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Archive for the ‘breakfast’ Category

DK Diner Donuts

Posted by CMH Gourmand on January 19, 2010

I don’t get excited about breakfast since it is the meal that takes stomach space and money away from lunch and dinner. However there are a few exceptions that deserve discussion. In my book donuts go with any meal but for some reason they seem most associated with breakfast. With that disclaimer, here is the downlow on DK Diner and their donuts.

Many people I know rave about DK Diner as a breakfast and lunch spot. Their reasons vary but the good feelings about the place are consistent and persistent. The common thread in all discussions is DK Diner donuts. People LOVE them. I was a bit skeptical about this. How could a place that is not a bakery or a donut specialist make such a drool worthy fried dough product? I am not sure of the how or why but I do know this, these are the best donuts in Franklin County.

DK Diner is a small place in Grandview. Looking at the building, it’s past life was probably as a garage or gas station. The inside seats about 40 and the interior would best be described as nondescript diner decor. One wall is plastered with propaganda from community sports teams and schools. Eating here is a lot like eating at a friends house. Service would best be described as a relaxed version of laidback. The staff seem to be hanging out here as much as working. Beverages are all self-serve and the orders come flying off the grill so fast you don’t even have time to establish a bond with the employees.

DK All the Way aka the heart attack starter

The breakfast and lunch are served here is standard diner fare. I did stick around for breakfast. I tried the DK All the Way which seemed to be the best way to gauge the quality of the food since it features about 1/2 of their menu. This dish consists of two soft chewy biscuits, each topped with a slice of ham and a fried egg covered with sausage gravy and surrounded by home fries. This was quite good. However it is time to get back to the donuts.

Damn, those donuts were good! During my time at the counter I noticed one common denominator among every customer. They each ordered a lot of donuts. There is a small selection of donuts by the cash register. I doubt there are ever more than 100 in the display case at any time. The selections include (the varieties are unmarked): blueberry, cinnamon, cruller, old fashioned cake, cream filled, Devils Food and maybe a few others. These fresh fried pastries appear to crafted in small batches. They would best be described as irregularly shaped (in some cases deformed), each one looks different from the other unlike the more uniform appearance I have seen at any other donut shop I have visited. The donuts are dense and chewy with a perfect crispy, crunchy crust on the outside.

See the bottom right corner, the first woman to bring me three of these gets my hand in marriage

Somehow looking at these unassuming handmade pastries I knew they were going to rock my socks off. I ordered one of each and spent the next twenty four hours sampling them looking for evidence that they were not the best donuts I have ever had. Exhaustive research on my part could only conclude that these are indeed the best donuts in central Ohio. I appreciate the public service that DK Diner offers by serving meals to the community but if they want to focus exclusively on donut sales that would be OK with me. My favorite of the box was the old fashioned cake donut with chocolate frosting and peanuts. I would really like to have one right now. Ummm donut…..

Where to find the donuts:

DK Diner
1715 West 3rd Ave
Grandview Heights
Call for hours.

D K Diner on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, breakfast, Diners, donuts | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

Breakfast with Nick at Beechwold Diner

Posted by CMH Gourmand on January 10, 2010

Some readers may have noticed that I don’t often write about the morning meal. The reason is breakfast is my fifth favorite meal (CMH Gourmand dining order of operations: Dinner, Lunch, Second Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast). Fortunately for me and you, there is a blog about Breakfast in Columbus called Breakfast with Nick. Suzzie’s Beechwold Diner opened on January 2nd. Since the place is in my neighborhood, within walking distance even, I felt an obligation to investigate. Nick lives in the Clintonville as well so we joined forces to check things out. Since breakfast is not my forte I will defer to Nick’s review which you can read HERE.

The Beechwold Diner is a big deal in the neighborhood. Clintonvillites lament about a dearth of dining options in our community (although I would like to see more places, I must say we have a good selection, especially if one gets creative and includes Sage which is on the border). This diner is in the space previously occupied by Rube’s Diner a popular spot in the 1990’s which closed in 2005. The place was then labeled as Gina’s Eatery for almost three years but a combination of mishaps and misfortunes keep Gina’s from ever serving the public. Business looks good for the Beechwold Diner so far although open for less than two weeks a core of regulars has already developed and if I am not mistaken they have a former Rubes waitress working for them.

