8 Questions for Alexis Joseph

Welcome to the newest feature on TBGG called 8 Questions!! In each 8 Questions post, you will meet some of Columbus’ most interesting and active foodies, chefs, restaurant owners, and others who are passionate about breakfast, Columbus, and/or local foods in general. We’ll get to know a little about them in just 8 questions (imagine that!!). 8 Questions isn’t designed to be a full-length interview covering every aspect of life, but simply a few “official” questions with a few silly ones thrown in.

For the first post, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexis Joseph – a Registered Dietitian, local blogger, and Director of Nutrition and Communications at Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe (breakfast review coming soon!!). Check it out….

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 Photo Courtesy of Hummusapien.com

You’re one of Columbus’ most recognized faces of healthy living. Can you tell us about your work as a Registered Dietitian?

You’re too kind! I absolutely love what I do. Food and nutrition are my passion! Every day is different. Some days I’m running around meeting with different clients for nutrition counseling, some days I’m scheduling social media and on the floor at Alchemy ensuring operations are running smoothly, some days I’m hovered over my computer planning Alchemy’s menu and answering a million emails from distributors. On my day off, I typically spend most of the day working on my blog. That involves everything from grocery shopping, recipe testing, photographing recipes, creating content, answering emails, scheduling social media, etc. I’m super busy all the time, but luckily I’m doing what I love. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

It’s obvious that you’re very passionate about health and wellness. What inspired you to open Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe?

I met Abed Alshahal in a nutrition class at Ohio State and we quickly became great friends and study buddies. He and his two brothers own A & R Creative group, a progressive restaurant group that’s super passionate about creating unique restaurant concepts that double as platforms for social change. We always tossed around the idea of a healthy café, and one day it became a reality! I never thought it would actually happen, but I couldn’t be more thrilled that it did!

I was able to pull lots of recipes from my blog, which helped facilitate menu development. We wanted the food at Alchemy to be delicious, nourishing, and approachable. We also wanted to make nutrition accessible, and having a registered dietitian on site made that a reality! Alchemy combines two of the fastest growing industries in America—health care and food. We believe Alchemy is a model that could really impact preventative health. Feeding healthy food to the masses and watching them enjoy it has been an incredibly rewarding experience.

What’s your favorite go-to healthy breakfast?

My go-to breakfast is a hugh jass green smoothie! It’s super easy to prepare in the morning and I love knowing that I started my day with three servings of antioxidant-packing fruits and veggies. I typically blend up one cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, one tablespoon of cacao powder, one cup of frozen strawberries or blueberries, one or two pitted dates for sweetness, and a huge handful of spinach in a blender. I would be nothing without my Nutribullet! Sometimes I throw in brown rice protein powder, hemp seeds, or chia seeds.

When it’s cold out, I make big batches of steel-cut oatmeal and eat it with almond butter and fresh berries.

Three things that are in your refrigerator right now?

Baby kale, almond butter, and almond milk (plus a million other things).

Can you tell us about your blog, Hummusapien.com?

I started the blog about 3 1⁄2 years ago. It really personifies my passion for food and all things healthy. I share simple nutritious recipes as well as tips for clean eating, all with a dose of good humor of course! I think of Alchemy as my way to inspire others to reach their maximum healthy potential. Starting Hummusapien was hands down the best decision I’ve ever made. It grew from a hobby to a part-time job, so it takes up a good deal of my time. Good thing I love it! You can find at least half of Alchemy’s menu on the blog.

What’s the one healthy food that you just can’t bring yourself to eat?

I don’t really like kefir. That’s pretty much the only one I can think of! I’m also not into mock meat products like seitan or anything with vital wheat gluten.

It must feel incredible to know that you’re inspiring people to better themselves with what you do. What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking of taking that first step toward a healthier lifestyle?

