2015 has been an interesting year in many regards. It felt like a year of growing up for us, which meant dealing with a lot of experiences – some fun and some challenging – personally. But like every year, there’s still plenty to be happy about and thankful for:
- I’ve now completed an adventurous year of breakfast tours and a first full year of brunch tours.
- I started working with the excellent team at the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
- I continued contributing to the Experience Columbus blog and started up with Discover Ohio.
- I kept up my work for Columbus Alive and the Dispatch, while Crave wrapped up (although look for more pieces from me in Columbus Monthly).
- I taught classes at The Commissary, with a blogging class starting next month!
- For the blog we took on our first interns and started the Three To Try feature.
Needless to say, things have been busy. Read on for highlights in breakfast, coffee, beer, recipes, and other adventures from 2015.
Breakfast has of course been the name of the game this year, and we had no shortage of spots to discover.
Nada – this Cincinnati transplant impressed us repeatedly with their Mexican-themed brunch, plus their spacious and colorful digs
Kraft House No. 5 – Kraft House has now become a staple of Powell, with a solid beer list and big, filling brunch
Katzinger’s – we finally made an official breakfast visit to the city’s signature deli for bagels, blintzes, and corned beef hash
The Whitney House – we made a few trips to Whitney House over the year. How can you not, when there’s breakfast ramen, steak & eggs, and chilaquiles to try? Pro-tips: try a boozy cereal and sit at the counter to watch Chef Max expedite
Sammy’s Bagels – I interviewed Sam Pullano for a Crave article, and got to watch the bagel-making at their facility
101 Beer Kitchen – Solid beer list? Check. Creative kid’s menu? Check. Colorful and over-the-top breakfasts, like Twinkie French toast? Check.
Third & Hollywood – a comfortable and jazzy brunch, punctuated by a great Bloody Mary and the best steak & eggs I’ve ever tried
Olde Towne Tavern – the Tavern features good beer, easy-to-love comfort brunches, and a hidden patio
Jack & Benny’s Barnstormer – once a regular stop on my breakfast tour, this Jack & Benny’s offers diner goodness… in an airport
Izzy & Mo’s – the crew behind Till opened a small breakfast and lunch spot, with babka, blintzes, bagels, and more
Toast Bar – Dan the Baker re-imagined his cafe so it now serves open-faced sandwiches (tartine) and house-made breads and spreads. If you get, get the Ohio mushroom tartine
Katalina’s – I was overdue for a new write-up on this Columbus classic, with their pancake balls and migas and fried chicken sandwiches
Destination Donuts – Heather made a permanent home in North Market this year, which means more donuts for you!
Challah Food Truck – it doesn’t get much better than a rich Jewish-style Challah brunch at Seventh Son Brewing
The Table – I’ve gotten to know The Table on my brunch tour, and I can attest to the quality of their French toast, Dutch babies, salmon and rye, and my favorite – their akoori, spicy Indian scrambled eggs
Big Room Bar – one of my big recommendations for the year, the Big Room Bar is CD102.5’s revamped bar and restaurant, serving creative and filling brunch fare
Dough Mama Cafe & Bakery – Dough Mama opened their Clintonville cafe recently, with sandwiches, pie, coffee, and maple milk
Columbus coffee continued its boom. I wrote a piece earlier in the year called Keeping Up With Columbus Coffee, in part just to collect the openings and expansions. I also began the year with an invited visit to Stauf’s, to check on their development. Some other new discoveries:
Bexley Coffee Shop – BCS seems to have had a great year under new owners. They’ve got Thunderkiss coffee, quiche, pastries, and these awesome little espresso coffee cakes called coffee bombs
Red Velvet Cafe – Red Velvet opened in the busy strip of S. Fourth St. (now called the Red Brick District, apparently) serving international styles of coffee, cupcakes, and avocado toast. Still to try: their weekend Filipino brunch
Roosevelt Coffeehouse – Roosevelt is one of the big success stories of the year, garnering some national attention for their drinks and for their support of initiatives fighting poverty and human trafficking
Crimson Cup – my go-to coffee shop opened a second retail location in Upper Arlington this year. More nitro cold brew for us all!
Lokal Cold Brew – Lokal started making cold brew coffees using only Indonesian coffee beans. Look for their beautifully designed bottles around town
Highline Coffee Co. – Highline’s tiny Old Worthington shop serves some great cappuccinos using One Line coffee
MRS. BREAKFAST WITH NICK
Mrs. Breakfast With Nick (aka Beth) contributed some phenomenal posts to the blog this year. In the last quarter of 2015 we were sponsored in part by Door To Door Organics.
African Peanut Stew – a real winner from this year; one of our favorite cold weather comfort recipes
Roasted Chicken – a classic that can be used in so many ways
Chicken & Dumplings – another cold weather favorite
BEER & BEYOND
We love breakfast, yes, but we don’t love JUST breakfast. This year we highlighted some of our favorite ethnic eats and beer spots.
Tandoori Grill – we finally made it to this Pakistani spot, with excellent tandoori chicken and fish pakora
Huong Vietnamese – we took time to highlight our favorite Vietnamese spot, with the best pho in town
El Arepazo – this year I finally wrote about one of my favorite Columbus spots: arepas, patacon, fish tacos, arepitas, amazing chilaquiles, and that magical cilantro sauce
Flatiron Bar & Diner – Chef Matt Heaggans reinvigorated the Flatiron this year, with house-made funyons, smoked carrot salad, roasted pork coppa, and some killer desserts
The Crest Parsons – the beautiful second location of the Crest opened this year, and we got to sample our way through dinner and drinks
Rockmill Brewery – we made a couple trips to Rockmill’s stunning Lancaster grounds, including one trip on a nearly perfect autumn day
This year we got to take some special vacations, in addition to the usual exploring around Ohio and to see our families.
German Village – this year I had the pleasure of working with the folks from German Village to highlight the neighborhood and its businesses. We took tours, met with restaurant owners, sampled brunch and coffee, and saw the sights. Read about the adventures in part one, two, three, and four.
Heading to the Hocking Hills – a quick trip to Hocking Hills had us exploring Rockmill Brewery, hiking the trails, eating ice cream, and enjoying a stay at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls
Mel’s Diner – on a trip in eastern Pennsylvania we found the most classically dinerish diner in Lebanon, complete with a sassy server and the best chipped beef on toast I’ve tasted
Saying Hello to Charlotte – on our way to Georgia, we visited Charlotte overnight, and took time to ride the light rail, get some BBQ, explore a market, enjoy coffee, and find fabulous bagels at Poppy’s
Savannah & Tybee Island – we made a special trip to Tybee Island and Savannah, GA with my family. We spent time on the beach, toured the city, kayaked out to an abandoned lighthouse, and explored restaurants. Highlights included fantastic coffee at Perc Coffee Roasters and a trip to one of my first breakfast loves, The Breakfast Club.
Five Days in Grand Rapids – I wrote up a long weekend in my hometown, complete with breakfast, beer, exploring the riverfront, and finally writing about Marge’s Donut Den, where I learned to love donuts.
Thanks to EVERYONE who has followed the blog and my other articles, chatted about breakfast, come on tours, bought T-shirts, and generally made 2015 another fun year on the blog. Thanks to many of the great restaurants and coffee shops who have helped support the blog, too.
Here’s to a Happy New Year and many new breakfast adventures in 2016!
Nick, Beth, & The Boys