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Vegging out at Whole World

 CMH Gourmand
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Whole World Bakery and Pizzeria

3269 N High Street

Columbus, OH (Clintonville – Corner of Longview and High)


Whole World will observe its’ thirtieth anniversary in February 2008. For many years, it was the only vegetarian restaurant in Columbus. In 1998 they updated their menu and deleted the few meat items that had been offered up to that point (offered for the sake of tolerance and diversity). Whole World has continued to prove that Cowlumbus can handle an all vegetarian restaurant (Neo V does the same).

For breakfast (Sunday only from 10 AM to 3 PM), go with an omelet (you have ten ingredients to choose from); add a whole grain English muffin to this and you may find peace. In addition to the standard Sunday brunch menu, two or three breakfast specials are offered as well. The Big Breakfast – two eggs, vegetarian sausage patties, vegetarian hash or over roasted potatoes (very good redskin potatoes) with choice of bread is another good option. They also whip up a nice vegetarian (mock) sausage gravy. A trademark of Whole World is a small side of fruit served with each main courses (all meals), I think this is a nice touch.

The specials can be a good choice for lunch or dinner but they can be either hit or miss. The pizzas are good with some very daring combinations of ingredients such as the Oregon Apple – . try any of the pizzas and to live on the edge for a moment, however be prepared to wait over thirty minutes or more for your pie.

The soups are exceptional and served with your choice of (toasted) homemade bread. If you plan on eating anything else, order a cup of soup because a bowl is a meal in itself. There are typically 4-6 soup choices per day. The Broccoli Burger is a long standing favorite at most Columbus-area festivals.

The desserts are displayed in service counter. There are many vegan friendly cookie choices we well as some brownies, cookie bars and whatnot. My favorite – which is not often available, is the Chocolate Peppermint Brownie. This rich, dense, blend of rich chocolate and peppermint filling takes my breath away each time and I gladly pay $2.50 for it each time.

If you are getting take out, add at least five minutes to the time stated for your order to be ready. You are dealing with a largely modern, urban hippy workforce so time is kind of relative. Those who are in the know go to pay their bill at the counter when finished to save time. The bathrooms are downstairs in the basement.

Whole World is a hang out for people who were hip before 1985. I find it to be a mecca of multicultural/alternative lifestyle types (kind of a mini Yellow Springs) which leads to good people watching with your meal. The recycled bowling lane tables are worth looking at. Local artists display their works on the walls for sale. There is no dress code for patrons but employees must be pierced or tattooed. Please seat yourself when you enter.

Occasionally, I feel Whole World is overpriced. Sometimes, I find the specials a bit disappointing. Recently I noticed that they are charging for tap water… quite a bit, without advance notification. However, the whole has always been better than the sum of the parts at Whole World and they have one of the two best selections of unique soups in town.

CMH Gourmand

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