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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Capitol Cafe by Milo’s | Columbus, OH

Capitol Cafe by Milo’s (Facebook / @MilosCatering)
1 Capitol Square (inside the Ohio Statehouse) (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 728-9231
Open Mon-Fri, 7a-3p
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Date of Visit: Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 10:30 am

IMPRESSIONS: A few years ago, my wife worked for an event planning company, and one her first big projects was creating new Civil War-era Christmas decorations for the Ohio Statehouse. I helped occasionally with the project, and through that work we both got to know the Statehouse’s layout and history. It’s a grand old stone building, plunked down in what is now the center of Columbus’s busy-and-getting-busier downtown.

During that time, we got to know the Statehouse Cafe, a lackluster basement eatery that served the very basic cafeteria food. Because of their limited hours and slightly hard-to-reach location, the cafe never showed up on our food radar.

Until the summer of 2011, when the Statehouse announced it had been taking bids for a new cafe operator, and that the good folks from Milo’s Deli in Franklinton would be taking over. I’m sad to say I’ve never been to Milo’s (shame on me, I know), but I’m very familiar with Tommy’s Diner, which is owned by the same family, and we love everything about that diner. So the odds were good that we would like the cafe more when it was reborn as Capitol Cafe by Milo’s.

ATMOSPHERE: The Cafe’s change of ownership has resulted in a restaurant than actually has some personality. Sure, there are some aspects of the cafeteria style remaining, but the decor and food quality have taken it far beyond sloppy joe’s on a tray. The entire restaurant has been redecorated, which really maximizes the charm eating in the basement of 150-year-old building: vaulted brick ceilings, portraits of past governors, three small dining rooms. The new cafe owners added a bar in the main room; this meek and mild-looking bar has actually drawn some national attention in a debate over serving alcohol in a government building.

I liked this atmosphere. It’s nice and quiet, and eating in such an historic setting is fun. I kept looking around while we ate, taking it all the details.

FOOD: We ordered a mix of dishes, some standards and some specials. For my three-year-old, we got the plate of 2 Eggs, Homefries, and Toast. This turned out to be a huge plate of food, especially considering that it cost about $4.25. It was more than enough for anyone, and we took home leftovers. Bonus points: it’s all well cooked. Homefries had plenty of brown crispy edges, the eggs weren’t dried out, and the toast was good and buttery.

My wife and I split a couple specials. The first was the Cobb Omelet. This is obviously a cobb salad in omelet form, stuffed with tomatoes, bacon, turkey, and blue cheese, plus a dollop of fresh guacamole. Comes with big sides of toast and homefries. I’m not a huge omelet person, and I generally don’t like blue cheese, but I still enjoyed this omelet. They don’t skimp on the ingredients, and the guacamole itself was great (my wife makes amazing guacamole, so our standards are always high).

The real star of the morning, however, was the Italian Eggs Benedict. Eggs benedict is perhaps one of my favorite breakfasts, and Columbus needs more options for them. This benedict is a special that doesn’t always show up on the menu, but if you can order it, do it. This version is built on a fried polenta cake, then layered with prosciutto, poached eggs, and a rich hollandaise. It comes with a side of crispy red peppers and spinach. It packs a flavorful punch; the only downside for me was that the polenta cake is a tad salty. But this dish now has a place near the top of my favorite-benedicts-in-Columbus list. Serious, my wife and I geeked out about it.

SERVICE:  The kitchen and ordering counter is the first room you encounter when you enter the restaurant. It may seem a little abrupt, and this is where the restaurant feels the most like the old cafeteria. But the process is smooth. You get a brief interaction with the kitchen crew, as you’re standing and ordering, and you can see into much of the prep area. The layout is easy to follow. Once you place your order – either take-out or dine-in – you can have a seat in the dining room and they’ll bring it out to you.

OVERALL: The location and hours work against the Cafe a bit: it’s only open weekdays – obviously aiming for the downtown lunch crowd – and it’s tucked far down in the basement of this gigantic old building. There isn’t any signage outside that would alert a passer-by to its presence. Parking isn’t easy, but it’s readily available: there are meters along Third and Broad, plus an entire garage underneath the Statehouse. But I encourage you battle against these things, because I think the Cafe is more than worth a visit. I’m still craving that Italian Benedict, and the atmosphere is hard to beat. And if you’ve never toured the Statehouse, now’s your time. It’s a beautiful building with a rich history. On the same floor as the Cafe is an interactive museum and the Statehouse Gift Shop (which may or may not carry a certain author’s breakfast book).

