Restaurant Review: Phat Wraps

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Well, if you load all that lip-smacking ammo into a just-toasted pita loaf and sell it for the laughably low cost of $6 ($7 for "steak"), then what you get is Phat Wraps. And for the record, I do get Phat Wraps semi-frequently.

Located in a tiny nook on 12th Avenue, Phat Wraps is a clean and shiny and impressively healthy fast-food alternative with a mod and brick-walled minimalist-industrial look.

Inside this to-go oriented shop, you can cop a "for here" noshing squat at a couple of gleaming metal tables or at a handful of stools scooched up next to convenient food-perching bars. If you do go the staying-here route, I highly recommend you drip yourself out a free and refreshing cup of cucumber-and-lime-flavored iced water from a spigoted cooler device.

But whether you're eating in or taking away, the two-part drill here is to 1) simply choose a protein from the streamlined mini menu, then 2) after it's quickly grilled and perkily seasoned with a nice little salty spice mix, spruce your sandwich up with the extremely generous offerings from a diligently policed and thus always ultra-fresh "fixins" bar.

As for the protein choices, there's only three: chicken (plenty of chunks of good chopped breast meat); steak (probably my fave, it's tender and "Philly"-ish eating beef, and goes best with the melted cheese add-on); and the vegan soy (one of the meatiest-eating soy products around, it's ham-like and surprisingly good, if served in smallish portions).

Those bold-tasting grilled proteins deliver full-flavored ballast able to hold up to the real stars of Phat Wraps' show - the myriad add-ons. I like 'em all, and pile them on with greedy abandon, effectively overloading my sandwich into a literally over-the-top, healthy, colorful and crunchy delight.

I usually start with red cabbage, then squirt on some spicy mayo, then put on Thai basil, cilantro, baby spinach, carrot sticks, squirt on fresh lime, then hit up the onions, romaine lettuce, tomatoes and so on, finally finishing off with a little house ranch and hot sauces. Note well that the flame-igniting seed-in fresh jalapenos should not be toyed with by amateurs - ditto for the smoky and brash Phat Wrap house hot sauce.

Phat Wraps

10 E. 12th Ave., Campus