Schokko Art Cafe

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

I was excited to take the family to the new Schokko Art Cafe in the expanded Columbus Museum of Art, but if you're like me, the thought of your kids eating in a museum sounds a little risky. I'm here to say, have no fear.

When we walked in, I was pleased to see an austere and modern space with light bouncing around everywhere. Its minimal design left me feeling like our youngest couldn't break anything. The design led to a slightly heightened noise level, with nothing to absorb it, so I knew the Keels family noise would blend right in. These two facts set the stage for a stress-free lunch out with the kids.

The restaurant has one large menu hanging on the back wall. Diners order at the registers, pick drinks from the cooler and then find a seat and wait for food to be delivered.

I am a fan of this type of eating experience. However, as a first-timer it was difficult to read the menu without being in the way of people ready to order - something that can be even harder for a parent trying to help the kids order. You could avoid this by reviewing the menu online before arriving.

I am not a huge fan of the bottomless sodas so often seen at restaurants, so it was refreshing to have my son ask for a small bottle of soda from the cooler filled with juices, sparkling waters and bottled sodas. When it was gone, it was gone and there was no conversation about refills.

I was drawn to the antipasti choices of Italian meats and cheeses on the menu, but without anyone to share it with me, I chose the Blackened Salmon Salad as my entrée. It was a salad with everything. Sweet fruit stood in contrast to the blackened spiced salmon. Cool greens juxtaposed with the warm fish, and creamy goat cheese with the crispy walnuts. This is a well-composed salad you won't want to miss.

Our 6-year-old ordered off the children's menu, which has the usual suspects of buttered noodles, a burger, grilled cheese and grilled PB&J, but it was the hot dog and macaroni and cheese that made her struggle to choose. At $5 each, we opted to get both. Even with a large, all-beef hot dog served on a hefty grilled bun, she was able to eat almost all of both meals.

With a mature crowd surrounding us, we were the only family in the place. But we were definitely welcomed by the friendly staff. It is always nice to see something done so well. We'll definitely be back.

-Tricia Keels

When I walked in, the place looked very modern. There was acooler with so many drinks to choose from and a table with desserts on it near the cash register. The wall near the hallway was a glass case with small clay masks, sculptures and more art.

We walked to the register and I ordered the Bistro Burger, then we ordered a hot chocolate and the quiche to share. I thought the food was pretty good except the quiche had a little too much spinach and not enough egg.

The hot chocolate was not sweet; it was very bitter but it was still very good. The Bistro Burger had mayonnaise, sweet pickles and American cheese, and it tasted really good because I really like sweet pickles. It came with a salad with a kind of spicy dressing. The salad had carrots and sliced radishes and lettuce.

For dessert, we had the parfait. It had rich chocolate pudding and caramel pudding, whipped cream and toasted almonds. It was a little too much, though. It was still really good but really, really rich.

My mom let me try the salmon on her salad. It was really juicy. It was the best salmon I ever had. My dad ordered the Black Bean Burger. It had beans instead of meat and tasted pretty good even though I don't like beans. The bathrooms were clean and they had hand dryers right in the faucet. I would like to go back sometime.

-Adam Keels