As a bonus, we visited when the Statehouse’s Christmas decorations were still up. These are the decorations that my wife created and installed years ago for her event planning job. After enjoying a tasty breakfast, we took some time to revisit them, and I encourage you to do the same when the holidays roll around again.

OTHER LINKS:

Capitol Cafe by Milo's on Urbanspoon

Breakfast in 2011

I know it’s mid-January already, but I’ve been behind, okay? I have a family and a job and a dog, and lots of other things. That’s why I’m writing my look back on 2011 now, even though we’re firmly planted in 2012. 2011 was full of highlights for us, not the least of which was welcoming our son Owen into the world in August.

Breakfast-wise, the year was eventful as well. 2011 was defined by our work on the book. Photography started in March, and we worked consistently up until the November release. The year saw slightly less blogging while we focused on photographing, writing, designing, marketing – heck, publishing – the breakfast book. Some people have asked if I’m now going to move on to Lunch With Nick or Dinner With Nick, when in fact the book only showed me how many more places there are to visit around Columbus. So my work is far from done!

New Discoveries
Throughout the year, we found many new places to eat breakfast. Some had been around for years, some newly opened, some just started offering breakfast. These aren’t the only spots we visited, but they stuck out to me.

Daybreak Diner
1168 E. Weber Rd.

This small diner in the Linden neighborhood opened in early 2010. It’s small, simple, and easy to like. The space is loaded with diner goodies, and owner Bill makes some fun specialties like breakfast fried rice bowls and Captain Crunch French toast. Also: props to Bill for making some really good hash browns. They are hard to find around Columbus.

Market 65
65 E. State St.

Indicative of the resurgence of downtown dining, Market 65 offers a bright and colorful atmosphere in which you can customize breakfast wraps and salads to your heart’s content. Drawing on local goods whenever possible, the market gives you a tasty and fast stop to grab breakfast, lunch, and even dinner on Capitol Square.

The Angry Baker
891 Oak St.

Although I haven’t made a “formal” visit to AB yet, I’ve stopped by a couple times and liked everything I’ve tried. Angry Baker, along with spots like Yellow Brick Pizza and L’Appat Patisserie, shows how the Olde Towne East neighborhood continues to revive itself. In addition to cinnamon rolls, muffins, brioche, and breads, breakfast dishes like the French toast sandwich are served all day.

Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace
248 S. Fourth St.

At last! Our favorite hot dog place started serving brunch this year! There’s finally justification for eating hot dogs at breakfast. They’re best sliced up on top of a spicy breakfast scramble.

Sweet Clove Sunshine Cafe
6630 Sawmill Rd.

Chain restaurants aren’t all bad, especially when they’re willing to be creative and make dishes from scratch. We’ve enjoyed our handful of visits to Sweet Clove, which is a concept store from the Honey Baked Ham company. They piloted this location with a country kitchen theme, and large-portioned dishes like French toast and eggs benedict.

Sloopy’s Diner
1739 N. High St., inside the Ohio Union

Admittedly, this is a new diner trying to be an old diner, but the concept of “diner meets the Buckeyes” is fun all the same. You can eat like a student with big servings of burritos, pancakes, sliders, and omelets, or go completely nuts with a breakfast buffet on football game days. Props to them for going all-out with the Buckeye theme: everything from plates to counters to flooring is scarlet and gray.

Explorers Club
1586 S. High St.

There’s been a lot of buzz about Explorers Club opening down in Merion Village. The owners bring with them a long history of much-loved Columbus restaurants, so needless to say expectations were high. There have been some complaints, although reviews are generally positive. It seems like some dishes are hit or miss, but we mostly enjoyed our visit there, if only because there aren’t enough places serving spicy Cuban food for breakfast around town.

In 2011 I finally wrote about favorite coffee shops like Luck Bros in Grandview and Yeah, Me Too in Clintonville.

Columbus’ coffee scene continues to grow and evolve, with new roasters setting up shop and with more restaurants or stores serving their beans. We’re getting national attention for much of our food scene, and I can’t wait for our coffee shops to get their due.

