Restaurant Review: Dad’s Coneys and Wraps
Talita’s has a long, proud history in the Columbus food scene. It tags itself as “The Burrito Columbus Loved First,” and that feels like truth. Debuting in 1968, Talita’s was, for the longest time, what felt like the only Tex-Mex joint in town.
Although the burrito market is significantly more crowded these days, Talita’s is still in the game, running locations on Hayden Run and Dublin Road, and it’s branched out a little too; adding Coney Dogs to its line up. Perhaps an unconventional addition, those Coney offerings have, in turn, launched an entirely new empire: Dad’s Coneys and Wraps.
Dad’s Coneys made a summer debut in the Graceland Shopping Center. In doing so, it created the quintessential neighborhood coney joint. It’s also dirt cheap, and that’s meant as a high compliment. Most of the basic items run less than $5.
Modern hot dog shops typically showcase a host of unusual dog topping options; peanut butter, kimchi, truffle oil. That’s not going to happen here. Dad’s is classic to the core, so the house Coney starts with a low-brow, soft white bun filled with a beef dog (appropriately firm and plump), smothered with chili-tinged coney sauce, and onions sprinkled for a bright crunch. There’s nothing gourmet or unusual here. It’s just a good old-fashioned coney dog ($3.25). If you need a different, exotic topping, you can get the coleslaw dog instead.
Or venture on to other items on the menu, such as the Loose Beef Sandwich ($3.45). It was a compelling choice, especially because it’s something old-fashioned seeming that is seldom found in this century’s dining scene. For the uninitiated, a loose beef sandwich is literally loose ground beef, finely ground, so it naturally clumps and stays on the sandwich. At Dad’s Coneys, the beef is served with pickles and mustard as it overflows the boundaries of a fancier split bun. The sandwich was warmly received by adults for its homespun charm, noting the pickle-mustard elements provided just enough interest.
The same sandwich was also condemned by the younger guests because it was “not a hamburger.” So, your mileage may vary.
Change the context a little, though: You can also order loose beef in a wrap. Sounds iffy? What if it was a smothered wrap…with cheese? Then it’s…it’s…
It’s an enchilada! Dad’s Coneys goes full circle back to the original Talita’s with its smothered wrap options. It’s a tortilla, stuffed with meat and smothered in enchilada sauce with cheese. Generous levels of both filling and savory sauce make the “wrap” hefty and hearty, and still a bargain at $5.99. For pulled poultry fans, there’s a sandwich and smothered wrap option with chicken as well.
To complete Dad’s established traditional coney scene, there are french fries and tots ($2.99). Both hot and crackling-fresh on all counts.
The fries, though, in particular pair well with the coney sauce and cheese ($6.99). Then it’s a meal, instead of a side.
Dad’s recently introduced a veggie dog to its line-up, and its menu also features a few other vegetarian-friendly items, including a bean and cheese wrap.
You can find Dad’s Coneys and Wraps at 128 Graceland Blvd. It’s open Mondays through Saturdays at 11 a.m. to serve up lunch and dinner (and snacks). The business is closed Sundays.
For more information, visit dadsconeysandwraps.com.
All photos by Susan Post