Category Archives: Bakery

Panaderia Guadalupana

Cuisine: Mexican

1977 E Dublin Granville Road (161)
614.547.7117

Click here to map it!

Panaderia Guadalupana opened days before we were finalizing the itinerary for our Columbus Food Adventures alt.eats tour and, mercifully, became the answer to the question of how and where to end the tour on a sweet note. We have long enjoyed the Mexican bakeries on the west side (Otro Rollo and Oaxaquena) but this is the first independent Mexican bakery we have found on the North side of town. It’s a really good one.

Colorful cookies and cakes such as tres leches and chocoflan (vanilla egg custard baked on top of chocolate cake) are found in a refrigerated case on the right hand side as you enter. Breads and pastries are in an alcove at the back of the store.

Panaderia Guadalupana has a huge variety of recipes they rotate among, and on any given day there will be around 25-30 bread and pastry options to choose from. The most popular breads (pan dulce, conchas, bolillos) are ever present but the flavors of the empanadas and pastries vary daily. Prices for most of the breads and pastries range from about $.85 to $1.10. Everything is very fresh and the texture is light and airy. Grab a pair of tongs, a tray and make your selection. Then take it up to the counter to be bagged.

One of our recent finds was this jalapeno, cream cheese and turkey roll which was almost a meal in itself.

Panaderia Guadalupana has a big space with lots of windows, seating, wifi and even a couch area. What they don’t have at the moment is any coffee. Once they do, I think this will be a popular spot for people to hang out and work. At the moment it’s a great place to pick up some excellent baked goods, freshly baked each day.

The cinnamon roll is a hungrywoolf favorite. You can see a few shots of Panaderia Guadalupana and their food in this video.

Advertisements

Luc’s Asian Market

3275 Sullivant Ave
614.274.6757
Kitchen hours – Sat-Sun 9am – 7pm
Market hours – 9am – 8pm every day

Click here to map it!

As we walked into Luc’s, I was immediately enchanted by a melange of aromas from the herbs, spices, vegetables, and incense – one deep breath, and I’m flooded with memories of my time in Southeast Asia.

This certainly isn’t coincidental – the owners of Luc’s are Cambodian/Vietnamese, and most of the staff is also Cambodian, Lao, or Vietnamese.  These origins are largely shared by their customer base as well – that’s where I discovered how I can easily get the Vietnam online visa. Why not! And, far beyond just the aromas, Luc’s is probably as close as a Columbusite can get to being in Southeast Asia without traveling.

In support of my thesis, I submit this bit of pure awesomeness:

I ordered a glass of sugar cane juice, and, next thing I know, they’re peeling sugar cane stalks by hand to prepare them for juicing (am literally checking juicer reviews now to get that at home).  While this is flat out unheard of here, it’s an omnipresent part of the street scene in just about any city from Bangkok to Hanoi.

But I’m getting ahead of myself – a quick overview is in order.  Luc’s is first and foremost a grocer, carrying a wide variety of ingredients for the cuisines of the aforementioned locales.  They also function as a quick-bite carryout, providing pre-made banh mi sandwiches, small prepared meals, desserts, house made beverages, and more.  Their most recent addition is the opening of their kitchen, which now allows them to provide a range of maybe 30 dishes cooked to order.

Accomodations, should you choose to eat in, are meager – they have perhaps 8 seats in total, and upon taking one you’ll definitely feel a part of the market scene going on around you.  The cooks, which can be seen through a window (or by peeking around the wall that divides the kitchen from the market) are also there to take your order.

Our bun thit nuong & cha gio (grilled pork & eggroll w/vermicelli)  and chicken laab arrived in short order.


As some of our readers may have observed, bun thit nuong (the name changes slightly from place to place, but it is the same dish) is a staple for us – anytime we’re anywhere that serves Vietnamese, this is a must-order item.  And, perhaps never more so than here.  Luc’s interpretation is a wild ride – the pork and the egg rolls are intensely flavored, with deep lemongrass notes, and intensely satisfying.  We suspect that the intriguingly novel pungency may reflect the multicultural makeup of the staff… to which we say, ‘three cheers for diversity!’.

The chicken laab was similarly satisfying. This is not a subtle dish – the lime and fish sauce assert themselves in no uncertain terms – but is nonetheless a faithful and enjoyable interpretation of a Thai/Lao classic.  We ordered it prepared to a mild ‘heat’ level, but the cook made it clear she’d be happy to bring the pain if so desired.

It was about at this point that the head cook (who is also co-owner) started to take interest in the oddball white folks happily slurping up her noodles and clumsily chopsticking her laab.  “Ever had chicken feet?”, she queried.

“Does it matter?  Bring it!”, we thought.  “We’d like to try it”, we said.

The feet were prepared in a black bean sauce redolent of Chinese five spice, and were about as tender as any we’ve ever had. The texture is of a gummy-meets-gelatinous, ‘you either love it or hate it’ nature, but I couldn’t imagine anyone arguing with the flavor.

As we nibbled flesh off of tarsals, another dish appeared.  “These aren’t on the menu”, she said, and explained that they were Vietnamese crepes rolled with a pork and mushroom filling.  I’ll save you the details… it’d be unfair… but suffice it to say that it’s a damned shame you’ll be unlikely to try them yourselves.

You can, however, sample from their range of unusual and eye-catching Vietnamese beverages.  Check out this basil seed drink:

It looks something like frogspawn and it has the slimy texture that its appearance suggests, but served with ice it is very refreshing. Banana syrup is commonly added to the drink which gives it a somewhat artificial flavor, but apparently it is quite bland without it.

With all of the above said, we still feel as though we’ve barely scratched the surface in describing all that Luc’s has to offer.  From fantastic fresh Asian greens to the largest variety of rice I’ve ever seen to an impressive array of fresh exotic fruits, fascinating offerings abound.

