distilleries, dosas, doughnuts, dumplings
Columbus has gone from zero to six distilleries in less than a decade, led off by Middle West Spirits and its award-winning portfolio of OYO vodkas and whiskeys. (Its restaurant, Service Bar, isn’t half bad either.) Watershed Distillery features a notable variety, from the fragrant Four Peel Gin to its unique Nocino walnut liqueur. High Bank Distillery Co. offered vodka, rum and gin right out of the gate, followed up by the rye-heavy Whiskey War. Echo Spirits Distilling Co. is just getting started with rum, a spicy rye whiskey and a forthcoming Dutch genever. 451 Spirits branches out with flavored whiskeys and rums, while Noble Cut Distillery dabbles in flavored whiskeys and limoncellos.
These thin rice and lentil pancakes originate from southern India, typically served rolled with sides of chutney and sambar lentil stew. They’re the namesake at Dosa Corner, a hidden gem off Henderson Road. The eatery produces a dozen varieties, accompanied by ingredients like herbed potato curry or roasted onion chutney. The colorful and modern NeeHee’s serves varieties measuring almost 2 feet in length. The golden-hued, crispy pancakes are accompanied by chutney, masala-spiced potatoes and sambar. NeeHee’s also gets creative with dosa wraps and its Three Idiots: dosas wrapped as cones and flavored with different chutneys. Finally, don’t overlook the vegetarian-friendly Gokul Café, which offers more than 20 crêpes, from the Mysore masala dosa to the paneer bhurji dosa.
Columbus has been doing doughnuts, and doing them well, for a long time. Resch’s Bakery takes the cake as longest running: 108 years and six generations of bowties, sticks and glazed beauties. Buckeye Donuts is the Campus institution, plying hungry college students with fresh apple fritters and maple bacon longjohns 24 hours a day, every day. Schneider’s Bakery is the go-to in Uptown Westerville, while the sour cream glazed donuts are the signature taste at Grandview’s DK Diner. Tupelo Doughnuts crafts creative twists on classic styles: cream-filled crème brûlée, brown butter hazelnut Old Fashioneds, orange cardamom doughnut holes.
A good dumpling should be bursting with myriad flavors and textures. Momo Ghar went from a hidden gem grocery store stall in Saraga to Food Network feature and North Market highlight; Phuntso Lama’s signature jhol momos (a type of Nepalese dumplings) are served in a pool of fiery sauce. You won’t be angry over Dumplings of Fury, the Center Street Market stall offering aggressively spiced wontons like shrimp and pork or garlic mushroom. Hilliard’s Kabob Shack features Afghan-style potstickers, called mantu, stuffed with ground beef and covered in yogurt and tomato sauce.