Out of Town
We didn’t travel nearly as much in 2011 as we did in 2010 (it’s hard to beat Portland and New York in one year), but we did venture out for breakfast on a few trips.

Der Dutchman
44 S. Jefferson St., Plain City, OH

Where does a breakfast blogger go for his birthday? Out to Plain City for Der Dutchman’s breakfast buffet, of course!

We made the journey with about 15 friends out to Plain City for plate after plate of fried mush, silver dollar pancakes, sausage gravy, and yes, donuts upon donuts upon donuts.

The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls
21190 State Route 374, Logan, OH

My wife and I were invited on a food/travel writer’s retreat to the Inn & Spa in May. This getaway is tucked amongst the rolling hills of Hocking County; there we enjoyed a tour of their accommodations, a hike around the falls, massages, morel hunting, a beer tasting (with the incredible Rockmill Brewery) and yes, breakfast. Along with house-made granola, we got a plate of bacon, muffins, and a breakfast casserole topped with morels.

Doodle’s
262 N. Limestone, Lexington, KY

Doodle’s was my favorite breakfast find of the year. The experience itself was magnified because it kicked off a day of hanging out with my three brothers that included a distillery tour, shooting guns (not one right after the other), spicy Cajun food, beer, and movies. Apart from that experience, Doodle’s has everything I love in a breakfast: creative dishes (why had I never thought of Eggs in a Nest using a biscuit?!), loads of spices, colorful dishware and decorations, and a dedication to good food. They source ingredients locally, and advocate good preparation: for instance, a giant poster on the wall explains how to French press your coffee.

Worth a Revisit
2011 also saw some returns to old favorites, resulting in updated blog posts.

Kitchen Little
59 Spruce St., inside North Market

Early in the life of the blog we enjoyed a Cuban breakfast at North Market Poultry & Game. Since that time, their little kitchen corner has taken on its own identity and become synonymous with locally-sourced comfort food. The Cuban breakfast is still available, alongside breakfast sliders, baked French toast, and duck fat fries. It was worth the revisit. And the re-revisit. And the re-re-revisit.

Katalina’s Cafe Corner
1105 Pennsylvania Ave.

Over recent years, Cafe Corner has become another favorite of Columbus food lovers, despite a cramped space (which is only a problem in the winter). After Kathleen Day took over the cafe, she added the Spanish version of her name to the restaurant, and spiced up the menu with Latin specialties like breakfast tacos and pancake balls, plus the occasional Mexican eggs benedict (pictured up above), which will hopefully become a menu standard. (Please, Kathleen?)

In all, an exciting and eventful year. Here’s to many more breakfast discoveries in 2012!

Mozart’s Bakery & Piano Cafe | Columbus, OH

[UPDATE: Mozart's moved north to 4784 N. High St. and combined it with the Vienna Ice Cafe concept. This location is closed.]

Mozart’s Bakery & Piano Cafe (Facebook / @MozartsCafe)
2885 N. High St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43202
(614) 268-3687
Open Tues-Thurs, 7:30a-9p; Fri & Sat, 7:30a-11p; Sun, 8a-5:30p (bfast served daily till 5p)
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Date of Visit: Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

IMPRESSIONS: As residents of Columbus’ Clintonville neighborhood, we’ve long known about Mozart’s Cafe and their dedication to the area. You will regularly find them donating cookies to community events, helping with fundraisers, and plugging other Clintonville businesses. Clintonville is sometimes seen as a culinary wasteland (especially when we chase off great food trucks!), with only a few bright points making the journey worth it. But if you’ve spent any time searching the neighborhood, you know that there’s lots worth finding. Mozart’s has served as a mainstay for years now, demonstrating that there are reasons to visit and eat in Clintonville.

ATMOSPHERE: It’s been a couple years since we last visited the Cafe. Our previous experience there was at the afternoon tea (which is lovely, and one of the few good ones in town). And perhaps that visit left the lasting impression of Mozart’s as a very prim and proper place, the go-to for dainty meals of sandwiches, tea, and light pastries. Not at all the place for a big, hearty breakfast with the family. With its shelf of pastries, classical name, tight quarters, and live piano music, Mozart’s could certainly seem like just that place. It is that, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that there’s also more to it.

