The Scoop: Five things to know in Columbus dining news
Every week, Crave editors dish on five things we're eating, drinking and gabbing about in Columbus food news. Here's the latest, from paletas to build-your-own pho to the return of Freshstreet.
It was a sad day in the Columbus food scene when Freshstreet owners Kenny Kim and Misako Ohno (2012 Tastemakers) packed up their Double Happiness pop-up and headed for the West Coast in 2013. This weekend, the duo returns for a three-day celebration at The Commissary. On Friday, July 24, they'll host Freshstreet Backyard BBQ with food served family-style (including lobster with béchamel, grilled whole scallops, okonomiyaki baked potato and salty caramel corn on the cob). On Saturday, July 25, Kim and Ohba bring a future business idea to life-an upscale fast food restaurant called Freshstreet Japanese Taco Shop. And on Sunday, July 26, it's Freshstreet Diner, a Japanese take on brunch. Cost for each event varies. Tickets can be purchased here.
Now that summer is (finally!) here, there is one cool treat you should be holding in your hand: a paleta. What exactly is a paleta? It's a refreshing ice pop, typically with fresh fruit and juice locked inside-but keep an eye out for those made with cream and other sweeteners. This week, we got our fix at Diamonds Ice Cream (5461 Bethel Sawmill Center) where, inside the paleta freezer case, it looks like a rainbow exploded. Their more than 50 house-made pop flavors range from fruity watermelon and cactus pear, to Oreo, prune and bright blue bubblegum. Our pick: mango chili with fresh chunks of fruit and just enough red chili flakes to make your tongue tingle.
The build-your-own concept hit a new milestone this week with the opening of Phy Phom Pho in Grandview in the former Jobu Ramen space (1439 Grandview Ave.). The restaurant is the latest from the owners of Mazah Mediterranean Eatery, located a few doors down. At Phy Phom Pho, diners can opt to build a rice or noodle bowl (akin to pho), pick a protein and toppings, including egg, carrot, bean sprouts and sweet potato.
Congrats to Los Guachos Taqueria for their nod from the Food Network. The local favorite landed at No. 3 on the network's list of "Top Five Tacos in America" for their al pastor tacos. It's a nice national pat-on-the-back-but it's certainly no secret around these parts.
Calling all food nerds: Registration is now open for the annual Roots conference hosted by The Chef's Garden's educational arm, the Culinary Vegetable Institute. (For those unfamiliar, it's a notable farm in the Huron-area known worldwide for its sustainable produce.) This year, registration to the two-day gathering on Sept. 21 and 22 is open to the public (it was invitation-only last year), and the event features a who's who lineup of culinary speakers (including Columbus-native and three –Michelin-starred chef Curtis Duffy). If you're itching to talk to those in the know about the future of food, and how you can make a difference in your own community, it's worth checking out. And for a little more background, here's our recap of what we learned at Roots last year.