Oberlin Blogs

GUEST POST: Caitrin's Downtown Brunch Picks

July 28, 2015

Tanya Aydelott

We eat at Oberlin. Some might say we feast. On the weekends, this feasting centers around brunch. Summer intern Caitrin has you covered for the best brunch spots in downtown Oberlin!

The weekend: a time for rest, relaxation, and putting off homework. Yes, I probably should read that article before I binge watch Netflix; yes, I should probably do that problem set before I go see the Obertones. But do I? No.

I wait until Sunday, just like every weekend. I don't really have to start panicking until Sunday afternoon, though, so for that final meal representing my weekend freedom I head downtown to grab brunch. There are three main restaurants that serve brunch in downtown Oberlin so I always have to weigh my options before choosing.*

The Feve
The Feve is by far my favorite brunch spot. It has a rotating brunch menu so it will be different every weekend and there will always be something new to try. There will, however, always be the traditional staples: pancakes, oatmeal, eggs and bacon are consistently on the menu. My personal favorite will forever be the blueberry pancakes. My mom and I are pretty picky when it comes to pancakes because she has spoiled me with homemade buttermilk pancakes from a young age, but whenever she is in town, we head on down to the Feve and at least one of us will get the blueberry pancakes and inevitably will have to share with the other. A recent discovery by yours truly about the Feve is their wonderful mimosas (for those 21 and above of course, hence my recent discovery). You can get whichever juice you would like as a mimosa, including peach, mango and grapefruit!

The one downside about Feve brunch, however, is the wait. If you get there 10-10:30 you will be pretty golden, and if you only have a party of two it will be much easier to get in. Any time from 11 am to about 1 pm is when the hungry college students awaken from their weekend slumbers and flock to the Feve. This means wait times can get crazy (especially during commencement and parents' weekend) and it can be one or two hours for a table. That being said, it is worth the wait — but maybe don't come to the Feve starving!

Feve brunch: mmmmm.

Summer Interns' Favorite Feve Brunch Items
Eoin's Favorite: Sweet Potato and Poblano Omelette
Dustin's Favorite: Brunch Burger
Amanda's Favorite: Pretzel Pancake
Matt's Favorite: Coffee Pancake
Sam's Favorite: Jalapeno Pancake with sausage on the side
Caitrin's Favorite: Pig Candy (thick, maple bacon)

Black River
Like the Feve, Black River has a rotating brunch menu as well as the classic staples: pancakes, bacon and omelets. The way to go at Black River Brunch is to order off of the rotating brunch menu because the regular breakfast items are available on weekdays for breakfast. This is another reason I might not choose Black River as my brunch spot as frequently — if for whatever reason I want breakfast during the week, it is open! (The Feve is not.) The rotating menu will give you seasonal items and quite often includes a crepe. Always go for the crepe. The Feve wins the pancake war in my book but nothing beats a Black River crepe with a side of bacon. Yum!

Summer Interns' Favorite Black River Brunch Items
Eoin's Favorite: Blueberry or Chocolate Chip or Banana Pancakes
Dustin's Favorite: Burger
Amanda's Favorite: Lox Crepe
Matt's Favorite: Tempeh and Eggs
Sam's Favorite: Omelette with Spinach and Feta
Caitrin's Favorite: Eggs Benedict

Main Street Diner
Main Street Diner is when I want a quick no-nonsense breakfast. Eggs, hashbrowns and toast (made with cinnamon raisin bread!) are my go to and they are always wonderful and reminiscent of a home-cooked meal. I generally prefer Main Street when I don't have much money to spare because it's very easy to have a filling, large breakfast without breaking the bank. You can easily keep it under $10 here (sometimes I can keep it under $5!). Additionally, it is fast, and faster the earlier you go. I also tend to eat at Main Street if I have a show with an earlier call time, though I'm not really sure why this is a trend, I think it's just a ritual more than anything else...

Summer Interns' Favorite Main Street Diner Brunch Items
Eoin's Favorite: South of the Border Omelette
Dustin's Favorite: Obie Big Breakfast
Amanda's Favorite: Reuben
Matt's Favorite: Egg Breakfast Sandwich
Sam's Favorite: Blueberry Pancakes
Caitrin's Favorite: Poached Eggs, Hashbrowns and Cinnamon Raisin Toast

The rotating brunch menus at Black River and the Feve ensure that no one will get bored of eating the same old things (at least when it comes to breakfast foods). The fact that there are three great places that offer three great brunches in our tiny downtown makes me truly, truly happy. As Leslie Knope once said, "Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?"

*Disclaimer: the Feve almost always wins.

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