Entering the restaurant puts you in a waiting area with all of the pastries, the coffee service, and the tea. It’s a bit of eye candy to get you hungry. We were greeted by one of the employees standing behind the counter, which is a little far away from the door, so we didn’t hear her at first. But it didn’t take long for us to be ushered to a table in the dining room. As you can see from the pictures above, they have a sizeable selection of coffee and teas.

The atmosphere is partially what left us with the specific impression of the afternoon tea. It’s a small cafe packed with tables and a live piano player tucked in the corner. At our arrival, almost all of the tables were full; when you have two small kids with you, it’s easy to think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a comfortable spot. Not so. They found us a table right away, and ours certainly weren’t the only kids there. Mozart’s also has a back room with more seating, and in the warmer months they have two patios to accommodate even more customers.

FOOD: Our three-year-old spied another kid enjoying an Italian soda one table over, and he quickly requested that. He happily sipped on that through the entire meal.

Again, our expectations (based on the atmosphere and our past experience with afternoon tea) led us to believe that the breakfast would be higher priced and lightly-filling. The price is certainly more than a cheap diner breakfast, but the portions were anything but skimpy. First, we ordered the Mozart’s Breakfast Sandwich for our son. This is a hearty sandwich with two eggs, bacon, Black Forest ham (a repeated ingredient on the menu), and cheddar on wheat toast. He certainly loved it, and we gladly helped him finish it.

My wife tried their quiche of the day, which came in a wide slice packed with mushrooms and served with fruit and toast. Very good mix of ingredients, held together well. Overall well seasoned and flavorful.

Our server brought butter and jelly for her toast. The jelly turned out to be more like a dense pastry filling. A little different than a chunky jam, but it certainly tasted delicious spread over the toast.

I’ve had my eye on the Tyrolean Breakfast for some time. Tryol is (I had to look this up) a region in western Austria – appropriate given the cafe’s namesake, although I’m not sure what is specifically Tyrolean about this breakfast. Still, this dish exemplified our pleasantly surprised reaction to the overall experience. When I say “I ordered the Tyrolean breakfast,” you might think of a small plate of food with a couple pieces of toast, scraps of bacon, a handful of potatoes, and some tiny eggs. On the contrary, this was a gigantic plate of food. Very appropriate for the price, and easily shared. It comes with thick slices of toast, bacon, two eggs, a pile of well-seasoned potatoes, and layers of the Black Forest ham. Everything is cooked very well, and again, it’s all incredibly filling.

Mozart’s gets bonus points that their breakfast menu features strong vegetarian dishes, and not just of the “we’ll-leave-the-meat-out” variety, but ones built specifically with the vegetarian in mind. Look for the Vienna Waltz omelet, for instance, with roasted red peppers, seasonal veggies, artichokes, and Gouda. Or the Spinach Croissant, with spinach, feta, and Emmental cheese.

Of course, no visit to Mozart’s is complete without a pastry or two, although we were full up after our breakfast. We sampled some cookies but that was it. But the Cafe has a bit of everything: cookies, croissants, struedel, petti fours, you name it.

SERVICE: We had a good experience overall with the service, although a couple of the employees spoke too softly. When you have multiple employees, many tables in close quarters, and a piano player, you need to make sure your customers can hear everything. Still, this only happened with a couple folks. Otherwise, everyone was very helpful: we felt comfortable asking anyone for a napkin or silverware or whatever, whether it was our server or not. One person came around offering samples of tea cookies, and the owner himself went from table to table, checking on customers. You are certainly well cared for at Mozart’s.

OVERALL: Whatever your impressions are of Mozart’s, their breakfast is certainly worth trying. There’s a good variety to the menu, with plenty of strong choices from sandwiches, croissants, omelets, muesli, waffles, and other specials (not even including the HUGE line of baked goods), and they welcome their customers well. Also, where else do you get live piano with your breakfast (at least on weekends)? On a final note: Mozart’s has recently given you one more reason to explore Clintonville. They recently closed their stall at North Market, while opening the Vienna Ice Cafe just a few doors up High Street from the cafe. (Hint: you could start your day with breakfast at Mozart’s, visit the antique shops of Clintonville, and end with some ice cream!)

Mozart's Bakery & Piano Cafe on Urbanspoon

161 Diner | Dublin, OH

161 Diner (Facebook / @WFM_Columbus)
3670 W. Dublin-Granville Rd. (inside Whole Foods Market) (map it!)
Dublin, OH 43017
(614) 760-5556
Open Mon-Fri, 11a-9p, Sat & Sun, 10a-9p (brunch served Sat & Sun, 10a-2p)
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? N/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Date of Visit: Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 10 a.m.

