One of the challenges of food blogging, especially when talking about restaurants, is to keep discovering and writing about something new, while simultaneously wanting to revisit old favorites. I know, I know… poor me. But the real joy of a good breakfast place is becoming a regular there, getting to know the owners and even some returning customers.
Case in point: Jack & Benny’s. I reviewed J&B’s way back in 2007, when the blog was just starting. So the description is inexperienced and the photos are less-than-great. I still stand by my assessment, but I think I could represent the restaurant better. So, of course, when my boys and I had a free Saturday morning on a OSU football gameday, we swung by for some grub and to snap a couple more photos.
Two important things to know about Jack & Benny’s. 1.) They’re a classic diner. Big wooden floor. Old counter and stools (you can tell they’re old because they’re a little smaller – my legs are crammed when I sit there). The owner Geno works the grill. Cheap coffee and generous breakfasts. 2.) J&B’s is an Ohio State institution. Even if they’re not technically on campus, they’re close enough that the decor is like a museum of OSU football history. The main wall is lined with photos of past coaches and players, famous diners, and the owners posed with other notables. Then there’s the case of bobblehead dolls: everyone’s represented, from Woody Hayes to Archie Griffin to Jim Tressel to the brand new Urban Meyer.
Jack & Benny’s is also home of the busters. I will admit, without shame, that I rarely order anything other than the Gutbuster. It’s everything I love about breakfast: eggs, hash browns, sausage, cheese, ham, gravy, and toast. All in one indistinguishable pile.
Look at that: layers of breakfast goodness. And while the portions are big, I’ve never experienced the actual gut-busting that the name promises. (But does that say something about the dish or about me? Hmmm…) Nevertheless, Jack & Benny’s is one of my neighborhood diners, and it’s worth a visit or two or three. Goodness knows I’m always looking for the excuse to go back.