“Donuts….Is there anything they can’t do?” – Homer Simpson
The answer, in case you’re wondering, is no. Donuts are all around us. They can be served all fancied up, in trendy coffee shops; they’re dipped and sprinkled with every kind of topping imaginable at specialty bakeries; and they’re still going strong in old school neighborhood donut shops. They can make you feel better when you’re sad or sick. They can make you smile after a bad day. They can even make your grumpy co-workers seem more cheerful and easier to be around! See? They’re awesome!!
On the forgotten South side of Columbus sits a shop that, not unlike several other shops around town, seems to be frozen in time. Golden Donuts & Diner on Lockbourne Rd is certainly old school in every sence of the word. It’s one of those shops that I believe used to be an old Jolly Pirate store back when they were everywhere several decades ago, and it still has the all of the vintage character and charm to go with it.
We stopped in to the diner at around 10:00 AM on a Sunday, and it seemed to me that they were already restocking the wall of donut trays after an apparent busy morning. We took a few seconds to browse, and then grabbed a couple of stools at the counter, since our boy loves to sit there and watch the action. The stools, while somewhat worn, were comfy, with plenty of space at each seat. The booths that lined the outside walls of the restaurant were older, but looked cozy. There was one guy sitting at the end of the counter when we arrived, and several other people joined us during our stay, as well as many folks who just stopped in for a box of hot, fresh cakes to go. By the time we left, the place was pretty hopping!
The waitress behind the counter was an older lady who was super friendly, cheerful and talkative, which was fun. Upon taking our stools, she immediately poured two Styrofoam cups full of classic diner coffee for me and the wife, and offered Grub Boy a cup of hot chocolate. After a few minutes, she took our orders and delivered them to the grill cook. While we waited, I perused the wall of donuts behind the counter, which was starting to fill up with a second round of trays featuring classic donut shop favorites.
In the glass case below the counter were a couple of racks filled with several varieties of long johns…
And cinnamon rolls. YUM!!
Our food arrived to the counter within just a few minutes. Golden Donuts & Diner offers a full page of classic diner fare, including combos, breakfast sandwiches, and a la cart items. I think that the best measuring sticks by which to judge an old school diner are its classic breakfast plates, so I ordered the Steak & Eggs Breakfast ($6.99), which included a 6 oz. chopped sirloin, 2 eggs, home fries and toast. I have to say that I was really pleasantly surprised at how good Golden Donuts & Diner’s food was. When you eat at these kinds of places, sometimes you get just flavorless, greasy breakfast grub, but not here. The steak was relatively thin, but seemed fresh (not pre-made), and was hot and pretty darn tasty. The eggs were cooked just right, and the potatoes were absolutely great. Great start!
Our boy ordered Two slices of French Toast w/ turkey sausage ($5.89). He kept saying how good it was, so I had to snitch a bite, and he was totally right…it was wonderful French toast! He ended up not wanting the turkey sausage, so the wife and I each ate one. The patties were pre-made, but had really good flavor and were cooked well.
Mrs. Grub Guy ordered a Bacon & Cheese Omelet ($5.79) which also came with the home fries and toast. Her omelet was a 2-egger that was packed with coarsely chopped bacon that was cooked just the way she likes it, and topped with a big pile of shredded cheddar. She said it had terrific flavor and was really filling. Again, the potatoes were a big hit here too, and the toast was nice and buttery. These guys really know how to do diner breakfast food!!
After breakfast, we decided to grab some donuts ($8.50/baker’s dozen) for later. The same lady who took good care of us during breakfast boxed up our selections as we ooo-ed and ahhh-ed over the cakes. On several occasions, she even walked to the kitchen to retrieve the fresher donuts for us that had just been made. That kind of excellent customer service really stands out to me and is what keeps people coming back.
We decided on some hot, freshly coated glazed, some iced Devil’s food, some blueberry, a couple of black raspberry-filled (good ones are hard to find anymore), some chocolate iced w/ sprinkles, maple iced, and a glazed bow tie.
I have to say that I was just as satisfied with GD&D’s donuts as I was with their breakfasts. Their cakes are classic donut shop style in every way, with the quality and deliciousness capable of competing neck and neck with any donut in Cbus. The wife absolutely loved the black raspberry-filled, and said the flavor was out of this world.
I was very, very happy with our visit to this out-of-the-way diner & donut house. It seems that “the land that time forgot” is still alive and kicking down on the South side of town, and with shops like Golden Donuts & Diner still cranking out outstanding breakfasts and unbelievably yummy donuts every day, it’s only a matter of time before word spreads and these tried and true shops are truly rewarded with the respect, and the volume of business, they deserve.
Golden Donuts & Diner is located at 1928 Lockbourne Rd, Columbus, OH 43207 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Saturday, 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM, and Sunday, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM. For more info, you can visit their Facebook page HERE.