1267 W 5th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43212
Grandview Heights is home to dozens of restaurants of all levels of quality thanks to its proximity to many of Columbus’ most interesting neighborhoods, including downtown, the Short North, Ohio State University and Upper Arlington. So there are quite a few interesting concepts competing here. Happy House will have none of that – your neighborhood Chinese delivery service has all the classics for Americanized Chinese food. Delivery is easy and fast and, of course, you get more than plenty food to go along with it. Sometimes that can take a while, though.
If you live in the area you have had these menus stuck in mailboxes and door handles all over. Some of the things I liked:
- Barbecued chicken: Char siu in Chinese cuisine. This cubed chicken is cooked until its red and so it’s soft and chewy, almost like pork. The sauce it’s in is a bit oily, though, and that kind of distracted.
- Potstickers: These giant gyoza, or dumplings, are served in huge wavy wonton wrappers filled with minced veggies and meat, perfect to dip in a nice sweet hoisin-like sauce. A good app.
- Pepper steak: Pepper steak of course is chopped and served in a deep brown sauce with onions and green peppers. What it could use more of, though, is pepper! You can never have too much of that and without it, well, the dish is pretty much indistinguishable from Mongolian beef.
- Chicken wings: Not half-wings, but whole ones, fried dry but with a mixture that incorporates a little curry and served with lots of scallions that add some strong onion to the mix. Dry, though.
- Kung pao beef: Thinner cut beef with cubes of onion, celery and peanuts. Not a bad take on this kind of dish, and best with a little rice to sop up some of that great sauce.
The restaurant is most notably probably that it’s one of the few that delivers to the Grandview area and around it. One chief problem, though, is that makes it a really busy place. You can order online, which is convenient, but the website warns you that you’ll be waiting for an hour or so. Believe it – in three carry-out experiences the timing on the food ranged from 50 minutes to an hour and 15. Certainly the price is well worth it, but the wait is on the longer end for food in the area.
There’s a captive audience for sure, and a delivery business will always do well with that. But Columbus is full of good, authentic Chinese dishes, and there’s an opportunity there that’s missed. Others in the city bring something additive like Sichuan cuisine, rolled noodles, a wider array of Asian cuisines and the like. In that sense, this one sits in the middle of the pack.
- Food can be ordered online, no phone call needed. And this is one of the few delivery options in the area.
- Menus circulate around the nearby neighborhoods with delivery options which are pretty nice and occasionally coupons.
- Lunch portions offer a lot of value.