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3 summer brunches you need to experience

Mitch Hooper

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When it comes to seasonal eating, it seems like breakfast is always left out of the conversation. While dinner and lunch get to feature fresh produce like tomatoes, corn, and other garden greens, breakfast is typically just your run-of-the-mill options. Eggs, bacon, and toast lead the pack followed by classic staples like biscuits and gravy or omelettes. Yawn.

Don’t get us wrong, there’s a reason breakfast staples have become breakfast staples. They are reliable, delicious, and they never go out of style; kind of like a good pair of black shoes. But what about breakfast in style? We’re talking breakfast options that remind you of your favorite classics, but a bit freshened up. Look no further, my famished friends, we woke up bright and early to do our research.

GRANDVIEW CAFE | 1455 W THIRD AVE.

What to get: BLT Benedict
When to go: Weekends at open (11 a.m.)

Illustrations by Sarah Moore

Eggs Benedict is typically a special occasion breakfast. From making the hollandaise sauce to perfectly poaching your eggs to all the steps in between, it’s a lot of work to get your creation on the plate. Luckily, Grandview Cafe is willing to do the leg work for you, and they added some flair. The star of the BLT Benedict is the thick cut fried green tomatoes at the base which have a crispy exterior to hold up against all the toppings residing on it. Smoked bacon and arugula come next to add both flavor and color as the green of the arugula adds some needed pop to the plate. And, of course, what’s an Eggs Benedict without the eggs and hollandaise sauce? Grandview Cafe tops off the two fried green tomato masterpieces with poached eggs and hollandaise. It’s highly recommended you just stuff some of the skillet potatoes on the side into each bite you take (and maybe some hot sauce), but you’re free to live your own truth.

LINEAGE BREWING | 2971 N HIGH ST.

What to get: Chilaquiles
When to go: Weekends from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Let’s just help you now before you get there— they are pronounced CHILI-key-AYES. Say it slow, practice in the mirror a few times, then head to Lineage Brewing. While these incredible bites are simple, they pack on tons in the flavor department. The dish starts with tortilla chips tossed in a verde sauce, but this isn’t just any old verde sauce from your local Chipotle—this is blistered verde sauce. The peppers in the sauce are broiled to achieve that smoky flavor on the exterior, then they are blended into a bright green salsa with ingredients like onions, cilantro, and garlic. Is your mouth watering yet? Next comes the addition of breakfast, aka, eggs. Two fried eggs, to be exact, topped with cotija cheese, because everything is better with cotija cheese. Throw on some thinly-sliced radishes and cilantro for garnish and you’re looking at one Instagrammable start to your morning. The next question: should you get a Lineage beer to wash it down with, or should you get two Lineage beers to wash it down with?

BREKKIE SHACK | 1060 YARD STREET

What to get: Plant-Based Hash
When to go: Weekday mornings

It’s no secret that everyone could use more plants in their diet, and Brekkie Shack is making that easy for all of you who stick your nose up. Featuring a variety of fresh produce, the plant-based hash is a new take on breakfast skillet options. Instead of russet potatoes or hash browns, this dish uses roasted sweet potatoes, which add a subtle sweetness without being too much of a flavor diva. Your greens come in the form of asparagus and Brussels sprouts which are two “meaty” vegetables to provide a little extra “oomph” to your plant-based breakfast. This menu option continues down a powerhouse breakfast road with radishes, onions, and two sunny-side up eggs. Of course, you can always defy the name of the dish and add a side of bacon to this. And let’s be honest, you know you will.

millennial | writer | human

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Food & Drink

Too Good to Eat: Hubbard Grille’s Short Rib and Shrimp shareable

@findyourfork

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If looks could krill, you would be on the floor. Literally.

Hubbard Grille's Short Rib and Shrimp shareable dish will knock you right out of your seat because it will hit you hard and fast with flavor and more.

Photo by Angela Lee of @findyourfork

Imagine this: the most tender and delicious pulled beef short rib layered on a bed of the creamiest and cheesiest white cheddar grits with tomato jus. Top the bite-sized goodness off with a perfectly tender and seasoned prawn, add some color and texture with delicately placed microgreens and take that first bite.

With that first bite, you’ve just experienced one of the most delicious flavor profiles that the Columbus food scene has to offer. Second bite and your taste buds are just begging, pleading, and crying for more. Third bite and you are already shamelessly scraping off every last drop, speck, and flavor from the dish with your spoon.

