Even in a city where Indian cuisine – in its varied regional styles – is common, Neehee’s Indian Vegetarian Street Food is something new.
Taking its cue from the casual, hand-held food half a world away, Neehee’s offers an extensive menu of vegan and vegetarian delights.
“In India, they order it on the street and they stay there and eat on the street, like a food truck,” said Rajiv Shah, who owns the franchise with Shagar Patel and Dinesh Panak.
Neehee’s, part of a Michigan-based restaurant group, opened April 9.
It seats 220 in a spacious, colorful storefront at 6080 Sawmill Road near Dublin.
It’s a modern style of Indian restaurant, even if many of the dishes are traditional. Menu boards with touch-screen ordering are placed near the restaurant’s entrance. Customers also can order at the counter.
An entire portion of the menu is dedicated to chaat, an Indian snack that combines several textural and spice elements, fresh herbs and sauces.
The samosa chole, for example, features crunchy potato-stuffed dough triangles, chickpea curry, garlic chutney, spicy mint-cilantro chutney, red onions, crunchy noodles and a masala spice blend.
“There’s a lot of stuff in there,” Shah said.
The restaurant serves a number of stylized “burgers,” such as the aloo tikki version that uses a potato patty served on an unsweetened bun.
Sandwiches also are on the menu. The paneer veggie grill has shredded tangy cheese, corn, chopped vegetables and a spicy chutney.
The menu is rounded out with complete meals, Indochinese dishes, idly (savory rice cakes), vada (savory doughnuts) and dosa, a type of savory crepe.
Most individual items are priced between $6 and $10, with some meals costing up to $18.
For dessert, customers can get a scoop of housemade ice cream, 16 varieties in all, many flavored in Indian fashion: saffron and pistachios, cardamom or green papaya and ginger.
Jalebi, a deep-fried snack similar to a funnel cake, dipped in a sweet syrup, is cooked to order.
“We have never had it in Columbus like this,” Shah said.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It is closed Sundays. For information, call 614-389-6304.
Donna’s Delicious Dozen, an independent doughnut shop, is scheduled to open in early May at 5322 N. Hamilton Road in Columbus.
Donna’s will offer vanilla cake doughnuts made to order. Customers can choose from 14 toppings, five icings and at least three glazes, owner Traci Lukemire said.
She said she named the shop after her grandmother and the fact that “most people buy doughnuts by the dozen.”
Doughnuts will cost $1.40 each or $14 for a dozen.
The Stack: Local Coffee, Local Donuts will open soon at 262 W. Lane Ave. in Columbus, near Ohio State University.
“We’re real close,” said Tim Hofmann, who is opening the shop with Jordan Smith.
Smith owns the Lil Donut Factory at 4543 Scioto Darby Road in Hilliard. Hofmann subleases space for his business, the Coffee Mess, where he roasts and grinds his own beans.
The plan is to offer a similar lineup at the Stack: 35 varieties of cake and raised doughnuts, as well as coffee drinks, Hofmann said.
Legends Columbus has replaced On the Rocks Bar and Grill at 5815 Karric Square Drive near Dublin.
Legends is a casual tavern, with occasional live music, cocktails, a few craft beers on draft and a menu of hand-patted Angus burgers, sandwiches, salads and appetizers. Pizzas are made from dough tossed in-house.
The Golden Bear wedge – one of the dishes named after a legend – is topped with bacon, blue cheese, onions, golden raisins and candied pecans and served with a side of ranch.
Most dishes are $13 and less.