Since my move to Philadelphia got pushed back another month, I figured I’d extend my “farewell breakfast tour” and spend the next few weeks visiting more of my home town favorites. Dempsey’s Food & Spirits has been partnering with TBGG for over a year now, which means that they often supply gift cards for us to give out to you guys for our bi-monthly giveaways (you can partner too!! Click HERE to find out how). It’s one of my favorite spots downtown for a casual and classy meal, and so while we were close by on a recent Saturday morning, I knew we had to visit for breakfast. Dempsey’s opened in 2012 in Downtown Columbus across the street from the courthouse on S. High St., between Mound and Main.
Dempsey’s is a very stylish space. The dark wood bar, furniture and floors, the intricate tile, the brick, the dim lighting…it very much has the feel of an 1800’s bar or pub. Their actual bar is very well stocked with a full array of Irish whisky, local drafts, and an extensive wine list. They’re open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which is pretty impressive for a downtown establishment.
I really love the décor here….vintage black and white photos of Columbus history on exposed brick.
On the morning we visited, the sun was out and it was warm, so we decided to sit out front. It’s a nice location to sit and people watch while enjoying a delicious meal. Dempsey’s breakfast menu features a fairly wide variety of breakfast favorites with several dishes featuring some great Irish-American inspired flare.
One such dish is their Irish Breakfast 2.0 ($11.00). This was a big, all-inclusive plate of breakfast love done really well – scrambled eggs & Irish cheddar, griddled redskin potatoes, local bacon and bread pudding French toast with Jameson salted caramel. First and foremost, I got to taste the French toast with the caramel sauce and it was absolutely incredible. My friend David ordered it on the recommendation of our very friendly and knowledgeable server, and he certainly wasn’t disappointed. The bacon was cooked nicely, the potatoes were tender and seasoned well, the eggs just right, but man…that French toast though.
We also sampled a Side order of biscuits ($1.50) and sausage gravy ($3.00). Dempsey’s does have a full biscuit & gravy breakfast they call the Ei Ei Oh, which comes complete with eggs and potatoes, but I ordered this in addition to my meal. When our server brought it to our table, I was wowed by the portion size, since this was considered a “side”. The biscuits are homemade and were really flaky, and the gravy was super creamy with lots of chunky, locally produced sausage. The flavor of the gravy was good, but it could have used just a touch less salt and a little more seasoning. Otherwise, another terrific biscuits & gravy plate in the 614.
After some deliberation, I ordered the Hash & Eggs ($9.50), which is a nice-sized portion of slow-cooked corned beef brisket, griddled redskins w/ carrots & onions, and topped with two eggs and toast. I substituted the listed fried eggs for poached, and the toast for biscuits.
Dempsey’s Hash & Eggs dish was really, really flavorful. The hash was full of big chunks of tender brisket, soft potatoes and other veggies, and it was seasoned nicely. I usually prefer a nice crust on my corned beef hash, but this hash was more of a succulent, elegantly-styled meal, and the flavors here made me forget the need for a crusty exterior. It’s advertised on the menu to include a dash of hot sauce, but I couldn’t detect any. It was ok though, because our server brought a carousel with a half dozen varieties so that I could add my own desired amount of heat/spice. My eggs were about 30 seconds undercooked for my liking, but not so much that I didn’t still eat and enjoy them. Overall,a really nice plate.
Dempsey’s is easily one of my favorite spots for breakfast downtown. The atmosphere inside is great, and when the weather is nice, you’ve gotta love a nice patio right in the heart of the city. I was also SUPER impressed with the service we received. Sometimes when you opt for patio seating, you might have to wait a little longer for your server to check on you, offer refills, etc. Not here, not on this day. She kept my iced tea filled, brought food and cleared plates in a very timely fashion, offered recommendations, and was incredibly personable to boot. It was an extremely pleasant breakfast experience.
There’s always somewhere to go when looking for great breakfast in Cbus. But the next time you’re downtown and you have a little bit of time for a good morning meal, be sure to remember this place!!
Dempsey’s Food & Spirits is located at 346 S. High St, Columbus, OH 43215 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Friday, 7:00am – 11:00pm, and Saturday – Sunday, 8:00am – 11:00pm. For more info you can connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and can also check out their website, too.