IMPRESSIONS: Breakfast in a grocery store? Yes, you read right. Those familiar with Whole Foods Market know that their goal is to create more than just an average shopping experience. Instead, they want to keep you wandering the store for hours, sampling wines, buying gelato, tasting a wood-fired pizza, and more. In short, they are trying to recreate a central city market, in which small cafes or street vendors sell you meals on-the-go while you visit your favorite cheesemonger, butcher, and coffee roaster. Or even while taking your regular spot at your favorite diner counter. Yes, they’ve done even that. Enter the 161 Diner.

ATMOSPHERE: The 161 Diner is indeed a counter inside the Dublin Whole Foods. This WF is the first and largest one in greater Columbus, located in a plaza near the intersection of Sawmill Road and Dublin-Granville Road (Route 161). This means you have to brave the traffic of some of Columbus’ busier thoroughfares, which not everyone is keen to do. You can find the diner on the east side of the store, in the very large prepared foods section. 161 Diner is their version of the American diner, situated amongst Italian food, sushi, pizza, baked goods, and more. Brunch is only served on weekends, and it’s a busy affair. Even though 161 isn’t a traditional diner, it still has its regulars, and the counter stays full.

FOOD: I found a spot at the stainless steel counter and ordered a coffee. I believe they use some of the Whole Foods-brand coffee, but I don’t know for sure. Still, it’s well-brewed – not the acidic “angry water” (as my father-in-law calls it) that you find in most true American diners. Bonus points for serving cold cream with it. I had to search the counter for one of the jars of raw brown sugar. It seems fitting to the type of coffee you’d expect Whole Foods to serve.

I relied on the kitchen staff to suggest unique dishes to eat. They all recommended the sweet potato biscuits first. You don’t see these often enough on breakfast menus, and when they’re done well, they’re great. These very good, although not the best I’ve had. They make use of the sweet potato flavor, although they came out a little on the crunchy side for me.

This is helped by the serving of 365 brand (Whole Foods’ private label brand) jams. A crispy piece of sweet potato biscuit smeared with jam = all right in my book.

For my entree I again relied on the cooks behind the counter, and they all said, “You need to try Danielle’s Meat Cakes.” Um, what? If there’s any phrase that should give you pause in life, it’s “meat cakes.” Danielle’s meat cakes are loaded pancakes – three of them, to be exact – layered with meat, cheddar cheese, topped with strips of bacon, and sprinkled with more cheese. Oh, I’m sorry, does this picture make the dish look small to you?

Maybe this is better. As you would expect, the meat cake is served sizzling and pouring over with goodness. I didn’t even take a picture with the maple syrup (real, mind you) drizzled over the top. In terms of sheer breakfasty flavorfulness, it’s hard not to like it. Pancakes with meat in the batter? Check. Bacon? Check. Cheddar? Check. Crispy fried on the flattop? Check. It’s a breakfast blogger’s dream. Now, is it healthy? Eh… probably not. It’s a lot of food, and a lot of food straight from frying.

SERVICE: In case you were wondering, yes, Danielle, creator of the meat cakes, is a real person, and that’s her cooking my breakfast. All three of the servers working that morning were very friendly and accommodating. The food is all cooked right in front of you, and they clearly have regulars at the counter, even if this is a diner in a different context. That shows you they’re doing something right. A lot of people seemed to come straight to the diner, too. They weren’t dragging grocery carts behind them, just happening to stop for a bite to eat. They came to the store to eat at the diner.

OVERALL: Admittedly, I’m not a regular shopper at Whole Foods. It’s not in my neck of the woods, and the pricing is often beyond my budget. But whether Whole Foods is your grocery store of choice, or not, I think it’s worth at least one trip to the 161 Diner. I tried more of the loaded fair, but there is a lot more to explore: chocolate chip pancakes, prosciutto eggs benedict, even sweet potato biscuits and gravy. The pricing is a couple steps higher than a $4 breakfast platter, but I think the quality and quantity of the food is commensurate. (Sorry, I was jut looking for an excuse to use that word.) Whole Foods is known for well-chosen ingredients, so the construction of their prepared foods is pretty solid as well.

