Day Trip to Columbus and Athens, Ohio

A week ago my wife, Jasmine, and I made a day trip to Columbus and Athens, Ohio. We spent about five hours near Athens, located 75 miles southeast of Columbus, visiting her older sister, her husband, and their first child (almost three months old). 

On the way to Athens, we spent a little time in Columbus, which is about two hours from Bowling Green, where we live now. Our first stop was for lunch at a Somali restaurant called African Paradise Cuisine, northeast of downtown Columbus.

African Paradise

Inside African Paradise

We both came to like Somali food when we lived in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota), and this was our first chance to enjoy it again since we moved to Bowling Green last August. Minneapolis has the highest number of Somalis in the US (about 75,000), and Columbus has the second highest number (about 55,000). Seattle and San Diego are third and fourth, respectively. 

Our plan was for one of us to order a fish entree and the other to order a goat entree, but we arrived before they had any fish ready, so we both ordered goat. Our meals came with complimentary mango juice, salads, and soup. We’ve found that salads at Somali restaurants are typically served with Italian dressing, and this is because Somalia was once an Italian colony (independence was granted in 1960). This is also why spaghetti with pasta sauce is commonly served as a side dish.

Goat Meat Meal


Less than a mile away was a Somali cafe, known as Safari Coffee. We stopped there for just a couple minutes to get a Somali tea (highly recommended) for the road. “Somali tea” is a spiced tea with milk (spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper, for example). The one at Safari Coffee may be the best I’ve ever had.

Safari Coffee

Before heading out to Athens, we took a driving tour of downtown Columbus on this warm, humid, and beautiful day.

Downtown Columbus 01

Downtown Columbus 02

Downtown Columbus 03

Downtown Columbus 04

Downtown Columbus 05

Downtown Columbus has a neat promenade along the Scioto River called the Scioto Mile, featuring swings, a walking path, sculptures, fountains, an outdoor cafe, and Bicentennial Park (more information here and more photos here). 

Downtown Columbus 06

Downtown Columbus 07


This post can be found on the newest page, titled “Places,” where a couple other posts featuring places and photos are already located, with more to come.

5 thoughts on “Day Trip to Columbus and Athens, Ohio

  1. Sounds like you two had a wonderful trip Adam! Jasmine looks happy in the photos, and beautiful as always.

    I have to ask; what does goat taste like? 🙂


  2. Thank you, PJ. It was a good trip, Goat tastes more like beef than chicken, for one thing, but very much distinct from beef as well. I’ve generally found it to be tender, moist, and, the way the Somalis make it, well-marinated. It’s slightly similar to lamb, if you’ve ever had that, but again distinct from lamb as well.

    I remember seeing online that there are at least a couple of East African restaurants in Cincinnati. I’m not sure if they’re Somali, Ethiopian, or something different, though.


  3. I took a quick look and one called “Emanu East African Restaurant” appears to be the most well-known in Cincinnati. Course that could also mean the most expensive. Not sure if you’re familiar with Florence KY, but that’s an area which may have what you’re looking for.

    As far as goat, it sounds like it has it’s own distinctive taste Adam. Maybe i’ll get a chance to try it some day!

    By the way, i was looking over the photos again, and whoever took them is a good ‘photographer’. I’m terrible at taking photos so am rarely called upon during family gatherings to take pictures. There’s a good chance, if i do, someone’s head is going to me missing, 🙂


  4. Yes, Emanu is one that I saw. Teranga is another one (Vine Street), and it looks like there is a Senegalese restaurant and also two Ethiopian restaurants in Cincinnati. I’m a bit familiar with Florence, KY, and remember passing through or at least very close to it in the past.

    I took the photos in this post, so thanks for the compliment. Except for the ones in the restaurant, we were at a stop light in most cases, and they were taken from inside my car. The windshield glare is obvious in the first one.

    Regarding the photos of people with heads missing, you might be doing them a favor, and making them candidates for the millennium (Revelation 20:4). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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