CMH Gourmand – Eating in Columbus & Ohio

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Posts Tagged ‘Northstar Cafe’

Burrito Trifecta: Tres Burritos – Un Dia

Posted by CMH Gourmand on May 16, 2008

My friend Craig inadvertently started me on a quest. The concept – can a man live on burritos alone? I searched for the burritos that would cover me for three square meals. It was a wonderful search.


Cucos Breakfast Burrito

refried beans
sour cream

This was a tough decision for me. Starliner Diner came in as a close second. Cucos wins out for price and ingredient density. This tortilla is tightly packed with all the goodies I listed above. Cuco’s serves up free chips and salsa for breakfast as well. Their self serve salsa bar helps you enhance your burrito any way you like it. I also like their potatoes – they are cut small in a kind of mini French fry style. I typically cannot finish my breakfast burrito here, that is a rare occurrence anywhere, anytime.

Cucos Taqueria & Grill
2162 Henderson Road
Columbus (Henderson Rd – between Sawmill and Dierker)

Cucos Web site
(has a dinner coupon)

Hours (?)
The web site and the menu are in conflict.
Monday to Saturday 8:00 AM to 10 PM or 10 AM to 10 PM (I walked in at 9 AM)


CBC Cuban Trio Burrito

seared red cabbage
red peppers
black beans
pablano peppers
Fontina chesse
Provolone cheese
Parmesan cheese
smoked chili sauce…
in a honey wheat tortilla
covered with more smoked chile sauce
chive aioli

The only downside with the Cuban Trio Burrito is that it is a lunch only item. CBC does not do lunch on Saturday or Sunday. This means I have to take the day off work or do a three-hour lunch to pull this off. The burrito + chips + plantains makes up the trio as do the three meats and the three cheeses. The smoked chile salsa (as addictive as crack) is the value added bonus. This is currently my most craved meal as well as the one I have the least access to. The plantains are the best in the Columbus metro area – no doubt about it. Serving Suggestion: CBC Beer Flight chased with a pint of Apricot Ale.

(Update May 21 – I am in heaven. I just saw the new CBC menu – the Cuban Trio Burrito is on the dinner menu and they have added BBQ Plantains as an appetizer. I have not tried BBQ Plantains before but I will as soon as possible. If someone (Andrew) beats me to this – please post here.)

CBC (Columbus Brewing Company)
525 Short St
Columbus (Brewery District)

(See my post on CBC from October 2007)


Northstar Cafe Thai Burrito

roasted chicken or seared tofu
(If you ask they will mix both together – that’s what I do)
peanut sauce
crunchy slaw – with carrots
brown rice
tortilla chips and salsa

There is a lot going on in this burrito. It is a fine blend of Southern California and Southeast Asia. You feel so healthy after eating it you could almost order another. But you don’t, you just rationalize ordering a peanut cookle or praline scone to go. Yum. An insider secret – skip the chips and replace with a simple salad for no extra charge. All you have to do is ask for this switcharoo.

Northstar Cafe
Short North – 951 North High Street 614.298.9999
Beechwold – 4241 North High Street 614.784.2233

One day, three burritos. Just do it.

Posted in breakfast, culinary misadventure, restaurants | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Northstar Cafe (CLINTONVILLE)…Is Open!!!!!!!!

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 27, 2007

NorthstarNorthstar Cafe (The Clintonville Edition)

4241 North High Street (just south of Henderson Road)


The Northstar Cafe did a stealth opening on March 1st or 2nd. The Grand Opening will be April 22nd (Earth Day). Breakfast should start by then as well.

I was not really stalking the new location – but I did drive by several times per day. These were my impressions of the place peeking in a few nights before it opened.

The inside has the same coolness yet spartan elegance of the the Short North Northstar with a few refinements.

The flow of space looks better. There are four large open ended booth-like tables that look like they would sit 8-10 people and two small nook booths that look like they will sit 4-6. Expect to see the Gourmand there with his various food support groups dining away in bliss.

It has sometimes been a struggle to seat larger groups at the other location so looks like that was fixed for Northstar II. There is ample, easy parking in the back (much easier than the Short North location). The kitchen looks bigger – so maybe a slightly expanded menu (please serve me soup!). I can’t wait – so stay tuned for a review or several of them since I can ride my bike there in about 3 minutes. Yipee!!

