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Hey everybody!

I’m excited to officially announce a new event that we’ve been working on that will be happening on October 25th – it’s called TBGG’s Columbus Donut Crawl: Fall Edition!! Our inaugural event is set to be a self-drive/self-pay tour that will include 6 stops at some of the yummiest donut shops and bakeries on the West, North, and North-central sides of Columbus, with a “Spring Edition” coming early next year focusing on downtown, East and South.

Itinerary:

We’ll be meeting up at the Lil’ Donut Factory at 4345 Scioto Darby Rd. in Hilliard (43026) on Columbus’ West side on the morning of Saturday, the 25th, at 8:00 am. I will be introducing everyone to the owner of the shop, and you will have a chance to buy whatever, or how ever many donuts you want to try, and we will continue that trend via caravan to each of our stops along the way. This way, there is no cost  (aka FREE!!) to join us on the tour itself, and you can spend as much, or as little, as you want to! Again, since this is a no cost event, please plan to purchase your own donuts on the donut crawl.

Our additional stops will be at Auddino’s Bakery & Cafe at Mill Run (Hilliard), Honey Dip Donuts & Diner (UA), DK Diner (Grandview), Buckeye Donuts (Campus area), and Schneider’s Bakery (Westerville). We may stop for coffee along the way (I’ll leave that up to the group), but I will provide bottled water as well.

So, do you have plans for the morning of October 25th? If not, grab your friends and family and come hang out with me and we’ll sample some of the tastiest treats in all of Columbus together! If you plan on joining us, please either leave a note by clicking the “talk bubble” at the top of this post to let me know, or send me an email at thebreakfastgrubguy@gmail.com so that I can get an accurate head count.

Hope to see you there!!

 

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I have been a lover of Asian food since the first time I shoved my pudgy little fist full of fried rice into my mouth at a local Chinese restaurant at the early age of about two. Since then, I’ve scored a pretty high “been there” percentage at most of the take-out and sit-down Chinese joints in and around Columbus. But in recent years, I’ve broadened my horizons by adding other Asian cuisines, like Filipino and Thai food, to my rotation, and I enjoy discovering new dishes all the time. Lucky for me, the house we moved to this past Spring is located just around the corner from one of the most popular, and most authentic, Thai restaurants in town – Bangkok Grocery & Restaurant.

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The exterior of the building is fairly deceptive – because the restaurant is combined with an Asian grocery market, you wouldn’t expect the seating area to be very large. The dining room, however, seats roughly 30-40 patrons and maximizes every inch of space without being cramped. Now, honestly, the place just kind of has the feel of a 1970’s lounge or something (maybe it’s just me), but overall it’s pretty clean and comfortable. The counter is filled with all kinds of novelties, candies, specialty foods and simple desserts that are available to purchase and enjoy whether you’re dining in or taking out.

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One of the greatest aspects of Bangkok Grocery & Restaurant to me, is the staff. Every time we’ve been here (probably 5-6 times in the past 8 months we’ve lived close by), the servers, greeters, and everyone we’ve ever encountered have been so extremely fantastic. It’s obvious that they appreciate us being there, and they’re sure to make you feel welcome and comfortable. Even the kitchen staff is careful to pay special attention to any requests that you may have with your food or order. Just top-notch service.

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The other half of the equation is the grocery side of the building. Accessible by a doorway from the dining room, as well as separate exterior doors, the market is packed with Asian groceries and unique items that you just cant find at other ethnic markets, along with some regular grocery store stuff too, at much cheaper prices! What a better way to spend the short wait time for your meal than to stroll the market and make some new discoveries! They even do jewelry repair here, too!

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The menu at Bangkok is as authentic as you’ll find anywhere in Columbus. Most Thai dishes revolve around a combination of noodles and meat, mixed with a variety of vegetables and spices. Bangkok offers many Thai specialties, authentic soups (their Pho is excellent!), and protein-specific dishes with incredible flavors. They will even adjust the spiciness of your food according to your tastes, upon request. They also serve several familiar Chinese dishes as an option for those who are looking for something a little less adventurous.

