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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Ohio State Medical Center | Columbus, OH

Ohio State Medical Center
Rhodes Hall
Columbus, OH 43210

Date of Visit: Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.


FOOD
: I’ve had breakfast at the OSU Medical Center once before, about three years ago. We loved the experience so much, we decided to go back. The service is simply amazing, and the accommodations are very comfortable. The breakfast is surprisingly complex. We expected mainly jello and ice chips, but found a full menu that includes eggs, pancakes, turkey sausage patties, home fries, oatmeal, coffee, and juice. It’s all delicious.

But my favorite item is the new breakfast burrito. His cheeks in particular are very munchable.
Our burrito is called Owen Samuel Dekker. He joined us on August 21st at 9:00 a.m. He, his mother, and his big brother Will are all doing very well.

This Sunday: Too Many Cooks at Wild Goose!

Hello, breakfasters! Come see me this Sunday evening, August 14 at 7pm, at Wild Goose Creative! I’m speaking as part of WGC’s monthly Too Many Cooks series. That night, we’ll enjoy some brinner (I’ll make some of my favorite breakfast items: eggs in a nest), talk about the blog, and preview some of the breakfast book! I hope you can join me.

The delicious details:
Wild Goose Creative
2491 Summit St.
Sunday, August 14 at 7pm
$10 at the door

You can RSVP to the Facebook event as well.
If you’re not familiar with Wild Goose, read more on the website here.

Yearly Best-Of Lists


Throughout the year, different sites and publications ask their readers to vote on the best restaurants, shopping areas, local celebrities, events, sports, etc. around Columbus. It’s a great way to gauge readers’ interest and opinions. Just about every publication out there does it.

But there’s something that irks me every time one of these lists gets published. I vote in and keep track of these lists, because I like to know what readers think, especially about breakfast and brunch spots around town. But here are a few things I’d like to say to those readers:

1. Bob Evans, while a consistent and very likable breakfast, is NOT, I repeat NOT, the best breakfast in Columbus.

2.
Neither is First Watch, although I’ve had nothing but great experiences at their restaurants. Still, not the best in town.

3.
Cap City Diner is NOT A FREAKING DINER. Have you people never stepped foot in Nancy’s, or Jack’s, or German Village Coffee Shop, or Dan’s, or any of the twenty old diners that dot Columbus?

4.
Also, Columbus Monthly readers, I’d really like to know which local farms are directly servicing the 570 Bob Evans restaurants. Talk to the Caskeys at Skillet or Rick and Krista at Knead or all the folks at Slow Food Columbus about how farm-to-table dining really works.
Whew.
Okay, yes, I know that these polls are all a matter of opinion and that all the different people of the world love all the different restaurants out there, but Columbus: you can do so much better. The world of breakfast and brunch dining is not a scary place, and with a little effort you can soon be enjoying better breakfasts while putting your dollar in the hands of a local business owner.
Let’s get some of the following in those Yearly Best Lists in 2012:
Breakfast: Starliner Diner (which readers of Columbus Alive wisely voted #1), Lac Viet, Katalina’s Cafe Corner, Tasi Cafe, The Best Breakfast & Sandwiches, Northstar Cafe

Brunch
: Skillet (voted by CU.com as #1), Sage American Bistro, Due Amici, Worthington-freaking-Inn, Third & Hollywood, Rivage Atlantique, Northstar Cafe (the one answer I get behind when people vote for them)

Diner
: Jack’s Sandwich Shop, Jack & Benny’s, Nancy’s Home Cooking, German Village Coffee Shop, DK Diner, Tommy’s Diner, Fitzy’s Old Fashioned Diner

Coffee Shop
: I love Cup O’ Joe; they’ve provided a welcome writing space for years and I really enjoy their coffee. But in terms of absolute quality of coffee, I’d like to see more votes for Luck Bros Coffee Shop, Cafe Brioso, and Yeah, Me Too.
Those are my suggestions. Please, take the time to explore and suggest other great places. By all means.
Important note: I don’t fault the publications and websites and their writers and editors that do these lists – Columbus Alive, Columbus Monthly, (614) Magazine, ColumbusUnderground.com. I’m friends with many of the folks who work on them. Heck, I’ve even written for some of them. (Heck, I’ve even written for some of their Best-Of issues.) I like that they do these lists. I appreciate that they engage their readers, evaluate opinions, see what people are interested in. I’m just challenging their readers to do better. To explore a bit. To think outside the red and white barn.
Hmm… if only someone would write a guidebook

Doodles | Lexington, KY

Doodles (Facebook)
262 North Limestone
Lexington, KY 40507
(859) 317-8507
Open Tues-Sun, 8 am – 2 pm
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Date of Visit: Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.

IMPRESSIONS: In Lexington, Kentucky, visiting with my three brothers, we started an amazing day today together that involved a bourbon distillery tour, playing with sound systems, shooting guns (not immediately after the bourbon), drinking beer, eating Cajun food, and playing video games. Of course, that day began awesomely with breakfast. We did some triangulating of online sources, and came up with Doodles as a best bet. You can find it close to downtown Lexington, with a handy parking lot out front.


ATMOSPHERE
: Doodles is my kind of place. Bright colors on the walls and plates. Open design. Big windows, nice patio outside. It was pretty quiet when we arrived, with a mix of businessmen, studiers, and families eating breakfast, but it got busier by the time we left.

There’s something very open and welcoming about Doodles. For instance, they have a community table, with a sign encouraging you to share the space with strangers.

Plus, they’re willing to teach you how to properly steep you coffee in a French press.

I’m related to these nerds.


FOOD
: The good vibes established by the space are continued in the menu. Doodles is another great example of a small menu featuring dishes they do really well. And you’re in Kentucky, so you can get some good Kentucky cooking, too. Here’s the Dirty Shrimp and Grits. Made with local grits and a tomato gravy. Definitely spicy and rich. You can add bits of country ham to it, too.


They serve a couple different types of breakfast quesadillas, and this one is the Kentucky Hot Brown Strata version, with the classic mix of turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes. A great way to mix up a classic Kentucky dish.

One of my favorite dishes is the fried-egg-in-a-piece-of-toast. It goes by many names; I know it as Eggs in a Nest. So I was delighted to find a new version – the Egg Doodle – using biscuits. The biscuits worked just right – puffy and soft enough to cut with your fork, but a little crispy around the edges. The eggs are automatically served “dipping.”

Came with a side of some spicy cheese grits – actually, probably the best I’ve had. They were so rich and flavorful, with just the right texture.

Close-up of the biscuit “nubbin.” Great, now people are going to Google “biscuit nubbin” and find my site.

SERVICE: Very friendly and welcoming, although you don’t get a lot of interaction. Doodles has you order at a counter, then take a number and find a seat. The woman at the register made helpful suggestions (she recommended the amazing grits), and the kitchen staff gladly talked about the restaurant. You can easily chat with them over the long open bar that crosses the space. The bar has a lot of self-serve details: coffee and soda, butter, extra plates, condiments, plus little cups of chocolate chips and sprinkles (for your pancakes; pictured above) or locally-made jams (see below).

OVERALL: We’ve had some good breakfasts in Lexington, but this is the best so far. Right up my alley, from decor to mission to dish preparation. Lots of room in the restaurant, lots of fun, and lots more dishes to try on return visits. We loved everything we had, and we still haven’t tried the Johnny Cakes (cornmeal pancakes), Pigs & Puffs (bacon & beignets), or the Oatmeal Brulee. Guess I’ll have to visit my brothers again!
Doodle's Breakfast & Lunch on Urbanspoon
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