38 South Court St.
Athens OH 45701
Rounding out Court Street’s wide variety of food options, Brenen’s Coffee is a quaint and pleasant little shop serving healthy sandwiches and drinks in a quiet location far from most of the street’s rowdier bars. Though it does not tend to stay open into the late hours of the night, it is a very popular day spot for groups of students to sit and socialize over a meal. The coffee is just one of Brenen’s many attractions.
Primarily a lunch joint, Brenen’s features cold cut sandwiches including ham, turkey, chicken and roast beef in a variety of iterations as well as a number of salads and options to eat.
- Court Street Ham sandwich: I found my sandwich overflowing with vegetables, ham and honey mustard to quickly fill me up. Add on the side dish of cole slaw that I opted for, and I had a very healthy meal that quickly filled me up.
- Cookie’s Chicken Salad: Chicken salad topped with melted muenster, lettuce and tomato. The salad is very heavy on the pepper and the cheese is rich, the combo is addicting.
- Chipotle Club: Turkey and roast beef, melted muenster, lettuce, tomato, onion and Chipotle Mayo. A thick and fantastic sandwich.
- Breakfast bagel: A thick bagel with eggs, cheese and a choice of meat. Brenen’s is about the small meals that let you get ahead on the day, this is a good start.
- Club sandwich: A mixture of cold cuts, ham, turkey and tomato, lettuce and more. Toasted like it’s made at home, but filling like a giant deli masterpiece.
- Philly Cheese Steak: A sandwich, like they all are. Still, like it for the simplicity. Lots of cheese, lots of steak, and joy in simplicity.
- Muffaletta: Mushrooms and tomato are the heart of this panini, which has a ton of great flavor in it. Best hot.
- Chillers: I gave the chillers on a try since I was in the mood for something fruity. I tasted the Hawiian variation — an explosion of pineapple and banana with every sip. It was so good that I bought a Cherry cream chiller for a taste at another part of the fruit spectrum. It was the same wonderful experience — the chiller is good enough that it doesn’t overpower the palette, but it’s also a very refreshing drink with every sip. I actually found myself drinking it more slowly as time went on just so I could prolong the flavor as much as possible.
- Coffee: I tried a cup of the coffee and it’s a very basic blend. It’s not inspired but it’s good coffee. It is a slightly stronger than your average coffee shop, and it has a very good basic taste, so I definitely feel it’s worth the money you pay for it.
- Chai Latte: Just a slight spice in this latte is unforgettable, but mild as these drinks go.
Service was good too. The shop has a walk-up counter where you place your order so there isn’t service per se, but I was impressed that the second time I walked up to the counter, the attendant remembered me and asked what I thought of my first item. The workers seemed to be a slightly older bunch of students — maybe grad students but definitely not freshmen. I was definitely satisfied with the level of attention I got.
- Brenen’s sandwiches are very good and often substantial. Expect them to fill you up, whether you want a light meal or a heavier dose of cold cuts.
- Don’t immediately go for chips as a side just because they’re easy. If you want something healthier to eat, the yogurt and cole slaw alternatives are delicious.
- Smoothies here are some of the best in town. They’re practically an attraction of their own.