North-Side Dining — Nazareth Restaurant and Deli

28 Nov

As is obvious from this blog, I love food. And although a majority of the recent posts have involved my own kitchen exploits, you’d be wrong if you thought that meant I confined my eating to the products of my own kitchen.  Indeed, I go out of my way to sample and regularly patronize area restaurants.  In fact, I fancy myself pretty well-versed in area restaurants.

That doesn’t mean however that I’ve been to even restaurant in town.  I’ve not even been to all the places that are consensus favorites—even if they’ve been on my “must try” list for years.  Two such restaurants are Borgata Pizza Cafe and Nazareth Restaurant and Deli.  Both of these restaurants have garnered their fair share of accolades. (See Borgata Pizza here, here, and here. And Nazareth here, here and here.)

I blame the location.  Both restaurants are located “far” from me.  That is, they’re up on 161 near Cleveland Avenue.  Last Sunday though, Tania and I headed up to Sharron Woods Metro Park to go for a walk and enjoy the nice weather.  I decided it was a perfect time to visit Borgata Pizza.  BUT! Despite what Borgata’s website says, they are NOT open on Sundays. L

Luckily for us, we had just driven by Nazareth.  (Update: Nazareth has moved locations, it can not be found at 5239 N. Hamilton Rd., Columbus OH) It didn’t take long to decide that would be our backup option.  Nazareth has been around for over 20 years—which makes my failure to visit before this a true travesty.  (And which makes this blog post probably the opposite of “news.” Welcome to the club, right?)

The greek salad, a perfect delivery vehicle for Nazareth’s fantastic house dressing.

It was lunchtime, and lunchtime means sandwiches.  Amusingly enough, Tania and I opted for the same thing: the spicy chicken shawarma.  Great minds think alike.  Having not been to Nazareth before, I was completely unaware that their sandwiches are monstrous.  Therefore, I convinced Tania that we needed to also order a hoummus/baba ghannoug appetizer to split. And I ordered a greek salad as well.

I can say for sure that I needed nowhere near the quantity of food that we ended up with.

My over-flowing spicy chicken shawarma sandwich.

To begin with, it is almost impossible to understand how one little pita can hold so much sandwich. Actually, check that.  It can’t.   As I tried to wrap my mouth around my sandwich without looking like a fool and making a mess, half of the sandwich ended up in the basket it came in.  This was a godsend.  It allowed me to enjoy the sandwich twice: first via pita, and then via fork.

And enjoy it twice I did.  The chicken was incredibly flavorful and delicious.  It wasn’t overwhelmingly spicy, but had just a little bit of kick to it.  I’ve had quite a few pitas, gyros, and shawarma over the years, and it takes something truly special to stand out as original.  The spicy chicken shawarma at Nazareth is original.

Our appetizer, with more than a few bites taken from it. We were hungry! We couldn’t wait to eat until after the pictures!

The appetizer we had was also terrific.  Wonderfully flavored, it was obviously freshly made.  The baba ghannough featured perfectly roasted eggplant, and contained several large eggplant chunks.  Almost everywhere seems to have hoummus on their menu these days.  But Nazareth’s offering demonstrates the gaping divide between those who know what they’re doing and those who don’t.

If anything, the salad was the weak point of the trio of items we tried.  That’s only if you’re focused on the “salad” concept though.  The bed of shredded iceberg lettuce really just served as a delivery vehicle for the generous portion of feta cheese, and more importantly Nazareth’s absolutely delicious house dressing.

All in all, it was a delicious (and affordable!) meal.  Certainly one worth driving up to the north side for. I’ll be back.  But before that happens, Borgata, I’m coming for you!

(Update: I finally made it to back to Borgata, and here’s my review of Borgata Pizza Cafe.)

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4 Responses to “North-Side Dining — Nazareth Restaurant and Deli”

  1. Ed January 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    You are correct, Borgata Pizza Cafe is closed on Sunday’s, their website is updated but it is definitely worth the trip if you are on the North Side of Town.

    • Sam January 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

      I’ve since made it to Borgata Pizza Cafe once. It was incredibly delicious and I’ve been raving about it ever since. I forgot my camera at home, and so I’ll have to go back before I can write a proper review. Not that I’m complaining mind you. 😉

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Columbus Events Dec 6 – 12 « - December 5, 2012

    […] you’d prefer to explore some new restaurants on your own, check out the reviews for Nazareth Deli or Pizza House – I can vouch for both of […]

  2. Premier Pizza — Borgata Pizza Cafe « Pie are Round - January 12, 2013

    […] attempt when Tania and I tried to go on a Sunday, and discovering it closed, had to settle for Nazareth Deli instead.)  Our group consisted of Tania, Ron, myself, and Tania’s brother David.  It’s […]

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