Cheap Eats: $20 Date Challenges at Columbus Restaurants

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

We gave Amy Tillinghast, vice president of marketing for Experience Columbus, and husband Sean $20 to spend on food at Arepazo Tapas & Wine in Gahanna. Here's what Amy had to say:

"I thought it would be a challenge-it's easy to go somewhere and spend $12 on just a salad-and that we'd leave hungry. But we had no problem at all spending just $20 on lunch, and we were so full we couldn't even finish our fried plantains. I ordered the tostada, and Sean had the Cuban wrap. The sodas, though, were almost $3 apiece! They have a really nice bar, and often on a weekend we'll grab a beer with lunch … when we're not worried about how much we're spending, of course."

We gave WBNS 10TV reporter Angela An and husband Don $20 to spend on food at Harvest Kitchen in Clintonville. Here's what Angela had to say:

"I was excited, because people have been raving about the restaurant. I loved the atmosphere. … It felt like a nice dinner out, not like a pizza joint. I thought surely we'd be able to get pizza for two for less than $20. With that said, when I started to look over the menu, I realized it might be difficult, as there wasn't much for less than $10. But the more we looked at the menu and saw how unique the pizzas were, it made sense. We got the Geary Street pizza. Don got an iced tea and I got a coffee, and we ended up just over $20. That's not bad for a dinner date out."

We gave Pickerington shop owners Jen and Jason Diehl $20 to spend on dinner at Bangkok Grocery & Restaurant. Here's what Jen had to say:

"It was in a funky strip-mall area, but I'm from New York and I love that hidden-gem aspect. I'd say it was the best Thai food we've had. We started with an appetizer of six spring rolls, which were awesome and came with an array of sauces. I ordered the Pad See Ew; it was probably the most well-seasoned noodle I've had, period. Jason got a curry soup with chicken. Going into this, we thought we'd maybe have to share an entree, but the portions were great. They don't serve alcohol, but that helps keep down the cost."