Maplewood Kitchen and Bar- A Cincinnati Must
I have been looking forward to sharing my experience at Maplewood Kitchen and Bar with you all for SO long, and I finally can! A few weeks back, I published my Foodie’s Guide to Cincinnati, which includes restaurants, bars, and other fun things to do in the “Over the Rhine” area of downtown Cinci. A little birdy told me that the same restaurant company owns Maplewood Kitchen and Bar, Kruegar’s Tavern (see Cincinnati post for my rave of their rooftop patio), The Eagle, AND Bakersfield. Here’s to you, Thunderdome Group, you are doing it right! Maplewood was named for the street in Hamilton where the Lanni brothers (who founded the Thunderdome Group) grew up.
Next step, let’s get a Kruegar’s Tavern and Maplewood a little farther north, please. 🙂
I chose to share our experience at Maplewood separate from the Cincinnati travel post because it was my ultimate favorite. By the time I was ready to type up a quick blurb on our brunch for the page, I decided that it deserved a post all on its own. And that’s what it got!
As you can see in the first picture above, the downtown eatery is a very open and airy location, and super busy on the Sunday morning of our visit- the line was out the door! The calm demeanor of every employee told me Maplewood must be accustomed to long lines of hungry brunch-goers. As as soon as you walk in the front door, a cheerful champagne man (or that’s what I named him, anyway) pointed us toward his mimosa cart and offered us a drink while we waited in line, made with a choice of one of the restaurant’s freshly squeezed juices. Brilliant!
For $10/drink, I think we got a pretty good deal considering most fresh juices of that kind are anywhere between $8-10 alone. The ordering style of the restaurant is very much Northstar-esque, if you’ve ever been in Columbus. We grabbed menus as soon as we walked in, and browsed the many choices including omelets, benedicts, egg sandwiches, and of course avocado toast. It was probably a good thing the line was so long, it was hard for us to decide what to try!
By the time we arrived at the cash register, we had finished our mimosas and were offered more of their homemade “Sol” juice to accompany our meals. After ordering, we were ushered to a table that had just opened up. I loved this part! No awkward milling around the restaurant while creeping on the tables to see who was going to get up and yield their spot to you. It was seamless!
In the bar area of the restaurant stood a separate cashier where you could order your coffee, water, or other beverages to eliminate the need for servers whatsoever. The whole restaurant’s MO was “self-service”, and we found that we liked it! We enjoyed being able to get our own water refills when we ran out, rather than waiting for someone to come to fill it up. We also liked not being interrupted during our meal. It added a very personal ambiance to the morning, almost like we were dining for brunch in our own home.
AND THE FOOD.
I (of course) had to order something avocado related, and I wasn’t disappointed. I was a little hesitant forking over $10 for an Avocado Benedict (especially since it looks a little small), but I was most certainly not disappointed. The green sauce, a lemon and herb emulsion, was the perfect citrusy addition to the cool taste of the avocados and crunchy asparagus bits. Of course, any day that I get to pop a juicy poached egg over my avocado toast is a good day. My meal filled me up and I would certainly get it again!
Another dish ordered was the Chicken Hash. I snuck a bite and loved the spicy combination of jalapeno, hash browns, and eggs.
We were certainly satisfied and relaxed after our meal. I’m a little glad Maplewood hasn’t made it’s way to Columbus yet, or I might be a far-too-often regular. Maybe one day!