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Salads Around the Statehouse: Market 65

It seemed only appropriate to include Market 65 in this latest list of eateries around the Ohio Statehouse, but in this case, salads are the specialty, not sandwiches (although you can get any of their creations in wrap form.)

Most around here would liken Market 65 as a Chipotle-style salad/wrap casual eatery. Coming from Bay Area, it reminds me a lot more of Mixt Greens, a San Francisco area lunchtime staple. 

Both places specialize in fresh salads and sandwiches/wraps made with produce from local providers and offering unique options (e.g. tofu) to customize one's salad. In fact, Market 65 was one of the first places I knew about in the Downtown area to tout its connections to local producers. It had been awhile between visits for me, but it was nice to see that local angle hadn't changed. Numerous local produce providers (That's My Farmer and Lucky Penny being two I was familiar with) were referenced on chalkboards, and products from locally-based vendors (Pattycake Bakery and JC's Sweet Tea, among others) were available for purchase.

Similar to Mixt Greens, Market 65 offers some staple creations, or the customer can opt to build their own wrap/salad. Both places offer a selection of house-made dressings to add to your meal.  

Here is where some subtle differences between the two similar concepts emerge. Mixt Greens offers a few select sandwiches and typically includes a piece of bread with your salad order; Market 65 does not have that option. But the downtown area has plenty of places to grab an actual sandwich so this really isn't a negative in my eyes.

Another subtle difference is that Mixt Greens has all their salad ingredients prepared in advance. Market 65 also has most of their stuff prepared in advance, but some of this grunt work is done before the customer's eyes. While this adds some time to an already relatively slower assembly line process compared to, say, a burrito or standard sandwich, there's something reassuring about watching parts of your salad or wrap being sliced freshly from the source and added to your order. However, if you are confined to a shorter time for lunch, Market 65 may not work for you.

The big difference really lies in price and quantity, and this is where the advantage of being in Columbus shines through for me. I find that I can get an order of the same quality and more quantity at Market 65 than I could at Mixt Greens....and pay about a couple bucks less for it than their West Coast compatriot. With that said, their main items are on the higher edge of the low-end price range of downtown eateries overall (basically between $7 and $11.)

A unique aspect of Market 65 is its beer and wine bar, where you can find a select number of bottled wines and beers as well as a couple of beers on tap (the list I spied showed Fat Head's Amber Ale and Columbus Brewing's IPA as their options.)

My latest get, a fish taco salad special with tilapia, black beans, avocado, serrano peppers, roasted corn (sliced right from the cob) and tortilla strips mixed in with romaine lettuce and their recommended dressing, was filling and tasty.

Overall, I've been quite satisfied with the quality and tastiness of the items I've ordered from Market 65, and the servers I've had always have been friendly and amiable. Those looking for a healthier lunch option with locally sourced produce and other products who are not in any kind of rush would be well served to drop by Market 65.

2019 Update: According to their website, Market 65 is working both on a new menu as well a website revamp.

Market 65
65 E State St (Downtown - Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 564-6565
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