Papaya Street Grill – Columbus, OH

I’ve recently received several messages from readers asking if I ever do lunch or dinner reviews? The short answer is “Yes”. While breakfast is my favorite meal, I also eat lunch, dinner, sometimes dessert, a midnight snack when I’m in the mood, and everything in between. So I thought I’d add a page to occasionally feature abbreviated, non-breakfast reviews, while still keeping the main focus of the blog on breakfasts. I’ve titled it “pmfood2″ (Get it? I not only eat AM food, but “PM food, too!”).

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I was recently invited to a business lunch at the Papaya Street Grill in northwest Columbus. I just happened to have my camera with me, and thought I would take the opportunity to document the occasion for my first “pmfood2″ post. Papaya is located near the intersection of Dublin-Granville Rd (Rt 161) and Sawmill Rd. They describe themselves as an Asian-fusion restaurant, and in my opinion, it’s a great location for this type of establishment. Considering there are similar restaurants in the area – a Chinese buffet and a Mongolian BBQ place – customers who are looking for this type of cuisine may opt to try the hipper Papaya instead.

There’s a trendy and modern feel to the restaurant and their menu. Their featured dish is a “Build Your Bowl” entrée, which is very similar to the Mongolian BBQ style. You can choose noodles, rice or salad, add meat and a vegetable medley, and one of over a dozen homemade sauces. I love that they offer a sample tray with jars of their sauces at the counter where you place your order, so that you can try them before you make your selections. They have fiery sauces like the “Volcano Chili” and “Firecracker” options, sweet sauces such as “HawaiPing” and “G-honey”, and traditional sauces like Peanut sauce and Lemongrass.

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As I browsed the menu, I noticed that they have a nice variety of appetizers, lots of awesome noodles and curry dishes, burgers and sandwiches, and specials that include things like “Garlic-Basil Ribs” and “Shanghai Spaghetti”, and that most of their food features, in some way, one or more of their signature sauces. It all sounded really good, but I was, after all, at a business lunch and didn’t want to order anything too big or too messy.

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I went with the Big Island Burger, and when it came to the table, I discovered that it was, in fact, big…and a bit messy. The waitress told me that their burgers are all handmade and marinated in a soy-ginger sauce. The Big Island Burger comes on a toasted sesame bun, with lettuce, homemade mayo, grilled pineapple and Big Island Teriyaki sauce. The burger patties themselves were very good, but were a little overcooked for my taste (I like a nice medium-well burger). The bun was fresh, the mayo and teriyaki had enormous flavor, but the real kicker was the grilled pineapple on top. Its sweetness complimented the other components of the burger perfectly. It came with fries, which were not homemade, but tasted fine and were cooked well.

I’m glad I got to try the Papaya Street Grill. I would definitely eat here again, but I think next time I’ll pass on the burger options (although they have a “Ring of Fire Burger” that sounds awesome) and try one of their noodle dishes, or maybe one of their other sandwiches. It’s Asian-fusion at its finest…classy enough to be a great place for a business lunch, and casual enough for a date night with the wife. Hmmm, I’ll have to keep that in mind…Mrs. Grub Guy would love this place!

Papaya Street Grill is located at 3512 West Dublin-Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43235 (Map). They are open Mon – Thurs, 11:00am – 9:00pm, Fri – Sat, 11:00am – 10:00pm, and Sun, 11:30am – 8:00pm. You can find more information on their website, or on their Facebook page, here.

Papaya Street Grill on Urbanspoon

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