We’ll make it back to Luc’s soon.  Hope to see you there.

Note: Vegetarians will find plenty of satisfaction in the grocery offering, but the meals definitely skew towards carnivore territory.

Edit:

We’ve already made a couple of returned trips to Luc’s unable to resist what we think is some of the best Vietnamese food in Columbus. The spicy beef salad really packs a flavor punch with fermented black beans giving another dimension to the spiciness.

The pho (not pictured) had some of the most tender tendon I have ever eaten and the broth was sweet and fragrant with five spice.

The highlight was the grilled pork chop with lemongrass – essentially the same meat that appears in sandwiches and noodle dish. The pork chop with rice is actually two tender juicy pork chops served on a huge pile of rice with an optional dipping sauce.

Panaderia Otro Rollo

Otro Rollo Panaderia
3866 Sullivant Avenue
614 278 2339

Click here to map it!

When we first discovered Otro Rollo bakery last winter, we were instantly smitten by their fresh caramel filled churros. It was a lucky break – the fresh churros have proved to be elusive since then – and we spent months trying to work out the optimal time and day to strike churros gold again. During these repeated trips, we found plenty more to love at Otro Rollo, including the tres leches cake, pig shaped cookies and these chocolate covered, vanilla creme-filled donuts.

Otro Rollo has a wide variety of baked goods, and they supply a lot of the Mexican stores around town. They also make ‘special occasion’ cakes to order.

The breads and cakes are stored in glass fronted cupboards and you take a tray and use tongs to select what you want. Take the tray to the cash register and they bag everything for you. There are no prices displayed but it is good value and almost everything is under a dollar.

Without descriptions it can be a guessing game and freshness is also variable. The conchas (shell cakes, above) are more bread than cake, slightly sweet and are wonderful straight from the oven and not quite so wonderful when stale. I love all of the different designs on the conchas.

In July Otro Rollo opened their own taco truck right next to the store and some excellent offerings including the Mexican hamburgers and the chicken tinga. The truck is open long hours and even serves some breakfast foods including eggs and tamales. Over the winter the taco truck served champurrado, a chocolate atole (like a thick hot chocolate) – just what you need with one of the cakes.

Panaderia Oaxaquena

Mexican Bakery and Grocery
63 S. Murray Hill Rd., West Side
614-878-5220

Click here to map it!

Attentive alt.eats readers will recall that we’ve been more than willing, in the past, to feature markets that prepare their own food items for consumption on-premises.  With this post, we’re going to stretch this a bit to include markets that make exceptional food items which may require a bit of home preparation to complete… because damn, these guys make some amazing molé!

Tucked away just off of West Broad Street, Panaderia Oaxaquena is a full fledged grocery store which includes a meat counter, produce section, and bakery. As such, molé is just one of their house-made offerings – they also have their own Mexican-style breads, cheeses, sour creams and more.

We were tipped off about Panaderia Oaxaquena by G.A. Benton of Columbus Alive. He included their molé in his ‘Get Real for Cinco de Mayo‘ article in 2009. Good molé is hard to come by and even harder to make (making molé sauce from scratch can literally take days), so that was all the enticement we needed.

You can choose from molé negro or molé rojo, and the package gives instructions for completing the dish. You can read about our interpretation here.

As for the cheeses, highlights include quesillo, a type of string cheese that can be grilled like halloumi.

Crema comes in two varieties – the regular white and pale pink. We haven’t been able to find out much about the pale pink one, so if anyone know why it is pink and what it is used for, please let us know.

You can also find these flatbreads called tlayudas, which are often served with beans and cheese, like a large tostada.

As PO is also a bakery, we bought some bread, hot from the oven, which steamed as we greedily broke into it. Soft, light white, and delicately flavorful. You can see the bolillos below which are used for tortas (Mexican subs).

Salam Market and Bakery

Cuisine: Middle Eastern
5676 Emporium Square (Columbus Square Shopping Center)
614.899.0952

Click here to map it!

There are lots of ethnic markets in Columbus that offer far more than you might guess from first glance: Arirang, Mecca and Salam, just to name a few. Salam is a wonderfully organized, clean grocery store where you can stock up on dates, olives and spices, but it is also a halal butcher (and the first place I have seen lamb tongues) and a bakery. We had heard rumors about the meat pies at Salam and were determined to try them. Our first attempt was unsuccessful and we learned the hard way that they sell out by lunchtime. Our perseverance paid off: These pies are seriously good.

Our early start was rewarded with a choice of six pies (three vegetarian and three meat): cheese, chicken, spicy kebab meat, zatar, falafel and a larger chicken pie. The regular pies were $1.50 each and the larger chicken pie was $1.99. The pies, which of course reminded me of Cornish pasties. were made from pita dough made fresh that morning.

We chose the cheese, chicken and kebab options, all still warm from the oven. The gooey cheese (possibly halloumi – we didn’t ask) was buttery and salty and fairly mild flavor-wise. It would be good with some chutney or hot sauce. The chicken and the kebab were chunky tomato and onion based sauces with meat. The kebab (of the ground and seasoned meat variety) had some chili heat and the chicken was milder but fragrant with cardamom. The bread was light and soft and it wasn’t hard to see why these sell out quickly.

The open kitchen means that you can watch them making pita bread (they supply restaurants such as Jeddo Kebab and Lavash). The dough is mixed and kneaded, divided into balls, rolled into rounds and left to rise before it is baked. The guy in the red cap is taking hot pita breads out of the oven.

The pies were not labelled but the staff were friendly and happy to explain the fillings and prices, and let us watch what they were doing. As well as buying our pies we also explored the stores and found these interesting green almonds, a Middle Eastern spring time snack.