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We started with an order of the Woonsen Sen Nam Sei ($7.95), which was certainly a large enough portion for the three of us to share. Pricing on most of their meals depends on the type of meat you want to add. We ordered shrimp in this delicious dish, but you can also opt for chicken, pork, duck, or a seafood combination. The shrimp were added to this delicate bean thread noodle soup along with bean sprouts, green onion and cilantro.  These are the kinds of soups that you can make an entire meal out of. Everything was so light and flavorful, and extremely enjoyable.

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In stark contrast to the delicate starter soup, the Pad See Ew ($8.95) is a hefty entrée with loads of flavor. Most Thai restaurants offer an ample selection of pad (meaning “fried” or “stir-fried” style ) entrée selections, and Bangkok Grocery & Restaurant is certainly no exception. Pad See Ew features a wide or broad rice noodle that reminded me very much of large, homemade egg noodles in appearance and texture. They are fried “dry” in dark soy sauce, with Chinese broccoli, egg, and again, our choice of protein (this time, beef). It was hearty and earthy, and was absolutely delicious!!

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As I mentioned before, they also serve several “Americanized” Chinese dishes, like this Sweet & Sour Chicken w/ steamed rice ($8.95). We thought it would be a safe pick for our 8-year old, since this is one of his usual faves at our frequented take-out spots. It was your standard, golden-fried chicken pieces with the sauce on the side. It was hot, fresh and tender, and the sauce was actually much milder than some of those other places. Overall, he enjoyed it very much, and the portion size was so large that he was able to take an abundance of leftovers home for another meal.

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The Gai Pad Khing ($7.95) is a dish that we have ordered before and one that Mrs. Grub Guy really enjoys. It combines thinly sliced chicken breast that’s been stir-fried with ginger, mushrooms, green and white onions, and a spicy sauce (she also ordered a side of peanut sauce and spooned a little of that over the chicken). Again, the dish was gigantic (the wife plated her own into small portions), and it’s really the kind of thing that you just want to keep eating and eating. All of the flavors and seasonings are pretty mild, until the back-end spice kicks in. It’s a relatively simple and basic dish for Thai food, but its classic sauce makes it a winner!

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After our meal we enjoyed a Bangkok Restaurant novelty dessert, the Lotus Blossom ($1.75/3). These beauties sit along the front counter and are available to customers to take at will. When I inquired about them, I was told that they are a deep-fried delicate pastry/cookie made with black Thai sesame seeds, and are designed so that you can break pieces off to eat as much, or as little, as you’d like to. The flavor reminded me of a cross between a funnel cake and a fortune cookie – very simple and not too sweet. They were extremely light and crispy, and weren’t greasy or oily at all. The whole family enjoyed them, and we’ll definitely be looking for more of them again next time!

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I can totally see why Bangkok Grocery & Restaurant has been ranked among the best Thai restaurants in Columbus for over 30 years. Don’t let the modest surroundings fool you – these guys will totally blow you away with fresh and amazing, authentic Asian food. One of my cardinal rules when it comes to ethnic restaurants is that I want to eat where the people of that ethnicity eat. If you walk into an Asian restaurant full of average Joe’s eating things like chicken wings and cream cheese-filled fried wontons, there is a good chance that some, if not most, of the menu has been altered or customized to American tastes and expectations (i.e. lots of fatty, fried foods, overly sweet sauces, etc.). However, if you go in and see an abundance of patrons of that specific ethnicity enjoying the cuisine, it’s a pretty safe bet that the authenticity of the food is on point. That is the true measure of any ethnic restaurant, in my opinion. And I can tell you that every time I have been to Bangkok, that has definitely been the case. What a great testimony to the power of awesome food!

I highly encourage you, no matter where you live in or around Cbus, to venture to the Southeast side the next time you’re in a Thai food kind of mood. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Bangkok Restaurant is located at 3277 Refugee Rd, Columbus, OH 43232 (Map). They’re open Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm. For more info, check them our on Facebook, Instagram, or at their website.

Bangkok on Urbanspoon

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This past Friday, I had the privilege of attending an exclusive event celebrating the opening of Giant Eagle’s newest Market District store in Grandview. After months of planning and preparing, Market District Grandview Yard, located at W. 3rd Ave & Edgehill Rd, debuted to an incredible amount of media coverage, special appearances, and shoulder-to-shoulder shoppers wanting to check out the new digs. As part of the day, I was invited by Giant Eagle’s social media department to an exclusive breakfast and a meet & greet with world famous chef and TV personality, Mario Batali. Mrs. Grub Guy already had plans, so I invited my sister to come along with me. We arrived at the store to an already half-full parking lot at about a quarter to nine in the morning, and as we entered, we were escorted to a second floor meeting room that was prepared for our group.

