Dempsey’s Restaurant | Columbus, OH

May 4, 2013

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Dempsey’s Restaurant (Facebook / @DempseysDaily)
346 S. High St. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 586-0511
Open daily 7a-11p (bfast served till 10:45 Mon-Fri, till 1pm Sat & Sun)
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kid-friendly? Y

Date of Visit: Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

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Dempsey’s has been on my radar since they opened about a year ago. Finally, after of year of following their regular updates on Facebook and watching them thrive, we made it out on a Saturday morning. I’ve been interested in Dempsey’s, well, a.) because they serve breakfast, but also b.) they’re a downtown restaurant that’s serving breakfast every day of the week – not just weekdays – and right now early morning Saturday breakfasts downtown are hard to come by.

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Dempsey’s occupies and long, thin space on South High Street, just north of the intersection at Mound, right around the corner from the excellent brunch at Jury Room. The space has been lovingly renovated to preserve the feel of an older downtown bar, one where you might find attorneys seeking solace after a busy session at the county courthouse across the street.

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This is just the type of space I love. On a long brick wall hang photos chronicling Columbus’ history. A big, beautiful wooden bar on one side. Intricate tile floors. It’s big enough while still feeling comfortable and cozy.

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They’re a full-service coffee shop, too. Order up shots of espresso or cappuccinos to go along with your breakfast.

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Which is just what we did: they make one good cappuccino there. Pillowy foam, rich espresso.

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I went for a regular coffee, served in a tall glass with a mug of chilled cream. Dempsey’s serves coffee from Impero in Short North.

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While the menu isn’t off-the-charts innovative, it still features a solid line-up of breakfast classics and enough variety to please everyone. We ordered from all four corners of the menu and really, really enjoyed every dish. First, the mushroom lovers’ omelet, made with fresh mushrooms, Swiss, and onions. Balanced blend of ingredients, cooked just right. Served with a side of toast (we picked rye) and their redskin potatoes, which were soft and well-seasoned (thank goodness – so many breakfast potatoes are served under-seasoned) without being mushy.

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Grandma Dempsey’s steel cut Irish oatmeal. Cooked properly, again without being turned to a bowl of mush. Served with cream and brown sugar. Very hearty. If you’re stopping by the restaurant for a quick breakfast, this is a good bet. And this dish fits with the Irish theme of the restaurant.

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Facing a good line-up of pancakes, we had to order one for our boys. We opted for the chocolate chip pancakes: three thin but fluffy flapjacks packed with chips and drizzled with more chocolate. Impossible not to like.

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My eye was immediately drawn to the hash and eggs. It takes their redskin potatoes and substitutes the corned beef with a slow-cooked brisket. Served with a side of toast and topped with two perfectly poached eggs. This dish really hit the spot with me. Good size portion to match the price, very tender brisket, seasoned well, beautiful eggs. I’m adding this to my list of go-to breakfast dishes around town.

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All in all, we were very pleased with the total package of breakfast at Dempsey’s. Everything seemed on point: the service, the prices, the quality of the food, the atmosphere, the hours. I think Dempsey’s has joined the list of regular spots for our Saturday breakfasting or to take out-of-town visitors.

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FOOD + TRAVEL WRITER

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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