Summer in Columbus means two things: festivals and bar patios. We preview some of this year's festivals - starting this weekend with Asian Festival - and suggest a few nearby patios.
This weekend, 15 nations are parking a whole lot of music, art, culture and food in Franklin Park for Asian Festival.
The plethora of options from so many countries helps keep this festival fresh every year. Visitors can nosh on Chinese noodles while taking in a performance of Indian song and dance. They can peruse a marketplace of arts and crafts from halfway around the world.
Seize the opportunity to taste, hear or see something from the Philippines, Japan, Korea, India, China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand.
"You have all kinds of arts and crafts, jewelry and also a lot of things that you can hardly see [locally] like silk scarves and a lot of clothing which is very traditionally Asian," said Yung-Chen Lu, who founded Asian Festival and is a professor emeritus of mathematics at OSU.
The Phillipines and Japan are being featured this year; donations will be accepted throughout the festival to benefit UNICEF and provide relief to those affected by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.
Nearby p atios:
2152 E. Main St., Bexley
This patio at the corner of Main Street and Parkview Avenue, shaded with an awning and equipped with comfortable tables and chairs, is a perfect place for sipping sake and exploring a diverse menu. By all means, try the sushi. Or take a less traditional route with an entree. The menu includes Blackened Miso Cod and Ginseng Braised Short Ribs.
2400 E. Main St., Bexley
On a recent sunny afternoon, Aladdin's inviting patio was abuzz with diners. They'd found a great spot: The brick-and-cement patio is well shaded, peaceful and intimate. The Lebanese-American menu has a wealth of choices for meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Wash down a lamb pita roll, shawarma plate or fattoush salad with a cold beer.