Last weekend, we made a quick trip back to my hometown of Columbus to finally bring back all of the remaining furniture from our storage unit to our new digs here in PA. We only had a couple of days to do more physical labor than I’ve done in a year, so I knew that before we started loading up the U-haul on Saturday morning, we were all going to need some fuel in the form of a gigantic breakfast. After a quick memory check of what was available close by (I didn’t want to travel far from our storage and truck pick-up locations), we decided to stay in Hilliard – a suburb on the west side of Cbus – and check out a place that I have been curious about for years, but had never eaten at, Louie’s Grill.
Louie’s came along several years ago when the “fusion restaurant” thing was big. In this case, fusion is basically a blend of cultures and cuisine – Mexican, American, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and even a little Italian. Much of their menu is a mixture of styles and foods, which actually works pretty well for Louie’s. The restaurant was started by a former head chef of Starliner Diner, a popular west-side, eclectic eatery that serves very similar food – but somehow Louie’s has always stayed somewhat in the shadow of Starliner (which is just down the street). I’ve been a long-time patron of Starliner Diner, but I have to say that first impressions of Louie’s made me wonder why I’ve never ditched the lengthy weekend breakfast wait up the street and ventured here before? Louie’s dining room was bigger, brighter and maybe even cleaner.
They also feature a well-stocked bar for the happy hour and evening crowds. It was nice to see the bar area available during breakfast too, not so much for drinks I suppose, but for folks who like the counter and stools/diner feel.
The two-sided breakfast menu featured many Tex-Mex breakfast favorites such as burritos, Huevos Rancheros, quesadillas and such. There were also a few traditional diner-style plates with egg combos, pancakes, and French toast. The flip side featured a big selection of omelettes, with everything from your standard Western and Farmer’s omelette to ones with more of a Mexican flair.
Several of their appetizers are available during breakfast too, like the fried plantains ($5.49). The plantains were lightly seasoned and fried to a golden brown, and served with a salsa ranch dressing for dipping. Top notch!!
I ordered the Chilaquiles Tex-Mex Style ($9.29) purely out of curiosity. Starliner’s Chilaquiles are actually one of my favorite breakfast dishes ever, so I was interested to see how Louie’s stacked up. They’re made with three scrambled eggs, chorizo, poblano peppers, onions, zucchini, corn, jack cheese and chipotle sauce, and served with tortilla chips and black beans on the side.
To me, Louie’s definitely nailed it with flavor and execution of this dish. Everything tasted fresh, and the layers of flavors were outstanding. I could taste every single ingredient separately although they were all part of one dish. The freshness of the veggies complimented the savory egg & chorizo nicely, and the flavorful black beans on the side were perfect. In comparison to the other guys, I’d say Louie’s does one heck of a job!!
Here’s one of the “Americanized” breakfast dishes they offer, The Perfect Plate ($7.49). It’s your basic diner special of two eggs, home fries, toast and choice of breakfast meat. There’s a lot to love about your standard blue plate breakfast, and there was nothing to complain about with this version. All done well. All tasty.
Finally , there was the HUGE Vegetable Breakfast Burrito ($9.29), which was basically a jumbo flour tortilla filled with three scrambled eggs, refried beans, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, jack cheese, and then topped with chipotle sauce and more cheese. Oh, and it came with a side of home fries. See…I told you it was huge. And delicious. Best veggie breakfast burrito in Cbus. There, I said it.
Even this guy is a fan!!
I was really pretty impressed with Louie’s Grill for breakfast. As I stated earlier, I came here, as do probably most other people who actually know the story behind this place, with the attitude of “Let’s see if it’s as good as so-and-so”. Well, let me tell you…it was. Maybe even better. The service was great, the food tasted fresh and spirited (as in made with spirit/passion…not laced with booze), and the atmosphere was enjoyable. By the time we left at around 9:30am, Louie’s was filling up pretty fast, so I’m glad to see more people enjoying this type of breakfast.
Louie’s Grill Fusion Restaurant is located at 4453 Cemetary Rd, Hilliard, OH 43026 (MAP). They’re open Monday – Friday, 11:00am – 9:00pm, Saturday, 8:00am – 9:00pm, and Sunday, 8:00am – 8:00pm. For more info, follow them on Facebook or visit their website.