Recently we had breakfast out at The Crest gastropub in Clintonville. It's not your typical breakfast joint, but we thought the boys would like the unique menu.
Our visit got off to a rocky start when the hostess told us they had no record of our reservation and it didn't appear a table would be opening up soon. We grabbed seats at the bar and ordered drinks while waiting for a table.
The hostess soon after asked if we wanted to move to a high-top table. Although the table was small, we took it. When I pulled out my wallet to pay for our drinks, the manager stopped me. The drinks were on the house because of the reservation mix-up, he said.
I hoped to order cinnamon rolls ($8), but when I told the waitress that Nick and I are allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, she recommended we not get them, which we appreciated. The staff seems well-trained to deal with food allergies and the menu also makes note of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes.
The waitress also did a nice job engaging the kids and answering their questions. But I wish I would have realized their four small glasses of milk would end up costing $10 (in fairness, the milk is from a small, family-owned Ohio dairy and the boys are still talking about how yummy it was).
This is The Crest in a nutshell - irresistibly delicious, but not cheap.
I ordered the orange blossom French toast ($11). It was light and crispy with a flavorful ricotta filling. Alex, our allergy-free kid, ordered the cinnamon rolls. After sampling a piece, my husband suggested it might be worth risking my life to try one. He also loved his meal - the daily special of pork belly and hash with eggs ($12).
Any earlier feelings about our lost reservation melted away as we dug into our food and enjoyed the excellent jazz trio that is a weekend staple.
-Melissa Kossler Dutton
I was glad to be going out for breakfast because I like hash browns.
The kids' menu had all the usual stuff - grilled cheese and fries ($4) and macaroni and cheese ($6) - but my brother and I did not order from it. We usually get the regular food because I like to try new things and he always wants shrimp. He tried to order the fish tacos but they were out.
The first thing I ordered was the fresh-squeezed lemonade. It was sour so I didn't finish it. The waitress offered to bring me chocolate milk and it was good. In fact, I drank two glasses of it. My brother asked if they could heat it up in the microwave and make hot chocolate but the restaurant does not have a microwave. My mom said that was a good thing.
I decided to go with the Crest Breakfast ($9) because it included bacon, sausage and eggs. The sausage, which was called merguez, was made out of lamb and was less greasy than normal sausage. Someone who worked there overhead my mom saying how much I liked it and offered to ask the chef where we could buy it. That was nice of him because I would like it if my dad and I could make it at home.
My meal also came with potatoes. They were really good and cooked with peppers and other tasty stuff. We sat at a high table that was a bit small for four people. It got pretty crowded when the food came.
While we were there, a band was playing. We were sitting right next to it, which my dad liked, but made it hard for the waitress to hear my order. Overall I like the idea of a band being there, too.
I thought the men's bathroom looked old but my dad said it was "vintage." I have no clue what that means. Still, it was clean. There wasn't a changing station, but Mom says there was one in the women's room.
Overall, I liked The Crest because it had different food and good service.