Outside Northstar



Expect a full review after the grand opening – I will be there about once per week until then. Post your comments and share your own thoughts about the new Northstar until then. Thanks.

And some more info from a new Blog on the scene.

Offbeat Columbus

(Post Posting)

I dropped in for dinner on March 6th – it was wonderful – the love affair continues! See my earlier review of the Short North Northstar (September 2006) for more about the food.

(Post Post Posting)

I dropped in again for dinner on March 21st. One of our items was delayed because they ran out of chicken – so we opted to pinch hit with tofu. For our trouble – we were given two coupons for free entrees. And every employee we spoke to raved about the restaurant and the owners – Northstar has some serious good karma building.



Posted in restaurants, Vegetarian Friendly | Tagged: | 10 Comments »

Northstar in the Short North

Posted by CMH Gourmand on September 28, 2006

Rising Star in the Columbus Culinary Galaxy – Northstar Café (featured in Columbus Underground)

Northstar Café
951 N. High Street
Short North

If I did not know better, I would think Northstar was trying to court me because it has done everything a new restaurant (or love interest) should. Obviously the owners Katy and Kevin Malhame have done things right. They survived the critical first year in the restaurant biz and have had plenty of accolades in the local media.

First, food, it is the way to a man’s heart. The menu is limited but has enough variety to appeal to meat eaters or vegetarians, young or old, conservative or hippy. The breakfast menu includes: Granola (served with organic yogurt and fresh berries); Sweet Potato Hash (served with smoked turkey, red peppers, sweet onions, and an egg) – did I mention I love sweet potatoes; a vegetarian breakfast burrito; Mushroom Frittata (Shitake, Portobello, and Button mushrooms, onions, and Gruyere cheese) served with roasted potatoes, and a big biscuit; and Cloud 9 Pancakes (the batter has ricotta cheese mixed in).

The lunch and dinner menu features items such as a Veggie Burger and Organic Meatloaf. I am a big fan of the Budda Bowl – rice, chicken and/or tofu, a spicy Thai peanut sauce and lots of fresh veggies. There are good salads that are a meal to their own. The Special Salad:

is Chicken, goat cheese, dates, almonds, mixed greens with some odds and ends. As an insider secret – if your meal has chips as a side – you can get a small green salad or rice salad as a side instead.

The Sweet Basil Burrito:

– available with Chicken or Tofu – Northstar does tofu right – it is easy to do wrong – so give this one a shot. I usually ask for a mix of both.

Focused effort went into creating cuisine that is reasonably priced, healthy, and environmentally responsible. The sausage comes from an organic farm just outside of Columbus, the maple syrup is made in Ohio, the eggs are fresh from the hen, and the hot sauce and salsa are made in house. Organic foods are used whenever possible. The café also serves fresh juices, smoothies, baked goods, wines, and beer.

The décor is modern and comfortable with giant windows up front, high ceilings, plenty of open space, cool background music as well as some comfy chairs and a couch bordering the magazine rack – which offers a large selection of magazines you can purchase.

The cooking crew is decked out in professional white chefs outfits, they look busy and proficient in the open kitchen. The efficient and perky servers are more casual, sporting Northstar T-shirts – they are very knowledgeable about the menu and ingredients. Service is always good and tipping is a no-no. And I have my favorite employee who updates me on good shoes to buy. She is a sweetheart.

All of this hip/hippy cuisine and atmosphere is backed up with some principled substance. Northstar donates 1% of the café’s profits to non profit organizations. This restaurant has become the preferred breakfast hang out for this writer based on the scones alone. It is also a nice break from some of the other cramped, crowded, and noisy restaurants that are nearby. Northstar is my star of the Short North.

Word is we can expect a Clintonville Northstar in late winter or early spring of 2007. That restaurant will be within easy walking distance of my house – that is customer service!

(POST POST – Northstar 2 or Northstar North or Northstar Clintonville – opened in February 2007)

Northstar Cafe on Urbanspoon

Posted in Columbus, restaurants, Vegetarian Friendly | Tagged: | 5 Comments »