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Monthly Archives: July 2011

RT’s Grill | Columbus, OH


[UPDATE: RT's Grill is closed.]
RT’s Grill
N. High St., north of Graceland Shopping Center, across from Pig Iron BBQ
A new discovery! While driving to work yesterday, my wife spotted a new yellow food truck on the east side of N. High Street. She ventured closer and discovered RT’s Grill. RT’s is a brand new kid on the block of mobile food in Columbus, and one of the few to regularly serve breakfast.

The truck just opened up at this location yesterday, July 26. We managed to be their first customers! The RT stands for Rob and Tina, the husband-wife duo behind the truck. They’ve actually been running the truck for a while, serving breakfast and lunch, but have shown up at miscellaneous locations around town. One day they spotted the open lot across from Pig Iron Grill and nabbed it.


Of course, my goal is to sample the breakfast. We tried the Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Sandwich (there’s a sausage version, too). It’s served on a hamburger bun; we also added hash browns on the side. Total for the two was $4.50. It wasn’t an amazing sandwich, but it still tasted pretty darn good, and it’s nice to see some more mobile breakfast cropping up around town. They serve regular plated breakfasts and sandwiches, too, including biscuits and gravy, plus muffins, coffee, juice, and some extras.

I’m curious to know what others think!

Breakfast book update!

Greetings, breakfasters!

I wanted to share an update on the breakfast book and our current progress with it. We started photography in early March of this year, and have visited over 30 restaurants so far. Typically, we’ve gone out every Friday, visiting two restaurants each morning. At this point there’s only one more spot to photograph, and then our excursions are complete!
Doing the photoshoots have been both hard work and incredibly rewarding. We’ve learned and perfected the art of staging and arranging food (not that most of dishes need help). The challenge is handling such a variety of styles: one moment we’re photographing gorgeous tea and scones (see above), the next we’re shooting greasy eggs and bacon, and then we’re arranging mounds of donuts.

Our team consists of myself, my wife Beth, and Robin Oatts of Genre Creative. Beth does a lot of the organization, marketing, and helps Robin with photos. Robin handles the photography and will do the full design of the book. Me, I do interviews, writing, research, and establish contact with our featured restaurants.

I’m aiming to finish the writing stage by the end of August. At that time, my wife is due to have our second child, so August 20th has become the due date for both our new baby boy and the content of the book. Pressure’s on!

There’s still plenty of “research” and exploration to do. Restaurants open and close. They change locations, they change hours, they change menus. Some stop doing breakfast, some begin a weekend brunch. We’ll be editing details right up until we send the book to print this fall.

You can mark your calendars for Saturday, November 5, 2011. That is our release date! That night we’ll have a big release party, with food, books for sale, and other fun breakfasty goodness. Until then, look for a revamped website (I’m moving Breakfast With Nick to WordPress in the next few weeks – yay for better layout and editing!), a video preview of the book, and a pre-sale special.

I want to say a HUGE thank you already to the friends, family, and Columbus community who have served as models, offered babysitting, helped us track down contacts, and gone exploring with us. An especially big thanks is due to all the incredible restaurant owners, managers, and staff that we’ve visited. Everyone has been truly hospitable and encouraging. It’s been fun to learn and tell their stories. I’m hoping that the book introduces many more people to the hidden gems of Columbus.

Out Back Kitchen | Avon, NC


[UPDATE: Out Back Kitchen is now closed.]

Out Back Kitchen (Facebook)
41934 NC Highway 12
Avon, NC 27915
(252) 305-2452
Open 8 am – 2 pm daily
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? N/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Date of Visit: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.

IMPRESSIONS: The Outer Banks is our annual family vacation spot, and over the years I’ve scoured up and down Hatteras Island for good breakfast spots (see the List of Reviews for more). The nature of the islands means that businesses come and go, so every year brings new surprises. This year we discovered, within walking distance of our house, the Out Back Kitchen. Out Back (not to be confused with the steakhouse, of course) is situated in a small shopping plaza with the giant Food Lion grocery store. When we visited, their sign wasn’t even up yet – just a banner – but the day we left, we saw them installing one.

Out Back (so named because the owner is Australian) is a little more focused on being a bakery and a caterer than it is being a restaurant, so sometimes the breakfast food takes a back seat to the pastries, donuts, and cheesecake.

The upside is that you get to ogle (nay, even purchase) said pastries for your breakfast.

Scones, muffins, strudel, croissants, it’s all yours.

All yours. 

ATMOSPHERE: The cafe is small, hosting about seven tables, so expect to cozy up with your fellow patrons. The colors are very autumnal oranges and yellows; semi-indie music played through a Pandora channel.
FOOD: The breakfast menu itself is fairly simple – only four or five dishes total – and it features your basic morning meal items. Above is a simple dish of scrambled eggs, toast, sausage, and hash browns.
This is the Island Breakfast Burrito, loaded with eggs, cheese, and the like. Here you can see the problem with the hash browns: not enough brown.
The breakfast sandwiches are big on the menu, too. Here’s an egg and sausage on a croissant.
Here’s one with bacon and eggs. Again, notice the underdone hash browns.
A bite of a cinnamon roll. Lots of raisins. Good icing, but a little doughy and underdone.

We also tried a couple miscellaneous bakery goods, all of which were very nice. I think Out Back’s strength lies in their baked goods. We ordered a key lime pie to take home later, and it was exceptional.

SERVICE: Only two people were working the entire restaurant. The owner (I believe) bustled in the kitchen, while one server worked the counter and delivered food. They use the system of ordering at the counter, then having your food brought out. Overall, the server was very nice, but seemed hurried in keeping up with everything.

OVERALL
: There’s some hit or miss at Out Back Kitchen. The breakfast is decent, but we had to wait a while for our food, and some of the items (especially the hash browns) were underdone. The simple sandwiches and burritos were good, but there are more reliable and filling breakfasts on the island. That being said, Out Back is worth at least one visit, at the very least to try their baked goods. They have a lot going for them in that department.
Out Back Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Photos: breakfast at African Paradise

While doing some “research” for the breakfast book yesterday, I took a tip from the alt.eats.cbus crew to check out African Paradise for their Somali breakfast. I intend to do a fuller review of the breakfast eventually, but I just thought I’d share the pictures I did take yesterday. (Besides, the lighting was so low that I had some trouble getting good pictures.)

The breakfast is fairly simple – just one page. Not all of the items were available (judging by the X’s through some pictures). We went for a simple chicken dish as our entree.

While we waited for our main dish, we sipped on watermelon and mango juices (that’s the watermelon above), and were served bananas.
This is our chicken suqaar: chicken and vegetables cooked in a spicy sauce. Served with a side salad. This is eaten with a spongy bread called angro (pronounced an-JER-oh), similar to Ethiopian injera. All in all, it was a delicious breakfast. Everything together: juices, bananas, and the chicken dish, cost the two of us $8. And I’m very proud to say that my three-year-old ate a lot of it!
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