Breakfast sandwich (sausage, egg and cheese on Texas Toast in the foreground) with potatoes and sausage gravy with biscuits in the back.

On opening day no one showed for the first hour. After that, it was standing room only for 4 hours. Business has remained brisk. The diner serves standard breakfast fare and lunch time staples of soups, sandwiches and salads. There are daily specials and Hillbilly steaks (Ohioans my know this as a bolonga sandwich) to entice people looking for a change of pace. Housemade pies and cakes are made daily as well.

While the menu may be of the greasy spoon genre the space is far from that. Everything is new inside: fresh paint, new stainless steel everything, seven brand new booths and a dozen stools at the granite/marble counters.

Nick taking a photo post breakfast

I have known Nick for over a year now. We have collaborated on food related events at Wild Goose Creative and we are currently working on an event known as Beercamp! Dining with a fellow food writer is always a treat. There are certain unwritten rules for the trade which can be a bit awkward for people that just eat to eat. These are some of the rites we observe: sharing plates, order strategically from the menu to avoid overlap and to maximize the diversity, no one eats before the photos are taken and we ask the staff a lot of questions. As a result I was able to introduce Nick to the concept of chocolate cake for breakfast. We also spoke in depth about the culture and mores of breakfast and diners as well as their meaning to our community and communities everywhere. Speaking of community, there was not much buzz on the Beechwold Diner prior to opening. Their marketing approach was very DIY and included dropping off a flyer at many business locations along Indianola.

After our meal, we went on to do a recon mission at another eatery that is home to the Great American Pecan Roll and a giant three pancake eating challenge. That is another story.

If you would like to support a new business for breakfast and lunch here is where you can go:

Suzzie’s Beechwold Diner
4408 Indianola Ave
Beechwold (The Northern Canton of Clintonville)
Monday to Saturday 6 am to 2 pm
Sunday 7 am to 2 pm

Beechwold Diner on Urbanspoon

Posted in breakfast, Clintonville, Diners | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails…and Brunch

Posted by CMH Gourmand on July 8, 2009

The Columbus Foodcast crew dropped in at Tip Top to talk with Tim Lessner. Tip Top has been open just over two years and continues to cater to customers with fan friendly tweaks to the menu and beer selections. The latest additions are a weekend brunch and Barley’s beer on tap. Tim gave us an update on all things Tip Top – click HERE to hear the full interview on Columbus Foodcast.

Tip Top Kitchen and Cocktails
73 East Gay Street
Tip Top link

Here are some highlights of our afternoon with Tim at Tip Top.

Tip Top unveiled a weekend brunch menu which is available 11 AM to 4 PM. I broke my fast with some of the fare.

Comfort Quesadilla:
scrambled eggs, Swiss cheese and avocado folded into a grilled
whole wheat tortilla, served with hash browns

Sweet Potato Hash and Black Eyed Peas:
diced sweet potatoes, onions, black eyed peas,
bell peppers, jalapeno, cilantro and thyme all grilled together in perfect harmony with two scrambled eggs and toast.

The full menu is online at the Tip Top web site.

I sampled the new Barley’s beer which adds to an already strong Ohio and regional micro beers selection.

Tim served as a tour guide for the rooftop garden. This is the second season. Plantings for 2009 include herbs, peppers and tomatoes as well as watermelon. The produce is integrated into the food and cocktail menu at the restaurant. The original genesis of the garden came from purchases made at the Pearl Alley Market.

We discussed the decor of the restaurant – the original old character of the bar was restored when Tip Top opened. Diana Lessner (Mom) worked with the Ohio Historical Society to gather local history in the form of postcard, photos, playbills, etc., to promote, preserve and protect the history of downtown Columbus past and present for future Tip Top diners.

Tip Top also has a small but vibrant patio which is the perfect hangout for late night loungers or in my case – a perfect Sunday afternoon with a breeze and a beer. There is a lot going down on Gay Street (including new parking meters that take credit cards) and the patio is the perfect place to watch everything.

