Restaurant Review: Jack and Benny’s Barnstormer Diner
Jack and Benny’s always seems to have a line outside on lazy weekend mornings. People love it: giant portions, great diner food . . . but for people who don’t love other people quite so much, there is a new option that has been mysteriously un-crowded so far; Jack and Benny’s Barnstormer Diner.
OSU Airport is the official home of the new Jack and Benny’s project. Visiting OSU Airport is, for the record, nothing like going to the regular airport. You enter from a two-lane road and park in a parking lot that lets you walk right in to the restaurant. There’s no security check or parking garages involved.
As far as diner ambiance at the Barnstormer, there’s not a lot. If you need loads of cutesy decor, it’s probably best to get a carry-out order and sit outside and watch the airplanes.
But ambiance only goes so far, anyway. The good eats at Jack and Benny’s go all the way.
Like any diner, you can score some breakfast stuff any time. Pancakes are sold by-the-each ($1.85). Individual cakes are about the size of an outstretched hand, they’re poofy and suck up syrup like nobody’s business. The plain buttermilk ones are perfect, the price bumps up a little bit with blue berries ($2.85 and worth it). You can also get all crazy and order a multi-grain version with coconut, pecans and chocolate chips -or a variety of other additions.
There is also a downright fancy version of Huevos Rancheros ($7.50). A flat tortilla is topped with a balanced mixture of beans (not too many) and sauteed tomatoes, peppers, and onions. The mixture is crowned with two eggs, any style: over-easy worked perfectly in this mix.
One entree came out that was so big, the whole table made noises of shock and awe. That thing was the Arnold Omelet ($8.50). It is bigger than your head with ironically delicate folds of egg filled with everything: ham, bacon, sausage, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, mushrooms and cheese -all distributed in finely chopped form.
That’s not to say that the omelets are the only large-sized items on the menu; the burgers from the lunch section of the menu are big too: their arrival inspired almost as many table noises of appreciation. The burger and bun are approximately saucer-sized in diameter, and thick and beefy through and through. A mammoth Cheeseburger with thick slices of bacon will set you back a mere $7.99 -and there’s a bag of chips with that, to boot.
The lunch menu also includes some grilled chicken sandwiches, wraps and a few deli options such as a Grilled Ham & Cheese that makes a nice little comfort lunch (with the potato chips) for $4.99.
You can find the new edition of the Barnstormer at 2160 West Case Road. It might not be the most travelled stretch in Columbus, but there are helpful little airport signs starting on Bethel road that lead all the way to the entrance. The airport location is open Mondays through Fridays from 7am until 3pm, with weekend hours on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am until 3pm.
For more information, visit www.osuairport.org/44.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.