Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Road Trip: Cincinnati--Half Day Café

A few weeks back, we went to Cincinnati with friends to see a Reds’ game. We had a great time, an enjoyable dinner before at Nicholson’s Pub (which I reviewed before). They do some tasty mussels.

The next morning, we were had an intense need for a hearty breakfast. The last time hubby and I were in Cincinnati, we tried to go to Half Day Café, but apparently it is closed on Sundays. This was a Saturday, so we drove over. It’s a little drive from downtown, but convenient to the freeway to head back to Indy after.

It’s a bustling place, but we got one of the last tables. We all ordered different things (and some of us maybe ordered two breakfasts) so I got to taste a lot of things.  The best thing on the table was the biscuits and gravy ($9.99).  The biscuits were substantial but still light and fluffy and the gravy had a very distinct sausage flavor. It didn’t have that floury taste that can put me off of gravy sometimes. The most unique thing though, making it even heartier than most B&G, was the fact that there was an entire housemade sausage patty sandwiched in the middle of the biscuits. It was sage sausage and had a nice herby flavor—and I prefer the sage to the fennel flavor a lot of people use in sausage, but which I think can easily overpower the flavor of the meat. Like, I said, it was the star of the table.

I ordered the Egg strata (9.99) based on our server’s recommendation. It was an individual crock filled with an egg casserole—inside there was bread cooked with egg, pepper jack cheese, caramelized onion and a lot of the sage sausage baked on top.  It was extremely rich and hearty, but a little too just heavy for me.  One friend ordered the “Half Day Benedict” ($9.49), which I liked better.  There were two poached eggs layered with Prosciutto all on top of a grilled croissant (love the idea of a buttery croissant on the bottom). Instead of a classic Hollandaise, they used a charred tomato Hollandaise.  I really liked this—it was thinner than some, so didn’t come across too gloopy and had a little of the charred flavor and a fair amount of acidity from the tomato. This would be my second choice based on what we ate.

The men ordered the breakfast burrito ($8.99) and it was universally the least favorite item. It had eggs, peppers, cheese, onions and carnitas (slow roasted pork). It was kinda dry and the sage sausage was better.  The dishes all came with rosemary roasted potatoes, and they had a nice rosemary flavor, but I think I would have liked them crispier. Also, the OJ is fresh squeezed, which is one of my favorite things, and I love it pulpy, but this one was so pulpy it was almost a solid.

Overall I enjoyed this place and would be interested to work my way through the menu—I bet there are some gems. And it’s a nice little locally owned place as well.

Half Day Café 
1 Wyoming Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45215
Half Day Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Thanks, Erin