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Not Quite in the Mood for Mexican

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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In some parts of Columbus it seems like there’s a Mexican restaurant on every corner. We’re blessed to have so many great options, but where do you go when you’re craving other types of Latin cuisine?

For starters, there’s always the Colombian and Venezuelan plates at El Arepazo Downtown. If you’re in the mood for some Puerto Rican dishes, Costelo’s may have just what you need. Recently, we saw a review of Los Galapagos, which features Ecuadorian cuisine. And we should also include the Banana Bean Cafe for their “Florribean” menu that mixes Latin, Southern, and Jamaican influences all into one big mix.

Are there any other non-Mexican places that you like to go to get a taste of Latin America?

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14 Responses to Not Quite in the Mood for Mexican

  1. deraj1013
    deraj1013 February 23, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am

    Your links include the famous Starliner Diner. And it doesn’t fit my list of vegetarian approved eateries (although the mangu is good), but there is also Latin Cafe on South Hamilton. Spanish options include Sedeo Cafe (in Powell) and Barcelona. Those are a few I know.

  2. shroud
    shroud February 23, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm

    Sedeo cafe is, sadly, closed.  Not much info on their website about it, save a “Sorry, CLOSED” superimposed over the phone number”.

    http://www.sedeocafe.com/

  3. JonMyers February 23, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm

    Do you have permission from Mexico to use their flag in this post??

  4. deraj1013
    deraj1013 February 23, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm

    D’oh! That’s too bad about Sedeo.

  5. CapitalE
    CapitalE February 23, 2009 1:33 pm at 1:33 pm

    You covered most of my favorites.  Sounds like Barrio’s will certainly fill a niche when it opens.  Never been to Maca Cafe in Powell, but heard it is tapas.

  6. NerosNeptune February 23, 2009 1:36 pm at 1:36 pm

    Sorry for posting about Mexican food in a not-Mexican-food thread.. but I was a bit surprised about the Mexican restaraunts on every corner line.. are there good mexican places near downtown/short north? I have yet to see anything.

    My only fix has been Jimmy Guaco’s at OSU,, but I have been missing the awesome authentic mexican restaraunts every city of every size i’ve lived in has had.

  7. CapitalE
    CapitalE February 23, 2009 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm

    Mexican in town – El Vaquero empire (six of seven locations??), La Fogata in Short North and Pickerington, Los Comperos on South Side, the newer place on the corner of Grandview Ave & river road (forget name! Old Tee Jaye’s location), Cuco’s on Henderson Road, La Hacienda Real on Sinclair (best nachos).

  8. deraj1013
    deraj1013 February 23, 2009 1:54 pm at 1:54 pm

    Maca Cafe is pretty tasty.

    http://deraj1013.blogspot.com/2008/02/maca.html

  9. deraj1013
    deraj1013 February 23, 2009 2:03 pm at 2:03 pm

    And it is Mexican-influenced, but Talita’s in Grove City technically makes Brownsville, Texas style Southwestern Fare. 

    http://www.talitas.com/

    http://deraj1013.blogspot.com/2008/10/talitas-mexican-kitchen.html

    Chili Verde is also more Southwestern than Mexican.

    http://columbus.citysearch.com/profile/7882745/columbus_oh/chile_verde_cafe.html

    http://deraj1013.blogspot.com/2008/06/chile-verde-cafe.html

    I guess these aren’t totally out of the discussion since I already started listing Spanish restaurants, and Spain is only slightly closer to Latin America than Great Britain is. But I digress.

  10. Walker Evans
    Walker February 23, 2009 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm

    NerosNeptune, my comment about “a mexican restaurant on every corner” was mostly concerning specific suburbs. You can’t hit a strip mall without their being at least one or two restaurants or a mexican grocery store. Many central city neighborhoods (like the ones you mentioned) are lacking in Mexican (and Latin in general) options.

  11. NerosNeptune February 23, 2009 6:49 pm at 6:49 pm

    Thanks CapitalE, and Walker for the clarification.. i was a bit worried there were a ton of awesome places I was just missing somehow. Looks like La Fogata is pretty close to me. I will have to head over there and check it out… and some of these good non-mexican places people are suggesting as well :)

  12. Mike Brown
    michaels14 February 24, 2009 1:26 pm at 1:26 pm

    I snuck into Barrio the other night, met some of the in-coming staff and such… got to taste some dishes that were out of this freakin’ world.  Interior is very interesting, warm and dark, and the cooks were hoppin’ as they tested the menu.  This is really a vision coming to life for folks who love new flavors along with some old Latin favorites.

  13. columbusfoodie
    swampkitty February 26, 2009 5:50 am at 5:50 am

    Still have a longer review of Maca forthcoming, but the general impression we got is very traditional Spanish tapas, most taste great but serving sizes are teeny tiny (as tapas usually are), between two people will easily spend like $40 – $50 to be satisfied but not super full.

    One dish I can already recommend hands down is the scallops dish – absolutely amazing, absolutely fresh using dayboat scallops, and a bargain at $8.50 for 3. (especially considering said scallops go for $24.99/lb at the North Market).

    Can’t talk about Spanish food without mentioning Spain Restaurant on 161. Amazing pollo con arroz, you get a huge pot for like $15. Haven’t tried their paella yet, but I hear it’s great.

  14. Walker Evans
    Walker March 6, 2009 2:14 pm at 2:14 pm

    Now that Barrio is officially open, I guess they need to be added to this list. Just saw this tidbit via twitter:

    Barriotapas: We now carry Quilmes Lager! Barrio is the only place you can get Argentina’s national beer in Columbus! http://ow.ly/GwV

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