A Tale of Two Brunches


They say it’s unhealthy to live for the weekend, but I can’t help it. It’s the only acceptable time of the week you can sleep in, lounge all day with Netflix, and have excessive meals without feeling guilty. My breakfast during the week isn’t very exciting (overnight oats with chia seeds, nut butter, and berries without fail), so I like to do it up on the weekends. Last weekend was no exception.

Saturday greeted us with sunshine and springlike temperatures. This meant I could actually muster the energy to get dressed and leave the house for once in my life. My husband wanted to run some dreadful errands, so he bribed me with the brunch spot of my choice. Since we were going to be in the Hilliard area, I chose Starliner Diner (duh).

Here’s the thing with Starliner–it’s unexpected. When you pull up, you’ll see a crummy little building in an lot that desperately needs paved, and you may have doubts. Squash those thoughts, park your car in the weeds, and get your ass in there. Didn’t you learn not to judge a book by its cover? When you step inside, your senses will be assaulted by an awesome combination of kitsch and outer space:

starliner diner

I am obsessed with that constellation globe.

We had a 25 minute wait, so I spent this time agonizing over what delicious thing I was going to shovel into my face. The menu has Cuban influences, so it was like do I get the Cuban French toast? Or Huevos Rancheros? Or both? Halp!

photo 3

Even the menu is fun.

After many (MANY) minutes of indecision, I went with one of the breakfast specials: a Cuban Breakfast Burrito. Let the record show I made the best decision ever.

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This masterpiece is a flour tortilla stuffed with brisket, egg, caramelized onions, black beans, jack cheese, (maybe) peppers, and topped with ranchero sauce and sour cream. I can’t look at this photo without wanting to eat it all over again.

Sunday morning was spent at Mozart’s Bakery and Piano Cafe with one of my “book clubs.” I say this loosely as only a handful of people actually read the book (me!), and the meetings revolve more around food and gossip than books. This particular outing was with my Bookish Bitchez Be Brunchin’ group (actual name), and we chose the venue to go along with our book of the month (The Soloist by Steve Lopez, GET IT?).

After that savory meal at Starliner, I was in the mood for something on the opposite end of the spectrum, so I decided to commit with a sugar-laden breakfast. Enter a delightful hot chocolate:

hot chocolate

Afterwards, the only logical course of action was the Belgian waffle dusted with powdered sugar and topped with fruit and berry sauce.

wafflesWhat’s that you say? There’s absolutely no way I could consume any more sugar? Ha! I accept your challenge, sir. Right before you leave, there is a seductive display of pastries and desserts by the exit, and naturally, I couldn’t leave without a souvenir:

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The Mozart torte: fresh strawberries and whipped cream layered with vanilla cake and studded with flaked almonds.

Confession. A few years ago, my husband and I went on a whirlwind trip to Europe, and I threw a hissyfit in a London bakery called Patisserie Valerie. We were tired from walking all day, cranky from lack of sleep, and I was absolutely hangry. I don’t remember what exactly set me off (must have been super important), but there I was in line to buy a slice of strawberry gâteaux, and next thing you know, I’m stomping my foot and raging out at him to the point he ditches me. I purchase my cake (seething all the while) and refuse to give him a bite when we catch up. This ends up being one of the meanest things I’ve ever done because this cake was A-MAZING. I still think about it to this very day (is that weird?).

Anyway, this Mozart Torte looked a lot like the gâteaux I refused to share, so I thought I’d be nice and try to mend old wounds. He accepted the peace offering and we laughed at the memory of my ridiculousness. The cake, while delicious, didn’t taste exactly like the one in London, so I guess that just means we’ll have to go back.

Starliner Diner is located in Hilliard at 5240 Cemetery Road. Closed Monday. Open Tuesday through Thursday from 9am-3pm and 5pm-9pm, Friday-Saturday 9am-3pm and 5pm-9:30pm, and Sunday 9am-3pm. 

Mozart’s Cafe is located at 4784 N. High St. Closed Monday. Open Tuesday to Saturday 8am-10pm, and Sunday 8am-8pm.


4 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Brunches

  1. Pingback: Weekend Roundup {3/28 – 3/30} | Wander & Whine

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