No-beef burgers: High Street Grill

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The restaurant: I strongly suggest you walk into the modern and modest High Street Grill from the High Street entrance so you can brush up against the glamorous ghosts of the grand and resplendent hotel in which it's housed. Christened in the late 19th century and now called the "Historic Westin Columbus," you might know this local architectural treasure as the Great Southern Hotel and Theatre. It is still a thing of beauty.

The burger: You'll need a big old mouth to bite into this colossal sandwich - fortunately I qualify. Strewn throughout with threads of spinach, High Street's Salmon Burger ($14 - available only at lunch) is also loosely packed with tangy feta cheese, creamy whole pine nuts and diced red onions, making this Mediterranean-inspired munch colorful and even complex.

What's more, it's made with chopped medium-rare cooked salmon that's mercifully bereft of a bunch of bread-crumby filler. It might not stay intact during your excited act of mastication, but with a flavor like this, you likely won't care.

The bun: Nice, puffy, buttered, toasted and on the gigantic side.

Toppings, sides and extras: An Old Bay mayonnaise serves as a sort of nautical stand-in for tartar sauce, and it worked with shredded lettuce and a fat slice of tomato to ground this creative burger in old-timey fashion.

You can get sides of fruit (why?) or more burger-accommodating fare like a giant pile of thin and crispy, lightly floured shoestring fries or a hearty and smoky redskin potato salad sprinkled with cheese and scallions.