With 12 locations in three states, and another 40 on the way, Sunny Street Cafe is a new and ambitious growing chain in the casual cafe concept. With breakfast items, burgers and sandwiches, it’s got a good mixture of menu items that make it an ideal place to quick food early in the day. A good breakfast place is hard to find, especially downtown. For all the bars and nightspots around a downtown like Columbus, it’s not easy to find a diner that is worth the drive. Whether or not Sunny Street has that distinction, though, is a matter of debate.
Where places like this really should thrive is on the simple stuff; the eggs and pancakes are the staples of the trade. Sunny Street has a beautiful and well-thought out menu of these items, but I’m sorry to say I haven’t tasted a successful execution of them.
- Sunny Street Benedict: A great looking item, bedded in spinach, tomato and feta cheese. Sadly, two of the eggs have been very overcooked, to the extent that they are solid to the core. The interior of the egg in this dish is supposed to be creamy, to match the hollendaise sauce. Without that, it’s really ruined.
- Omelet: Another cool looking menu item, filled with spinach, onions and jalapenos alongside toast and tasty fruit. The fruit and toast are flawless…definitely some of the best I’ve tried at a diner. But the vegetables in the omelet aren’t prepared well. The main problem is the peppers. This omelet contains almost half a pepper, and you wouldn’t know it until you bite down and pull out the entire heel of a pepper. No one likes that much spice.
- Mini sundae: This parfait has yogurt, fruit, and granola with just a tad of berry jam in the middle. Stir it up and you’ve got a refreshing, fruity, light breakfast.
- Chorizo Breakfast Tacos: Egg, chorizo, cheese, lettuce and pico. The flour tortilla here makes it a little heavier than it needs to be, and you’ll be fine to leave some cheese on the side, otherwise it’s all right.
- Five Pepper Chicken Sandwich: A winter special available at Sunny Street, this one is a breaded chicken sandwich in a ‘five pepper hot sauce.’ In practice the chicken isn’t spicy at all, but the tender chicken and crispy outside definitely tastes breaded-in-house.
- Protein Wrap: Egg whites, chicken sausage, fresh spinach, mushrooms and monterey jack cheese. A little bit on the lighter end but still packed with flavor. Avoid some of the heavy feeling that comes with other things on the menu.
- Big Breakfast Sandwich: A thick brioche bun filled with eggs, bacon, cheddar and a little chipotle mayo. It looks stout but it’s filling!
- Cookies: Big, buttery and wonderful! Crunchy, with smearing chocolate chips.
I can’t disparage the service though. The restaurant is spectacular in appearance. It’s spotlessly clean, the concept is very pretty and bright, and the servers are a very friendly bunch. That’s the kind of service I love, and it’s the kind of service that makes me want to come back to a place.
I really want to enjoy this food. I really do. But I feel I haven’t been given the opportunity to do so. In practice, it seems like the problem is the kitchen is a little too rushed and is making mistakes as a result of that. Maybe it’s just a few bad days. Maybe it’s just this one location. Maybe.
A place this nicely branded and spread out is bound to have followers, so I can’t act like I’m trying to change your mind about it, but all I can say is when you’re giving it a try, be sure you look twice before biting into something.
- The different locations of the restaurant are spread across quite a few different locales, but particularly those here in Columbus have a premium on parking. Might want to check it out on an online map.
- Some menus and hours may differ by location. Check online.
- Some locations also have outdoor seating, for good weather.