Izzy & Mo’s Luncheonette (Facebook / @izzyandmodeli / Instagram: @izzyandmodeli)
249 King Ave. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43201
Open daily 7a-3p
Accepts cash & debit/credit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Visited: Friday, August 14, 2015 at 8:30 a.m.
Izzy & Mo’s is the perfect example of those newer spots that take me forever to get to. In general, I avoid writing any sort of “review” post right when a restaurant opens. It drives me nuts when review sites and publications start critiquing a restaurant when it’s barely a week or two old. (Especially writing a review of a soft opening – don’t do that, people!)
I also run into the issue of simply having the time available. Izzy & Mo’s has of course been on the radar ever since it was first announced. I even interviewed owner Magdiale Wolmark for Alive. But sometimes, well, it just takes a while, but then suddenly the timing is just right. Mrs. Bfast w/Nick and I had a kid-free weekend recently, and we hopped on the chance for breakfast at the deli on a beautiful Friday morning.
Izzy & Mo’s is the tiny side space adjoining Till Dynamic Fare, with a lovely little patio out front.
The owners (Chef Wolmark and his wife Cristin Austen) created Till out of their previous restaurant, Dragonfly Neo V. The luncheonette is named after Chef Wolmark’s parents, and he’s said he’s drawing his inspiration on the food of his childhood.
Physically, the space features lots of blues and whites and natural woods. There are a few seats and a counter inside. You can watch the kitchen right in front of you.
Once you’re there, you can get to work eyeing all the baked goods, like big loaves of challah bread.
Or house-made bagels. Izzy & Mo’s makes three kinds: traditional east coast water bagels, bialys (more bready, like focaccia), and Jerusalem bagels (a denser, pretzel-like stick).
Depending on the day’s specials, you might be staring down a giant stack of sufganiyot, or jelly-filled donuts.
Or a plate of cinnamon rolls.
First order of business was coffee. I had heard tell of an iced tahini mocha; always curious about coffee drinks (and knowing they use Thunderkiss Coffee), I picked that up. Yes, it’s a mocha made with tahini, the sesame seed paste used in hummus. The tahini in the coffee might have been off-putting on its own, but with the chocolate – yeah, it worked for me. It was thicker, and tasted more like a cookie or like a really nutty, chocolatey coffee. I’d say it’s worth at least one try, but I suspect many people will find themselves fans of it.
Of course, we had to cut into one of those sufganiyots. As good as you can get when it comes to jelly-filled goodness.
I picked up a special that morning: an east coast bagel topped with cream cheese, huge slices of tomato, lox, scrambled eggs, capers, and caviar. It came with house-made pickles. It was a substantial meal – so rich with the lox and caviar and eggs and the big juicy tomatoes. Certainly a must for any fan of lox and bagels.
Mrs. Bfast w/Nick got the Izzy Bagel, a regular menu item made with caviar cream cheese, gravlax, capers, tomato, onion, and hot sauce on a bialy bagel (see how it’s thicker and more bready).
Just like the special, it packed such a punch with thick slices of the fresh salmon. I think Chef Wolmark’s care towards ingredients and flavor combinations pays off in food that very well designed, presented beautifully, and is just fun to eat.
So it may take me a while to get to good places like this, but it’s always worth it in the end. Anyone who’s into general deli fare, bagels, seafood, donuts, or has a Jewish background, Izzy and Mo’s is a must.
My next order of business: coming back for the hot pastrami and the corned beef and homemade sodas at lunch…