I would say start small and be positive! Healthy eating can be overwhelming at first, but even if you cut back from drinking ten cans of pop a week to five cans of pop a week, that’ll make a huge difference in your long-term health. Nutrition is so personalized and it’s important to remember that everyone has different needs. A good starting point is simply to add a fruits or veggie to each meal, no exceptions! Maybe breakfast is oatmeal with sliced banana. Even if lunch is a sandwich, use whole grain bread and have carrot sticks on the side with hummus. Bake a sweet potato or roast up some broccoli with dinner. I also always recommend that people start thinking of snacks as real food (like nuts, hummus, veggies, fruit) rather than processed foods like pretzels, chips, and cookies.

And finally…Would you rather have to eat a double cheeseburger or drink a 32 oz soda every day for the rest of your life?

That is perhaps the hardest question I’ve ever been asked! Even though I don’t eat meat, I would have to go with the burger because it at least has protein. I just couldn’t imagine drinking that much sugar every day!

Matt the Miller’s Tavern (Grandview) – Columbus, OH

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The brunch buffet at Matt the Miller’s Tavern has been calling my name for quite some time now.  It’s one of those places that I’d had on my “must try” list, but for one reason or another, I  just hadn’t gotten there yet. And I’m not really sure why not. With restaurants in three different areas of town – Grandview, Dublin, and Polaris – there really is no excuse. But when I recently spoke to our friends at MtM about collaborating with the blog for our bi-monthly gift card giveaway (stay tuned for details!!), I figured this was the perfect opportunity for me to get my brunch-lovin’ self over to check them out. So with Mrs. Grub Guy and the boy in tow, we visited their Grandview location recently to partake in the mega-brunch buffet madness.

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Matt the Miller’s offers an upscale, casual atmosphere with a kitchen that serves a delightful menu of tavern-style favorites. The interior of the Grandview space was comfortably designed to feature such modern trends as partially exposed brick walls, chalk-board-like signage, and comfortable seating.

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In addition to their delicious food, MtM offers a fully stocked bar, making it a popular destination for happy hour.

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They’re also passionate about beer, offering a constantly rotating inventory of craft, draft, and local beers. When we visited, several selections from local craft brewers like Seventh Son Brewing, Four String Brewing, and Columbus Brewing Company were on tap.

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Although I don’t usually pass up the chance to throw back a local brew, I just wasn’t feeling it this morning. Breakfast grub was what I was looking for, and thankfully I didn’t have to look far. The brunch buffet is a killer spread of breakfast favorites, as well as other options like baked ham, really good scalloped potatoes, fresh salads, and more. In addition, for a few bucks extra, they offer a Bloody Mary bar and a coffee bar featuring local roaster, Crimson Cup Coffee.

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The brunch buffet action takes place on the bar side of the restaurant, with a line of catering tureens on one side opposite additional platters displayed along the bar. It’s an up one side, down the other kind of thing, and it seemed to keep the constant long lines (I waited for the crowd to clear to snap this pic) of hungry brunch-goers flowing.

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The Ultimate Bloody Mary Bar ($7.00) was kept fully stocked and was definitely a popular destination for thirsty fans of this brunch-time mainstay.

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I didn’t waste any time checking out the Brunch Buffet ($16.95) after we were seated. My first plate consisted of a big pile of nicely cooked hash browns, scrambled eggs, a couple of strips of bacon, eggs benedict, a couple small squares of a margarita flatbread, and some fruit (gotta stay healthy lol).

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Grub Boy was intrigued by the waffle bar and the build-your-own-omelette station. The guy working this area did a great job, and he was probably the busiest dude in the whole place. He smiled, nodded, and seemed to cook every order perfectly. Since there were so many other options that didn’t require waiting for food to cook, none of us went with an omelette, but I definitely will next time. The waffle bar offered toppings such as fresh whipped cream, berry compote, a really yummy cinnamon-sugar butter, chocolate chips, pure Ohio maple syrup and more.

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The boy’s plate was filled with a waffle, some delicious pasta Primavera (topped with a pesto sauce), and a rustic turkey hash, made with yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, peppers, red potatoes, and diced turkey breast.

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One of the highlights of the buffet to me was the addition of some really amazing flatbreads. While we were there, they put out probably 4-5 different ones, and each of them looked incredible. I tried a couple of them, and my favorite was the one that featured slices of tender steak with an earthy, balsamic drizzle on top. My wife liked the goat cheese & tomato. She said she could have eaten that all day.

