UPDATE: Kraft House No. 5 is under new ownership and has a new chef.
Kraft House No. 5 (Facebook / @krafthouse5 / Instagram: @krafthouse5)
5 S. Liberty St. (map it!)
Powell, OH 43065
Open Tues-Thurs, 11a-1op; Fri & Sat, 11a-11p; Sun, 10a-2:3o (brunch!), 4-9p
Accepts cash & credit/debit
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/N/N
Kraft House No. 5 was one of the big newcomers to the Columbus dining scene last year. It came about with a decent amount of ado. The creators are Michael and Louie Pappas, of the Pappas family who owns Tommy’s Diner in Franklinton (Milo’s and its catering arm are also one of their spots – it’s named for the two of them: MIchael + LOuie). The restaurant also picked up a lot of attention because the kitchen was led by all-star Chef Marcus Meacham (when it first opened). Marcus has appeared nationally on TV, and he made Bodega in Short North a destination for good food and drink.
So it’s no surprise that Kraft House No. 5 is rocking out Powell (and Columbus) with lunch, dinner, drinks, and yes – brunch.
The Kraft House space (formerly the Easy Street Cafe) is comfortable. Thick wooden tables, rows of booths, a big bar, giant craft beer list (with a heavy Columbus emphasis).
They serve piping hot Rost Coffee, a specialty roaster here in town (they have a small stand inside Easton). You can order individual cups, cold brew, or a full French press (although they were so busy on one of our visits that all the French presses were in use).
And the brunch cocktail follows the atmosphere: big and comfortable.
We picked up the KH5 Bloody (very spicy with its chipotle mix) and the Orange Crush. I tend to enjoy bourbon-based cocktails, so this one interested me. It’s mixed with orange juice, whipped egg white (makes it creamy), and vanilla. Frothy and sweet.
Now are you ready for this? Kraft House does comfort food writ large. I mean like Capital ‘C,’ Capital ‘F’ Comfort Food. That’s the signature of Chef Meacham.
Take, for instance, the Hot Brown. It’s a Kentucky classic: toast loaded with turkey, bacon, tomato, and mornay (a white cheese sauce). Chef Meacham’s version is stacked high with rich mornay and thick – no, huge – Benton’s bacon. It’s a tower of food, which you’ll see is a common theme in the presentation at Kraft House.
Chef Meacham swears by the Benton’s bacon, and well… the picture tells you why. The strips of pork belly are prepped like a bigger cut of meat: tender inside, crispy edges. The bacon is featured on the Breakfast Burger, too.
The burger is a huge sweet, salty, and sticky mess. I mean this in a good way. The patty is layered with bacon, a fried egg, a crisp potato wafer, and the bun is drizzled with a maple aioli. Each bite is savory and sweet. It’s one of the messier and better burgers you’ll have at brunch.
Of course, it’s not all over-the-top huge: the frittata is wonderfully savory, loaded with mushrooms, tomatoes, kale, and a dusting of parmesan. You can always add bacon, too.
Oh, who am I kidding? It is all playfully over-the-top. There’s the giant stack of buttermilk ricotta pancakes. It’s so big they have to use small dowels to stand it up. You have a choice of toppings, from the bacon/banana/rosemary maple syrup (pictured) to the cherry/bourbon cherry maple syrup, to the blueberry/spiced vodka syrup. I mean… just read that list!
Another menu highlight is the Chicken and Waffs. All the elements are there: solid malted waffles, tender and spicy fried chicken, plus sweet accents from torched strawberries, maple syrup, and powdered sugar.
If you like waffles and are also indecisive, the menu features a waffle flight, with three types of toppings (like the pancakes above).
If the whole table (or just you, no judgment) wants to start out with a sweet/spicy bite, you can order the Beignets + French press of coffee. You’ll get a plate mounded high with big, caky beignets that are glazed with a strawberry cayenne and an overly generous dusting of powdered sugar. It comes with a French press of Rost Coffee. The strawberry cayenne delivers a surprising kick (okay, maybe not that surprising – it’s cayenne) but it’s offset by the powdered sugar.
If all the photos above don’t make you hungry for Sunday brunch, then I can’t help you. If they do make you hungry, head to Kraft House. It’s as simple as that. Don’t let the drive to Powell deter you; the full menu, the craft beer, draft wine, and cocktails (the GM David Veitch concocts some solid drinks), and the atmosphere are very worthy of a visit. It’s a chance to see a couple Columbus restaurateurs and one of our star chefs doing what they do best.