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Restaurant Review: Torpedo Room

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Torpedo Room
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The wallet heist at the movie concession stand is an inevitability. You can go to all the cheapie matinee showings you want, the price for a little bag of popcorn and a coke will still be ten bucks.

So it’s nice to find that, inside the glitzy Gateway Film Center, the in-house restaurant is on the affordable side. And it’s interesting in its own right.

The Torpedo Room is a newish project from the Columbus Food League. Like the rest of the company projects, the menu and decor have their own little flair. This particular installation has a Steam Punk Submarine Cafeteria thing happening, so there’s a wall display of porthole windows that frame old school sea monsters, along with utilitarian chairs and tables.

The menu is one page, packed front to back. Every teeny centimeter on that page lists a menu option, so be ready to do some squinty reading.

So, unleash the torpedoes. There’s a nice Veggie Sub (or torpedo, $7) that’s built on hummus, charred poblanos, avocado and serious mustard. While the hummus-slash-avocado combination might sound unseemly, it works and the luxuriousness of the avocado makes this veggie sandwich one to hit again and again.

Alternately, there are sandwiches. The Turkey Club ($8) overflows with layers of good-quality deli turkey, sliced thin and piled high. It’s teamed with more avocado, bacon, lettuce, tomato and served on a thick soft bread.

There is also Mac and Cheese ($7), and yes it is very similar to Betty’s, with the discreet addition of poblano peppers and red onion. It’s probably safe to stop fretting about the short-term demise of the Short North location (or un-demise, as it turns out).

The Torpedo Room is at its best, however, when it pulls brussel sprouts into the mix. It does this on more than one occasion, but since the sprouts are both trendy and delicious, it feels like a net win.

Take, for example, the Laurel Valley Lovely Salad ($8.50): it’s a combo of romaine, “frizzled” sprouts (which means they’re little, caramelized, seasoned slices), shreds of ham, giant white icebergs of cheese curds, tomatoes, and a vinagrette to tie the glorious mess all together. It’s like a “kitchen sink” creation -where a whole of bunch of elements dance around together in a mix that really works.

Or better yet: you can score a Brussel Sprouts Pizza ($9). It’s actually called a “flatbread”. The pie has a a nice square shape, and is smothered, edge-to-edge with the aforementioned sprouts, ham, melty gouda and mozzarella. Ham and the briny caramelized sprouts are a dream team when tied together in a dewy blanket of cheese.

Or there is a more ordinary Pepperoni Pizza ($8), for those with less adventure in their hearts. Still square, still edge to edge, with lush supply of both pepperoni and cheese. It’s a traditional pizza that would make just about anyone pretty happy.

And if popcorn is a must-have for a pre-movie experience, the kitchen serves cheesy popcorn with all the sandwiches. It’s “cheesy” in the food-adjective sense, not in the “corny” sense (which muddles the explanation by being a food adjective). Plus, there’s a bonus perk: five local beers on draft, and a non-alcoholic ginger beer.

The Torpedo Room can be found at 1550 N. High Street, inside the Gateway Theater. It’s open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Fridays, and dinner-only on weekends.

For more information, visit www.torpedo-room.com.

Photos by Walker Evans.





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  • 8jeremyck01

    I’m not sure why the “hummus-slash-avacado combination might sound unseemly”. Hummus and avocado are served together all the time in many dishes and many cultures. Also, wouldn’t it be “hummus/avocado” or “hummus and avocado”? CU is a great source for information, but the editorial standards have really dipped. Many times CU reads like someone’s grammatically sloppy personal blog instead of a serious news source.

    • It’s a restaurant review, which is a personal opinion provided by our restaurant critic. She takes what she does seriously, but it’s meant to be a casual read.

  • Ned23

    3 things in life are certain, death, taxes, and internet grammar police.

  • Achekov

    I look at it this way: There are a lot of frustrated writers out there who are not working as writers. So, I’ll cut them some slack and let them feel useful as arm chair editors and say “thanks for the suggestions”.

    • 8jeremyck01

      Thanks for the snarky responses. I find it amusing that if a reader makes a suggestion or expresses an opinion, the peanut gallery comes out in force implying that the reader must be some failed or frustrated writer. How original. I’m not frustrated and I’m not a writer. I have worked for a newspaper in the past, so I do have editorial experience. My intention wasn’t to offend or be the “grammar police”. Rather, I was expressing my completely valid belief that CU could use a more uniform editorial standard. I read and support CU, and applaud the service it supplies, I just think there can be improvements to the writing in general. Keep on snarkin’!

      • Achekov

        Chip on shoulder much?

        • 8jeremyck01

          You seem to be the one who has the problem. I just like responding to idiotic posters:)

          • Enough with the bickering/insults everyone. Thanks.

  • I think it’s okay if you don’t like a particular writer or style. Mine is certainly not “daily newspaper” style. It is, however, a style that has worked for me for some time.

    The slash is interesting. While you won’t see it in the dailies, you will see it in weekly and monthly publications. There’s a great article about its evolving status here:


    Being food-interested, I am intrigued by the suggestion that avocado and hummus are historical teammates. Tell me more!

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