59 Spruce Street
Columbus, OH 43215
One of the longstanding North Market vendors, Firdous Express offers a wide view of the Mediterranean and the cuisine you find there, whether it’s flavors inspired by Greece, Tunisia, Morocco and beyond. So the restaurant might be “fast casual” by definition, but that doesn’t mean simply by far; in fact there’s a complex set of spices overlying cooked meats, veggies and rice. Everything about this place is complex and just waiting to be enjoyed.
The menu runs the gamut of Mediterranean favorites. Many come in small, medium and large sizes, and many can be ordered to go, naturally. Some of the things that I liked:
- Chicken Kabobs: Seasoned charbroiled chicken breast cubes and roasted vegetables, served atop a pile of rice, salad and pita bread. It’s just so succulent and spicy, it’s perfect. A little warmth to it, and definitely suggested to get a little hummus on the side. One way or another you have enough that you’ll want to take it home.
- Hummus: Always popular, the creamy hummus needs some pita or rice to dip in but its thickness is not to worry about; it’ll still satisfy and a few dabs of the top will cut down on oil if that’s of concern.
- Baba Ghanoush: This smoked eggplant dip is just so wonderfully smokey, and the texture will do you in easily.
- Baklava: This comes in a few different configurations and is definitely undervalued, I think, but well worth a sample. These treats are “blossoms”, or filo dough wrapping around clusters of almonds and pecans, usually with a bit of chocolate in the middle for good measure.
The stall allows for food to go pretty easily, but as is the case with all North Market tenants, you will find plenty of space for a seat upstairs, and except for lunchtimes, the speed you’ll get your food is pretty fast. Prices aren’t bad either.
It’s a cool place overall, and one that has introduced a few different kinds of food to the Columbus market that are otherwise hard to find. All told, you’re going to get a good value on pretty quality food too. The staff is friendly and very informative about dishes that may be unfamiliar to the Midwestern palette.
Another unique option in the North Market, and one that is well in line with its eclectic and world-spanning cuisine. You won’t want to miss Firdous.
- The desserts are far overlooked and definitely a necessity to try what makes the place so great.
- Probably expect to take some food home if you get a full meal, the servings are huge.
- Hummus or baba ghanoush are a recommended side dish to add to what can other times be a plate of food without sauce.