Choripan Argentine Grill is among an increasing number of restaurants in central Ohio offering South American cuisine.

The restaurant, which replaces Tweeters Chicken Crib at 5927 Karric Square Drive in Dublin, serves choripan sandwiches, a grilled steak platter, empanadas and chimichurri wings.

But what Choripan does not have is important: It is free of gluten, grains, soy and sugar, per the dietary restrictions of chef and owner Joel Linik.

"There are so many people with celiac (disease) and grain sensitivity," he said.

Linik makes his food from scratch using natural ingredients and Ohio meats and poultry.

The menu features platters, sandwiches, salsas, appetizers, soups and salads. Most dishes cost $5 to $13.

The restaurant accommodates keto, paleo and primal diets, said Linik, a self-described primal health coach.

Linik makes his bread, as well as the noodles for the restaurant's chicken noodle soup. He creates chorizo -- featured in the choripan sandwiches -- with a mix of beef and pork and smokes his own bacon, which first is brined in kombucha.

"I make the plates look good," said Linik, a native of Argentina and trained chef who said he worked with master chef Hartmut Handke of Handke's Cuisine, now closed, from 1998 to 2002.

Linik said he changed his diet in 2009, when he was diagnosed with high blood pressure and prediabetes.

Linik said he was determined to beat the diagnoses without medications, so he completely overhauled his diet, which improved his blood pressure and blood-sugar levels.

He emphasizes the importance of animal proteins in one's diet.

"I am not a vegan," he said. "I strongly believe it's very hard being healthful being a vegan."

Choripan's hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 9 p.m. Sundays. The restaurant is closed Mondays.

For more information, call 614-467-9288.

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Village Taco, yet another vegan destination in central Ohio, has opened in the former Tatoheads Public House, 1297 Parsons Ave. in south Columbus.

The menu includes tacos, burgers, burritos, sandwiches and salads, most of which cost $3 to $15.

"We have a pretty wide menu," said Jonny Stone, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Heidi Stone.

Jonny Stone said the restaurant's name is meant to connote a warm, neighborhood atmosphere where everyone is welcome and can indulge in freshly prepared meals made from locally sourced produce.

Village Taco is open for dinner Tuesdays through Sundays, with hours to be added when the restaurant is fully staffed, he said.

The trend of Chinese hot noodle soups doesn't appear to be cooling in Columbus.

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Yun Nan Crossing Bridge Noodle has replaced Thai Mango Asian Bistro at 2548 Bethel Road in the Carriage Place Shopping Center in northwest Columbus.

Owner Leon Zhu said the menu offers 10 styles of homemade broth containing rice noodles, served in stone bowls to retain the heat. Customers choose raw produce and proteins, which they dip in the soup to cook, he said.

Most individual servings are $11.

"We emphasize the soup base," Zhu said. "We make our soups every day."

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Papa Giorgio's is replacing Pizza Primo at 5216 Bethel Center Mall in northwest Columbus.

Owner Jim Douglas said the pizzeria will specialize in East Coast-style pies -- whole and by the slice -- made with tomatoes from Stanislaus Food Products, cheese from the Grande Cheese Co. and pepperoni from the Ezzo Sausage Co. Dough is made in-house daily.

"Everything we use is quality," Douglas said. "This is going to be a real cut above other pizzas."

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary