Tucked away in the part of town that I often refer to as the “culinary wasteland” (hey, I live here on the West Side, so I can call it anything I want!), is a little place that I’ve driven past hundreds of times, but have never seen fit to find my way into. But after hearing a glowing recommendation from my mother’s boyfriend, who is a bit of a foodie himself (having already eaten his way through most of the blue collar joints in town during his workday), we headed off to check it out.
The Breakfast Barn isn’t much to look at. Blink and you’re past it from the outside. Once you’re inside, it looks a bit dated and grungy, like most good greasy spoons do. Down home atmosphere and cooking is the best way to describe the place. But the service is friendly, the portions are huge, the food is delicious, and the price is right – so we definitely will be back soon (maybe tomorrow, when the blue plate special is cabbage rolls – yum!)
My husband and I went in two entirely different directions in our ordering. I was in the mood for breakfast (which they serve all day) while he was in the mood for dinner. Let me just say that I greatly underestimated the portion sizes here – I have enough leftover for another breakfast.
I went with the Steak and Eggs ($7.25) which pairs a fairly sizeable (but cheap cut – make sure you order it medium rare for it to be done just right) strip steak (or chopped steak) with a couple eggs prepared your way (I chose over easy), home fries or hash browns (I chose home fries), and toast (I chose white). The picture doesn’t do the serving size justice – you’re only able to see half of the potatoes here, as they were also piled under the eggs. A quite formidable breakfast, indeed.
Having ordered everything at once, they brought me the other things I ordered as well. I ordered a side of Silver Dollar Pancakes ($2.00 for 4), which I expected to be about 2″ in diameter. What I got instead is 4 regular sized pancakes. Not complaining, mind you – they were fluffy and perfectly cooked – just surprised at the massiveness of the order.
Ditto with the Grits ($1.50), which when jazzed up with a bit of butter, salt and pepper, are a breakfast unto themselves. Needless to say, most of the grits and the pancakes made it home with me.
Being hungry, my husband ordered an Egg Roll ($1.25). While you can get better at any Chinese place (this one was straight from GFS), it was nicely filled with a lot of pork and was paired with an inoffensive sweet sauce. It was a good start to the meal, although a bit out of place in this sort of establishment.
My husband went with tonight’s special, Tuna Noodle Casserole ($7.95). A huge pile of creamy tuna goodness, reminiscent of the kind of comfort food you ate growing up, served with the kind of sides that your parents or grandparents would have given you. For instance, his came with a side of peas and carrots (right out of the can).
It also came with a fairly good cole slaw, a little heavy on the seasonings, but creamy and cool nonetheless.
Also, there was a side of cling peaches (also out of the can, but I love these things anyway) for dessert, as part of the special.
This place has fairly long hours for a diner, they deliver (free if you order over $25, otherwise $2 with a minimum $10 order), and as the many regulars can attest, is one of the best breakfast bargains in Columbus. Paul and I compared the food to that of Nancy’s in Clintonville, without the long wait for a booth and the attitude.
Next time you wander over to this part of town (if you come over to go to Thurn’s, or to Schumann’s on Harrisburg Pike), drop on in and give it a try. You won’t be sorry.
If you’d like to go: The Breakfast Barn, 1275 Brown Road, Columbus (West Side), 614.308.0173