One-dish wonders: Eight build-your-own eateries

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
One dish wonders at Grandview's Phy Phom Pho

Having it your way is easier than ever before, with the expanding list of build-your-own eateries opening in Columbus. Here, a look at eight brands and what they do best.


Inspired by: Korean

Locations: Multiple

The fare: Wraps, rice bowls and salads are filled with fresh vegetables, potatoes, protein and Asian-influenced sauces.

Menu highlights: Purple rice is made by steaming white rice with a pinch of black rice. The resulting violet color is natural, and the flavor is pleasantly nutty.

Phy Phom Pho

Inspired by: Cambodian

Location: Grandview

The fare: Pho and rice bowls are topped with proteins, fresh vegetables and herbs and drizzled with chili and hoisin sauces.

Highlights: Beef is tender and flavorful, and kimchee, or fermented cabbage, is not too spicy, perfectly salty and just a little sour.


Inspired by: Mediterranean

Location: Reynoldsburg

The fare: Pitas, rice bowls, hummus and salads come with a choice of protein, vegetables, feta

and sauce.

Highlights: Matbucha, a fresh and spicy tomato-based salad, is blended with roasted red pepper and garlic. Ask for a side, but enjoy it on your rice bowl.


Inspired by: Italian

Location: Multiple

The fare: Piadas (Italian-style burritos), pasta bowls and salads include your choice of protein, vegetables, fresh cheese and sauce or dressing.

Highlights: The Piada Stick, an Italian thin-crust dough filled with Parmigiano-Reggiano and baked, tastes best dipped in spicy diavolo sauce.


Inspired by: Vietnamese

Location: Clintonville

The fare: Pho, rice bowls and cold noodle salads are customizable based on broth and protein.

Highlights: Buns (noodle salads) are liberally dressed with fresh basil, mint and cilantro and taste better with the addition of sliced jalapenos and hoisin peanut sauce.


Inspired by: Japanese

Location: Multiple

The fare: Craft your own sushi roll with white or brown rice, seafood, chicken, steak or tofu and numerous veggies and sauces.

Highlights: Spicy mayo and a tempura crunch make good rolls great. Try their Agave Gingerade, a lightly sweetened lemon and ginger drink made in house.


Inspired by: Mediterranean

Location: Gahanna

The fare: Gyros, salads, hummus and rice bowls are doctored up with fresh veggies, well-seasoned meats-including shawarma-falafel, feta and sauces.

Highlights: The eggplant salad, a creamy blend of eggplant, tomato and caramelized onion, is best enjoyed on a wedge of soft pita.


Inspired by: Mediterranean

Location: Short North

The fare: Pita sandwiches, lentil and rice salads and hummus plates come crowned with protein, house-made sauces and flavorful vegetables.

Highlights: Vegetable sides, like spicy cauliflower and sweet beets, create balance, provide crunch and deliver on flavor. Don't forget a side of Brassica fries, seasoned with paprika and sumac.