1808 American Bistro (Facebook / @1808Bistro / Instagram: @1808Bistro)
29 E. Winter St. (map it!)
Delaware, OH 43015
Open Mon-Tues, 4-10p; Wed-Sat, 11a-2p & 4-10p; brunch Sat 11a-2p & Sun, 10a-3p
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Back in December I reviewed 1808’s brunch for the Columbus Dispatch. You can read my review of it here. While there, we took our own photos and wanted to share some of our thoughts. So read on and enjoy!
The 1808 American Bistro is another fine example of the small but mighty dining scene in Delaware. The food and beverage offerings there range from the classic diner Hamburger Inn to the creative 1808 and sister restaurant Veritas Tavern, not to mention the brewing strength of Staas Brewing and the now-opening Restoration Brew Worx. There’s also excellent 12 West Mexican restaurant, which is just recovering from a recent fire. If you’ve ever hesitated to travel to Delaware for a good meal and drinks, you’re now out of excuses.
1808 has the feel of a tavern, with a cozy bar, huge wooden floors, and gorgeous brick walls. I first took note of them for their beer selection, with a menu of nearly 40 beers, ciders, and meads.
1808 has a good-sized space. Again, with the brick walls and wooden floors.
Near the front are big windows offering plenty of natural light.
The brunch menu – like all menus – will rotate a bit. Here’s what it looked like on our visit (see the current one here). As you can see, there’s a good mix of more traditional brunchy items like French toast or corned beef hash, plus roasted cauliflower and almond chicken salad.
Drinks are in order, of course. 1808 offers bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, screwdrivers, and greyhounds, if you’ve got the time and the designated driver. The Bloody Mary was quite good, with all the house-pickled garnishes. During the cooler months they offer a spiked hot cocoa – emphasis on the spiked. Mine was very cinnamony and pretty generously dowsed with bourbon.
During some brunch days they serve up fresh honey-glazed sweet potato donuts. They’re warm and fluffy and sticky sweet.
One of the more noticeable additions to many of the brunch items and the a la carte menu is the 62.5 degree egg.
The 62.5 degree is sous vide to that exact temperature, at which point the egg white and yolk are the same texture. Imagine the creamiest poached egg you’ve ever had. We first tried one of these at Veritas Tavern on a bacon risotto, one of the single best dishes I’ve ever tasted.
1808 puts the eggs to work on a variety of dishes, but they also let you order them a la carte. While this is fun, the eggs in this form are difficult to eat. Better to use a spoon than a fork, but the idea of spooning a runny egg might not appeal, so I’d recommend ordering them on a dish.
There are plenty of other a la carte offerings worth exploring, like house-made bacon.
I dug into the shakshuka, a North African/Mediterranean breakfast dish that involves eggs baked in a rich bed of tomatoes, peppers, onions, cream, and loads of spices. You don’t see the dish too often around Columbus, and when you do it’s mainly at Mediterranean restaurants. 1808’s version was very good, although a little heavy on the tomato and served with generic pita bread.
The corned beef hash hit on the all the right notes, although it was served a little cold. The corned beef itself is great – it’s brined in-house (not often done around here) and then sous vide for 48 hours, so like the 62.5 eggs they’re amazingly soft. This is where those eggs really shine. They serve more like a sauce, giving you a runny egg for dipping your toast into and mixing with the potatoes and corned beef.
There’s a lot to recommend 1808’s brunch, and the rest of their menu is clearly worth repeated visits. It’s an easy starting point for exploring Delaware’s culinary scene.
This meal was covered by the Dispatch as part of a review. Photos and opinions are my own.