Brunch review: Bodega in the Short North

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Despite the recent flood of bars and restaurants serving craft beer, Bodega is holding steady as a destination for beer lovers with 47 beer taps and an ever-rotating list of local and national brews.

Bodega's Saturday and Sunday brunch menu tops out at just more than a dozen dishes. It ranges from brunch signatures, including huevos rancheros ($10) and omelets ($8), to Bodega classics like grilled cheese ($8), salads ($8) and burgers (ranging from $8 to $10).

Coffee, espresso and a variety of juices are offered (although the espresso machine was down on our visit). A half dozen brunch cocktails, from mimosas to bloody marys to sangria, should please any aficionado. The bloody mary was a standout. It balances the heat with a refreshing zest and large grain salt on the rim. Some of the cocktails are available by the pitcher for thirstier groups.

Overall, the brunch items' presentation was noteworthy, although the portion size and seasoning left a little to be desired. Amongst the more playful finds is the Cocoa Pebble waffle ($8) made with chocolate cereal in the batter itself, then topped with fruit and whipped cream. It's an easy win for fans of sweet breakfast fare.

The chicken and waffles ($10) present a more savory take, with a house-smoked fried chicken breast on top of the buttermilk waffle. The chicken was slightly dry and needed a bigger punch of seasoning, but this was corrected by the Ohio maple syrup and house-made hot sauce as garnishes.

The breakfast burrito ($8) was served split into four pieces skewered together. It made for easy eating, especially when sharing with a group. The server recommended adding bacon, which provided a needed crunch and a little saltiness to the dish.

The breakfast eggwich made the biggest impression, served on a soft brioche roll and marked by a rosemary aioli. The sandwich was accompanied by a hash of diced potatoes, onions and peppers in desperate need of more seasoning.

While some dishes called for an added oomph of flavor, Bodega latest form is still worthy of a visit. And true to the Short North spot's DNA as a beer bar, each menu listing includes suggested beer pairings. The beer menu alone merits exploration.

Brunch is served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.