Basil.

It’s Restaurant Week here in Columbus! It’s a week where participating restaurants in and close to the downtown area showcase their best food items on a three-course menu for a set price ($15-$35 a person). It’s a great opportunity to try out food at restaurants you don’t normally go to. To see a full list of restaurants, check the Eat614 website.

Basil is a Thai restaurant who has two locations, one in Brewery District and one in Short North. They also offer tofu and gluten-free options. The Restaurant Week menu showcased a couple of traditional items such as Pad Thai, curries, egg rolls, etc. I decided to get the Tom Yum Soup for my first course, Fresh Roll for my second course and Kee Mow for my final course.

Tom Yum is one of my favorite soups and also one my mom made a lot growing up. It’s a rich soup with a stock base, lemongrass, kaffir leaves, galangal, chili peppers, fish sauce, and lime juice. The soup is traditionally made with chicken or shrimp, which this option has chicken. It bursts with flavors from the spiciness of the peppers to the sourness of the lime, then the saltiness of the fish sauce compliments the other flavors. The way Basil makes their Tom Yum is more shuttle than what I’m used to, but it was still light.

Fresh Roll is a cold roll of veggies wrapped in rice paper. It’s more commonly known as a summer roll. I like to think of it as a salad rolled in rice paper. The rolls are one of my favorite traditional foods to eat because not only are they healthy, but you can customize what you want to put in them. Basil uses tofu, rice noodle, lettuce, mint, bean sprouts, green onion, and cilantro. The dipping sauce was hoisin with crushed peanuts on top.

The last dish is one of my all-fine favorites, Kee Mow. It’s a wide noodle dish, which wide noodles are starchy and amazing! It has a salty but sweet brown sauce and comes spicy (the spicier, the better for me!). Basil’s version throws together basil, bell pepper, onion, broccoli, and tomato (I opted out of tomato for mine). They also offer a crispy noodle option, which they deep fry the noodle for a good crunch. It’s traditionally done with the noodle soft but I wanted to try the crispy noodle so I did half and half. I was pleasantly surprised because I have a favorite restaurant for this dish (I will be doing a post on them later!) and I was worried that this was going to taste bland but even though it was a different style, it was still yummy. Flavor wise, there’s so many flavors in one bite that your mouth waters when you eat this dish. This version is a lot lighter than I’m used to but I really like the crunch of the noodle. 

Overall, I was surprisingly pleased with my meal. I think for $15 I walked off satisfied and full!

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