Restaurant Review: Scotty’s Cafe
Scotty’s Cafe has a long, proud history as a mainstay diner in the Bexley Scene. There’s something magical in the hustle of both the proprietors and the servers. They know at least half the guests by name, and if you’re not known by name, there’s alway nicknames like “sweets” or “dear.” While affectionate monikers for strangers are risky business these days, it’s no less lovely on the ears.
And it all seems completely authentic and sincere. Real. It’s difficult for a cynic to take it all in.
Even through cynical eyes, Scotty’s has a dynamic that’s so seldom seen, it makes you want to introduce it to more friends, just to verify that the community really and truly is not a hallucination. It exists.
There are $5 specials. At last visit, a cheeseburger was the special of the day. At that price, a single-patty slider was expected. Instead, a bun with TWO classic burger patties and two melted pieces of cheese arrived. While it’s not a thick gourmet burger, the offering is a definite step above a fast food burger – Scotty’s patties are bigger and meatier – and at a price-point that is stunning. Moreover, it came with onion rings, not the mass-produced type, but rather naturally misshapen rounds encased in crunchy batter: ridiculously good.
Outside the land of specials, the regular menu prices still offer good value. Case in point, the winningly-named Zaftig (Yiddish for “plump,” $12.50). It’s a biggie, with three sandwich-halves for those who cannot decide between corned beef, turkey or roast beef. You get one of each, served on white, wheat or rye. Good with mayo and lettuce, the meat is thinly sliced and piled in pleasing proportions between the firm slices of bread. The sandwiches come with a pickle and serviceable french fries.
While the fries are fine, they’ve got nothing on the Latkes ($6.99). If you frequently find yourself running short on hash browns and wishing for more when dining, the house latkes are the antidote. You will have enough. More than enough. An order delivers three latkes, each roughly the size of an outstretched hand, flavored with a touch of onion, and fried with crispy, brittle edges and softer, potatoey innards. The latkes are served with applesauce and sour cream, which adds more heft and richness to something that is already pretty hefty.
There’s an opportunity to score Blintzes ($6.99) on the menu as well. They’re homespun, tightly wrapped packages of tender crepes filled with sweetened clotty cheese (likely cottage). The cheese-to-crepe ratio is a little heavy, but that’s a problem with a DIY remedy: squish out some cheese and push it to the side, apply jelly, and it’s all good.
Like any good diner, Scotty’s serves breakfast all day. The breakfast menu is centered on the familiar favorites you’d expect at any diner: eggs, pancakes, sausage, toast. The obvious choice, then, is to get the Big Breakfast ($11.99), with two eggs (the kitchen nicely managed over-hard), two big floppy pancakes, home fries, crisp bacon and coffee. It’s more than enough food to weigh you down for the rest of the day.
For those who appreciate the virtues of a non-crowded restaurant, you’re never going to find that at Scotty’s. Nevertheless, service is prompt, and the busy scene offers a special opportunity to appreciate the dynamic between Scotty’s team and its guests, strangers and friends alike. However you arrive, you’ll leave with a smile. It’s at 2980 E. Broad St.
For more information, visit cafecolumbusoh.com.
All photos by Susan Post
Editor’s note: photos are taken at a different time than the review and discrepancies may occur