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Here’s another plate of some of the aforementioned buffet items. Included though, are a couple of house-made donuts that we really enjoyed. They were not your typical donut holes, but were a bit more dense and chewier, which I liked. They were rolled in cinnamon-sugar and were served with the option of chocolate drizzle. Really yummy.

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One feature I thought was especially nice was the kids brunch buffet table. Included in the regular kids price (kids under 2 yrs old eat free/3-4 $5.95/5-10 $7.95), it’s a nice option for those little picky eaters who don’t want anything but typical kids stuff. Mac & Cheese, Chicken fingers, and tater tots were kept toasty in the warmer, while cups of applesauce and even Oreos for dessert were the kiddies other offerings. They also offered kid-friendly silverware for little hands.

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This round, I pulled a few sliced chicken fingers from the kids table, piled them on top of my waffles, and coated them with maple syrup.  I also grabbed a couple of those donuts, and added the drizzle. Plus some more eggs and some of that slap-yo-mama-it-was-so-good steak flatbread I mentioned earlier.

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Another component that we really enjoyed was the Crimson Cup Coffee Bar ($2.95). There were four choices – Armando’s Blend, Sticky Toffee Caramel Creme, Celtic Grogg, and Armando’s Decaf. I loved the concept, but would have enjoyed seeing some fancy extras like maybe some flavored creamers or something.  I don’t always use them, but when I do, I love me some fancy little creme cups.

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Being that it’s St. Patty’s Day weekend, we both drank the Celtic Grogg with a splash of half & half. It was really, really good, and completed the meal perfectly.

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And then, as if we actually had more room in our bellies, we decided to finish with a couple of desserts. The wife and boy chose the chocolate mousse, and I had cake. Yeah, they were both just a tasty as they look.

Matt the Miller’s brunch buffet definitely has my seal of approval. Everything we ate was extremely flavorful. Our boy even made sure he told our waitress how much he loved the food, and that he liked it even better than Chinese food (which is a HUGE compliment coming from him – Chinese is his favorite!!) The staff at MtM was great too. Our server was hopping and never let our drinks get too low or our table get too stacked with dishes. The buffet runners kept a fresh, hot round of food on the buffet at all times, which was really impressive given the number of people going through the lines, and the size of some of their plates. Great job, ladies and gents.

Seriously you guys, if you’re a fan of buffets, go here. My only complaint is that they only do it once a week. When you visit, be prepared to wait. We arrived at around 11:30, and waited for about 45 minutes which wasn’t so bad, because they let you sip your Bloody Mary and coffee while you’re waiting, plus they treated us to some pre-buffet flatbreads. People LOVE this place, and for good reason. So do yourself a favor…wait. It’s worth it.

Matt the Miller’s Tavern (Grandview) is located at 1400 Grandview Ave, Columbus, OH 43212 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Tuesday, 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM, Wednesday – Saturday, 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM, and Sunday 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM, with brunch from 10-2. For more info, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Matt the Miller's Tavern on Urbanspoon

 

Misc Breakfasts: Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Anyone who does any cooking in the kitchen has an opinion about slow-cooker meals – you either love them, or you don’t. I happen to be of the opinion that – growing up in the midwest where we live and die by the casserole – slow cooker meals are one of the greatest culinary ideas ever. I mean, what’s easier than prepping a load of ingredients, dumping them in a big ceramic crock, setting a temperature, and leaving it until it’s done and ready to eat?! Nothing, that’s what!! There are some, however, that do not enjoy these delicious pots of goodness. These are often the kinds of people who complain about such trivial things as their foods touching each other. You know the like. To those people, I say…PHOOEY!!

What’s even greater is the fact that on occasions when you have lots of hungry people to feed such as holidays, family sleep-overs, or just any darn time you wanna, you can pile breakfast grub into this magical mini-oven before heading to bed for the night, and in the morning, wake up to a full breakfast for the fam!

We recently made an overnight masterpiece, and I wanted to share it with you so you can see just how easy it really is.