Thanks to Tour guide Tim for an informative afternoon of eating, drinking, podcasting and a good tip on a Simon Pegg DVD.

Posted in bar, beer, beverages, breakfast, restaurants | Leave a Comment »

Saturday February 21st: Eat Pattycake Pancakes, Help Zoe

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 15, 2009

Who: Pancake eaters, Pattycake fans
What: Eat Pattycake Pancakes, waffles, sausage, fruit and more; listen to local music
When: Saturday February 21st – 9 AM to Noon
Where: Maple Grove United Methodist Church
*7 West Henderson Road (High and Henderson – Clintonville)
Why: Help Zoe, Fight Cancer, Thank local businesses for stepping up
How: $5 buys food, music and an opportunity to bid on some great items
Web: Check this post for updates (and maybe corrections) during the week

maple syrup

maple syrup from Bonhomie Acres

Food (the menu so far!)
Pattycake Bakery Pancakes including:
*Whole Wheat Pancakes
*Rachel’s Apple-Sauce Flapjack’s with sauteed goldrush apples from Charlie’s Apples
*(Probably) gluten-free pancakes
Homemade Waffles (mix donated by Polaris Grill)
Cedar Cress Sausage
Fruit (from Weilands Gourmet Market)
Coffee and a special pink ribbon herbal ten blend tea (from Clintonville Community Market)
Maple Syrup ( from Bonhomie Acres courtesy of the Greener Grocer at North Market)
More Maple Syrup – Trader Joes
Milk – Snowville Creamery
Various sundries (Orange Juice, sugar, etc.), more sausage – Betty’s / Liz Lessner and Crew

Three Musical Acts:
Megan Palmer
Eric Nassau
Keenan Wade & Friends

Funds for a Silent Auction featuring:

Jeni’s Ice Cream Gift Certificates
Tip Top Kitchen and Cocktails Gift Certificates
Pleiades Maple Products (from Mt. Gilead, a Worthington Farmers Market standby)
– an antique sap bucket with maple syrup, maple sugar, maple tea and more
More items to come….

Zoe’s Story:

Zoe Buyalos is a 31 year old Clintonville resident and owner of a green cleaning service. She was diagnosed with cancer several months ago. She is fighting through chemotherapy which has limited her ability to work and to cover medical expenses.

Article (2006) featuring Zoe

Say thanks to these and other sponsors:

Pattycake Bakery

The Greener Grocer &
Local Matters

Clintonville Community Market

Weilands Gourmet Market

Clintonville Community Resource Center


Snowville Creamery

Support your community and check out some of these local products:

Article featuring Bonhomie Acres Maple Syrup

Charlies Apples

Copy this for your calendar
Saturday February 21st
9 AM to NOON
Maple Grove United Methodist Church
7 West Henderson Road
(Corner of High and Henderson)

Posted in breakfast, Clintonville, events, kid friendly dining | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

DD-Day: Dunkin’ Donuts Invades Columbus

Posted by CMH Gourmand on November 8, 2008

There were a lot of happy coffee drinkers and donut eaters on Friday. The grand opening of a new Dunkin Donuts in Columbus started at 5 AM. This is the first of at least thirty Dunkin Donuts opening in Central Ohio. The next opening will be (updated February 2009) Broad and High on February 11th and Bethel Road (updated May) in June or July. Dunkin Donuts expects to double the number of locations in the USA to 15,000+ by 2020.

Many of us only know about Dunkin Donuts from older national commercials (“time to make the donuts”) and a few locations in Columbus over the years. There is a culture to Dunkin Donuts that we will see grow in Columbus. In New England there is an average of one Dunkin Donuts for every 5000 residents. I was in Chicago last week and there seemed to be a Dunkin Donuts on every block. There were more Dunkin signs than Starbucks….that is hard to concieve. On the east coast, especially Boston, people are die hard Dunkin Donuts coffee fans. Many New England transplants missed their DD. The wait ended yesterday as shown by a steady line of cars outside and people packed inside all morning.

Dunkin Donuts also has a certain cool factor that will fuel the growth of loyal fans. The company’s ads poke good natured fun at Starbucks and sometimes feature They Might Be Giants songs. Dunkin has over 200,000 fans on Facebook. Keep an eye out for pink and orange DD magnets on the back of cars. There is a good chance the drivers are making a run to Dunkin Donuts.

The newest location is at:
8235 N. High St.
Worthington (Route 23, North of 270)

DD on Facebook

DD on YouTube

Posted in beverages, breakfast, Columbus | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

New at Northstar Cafe – Beechwold

Posted by CMH Gourmand on October 20, 2008

Northstar Cafe has been mixing things up a little bit. Change can cause consternation, especially at a restaurant with a cult-like following. One change is pricing. Many prices were raised about $1.00. This caused angst for some. I have struggled with the pricing on a few of the items myself – specifically – the guacamole with chips – it is good, but not nine dollars good. The end of any monetary analysis with my food think tank cronies usually resolves with these points: the quality of the food is good, many of the ingredients are sourced locally, there is no tipping needed so that saves most of us 20%, the portions are ample enough for two for many of the entrees and the employees are paid reasonable wages. The pricing seems to balance out. Another aspect involving change and something I have always liked about Northstar is the lack of .99 pricing – there are many “maverick” prices on the menu: $3.28, $2.11, $1.87, and $9.70

Speaking of menus, both Northstars have made minor changes to their small menus. The Short North and Beechwold menus now feature a few signature items unique to their locations. The Northstar menu is on the small side so over time one can get tired of eating the same thing. Both restaurants are offering daily specials and testing out some new items.

So here is a peek at changes at the Northstar in Beechwold (Clintonville – just south of Henderson Road). I have eaten each of the new menu changes and change is good.

There is a new sign outside so the place is easier to find. Clintonville residents are dabbling with being less commuter oriented so I have noticed more people walking or biking to the restaurant. One of the first things I observed was that the number / order cards have changed. When you place an order you are given a card with a number so your food can be brought to you when ready. The cards had an artistic flair added to them by one of the employees and they look great.

There are usually a one or two daily specials at each meal time. Recently, I have noticed a flatbread / pizza of the day. I sampled one which was pepperoni and cheddar cheese – it was wonderful.

Potato chips have popped on the menu as well. This are thin cut chips served with an aioli for dipping.

Breakfast has become more diverse. The Sweet Potato Hash is still on the menu to my delight. Poached Green Field Farm Eggs are a good addition to the morning fare.

Three poached eggs are served on Rosemary Foccia with Shaved Proscuiutto di parma and Grana Padano (cheese) for $9.70.

If you are looking to economize, a combination of side orders may be a good choice for you.

Applewood smoked bacon $3
house made sausage patties $3
roasted sweet potatoes and onions $3
two local organic eggs, any style $4

Next on my list to try will be scrambled eggs with cheese – (choice of Maytag, chevre cheddar, or provolone) for $5.50.

The new offering on the lunch and dinner menu is Tim and JB’s meatloaf sandwich: Grass fed beef, local pork, BBQ sauce, spicy mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and roasted peanut slaw for $12. Diners now have a larger choice of sides for lunch and dinner, these include: simple salad (one of my favorites, a mix of greens drizzled with a light dressing and herbs), tortilla chips, steamed broccoli, roasted peanut slaw or fork over an extra $2 for a cup of the soup of the day.

All of menu additions are worth a try and most of the customer favorites have remained. Another change of note is the upgraded website – it now has hours, maps, and menus.

Northstar – Beechwold
4241 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43214 / 614.784.2233

Northstar – Short North
951 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43201 / 614.298.9999

Posted in breakfast, Clintonville, restaurants, Vegetarian Friendly | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

My Best Breakfast

Posted by CMH Gourmand on October 15, 2008

My best breakfast of all time was Adobe Eggs crafted by Ricky Barnes at his second (Short North) version of the Galaxy in 2001.

My second best breakfast was at Bette’s DinerHuevos Verdes.

The Galaxy is long gone. Bette’s is in Berkeley. Breakfast is my 6th favorite meal (my order of preference is dinner, lunch, second Lunch, late night snack, brunch and then breakfast). I have always looked at breakfast as the meal that takes critical stomach space away from the rest of the dining I will do for the day. However, there is one breakfast item I will always make a special exception to my eating priorities.

plate of sweet potato hash

The Chorizo, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hash at Sage is heavenly. This dish mixes a very spicy chorizo (sausage) with black beans, diced sweet potatoes, onions, a mix of green, red and yellow peppers, with two perfectly fried eggs. The side of salsa can be used to tone down the spice a bit. The flavors blend together pleasantly with just enough kick to wake you up. This is the one breakfast entree that I will skip my hobbit style second lunch without thinking twice.

sweet potato hash

Sunday Brunch

Sage American Bistro

2653 North High St
(Almost Clintonville – corner of Ackerman and High Street)

614.267.SAGE (7243)


Posted in breakfast, restaurants | 3 Comments »

Burrito Trifecta: Tres Burritos – Un Dia

Posted by CMH Gourmand on May 16, 2008

My friend Craig inadvertently started me on a quest. The concept – can a man live on burritos alone? I searched for the burritos that would cover me for three square meals. It was a wonderful search.


Cucos Breakfast Burrito

refried beans
sour cream

This was a tough decision for me. Starliner Diner came in as a close second. Cucos wins out for price and ingredient density. This tortilla is tightly packed with all the goodies I listed above. Cuco’s serves up free chips and salsa for breakfast as well. Their self serve salsa bar helps you enhance your burrito any way you like it. I also like their potatoes – they are cut small in a kind of mini French fry style. I typically cannot finish my breakfast burrito here, that is a rare occurrence anywhere, anytime.

Cucos Taqueria & Grill
2162 Henderson Road
Columbus (Henderson Rd – between Sawmill and Dierker)

Cucos Web site
(has a dinner coupon)

Hours (?)
The web site and the menu are in conflict.
Monday to Saturday 8:00 AM to 10 PM or 10 AM to 10 PM (I walked in at 9 AM)


CBC Cuban Trio Burrito

seared red cabbage
red peppers
black beans
pablano peppers
Fontina chesse
Provolone cheese
Parmesan cheese
smoked chili sauce…
in a honey wheat tortilla
covered with more smoked chile sauce
chive aioli

The only downside with the Cuban Trio Burrito is that it is a lunch only item. CBC does not do lunch on Saturday or Sunday. This means I have to take the day off work or do a three-hour lunch to pull this off. The burrito + chips + plantains makes up the trio as do the three meats and the three cheeses. The smoked chile salsa (as addictive as crack) is the value added bonus. This is currently my most craved meal as well as the one I have the least access to. The plantains are the best in the Columbus metro area – no doubt about it. Serving Suggestion: CBC Beer Flight chased with a pint of Apricot Ale.

(Update May 21 – I am in heaven. I just saw the new CBC menu – the Cuban Trio Burrito is on the dinner menu and they have added BBQ Plantains as an appetizer. I have not tried BBQ Plantains before but I will as soon as possible. If someone (Andrew) beats me to this – please post here.)

CBC (Columbus Brewing Company)
525 Short St
Columbus (Brewery District)

(See my post on CBC from October 2007)


Northstar Cafe Thai Burrito

roasted chicken or seared tofu
(If you ask they will mix both together – that’s what I do)
peanut sauce
crunchy slaw – with carrots
brown rice
tortilla chips and salsa

There is a lot going on in this burrito. It is a fine blend of Southern California and Southeast Asia. You feel so healthy after eating it you could almost order another. But you don’t, you just rationalize ordering a peanut cookle or praline scone to go. Yum. An insider secret – skip the chips and replace with a simple salad for no extra charge. All you have to do is ask for this switcharoo.

Northstar Cafe
Short North – 951 North High Street 614.298.9999
Beechwold – 4241 North High Street 614.784.2233

One day, three burritos. Just do it.

Posted in breakfast, culinary misadventure, restaurants | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Buckeye Donuts: an OSU Late, Late Night Tradition

Posted by CMH Gourmand on February 8, 2008

Buckeye Donuts

1998 North High Street

Corner of 18th and High Street

OSU Campus


Web Site

Most of OSU is new now. One exception is Buckeye Donuts. This small nook of a corner donut shop has been serving up donuts and coffee since 1969. I do not know how long it has been 24 hours a day service but based on my own trips and drive by’s – my guess would be at least a decade. Gyro’s were added into the list of offerings sometime in the 1990’s… it all kind of blurs together sometimes. For quite some time, the Gyro’s were made by Souvlaki George from (closed) Souvlaki Palace but he is no longer with us at BD.

One of the most memorable nights at the shop was when it was a featured destination on Insomniac with Dave Attell.

My favorite Buckeye donut would be a tie between an old fashioned and a chocolate covered crueller.

The Barouxis family has owned BD since day one. The Buckeye Donuts in the German Village area is no longer affiliated with the campus location but I hear the donuts are still good. There are many great BD stories and you can find some of them on Columbus Underground as comments to the Buckeye Donut review I posted on CU in January.

Posted in bakery, beverages, breakfast, culinary misadventure | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Vegging Out at Whole World

Posted by CMH Gourmand on January 13, 2008

Whole World Bakery and Pizzeria
3269 North High Street
Clintonville – Corner of Longview and High


Whole World will observe its’ thirtieth anniversary in February 2008. For many years, it was the only vegetarian restaurant in Columbus. In 1998 they updated their menu and deleted the few meat items that had been offered up to that point (offered for the sake of tolerance and diversity). Whole World has continued to prove that Cowlumbus can handle an all vegetarian restaurant (Neo V does the same).

For breakfast/brunch (Sunday only from 10 AM to 3 PM), go with an omelet (you have ten ingredients to choose from); add a whole grain English muffin to this and you may find peace. In addition to the standard Sunday brunch menu, two or three breakfast specials are offered. The Big Breakfast – two eggs, vegetarian sausage patties, vegetarian hash or over roasted potatoes (very good redskin potatoes) with choice of bread is another good option. They also whip up a nice vegetarian (mock) sausage gravy. A trademark of Whole World is a small side of fruit served with each main course (all meals), I think this is a nice touch.

The specials can be a good choice for lunch or dinner but they can be either hit or miss. The pizzas are good with some very daring combinations of ingredients such as the Oregon Apple (apple sauce, sliced apples, raisins, provolone, and sunflower seeds, and seasonings) try any of the pizzas and to live on the edge for a moment, however be prepared to wait over thirty minutes or more for your pie.

The soups are exceptional and served with your choice of (toasted) homemade bread. If you plan on eating anything else, order a cup of soup because a bowl is a meal in itself. There are typically 4-6 soup choices per day. The Broccoli Burger is a long standing favorite at most Columbus festivals.

The desserts are displayed in the service counter. There are many vegan friendly cookie choices as well as some brownies, cookie bars and whatnot. My favorite – which is not often available, is the Chocolate Peppermint Brownie. This rich, dense, blend of rich chocolate and peppermint filling takes my breath away each time and I gladly pay $2.50 without reservation.

If you are getting take out, add at least five minutes to the time stated for your order to be ready. You are dealing with a largely modern, urban hippy workforce so time is kind of relative. Those who are in the know go to pay their bill at the counter when finished to save time. The bathrooms are downstairs in the basement.

Whole World is a hang out for people who were hip before 1985. I find it to be a mecca of multicultural/alternative lifestyle types (kind of a mini Yellow Springs) which leads to good people watching with your meal. The recycled bowling lane tables are worth looking at. Local artists display their works on the walls for sale. There is no dress code for patrons but employees must be pierced or tattooed. Please seat yourself when you enter.

Occasionally, I feel Whole World is overpriced. Sometimes, I find the specials a bit disappointing. Recently I noticed that they are charging for tap water… quite a bit, without advance notification. However, the whole has always been greater than the sum of the parts at Whole World and they serve some of the most unique soups in town.

Whole World Natural Restaurant & Bakery on Urbanspoon

Posted in bakery, breakfast, pizza, restaurant reviews, Vegetarian Friendly | Tagged: | 3 Comments »