This unassuming group share restaurant in Old Town East is something you’ve gotta try yourself.
We at Columbus Navigator have made it our mission to keep the city hip to all those low-key, little known, food joints and hidden gems that give Columbus it’s flavor. From out of the way taco huts to secret burger shacks, we got you when it comes to the grub you never knew you were missing out on. One such place is an unassuming looking storefront in the diverse neighborhood of Old Town East.
I was wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood, having just moved in a week ago, when I found the place. A drab, humble little building on a street corner directly across from a sad broken parking lot. I almost walked by the place before realizing what it was. You don’t see a lot of New Orleans cuisine in Columbus but it wasn’t too surprising considering the diversity of the east side neighborhood. Either way, I just had to check it out. As soon as I saw they had gumbo my stomach wasn’t going to be satisfied with anything else.
I gave the menu a quick look over, blinked in confusion, then looked again. The restaurant itself was actually five different eateries in one. Depending on the time or day of the week, the place offers completely different options, making it a sort of group share space for cooks and caterers. One day it can be a chicken and fish fry, the next they might offer chicken and waffle platters. There’s even a pastry chef and cake maker. I just happened to luck out and walk in when they were offering the New Orleans menu. “Way Down Yonder” is what they called the cajun southern business.
Everyone was friendly and the service was great. You could tell the business was family run, there was a sort of intimacy and love to the place. “Come get sumthin to eat baby, way down yonder,” read a sign at the counter. Old posters of jazz musicians lined the walls. Some I had heard of (Dizzy Gillespie of course) but others I hadn’t the faintest idea. I can only assume the owners were real jazz buffs, which only really added to its New Orleans authenticity.
I decided to get it to-go and made off with a bowl of gumbo, a slab of corn bread, and a whole quarter thigh of chicken drenched in their hot honey sauce. Let me tell you right now, Columbus, I SLAMMED on that food. Everything was simply great, the chicken was tender, and the sauce delicious. The gumbo was chocked full of sausage, shrimp, and crab legs (as soon as I opened the lid I had to fight my cat for it) and the cornbread was sweet and moist (yeah I said moist, sorry, but it was).
I can’t wait to make it back to try something else. Everyone should stop in and check this place out, I highly recommend it. And with five different joints in one, you’re never gonna get bored of the options. For more information, check out their website.