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The first thing to remember is, use whatever you have on hand. One of the great things about slow-cooker meals, especially breakfast, is that you can make it as simple, or as complex as you want it. Have bacon in the fridge? Use bacon! Leftover taco meat? Use that. I happened to have some pre-packaged, frozen kielbasa on hand, which I simply diced into chunks in preparation of the big overnight cook. When I make this type of thing, I honestly don’t usually follow a recipe. I just find things that I think I would like to eat together, and use them. Kielbasa sounded good, so kielbasa it was!

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In addition to the kielbasa, I chopped about a half of a green pepper, sliced up about a dozen white mushrooms, used approx 2 cups of frozen, shredded hash browns (I had Ore Ida brand), a cup of shredded cheese, about a half a cup of pre-packaged, chopped bacon pieces (like they sell for salads), salt, and cayenne pepper. Keep in mind that all of these “measurements” are for a 6-quart oval slow-cooker and might need to be adjusted based on the size of yours.

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Ok, first things first…you’ll want to make sure you spray the inside of your crock with cooking spray. Then, create a base layer with the frozen hash browns.

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After that, I simply layered the other ingredients on top of the spuds…kielbasa, peppers, mushrooms, bacon. At this point, I add a few shakes of salt and of cayenne on top of everything.

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Now, crack a dozen eggs into a bowl with some milk (I use 2%, but others may like to use whole milk, skim milk, Half & Half, or even water) and scramble until the eggs are mixed thoroughly.

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Simply pour the egg mixture directly over the layered ingredients already in the slow-cooker, until the eggs completely (or nearly completely) cover them.

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I always add a little extra shredded cheese to the top, just because my family really likes their cheese! But this is certainly not required. Again, go with what you like, or with however you want to make this.

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At this point, place the lid on your slow-cooker and set the temperature to LOW. The casserole will take approx 7 hours to cook thoroughly overnight. When you wake up, your crock will be nice and steamy, and its insides will be ready to consume.

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The hash browns provide a nice base for all of the eggy goodness and the meats and veggies on top. Of course, you could also mix the hash browns in with everything else, too, if layers aren’t your thing. Other breakfast bake ideas might be a Philly bake with thinly sliced steak, peppers, onions, & mushrooms (Oooo, I just thought of that. That sounds really good!), a veggie bake with shrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, and such, or even a sausage gravy bake, with the whole thing covered in a heavenly country gravy. This is the way I like to cook. Using a basic outline, and then just using whatever ingredients sound good at the time.

Have fun experimenting! And as always, if you decide to try it, let me know what other awesome ways you can come up with to prepare it!!

Fox in the Snow Cafe – Columbus, OH

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The Fox in the Snow Cafe has been a huge hit since they opened for business last October. In a city that is far from short on coffee shops, this inconspicuous Italian Village space has become a powerhouse in a relatively short period of time. And it’s really quite simple how they did it: brew excellent, high-end coffee, offer amazingly satisfying food and outstanding homemade pastries, hire a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and wrap it all up in a clean, sleek, and comfortable atmosphere. In case you haven’t visited Fox in the Snow yet, let me show you exactly why you should…

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Fox in the Snow Cafe is located along N. 4th St, and might be tough to spot unless you happen to spy their playful, pouncing fox logo on the front of the building. Other than that, there is no official signage on the building’s painted cement block exterior. Inside, the space feels wide open, with tons of natural lighting.

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Ordering is easy at Fox in the Snow. Baristas are waiting with a smile behind the white and gray tiled counter, which is home to a long pour-over station, a beautiful espresso machine, and on the other end…some of the most incredible-looking pastries you’ll ever see.

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The natural wood tables, the exposed, industrial ceiling, and the little splashes of greenery and color create a perfect ambiance for sitting and enjoying some coffee or a delicious, light meal with friends, or for settling in with a good book and a couple of hours to kill.

