Sun Tong Luck Asian Cuisine

Chinese | Co-owner Helena Louie is all smiles ready to take your order behind a Formica counter, the only barrier between the kitchen and the linoleum-tiled dining room at Sun Tong Luck on Bethel Road. Ask for the Spicy Garlic Tofu ($5.75 half order, $8 full), and she'll tell you they use a high-quality, GMO-free tofu. Get an order of Chicken Sui Mai ($3 for $3.05), and she'll mention these open dumplings are carryovers from the dim sum menu served at Sun Tong Luck's original location in Reynoldsburg. So supportive is Helena of your order (and their hydrogenated-oil-free ingredients), you'll be tempted to keep going. And that wouldn't be a bad thing here, where Chinese dishes, from the Americanized General Tso's chicken to the curry-laden Singapore Noodles (a must!), are fresh and bright. They're all creations of Helena's husband Frank, who cooked at "frou-frou" restaurants in Hong Kong before coming to the States in the '70s.

Mojo Tago

Mexican | If you didn't know Mojo Tago started as a taco-slinging food truck, you'll get the picture when you walk into its brick-and-mortar shop in a Powell business plaza. The walls are the same vibrant orange, green and yellow as its truck. Behind the stainless steel counter, a door swings upward-just like the window of a food truck-exposing Coke products for sale. Mobile roots mean fast service with tacos, quesadillas and burritos ready in a matter of minutes. The menu's been in flux as cooks test specials for a forthcoming sit-down and bar next door (they're shooting for a March opening), but if the Korean BBQ is an option, get it. Chunks of tender and salty Asian marinated short rib are topped with crisp cabbage slaw and pickled red onion. The carnitas with pineapple is a close, slightly sweeter, second.

While you're here: Pop into Beehive Bread Co. just down the road for a loaf of killer pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

Tensuke Express

Japanese | Located inside Tensuke Market off Old Henderson Road, good Japanese food served at a fast pace is what Tensuke Express was created to do. It's also a bargain, with most dishes clocking in well under $10. How you want to enjoy this fare is up to you. Wander to your left for the order-at-the-counter restaurant that serves flavorful udon noodle and tempura soba bowls for a song. Or head left, then right for the made-to-order sushi counter where you can get pieces of nigiri topped with fish like tuna, yellow tail or salmon, or maki rolls in familiar California or more adventurous toro and green onion options. Regardless of where you order, you'll be handed a vibrating buzzer, leaving you free to wander about the market.


Italian | As an Italian deli and wine shop, Vincenzo's is often overlooked for its quick, high-quality, ready-to-eat takeout selections. The meatball subs are huge-think large, saucy meatballs crammed into a sliced boule of crusty house-made bread-and the rest of the subs are every bit as hefty. Best of all, they're a steal at $10.99 (the menu suggests that they could serve two, and it's no exaggeration). Since there are only four indoor seats, takeout is almost mandatory, and the hot subs and calzones ($9.99/pound) travel well. Vincenzo's is great for large office orders, and employees will happily box them and help you take them to your car.

Dosa Corner

South Indian/Vegetarian | If Indian food is your comfort food, then dosas are your meatloaf. Dosa Corner employs these massive, tangy crepe-like pancakes to swaddle fillings like masala dosa (onion and herbed potato curry, $6.39) and channa masala (chickpea and potato curry, $7.50). Pour accompanying brothy veggie soup over the dosa or enjoy on its own. Crispy edges are made for dipping in raita (thin yogurt sauce) or any chutney at hand. Though dosas are the stars here, explore the sweets in the case near the register; earthy-sweet carrot halwa is a favorite. Though Dosa Corner's dining room is harshly lit and spare, it's a lovely place to listen to people speaking other languages. But the restaurant does expert-level takeout, wrapping sauce, soup and chutney tightly in cling wrap and jacketing dosas in heat-retaining foil. Nary a drop spilled on the 15-minute drive home.

Moretti's of Arlington

Italian | Upscale Italian takeout becomes a rare reality at this frequently jammed crowd-pleaser. The family-run winner has been in the Tremont Center since 2000, but extends back to a bygone Grandview Avenue Moretti's which splintered into this and a (no longer business-related) Dublin restaurant. Go with the great, feeds-two Italian Plate ($20) and avoid the $3 eat-in sharing charge. Well-sealed in plastic-lidded foil boxes, it's a sampler of huge homemade spicy Italian sausages; al dente handmade spaghetti with rich red sauce; lovely chicken paillard; giant handmade raviolo; crispy eggplant Parmesan discs; and sauteed vegetables. The meal also comes with crusty house-made bread.

Nong's Hunan Express

Thai/Chinese | The Columbus landscape is dotted with neighborhood Chinese joints, and Grandview's Nong's scratches that itch quite well. Less prevalent? Good Thai food. And that's the half of the menu where Nong's really shines. There's a wide assortment of curry-heavy entrees and, of course, traditional pad thai-though we recommend the more adventurous pad see ew if you're in the mood for noodles. (The heat scale is Americanized, so don't be afraid to order anything with a little extra spice.) And the Thai-Chinese combo is perfect if you can't get your significant other to get more adventurous than General Tso's.

Apna Bazaar

Pakistani/Indian | Everyone's talking fried chicken these days, but what about tandoori chicken? Apna Bazaar's tandoors-deep, cave-like ovens in which skewered chicken is grilled-are busy producing some of the best tandoori chicken and naan bread in town. Expect a bit of a wait in the bare-bones carryout side of the business (you can also dine next door at the Tandoori Grill), but the wait's certainly worth it. The rich and tender chicken or goat qorma dishes are sure-fire winners, but you shouldn't go without at least one order of the boneless tandoori chicken and their thin naan. The naan may lose some of its crisp when traveling, but the foil-wrapped chicken skewers stay warm and succulent.

While you're here: Get a jump start on the week's groceries at nearby CAM International Market.

Anna's Greek Cuisine

Greek | Chances are there's a good Greek eatery in your neighborhood-a spot that'll satisfy cravings for gyros and hummus and the like. But if you're in the mood for fare more reminiscent of sitting along the Mediterranean, go to Anna's Greek Cuisine located in a powerhouse plaza on Sawmill (its neighbors are perennial favorites Hass and Sunflower Chinese). Your best bet? Stick to dishes under the Anna's Specialties header, like herbaceous Chicken Lemonati ($15) with crisp green beans and tangy lemon potatoes and Lamb Parnasos ($17), a dressed-up peasant-style dish with chunks of lamb, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, eggplant and zucchini. Bonus: Spots in front of the restaurant are reserved for takeout customers.

Jie's Good Tasting

Chinese | If at first you don't succeed in reaching Jie's by phone, call, call again. Chances are, the one or two people working at this Grandview Avenue gem are preoccupied serving tables or hand-folding the restaurant's worth-the-wait dumplings. The savory bite-size bags are better than the service, so place that order (but be prepared for a few dishes to be sold out) and take a seat for 10 minutes once you arrive. (Sitting at an uncleared table is less awkward than waiting in the middle of the 24-top dining room.) Don't neglect to include an order of a dozen two-bite pork and celery dumplings. (Dumplings are good the next day, so it's totally OK to over-order.)