Bonifacio | Columbus, OH

August 18, 2017

Bonifacio | Facebook | T: @bonifacio614 | IG: @bonifacio614
1577 King Ave. (map it!)
Columbus, OH 43212
(614) 914-8115
Open Tues-Thurs, 11a-2p & 5-10p; Fri, 11a-2 & 5-11p; Sat, 10a-3p & 4-11p; Sun, 10a-3p & 4-9p (brunch served Sat & Sun, 10a-3p)
Vegetarian/vegan/gluten free? Y/Y/Y
Kid-friendly? Y

Visited: Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Believe it or not, free Saturday mornings are rare with our family, between breakfast tours and travel and, during some seasons, kid’s soccer games. So when we do get an open Saturday a.m., we (this might come as a surprise to you) like to explore new breakfasts. While we’ve been to Bonifacio for their incredible Kamayan community meals (seriously, sign up for one) and have sampled the Filipino breakfast offerings at their other spot, Red Velvet Cafe, a proper visit for weekend brunch was still in order.

Bonifacio was the city’s first (but now not the only) full service Filipino restaurant, and through our multiple meals, the Kamayan night, and other interactions, I’ve enjoyed getting to know this cuisine, and have found myself craving it more and more. In short: if you haven’t been brunching at Bonifacio yet, make it a priority this weekend.

Their brunch menu is served Saturdays and Sundays. It focuses on thirteen entrees, over half of which are silog, or dishes that combine meats, garlic fried rice, a sunny side up egg, and a bowl of arroz caldo (pictured above). Arroz caldo is the Filipino version of congee, a savory rice soup, like a wonderful and well-seasoned chicken soup.

Also of note is a solid cocktail list. You’ll find the usual suspects plus some really fascinating drinks. Their menu was developed by the Reno Reserve.

Will loves bubble tea, so we ordered up a mango green bubble tea to enjoy.

You’ll see a lot of recognizable dishes but find unique twists on them. For instance, the guava-stuffed French toast. It’s filled with a guava cream cheese and topped with ube (a sweet purple yam) whipped cream

Or the breakfast tacos served in a trio with ground beef (you can also choose tofu) with vegetables and a mango salad.

These are easily adapted for gluten free and vegan tastes!

One of the must-tries is the fried chicken and ube waffles.

The fried chicken – very tender dark meat – has a savory adobo glaze, almost like a light gravy.

While the waffles are dense and crispy, dusted with powdered sugar and drizzled with a coconut caramel syrup.

And they’re made with ube, the sweet purple yams, so when you cut into them you’ll the purple hue. It looks like a birthday cake!

My personal favorite bite(s) of the meal was the Bonifacio silog. The silog dishes feature a range of very well-seasoned meats: corned beef hash, tocino (a sweet pork), longanisa (pork sausages), spam, a smoked milkfish called tinapang bangus, chicken adobo, bistek (steak). The Bonficaio combines three meats – corned beef hash, tocino, and longanisa – but having had the corned beef hash, we asked to sub in the chicken adobo.

Just look at it. It’s a beautiful and colorful dish with a variety of tastes. The bites of tocino are tender and go between sweet and savory, the chicken is tender, too, and has a wonderful earthy flavor. The longanisa are sweet little bites of sausage. There’s plenty of sauces, tangy pickled vegetables, and that soft egg yolk to mix all together with the rice (hiding underneath egg). I don’t know why I’m not eating this more frequently.

So that’s it: head to Bonifacio this weekend for something different than your usual brunches. The flavors, colors, and presentation – and the opportunity to explore a new cuisine – are all highly crave-worthy.

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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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