Although located on Main Street, which is the main thoroughfare through Old Hilliard, Abner’s Restaurant isn’t the first eatery to catch your eye while passing through town. Even with a large sign over the door and a spacious front patio to boot, it’s surprisingly easy to overlook. But for those “in the know”, Abner’s is a local breakfast favorite. They’ve been a trusted stop in downtown Hilliard since 1987, for those looking for a tasty morning meal, and I’ve been meaning to give them a try for a long time. We decided to stop in for breakfast on a recent Tuesday morning, around 9:30 am, and were pleased to find a parking spot on the street, right in front of this slightly tucked away treasure.
Inside, Abner’s looks like your typical casual dining pub. The lighting is dim, the vinyl booths are polished, and the TV’s were set to Sportscenter. The restaurant was about half full when we arrived, but slowly emptied out as customers finished their meals. The atmosphere was casual and comfortable, and our waitress was very nice. The walls are decorated stylishly with framed black & white photos of the town’s historic buildings and landmarks. There are also framed Buckeyes jerseys, photos and other memorabilia to tie into the sports bar theme.
We picked a booth across from the bar, and I noticed that the servers used it as their wait station as well. It seems like Abner’s probably does pretty well with the happy hour and bar crowds, as they were well stocked and the top shelf bottles were aplenty. Fun stuff.
Our waitress brought us coffee and ice water, which was much appreciated. The coffee was pretty tasty, more so than your typical diner-style java. I’m not sure what they brew, but I enjoyed it very much. Our waitress came around several times to check on us and offer refills.
Abner’s menu offers a wide selection of breakfast favorites including specials that combine steaks, pork chops or Angus beef patties with eggs and toast, build-you-own omelets, a variety of scrambles, and more. They also offer some pretty hefty a la cart items such as corned beef hash and biscuits & gravy.
I started with a small bowl of oatmeal ($2.55). I really couldn’t decide what I wanted for breakfast, so at the last minute, while the pressure was on, I actually ordered two meals. I went with the small oatmeal, which came with a little pitcher of milk, some brown sugar, and a scoop of a strange, butter-like substance. I’m still not really sure what it was, but it was thick, bright yellow, and didn’t melt very well in my hot cereal. Aside from the butter, the oatmeal was really good.
I also ordered the Breakfast Burrito ($7.55), which came topped with chili & cheddar cheese, along with some shredded lettuce, fresh pico de gallo, and sour cream with chives. The burrito was fairly large, and the fresh tortilla was filled with scrambled egg, sausage, green peppers & onions. The filling was hot and decent, although there wasn’t as much flavor coming from the breakfast sausage as you’d expect. But whatever flavor may have been lacking inside, was certainly made up for by the delicious chili on the outside. It was a solid and satisfying burrito to say the least. I would definitely order it again.
Mrs. Grub Guy ordered the Early Riser ($7.95), which was essentially a 3-egg scramble made with diced ham, onions, fried potatoes and topped with cheddar cheese. It came with her choice of bread, and she opted for a buttered English muffin. The portion size was about twice what she normally eats, so the fact that she cleaned her plate says a lot. She said it was just as good as eating a home-cooked breakfast (we make a lot of these types of scrambles at home), without having to stand over a stove.
We liked Abner’s quite a bit, and will have no qualms about returning for another round of breakfast. They are a solid choice for a good meal, and as I said before, they have a big variety if you like meat with your eggs. The atmosphere was quiet enough to enjoy ourselves, and even though I think they’re going for the pub or sports bar vibe in the afternoon and evening, at breakfast it felt more like a casual family restaurant. Either way, give them a try. And if you get the chance, try that awesome chili!!
Abner’s Restaurant is located in downtown Old Hilliard, at 4051 Main St (Map). They’re open Monday – Thursday, 7:00 am – 10:00 pm, Friday – Saturday, 7:00 am – 11:00 pm, and Sunday, 7:00 am – 9:00 pm. For more info or directions, check out their website or their Facebook page.