If I didn't live in Pendleton Heights, I would be a resident of Columbus Park. It has a distinct feel that I don't get anywhere else in this city - the vibe of the neighborhood feels both progressive and nostalgic at the same time. You're just a minute away from the City Market and the highway, and yet there is a cozy insulated urban air that is unique and refreshing. We like to head down for the Third Friday art openings, maybe catch a bite to eat at Garozzo's, and just walk around, choosing which house we'd like to live in next, taking photographs, and enjoying the atmosphere. When the new Happy Gillis Cafe & Hangout opens in the old SORedux space, we'll have another Columbus Park spot to frequent. And lots of delicious soup to eat, thanks to the Happy Soup Eater.
The other great offerings in Columbus Park include La Sala's deli and Kim Long Restaurant & Market. My husband grew up on La Sala's Poor Boy sandwich; served on a huge loaf of Roma bread, it's piled high with the "poorer" deli meats, cheese, mustard, lettuce and tomato. One sandwich can easily feed four hungry people and is less than $10. If you're feeling flush, try the Rich Boy instead, with more high-end meats. You can wash any of their sandwiches down with my favorite, Vess's orange soda, called Whistle.
Kim Long is one of the best asian markets in the city - clean and spacious. It's easy to find what you're looking for and quite a few things you didn't know you needed. And it's a great place to stop for a delicious and inexpensive lunch or dinner. Eat there or grab something to go - our favorites include the Lemongrass Chicken (which is a little heavy on the onions...so don't forget your breathmints), Spring Rolls, and the Tomato and Crab Noodles. While you're there, you might as well grab a tea or a slush to go. The taro slush (complete with chewy tapioca pearls) is vibrantly colored, delicious, and refreshing.
(Click on the photo below to see more pics from our lunch at Kim Long.)
Kim Long Market & Restaurant
511 Cherry St.
La Sala's Deli
910 E 5th Street
open Mon-Fri 8:30am - 3pm