The development of the Pickerington area east of Columbus has brought it a huge number of new and proper restaurants, with most of them catering to suburban sensibilities of simplicity and reasonable prices. La Fogata Grill, a stop just off I-70, offers Tex Mex favorites and the works in a bar and grill setting that typifies rest of the neighborhood. It’s one of two locations for the chain, the other being closer to downtown Columbus. The food I tried was good and overall the spot was a positive experience.
Tex mex is a regional favorite of mine and many restaurants roll with similar menus. For its signature dishes, though, La Fogata like to spice them up with a little something extra. Among them:
- Carne Asada: The Tex Mex take on beef features onions browned over a grill and a soft, crispy beef. The beef is fantastically juicy, the steaks may have some gristle but that’s not unusual. I detect a few spices that liven up the dish. Those onions really go a long way in making the dish shine.
- Quesadilla: Grilled simply and of course a long-time favorite. They butter it so it has a nice golden brown outside. Appetizer versions come plain or there are veggie and the works choice with a ton of toppings.
- Fajitas: Served of course as a mixed grill of sauteed veggies and meat, this one has got share written all over it. Tortillas and all. The meat is prepared well and in bite sized pieces, be ready to take home leftovers though.
- Huevos rancheros: Scrambled eggs with an assertively spicy salsa. Perfect! Not too heavy.
- Flautas: Served in fours, these come thick. You’ll fill up after two.
- Margaritas: Deceptively strong. Best on ice.
The sides that come with everything are decent too, the Spanish rice is tasty, the refried beans with queso have a great texture and the other fixings are canned. Particularly the guac which is sad. The spicy salsa is good.
Service is great. Folks here are quick to get back to your table with refills, quick to take orders and food comes in a reasonable amount of time, especially good to see that they seem to manage crowds well — a mass of people saw no slowdown in service and no delay in orders coming out. In all, not too bad.
Columbus has a lot of good Tex Mex food and concepts come and go, grow and dissipate across town all the time. It’s great to see that this one is delicious and really going well. That people’s experiences are good. I’m thinking this is a safe place to go to get the foods you’ve already been thinking of, and maybe to try some new ones. Never been to Pickerington? Here’s a sound choice.
- The bar here is pretty good, and it’s got a lot of good drink specials.
- I recommend giving a try to the carne asada, it’s one of several good signature dishes the restaurant recommends.
- Also, the wait doesn’t take that long, but later in the dinner time evening, do expect more people.