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The stylishly-decorated meeting room was located just off of the second floor cafe/dining area, with a walk-out that led to an outdoor second story patio (very cool!). We were eventually joined by several other Columbus food bloggers and their guests, and were treated to a nice breakfast.

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We started with a couple of large platters of freshly-baked bagels, fruit-filled danishes, muffins, and donuts, along with several varieties of Starbucks coffee from their spot downstairs.

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We were served a fresh and really delicious sausage, egg & cheese breakfast bake and a side of roasted potatoes. Everything was savory and satisfying, and I really liked the flavor of the sausage inside the casserole.

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And then of course, I had to grab a cream-filled long john and some fresh java.

After breakfast, we were told that Chef Mario would be in momentarily to meet us. I must admit that I was pretty pumped. I have been a huge fan of his since the early days of the Food Network, when I used to watch his show and copy recipes into a notebook for future use (I probably still have it somewhere!). Chef Mario was at the event to promote the new store and to host a cooking demo later that morning, as well as a meet & greet for fans who purchased tickets.

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After several moments, Chef Mario came into the room, pulled up a chair, and started chatting as if it was the most natural thing in the world. He invited us to gather around the table with him, and we spent the next twenty minutes or so in a casual conversation with one of the most famous chef’s in the world. I was totally thrilled to be in the same room with the man, much less a few feet away. He was very friendly and personable as he answered some of the questions we had about his career, his family, travelling, and more.

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After stepping out for a brief TV interview, he returned to take photos with anyone who wanted one. What an awesome experience!

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We were eventually taken downstairs and escorted to a special seating area for the exclusive “media event”, which included an introduction by local TV personality Johnny DiLoretto, some words from a couple of Market District CEO’s, and the cooking demonstration by Chef Mario, where he made delicious gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches with ricotta and tomatoes…

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And, of course, the official ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of Market District Grandview Yard.

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We were also treated to a personal group tour of the new facility by Head Chef Ben D’Arrico. The new store is similar to Market District’s other Columbus area locations at the Kingsdale Plaza and at Perimeter Loop in Dublin, in that there is a wide variety of gourmet prepared foods available, along with several in-house, food court-type restaurants which prepare delicious meals like fresh pizzas, sandwiches, sushi, a hot Asian wok station, An American-style grill, a fully stocked bar with local craft beer on tap, and more! As we toured, I snapped a few photos along the way. These photos are seriously just a drop in the bucket of the enormous variety of specialty foods and other groceries that Market District offers…

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I’d like to offer a HUGE thank you to Market District for inviting me to this event. We had an awesome time seeing the beautiful new store and getting to meet Chef Mario. Market District Grandview Yard is indeed one of the premier marketplaces in Columbus for specialty foods and groceries. If you didn’t have a chance to check them out on opening weekend, head over to Grandview soon to see for yourself just how fabulous this place is!

I recently had the pleasure of being part of a pow-wow with two fellow Columbus bloggers, Alicia and Alexis of Wander & Whine, where we had the ingenious idea of collaborating together for the benefit of our readers. In case you hadn’t heard, Wander & Whine is a hip new blog with a unique format, where these awesome ladies tag-team their way through posts about food, travel, local events, fashion and much more! It’s always a fun and entertaining read, and I’m a big fan of theirs, so I invited them to pen a guest spot for TBGG. Please enjoy this post (as well as their great photos) detailing one of their recent brunch visits and be sure to check them out at http://www.wanderandwhine.com!!

                                    ww2coral

Alicia and I were so excited when The Breakfast Grub Guy invited us to do a guest appearance on his blog. We are HUGE fans of local food (have you met us yet?), so, naturally, we’re fans of the Guy, and his noble quest for worthy breakfasts from one side of Ohio to the other.

We thought long and hard about where we’d meet up for brunch, and finally settled on Grandview’s Third & Hollywood. Husband and I had been here a few years ago fro Valentine’s Day (bacon-wrapped dates equal romance in my book), but we’d never made it in for brunch.

