Gallo’s Kitchen and Bar – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series
We’d driven past numerous times, but were unsure of the spicy treasures within.
Sitting just south of Fishinger on 33, Gallo’s Kitchen and Bar is an interesting combo of Italian and Creole. There are no mashup dishes between the two styles, but The Gallo’s do both well in this case. We opted for a main serving of Creole (Chicken Etouffee and Jambalaya), with a side of Italian (two meaty meatballs). With sandwiches including Po-Boys and Gallo’s Famous Muffuletta, Gallo’s Kitchen and Bar sticks to a solid base and runs with it from there.
The Lady of the Farm went with the Chicken Etouffee and was pleased with the flavor profile and the generous portion. Moving to the Meatballs, these beefy bois were roughly the size of a fist, which can sometimes lead to dry centers, but not in this case. The sauce and beef combo were solid and make this a nice choice for an appetizer (some could probably even be happy with the meatballs alone as a meal). There’s something about Creole cuisine that’s awesome in the cooler months.
With the temperatures dropping and time being even more of a construct than ever (thanks George Hudson) we were looking for a dish that not only would warm your mouth hole but the whole body as well. Gallo’s Kitchen and Bar nails those criteria with their Jambalaya with Chicken, Andouille Sausage, and Beeler Farms Ham. Gallo’s even had the courtesy to go out of their way on their menu and say “This is Our Spiciest Dish.”
Gazing into the tub of tomatoes, rice, and other ingredients, I could see a few chunks of peppers as well, some red, some green. Digging in, the first bite lets the flavors glide through, hang out, and then roll out the red carpet for a slight heat. The heat struts its way in but is never overwhelming. It is a polite heat that grazes the tongue but then wanders through the rest of the dark caverns of your mouth, inspecting to see if it would like to stay. In this Jambalaya’s case, it chooses to vacate.
The serving size was fairly large and ended up spreading into two meals, but the heat ended up consistent on both days. Similar in style to the heat of Yats’ Drunken Chicken (minus the Da Bomb sauce), the Jambalaya pokes a bit, but then settles and disappears. If I had to put my finger on a pepper that was causing the kick I’d point to a serrano, but I believe a majority of the heat is hidden in the spices. Not much of an idea of what the spice mix contains, but it’s reminiscent of the Slap Ya Mama Cajun blend that I sometimes use on fries or tater tots which is typically some smattering of garlic, paprika, cayenne, and a few other items.
As a good measure of heat, The Lady of the Farm braved a bite and found that it was a tolerable level of heat for her, but noted that a full serving of it would likely have brought sweat to her nose.
A heat that warms the mouth and the body, the Jambalaya is a solid addition to our list and a great starting place for new spice seekers. Warmth in mind, we’re placing this dish at #55, below Amul India’s Level 6 Vindaloo and above Curry Up’s Spiciest Bowl.
You can find Gallo’s Kitchen and Bar at 2820 Nottingham Rd, Columbus, OH 43221.
Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!
Featured exterior image taken from Columbus Underground’s review of Gallo’s.
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