On a recent cold and rainy morning, the wife & I ventured out to German Village and decided to check out the German Village Coffee Shop. A friend of ours, who moved to Columbus from Texas, recently determined that she was going to find a new favorite place to eat, and among the great spots she’s discovered for breakfast, she found this little gem along Thurman Ave. She absolutely loves this place (seriously, she’s been several times a week for the past month!). This got me thinking and wondering why, since GV Coffee Shop has been around for decades, have I never made it a point to stop in for breakfast?
This comfortable eatery is located in a small strip of restaurants and shops, which includes places like Easy Street Café and the Columbus landmark, Thurman Café. We stepped inside the doorway and found a packed house awaiting us. Thankfully, there was a lone, open booth tucked in the back of the dining room, and we scooted in.
The interior consists of seven or eight booths along the left wall and a counter with a dozen or so stools on the right, overlooking the flat-top. For me, there’s no better place to chow down on some good breakfast grub than a little, intimate diner. The building is old, the décor lackluster, and the overhead lighting dim, although each table has its own little side lamp, which is kind of cool. The place could totally be considered an authentic greasy spoon, which makes it all the better, in my opinion.
The placemats double as pre-meal entertainment in the form of a seek-and-find puzzle, to pass the time between placing your order and the arrival of your food (My wife and I had a little competition to see who could find the most before our grub came to the table – she kicked my butt, of course). Speaking of the food, the German Village Coffee Shop’s breakfast menu is pretty simple and strait-forward, and their prices are probably some of the cheapest in town! The Mrs. and I both ordered coffee, which was hot and satisfying. Our server was very friendly and took the time to chat and joke with us, and she even made suggestions since it was our first visit.
On our server’s recommendation, I ordered the stack of Three Chocolate Chip Hotcakes ($4.25). She warned me beforehand that each one was “as big as your head”, which sounded like a challenge to me. She suggested I add a smear of peanut butter to the flapjacks, and said that’s the way a lot of people like them. When they arrived, they were piping hot and were, indeed, about as round as my noggin.
As I spread the peanut butter on the hot pancakes, it melted and became like a thin syrup itself. She suggested I also top it with a swirl of maple syrup, and said that some people find the dish a little dry without it. The combination of the delicious flavor of the pancake batter, the chocolate chips, the melted peanut butter, and the maple syrup was incredibly good. It was sweet, almost like a dessert, yet starchy and filling. I made it through about two-thirds of the stack before I had to tap out.
I also ordered a Side of Breakfast Meat ($1.95). I was having difficulty choosing between the bacon and sausage (both rock with pancakes!!), and our friendly waitress suggested I make it a half order of each. I got two strips of crisp, perfectly cooked, thick-cut bacon and a sausage patty that was a little overcooked for my taste, but still had good flavor. Obviously, a full order would have been four strips of bacon or two sausage patties, respectively, but I’m glad I did it this way.
Mrs. Grub Guy ordered the Ham & Cheese Omelet ($4.50), which was a large, three-egger filled with diced ham and lots of cheddar cheese. It came with a side of toast, and she opted for her favorite, rye. The ham & cheese combo was sweet & salty, and she said the eggs were fluffy and filling.
She also ordered a single Blueberry Hotcake ($2.25). Her pancake was the same XL size, although a little easier to handle since it was only one. She enjoyed the flavor of the pancake itself, accented by an abundance of whole blueberries throughout. The waitress told us that blueberries had gotten so expensive that they’ve had to cut back a little bit on the amount that they use, but it didn’t seem to me that it was lacking anything. My wife said that it was loaded with plenty for her taste. Good stuff.
I took this picture as we exited the restaurant, looking down Thurman Ave. It’s a really pretty scene in the fall. Like many small diners and coffee shops around Columbus, the German Village Coffee Shop is nothing to brag about, appearance-wise. It’s a small, hole-in-the-wall dive, but it’s clean, it’s cozy, and they serve really good food. And that’s all they need to be, to keep people who are looking for a good meal happy.
Leave the fancy-shmancy to somebody else.
The German Village Coffee Shop is located at 193 Thurman Ave, Columbus, OH 43206 (Map). They are open Monday – Friday, 6:30 AM – 2:00 PM, Saturday, 6:30 AM – 3:00 PM, and Sunday, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM. For more info, visit their Facebook page or their website.