— British transplant, Bethia Woolf, an avid eater and foodie, has a background in teaching geography, which may explain why she loves to travel. In her wanderings, she’s never hesitated to try different ethnic foods and has put her knowledge to good use in the creation of food tours of Columbus, Ohio.
After spending many hours writing about the Columbus food scene on several blogs, she and her husband, Andy Dehus, launched Columbus Food Adventures nearly three years ago. The enterprise began with a walking tour of Columbus Short North district and driving tours to some of the city’s 40 mobile taco trucks and to Northeast Columbus, where a constellation of ethic restaurants are clustered on and around Cleveland Avenue.
Since then, a walking tour of German Village as well as coffee, meat and dessert tours have been added. This summer, the enterprising couple hopes to add a food truck tour .
Billed as a cross between a guided tour and a progressive dinner, the tours range in price between $50 and $60 per person. Recently, I boarded a 14-person van and tagged along on the Alt Eats tour, which took us to four ethnic restaurants and a Mexican bakery.
"When we were organizing our taco truck program, we came across these small immigrant kitchens overlooked by the media that were putting out some interesting, tasty food," Woolf said.
Our first stop, Mi Li Café, is tucked away in a strip mall and specializes in Vietnamese food. The dish we were offered there came as a surprise in the form of banh mi, a Vietnamese sub sandwich that represents the country’s French colonial heritage.
The owner, Tat Nga, is the only one in the eatery allowed to make the subs, which come with her homemade pate and house mayonnaise, pork, jalapeno, cilantro, daikon radish, julienne carrots and cukes. Move over Subway and Quiznos.