Following up on my new series on breakfast in Columbus, I've decided to deviate from the original plan a bit. My intentions were to chronicle our weekly breakfast outing, reviewing each place every week. I'm going to step back from this plan and make it more of a monthly feature. That way you don't have to read about me trying to write an original review about our stop at Bob Evans three weeks ago. What am I going to say about their Border Scramble® that hasn't already been said?
A couple weeks ago, Jay, Cameron and I met up at Nancy's in Clintonville. If you're from Columbus, there's a good chance you're already familiar with the place, at least in name. Offically known as "Nancy's Home Cooking," the place lives up to its name. The front half of the diner is one long serpentine counter, where you can watch the magic happening on the grill and you can get your coffee refills as fast as you can drink them. The back half has several smaller booths seating 2 or 4 people; All told, Nancy's may comfortably hold 30 people. There is no ambient music, no air conditioning, and really not a very set pricing structure. Depending on the cashier's mood, she'll make up some random price between $4 and $6 for your meal. If you're reasonably cordial, it will almost certainly be in the $4 range.
As for the food, although I had never been there for breakfast, I was already very familiar with Nancy's lunch menu. I'm not going to review lunch, so I'll just leave the topic with one piece of advice: Take a $5 bill, and go to Nancy's this Thursday. You won't regret it.
I had heard about Nancy's "garbage omelet," and being the omelet connoisseur that I am, I had to try it. Although it tasted much better than the name would suggest, I wasn't bowled over. They had all the right stuff -- hashbrowns, sausage, tomato, peppers, half a pound of cheese -- but somehow they just weren't working together the way they should. Not a lot of taste to it, to be honest. The size of the omelet did fit the bill, though. If you're in the mood for a good old fashioned greasy omelet with lots of cheese to fill you up, this will do the trick.
The coffee was standard fare diner coffee; If you're just looking to wake up and get some caffeine in your system, it will do the job. Add in a side of toast, and you've got yourself a standard diner breakfast.
Now, I don't want this review to come across at wholly negative, because it isn't meant to be. My experience with breakfast at Nancy's was overall good; If you're going to a diner, you should expect diner-quality food. It isn't the healthiest, but it will fill you up. The real shining point to Nancy's in the atmosphere and the price. Between the three of us -- an omelette, two orders of eggs, two sides of bacon, coffee and toast all around -- we got out of there spending $13 for breakfast. For the three of us. Try pulling that off at Bob Evans.
In summary, if you're looking for a "good breakfast," skip on Nancy's. If you're looking for a diner breakfast experience, or even just a quick breakfast on the way to work, it's a great value. On the quality scale, their lunches and dinners are better than their breakfasts, and you really can't go wrong stopping in for a quick meal on your lunch break. Espcially on a Thursday.
Nancy's Home Cooking
3133 N. High St.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
I typically don't make a habit out of combing through my spam folder; I have a pretty good set of filters going that keep that hidden away. We're in the middle of a fairly extensive email campaign for our Kelo Day campaign at the moment, however, so I've been keeping an eye on things to make sure I don't miss any unsubscribes. That's when I came across this gem. I won't include the link, but the body of the email contained this stunning revelation:
"When girls start disappearing, the Ass Collector became the prime suspect"
When I took my current position working for a Washington, D.C. based public-interest law firm, part of the deal was occasional trips out to company headquarters. With the upcoming Kelo Day campaign, coupled with the fact that I hadn't been out since February, it seemed like a good time to take another trip out to meet and coordinate with the team. January had a break in her high-stress, wedding photography filled June this weekend, so she joined me on this trip out so we could relax a little and see the city.
The downside to this travel is the necessity of "corporate attire." It's not a big inconvenience, and it's actually kind of nice to get a bit dressed up every now and then, but factor that in with a full day of recycled air conditioned offices, ubiquitous fluorescent lighting, and the hum of office equipment everywhere, and by the end of the day I just feel completely wiped out. Here's a picture, for illustration.
As a result, our first evening in the city was uneventful; January did some photo editing while I sat on the bed and watched hotel TV. Without TiVo.
I haven't watched TV without some sort of TiVo-like device since 2002, when Jay first got me hooked on Windows Media Center software. Only one hour of TV per day translates to over 120 hours of commercials every year; I would guess I've watched 120 total hours of commercials in the past 5 years combined, thanks to this technology. The downside of my dependence on these magical boxes is that when I'm in a position where I don't have this filter, such as a Washington, D.C. hotel room, I revert to a mindless TV-watching drone who will watch pretty much anything. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. My Boys. Two and a Half Men. It's shameful.
We actually went through this same thing when we first moved into our house and decided to get cable. For two days, before the TiVo arrived, I watched nothing but a My House is Worth What? marathon on HGTV. I lost an entire weekend and my sense of pride in my new home. It certainly did renew my appreciation for the ability to watch the shows I want to watch, on my own schedule.
With the rest of our trip ahead of us, we're going to try to spend a little less time in front of the hotel TV and do a little sightseeing; Stay tuned for some pictures .
Last year, in a combined effort to get a better variety of vegetables in our diet, save money, and support local farmers, Janaury and I joined a local farming co-op. For something like $300 for the season, we could stop down at the North Market and pick up our weekly supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. To be honest, it started off kind of disappointing; Generally a handful of green beans, some beets and a bundle of lettuce. As the season went on, though, it was really cool to see all the neat stuff we got. Beans, peppers, leeks, fresh herbs, strawberries. And always with a little bundle of lettuce and a half-dozen eggs. Occasionally they would pack in something completely foreign to me, like swiss chard. What is a chard? I still don't know. But I do know that it came with a nice little letter from the farmer explaining how one might prepare it, if one were inclined to do so.
This year we decided to take advantage of the fact that we have a backyard that is all ours and do a little gardening of our own. If you've been following January's blog at all you've probably seen pictures of our progress to this point. If you haven't been following her account, I'll get you up to speed; This type of gardening, typically referred to as square foot gardening, basically allows one to grow plants that typically require a lot of ground space in individual square foot sized areas through the magic of expensive dirt. Actually, it wasn't that expensive. Just complicated. 3 parts peat moss, 3 parts vermiculite, 1 part cow manure, 1 part chicken manure, 1 part bat guano.
Bat guano. That's bat shit. We bought bat shit.
After mixing all that together (I'll fess up -- January did most of the hard labor) we threw it into these 2' x 4' raised boxes (so Gus can't get involved), planted our crops, and watered them daily. It's been surprisingly easy to keep them growing. So far we've only lost one plant -- a cucumber. And, quite frankly, I don't consider that much of a loss.
Being the big dork that I am, I had to complicate things up. Standing outside with a hose to water these guys every day isn't nearly as fun as setting up an automatic watering system. One misting hose, an automatic timer, and a bunch of nails later and I can completely soak the entire yard, plus half of our neighbors yard, and barely have to spend any time outside at all.
So the garden is coming along well so far. I'm looking forward to late summer when we can start enjoying our peppers. In the meantime, I'll have to figure out a way to harvest them remotely as well. Something involving pulleys and fiber optics. And bat guano.