Category Archives: Bakery

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.