This Indian cuisine is not your average "fourth meal."
At Dakshin Indian Bistro, it is called "midnight biryani." From midnight to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, customers can order three rice-dish options, plus a choice of two appetizers -- Chicken 65 and chili chicken -- available at the drive-thru only.
"It's very popular in India," said Ram Nugooru, operations manager of the two local Dakshins, including the latest one at 8380 N. High St. "It's popular with the kids who stay up late."
Dakshin has taken over the Two Brothers Wine & Liquor Shop, just north of Interstate 270.
Nugooru said it took nine months to rebuild the 5,000-square-foot space, which seats 100.
Dakshin got its start in 2011 on Sawmill Road and relocated to Sancus Boulevard a few years later. That location has closed. In the meantime, another Dakshin was opened on North Hamilton Road.
The return to north Columbus was based on demographics, said Nugooru, whose wife, Sri, owns the restaurants.
"Our biggest clientele, our Indian clientele, is in this area right here," he said.
The house specialty is biryani -- three distinct versions of the rice dish slow-cooked in large pots, in the style of southern India.
"That is how it's supposed to be made," Nugooru said. "That's how it's traditionally made and that's how we make it."
One version is the talapakattu, with either lamb or chicken, which uses aromatic seeraga or jeera samba rice, preferred in south Indian biryani.
Dakshin also is noted for its extensive array of Indochinese dishes, such as chicken manchow soup, chili baby corn and Manchurian cauliflower.
Nugooru is quick to note that the restaurant uses only wild-caught shrimp, free-range chicken, halal lamb and local goat.
The spice mixtures are made on the premises and used in precise fashion and heat levels, Nugooru said. In other words, if an item is marked hot (paneer Chettinad) or mild (aloo gobi), the spiciness will not be adjusted, he said.
Most entrees are $13 to $15.
For those who want to sample a variety of dishes, Dakshin has a daily lunch buffet ($7.99 weekdays, $12.99 on weekends) and a vegan buffet ($12.99), which has 40 to 50 items, every Thursday night.
Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and noon to 3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Dinner hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
For more information, call 614-389-2670.
Don a plastic bib and put aside the forks at Boiling Seafood Crawfish -- normal etiquette rules don't apply.
The new restaurant, which has replaced Panda Inn at 1446 Bethel Road, specializes in New Orleans-style seafood meals -- boiled, seasoned and served in a bag.
Boiling Seafood offers a number of choices -- several styles of crab, lobster, crawfish (naturally), shrimp and clams among them -- offered by the pound and, with most options, at market price.
They are served in one of four sauces: "juicy" Cajun, garlic butter, lemon pepper or a combination of all three, called homemade "juicy." Levels of spiciness range from "baby" to extra spicy.
Customers are furnished with bibs and plastic gloves, as they are expected to eat with their hands.
Menu options include etouffee, po' boy sandwiches, baskets of fried seafood and starters, including raw and fried oysters.
Eat Greek has replaced a portion of Sugardaddy's Sumptuous Sweeties at 1329 Cameron Ave. in Lewis Center near Polaris.
Much of the food is prepared in-house, owner Amgad Youssef said. A few highlights are lamb shank, stuffed peppers, pastitsio and pistachio baklava.
Gyros, with garlic sauce or tzatziki, are part of the menu, as are fried smelts.
Although it has a Cameron Avenue address, Eat Greek faces Powell Road. Meanwhile, Sugardaddy's still has some space in the back.
Rude Dog Bar and Grill in Polaris is under new ownership.
Christopher "Chico" Garcia said he has big plans for the tavern, 8711 Sancus Blvd., but a complete reboot, including a name change, is months away.
Some minor revisions have been made, but the menu and 36 taps will remain for the time being, Garcia said.
Graze Seasonal Market Grill in the Mettler-Toledo International Inc. building, 1900 Polaris Parkway, has closed. Another remains open in the Ohio Statehouse.