Photos: 161 Diner’s new brunch menu

March 30, 2012

The good folks from Whole Food Market’s 161 Diner invited me back last weekend to sample some items from their new brunch menu. They revamped old favorites and introduced a couple new goodies to the menu. I had an enjoyable (and very filling) time on my last visit, so I gladly accepted their invitation to return.

In case you’re not familiar with the 161 Diner, it’s a diner counter in the prepared foods section of the Dublin Whole Foods Market. They serve all the diner fare during the week, including milkshakes, beer, fries, and burgers; on weekends they serve brunch to a fairly constant crowd.

The new menu dropped a couple old items, including the sweet potato biscuits (“They had their run,” said prepared foods manager Nathan Drake.) New additions include a range of sandwiches, a green omelet made with kale, the return of corned beef hash, a revamped biscuits and gravy, and a new benedict. Nathan and sous chef Vanessa also improved the plating of their dishes.

The drinks were good as always. I enjoyed some coffee. My son insisted I take a picture of his chocolate milk.

My son chose the oatmeal with fresh fruit off the kid’s menu. It’s nothing fancy, as far as oatmeal goes, but he loved it. Generous topping of cinnamon.

A woman seated next to us ordered the French toast with cinnamon cream cheese and pecans. When the cook carried over this golden tower of toasted goodness, dripping with syrup and cream cheese, I couldn’t resist asking to take a picture. She told me that the dish was, well, awesome.

If you’re read my blog even a little bit, you know I’m a sucker for a good eggs benedict. So I immediately gravitated toward the gravlax benedict. Gravlax is a cured salmon. Nathan explained that it’s a Scandinavian process that involves curing the salmon in salt, sugar, and dill for about 3-4 days. He does it in-house at Whole Foods, then slices the salmon thin and layers it in the benedict with beautifully poached eggs, arugula, and fresh hollandaise. The resulting fish is salty and a little bit sweet, with a definite essence of dill to it. The taste is clean and fresh, and a great choice for a benedict, although it’s a delicate flavor, so it was slightly overpowered by the hollandaise. But there’s a lot to like about this new menu. If you’ve never been to the diner, take the opportunity this weekend!

You can find 161 Diner to the east side of the store, in prepared foods. The Whole Foods Market is located at 3670 W. Dublin-Granville Road. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, 10am-2pm.

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I go by Dr. Breakfast, but in addition to restaurants and recipes, I write about family travel, breweries and distilleries, the arts, outdoor fun, and so much more.

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