Brunch at Cray Eatery & Drinkery is infused with fun

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Cray Eatery & Drinkery has established itself as a spot for sliders and infused liquors in the former Wonder Bread factory in Italian Village. The restaurant has also added a brunch menu, which deviates from their slider offerings and where none of the food is more than $6, so let the bright neon sign boasting "Cray" in the front door lead your way.

Cray's vibe is colorful and casual, with a large U-shaped counter around the bar and plenty of floor space dedicated to booths and tables. Cray's sizeable dining room makes it easy for group, and a big lot next door offers free parking.

The house-infused liquors are put to good use during brunch, from the nicely garnished bloody mary ($7) with a spice-infused vodka, to the Breakfast Manhattan ($9) with bacon-infused bourbon and the Iced Caramel Coffee ($7) built on vodka infused with Werther's Original caramel candies.

Three of Cray's signature sliders are featured on the brunch menu (all $3.75), including those with bacon or sausage with eggs and cheese, or one with egg whites, cheddar and tomato. As expected, the sliders are on the small side, although the fillings leave them feeling a little insubstantial.

More traditional breakfasts are represented, too, from the simple and sweet Chocolate Chip Mini Pancakes ($3.75) with a cinnamon stick infused maple syrup, to the Mini Omelet ($3.75) that lets diners build their own with meat, cheese and vegetables. The Eggs Benedict ($5) ranks as one of the least expensive benedicts around town. The eggs were poached well, although the hollandaise was a little grainy, and surprisingly the bacon (which is generously portioned) is served on the side rather than as part of benedict itself.

Cray's full menu is still available at brunch, from a full range of sliders, to sweet potato tater tots ($4), seasoned French fries ($3.50) and even fried macaroni and cheese balls ($3.75). The sliders may have some expecting small beef patties, but most of the mini burgers feature fun ingredients like duck, shrimp, hummus or hash browns.

Alcohol aficionados can sample the substantial offerings of infused liquors, with a tasting of six running $15.

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