While I don’t actually live in Columbus (yet!), I spend a lot of time there. Columbus has my friends, my boyfriend, and my favorite fabric/craft stores, coffeeshops, theatres, bakeries, and restaurants. Oh, did you notice most of those involve food? Well. Sorry.
One of my favorite Columbus places is The Northstar Cafe. While I’ve only been there a handful of times, each experience has been an absolute delight. I’ve tried such delicious foods as their famous black bean burger, a yummy korma bowl with brown rice, veggies and tofu on my birthday, and an avocado/corn/tofu/tomato/goat cheese concoction that was honestly the best salad I’ve ever had in my life. The only problem is that I can’t find anyone who wants to eat at Northstar with me.
At this point, I can only convince H. to go with me as a favor (see: the birthday korma trip). Even though he’s loved everything he’s eaten there, most notably a divine pulled pork sandwich, he complains profusely about the atmosphere. What he sees as pretentious, I see as conscientious and soothing. There’s a focus on organic, local food, the decor is very spare, the walls are light wood and there’s a large magazine rack filled with such titles as Yoga Journal, Whole Living, and Backpacker Magazine. You either like that sort of thing or you don’t. I do. Some boyfriends dismiss such things as “hippie bullshit.”
Then there’s the issue of the price. I had lunch with my BFF this weekend and I suggested Northstar because, well, how many opportunities do I get to eat there? No sooner had we grabbed menus than Cat said, “How do soup and a salad cost $11?” Cat, like all my favorite people, does not sugarcoat anything, including her disapproval of soup prices.
We did have a lovely lunch, filled with copious amounts of catching up and iced black currant tea. I had the Big Burrito which, despite its frat-boy-food sounding name, was one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten in awhile. It combined all of my favorite foods: fried eggs, black beans, sauteed peppers and onions, and sweet potatoes. Why don’t we put sweet potatoes on everything? Let’s make it happen.
The takeaway is that if you don’t like high prices or yuppies, this may not be the place for you. While I don’t like either of those things, I do like feeling fancy. When I have a bad day, I will often go to Starbucks just because I know the lite-jazz will calm me and the baristas, I think, are trained to compliment customers. I also shop at Whole Foods about once every three months so I can pretend I’m rich. “$3.29/lb for apples? Don’t mind if I do!” I say to myself. So basically I see Northstar as an investment in my mental health. It makes me feel less frazzled.
Also they played Billy Joel and Elton John when Cat and I were there.
Pictures from this breakfast blog. Apparently the author is publishing a book about Columbus breakfasts, which is a book I will almost certainly buy.