Grand Day Café – Columbus, OH

 

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Grandview is really one of my favorite areas of Columbus. It has pretty much anything you would want: fancy shopping, fine dining, quaint little shops, breweries, local coffee, pubs & bars, bakeries, trendy eateries, and comfortable family-style cafes. When it comes to the latter in Grandview, in my mind I immediately think of places like Grand Day Café. GDC is squished inside of a strip mall along busy W. 5th Ave, surrounded by lots of other local businesses. It’s a casual, medium-sized restaurant that serves breakfast all day, seven days a week.

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Grand Day Café has that simple breakfast place feel. It’s been around for several years as its current incarnation, but the space itself has been a breakfast mainstay in town even in its prior life as Rise & Dine Restaurant, a concept very similar to GDC. We visited on a Saturday morning at around 10:30am, and the place was packed. What makes that last sentence a little more impressive was the fact that it was raining cats & dogs outside. When the weather is pleasant, you can usually expect big crowds. But on this day, the weather sucked, so I was pretty surprised at the volume of business they were doing.

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The restaurant is set up with a small entryway in the middle, with a counter straight ahead and a seating area on either side. While we were waiting for a table, I struck up a conversation with a guy who has been coming here every Saturday for the last couple of years and sitting at his usual spot at the counter. That’s him in the hat. I love stories like that.

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And the other side of the room…packed.

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The menu at Grand Day is about as all-inclusive as you can get. It covers all of the usual breakfast bases  – like breakfast combos, steak & eggs, wraps & sandwiches, corned beef hash, omelets and the like – but also adds some nifty dishes that you don’t often see, like a Kentucky Hot Brown and eggs benedict made with fried chicken or shrimp. I was surprised, however, that the kids meal section only included three or four options. Thankfully, Grub Boy doesn’t venture far from his usuals.

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One interesting item on the menu is the Benedict Sampler ($8.99). The idea is that you can create your own combo from any two benedict dishes that they offer and sample one of each, along with hash browns or home fries. The choice was tough since GDC makes about eight different varieties.

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I chose one Fried Chicken benedict and one Avocado benedict, along with a side of hash browns. On the up side, I loved the huge portion of well-cooked hash browns that was on my plate. They were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, just the way I like them. The benedicts, on the other hand, were a little hit & miss for me. I loved the concept of both, but the execution fell a little flat. The meat on the fried chicken benedict consisted of two small slices from a breaded chicken patty, which tasted good, but I had wished there was a little more to it. The poached egg was overcooked and had very little runniness to the yolk, and the hollandaise was really heavy on the lemon, almost to the point that I couldn’t eat it. The avocado benedict was better – the egg was a little less overcooked, but the hollandaise was still tough to get past. Both were topped with some tasty crumbled bacon.

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Our boy went with his favorite dish, French toast ($4.49), from the kid’s menu. It came with his choice of bacon or sausage, and he chose the salty pig strip, which was cooked nicely.

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Mrs. Grub Guy ordered one of GDC’s specialties, their breakfast version of a  Kentucky Hot Brown ($7.29), and it looked absolutely delicious. It was a big slice of Texas toast topped with some really nice sliced, smoked turkey breast, a poached egg, hollandaise, and bacon. It came with her choice of potatoes, and she too went with the shredded hash browns.

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This dish was a hit with the wife. The turkey was thick-sliced breast meat and had a really amazing smoked flavor. Her egg was poached perfectly (tender but firm whites with a smooth, velvety yolk) and she didn’t mind the lemony flavor of the hollandaise. It was topped with two strips of bacon that just added another layer of goodness. I’m still not 100% sold on the hollandaise for this dish…I’m thinking maybe if I were eating (or making) it, I’d prefer a traditional cheese sauce for this one, but she said it was very enjoyable.

Pro Tip: Grand Day Café offers a “Free coffee before 8:00am” guarantee every day!! Their coffee is standard, slightly weak diner brown, but I’m still chugging down two or three cups every time I go!!

There’s a lot to like about Grand Day Café. They do breakfast well, and offer a menu with enough variety to satisfy everyone from the enthusiast to the casual fan looking for a plate of bacon and eggs. It’s the perfect place to take someone who’s stuck in the Bob Evans/IHOP/Sunny Street Café rut because it’s just got that same kind of feel, but it’s much more enjoyable to someone like me who’s big on supporting locally owned businesses.

Overall, we enjoyed our most recent visit, as we have the previous ones before it, and even though the food was a little off this time, I’m sure we’ll be back.

Grand Day Café is located at 1284 W. 5th Ave, Columbus, OH 43212 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Sunday, 6:30am – 3:00pm. For more info, check out their website, or their Facebook or Twitter pages.

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