Poblano’s for Mexican Food in Columbus

inside of a Mexican restaurant

When the kids were little, we had a go-to restaurant any time the grandparents were in town. I’d like to say it was a little, local place that you’ve never heard of and where everyone knew our names.

It wasn’t. It was Don Pablo’s at East Main and 270, at the time a big chain restaurant with three locations just in Columbus.

Memories of a Place

Don Pablo’s salsa was my crave when I was pregnant with my oldest child. I literally could have eaten it every single day and there were some weeks when I think I did.

When the towers fell on September 11, I called my mom. Like everyone else, we were in shock. She lived near Kingston, pretty much her whole life. “Come up,” I said “at least we’ll be together.”

She drove up to my house. We didn’t know what to do, other than stay glued to the television. “Let’s go to Don Pablo’s,” she said.

Chips and salsa at a Mexican restaurant in Columbus, Ohio.
Good chips and salsa are an important part of any Mexican restaurant experience and Poblano’s delivered!

It was a weird sort of comfort on that day. It was a little bit of normalcy as we sat there with our chips and salsa and the entire world turned upside down. Other than us and one table, it was just the staff there that day. We were all just going through the motions, watching the televisions and praying it wasn’t as bad as it was.

It’s been more than 15 years since Don Pablo’s shuttered it’s three Columbus locations. We moved on to other experiences, the kids grew up and my parents passed. Change is inevitable and sometimes painful.

Poblano’s: Mexican Food in Columbus

Though I’ve been by the location several times over the years, it wasn’t until yesterday that I really looked at it. My oldest, who has fond memories of the location, observed that there was a new restaurant in the old Don Pablo’s location, Poblano’s. We decided to give it a try.

Once inside I was flooded with memories. I remembered getting the salsa to-go during my first pregnancy to try to get ahead of my cravings. I remembered waiting for a table with my parents, entertaining three little ones with phones and Grandpa stealing their noses. And I remembered everything about that September day.

Other than the fountain being replaced by a bar, it looked much the same as I remembered it. It was like walking into a familiar memory.

The outside of Poblano's restaurant serving Mexican food in Columbus, Ohio.
The restaurant looks much the same as the old Don Pablo’s location

It turned out that this “new” Mexican restaurant had actually been there for 11 years. How had I missed it?

Mexican Food in Columbus: Fast and Fresh

Our server was quick and friendly and supplied the five of us with basket after basket of chips, along with an adequate helping of salsa. Luckily, we had happened on Poblanos on taco Tuesday which meant $2 tacos.

The lot of us at the table tried the ground beef, barbacoa and chicken tacos. Natalie opted for the shrimp fajitas. Everything was fresh and delicious and served hot.

If you live in or happen to be visiting and you’re looking for great Mexican food in Columbus, I highly recommend Poblano’s. It’s locally owned and according to the website is just this single location.

We will definitely visit again! I’ve already decided that next time I’ll be enjoying one of their jumbo margaritas.


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