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Monthly Archives: April 2011

An Earth Day Breakfast

(Mmm… sustainable burritos.)

Earth Day is here! What are you doing to celebrate and signify it? There are a whole host of events going on around Columbus over the weekend, one of the biggest of which is Lighten Up at Franklin Park Conservatory.

Of course, me being me, I have to drag breakfast into all of this. To me, Earth Day means highlighting some of those Columbus eateries who make sustainability and local sourcing a priority. There are many more than I can list, but here are a few places you can dine this weekend, to support restaurants with an eye toward keeping it local and environmentally friendly.

1. Northstar Cafe has long been known for food-forward menu and business practices, and they put their mission out there: while you’re waiting for your food, for instance, you can read quotes from Michael Pollan on the cards at your table. They build their menu of popular veggie burgers and ricotta pancakes with organic and local ingredients whenever possible, and customers have flocked frequently enough that there are now three locations: Short North, Beechwold, and Easton. Owners Kevin, Katy, and Darren Malhame speak widely about their restaurant and their overall mission. If you’re interested in learning more about what they do and why they do it, you can read an interview with Kevin through the Nature Conservancy here.

2. Skillet‘s subtitle of “Rustic. Urban. Food.” points to a menu of simple construction using local ingredients: duck eggs, fresh salad greens, apples, and the like all come from Central Ohio farms. Skillet’s practices have earned them lots of local and national attention, such as (ahem) an appearance on PBS that included yours truly. If you want one of the more creative brunches in town, pay attention to what Chefs Kevin and Patrick Caskey are cooking up for the weekend.

(Finally, hot dogs with my breakfast!)

3. Betty’s, Surly Girl, Tip Top, Dirty Frank’s, and/or Jury Room. All of Liz Lessner’s restaurants practice sustainable habits, and Liz helped co-found Eartha Limited, a company focused on teaching the food industry to reduce waste. These five restaurants offer the funkiest brunches in town, from breakfast nachos and pot roast skillets to flatbreads and Bloody Marys. Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace most recently (as in, last weekend) joined the Betty’s Family of Restaurants in offering a Saturday and Sunday brunch.

Whatever you choose, make sure you support those restaurants who are doing their part to improve the restaurant industry, our health, and the way we treat our food overall.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

P.S. It’s not breakfast, but don’t forget you can get your free Northstar Burger today (starting at 11)!

Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace | Columbus, OH

I had brunch at Dirty Frank’s yesterday. Finally we can use that phrase: brunch at Dirty Frank’s. I had to take pictures of the historic occasion.

DF is the last in the line-up of Liz Lessner-led (wow, alliteration) restaurants to take up the brunch mantel. Betty’s, Surly Girl, and Tip Top have been going strong for years. The Jury Room joined up a few weeks ago. And now Dirty Frank’s. Life is good for those of us eatin’ in Columbus.

Because I’ve been frothing at the mouth for this day ever since, well, Dirty Frank’s opened, we stepped in the door at 11:05 a.m. Dirty Frank’s is already our go-to “what I’m craving” stop, so having a brunch option makes it all the more a favorite.

We were greeted with fun, bright menus. They adopted a cereal box theme, with a couple different covers.

I actually did a double-take, the first time I saw syrup on a Dirty Frank’s table.

French Toast Sticks. Big hit with our son Will. We also ordered his standard side of mac and cheese.

The Ohio Scramble: corn relish, scrambled eggs, cheese, tortilla chips. I added the hot dog, of course. Also, I just realized, looking at the picture: I think it was missing the potatoes. Oh well… return trip!

My wife had the Breakfast Nachos: tortilla chips, scrambled eggs, jalapenos, corn relish, cheese sauce, sriracha, and coney sauce. She added the hot dog and got a side of the chili.

So… have you been yet? What did you think?

If you’ve never been (in which case, shame on you):
Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace
Facebook & @DirtyFranksDogs
248 S. 4th St.
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 824-4673
Open 11-2:30a everyday (brunch served Sat & Sun, 11a-4p)

Market 65 | Columbus, OH


[UPDATE: Market 65 is no longer serving breakfast.]

Market 65 (Facebook / @marketsixtyfive)
65 E. State. St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 564-6565
Open Mon-Fri, 7:30 am – 8 pm (bfast served until 10:30 am)
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/Y/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Date of Visit: Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.

IMPRESSIONS: Market 65 is a much-needed new addition to the downtown dining scene. They took the spot formerly inhabited by the San Francisco Pizza Oven, and have replaced that forgettable chain with a bright, fresh restaurant that features a lot of great Ohio goods.

ATMOSPHERE: The space flows pretty easily; once you step through the front door, you’re right at the top of the line that follows the counters. I visited on a Thursday mid-morning and the place was quiet, although lunch time can get busier.

There’s a good-sized seating section extending back into the space. The color palette is full of greens and browns; you feel like you’re walking in a forest.

FOOD: The real star of Market 65 is their salad bar, what with the choosing and the mixing and the chopping, but they do feature a good breakfast menu, too. And obviously, that’s why I’m here.

The fun of eating there is watching your food be assembled as you head down the line. They have a huge variety of fresh ingredients to choose from…

…including meats…

…vegetables…

…and cheeses. The biggest dish on their breakfast menu – the wrap – lets you choose two of the vegetables and a cheese (you can add bacon or sausage, too). That’s a pretty wide selection.

Other breakfast items include oatmeal, fresh fruit, and pastries.

Coffee service provided by Stauf’s, with a special Market 65 blend. Very nice.

Baked goods come from Sassafras Bakery, Sue’s Kitchen, and Cupcake Yum Yum.

My son and I split a wrap (which you can also order as a scramble) with some white cheddar and black beans. It’s a hefty wrap, and was plenty for the both of us.

The ingredients are simple, but the flavors were all there. A great option if you need a quick breakfast downtown. The bonus is that these ingredients are sourced locally, so you know you’re getting good Ohio eggs, cheese, and the like.

SERVICE: I’ll be honest: I had a great service experience, although I got to chat with owners Anthony and Patrick. One of their staffers very kindly played with my son Will while we spoke. If Anthony, Patrick, and their staff are anything to go by, they can take care of a long line of customers smoothly.

OVERALL: Market 65 is a simple concept, but one that’s well connected to the local food community and provides a much-needed option for downtown dining. They’re open early and stay open late, which is encouraging for that area. And now that the weather is getting warmer, imagine yourself out here on the patio…

OTHER LINKS:
-> my piece for (614) Magazine on Market 65
-> interview with the owners on ColumbusUnderground

Market 65 on Urbanspoon

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