129 E. Nationwide Blvd.
Columbus, OH 43215
Hidden in a thin, narrow building very similar to one with the same name in New York City, The Flatiron is a community bar that has seen many chapters of downtown Columbus. Where today it rests in the shadow of many hotels and the convention center, in fact it’s been here for a number of years. Popular with downtown dwellers for its lunch specials, this restaurant does in fact bring some new ideas to the table. It won’t be the first place that comes to mind when you think about dining downtown, but that’s the beauty of it. Kind of a hidden gem.
This is a standard bar, with an assortment of sandwiches and salads during the lunch hour, and cocktails in the evenings. Some of the things that I like to try:
- Pulled pork sandwich: The classic option for barbecue, well this place isn’t necessarily known just for its barbecue, this sandwich is a fear some site to behold. Piled high with pulled pork smothered any sweet barbecue sauce, it’s extremely filling for lunch.
- Smoked salmon sandwich: Kind of reminding you of a lox bagel, this sandwich is built around a very smoky mountain of salmon with some mayonnaise and vegetables to add a little bit of flair. Probably the first time I’ve seen this as a public sandwich, but smoke salmon is very delicious, especially when it’s combined with the right ingredients. This has got to be one of my favorite sandwiches in downtown.
- Kettle chips: extra thin sliced potatoes, Carol Fried and served alongside most of the sandwiches you can eat here. A little bit oily, but still pretty good.
- Jalapeno chicken: Grilled chicken with a spicy and warm twist. Get this one with a cooler side, like cucumber salad if you can.
The service here is very good, well this might not be a bar that is coming to mind first when you think about a lunch spot, it has held up over time. There are plenty of new sandwich and other lunch options in downtown Columbus, so one has to wonder how the current places reinvent themselves to keep up. This one doesn’t really have to, kind of an old fashion bar, it’s going to be a place that is a local hunt in the evenings.
And with the added growth in the hotel market nearby, it’s also going to be a place that a lot of guests and newcomers in town are going to experience as a first bite of Columbus. All of those are good things. This restaurant is simple, charming, pretty affordable, and just unique enough that it’s worth a special trip if you know what to get.
- During the lunch hour there is an appreciable crowd here, but not too large. It’s not unusual for you to be able to get in grab a bite and get back to your office in an hour.
- The food here is very affordable and very simple. Considering how many higher end restaurants are perking up in the short north, you have to appreciate having places like that around.
- The smoke salmon is a good first dish.