Nancy's: A Clintonville Institution

Following up on my new series on breakfast in Columbus, I've decided to deviate from the original plan a bit.  My intentions were to chronicle our weekly breakfast outing, reviewing each place every week.  I'm going to step back from this plan and make it more of a monthly feature.  That way you don't have to read about me trying to write an original review about our stop at Bob Evans three weeks ago.  What am I going to say about their Border Scramble┬« that hasn't already been said?

A couple weeks ago, Jay, Cameron and I met up at Nancy's in Clintonville.  If you're from Columbus, there's a good chance you're already familiar with the place, at least in name. Offically known as "Nancy's Home Cooking," the place lives up to its name.  The front half of the diner is one long serpentine counter, where you can watch the magic happening on the grill and you can get your coffee refills as fast as you can drink them.  The back half has several smaller booths seating 2 or 4 people; All told, Nancy's may comfortably hold 30 people.  There is no ambient music, no air conditioning, and really not a very set pricing structure.  Depending on the cashier's mood, she'll make up some random price between $4 and $6 for your meal.  If you're reasonably cordial, it will almost certainly be in the $4 range.

As for the food, although I had never been there for breakfast, I was already very familiar with Nancy's lunch menu.  I'm not going to review lunch, so I'll just leave the topic with one piece of advice: Take a $5 bill, and go to Nancy's this Thursday.  You won't regret it.

I had heard about Nancy's "garbage omelet," and being the omelet connoisseur that I am, I had to try it.  Although it tasted much better than the name would suggest, I wasn't bowled over.  They had all the right stuff -- hashbrowns, sausage, tomato, peppers, half a pound of cheese -- but somehow they just weren't working together the way they should.  Not a lot of taste to it, to be honest.  The size of the omelet did fit the bill, though.  If you're in the mood for a good old fashioned greasy omelet with lots of cheese to fill you up, this will do the trick.

The coffee was standard fare diner coffee; If you're just looking to wake up and get some caffeine in your system, it will do the job.  Add in a side of toast, and you've got yourself a standard diner breakfast.

Now, I don't want this review to come across at wholly negative, because it isn't meant to be.  My experience with breakfast at Nancy's was overall good; If you're going to a diner, you should expect diner-quality food.  It isn't the healthiest, but it will fill you up.  The real shining point to Nancy's in the atmosphere and the price.  Between the three of us -- an omelette, two orders of eggs, two sides of bacon, coffee and toast all around -- we got out of there spending $13 for breakfast.  For the three of us.  Try pulling that off at Bob Evans.

In summary, if you're looking for a "good breakfast," skip on Nancy's.  If you're looking for a diner breakfast experience, or even just a quick breakfast on the way to work, it's a great value.  On the quality scale, their lunches and dinners are better than their breakfasts, and you really can't go wrong stopping in for a quick meal on your lunch break.  Espcially on a Thursday.

Nancy's Home Cooking
3133 N. High St.
Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 265-9012

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