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Martha’s Fusion Kitchen – Spiciest Dish in Columbus Series

We’d seen plenty of posts about Martha’s Fusion Kitchen and after a feature in Columbus Monthly, we knew we needed to go.

On a gray day, we ventured to North Linden to see what all this birria business was about. A smaller restaurant just north of North Broadway on the east side of 71, Martha’s can hold around 10-20 folks. While there we saw several folks come in for takeout, and several sat down for dine-in.

The menu is compact, featuring a page of birria options, along with some other unique dishes like the pizzadilla (Mounts of birria in between two 2-12” flour tortillas, cheese, cilantro and onions. Served with a side of consome), and Pambazo (Bread dipped and fried in a red guajilla pepper sauce and filled with papas con chorizo, lettuce, queso fresco, and sour cream). Needless to say, there are plenty of items to make me feel like I’ll be missing out if I don’t return.

Everything is cooked to order, so wait time can be around 10 minutes, but it is well worth it and you can bide your time with a gigantic container of housemade horchata. The birria craze is an interesting one because birria itself is: “a traditional ancestral soup or stew made from a combination of chili pepper-based goat meat adobo, garlic, cumin, bay leaves, and thyme, and cooked at a low heat.” Take that stew and give it a side of broth-battered corn tortillas filled with tasty meats, and you’re good to go.

marthas fusion kitchen birria tacos

Barging onto the Barria bus, I found myself at Martha’s Fusion Kitchen, where I was given two choices of sauce. Asking for clarification on what they were I was told, “You take the green sauce… the spicy story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red sauce… you stay in Martha’s Fusion Kitchen, and I show you how deep the spicy rabbit hole goes.”

As I stared at the two, using my long history of red and green sauces as my guide, I decided to continue the spicy adventure. Snatching up the red sauce and squirting it onto a birria taco, I noticed the specks of black pepper and the overall smoothness of the sauce. Slopping it into the birria (the stew that has become popular for dipping tacos into), the sauce stayed put, ensuring I’d get proper taco coverage. From first bite to last, the red sauce stayed consistent with a heavy pepper flavor, with tiny ridges of heat, gently pulling your attention but not distracting from the rest of the flavors.

The mix of black pepper and another low-level pepper (guessing cayenne, or similar) made it an approachable spicy sauce that everyone at the table was able to partake in. Once the bigger than my head Birria burrito with Birria, peppers, onions, rice, beans, Pico de gallo, jalapenos, and sour cream emerged from the kitchen, I decided to cross the streams and get a good line of each sauce going.

As advertised, the green sauce is much milder with notes of cilantro, lime, and jalapeño, a tasty sauce with the tiniest shreds of heat. Only making it halfway through the burrito, I sauced it up and boxed the remainder. As I did I thought about the red sauce and where it sits on our list. It’s got some kick to it, but I believe most folks reading this could try it without dying. Therefore we are placing Martha’s Fusion Kitchen at #108 on our list, just after Helen’s Asian Kitchen Stir-Fried Cauliflower. While not the spiciest red sauce we’ve had, we definitely undertstand why everyone is raving about Martha’s Fusion Kitchen.

You can find Martha’s Fusion Kitchen at 3331 Maize Rd Columbus 43224.

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