First look: Jerry's Galaxy Cafe launches in Hilliard

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Jerry's Galaxy Cafe is the newest is a line of Columbus Southwestern/Cuban restaurants following the same trajectory including the now-gone Galaxy Cafe in Powell and the institution of Starliner Diner. Owner Jerry Burgos-who lends his name to the cafe-stakes his claim in Columbus restaurant history, once co-owning the Galaxy Cafe, then opening the Starliner Diner in the late 1990s.

Burgos sold his share in Starliner Diner in 2010, and is now returning with his own versions of familiar dishes like breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros. Jerry's Galaxy Cafe opened quietly in mid-November of last year, in an easy-to-miss space along Scioto Darby Road.

The new cafe is hard to find, with the restaurant name written only in white chalk paint on the door. The interior is spacious, with a black-and white checkered ceiling, bright yellow walls and enough kitsch on the shelves to keep even the youngest diners interested. The west wall is red brick with a fireplace in the center, a holdover from the room's days as a bowling alley lounge.

Burgos' goal is to build on his previous successes at Galaxy Cafe and Starliner Diner. "I'm trying to work with what's familiar and what I know works," he says. The menu is largely Southwestern, with Mexican and Cuban elements, although he's added more homespun meals like meatloaf, steak sandwiches and roast chicken.

Our brunch started with two smaller plates: the fried plantains and the Cuban French toast. The plantains were fried soft and sweet, and came with an onion-heavy creamy dipping sauce. The Cuban French toast is fashioned from a diced loaf of bread, battered, fried and served with powdered sugar and syrup.

Expect to find some the rich, spicy flavors made famous by Burgos' past ventures, like a big bowl of chiliquiles: black beans, scrambled eggs, peppers, onions, corn, Monterey Jack cheese and chips. Or wrap up the eggs, black beans, and cheese with spicy chorizo in the chorizo burrito with a side of chunky potatoes. The breakfast menu is rounded out with a variety of omelets and buttermilk pancakes.

Burgos' lunch items add more burritos, sandwiches and burgers to the list. The Galaxy steak sandwichmixes tender strips of juicy steak with loads of sautéed onions. Dinner entrees include jambalaya, Creole mac and cheese, and adobo roast pork loin. The

Burgos acknowledges that he's "competing against himself" with the close proximity to Starliner Diner (and its spin-off Louie's Fusian Grill down the road). But he knows Columbus loves this type of food, and he hopes to build up a following for the Galaxy Cafe once again.

Crave contributor Nicholas Dekker blogs about breakfast at