I started working downtown at the Ledger-Enquirer in the olden days when i had very few options when it came to eating lunch. There was the Krystal on 12th Street, the Orange Bowl on Broadway. A friend said there was the Palace, but I never went there. And, of course, the lunchroom at Kirven's Department Store.
Even 15 years ago, we only had Country's, 12th Street Deli, Rankin Quarters, Tavern on the Square, Subway and Minnie's. There were a couple of more places, but that was it.
Now, downtown is booming and am I happy.
Cindy Nguyen, who used to own Pho Vy in the Landings, has brought Vietnamese cuisine downtown and Uptown Vietnam Cuisine is now on the corner of Broadway and 13th Street.
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My colleague Sonya Sorich and I went Monday. Cindy's got some new servers and I had a little hiccup with my order, but the food is as divine as ever.
The best salad in town is the Tanya at Downstairs at the Loft. If you haven't tried it, do. It's fabulous. The rest of the menu is good, too.
Now, there's Samurai, Your Pie, Philly-o-sophy and Old Siam. On Aug. 5, my friend Glenn Dyer will open Chili Thai Uptown on 10th Street. I can't wait.
Faye Simmons has just opened Meritage on First Avenue in the space that was once occupied by Uptown on First and more recently by The Market. Sonya went there today and said it's very nice. I'll have to check it out next week.
Don't forget the recently renovated Cannon Brewpub. The Cantina is still going strong as is Picasso's Pizza. Fountain City Coffee and the Iron Bank Coffee Co. serve food as well as coffee. And Iron Bank offers is food items in various ways like vegetarian, vegan or Paleo.
Marlene Lemieux, who owns the Cantina, will open the Burger Joint soon.
Some years ago, photographer Mike Haskey and I went to Macon to do a story about a cluster of museum in its downtown area. One of the museums gave us a map of restaurants. I think there were 40 restaurants in the downtown area. At the time, we had maybe 10.
Now, we have so many diverse places to eat. Amazing. And it's all in downtown Columbus. They're most locally owned.
If it's been a while since you've been downtown, come on down. I'll bet you can find a great meal anywhere.