roll and definitely feel like I got my $8 worth. If you are in the Short North and want a drink and a simple, but tasty and high quality roll, go to Short Grain. You won’t be sorry.
After all of that eating and sharing, my compatriots were ready to throw in the towel. I put an end to that quitter talk by ordering delicious Caramel Churros from Tortilla.
Warm, gooey and sugary, this was the highlight of the morning. I had been looking forward to this treat as I recently had churros from Tortillas food truck at our friends Brien and Jessica’s wedding reception.
My buddy Kyle, astute as ever, said the Churros reminded him of warm Apple Pie, the kind your grandmother would make, when she wasn’t on the hooch. I couldn’t disagree and in fact believe that Tortilla’s Caramel Churro should replace Apple Pie as America’s favorite dessert.
Getting a churro from Tortilla is never not a good idea. It is the perfect end to a date night. Choose your churro, order a nightcap and chill at the bar. The portions are generous and at $6, you are not going to find a better dessert value in the Short North.
The Short North Food Hall also offers also offers 5 Dolla Holla, which is a Happy Hour of sorts. From 3-6 Monday through Thursday $5 will get you assorted drafts, mixed drinks, wine and selected food items.
Our group really enjoyed our experience and can’t wait to come back. Based on the menus and the prices, its really almost always Happy Hour at the Short North Food Hall. Do yourself a favor and go check it out. Great food, a cool environment, awesome service and some of the best food and drink values in the 614.