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Brunch has finally come of age. Formerly a middle meal for the well-heeled, breakfast’s boozy big brother has given late-risers of every economic strata an acceptable excuse to sleep a little longer while still maintaining their social standing. It’s no wonder Columbus has embraced brunch as more than an afterthought. Weekend- only menus allow local [...]
J.R. McMillan

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Brunch has finally come of age. Formerly a middle meal for the well-heeled, breakfast’s boozy big brother has given late-risers of every economic strata an acceptable excuse to sleep a little longer while still maintaining their social standing.

It’s no wonder Columbus has embraced brunch as more than an afterthought. Weekend- only menus allow local chefs to experiment for forgiving crowds and discerning diners. And blurring the line between morning and midday makes it the perfect test kitchen for familiar favorites with a little added flare.

Weekdays remain another story. Mornings seem to get ever earlier, even without the seasonal precession and daylight savings time messing with our heads. Fortunately, there are still meals worthy of getting up a little early—something that will make you the envy of the office, or a missed lunch easier to stomach if your afternoon runs amok.

Here are five ways to grab work-week breakfast with both hands:

Maple Chicken Biscuit

By Brian Kaiser

MoJoe Lounge • 149 S High St.

Forget that puny puck most places shove in a bag and hand you at the drive-thru. This sandwich needs a box, and a big one. It’s a buttery biscuit about the size of a grapefruit, sliced and crisped up on the flat top just enough to hold together when they put a runny egg and a huge, buttermilk fried chicken breast inside. The drizzle of maple syrup conspires with the skin of the chicken to create the convergence of New England sweetness and salty Southern comfort food. Putting a fried egg on anything makes it undeniably Columbus.

Don’t worry about getting a dried-out brick of a biscuit later in the morning either. Like all of their baked goods, they’re made in-house, as needed. I grabbed mine after 9 a.m. and the biscuit was fresh out of the oven. It also comes with a knife and fork, for those who may struggle to pick it up—or with strong opinions on which comes first, the chicken or the egg.

Save a slice of cinnamon gooey butter cake for later, though the biscuit alone may well hold you over until happy hour.

Mazatlan Slow-Roasted Pork & Egg

By Brian Kaiser

Katalina’s • 1105 Pennsylvania Ave.

Though “gas station breakfast” sounds like a stand-up bit or a college radio band, that’s exactly what Katalina’s used to be—a century old filling station. Better known for their breakfast tacos, the secretly seasoned, slow-roasted pork topped with Amish provolone and fried egg served on toasted “old world loaf” deserves top billing. Though it could stand on its own, the added avocado, red peppers, and aioli add lightness and depth to what could otherwise be a heavy-handed sandwich.

If wholesome-yet-hearty isn’t your speed, there are always the pancake balls. Famous is an understatement, considering they’ve literally sold more than a million of them. Whether filled with Nutella’s hint of hazelnut, sweet and creamy dulce de leche, or harvest-inspired pumpkin-apple butter, the side of bourbon maple syrup and house bacon make it easy to see why their popularity quickly reached seven digits.

Love and local goodness are the first ingredients for everything on the menu at this historic, Harrison West hot spot.

French Toast Sandwich

By Brian Kaiser

The Angry Baker • 247 King Ave.

This cousin of the Monte Cristo features classic French toast, but with the texture of brioche. The perfect package for ham and Swiss is dusted with confectioner’s sugar and diagonally cut for dipping into a side of syrup. There is also a vegan variation with egg- and dairy-free batter, Daiya mozzarella, and seitan—sometimes called “wheat meat” because it’s derived from gluten.

With the original location now complemented by expansion into Victorian Village, there’s an Angry Baker on your way into downtown from either the east or west side of the city. If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, be sure to get a blueberry lemon scone to go. It’s like biting into summer. If savory is your style, the cheddar chive scone is sure to satisfy.

Americans were slow to embrace the decidedly British version of the Scottish staple. But once they did, scones certainly started to give biscuits and muffins a run for their money.

Bacon, Egg, and Cheddar

What the Waffle • 1117 Oak St.

Sometimes, we affectionately call an unpretentious eatery a hole-in-the-wall. This is probably the one time that name truly applies.

What the Waffle is just that, a tiny glass window of the Columbus Food Hub on the corner of Oak and Ohio. Their limited menu underscores the genius of simplicity. Place your order, and minutes later someone will return with a made from scratch, made to order, Belgian waffle-turned-sandwich.

There are two whole strips of bacon—not just one broken into two or three pieces like most places. Their fried egg is more of a rough scramble, which is actually ideal. Finely shredded cheddar melts into the square cavities of the fresh from the iron waffle, and the whole thing is wrapped in butcher paper and ready for the road.

