30 April 2013

Dr. Mom's Tasty Bites

Dr. Mom's Tasty Bites is a new food truck. It is operated by Ousra El Gamal and her husband. They are a Turkish/Egyptian couple who both have Ph.D.s. Their daughters also have terminal degrees, indicated that Dr. Mom's Tasty Bites could probably beat your squad on team bar trivia night.

But rather than dominating trivia matchups, Dr. Mom uses her nutrition background to create delicious, healthy Mediterranean fare with a focus on low fat and vegetarian diners.

There are two veggie panini sandwiches, a veggie burger and a bean salad as entrees on the menu. Sides include hummus, baba ghanoush, potato salad and potato chips.

The baba ghanoush works a tremendously deep smoke into the tender eggplant slivers along with garlic and parsley. This eggplant dip would stand up to almost any in the Columbus area.

The veggie panini had squash, zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms and onions. It was dressed with pesto that soaked nicely into the bread. 

Prices are inexpensive. Dr. Mom's Tasty Bites is at Dinin' Hall a few times coming up, and it can be seen at the Campus Pitt Stop too. Check out Facebook for location updates.

Dr Mom's Tasty Bites on Urbanspoon

24 April 2013


The Arlington/Grandview/Campus corridor has become quite the place for pizza over the last few years. Old standbys like Adriatico's, Tommy's and Hound Dog's have welcomed newcomers like BonoDewey's and Meister's to the neighborhood. Add Savelli's New York Style Pizza to the list of great places to grab a slice.

The place is tucked next to an apartment complex office and the neighborhood pub 14 Twenty Bar and Grill. The quality of the pizza belies the modest exterior and the off-the-beaten-path location.

The star attraction is the floppy New York thin crust pizza, available as a full pizza or by the slice. Prices are inexpensive: a slice of cheese is $2.25, and a whole eight-slice large pie starts at $14.

The pizza is an old family recipe, although the shop has been open in its location for about a year. The crust is soft and buttery, and the sauce is bright and refreshing. The dried herbs dusting the cheese add a punch of flavor. The toppings are high quality. While the pizza is somewhat underwhelming in terms of overall appearance, the flavor more than overcomes these limitations. 

The veggie pizza is topped with thinly sliced green peppers, excellent canned mushrooms and white onions. It is superior to the Margarita pizza, which lacked delicacy because of overcooked basil that should have been added when the pizza came out of the oven. It overpowered everything else on an otherwise well-made pie.  

One or two slices is a reasonable portion, although two people can put quite a dent into one 16-inch pie. 

The side salad is fairly average, a rudimentary iceberg, tomato and onion number with croutons and cheese.

There is a small, dark dining room in the restaurant with a take-out counter. Savelli's also delivers.

Savelli's on Urbanspoon

17 April 2013

Dave's Cosmic Subs

I checked out the Dave's Cosmic Subs chain while in Northeast Ohio visiting my brother. Dave's is mostly located in Ohio, although there is currently one location in Atlanta. It has a fun, faux-hippie vibe, and to keep the patchouli crowd fed, Dave's has many different veggie sandwiches.

As expected, the decor is 1960 rock icons and vibrant psychedelic artwork. The majority of business is take-out, although there was seating for 30 in the Kent dining room.

The menu at Dave's has four meatless subs. Staff was accommodating to vegan concerns. There is also a build-your-own option that allows for dietary customization. Sandwiches are made on a sturdy sub roll that is either white or wheat.

The Dave's Haight Ashbury has roasted red peppers, green peppers, banana peppers, tomatoes, onions, herbs and Dave's Cosmic Sauce, a vinaigrette with a little punch.

The Veg Out is made with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, lettuce, tomato, banana peppers, cheddar, provolone and Swiss cheese with herbs and the eponymous sauce. 

Dave's also makes their own veggie burger patty. It is served on the sub roll a la the old Subway Veggie Max patties. They also make a classic pizza sub which can be prepared without pepperoni.

There are pretty typical sub sides at Dave's, including chips, cookies and salads. This looks like part of a fun development growing near Kent State University.

Dave's Cosmic Subs on Urbanspoon

09 April 2013


Fusian is a small fast-casual sushi spot that opened up on campus. It's a small chain currently with three locations in Ohio. Diners can pick a variety of ingredients and have a maki roll prepared for them. 

In addition to the amply portioned sushi rolls, there are a variety of vegetarian friendly side dishes at Fusian. Everything served can be eaten in the fun dining space.

Veggie rolls can be made with vegetables including carrot, cucumber, avocado, asparagus, green onion and jalepeƱo peppers, as well as roasted tofu. There are also sauces including wasabi mayo, sweet chili and spicy may. The tofu added a nice texture but little flavor to the dish. The veggies were fresh, with many sourced from Ohio. The wasabi mayo was a little thin and lacked the spicy punch I was expecting.

The spicy edamame was delightful. The hot soybeans were dressed in a delightfully sweet chili garlic sauce that exploded with flavor. 

The cucumber salad had a clean essence that hinted at an Asian cole slaw. The subtle rice wine vinegar brightened the dish.

I'm not sure if the PB&J roll is for kids or dessert. Either way, I want to try it.

Fusian on Urbanspoon

05 April 2013

Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza

Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza is another in a long line of gourmet pizza shops catering to upper crust clientele in central Ohio. It offers a new American spin on New York style pizza with fresh ingredients sometimes combined into interesting pies.

While Natalie's whips up great looking pizza made from high quality ingredients in a fun setting, the service was slow and ineffective. The front of house was disconnected from the rest of the operation, misjudging seating time by more than an hour. Natalie's seems to suffer from a lack of identity, namely the confusion between being a restaurant and a concert venue.

The Clintonville/Worthington area pizzeria does have a great selection of beer and cocktails. I enjoyed a Great Lakes Alchemy Hour Double IPA. The bar has a great view of the oven, which turns out pizza quickly.

The hummus appetizer was wholly average. The chickpea dip had a smooth consistency that lacked flavor. The clumsy crudites are little more than a poorly executed garnish that belongs on a table at a graduation party.

The cheese plate had nice options, including a flavorful Quiejo Toledo, a Portuguese farmhouse cheese with a bright, creamy finish. While the cheeses and accoutrements were pleasant, the sliced orange garnish belongs on a cocktail or main course in an old-fashioned Chinese restaurant rather than on a cheese plate.

The pizza crust is thin and crispy with a tender chew, a little more so than the traditional New York pie. There are a number of meatless pizzas with an array of toppings. The whole tomato brought little to the classic Margherita pie.

Overall, Natalie's makes good pizza and great drinks, but uneven service makes dinner and late-night dining a challenge. It doesn't stand out well with all of the recent haute pizza joints that have opened in the past few years. Natalie's is a change of pace option that lags behind the best of the best spots.

Natalie's Coal-Fired Pizza on Urbanspoon