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New Columbus restaurant replaces taste of New York with taste of Mexico

Katie Higgins / Lantern photographer

Patrons of High Street can now try a restaurant with a little more spice. New York moved out and Mexico moved in.

The Plaza Mexican Grill opened Thursday on the corner of Chittenden Avenue and High Street, where New York Pizza Department used to be.  

The Plaza serves traditional Mexican food, including burritos, nachos, quesadillas and chimichangas. Daily specials will be served, with discounted prices or specialty foods, said David Montes, restaurant manager. The Plaza’s kitchen closes at about 10 p.m. nightly, after which only appetizers will be served to the bar crowd.

Menu items range in price from $1.50 for chips and salsa to $6.99 for a burrito or a taco salad.

Montes said he wants The Plaza to be known for its food during the days and its margaritas and bar scene at night.

Montes said he decided to open the restaurant on Ohio State’s campus because of the diversity on campus, the size of the student population and the popularity of High Street.

“Our goal is to try to be the most popular place on campus,” Montes said. “We want to bring people in and make everyone talk about us.”

The food will be “homemade style” and “less commercial” than other Mexican restaurants in the University District, Montes said.

The menu in The Plaza is displayed on two large television screens, mounted above the Chipotle-style food assembly line. Montes said the restaurant presents the menu like this so if the cooks decide to make a specialty food item, the menu can easily be altered for the day.

The Plaza’s business climbs as students try its food, Montes said.

“This building makes the restaurant look so tiny, but when you come in, it’s huge,” said Sarah Mohre, a second-year in English. “I would have never known if I didn’t see the grand opening sign, and decided to come try it out.”

Julia-Rose Schmidt, a Columbus State student, also said she liked the restaurant.

“I came to try the food, but the homemade margaritas are so good, we will definitely come back,” she said.

Since the grand opening, The Plaza has become more popular, Montes said.  

“The building isn’t very visible, but we want to become visible and be better than the other restaurants in the area,” Montes said.

Representatives from Eddie George’s Grill 27 declined to comment on The Plaza’s opening. Representatives from Subway did not immediately return requests for comment.

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