Their sweet potato muffins are also worth getting to go, not that you’ll be hungry any time soon.

Breakfast Sandwich

Acre • Multiple locations

By Brian Kaiser

Though the name is unassuming, so is just about everything about Acre, the farm-to-table concept that manages to tick off all of the boxes. There’s nothing ordinary about it, either. The cheddar frittata on focaccia (or ciabatta) with a smear of tomato-jalapeño or bacon jam would probably be just fine. But the pucker of pickled onions offset by fresh baby spinach and avocado sour cream bring each flavor into balance.

Any echoes of the original KFC that used to occupy the Clintonville space are nearly indistinguishable, as are those of the former carryout near Grandview, where Bono Pizza used to make pies in the parking lot. In their place are thoughtfully reimagined restaurants ready for primetime. From the matching plaid shirts, jeans, and bandanas of the staff to the cohesive consistency of the exterior aesthetic and interior appointments, Acre is a brand bound to break out of Columbus.

Try a sweet corn cookie, the apparent offspring of a sugar cookie’s unlikely tryst with some cornbread, then tell me this place isn’t about to take off.

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Food & Drink

Rye In July

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Rye in July featuring the Algonquin! We teamed up with Brown-Forman, Woodford Reserve, and local bartender Ben Griest from Giuseppe’s Ritrovo for this tasty Rye, perfect for July! Today's Rye is featuring the Algonquin, with notes of spice, tobacco, and fruit balanced throughout this cocktail - it's sure to please!

The Algonquin

**SPONSORED**

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Food & Drink

Milestone 229 overcomes 2020 challenges, to reopen soon

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Every industry has taken a hit this year. It’s cliche to generalize it. With that being said, some businesses have taken more damage than others.

Milestone 229, located on the river’s Scioto Mile, was forced to closed in March along with all the other restaurants across Ohio, as the restaurant industry took a hit despite the uptick in carryout orders.

Just as things seemed to be coming back to normal, as restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen, the protests demanding change during the Black Lives Matter movement brought an unexpected rioting component that had devastating effects for Milestone 229.

The downtown, upscale eatery with the playful fountain for kids and adults alike, took an extra hit when rioting, looting, and vandalism broke down the windows of the restaurant on Thursday, May 29. Milestone 229 was supposed to reopen the upcoming Monday.

Photo by Julian Foglietti.

Griggs has tried his best to stay positive through it all, finding some valuable and much-needed help along the way.

“A good friend of the restaurant, Cathy King, executive vice president of Wasserstrom, started a GoFundMe page for Milestone 229. We are using that money to help relaunch the restaurant.  We also had many friends and family come down the morning after the riots to help clean up the broken glass.”

Doug Griggs, co-owner of Milestone 229


Now, recovering once again, Milestone 229 is set to open back up on Wednesday, July 8. The fine-dining establishment will offer patio and dining room seating, as well as a new curbside pickup. Co-owner Doug Griggs said in an email that the restaurant was able to keep the majority of its patio seating and over half of its dining room seating. 

Milestone 229 has a new venue revamped for the summer as well. You can view it here.

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And the winner of the (614) National Ice Cream Month poll is…

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Columbus has been a culinary hotspot for pretty much the entire 21st century. But what if we told you that you, Columbus, were just as obsessed with fine dining as you are with devouring ice cream?

Jeni’s. Whit’s. Greater’s. The list goes on. But out of the everlasting, Willy Wonka-esque fountain of ice cream stores that exist in Columbus, which one is the favorite of (614) readers?

In reverse order, here are the top seven ice cream choices in Columbus!

7. Cream & Sugar – 2185 Sullivant Ave.

6. Velvet Ice Cream – Your favorite grocer

5. United Dairy Farmers – EVERYWHERE

4. Johnson’s Real Ice Cream – 2728 E. Main St.; 55 W. Bridge St., Dublin; 160 W. Main St., New Albany

3. Whit’s Frozen Custard – Find Ohio locations here

2. Jeni’s Ice Cream – Find Columbus locations here

And after 12 rounds, the winner of the (614) ice cream championship belt is…

1. Graeter’s Ice Cream – Find Ohio locations here.

Photo by Julian Foglietti.

And it just so happens that Graeter’s is celebrating its 150th birthday this month! Celebrate in style with them by buying this specialty birthday cake ice cream. In addition to selling the ice cream online and at a Graeter’s near you, you’ll also be able to pick some up at Kroger, Giant Eagle, The Fresh Market, Dorothy Lane Market, or Jungle Jim’s.

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