Two new Grandview/U.A.-area restaurants prepare fast food with panache

Two new Grandview/U.A.-area restaurants prepare fast food with panache

As the icky economy stubbornly continues to stay stinky, savvy cuisine entrepreneurs have been taking to the streets, selling their rapidly prepared wares out of limited-risk food cart startups.

On the other side of the devalued coin, brick-and-mortar restaurants are drawing inspiration from cheapie street eats already proven to be popular in other cities. Two well-thought-out examples of this latter form have recently sprung up in an area of town known for supporting long-established eateries.

So will the newbies be embraced? Well, based on my first bites, I'd say their chances are pretty damn good. Here's a taste.

Loops Good Food

The windy streets in, around and below the famous Chicago "Loop" provide the influences for the Greek-tinged, Chi-Town-style fast food served at Loops.

Sporting an interesting interior design that engagingly riffs on subway stations, Loops pays further tribute to the city with the big shoulders by naming its zestily seasoned pita sandwiches after actual Chicago streets.

From the short sandwich list, I liked the Jackson St. ($5.75) best. Wrapped in a puffy and toasty pita loaf were generous amounts of griddled real chicken strips cleverly complemented by a good thick and rich hummus plus chunks of crunchy chopped cucumber.

But the Taylor St. ($7.25 with cheese) was also pleasing. Basically a Philly steak sandwich, it crammed in big chunks of beef (beef actually identifiable as steak), sauteed 'shrooms and onions.

And the Feta Fire ($6) was also applauded. It was a gyro jacked up with a spicy feta sauce and was about as can't-miss as that sounds.

Rounding out the pita pockets, I recommend going with the Poppy Slaw ($1 - pink, crunchy and tangy with lemon perking up a poppy seed dressing) and the extra-crispy, battered and highly seasoned (like with oregano and cheese) Loops Fries ($1.85).

For more local food news and reviews, click to G.A. Benton's blog at blog.columbusalive.com/underthetable