No one has time to wake up early on the weekends. But everyone deserves the best meal of the day. For that, we have brunch. Here are a couple of the best local places for that perfect midday meal.
1105 Pennsylvania Ave.
If no one has told you about Katalina’s yet, stop reading and go now. Right now.
Since I’m now preaching to the choir, you already know those pancake balls — crispy outside, fluffy inside with ooey gooey Nutella — are perfection. Paired with their signature sweet and spicy bacon, it’s a seesaw of great sweet and savory brunch flavors. If you’re wanting a bit more of a strictly savory option, Katalina’s offers awesome pork, black bean, chorizo and breakfast tacos. Their huevos rancheros are another great, sloppy brunch indulgence — ask for a third egg for extra yolky goodness.
As far as drinks go, Katalina’s offers freshly-squeezed orange and blood orange juices and, occasionally, a super-refreshing watermelon juice. And, of course, you gotta have coffee.
1646 Neil Ave.
Fresh juices for brunch are great and all, but, as a wise philosopher on Pinterest once said, brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast. This is where Hang Over Easy and the rest of this list comes in.
Hangover Easy boasts a full bar, complete with local craft beers. That’s when you know you’re in a good place. You also know you’re in a good place when the menu includes innuendo-filled dishes such as “Sloppy Seconds,” “Struggling To Get Up” and “Dirty Sanchez.” But HOE doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk with a good, stick-to-your-ribs brunch that fills you up to keep you going.
Ethyl & Tank and The Crest Gastropub
19 E. 13th Ave. and 2855 Indianola Ave
Ethyl & Tank might be a campus legend of sorts with its after class, late-night happy hours. But it might be less known that Ethyl has a cooler, more sophisticated older brother: The Crest Gastropub.
Both restaurants are owned by A&R Creative Group — which owns other local favorites, such as Fourth Street Bar & Grill and Midway on High as well as healthy hot spot Alchemy Juice. But Ethyl and The Crest do brunch the best.
Ethyl has a more simplistic brunch approach with classic eggs-and-toast breakfast platters, breakfast burritos and pancakes. Dishes are usually served on metal trays. Again, The Crest is a notch above, with more generous servings of dishes such as quiche, eggs Benedict and steak and eggs. Presentation is a step above too, with everything perfectly placed and with a nice sprinkling of fresh herbs. This air of sophistication must be why frequent clientele includes visiting parents.
What Ethyl has that The Crest doesn’t, however, is the Bloody Mary bar. During brunch hours, Ethyl has a spread of different mix-ins and toppings for patrons to add to their spiked tomato juice. Bartenders mix patrons’ desired juice and vodka combo — including spicy tomato juice and cucumber flavored vodka. But this is the most important step of customization. Some people like a lot of vodka, some don’t. So either be specific, almost to the point of pretentiously naggy with your server, or just get a mimosa. Can’t fail with a mimosa.
Oddfellow’s Liquor Bar
1038 N. High St.
I know I just said you can’t fail with a mimosa, but Oddfellow’s goes galaxies beyond. For their weekend brunch, they offer cereal cocktails — vodka infused almond milk topped with cereals such as Fruity Pebbles or Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Yeah, the cereal gets soggy, but it’s worth it for the experience of getting drunk from cereal.
As far as food goes, Oddfellow’s has a different all-you-can-eat buffet theme every week, with favorites including Mexican and Southern spreads. If there’s one thing that’s more enjoyable than day drinking, it’s an endless trough of good brunch food.
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing
215 N. 4th St.
The first time I tried to go to Wolf’s Ridge for brunch, it was 11 a.m. The waitress very nonchalantly told me the next table would be available at 2 p.m. So basically, make a reservation, at least days in advance, if you want to eat at one of Columbus’ best craft breweries.
Wolf’s Ridge’s menu changes seasonally, but all options are decadent enough to make you forget the pretty substantial price tag. A former favorite was French toast topped with maple bacon ice cream. Currently on the menu is a coffee sponge cake topped with espresso ice cream. Seriously, you can’t go wrong.
On tap, the brunch star is Wolf’s Ridge’s Clear Sky Daybreak, a coffee and cream ale. The former heavyweight brunch champ was their Clear Sky Cinnamon Toast Brunch. I miss that beer’s warm spice, but regular ol’ Daybreak, and all house beers, are still damn good. The restaurant also offers “beermosas” along with the classic mimosa.
All in all, there are plenty of great places to start eating and drinking no matter what time you wake up. After all, you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.