You might actually even pick up the dish with your own two hands and unashamedly lick the plate clean. You might also start bargaining with your fellow table mates to negotiate the remaining pieces on the plate.

No judgement here. We have all done it at one point. You gotta do what you gotta do, am I right?

Hubbard Grille is located at 793 N. High St. in the Short North. To learn more + view the menu, visit hubbardgrille.com.

@findyourfork your average noodle connoisseur, taco devourer, and mimosa lover. When she's not busy snapping pictures of her latest yummy foodie adventures, you'll find her at your local coffee shop casually relaxing with a pastry in hand and a latte in the other.

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Food & Drink

Beloved burger joint opening in Hilliard next week

614now Staff

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Swensons Drive-In is expanding their central Ohio footprint in just a few days. The Hilliard stand will open at 4810 Cemetery Rd. on Monday, September 23.

Hilliard will be the third stand in Columbus with a locations in Dublin and Polaris.

The Akron-based burger chain prepares their burgers, including the signature Galley Boy, using premium cuts of beef ground fresh daily and made to order. The buttered and toasted buns only add to the juiciness of the meat.

https://twitter.com/SwensonsDriveIn/status/1175043808268099585

Apart from the greasy goodness that is Swensons food, one of the other reasons to patronize the stand is its car-side service. From the comfort of your pajama pants, Swensons Curb Servers will be at your window, eager to take your order and sprint, literally sprint, it back to the kitchen for preparation. Just be sure to not drop a single Potato Teezer between your seat because we all know that is the land of no return.

Visit www.swensonsdriveins.com for more information.

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Food & Drink

Review: Matt & Tony’s dishes out classic comfort food in downtown

Regina Fox

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I've gotten to try a lot of interesting cuisine with this job, but it's rare that I get the opportunity to sample a mother's spaghetti recipe outside of my childhood home. This is the type of experience that Matt & Tony's Wood Fired Kitchen, which recently opened inside the former CBC Restaurant space, offers its guests.

At Matt & Tony's, you don't have to sneak off to the bathroom to Google what a menu item is so you don't look ignorant in front of your date, and that's what makes it so great.

The menu bodes familiar comforts like fried chicken, fish & chips, veal parmesan, and burgers. There's no proprietary flare or fancy sauce smears around your plate—it's all just damn good food.

I sampled Madeline's Spaghetti & Meatballs, which is straight from the cookbook of co-owner Matt Rootes' mother. The sauce was sweet and plentiful while the meatballs were hearty and succulent. I didn't want to gorge myself on the first entree, but I couldn't seem to stop twirling those perfectly-boiled noodles around my fork...

Next up was a Wood Grilled Steak with mashed potatoes and broccoli. I heard once that butter wasn't a carb, so I spread it on thick and cut myself a piece with a crispy fat edge—juicy, tender, and lean. I didn't eat all 12 oz., but I very easily could have.

The Fork N' Knife BBQ Ribs at Matt & Tony's are straight out of a BBQ fairy tale. This healthy helping of slow-cooked, fall-off-the-bone meat is smothered in sauce and almost impossible to put down. You may not be excusing yourself to Google what you just nervously and unknowingly ordered, but you'll probably require a bathroom mirror to make sure you've wiped all the sauce off your mug after devouring these racks.

Feeling like Thanksgiving? Have a little alternative celebration for yourself with Matt & Tony's Half Roasted Chicken with crushed herbs and lemon butter. Slip into a food coma with the sides of potatoes and seasonal vegetable. Dream a little dream of country gravy (which can be found drowning the fried chicken dinner entree).

Rootes says he and his partner Tony Wildman chose to open Matt & Tony's to give the people of downtown an option for high-quality steaks and seafood at a reasonable price without all the "frou-frou." I, for one, think that's exactly what downtown needs.

While so many other restaurants are reaching for globally-inspired dishes made with ingredients you can pronounce, Matt & Tony's is executing classic comfort dishes you grew up on in a warm, inviting atmosphere—it's like a little slice of home on Short St.

Matt & Tony's is located at 525 Short Street and is open 11am- 10pm Sunday through Thursday and 11am- 11pm Friday and Saturday. Visit mattandtonys.com for more information.

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