Cheap Eats: 7 Favorite Fried Snacks

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
Little Palace's fried cheese curds

Forget french fries-here are seven picks for totally tasty (and unique) ways to indulge with a fried snack.

Smoked Portabella Poutine

Chef Magdiale Wolmark has a gift for making vegetarian fare substantial and satisfying, and this riff on the Canadian favorite is a perfect example. In his version ($10), sweet-potato fries are doused with rich smoked portabella mushroom gravy for a snack that'll stick to your ribs. 247 King Ave., Victorian Village, 614-298-9986,


Charred to nearly black but still soft-and a little bit gooey-inside, Starliner Diner's fried plantains ($6) are warm, tasty and just a tad greasy. Think french fries on a health kick. 5240 Cemetery Rd., Hilliard, 614-529-1198,

Avocado Fries

"Pair them with tequila" is the advice you're likely to receive from a server at totally irreverent Local Cantina about their creamy, panko-crusted deep-fried avocado app ($5), served with cilantro-ranch dipping sauce. 1423b Grandview Ave., Grandview, 614-488-6146; 101 Mill St., Gahanna, 614-337-6146,

Cheese Curds

Described endearingly by the bartender as "like a heart attack," Little Palace's fried cheese curds ($8) are slightly chewy. Even if you think you want to eat the whole plate, don't. Sharing is smart. 24 S. Fourth St., Downtown, 614-460-8888,

Green Beans

To fill this shareable basket ($9), battered green beans are deep fried, sprinkled with sea salt and served alongside house-made ranch and bloody mary dipping sauces. They're crunchy, salty, garlicky … and totally count as a daily serving of vegetables. 73 E. Gay St., Downtown, 614-221-8300,

Scotch Eggs

We can sum up Mac's Cafe's Scotch eggs ($4.95)-an ode to the original Scottish owner-in two words: fatty and rich. (And both are meant as a compliment.) The hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage is lightly breaded and twice-fried for extra crispness. And don't be stingy on the accompanying creamy sage sauce. 693 N. High St., Short North, 614-221-6227,


Philco's ping-pong-ball-sized hushpuppies ($2.50)-crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside-are versatile. Choose the savory option, served with spicy pickle mayo, for the perfect beer companion, or go with the sweet version, doused in powdered sugar and served with syrup, for a breakfast treat. 747 N. High St., 614-299-9933,