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Restaurant Review: Brick, An American Kitchen

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Brick, An American Kitchen
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“Wait. Haven’t we been here before?”

Nope. Unless that’s a reference the visit here last May; that was McCasky’s. Or maybe the visit a couple of months ago to Jack Whitney’s?

It’s Brick now.

Third time’s a charm right? Within the last year, Brick, An American Kitchen makes the third restaurant project to set up shop inside 520 S. Front Street. Brick’s a good solid, stable name. Bricks themselves are heavy. Surely this place will have some staying power.

The menu at Brick is about as Old School as it gets in Downtown Columbus. Think in terms of offerings such as spaghetti or steak: that’s traditional. But the prices are right, and the ambiance is cozy-cool. Why wouldn’t this restaurant project work?

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For appetizers, try a heavy-hitter such as Meatballs ($7). The order comes with two good-quality spheres (naturally meaty, as opposed to rubbery, processed things), sweet marinara and parmesan. Beyond the meatballs, there are other options including Shrimp Cocktail and Potato Chips with Bleu Cheese.

Or, there are salads. Salads sit in the twilight zone between starter and meal. The largish Italian Chopped Salad ($8) is actually probably better as a meal, and it’s particularly retro with a romaine and iceberg lettuce mix that’s heavy on the white crunchy stuff. The salad is crowned with an arrangement of sliced strips of salami, pepperoni and cheeses, all arranged with tomatoes to resemble a giant flower on a plate. The big salad provides lots of food with a light, zippy vinaigrette. Ultimately, the dish feels like 1986 all over again.

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While the aforementioned option of traditional Spaghetti is on the menu, the more adventurous at heart might want to try Brick’s Famous White Hot Pasta ($15). After all, it’s pretty gutsy to declare something famous in the first weeks of operation.

But maybe the hot pasta will be famous. It is a good balance of spicy and creamy, and with its spinach and chicken (though shrimp is also an option), the pasta offering is arguably healthy too.

Or be a big spender and go with a 10oz New York Strip Steak ($21). It comes out naked on the plate, a giant slab of meat, well seasoned, accurately prepared, and edible in all of its entire savory glory -there’s not a single gristly, fatty bite there.

And while the steak arrives solo on the plate, it does come with a side: the broiled brussels sprouts have their own little saucer. They’re nicely prepared too, with enough crispy caramelized leaves to infuse the whole pile with addictive carbonized goodness.

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For more casual diners, there is a full menu of sandwiches, including the intriguing option of a macaroni and cheese sandwich (next time). There is also the requisite cheeseburger option, or the Pulled Pork Sandwich is right-priced at $8, with a nicely teamed apple-bourbon barbecue sauce and coleslaw: it makes a solid Downtown lunch.

Like many restaurants before it, Brick is located at 520 S. Front Street. It’s open Tuesdays through Saturdays for lunch at 11am, and stays open until 10pm on Tuesday through Thursdays. Brick keeps later hours on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s open until 11pm. Bonus: it runs a happy hour(s) every day of operation from 3pm to 7pm. During that time zone, guests can find specials that include half-priced appetizers, draft beers and house wines.

For more information visit www.brickamericankitchen.com.

Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.

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