Date of Visit: Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 11:15 a.m.
IMPRESSIONS: Whole World Restaurant has a long history – over thirty years – as one of Columbus’ premiere vegetarian stops. They’ve been serving up the non-meaty goods since 1978 in Clintonville, and in that time have garnered a very loyal following. You can find the restaurant along North High Street; the storefront is small, but just look for the small greenish awning. There’s plenty of street parking around it.
ATMOSPHERE: I met Akron food blogger extraordinaire Tom Noe of Exploring Food My Way for Sunday brunch. The cafe was just over half full when we visited in the late morning, and a steady stream of customers kept the tables filled. Whole World’s decor uses a lot of browns and creams, except for a big colorful mural above the counter.
FOOD: On a specific quest for biscuits and gravy, I order their version, the vegetarian gravy and biscuits. Instead of sausage, they make a heavy roux laden with spices and herbs like garlic, salt, and pepper. Overall, the dish was fairly well done. The biscuits were big and very dense, which I generally don’t mind. I like for my biscuits to hold together. The gravy had too much garlic in it for my taste. I’m actually surprised they didn’t try using a vegetarian sausage as a base for the gravy; it’s on the menu elsewhere. I think that might make a better substitution.
Tom ordered their Southwestern Quiche, one of the specials for the day. It came with a huge pile of crisp potatoes. The dish is colorful, to be sure, although Tom seemed to have the same reaction I had to my biscuits and gravy. Good, but not a real stand-out.
SERVICE: Whole World has you order at the counter, then find your table. The over-the-counter interactions were all very pleasant, and the person there could explain dishes or make recommendations. The food came out fairly quickly, too.
OVERALL: Although we weren’t wowed by our food, it was overall a good experience. It’s a cozy little restaurant, and its history as one of Columbus’ oldest vegetarian spots speaks to its quality and the dedication of its customers. Browsing through their Sunday brunch menu, I’m already planning a return visit: there are pancakes, French toast, and vegetable hash to try!