A la Carte: Happy Greek Red Snapper

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

An overtaxed foil wrapper was straining to contain an overflow of ingredients. I took that as a good sign. But as I was planning my method of attack - because planning was necessary for a sandwich like that - it occurred to me that the mammoth aluminum-bound munch sort of resembled an Olympic torch.

So for just a moment I considered hoisting it high above my head and with my outstretched right arm, strutting off a victory lap through the whole restaurant. With the joint's knockoff classical statues, Parthenon-like bar facade and blue and white Greek-theme colors, it was certainly a prime setting for an Olympian prance like that.

Actually my visit to the Short North Happy Greek was a Plan B improvisation because the restaurant I'd come down to eat at had a line out the door. But with one bite of the Greek's A-list Red Snapper sandwich ($6.50 at lunch, $7.25 at dinner), I was more than glad to be there.

I've had some ups and downs at Happy Greek, but this heretofore-untried-by-me fish sandwich was definitely a big up. And a royal mess to eat.

I got an overabundance of thick, long and wide planks of clean-tasting fish given a nicely seasoned crust - not a bready battering - and fried to golden brown.

Then came the onslaught of gardeny garnishes. So the fat-stacked snapper was mingling with a bunch of fresh and crisp romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and pickled banana peppers, which helped leaven the fried richness.

Lighting the flame on this torch was the brilliant addition of red-tinted kopanisti. Kopanisti is like a spicy, Greek pimiento cheese dip, only made with salty feta. And come to think of it, I'd like to shake the hand of the genius who decided to put this zesty spread on my excellent snapper sandwich. In fact, I'm thinking kopanisti might make any sandwich better.

Anyway, the whole shebang came on a heavily overloaded, crunchily toasted thick pita loaf, which struggled to maintain its structural integrity throughout the messy eating process. It failed gloriously.

On the side were crisp, seasoned fries that I didn't need to eat but did anyways. I suppose I should've run an Olympic-worthy marathon afterward to work off that gold-medal sandwich meal.

Short North Happy Greek

660 N. High St., Short North


Web: shortnorthhappygreek.com

Have a favorite menu item you'd like to share with Alive? E-mail gbenton@columbusalive.com