Restaurant Review: SuperChef’s Breakfast & More
For those who like statistics, there are lots of numbers worth knowing about Columbus City Schools. According to its website, the system has 109 schools that serve around 50,000 students. And according to the Ohio Department of Education, 77% of its ninth graders graduate in four years.
More importantly, two of its alumni are the founders of SuperChef’s.
The former Mifflin and Columbus Alternative High School students opened their first restaurant in Kentucky a few years ago. Then they came back home to open SuperChef’s in Downtown Columbus, and expanded operations a few months ago with another location in Gahanna.
The restaurant name is a reference to the chef/owner’s nickname, “SuperChef”, which he earned during a cheffing gig for Team USA in the Bejing Olympics. The staff at the restaurant all wear superhero (mostly Marvel) shirts and the menus include fonts and terms that are reminiscent of classic superhero comic books.
One visit to the Downtown destination is convincing proof that this place is magic.
Magic thing number one: the restaurant is crowded… Downtown, on a Saturday morning. People are spilling out the door, and there’s no 5K or anything that might temporarily inflate the population. In a neighborhood where many places close for the weekend citing lack of customers, SuperChef’s is wall to wall people who want to get their breakfast on.*
Magic thing number two: the food.
The Juggernaut ($12.99) is a shockingly attractive dish, especially for something named after a villainous X-men mutant. From the name and the menu description, a holy mess was expected. The symmetrical, pretty combo was almost disappointing, until the first bite. It starts with deep red waffles; they form the outside of a sandwich that is layered with splattered eggs, melted American cheese, candied bacon and fresh fried, crunchy chicken (not the processed stuff).
The Juggernaut is perfect, and it’s huge – bigger than it looks, because it’s so tidy and pridefully constructed. There’s some strawberry sauce and honey on the side, for those who somehow need more entertainment from a sandwich.
The editors recommended a burger called a Sweet & Sour Burger ($10.50). Having been warned that it was odd, the “crab spread” and chicken chunks with which it was garnished came as no surprise. Inside the constraints of its poofy bun was a rounded, grilled burger, topped with the aforementioned elements plus a sauce that added a little sweet heat. It’s not the classic, cloying sweet and sour sauce that you might expect, but a spikier, more sophisticated element that ties the combo together. It’s served with a lush supply of seasoned french fries.
There’s a Shrimp & Grits ($13.50) that will wreck you for all future fancified versions. Burried in the slurry of melted-cheese-covered grits are roasted red pepper chunks and tail-on shrimp. The flavors are straightforward savory and spicy, with an adventureland of texture stemming from the plump shrimp and the grits.
If all this seems a tad exotic, there are plenty of standard options. The menu also includes croissant sandwiches, omelets and pancakes. Of course, the pancakes are served in giant, super-sized stacks. Reese Cup Pancakes ($9.99), for example, feature a layer of peanut butter between each pancake.
Superchef’s has two local stops. The Downtown version can be found at 199 E. Broad Street. The newer location can be found at 1344 Cherry Bottom Road in Gahanna.
*Wall-to-wall people will also mean a lengthy wait for seating. If you are a Very Important Person who is irritated by waiting for your turn, you should not ever visit SuperChef’s during prime time.
For more information, visit www.mysuperchefs.com.
All photos by Walker Evans.