Whole World Natural Bakery & Restaurant in Clintonville.
The mom says:
If you live in Clintonville, you're probably already familiar with Whole World Natural Bakery & Restaurant. If you aren't, here are a few facts:
It's Columbus' oldest vegetarian restaurant. The food is 100-percent free of trans-fats and preservatives, and no processed foods are served. It's one of the few places in town where you can find vegan and gluten-free baked goods. What Whole World is not, at least in my opinion, is a destination restaurant for young kids. There isn't a kids' menu or coloring pages available and your little darlings would make a real impression if they used their outside voices in the small dining room.
However, if you're going to Whole World because you like it, you can rest assured there are kid-friendly menu items available, such as pizza and grilled cheese.
My daughter and I visited Whole World for a late Saturday lunch. I chose the Black Bean Nachos for my entree, even though it's officially an appetizer. I was served a heaping mound of blue corn chips topped with melted cheese, seasoned black beans, corn, diced tomatoes and onions, olives and avocado, and accompanied by house-made salsa - very yummy, if a little skimpy on the cheese. The salsa was a tad sweet, but overall the dish was scrumptious and I would happily order it again.
I also had a black cherry soda, which was deliciously tart. My only complaint is that we had to wait for what seemed a very long time for our food to arrive. But, to be fair, there is a disclaimer in the menu that says because they make all of their food to order, it may take a little longer. They weren't lying.
No trip to Whole World would be complete without a visit to the bakery case. They have a big selection of favorites like chocolate chip and peanut butter and even no-bakes, as well as a variety of vegan and gluten-free cookies. We chose a peanut butter chocolate chunk and a vegan "ball," which was a plain white cookie rolled in sprinkles. The ball was good, while the peanut butter chocolate chunk was great - thick, chewy and heavily studded with large chocolate chunks.
The service was on the friendly side of adequate, but didn't stand out for me. Getting to the bathroom is an adventure. It is located down a narrow set of rather steep stairs, which small children might have trouble negotiating. It was clean and big enough for a parent and two kids, but didn't have a diaper changing station.
Bottom line: Your kids won't starve if you take them to Whole World. The pizza and grilled cheese will keep even the pickiest kids happy, and the baked goods might even make them want to go back.
The Kid Says:
When I heard that Whole World Restaurant did not serve meat, I thought, "I really don't think I will like this place." We were walking in when I noticed that the interior was a lot smaller than I pictured it. There was also a mural of one place cut into the four seasons. The mural had some funny pictures of animals on it. Once I saw all of the desserts in the case, I sort of changed my mind about the place.
I looked at the menu and saw a lot of weird (or different) things like tofu pizza and eggplant meatball subs. I ordered cheese pizza. It was good but really saucy and there was a lot of it (for one person).
To drink, I got an orange cream soda. I liked it. It tasted a little bit like Orange Crush.
After we ate, my mom and I each chose a cookie. There were so many and they all looked so good. I ended up having my mom choose for me. She ordered a peanut butter chocolate chunk and a sugar cookie ball with sprinkles. They were so good.
The staff was friendly, but the food took forever to come. My stomach was growling by the time we got it. The bathrooms were really plain and we had to go down a skinny flight of stairs to get to them.
I would recommend Whole World to vegetarians and kids who like trying new foods, though I think everybody would enjoy the baked goods.
Mom: Black Bean Nachos
Kid: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookie