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Columbus Brunchin’ – Hampton’s on King

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You get some eggs, a choice of meat, a style of potato, and if you’re lucky, the option of chocolate chips in your pancakes. It all usually kind of blends together, tastes more or less like the greasy griddle it was cooked on, and probably smells overwhelmingly of salt.

That said, I found it surprising that Hamptons on King—the dimly lit bar known for their stellar patio and cheap drinks—actually got me excited about brunch again. To be fair, Hamptons have been boasting a reputable lunch for sometime, so it was only natural for them to throw their hat into the brunch ring.

In order to give the bar an edge on the Columbus brunch scene, Hampton’s owner Matt McLeod wanted to do something different: breakfast sushi. If you are like me, you are picturing seaweed, eggs, and raw fish. It’s not that, I promise. Imagine bite-sized breakfast portions, like a miniature twisted cinnamon roll or a couple of eggs wrapped in bacon on a tiny piece of toast. Yeah, that’s more like it.

“I’ve personally never seen breakfast sushi done at an actual restaurant or anything—I’ve just kinda seen people do it on the Internet. I thought it looked good, and ended up playing around with it. It tasted great, and it was kind of what I thought we should have as one of the focuses.”

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The fun take on breakfast is piloted by Desmond Calhoun, sous chef and man in charge of Hampton’s menu. In addition to his Detroiter grandmother Dotty’s secret biscuit recipe, his approach is pretty simple.

“First things first, I need fresh stuff. What a lot of people don’t know that fresh can actually be less expensive than buying things with preservatives. And no microwaves.”

As a member of the brunch serving elite, I know all too well that the deployment of GFS trucks and microwaved food is, well, the norm. “I can taste a microwave. People can taste if is has been half-assed,” he assures me with a laugh as he hands off my first plate. First up is the B.E.A. Roll: scrambled eggs, bacon, and avocado stuff the shell of a flaky crescent roll, making for a bite-sized delight to dip into the housemade pico de gallo. As promised, the ingredients are on-point, the eggs pasture-raised at Copia Farms, a family homestead in Johnstown, Ohio.

And of course, the brunch menu is only as good as its bloody mary—and theirs has plenty of housemade goodness, too—from the hot sauce in the glass to the buffet of pickled vegetables and candied bacon atop it.

It was savory sushi for the main course, and the sweet Strawberry Roll for the palate cleanser. Thinly sliced strawberries served in a strawberry cream-stuffed, tightly rolled, vanilla pancake, it’s light and fluffy, and packs away nicely on the hot summer morning.

Well, fortunately for me, the food kept coming. Dotty’s Biscuts. Homemade Jam. (Three kinds!) Grits with avocado. Fried chicken with pork gravy. I don’t remember much of what happened during this time, but I do know that it eventually involved heavy waddling. After a few strong drinks and a couple empty plates, I napped the rest of my Sunday away, belly full of a renewed faith in brunch.

The new brunch menu at Hampton’s on King (234 King Ave.) is available until 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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Five places to snag a donut today

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Forgetting about Memorial Day isn’t as much a sign of how irrelevant the calendar has become as compared to this following anecdote from a cherished local business. 

When talking to the owner of Buckeye Donuts about its National Donut Day plans, it didn’t dawn on him until a few days ago that he needed to start preparing for the holiday. Now, Buckeye Donuts is more than prepared, assuming a 10 p.m. curfew, which will keep the 24/7 campus spot from operating out of its original pocket.

The following list consists of five places where you can get your donut fix on Friday.

Buckeye Donuts

A local and campus establishment for 51 years, Buckeye Donuts will again be pulling out all the stops; that is, as much as they can. Being a 24-7 establishment, Buckeye Donuts has layers of bakers on deck prepared to do big bakes every eight or so hours with all sorts of varieties and specialities to indulge in.

Duck Donuts

Duck Donuts wants to promote kindness throughout the community this Friday. Whatever way you order, you’ll be treated to a free cinnamon sugar donut, at participating locations.

Amy’s Donuts

No purchase necessary, Amy’s Donuts is offering a free bag of cake donut holes, while supplies last.

Dunkin’ Doughnuts

Stop by any participating Dunkin’ and you’ll be given a free donut with any beverage purchase.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

All week Krispy Kreme has been spreading donut kindness. If you place an order with them today, you'll receive a free donut. The promo started on June 1.

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National Cognac Day: with a Royal Twist

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**SPONSORED**

Happy National Cognac Day! We partnered up with Rémy Cointreau and local bartender, Ben Griest, from Giuseppe’s Ritrovo to present to you... the Royal Sazerac! Ben has shown us a thing or two about making speciality cocktails - today he's making the Royal Sazerac, fit for a King and/or Queen.

The Royal Sazerac is well-known in the cocktail world as America's first cocktail. Also known as New Orleans' official cocktail, Remy Cointreau stands out offering its aromatic richness - making the Royal Sazerac an outstanding premium cocktail.

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Condado Tacos open in select locations after closing its doors Tuesday

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Condado Tacos is open once again after closing its doors to the public Tuesday following an employee walkout Monday night. Polaris and Clintonville locations remain closed until further notice.

Employees at the Polaris location walked out Monday after refusing to fulfill a catering order by the Ohio Highway Patrol, according to a press release from Condado Tacos Wednesday. The employees who walked out were given the opportunity to not work on the order, without repercussion, if they didn’t feel comfortable, according to a statement provided by Linda Powers, Condado Tacos director of marketing.

The order by the Highway Patrol was placed at the Condado Tacos Polaris location on the fifth-straight day of George Floyd protests in Columbus. Floyd’s death was ruled a homicide following an incident where a Minneapolis police officer placed deadly force on Floyd’s neck with his knee. The incident has sparked protests across the country, including Columbus.

After reaching out to Condado’s PR agency over email, the contact stated that their team has “parted ways” with the business. 

Wednesday’s statement by Condado says they “value different points of view,” but, “choosing not to serve a particular group, in this case law enforcement officers, in itself is discrimination and goes against our core values to welcome and serve everyone.”

Read the full statement here.

Read Tuesday evening’s two-part post on Condado’s Facebook page below:

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