Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about what makes certain things so nostalgic.
Whether it’s commenting on our social media or email replies sent to us from our daily newsletter, there are certain things in this city that obviously inspire our readers to feel that rush of joy or longing, and they aren’t shy about letting us know. Perhaps none so much as Columbus food and restaurants.
Researchers suggest that when we associate foods with happy memories, it’s not just a fleeting effect. It elevates how we perceive that food to taste and how it makes us feel.
And it makes sense. In a city that has so much of its identity wrapped up in food, it’s natural that we all have those places, those dishes that take us back to a different, happier time.
Before I even stepped foot into Marino’s Seafood, I had a feeling that I was going to be having a nostalgic experience. Even the exterior of this charming little fish & chips joint elicits that feeling of stepping back in time.
The restaurant is far from modern. In fact, it hasn’t changed in years. Everything from the decor to the menu prices to the fact that the drinks available are RC Cola products immediately takes you back.
There’s no doubt about it, Marino’s isn’t a place to go if you’re trying to lay off fried food or count your calories. Everything on the menu comes out of the frier, from the perfectly crispy fries to the uniquely seasoned hash browns.
Although it’s primarily a seafood joint, you can also get chicken. It’s battered the same way the fish is and it also goes great with the fries. One thing that misses the frying process is your side of either cole slaw or macaroni salad.
We went pretty big when we visited, ordering fish and chips, shrimp and chips, and chicken and chips. The fish was flaky and fried to perfection. The french fries managed to achieve that crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside texture. But the part of the meal I just can’t get over was the hushpuppies.
They were flavorful and unique and I can’t wait to go back and get more.
Marino’s is a chill place where you can meet a friend or enjoy a quiet lunch by yourself. Plus, they have one thing that almost no one offers anymore: an All You Can Eat day. On Saturdays, you can eat as many fish & chips, slaw, and hushpuppies as you want.
Marino’s Seafood is located at 1216 W 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212. For more info, or to check out the menu, visit marinosseafood.net.