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Fox in the Snow is deliberately old school, as is evidenced by their music system – a turntable and a box of vinyl. Now, don’t get me wrong…they play some pretty slick beats over the speakers here, but the “lo-fi” gig is all a part of encouraging community and togetherness, as opposed to every other shop in town where people sit zoned in on their laptops or iPhones. It’s oddly appealing and it seems to work.

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The large menu board behind the counter boldly proclaims your coffee, tea, or hot cocoa choices, as well as the sweet and savory food offerings that are available. The kitchen is located just to the right of the order counter, and is exposed behind glass windows so that you can watch the baking and other food preparation.

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Fox in the Snow Cafe uses coffee from Tandem Coffee Roasters in Maine, and the aroma of the shop is absolutely intoxicating. We tried the Cappuccino ($3.75) which was incredible.

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We also selected the Egg Sandwich ($6.00) to accommodate our drink. The sandwich was killer – crusty, chewy bread, a tender folded egg, salty, crispy bacon, gooey cheese, fresh greens, and swiped with a tangy, honey mustard sauce that just knocked it out of the park. It’s seriously one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve had in a while.

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Back to that pastry counter though…there are tons of fresh, house-made treats available too, like these giant, iced cinnamon rolls…

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There are also goodies like these pecan sticky buns, scones, blueberry muffins, biscuits, house-made granola and more!

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I was told that one of their biggest sellers are their house-made donuts that are filled with everything from vanilla cream to salty caramel! It all looked, and smelled, so good.

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We also sampled the Cortado ($3.25), which was strong, dark, and delicious.

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The blueberry Hand Pie ($3.50) was another definite winner. The crust was absolutely perfect – flaky, moist and tender, encasing delightful, perfectly-sweet, blueberry filling.

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Is there any doubt as to why the Fox in the Snow has been busy since day one?? When you combine all of the perfect attributes of an ideal coffee/bake shop, it comes out looking and feeling like success. Deservedly, that’s just what the Fox in the Snow is enjoying now.

Here’s hoping to many more successful years for them!!

Fox in the Snow Cafe is located at 1031 N. 4th St, Columbus, OH 43201 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM, and Saturday – Sunday, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For more info, check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

Fox in the Snow Cafe on Urbanspoon

Other Meals: El Pollo Perucho – Columbus, OH

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If you’ve never spent much time eating on the North or West sides of Columbus, I highly recommend you venture out to do so the next time you’re craving something deliciously different. These sections of town are home to some of the most underated and under-appreciated ethnic restaurants and food trucks in the city. They’re usually not fancy places, some not much bigger than a couple of tables in the back of a corner market, but they’re most often serving up the most authentic and unusual “Alt Eats” in town.  And if there’s anything that Bethia and Andy from Columbus Food Adventures has taught me, it’s to always be on the lookout for new and unfamiliar foods.  So when I had the opportunity to stop at El Pollo Perucho for my first ever taste of Peruvian cuisine, I jumped at the chance.

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El Pollo Perucho is located on Georgesville Rd, on the West side outskirts of the city. It’s perched in a small, newer shopping center just up the street from the Hollywood Casino, and in the same vicinity as many delicious taco trucks and other inconspicuous culinary gold mines are located. The space inside is bright and roomy, with the dining area consisting of 8-10 tables with seating for approximately 30-40 people. The owners were very friendly and welcomed me as I found a seat.

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Upon arriving, I quickly pulled up some info about the restaurant on Alt.Eats.Columbus, and learned that the thing to eat here is the Pollo a la Brasa, or Peruvian charcoal-grilled rotisserie chicken. The chicken is slow-turned in a huge indoor charcoal barbecue after being marinated in Peruvian spices and seasonings. They offer their delightful meals in three sizes: 1/4 chicken, 1/2 chicken and whole chicken. I ordered the 1/4 de Pollo meal ($6.00), which came with an order of french fries (which were fried fresh for my order and were actually pretty darn tasty) and a salad topped with cucumber, tomato, and radishes.

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The chicken was absolutely delicious. The skin was crispy and the seasoning had just a bit of a kick, but wasn’t overwhelming. The meat was moist and tender, and honestly I probably could have eaten another 1/4 pollo. The owner brought me a really tasty Peruvian yellow chili sauce called aji amarillo, that added some really good flavor. Again, it wasn’t as spicy as I was expecting, so I went ahead and just doused my whole portion of tasty yardbird with it.