Inside dining

The place is just off busy Grandview Avenue, and feels a little bit like LA in the middle of Columbus. The rich brick and the sleek finishes lend a polished, hip look to the interior. The wine rack yawns over the dining room opposite the hulking but cozy fireplace.

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The bar beckons from the side, promising an expertly mixed cocktail and more than a few bottles of good wine.

Another patio shot

The day we met was a singularly beautiful morning. Warm, but not too muggy, so we chose a table on the gorgeous patio.

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With our husbands, we were party of four, so we grabbed the last, massive and hip table outside.

Biscuits

My husband and I never turn down an appetizer, so we ordered a skillet of cheddar biscuits for the table. These bad boys are the real deal: they are crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and perfectly cheese-y.

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There’s more than a hint of onion and garlic, and they fall apart delightfully on your plate.

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When it came to main dishes, we were all over the place. I was craving some roughage, so I went for the classic Caesar salad with the added bonus of chicken and avocado. I’m a fan of anything with giant pieces of avocado sprinkled throughout, and the salad was crisp, and fresh, just how I like it. The dressing wasn’t my favorite: it didn’t have the classic caesar tang, and there was altogether too much of it, but the chicken and sprinkled cheese were delicious.

Steak and Eggs

Husband went with a predictably meatier dish, and ordered the Steak and Eggs. His eggs were cooked to a perfect over-easy consistency, and the steak was juicy and tender. All mixed together, I think they were a bit of a triumph: and what is heartier than a well-cooked steak wrapped in firm and creamy eggs. The salad on the side was a nice, palate cleansing, touch, too.

Alicia and her husband stuck to breakfast food, but I’ll have her share that bit.

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Alexis wasn’t kidding when she said we were all over the place. I hadn’t been to Third & Hollywood in a year or so–I had managed to exhaust myself with back-to-back brunches where all I ate was the Deep Dish Nutella French Toast. For old times sake, I kind of thought that’s what I’d order, but then the siren song of chorizo and eggs got me off course.

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You really can’t blame me. This was an iron skillet heaped with veggies, black beans, avocado, chorizo, and cheddar topped with eggs–it couldn’t be denied. I half thought I’d order the French toast as “dessert,” but once I started chipping away at this mountain of food, I thought better of it.

I’ve been harping on about the Nutella French toast, but some of you may have realized it’s not actually on the menu (good catch). So here’s the deal, it’s not actually on the menu, but you can still order it. By coincidence, I was talking to a Third & Hollywood employee at a recent business event, and she told me that although the Nutella French toast is not on the brunch menu, the kitchen still whips up limited batches and will sell them until they are out. Pro tip of the day.

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My husband’s order was pretty standard breakfast fare. He had the Classic Breakfast which comes with two Ohio organic eggs, applewood smoked bacon (or Niman Chorizo), and warm biscuits. I know Alexis has already sung her praises of these biscuits, but let me just say that I could come here for the biscuits alone. Anything that fluffy and dripping with garlic, cheese, and butter is top notch in my book. Make sure you order some when you visit.

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Along with great food, the atmosphere can’t be beat. The kitchen is somewhat exposed, and there’s a constant flurry of activity behind the scenes.

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There is also live music during brunch, and we popped inside to listen to some jazz for a clip. Like Alexis said, the inside is sleek and polished, but it doesn’t feel at all pretentious.

If you’re interested in experiencing Third & Hollywood for yourself, they do brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Spoiler: they are located at Third and Hollywood at 1433 West Third Avenue in Grandview. Though they do not do traditional reservations, they accept reservations for groups of six or more in the Vintage Room. Groups of six to eight may make online reservations up to one month in advance. For private events or groups of nine or more, you can give them a ring at(614) 488-0303.

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If you’ve ever driven south from Columbus on Route 23, you’ve more than likely driven past Virginia’s Portside Cafe, and chances are, you probably never even knew it. In fact, the usually full parking lot would probably be the only hint that may give this place away as somewhere that people want to be. Virginia’s Portside Cafe is marked only by an easy-to-miss sign that shares a pole with another business, and a tiny “open” sign behind a slightly tinted front window. Technically, Portside Cafe’s zip code tells us they’re located in Lockbourne, OH, but the diner is barely just three miles South of I-270, and just a half-mile or so up the road past the Scioto Downs Racino.

