1312 Grandview Ave
Columbus, OH 43212
1. Dip Sampler
2. Buffalo Shrimp Tacos
3. Blueberry Basil Margarita
4. Short Rib Bowl
5. Baked Dorito Mac and Cheese
I didn’t need another reason to come to Grandview Heights, honestly. I’ve written about my love for this hip ‘burb already! But then Balboa happened, and its queso, and now I’ve got a new happy hour obsession. This SoCal-inspired spot has a huge patio and a cool interior that is ideal for any season. Furthermore, since it’s brought to us by the owners of Bodega, the food was bound to be impressive.
You MUST get the sampler trio of dips to start. This platter of dunkable goodness comes to your table in adorable mini bowls and crocks, with three mouth-watering options for your dining pleasure: salsa, queso, and guacamole. The housemade chips served up on the side are salty and addictive, and by the time our entrees arrived, I begged the waiter to remove the chips from my reach so I would quit gorging on the queso, no lie. The queso is that ridiculously good. Is it the chorizo? The addition of queso fresco cheese? I’ll never know, but I will eat it again to find out. The Buffalo Shrimp tacos were equally as sensational, consisting of three tacos piled up with spicy buffalo-sauced shrimp and cooling bacon blue cheese slaw, and the Short Rib Bowl (beer-braised meat, rice, avocado, pepperjack, cilantro sauce and more) also delighted my taste buds. The Doritos Mac and Cheese has the most fun topping you could imagine – the cheesy crust on mac n’ cheese is the best part, right? Other great options: the smoky, grilled Street Corn and the chocolate-dipped frozen bananas for dessert.
Balboa’s drinks don’t miss the mark either. You won’t leave thirsty with an extended happy hour that lasts from 4-7, Californian and local brews, and alcohol-laced adult smoothies. My favorite drink was the Blueberry Basil Margarita, a pink confection of blueberry basil-infused tequila shaken with lime, orange, and agave and poured on the rocks. Little Adventures Await also clued me in to the fact that they have enormous pitchers of sangria in red, white, and rosé (!!!) varieties for just $25.
The bottom line: for fun cocktails and delicious Cali cuisine, head to Balboa soon. And maybe don’t bring friends if you don’t want to share your queso.
Culinary Clue: Looking for more to do while you’re visiting Balboa? Download my Grandview Guide here!