The rest of the menu features a handful of other authentic dishes like Ceviche (fresh fish marinated with limes, onions, spicy peppers and cilantro) or a Lomo Saltado (sliced beef grilled with onions, tomatoes and french fries) and more. They also sell wings, fried chicken, and a few other Peruvian sides.

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I also ordered a Porcion de pinto beans ($2.99), which was listed as a side order. It came as a big bowl of hot, fresh beans that were nicely seasoned with onion and cilantro. Given the fact that I had the chicken combo to consume as well, I only finished about half the bowl – it really was that much food.

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El Pollo Perucho also offers ice cream and other frozen desserts for after your meal, and also has a few shelves of ethnic groceries that you can buy and take home to cook for you and your family.

I whole-heartedly enjoyed my first taste of Peruvian food. The Pollo a la Brasa was seriously some of the best rotisserie chicken I have ever eaten (in fact, just writing this post has me craving it right now!). The rest of the food was good, too, and the owners are very friendly and are willing to answer any questions you might have.

I love supporting these small, ethnic eateries in our city. It’s awesome to know that great spots like this are available around Columbus – sometimes it just takes a little bit of extra looking to find the hidden gems.

Pro tip: Want to try new foods, but not sure where to start? Check out Columbus Food Adventures’ Alt Eats Tour or their Taco Truck Tour!!

El Pollo Perucho is located at 727 Georgesville Rd., Columbus, OH 43228 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Thursday, from 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM, Friday – Saturday, 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM, and Sunday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For more info, check out their Facebook page HERE or Trip Advisor profile HERE.

El Pollo Perucho on Urbanspoon

The Pearl – Columbus, OH

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Although I’m not a fan of oysters, or a whole lot of different seafood for that matter (white fish, shrimp and crab are about all I go for), The Pearl has been on my list of brunches to eat in Columbus since they opened in early 2013. Its branding and theme have been built around their fresh oyster room, which calls to seafood lovers from all over the city. But even though soft, squishy creatures encased in shells aren’t really my thing, Cameron Mitchell restaurants most definitely are. His family of restaurants are very well-known throughout Cbus, from the upscale M at Miranova, to the newly opened Guild House right across the street, so it was a safe bet that The Pearl was poised to deliver the freshest quality foods and service, as all of CM’s restaurants are known to be. It’s  situated right along High St. in the Short North, and it was buzzing on a frigid Valentine’s Day morning when the wife and I stopped in for brunch.

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It’s safe to say that The Pearl is a combination of several styles and dining atmospheres all in one space. First, the main seating area is divided between 3 separate dining rooms. It’s dimly lit by amber-tinted ceiling lights, and the decor provides a tavern-like ambiance, with a slight antique boutique feel thrown in for good measure.

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An example of this was the huge room divider that we were seated right next to, which was made up of shelves filled with all sorts of tchotshkes.

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The bar area features several high-top tables as well as bar seating. The Pearl serves an exclusive collection of ales, lagers and stouts as well as classically inspired cocktails.

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Then there’s the oyster bar – a unique feature of The Pearl that many patrons love. It is functional for lunch and dinner, as well as brunch, and there were several folks dining in this section when we arrived. There are several varieties of oysters and other shellfish to choose from, as well as colossal blue crab, peel & eat shrimp, clams and more. A glass case is situated right along the top of the bar which is filled with fresh oysters on ice, and a side cart next to the counter holds condiments such as spices, sauces, and horseradish to customize your meal to your tastes.

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The brunch menu is separated into sections: Snacks, Starters, From The Oyster Room, Entrees, Sides, and Fresh Pies. The Snacks section features small appetizers like fried cheese curds, lamb meatballs, and spiced pickles. Starters are a little heftier, with selections like jalapeno spoon bread, salads, and a delicious charcuterie board. Entrees features some amazing main dishes such as huevos rancheros, a scrumptious-looking short rib poutine, steak & eggs, a Pub burger, and a Cuban sandwich. In addition, sides and desserts are available individually.

