Flatiron Bar & Diner is a low key bar and restaurant located in an Arena District building that’s reminiscent of old school structures from New York City. The interior is long and narrow with the bar running along one side and tables scattered throughout.
The menu focuses on Cajun, Creole, barbecue and low country cuisine. There’s an unfortunate shortage of such foods in Columbus, so taking advantage of Flatiron’s happy hour deals means you can sample a number of savory — sometimes spicy — dishes for a nice price.
The options for happy hour libations at Flatiron are plentiful, and beer is a good place to start. The $3.50 draft beers are rotating, and usually offer a couple crafts and imports. All domestic bottles are $2, and revolving bottle specials — anything from craft selections to the highly-underrated cheap beer, Schlitz, I enjoyed last week — are often available for the same price.
If you’re in the mood for something stiffer, Flatiron also offers five specialty martinis for $5 and all well liquor is $2. The cocktail list doesn’t offer any discounts, but there are a couple worthy of paying full price. The Sazerac and the Sidecar are quite excellent, and the potent Hurricane is a Nah’Leans favorite that screams “party time!”
The drink specials are reason enough to belly up at Flatiron, but the food is the reason to stay for a second one. All small plates are $5 and are large enough to be shared, or make a nice, smaller sized meal for one. The House Made Sausage and BBQ Ribs Sampler with a Texas hot link sausage and two hefty, sauce-covered bones is a top choice. The two seafood options, the Crab and Corn Cake and the Cornmeal Fried Oysters, are also recommended.
There are two soup options that are hearty, tasty and cheaper than the small plate specials for a cup ($4) and not much more for a bowl ($6.50). The Flatiron Gumbo has a solid Cajun background, but the Smoked Brisket and Red Bean Chili is the standout. At this time of year, chili is always welcome, but this one is truly special.
Photo by Tim Johnson