When I posted my recent review of Mi Mi Cafe on Columbus Underground, one of the responses I got advised me to try Nazareth Deli, located on the other side of the same shopping center. The next time we were in the area, we gave it a try, sampling a few different dishes. While we were told the gyros were to die for, we discovered pretty darn quickly that their rice dishes were where it’s at.
My favorite is their Lentils and Rice ($8.65 with chicken, $6.20 without), “a blend of lentils, white rice, and caramelized onions, seasoned with cumin and other spices”, with a side of their fantastic house dressing, which makes a good dish great. Absolutely awesome flavor, texture, and oh so very filling. I prefer the regular grilled chicken, while my husband loves their spicy chicken (which is about as spicy as Frank’s Red Hot, heatwise).
Also recommended is their rice side ($1.95), which is white rice cooked with thin vermicelli (think homemade rice a roni) and a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg – aromatic without being overpowering, and also improved with the addition of their house dressing.
We’re also pretty gung ho about their hummus ($1.85 for a half order, $3.45 for a full), which is served with soft and warm pita. It’s the best we’ve had in Columbus other than our own.
We’ve yet to try many of their other dishes, but if the ones we’ve had (and the level of repeat business they get) are any indication, I don’t think you can go wrong with anything on their menu. We’ve been looking for good Middle Eastern cuisine for quite a while since the demise of Firdous (the restaurant in Upper Arlington, not the Express in the North Market or Polaris), and Aladdin’s hasn’t cut it for us. Nazareth Deli definitely fits the bill – great food, reasonable prices, and super nice accomodating staff make this a place that we’ll visit often.
If you’d like to go: Nazareth Deli, 5663 Emporium Square Drive (corner of 161/Cleveland Ave in the Columbus Square Plaza), North Side, 614.899.1177.