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For as much as the exterior screams “totally random building”, as soon as you walk through the front door you get “rural highway, truck stop diner”. Inside is a big, bright dining area that is actually semi-separated into three different dining rooms. The nice, rustic hardwood floors were the first thing that caught my eye, since I’m usually a big fan. On a busy Saturday morning, the service was seat-yourself, so the wife & boy and I made our way into one of the back two areas and found an open table.

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Aside from the floors, the other thing I noticed was how clean the restaurant was. Now, not to say that I was expecting a hole in the wall, but from the outside, you really just don’t know what you’re going to find when you go inside. It’s an older building with an interior that could probably stand some updating in the design and decor departments, but it seemed to me that the owners and staff spend more time focusing their efforts on food quality and cultivating relationships with their customers than worrying about if their curtains are outdated, and I can’t really fault them for that. It’s obvious that they do a lot of business from regulars who have been eating there for years and years, and from truck drivers travelling to and from Columbus. As long as the grub is good, those kinds of core customers usually don’t mind a lack of trendy decorating.

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Speaking of decor, we did enjoy looking at some of the different antiques that are displayed in the diner. A couple of old Singer sewing machines sit at the pay counter which were really interesting, and there were also a couple of antique tables in the front lobby area which display some old ceramic pitchers and water basins. Really cool stuff!

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The menu at Portside Cafe is 100% classic diner fare. There are lots of simple egg, meat and potatoes combos, classic pancakes and French toast dishes, a nice variety of omelets and breakfast sandwiches, and some a la cart items, too. Most of the prices are amazingly affordable (there are a few steak & eggs dishes at a higher price point in the $13 – $16 range), and are really a steal for the portion sizes you get!

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I knew I wanted just a basic diner breakfast, so I ordered the 2 Eggs, Home Fries, Bacon & Toast combo ($5.89), and substituted two homemade biscuits instead of the toast for $.49 more. I also ordered a small bowl of Sausage Gravy ($1.59) on the side. Our server was great, and made sure she got all of our food just the way we wanted it. I ordered my eggs over easy which came out perfect, and the home fries were more like what I would call fried potatoes – they were sliced thin with a soft interior and a slight exterior crust, instead of seasoned and diced like typical “home fries”. My meal included four slices of deliciously crispy bacon that weren’t too greasy, and the coffee was classic diner brown.

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I was extremely satisfied with the super moist, homemade biscuits. They were dense and flavorful, and held together well under all that gravy. The sausage gravy was most definitely home-made. It was thick and creamy, but could have used a little more seasoning for my taste. Overall, I was very satisfied with my food, especially for such a good price.

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Mrs. Grub Guy ordered the 2 Eggs, Corned Beef Hash, and Toast combo ($5.89). This is where the magic of home-cooking comes alive. The wife grew up on simple foods like canned corned beef hash, so when her plate was brought to the table, she was totally excited. She said that it reminded her of breakfast at home as a kid, which made her enjoy it all the more. The hash had a nice crust on it that she loved. She ordered rye toast which came out nicely buttered, and warm.

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Surprisingly, the boy passed on his usual hotcakes or French toast, and wanted the 2 Eggs, Bacon and Toast combo ($5.09). Again, it was a great plate of classic morning food – nicely cooked “dippy eggs”, yummy bacon, and buttered toast.

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Another thing Portside Cafe is known for is their delicious, homemade desserts…especially their pies! This beautiful cherry pie was all packed up and ready to go to a customer when the owner offered to give me a peek. They also had a variety of cream pies, cakes, cream puffs and cheesecake in the cooler. Next time, I’ve got to save room for some of this!

We enjoyed our breakfast at Virginia’s Portside Cafe. It’s a great place to visit when you’re in the mood for a simple, straight-forward breakfast in big portions. It’s definitely got the homey feel of a country-style, small-town diner and even though it’s only just a quick 5 minute drive from the outer belt, the semi-rural setting makes it feel like you’ve discovered a great place to eat out in the middle of nowhere.

Next time you’re in the mood for a relaxing, fancy-free breakfast that’s served all day, head south of the city to find Portside Cafe’s friendly staff waiting to serve you a great meal. Just look for the plain-looking building with the jam-packed parking lot!

Virginia’s Portside Cafe is located at 6515 S. High St, Lockbourne, OH 43137 (Map). They’re open 7 days a week from 5:30 am – 10:30 pm, and serve breakfast all day. For more info, check out their page on Facebook.