OTHER LINKS:
-> view photos of their updated menu (3/30/12)

Jury Room | Columbus, OH

Jury Room (Facebook / @jury_room)
22 E. Mound St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 220-0964
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Open daily 11a-2a (brunch served Sat & Sun 11a-4p)
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/Y/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Date of Visit: Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 12:45 pm

IMPRESSIONS: Admittedly, it’s difficult for me to write an unbiased review of any of the Columbus Food League restaurants (the organization formerly known as the Betty’s Family of Restaurants). I remember the day when only Betty’s existed, and how soon Surly Girl Saloon joined the ranks, and then Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails downtown. Then we all followed on Twitter the long journey of Dirty Frank’s Hot Dogs opening, and finally the Jury Room around the corner. (Psst, and there’s more to come!)

ATMOSPHERE: We hit up Jury Room early on a Sunday afternoon, and the place was relatively quiet (hint: a little too quiet). We arrived with a group of eight and the server easily pulled a couple tables together. The restaurant is a large single room, with a long wooden bar and an assortment of tables with big wooden chairs. There’s a big chandelier hanging from the ceiling and a fireplace in the corner. The furniture and decor is selected to fit the history of the restaurant, which dates back to the early 1830s. It’s a cozy pub-like setting, and sidling up to the bar or sitting at a table near the fire means you’re joining a long tradition of folks taking a break from the hustle and bustle, even if you’re not on break from a trial at the nearby Franklin County Courthouse.

FOOD: As it was brunch-time and technically p.m., our party started with a couple drinks. First was their Bloody Mary, which you would expect to find on any brunch menu. Jury Room’s version was spicier than I prefer, but it wasn’t so loaded with other accoutrement that it was awkward to drink. So if you want a Bloody Mary that’s flavorful but easily drinkable, this one will work for you.

They also have a nice selection of mimosas, made with orange, cranberry, pineapple, peach, or bitters. One of our brunchers chose the Peach Mimosa. It’s light, refreshing, and delicious.

The food menu has a great mix of things, including some unique items such as brisket and eggs, a bunch of scrambles, sandwiches, burgers, and French toast. Pictured above is the B.E.L.T.: bacon, eggs, arugula, and tomato. It’s a nice big sandwich, very tasty, and comes with really well seasoned and crispy potatoes.

Any trip to the Jury Room must include a plate of their truffle fries. These are thick-cut, crispy potatoes dowsed in some truffle oil and topped with big flakes of shaved parmesan cheese. Pair them with the aioli sauce, and I could eat them for days on end.

I was in a burger mood, and I love a brunch burger, so I picked up Jury Room’s Breakfast Burger. Excellent burger: cooked just right, including the egg, with crispy onion, arugula, and tomato on it. Includes bacon, provolone, and their spicy aioli, plus a side of  the potatoes. Great burger, whether you eat it for brunch or not.

One of our party ordered the Roasted Ohio Chicken off the regular menu. This is a beautiful dish featuring Amish chicken, potatoes, peas, onions, and a cream sauce. I didn’t have a bite, but I was told it’s delicious. If it tastes half as good as it looks, it must be a great dish. This is one thing that I really enjoyed about the Jury Room brunch (and about food at Columbus Food League restaurants in general) is that the menu is fun and casual while still featuring fairly sophisticated food at a good price. It’s costs more than your average diner breakfast, but the quality ingredients and preparation are worth it. Keep in mind, too, that CFL menus always include solid vegetarian and vegan options.

SERVICE: We were well cared-for by the handful of servers at the restaurant, although there weren’t many customers there. But CFL employees are generally very knowledgeable about their food and drink, and our server certainly had fun with us. He was able to accommodate everything for our group, which was decently big and included a three-year-old.

OVERALL: Jury Room holds the distinction of being Columbus’ oldest continually operating restaurant, since 1831. Liz Lessner and the Columbus Food League crew took over about a year ago, when the restaurant went up for sale, and Columbus’ dining scene has been all the better for it. They’ve given this historic restaurant new life, while still retaining some of the traditions of the location. It’s one more step in building a better downtown food scene. The brunch (at least on Sundays) is a quiet and comfortable affair. Great food in a very cozy atmosphere. I look forward to returning for brunch. Oh, heck, or for any meal there.

OTHER LINKS:

Jury Room on Urbanspoon

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