Restaurant review: Fetty's Street Food

G.A. Benton, Columbus Alive

When I asked Damian Ettish what inspired him to move 13,000 miles from Cape Town, South Africa to Columbus, he smiled and said, "Two things: a girl and money. I still don't have much money, but, well, I'm working with my father-in-law here."

"Here" was the 4th and 4th Fest, where I ran into Ettish and his father-in-law, Danny Amornyard -who owned Bangkok City near Buckeye Lake for 30 years until retiring in2015. The friendly duo was serving festival-goers from Fetty's Street Food, the only food truck I know of in town to offer South African cuisine.

In business a little over a month, Fetty's - the truck shares Ettish's nickname - generally offers a smallish menu of old Bangkok City favorites and South African fare. So if you're looking to get your fix of General Tso's and boerewors, Fetty's has the hookup.

Boerewors, which means "farmer's sausage" in the Dutch-derived language of Afrikaans - one of South Africa's 11 official languages - is traditionally made using Dutch-derived recipes. Fetty's version is made by the recently opened, local-focused and quality-obsessed Butcher & Grocer in Grandview.

To produce it, Butcher & Grocer uses grass-fed beef, high-grade Mangalitsa heritage pork and Ettish's recipe. Part of that recipe is a seasoning blend Ettish developed with the pros at North Market Spices.

Black pepper was prominent in Fetty's fresh, lean-tasting sausage ($9), which was a little sweet, a little smoky and nicely seared. The brat-like and brat-sized link arrived on a puffy hot dog roll, and was slathered with mustard, ketchup and lotsa caramelized onions. Good stuff.

I also had my first taste of another South African classic: bunny chow. Tracing the history of bunny chow turns up some interesting information, the least controversial of which is that it has nothing to do with rabbits and everything to do with South Africa's many immigrants from India.

Garnished with cilantro and tangy raita, Fetty's Bunny Chow ($10) was a hulking piece of unsliced, cored-out white bread filled with chicken curry featuring a rich and zingy gravy and very tender meat. If you've ever had soup in a "bread bowl," it'll seem familiar.

With flavorful, intriguing fare such as this - and a garlic-kissed, sweetness-restrained take on General Tso's chicken ($11, served with steamed rice) sporting a crunchy batter and gravy-like sauce - Fetty's Street Food is off to a terrific start.

Fetty's Street Food