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I’m not sure if it was a special touch specifically for V-Day, or if they have them all the time, but the small candles at each table added a nice little romantic feel. Additionally, Mrs. Grub Guy really loved the vintage silverware, the rustic, wooden tabletops, and all of the details that added charm, like the glass bottle chandeliers, which I missed getting a picture of.

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The wife and I started our meal with a homemade Cinnamon Roll ($4.00) to share. It was fresh and warm, and was covered in a creamy and smooth vanilla icing.

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We also shared an order of Deviled Eggs ($6.00), which won the award of the day for presentation. Arriving on a cutting board and a chicken-shaped egg scale, these were perhaps the tastiest deviled eggs I have ever eaten. They were nicely chilled, and the smooth filling had a bit of a bite.

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As far as entrees go, Mrs. Grub Guy decided on the Chicken & Waffles ($14.00). While the portion size of this dish was a little small for the price in my opinion, the two waffle quarters and medium-sized, boneless, southern fried chicken breast was fresh and flavorful, according to the wife. The waffle was crisp on the outside, and the Ohio honey-glazed chicken was tender, hot and juicy. It came with a warm blueberry compote that she topped both her chicken and waffles with.

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I ordered the Tavern Benny ($12.00) which, according to the menu, appeared to be a combination of two of my favorite breakfast/brunch dishes – eggs benedict and sausage gravy & biscuits. This dish was big and filling. It consisted of a fresh split, buttermilk biscuit, topped with house made sausage patties, two poached eggs, and homemade sausage gravy.

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Assembled in the same fashion as a traditional eggs benedict, this version replaces the English muffin with a hot and flaky biscuit. The house-made sausage was absolutely outstanding and packed with flavor. Each patty was approximately 3/4″ thick, and was topped with a perfectly poached egg. It was smothered in a generous serving of homemade sausage gravy that was rich and creamy. I enjoyed it very much and would definitely order it again on a return visit.

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After our meal, our bill was delivered tucked inside of an old book, inside of which notes, jokes, and witty sayings were written by past guests. This delivery method is a trend I’ve seen several times in the last few months, and I really like it. It’s creative, it’s different (from what most places do anyway), and it’s fun.

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We both really enjoyed our Valentine’s Day brunch at The Pearl. The atmosphere was casual and cool, and the staff was pleasant and friendly. The Pearl probably has one of the larger brunch menus I’ve seen in a while, but every dish seems like it fits.

If oysters or other seafood is what you crave, The Pearl is definitely the spot for your brunching needs. You can grab a few mollusks on the half shell, and enjoy some excellent land-based brunch food, too! But if you’re like me and prefer to pass on the seafood, there’s still plenty to fill your table…and your belly.

The Pearl is located at 641 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Thursday, 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM, Friday, 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM, Saturday, 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM, and Sunday, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM. For more info, check out their website HERE, or the Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
The Pearl on Urbanspoon

February Gift Card Giveaway: Cravings Carryout Cafe!!

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Hey gang, it’s that time again…

As you know, every other month we give away a gift card to a local restaurant to show our appreciation for reading and following this blog!! This month, our friends at Cravings Carryout Cafe have donated a $15 gift card for us to give away to one of you. For a look at Cravings, read my recent review HERE.

This month, all you need to do is leave a comment telling me where you plan to take your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day this weekend!! I will randomly draw a winner from the replies, and will post a winner on Sunday, the 15th, at 5:00 PM.

As always, feel free to let your friends and family know about how easy it is to win, and tell them to visit TBGG to enter!!

***WINNER***

THE WINNER OF THE $15 CRAVINGS CARRYOUT CAFE GIFT CARD IS SARAH, WHO LEFT THE FOLLOWING COMMENT:

We are going to SuperChefs for breakfast. Can’t wait!!

CONGRATS, SARAH!! PLEASE EMAIL YOUR ADDRESS AND INFO TO ME AT THEBREAKFASTGRUBGUY@GMAIL.COM.

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED!!