A menu of eclectic offerings is like a fuzzy octopus wrapping nine of its legs around you while using the other two to teach you Spanish and grate Gorgonzola. Get your octohug with today’s deal: for $15, you get $30 worth of diverse bistro cuisine and drinks at Columbus Cafe & Bar in the South End. This Groupon is good during dinner and weekend brunch at the quaint neighborhood bistro.
The Boston Phoenix says Columbus Cafe's dinner menu has "Central American influences on [a] canvas of Mediterranean-type foods." Start with a sharable spinach and artichoke dip served with warm chips ($8.95), lightly sautéed Rhode Island–style calamari ($9.95), or a baby arugula and apple salad ($6.95). Entrees include a marinated Argentine steak ($16.95), Moroccan lamb shank ($17.95), and the vegetarian-friendly pasta di Giardino ($13.95), overflowing with broccoli, red peppers, Roma tomatoes, peas, asparagus, and shaved parma grana mixed with linguini and basiled olive oil. If you stop by for weekend brunch, try classic eggs Benedict with a perfect Hollandaise sauce ($9) or a breakfast burrito (scrambled eggs, pinto beans, and salsa, $9). Meat up your mid-morning with grilled, marinated steak with two eggs and chimi-churi ($12), and accompany the feast with a few sides of mimosa ($7), $2 coffee, or less sipable options such as a bagel and cream cheese ($1.50).
Columbus Cafe's attraction lies in its combination of local roots, tasty libations, down-to-earth décor, and continuing support from the League of Extraordinary Scientists. It's a great hometown place where everybody knows your name, or nobody knows your name but will pretend to know your name leading not to name-calling, but, more often, to a game of inter-table telephone. Parties of five or more can use two Groupons.
- My favorite entrée was Tuscan meat loaf ($11.95), reportedly made of boar and beef, though I didn’t get a wild-boar or even game-farm-boar flavor — just a rich, meaty taste. The loaf is heaped on superb mashed potatoes, with some sweet-sour greens on the side, a layer of mushrooms on top, and just a wisp of sauce. Could be the meat loaf of the year. – Robert Nadeau, Boston Phoenix
- Serving an affordable menu (dinner entrees all under fifteen bucks) of homey dishes (salads, pastas, crab cakes), the cafe is a cozy spot for whiling away an afternoon (lunch is served Monday through Friday, brunch on Saturdays and Sundays) or an evening. The adjacent bar beckons passersby to stop and grab a drink or three on their way home. – Daily Candy
- All of the food is uncomplicated and full of flavor - proving that the chef, whoever s/he is, knows what they're doing. The service is always full of smiles and recommendations, so if you don't know, ask! They'll give you honest opinions. – suziederkins, Citysearch