Portside Cafe on Urbanspoon

Gift Card Giveaway!!!

Posted: August 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

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It’s giveaway time!!

Summer is coming to an end, school has started, and everyone is feeling a little stressed, right? So I figured, what a great time to give some stuff away!

Our friends at Katzinger’s Delicatessen have graciously given us more $25 gift cards to give away to TBGG readers, and you don’t even have to jump through hoops for them. All you need to do is comment on this post and tell me which breakfast or brunch spot you’d like to see me review in an upcoming post! That’s it! Just recommend your favorite breakfast or brunch spot in town, or pick a spot you’re curious about and want the low-down on. I will choose 2…that’s right, 2…random winners Monday evening, August 25th at 11:00 pm, and each will receive a $25 gift card. Winners will be posted here on Tuesday morning!

Spread the word…TBGG is giving away $50 in Katzinger’s Deli grub!! Have your family and friends submit their suggestions, too (and maybe you can talk them into taking you to breakfast with their free moolah!).

 

***** WINNER UPDATE!! ***** Based off of numbers randomly drawn by Mrs. Grub Guy, the winners of the $25 gift cards are Tom Anderson and AlohaJo!!! Congrats guys, please send me an email with your addresses so I can mail you your prizes. Thanks so much to everyone who submitted suggestions. Watch for more giveaways in the near future!!

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One of the OSU campus area’s newest restaurant/bar combo spots, Ethyl & Tank, was the appointed meeting site of a recent guys breakfast I had arranged with a couple of buddies, which we usually try to do together every couple of months. Located just about a block off of High St. and right across from the Student Union, Ethyl & Tank is a long, brick building with a slender patio out front, and a cool, retro neon sign that marks the otherwise unassuming exterior of the building. I’ve been wanting to check out E & T since they opened earlier this year, and figured that the trendy campus restaurant that’s also part coffee shop/part bar/part arcade (yes, you read that right), would be a great grub spot on a Saturday morning. I took Grub Boy (aka. my eight-year-old) along with me, and we arrived at around 9:00am and grabbed one of the several empty metered spots right out front.

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Ethyl & Tank is brought to us by the same folks who gave us the Crest Gastropub, and as much as people like to down its elder sibling for their struggling quality and higher prices, Ethyl & Tank is making a name for itself as a hip neighborhood joint where you can find tasty, Southern-inspired meals from morning to late night, and for a great price, too! E & T is as visually appealing as any place in town, with bright colors, a wide-open floor plan, exposed brick, high ceilings, and much more to look at.  The perplexing name is derived from a now defunct gas station/truck stop somewhere in Georgia, which inspired the rugged concept of the restaurant itself. In fact, much of the original lighting and signage from the shop was used to bring life to this new space.
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When you first enter, you’re standing in the space glowingly appointed as “Ethyl”, a full-service coffee shop where the drink menu is divided into “Classics” and “Specialties”. Here, you can order up anything from a basic cuppa joe to iced coffees, frozen drinks, pour-overs, and more. They also offer bagels, cookies, and other pastries for take out or as a pre- or post meal snack.

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The restaurant and bar side of the operation is the main focus of the space just to the left of the coffee shop. As I mentioned, the bright and vibrant colors, as well as the rustic brick, make this attractive area a hip, fun place to come enjoy happy hour at the bar – aka “Tank” – where there are almost 40 beers on tap, or the perfect spot to fill up on anything from breakfast and brunch to satisfying those late night hangover munchies.

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Speaking of drinks, a lot of people like to partake of them with their brunch/breakfast, so Ethyl & Tank have you covered – aside from the bar, they offer an extensive Bloody Mary bar for just $5.00. I’m not a fan of vodka or tomato juice, but if I was, I’d be pumped at the awesome selection of mixes, spices, add-ins, and garnishes that are available.
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I’m more of a fan of coffee with my breakfast, so I decided to ask our server about their coffee selection. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to order something at “Ethyl” and walk it to my table, or if I could order with her. She offered to bring a sample of one of their two house specialties – the “Congo”, which she described as dark and chocolatey, or the lighter, fruitier “Summer Punch”.  She brought me this tiny E & T branded sample mug, containing a few sips of the latter, which was later confirmed to be a blend of a couple different Ethiopian flavors. I ordered up a cup, and was very happy to be able to enjoy such a great coffee with my meal.

