Simone McKenna | Age: 29 | Residence: Westerville | Occupation: personal trainer
Q: How often do you eat out a week?
A: Probably once a week, usually for dinner.
Q: Where is your favorite place to take out-of-town guests? Why?
A: Probably Koble Grill (7 N. State St.) in uptown Westerville. It’s Greek and Italian, but it’s got a huge menu so there are flatbreads, pastas and gyros. They have a really good selection on their bar menu as well. … I usually get the spicy chicken gyro with the village salad on the side. (For dessert,) definitely Graeter’s because it is local and close by Koble. I go for the Buckeye because you can’t go wrong with peanut butter.
Q: What about places outside of Westerville?
A: I really like Brassica (680 N. High St.) in the Short North. It’s really good, and they have a build-your-own menu so you can have whatever you want and as much as you like. I also like Pies and Pints (Easton Town Center, 1026 N. High St.); that’s always a good place for a good meal. The chipotle chicken pizza and mushroom pizza is really good. I also love El Arepazo (93 N. High St., Gahanna; 47 N. Pearl St.; 515 S. High St.); it is so good. I had the shredded chicken, avocado and bean salad.
Q: What about a place for a few drinks?
A: I love the Mezza (Wine Shop, 48 N. State St.). I like their $1 wine tastings. They also have a really good cheese board with local ingredients. I also love Pins (Mechanical Company, 141 N. 4th St.). It is awesome. They have adult-size Jenga and these huge volleyball games.
Q: Do you know of any hidden gems in Columbus?
A: In the North Market there’s this place called Lan Viet (Restaurant, 59 Spruce St.). It’s tiny, and it’s almost like a booth in the North Market, and they just have really good food.
Q: What do you like to get there?
A: Chicken Pho Go. It’s got rice noodles and broth and vegetables like sprouts and onions and ginger and chicken. And it’s cheap.
— Emily Jeffries
Source: Where I Eat: Simone McKenna