Manira Camara has transferred her affinity for making desserts from France to a tiny storefront in Reynoldsburg.

Camara and her husband, Mohammed Halaoui, have opened Le Vieux Lyon French Bakery Cafe at 1774 Brice Road, just north of Livingston Avenue.

Her love of baking started at age 12, when her family moved from Guinea, West Africa, to Lyon, France.

"I used to get cookbooks for my birthday," she said. "I liked to invite a lot of people to my house, serve food -- lots of food."

Although she received little formal training, Camara said, she learned the baking trade while working at local pastry shops.

Her shop is filled with macarons, eclairs, fruit-and-nut tarts, croissants, pain au chocolat, mille-feuille, chocolate cake and other classic desserts.

Camara said she changes up the offerings regularly. One of her favorites is the Fraisier cake, a decorative strawberry dessert that doesn't last long when its availability is posted online, she said.

"I post it; in only one hour, it's gone," she said.

Most menu items cost $5 or less.

As for beverages, there's French vanilla coffee, with the beans ground in-house, and dehydrated lemon-tea pellets that dissolve in hot water.

The four-seat bakery gets its name from a historic section of Lyon that means "Old Lyon" in English.

Halaoui, who also is from Guinea, said he met his wife through family. When he went to visit her, she gave him a tour of the Vieux Lyon district, and he was charmed.

"That place is really antique," he said. "It's really old. I fell in love with that place, that little city."

Halaoui said the couple wed in France. He was living in the United States and brought Camara here.

Camara said she plans to use the steam table behind the counter for quick-serve meals -- cassoulets, duck, rabbit, potato gratin and other fare -- but that could be months away.

"I love savory food," she said.

The bakery is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. For more information, call 614-370-4292.


School is out, but barbecue is in at Ohio State University.

Red Door BBQ has opened its second location at 264 W. Lane Ave. in Columbus, across the street from Ohio State's northern boundary.

The carryout-only operation, open Tuesdays through Sundays, offers smoked brisket, pulled pork, ribs, wings and occasional specials, plus classic barbecue sides and some desserts.

Chef Darrell Thornton, who founded the business with Michael Fink, said he uses only locally sourced cherrywood in the smoker.

There are two types of sauce: sweet and heat, both made in-house.

The original Red Door BBQ opened two years ago at 177 S. Cypress Ave. in Franklinton.


Couscous House, a quick-serve Moroccan restaurant, has opened at 1611 Morse Road in Columbus' Northland neighborhood, offering a new base in the build-your-own meal process.

Two types of house-prepared couscous -- chewy, pasta-like pearls -- are available.

Both styles are soaked and steamed three times to get the right consistency, said Fatima Idouanzid, who owns the Northland restaurant.

White and brown rice are additional starches that may be chosen for the base of the bowl.

Proteins include grilled chicken breast, chicken drumsticks and steak. There are more than 20 toppings, mostly vegetables, nuts and sauces. Options include cooked cabbage, carrots, chickpeas, potatoes and squash, plus fresh salad ingredients.


Hong Kong Express is closed for "redecoration," according to a sign on the door at 5230 Bethel Center Mall in northwest Columbus. The phone number has been changed to an undisclosed number, according to a recorded message.