If you have yet to pay a visit to Purple Chopstix, make it a point to do so before your graduation date rolls around. From one Bobcat and peer to another, this place is worth skipping that extra meal swipe at the dining hall and/or daily trip to Chipotle.
I had been itching to try this restaurant since freshman year after hearing through word of mouth about how delicious their entrees were. Their menu is stacked with a variety of complex options ranging from Curry Dishes, Sweet Potato Peanut Pasta, Bolivian AlGusto and Nori Sushi Rolls, just to name a few. But I did not go the traditional route on my visit. Oh no, I went with the intentions of fulfilling my “Sunday Funday” with utmost glory and I can confirm, that mission was accomplished.
Every Sunday from 11am-1pm, Ed Fisher and his close-knit team lay out a colorful spread of homemade, eclectic delicacies for his customers to enjoy. For $15, one can make as many trips as they wish to the food-laden buffet bar in addition to receiving unlimited refills of coffee, juice and tea. And if that weren’t enough, an entire platter of dessert options is available upon your request.
My first thought after making my plate was, oh man, I may have over-committed. And that I did. But oh my was it worth having to let out my belt buckle about three notches because this food is unreal. Truly unlike anything I have ever tasted before. What your eyes are feasting on here is a platter of Purple Chopstix finest sesame noodles, Greek pizza, green bean casserole, enchiladas, turkey meatloaf sliders, omelette, hash browns, veggie mac & cheese, scalloped potatoes, pot stickers and bruschetta.
One thing is for certain: The pickiest eater on Ohio University’s campus is bound to find a mouthwatering dish to indulge in here with such vast offerings. There was not a single dish that I did not engulf at rapid speeds. Everything had such a distinguished flavor, it was nearly impossible to slow my chowing down pace.
And just when I thought I could not possibly fork another bite, our waitress came by to check in on my friend and I and proceeds to ask if we were ready for our own personal dessert platter.
Uhhh, yes please.
Samplings of key lime pie bites, house chocolate cake with raspberry filling, chocolate mousse cheesecake and chocolate creme puffs galore! My taste buds and sweet tooth unified as one in response to the harmonious chocolate-inspired symphony that was performing during that magnificent moment. I don’t recall a time I was that happy as I was at this restaurant.
The atmosphere, however, is the icing on the cake– no pun intended. If the food was not radiant enough, the array of colorful artwork from Athen’s own Passion Works Studio absolutely supplement the bright, warm environment created by the staff. Vibrant sculptures and paintings are scattered righteously throughout the entire vicinity, inducing a feeling of coziness and care.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Ed after the lavish meal was no more and he shared how he chose the abstract title for his restaurant. He said that it was his youngest daughter who provided the inspiration. The family had been pondering on potential names and one morning his daughter was in the kitchen, diligently stirring away at her concoction of grape juice concentrate with wooden chopsticks. After whipping the sticks out, witnessing the purple pigment on the wood she yelled, “Dad! What about Purple Choptsticks?!”
And the rest is history. Purple Chopstix has been operating since 1989 and continues to flourish.
Purple Chopstix is open Wednesday-Saturday from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. and on Sunday starting at 11 a.m. for brunch.
Photos taken by Maureen Mierke.