Saturday, November 23, 2013

Fun Playing With Bonbons

Good gravy - has it really been seven months since I've posted? Well I had some great gravy today, so I needed to drop everything to show it to you. 

We'd brunched at Ohio City's Bonbon Cafe once before, in August 2012. We enjoyed that meal, but found the service so . . . strange . . . that we just couldn't get excited about rushing back. Today, after an early visit to the West Side Market (a necessity if you want to find a parking spot on a Saturday these days), we hit up Bonbon for a late breakfast. 

Corned Beef Hash
brussels sprouts, peppers, onions, mushrooms, fried egg, baguette
When Chef-Owner Courtney Bonning says "fried egg" - she isn't kidding. Bob's specimen had somehow been breaded like a piece of to-be-fried chicken (probably poached first, but still a cool feat), then deep fried. Despite the high heat treament, the yolk still had some runniness, and the coating offered just the right amount of spice kick and crunchy texture to compliment the tender corned beef and caramelized veggies.

Biscuits & Gravy
two biscuits with chorizo gravy, sunny side egg, scallions, seasonal fruit
For me, the hardest part was choosing between the fried chicken and avocado with a house made English Muffin ("Chicken or the Egg"), and this dish. I chose wisely. The cheesy, porky gravy rated a "plate licking good" all by itself.

The menu description of "seasonal fruit" didn't really apply to the pineapple and grapes, but instead of just being a pretty garnish, these beautifully sweet bites set off and cleaned the palate nicely from the spicy chorizo, which our server advised is made in house by savory head chef Ryan Crow. He formerly worked at Lolita and knows his way around pork!

Ah, there's that biscuit! Flaky layers of savory goodness worth returning for; now I really want to try the house-made English Muffin! These biscuits made the perfect vessel to sop up every bit of that luscious gravy, and the bits of scallion on top offered both a textural contrast and a flavor that enhanced all of the savory elements on the plate. The egg was perfectly fried - the edges crunched while the yolk ran.

I'm still not quite sure why it took so long for us to return to Bonbon. Service was much improved over our last visit; you can see the photos from that tasty lunch here. Parking can be a challenge, but we lucked into a spot right across the street. 

If you are looking for a warm place to sit down and enjoy a meal after visiting the West Side Market in winter, when the outdoor benches just don't cut it and the balcony is located above so many steps - Bonbon offers unique and carefully crafted breakfast and lunch fare that will warm you inside and out with made-from-scratch goodness at reasonable prices. 

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