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The menu at Ethyl & Tank seems to lean toward being both a little bit Southwestern, and a little bit Southern-fried. I was hugely disappointed when our server announced to us as soon as we sat down that they were completely out of pork. I had been eyeing the Tank Pancakes all day the day before, as I browsed their menu online, and had my taste buds totally prepared to devour a big stack of flapjacks topped with pulled pork and cheddar cheese. I was crushed. She did offer to substitute steak or chicken for any dish that regularly included the pork, but it just didn’t have the same appeal. Nevertheless, I had to regroup. I wasn’t worried though, because E & T’s breakfast menu is loaded with lots of breakfast options, like breakfast tacos, fried egg chicken fried steak, a chicken & waffles sandwich, orange blossom french toast and more.

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We started our meal with a plate of the Biscuits & Chorizo Gravy ($6.00) for the table. The four of us completely devoured these…ok, ok…it was mostly me that devoured these. But the other guys helped (a little). The biscuits were baseball-sized drop biscuits that were dense and moist, and were covered in a lake of creamy, flavorful white gravy. The deliciously spicy chorizo was sprinkled on top, and was proportioned very well. This has got to be one of my new favorite biscuits & gravy dishes in Columbus.

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Ethyl & Tank doesn’t have a kids menu per se, but that didn’t deter my son in the least. He spotted his usual favorite, the Pancakes ($7.00). These cakes are thick and fluffy and big – everything you want a stack of pancakes to be. They come with one of four toppings – mixed berry compote, Jameson maple syrup, rosemary apple cinnamon compote, and Nutella banana custard. Being a creature of habit, the boy requested just plain old maple syrup to top his stack. I asked if we could have some of the mixed berry compote on the side in case he changed his mind.

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My buddy Roman ordered the American Tank Scramble ($7.00), which was one of those dishes that should have come with the pulled pork but didn’t. I believe he substituted the chicken in its place. It was an extra large portion (looked to be at least a 3 egger) and also included bacon, onion, diced tomatoes, and was topped with cheddar jack cheese. You’ve just gotta love a good scramble some times.

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My cousin ordered another of the huge scramble dishes, the South American Scramble ($7.00). This one again was a huge plate-filler that combined eggs, chorizo, green chiles, tomatoes, onions, and was topped with queso fresco and salsa, and came with four corn tortillas. I liked the fact that the tortillas were included, so that you have the option of making breakfast tacos if you wanted to. He really enjoyed this dish, and said that the flavors were really vibrant and lively.

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In lieu of the Tank Pancakes, I ordered the recommended Smothered Breakfast Burrito ($7.00). Burritos aren’t something that I order very often for breakfast, but I decided to give this one a try. It was a huge portion, and was filled with scrambled eggs, chorizo, black bean corn salsa, potatoes, sour cream, and was topped with their house made Bloody Mary mix and melted cheddar jack cheese.

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The filling was hot and gooey and was a mix of lots of flavors and textures. It was good, but I wasn’t blown away. I’m still trying to find a breakfast burrito where the stuff on the inside has as much flavor, or more so, than the sauces or cheeses on the outside. It wasn’t bad, and it filled me up plenty.

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The boy was anxiously awaiting blasting some video game bad guys, so after breakfast we headed upstairs to check out the arcade. E & T’s game room is stocked with a dozen or so 80’s arcade games that are all set to free play. They’ve got some classics up there such as Pac-man, Street Fighter 2, TMNT…

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And his favorite of the day, Terminator 2. He could have stayed for hours.

We all really enjoyed our breakfast at Ethyl & Tank. I think the space itself is spectacular, with the beautiful colors and decor. The food was just a bit hit and miss for me, but I think that’s because I’m still disappointed I didn’t get my Tank Pancakes. Everything else was wonderful, including our servers. The restaurant is still very young, but has everything it takes to survive in the ever-changing landscape of a college campus – a great coffee shop, an impressive bar, a delicious menu, and even a free arcade.

It’s a great addition to the Columbus breakfast scene, and one that I’m sure we will be visiting again soon.

Ethyl & Tank is located at 19 E. 13th Ave, Columbus, OH 43201 (Map). They’re open Monday – Sunday, 7:00 am – 2:00 am. For more info, like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter or Instagram.

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