Ah, Black Friday. A day where waking in the wee hours of the morning is more than just a tradition, it has become almost expected that just about everyone participate in it, by rushing out into the frenzied madness of shoppers looking for the deal of the season. However, one thing we often overlook while scheduling and mapping out our early morning trips, is where we will stop to refuel, in the form of a hearty, filling breakfast. This year, my family and I ended up at the Sunny Street Cafe in the Avery Rd/Perimeter Loop shopping centers of Dublin. I had never eaten at Sunny Street Cafe before, but I had heard that their breakfasts are among the best in town. So I, my wife, my six-year-old son, and my sister and brother-in-law decided to stop in and take a break from our busy morning. And boy, am I glad we did….
The Sunny Street Cafe is a local franchise of restaurants, with about a half-dozen or so locations around Columbus. Each one is individually owned and operated and each has its own atmosphere and feel. While I cannot speak for any of the other locations, the Dublin shop is just about as warm and inviting as a franchise restaurant can be. The first thing I noticed as I walked in the door was that the Cafe was much bigger than it looked from the outside. With openness being the key, the large, behind-the-counter area was well lit and widely exposed and it gave the restaurant an honest, “we’ve got nothing to hide” feel that many restaurants strive for. I like that, a lot.
There were several large, glass cases full of fresh-baked pastries and deserts. Among my favorites were the Ohio State Buckeyes-themed cookies and cupcakes….
The owner, Asch, greeted us as soon as we walked in the door. We were seated at the “Best seat in the house” within just a minute or two of our arrival, which was pretty impressive, considering that it was a busy holiday weekend . He and several other staff members we interacted with were all very friendly, and our server, Tierra, was outstanding.
There are lots of little details at the Sunny Street Cafe that gave us a really great first impression. One of which was the fact that each and every table was stocked with condiments, sugars/sweeteners for coffee or tea, jellies and jams for toast, and plenty of creamer…buckets of Irish Cream, Hazelnut, and French Vanilla, in abundance!! This was a really big deal to me, because it is seriously one of my biggest pet-peeves when a restaurant doesn’t have enough of these little luxuries, or doesn’t offer them at all.
The menu is compiled nicely, it’s easy to read, and the prices are affordable. Sunny Street Cafe is famous for their seasonal pancakes, and their freshly-made corned beef hash. They also have a “build your own omelette” menu and many different specialties like a salmon benedict, stuffed biscuits & gravy, and “One-of-a kind” french toast (more about that in a minute). Since there were five of us, we tried to order a big variety of breakfasts. I was in a “red meat” kind of mood, so I opted for the chicken-fried steak breakfast, which included eggs, hash browns and toast….
I can honestly say that there was not much about this meal that I didn’t enjoy. First of all, the steak was cooked perfectly. It was golden brown and crispy on the outside, tender and hot on the inside - not hard and dry like I’ve had so many other places. Instead of plain white gravy, it was topped with sausage gravy, which just added to the already wonderful flavor of the meal. The eggs were cooked exactly the way I like them – not too dry, and not too wet. The hash browns were golden brown, slightly crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside…again, perfect, and the toast was buttery. I was impressed.
My wife ordered the corned beef hash breakfast, which came with eggs & toast. She said it was really good, and she loved the way the hash was cooked into a crisp patty or loaf style, instead of just loosely piled on the plate. She said the potatoes and onions were flavorful and mixed well with the tender, shredded corned beef. Thumbs up from a corned beef lover!!
We ordered the Dinosaur pancake for my son, from the kids menu, which came with a side of bacon. When he had his fill, I sampled his pancake and it was light, fluffy, and flavorful.
My sister ordered the “One of a kind” french toast, and I have got to say, this is a true gem of this restaurant. The menu describes the french toast as “coated in a delicious blend of fresh granola, coconut and brown sugar, then cooked to a delightful crunch.” She took one bite and just about melted. She insisted I taste it, so I did and it was honestly one of the best breakfast treats I have tasted in a long time. I would come back to Sunny Street Cafe again if for no other reason than just for this french toast (but there are PLENTY of other reasons)!
Finally, my brother-in-law opted for the “Build-your-own omelette” meal, and filled it with a super manly combination of SSC’s homemade chili, jalapenos and pepper-jack cheese. Now, Mike is a man a few words, but he did make it a point to say that the chili was delicious, the hash browns were cooked perfectly and he appreciated the buttery toast. Yet another satisfied customer.
I had the opportunity to chat with the owner, Asch, for a few minutes at the end of our meal. He was a very nice guy and it is obvious that he takes pride in his restaurant, as well he should. This local franchise restaurant was a huge hit with me and my family. It filled our bellies and gave us the energy we needed to continue on with our Black Friday adventures. But hey, Black Friday only comes around once a year, and I am definitely not waiting until then to come back and get some more of this great food!!
The Sunny Street Cafe is located at 7042 Hospital Dr. (in the shopping centers at Avery Rd. and Perimeter Loop), Dublin, OH, 43017 (Map). They are open from 6:30am – 2:30pm, Monday – Sunday. You can visit them at http://www.sunnystreetcafe.com or on Facebook for more information.